The Castism in Tamil Nadu - Seeker's Thoughts

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The Castism in Tamil Nadu

On July 31 this year, a circular from the Director of School Education sent to senior educational officers across the State stated that in some schools’ students were made to wear color-coded wrist bands and also sport forehead tilaks as “caste markers” and further instructed officials to stop such practices immediately.

What is the caste system?

The Indian Society has been divided into castes which is complex in nature. People take pride in their castes as well as humiliate others and sometimes get humiliated. The cast has played a negative role between communities, and somehow just tolerance works.

The caste system is a system which is deeply rooted in India, and different from another type of racial discrimination in the world. 

The caste system is practiced majorly in Hindu religion, even though discrimination exists in other nations, and religions as well.

According to the caste system, Hindus are divided into four casts- Brahmin (The Priests ), Kshatriya (The Warrior ), Vaishya ( Businessman) and Shudras ( The Servants).

At the top, there were the Brahmins, who were teachers and intellectuals. Brahma was believed to have come from Brahma’s head.

Then came the Kshatriyas, or the warriors and rulers, supposedly from his arms. The third slot went to the Vaishyas, or the traders, who were created from his thighs. At the bottom of the heap were the Shudras, who came from Brahma's feet and did all the menial jobs.
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The main castes were further divided into about 3,000 castes and 25,000 sub-castes, each based on their specific occupation.

Outside of this Hindu caste system were the achhoots - the Dalits or the untouchables.
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Why is the caste system followed by people?

This is clearly evident that due to deeply rooted cultural and religious beliefs, the cast system is inherited by generations. However, when India got her independence, the constitution followed the secular and principle of equality.

According to the Indian constitution, the right to equality is a fundamental right. This is written under article 14 – equality for all the people before the law, and it included rights of children under clause c of sections 8 and 9 of the rights of children to free and compulsory education (RTE) Act, 2009.

This article mandated state governments and local authorities to ensure that children get equal rights including weaker sections. In fact, states can bring special laws to protect the rights of weaker sections and disadvantaged group.

The right to equality was inserted due to the struggle socially backward classes which are called Shudras faced, as people belonging to the lower castes were not allowed to be educated, sit with upper-class people, or even drinking water from the same tap was not allowed.

The discrimination has been narrowed down a bit, but when states follow such rules, that clearly reveals the pattern of social behavior.

Education and modern thinking were supposed to get rid of such cast elements and divisive forces.

The Evidence of Cast discrimination

The domination of caste has entered in societies so much that even schools in Tamil Nadu have been using the color-coded wrist bands and ‘forehead tilaks as caste markers.

Caste outfits misguided students and even could lead to the violence. According to the reports of various newspapers, students from oppressed casts are forced to clean toilets in schools by teachers in various places in Tamil Nadu. 
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Even, a report on the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’s in Tamil Nadu confirmed discriminatory practices in school. Not only that a report by the National Advisory Council in 2009 highlighted some illegal practices in schools.
Wearing of caste bands on the write is, unfortunately, is a form of discrimination. It increases caste awareness among students and increases caste-related hatred. The practice hampers in mentoring the youth and beats the purpose of education.

 A way ahead

India is a diverse country, and economically, educationally, socially everyone has to get a chance to be equal, for India to grow and achieve sustainable development.

Caste and religious hatred trap humans into hatred that gradually, there seem a no way out of it.

Therefore, to ensure equality and justice to everyone, states should ban these caste practices at a public institution.

There should be more advocacy about the equal world, and equal opportunities, where everyone could achieve the dream.

Such discrimination at school certainly increases hatred among youth and even discrimination impacts upon the confidence and success level of the people.

Somewhere, we as a crowd, leaders, parents, and citizens are the culprit for the system of hate we have created.

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