The Kshatriyas were taught the intricacies of war and the skills of armory and they were selected due to their physical prowess. Their lifelong profession would be defending the country. Every society needs to be well off economically and the work related to economics and accounting was allotted to a group of persons proficient in calculations. They were selected according to this proficiency and termed Vaishyas.
For matters of hygiene, it was necessary to keep the cities and villages clean. The roads were swept regularly and all garbage and refuse burnt at a specified place. This was the work of Shudras. They were selected mostly because of lower intelligence and physical inferiority. But for all matters, they were less than none and equal to all. The work culture was respected and no work was considered inferior.
This went on for several thousand years until we reach the Seventh Century and after. The successive invasions by foreign mercenaries and the looting, burning and killings that followed created the need for small groups to protect themselves and their neighbors. These small groups continued for long and in the process different categories evolved which resulted in casteism. The intermingling and common customs prevalent till then were slowly undergoing among themselves. Over a period of time, this became the norm and clear demarcations started to be defined.
Initially all this was for a unified purpose but a development of this was rivalry and interdicts were issued for contravention of casteist norms. The fall out was that even residential areas started to be categorized. The Vaishyas made material games, the Kshatriyas distributed amongst themselves the plunders of war and the Brahmins attained scholarly heights. These three groups were quite interdependent because of which they were well off. The rest were treated below par and became poorer by the day. The vicious circle of the rich exploiting the poor became common and an accepted part of our society. Society became divided into the haves and the have-nots. The haves were as per details mentioned and were further divided into sub-castes numbering a total of about 2000. There are no inter-marriages amongst them but they do look down on the 3000 odd lower caste groups.
The lower castes were relegated to the lowest strata of society and treated as outcastes. Due to their poverty they were compelled to shift home and hearth to the outer fringes of villages and towns, making them near garbage dumps and city drains. They were thoroughly exploited by the well-to-do and became bonded labors or serfs.
The long era of exploitation, although known to all, was brought to the forefront by a lower caste man, raised in the house of an upper caste, the stalwart and one of our Constitution makers, Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar and his efforts did pay fruit as our Constitution advocated an egalitarian society.
Unfortunately, instead of the malaise being halted and eradicated, it gathered further impetus after independence. The result was that our democracy was reduced to a farce and our society was subjected to further fragmentation. Our politicians, who are just self-seekers, made tall promises and did nothing for the upliftment of the backward class. The only difference was their nomenclature which became Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other Backward Classes. The poor masses remained illiterate and were reduced to vote-banks only to be used at the time of elections. They promised them they sky, gave them equal voting rights but did everything to ensure that their level of intellect were kept to the minimum. Reason- an enlightened person would not behave like dumb cattle, to be driven to polling booths with the power of a few crumbs thrown as food and rags to be passed off as clothes.
An enquiry committees was set up which resulted in the Mandal Report. This was studied by our leaders and the intelligentsia and the pros and cons of implementation were weighed. It was decided that the negative impact of the report could result in further disintegration of our already flimsy social fabric and kept under wraps for several years. Mr. V.P. Singh on becoming Prime Minister wanted to incase the report for political gain and achieved public disgrace by implementing it.
There is no doubt that a lot of support to the backward castes needed to be given but not of the sort we have by accepting the Mandal Report. Unfortunately, these reports are accepted not in toto but only those portions which suit the political leaders. This has caused a lot of anxiety, anger and even self-immolation all over the country, specially North India. Students lost a valuable year as most of the educational institutions remained closed due to riots. Gujarat being one of the most affected states.
What is surprising is that no reservations have been made on factors of income. There are upper castes who are economically impoverished, who need the support of reservation to come up in life. They have been totally ignored, whilst the creamy layer in these scheduled castes/tribes are getting the benefit of reservation.
The prosperity of our country depends of social upliftment. The goal should be to ensure equal opportunity to all the citizens of our country. For this the only criteria should be economic backwardness relevant to all castes, sub-castes and religion. The only reservation available should be for the tribals and advisees. They definitely need a special status and the work of NGOs in this field has been commendable. The Government has developed several projects for their upliftment but corruption, the main root of all evils in our country, has seen the funds being siphoned off and hardly anything filters down to the needy.
The politics of casteism has seen several political parties whose ideology is mainly based on this agenda. Today we have the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Dalit Panthers Party and several other who profess to be massiahs of the downtrodden and backward classes.
The world is waiting expectedly for the disintegration of smaller developing nations like ours and they have been strengthening our enemies across the border who have let loose their agents to disrupt everything from democracy, bureaucracy to elections. They are leaving no stone unturned in getting the country balkanized on the basis of caste. Our politicians have already played caste and communal politics.
We hope, good sense prevails, patriotism gains ground to eradicate this social evil and thwart the evil designs of anti-nationals. Down with the Caste system.