We all dream of a society where caste doesn’t exist, where equal rights and opportunities are available to all citizens. India has tried to eradicate the caste system but still hasn’t been able to completely get rid of it.
A person from a lower caste is looked down upon and major problems first arose when caste-dependent marriages started and marital relationship outside one's caste was prohibited. Caste in India has also facilitated passage to political power in India. An article by Countrystudies writes about how modern secular democracy has enhanced rather than reduced the political salience of traditional forms of social identity such as caste.
“The Backward Classes are such a substantial constituency that almost all parties vie for their support.” : Countrystudies
In order to move away from the caste categorisation and to provide equal opportunities to all citizens, India has enacted and implemented many laws and social initiatives to protect and improve the socio-economic conditions of its population. Yet, its desire to have a society free of caste discrimination hasn’t been met due to many bottlenecks in the form of reservation for jobs, subsidies and other social benefits. A growing trend is seeing people classify themselves as lower caste in order to gain access to government subsidies and programmes. To date, the government hasn't made significant inroads in changing public consciousness and perception of castes - any reforms have to start here first and then the effect can be seen in the larger public.
Author: Ajay Pal Singh Chabba/ RESET editorial
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