Editorials

INEQUALITY HURTS US ALL – CASTE SYSTEM

SYLLABUS TOPIC- GOVERNANCE, SOCIAL JUSTICE

QUOTES

1. caste is the division of labourers, not labour- AMBEDKAR
2. As Ambedkar stated at the dawn of the Indian republic in 1948, “political democracy
has been achieved by the freedom struggle and take over from the British, but social
democracy is far away”
3. In Why I am not a Hindu, social scientist Kancha Illaiah associates the karma theory
with labour extraction. “If you should do your karma but not expect the fruit, what will
happen to the fruit? Upper caste who are not doing labour, not producing the fruit, will
appropriate it,” he writes.

ANECDOTE FOR ESSAY

The Brahmins brought the dead body of a child from their community to Lord Ram’s
court. They wailed that there must be adharma happening somewhere in his kingdom.
Perhaps a Shudra was doing tapasya. Why else would a Brahmin boy drop dead
suddenly? They urged Lord Ram to uphold dharma. The king went looking and in a dense
forest, found a boy chanting Sanskrit mantras. Ram asked him who he was and what he
was doing. The boy answered, his name is Shambuka, he is a tribal and he was doing
tapasya. Immediately afterwards, an arrow from Ram’s bow pierced Shambuka’s heart.
As the tribal boy hit the ground, the Brahmin boy woke up.
This story in the Valmiki Ramayana comes true every few years, when a Shudra, Dalit or
tribal student, who dares to seek education, pays with his life.

The most recent was a nine-year-old boy from Rajasthan, Indra Meghwal, who allegedly
drank water from a vessel reserved for his upper-caste teacher.

EXAMPLES- oppressive conditions, that forced Dalit students like Senthil Kumar (2008)
and Rohith Vemula (2016) and Payal Tadvi (2019) to take their lives.

CHALLENGES FACED BY DALITS OR TRIBALS IN EDUCATION

1. harassment and humiliation in schools all over India
2. made to sit away from other children
3. queue up separately for midday meals
4. beaten up by upper caste teachers and students
5. common water taps are not for them

UPSC PYQ ON CASTE

A. Examine the role of caste in Indian politics. (150words) (08/15)
B. Debate the issue of whether and how contemporary movements for assertion of Dalit
identity work towards annihilation of caste. (15/12.5)
C. “Caste system is assuming new identities and associational forms. Hence, caste
system cannot be eradicated in India.” Comment. (18/10)
D. Has caste lost its relevance in understanding the multi- cultural Indian Society?
Elaborate your answer with illustrations. (2020/10)

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