Pathetic rule of law is result of Caste Based discrimination

15Aug08

A resolution, recently passed by the Naloor panchayat in Narikudi block of Virudunagar district in Tamil Nadu state is the quintessence of caste based discrimination in India. The panchayat convened a meeting a few months ago and resolved that the proposed construction of a public library building in the panchayat must not be permitted.

The minutes of the panchayat meeting reveal the reason for the council decision. The council and its members feared that the library would be of use to the Dalits (lowest caste/untouchables) in the locality and that the Dalits might get enlightened by accessing knowledge through the public library.

Not stopping at the resolution the council had the audacity to approach the Tamil Nadu High Court with an application seeking the direction of the court to the government to prohibit the government from constructing the library building against the wish of the panchayat. The court while expressing anguish about the very nature
of such a resolution dismissed the application. While dismissing the application the court also expressed its concern that such decisions would in fact lead to social unrest and is fundamentally against Article 17 of the Indian Constitution.It is an undisputed fact that caste based discrimination exists in India. Even though the external manifestations of caste and its practices vary across the country the fundamentals of caste — the primordial mindset that justifies and accepts inequality as a norm of the society — is the same irrespective of language and region. It is this mindset that has helped the caste system to survive with all its vigour for thousands of years.Take for example the resolution passed by Naloor panchayat. It takes more than mere deep-rooted religious belief, of the members of a panchayat governing body to conclude that the Dalits do not have a
right to be literate, and to conclude that a large section of the community do not have the right to gain knowledge. It is only possible for an extremely insidious mind to decide and further assert that a particular faction of the society has the right and further the privilege to dictate its terms to the rest of the society.

It is only possible for an upper caste mind in India to take steps to ensure that anyone outside the upper caste remains subservient to them. Religion, prayers and other rituals are only the means by which this sudo-superiority is enforced. To ensure this privilege, from the inception of caste in the region, the possibility of education was
denied to the lower caste — the current day Dalits. This is emphasised in the scriptures of Hindu teachings like Mahabharata and Ramayana.The tales of Eklavya and Sambuka stands proof to this. Eklavya, a low caste boy had to sever his thumb for learning archery. Sambuka, yet another low caste character, was murdered by Rama the emperor, at the behest of the Brahmins for the crime of learning Veda by a lower caste, which is against the Varnasastra (caste system). It is the Sambuka story that Naloor panchayat council members sought to be re-enacted in modern India expecting the court to play the role of current day Rama.Caste based discrimination and the mindset that it creates has become so entrenched in the Indian psyche. The unchallengeable practice of inequality and the impossibility of changing it, even after thousands of generations is what caste is in principle and in philosophy.Exploitation, discrimination, arbitrary punishment, nepotism and above all the justification of these evils is what caste is in practice. So much so, these practices, otherwise unacceptable in any civilised society, have become the norm in India and in other regions in Asia where caste has had its influence.

The psychological trauma a society suffered and continues to suffer today due to these practices cannot be undone in a short time. Neither can it be cured and whitewashed with mere legislative processes. Legislations without the possibility of implementation are of no use. The open breach of law by those who enjoy impunity is similar to caste based discrimination. The pathetic state of rule of law in India is the result of the continuing practice of caste based discrimination.Naloor panchayat’s resolution to prevent the possibility of the Dalits accessing a public library is just one example from the thousands of similar incidents happening in India. The Naloor incident was brought to the public domain by a court order. Unfortunately many other similar cases in India and the people who suffer from caste based discrimination are not that fortunate.



One Response to “Pathetic rule of law is result of Caste Based discrimination”


  1. 1 Recent Links Tagged With "nepotism" - JabberTags

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