India is a wonderful country, a mix of diverse people, religion, nature and region and oh right, caste too. Our culture is perhaps our strongest feature and we as Indians stand unified in our identity and appreciate the history and traditions that come with each of them.
That was the typical intro that we usually give at international events, to other countries, people, parties and of course to put down uptight and racist Britishers ala Akshay Kumar in Namaste London.
And while all the above things are very much true, India is unlike any other country, where one can find a plethora of cultural diversity from north to south and east to west. But similarly saying that we exist in peace and unity is perhaps the biggest lie I have ever heard.
Of course, we hope that that is true and work towards it too, but one has to keep in mind that so many different mindsets, different religions and culture will of course clash with each other one time or another.
And I am still OK with all this diversity and the problems that it brings, but the diversity that truly pisses me off is that of caste division.
Which to be honest I have never for the life of me understood.
Caste based segregation has always been something I have not agreed with, and the recent news of a Brahmin only township called The Vedic Village- Shankar Agraharam just caused me to roll my eyes so hard I thought they would get stuck in the back of my head.
The project was started on the outskirts of Bengaluru, Karnataka somewhere in 2013 and since then has amassed a lot of national and international media coverage, owing to its peculiar rule of only having Brahmin residents.
While researching this topic, I came across a large number of articles and opinions over why is it a bad idea and including the matter of religion into it.
And just speaking from a devil’s advocate point of view, I can see why certain communities might need a segregated area of living. Brahmin or those who want to actively practice it would find it hard to fit in the normal society and in that even the other people would not have the patience to accommodate to their different lifestyle.
But in saying that, promoting a certain township or residence complex as a place for the higher beings and making an exception for only the working staff is just going back to the dark times of caste based segregation and oppression.
In India, Brahmins have always enjoyed a very privileged position, due to the fact that they belong to the “upper caste” *notice the sarcasm?*
However, in the modern time I thought we’d all moved past that, at least a bit. I suppose I was wrong to think so, as it seems that for the past year or so, we are only moving backwards in our thinking.
Intolerance is rising, the iconic ruling of decriminalising the homosexuals was overturned, and certain other religion based projects were started.
While signing off, I’d just say that I can begin to understand the need for actively practicing Brahmins to want their own area, but it should definitely not turn into a caste based matter of who is upper and who is lower. That goes against everything that we as a country have tried so hard evolve from.
Image Credits: thequint.com