Opinion » Columns

Updated: July 9, 2012 00:04 IST

Can’t be a superpower as long as untouchability exists

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Aamir Khan.
Aamir Khan.

THE AAMIR KHAN COLUMN To be a cohesive team, and to have a common, shared vision, we have to start by first accepting that we have built up differences, walls, barriers.

In a number of ways, Gandhiji was different from other freedom fighters and leaders of the time. One difference was that he gave equal importance to one more fight along with the struggle for independence, and that is, the emancipation of those ostracised as “untouchables.” Gandhiji’s work against untouchability began in South Africa around five decades before our independence. After his return to India, an incident at his Kochrab Ashram near Ahmedabad shows us how much importance he gave to the concept of equality between castes. The year was 1915. Thakkar Bappa, a close associate of Gandhiji, sent a Dalit by the name of Dudha Bhai to live in the ashram. Everyone in the ashram, including Kasturba, was opposed to this, and this was specifically due to Dudha Bhai’s status, as deemed by the caste hierarchy. Gandhiji made it clear that Dudha Bhai would not leave the Ashram. Anyone who was not comfortable with this was free to leave. He was informed that no one would agree and that even the funding for the ashram might stop. Gandhiji was undeterred. He was ready to shift his ashram to the Dalit basti, he said, even if it meant that his ashram would have only two members, namely Dudha Bhai and himself. Finally everyone turned around, except Gandhiji’s sister Gokiben, who left Kochrab as a result of her brother’s firm stance, never to return.

Why did Gandhiji give so much importance to the removal of untouchability, or discrimination based on caste? Let’s reflect on that for a moment. I think it is because the freedom he was fighting for was not just political. He did not merely want a different set of people in the corridors of power. Freedom for him meant freedom for each and every citizen of India. A freedom that could only be born from genuine equality, and the protection of the dignity of every Indian. Untouchability was clearly incompatible with his vision of freedom.

Working together

Today, many of us have a vision of what our country should be, what it can be, what India’s rightful place in the world is. Many of us dream of India becoming a superpower. But can this ever happen in a country where society is so fractured; where walls divide us? Can we ever achieve our vision if we don’t believe in a shared social good? A common vision?

What do I mean when I say shared social good?

Public property is a shared social good, a street or a road is a shared social good, our public health system is a shared social good. Unfortunately we are so fractured that we don’t see all this as ours. No wonder we throw garbage on our roads because we don’t really see the road as ours. We are not interested in our public health system because we don’t really see it as ours, which is why it is in a shambles. We can have a shared common goal, or a shared vision, only if we as a people are one.

Our forefathers who wrote the Constitution of our country, led ably by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, have clarified and laid down their vision for us — a vision of a country where all are equal. Where brotherhood and fraternity are pillars of our Constitution. Our leaders have shown us the way. They have laid down laws that tell us that discrimination based on caste and religion is illegal. Now, we have to find place in our hearts to follow them. We also have to find place in our hearts to accept that discrimination between people is against the very concept of humanity.

To be a cohesive team, and to have a common, shared vision, we have to start by first accepting that we have built up differences, walls, barriers. Then, we have to start working towards removing these differences. For example, there are umpteen housing societies all across the country which don’t sell houses to either Dalits or Muslims or Hindus or Christians or Sikhs, or to people from a different caste. This kind of petty thinking has to be done away with. And perhaps a great way to start making amends and moving in the right direction is to start with our children. Let us not sow the seeds of separation in our children. Let us not teach them the lessons of differences that we have been taught. And maybe if we stop practising these differences, in the innumerable ways that we do, then these divisions will not percolate to our children.

Manual scavenging

When I speak of a shared vision, of a shared common good, I am reminded of my own shortcomings in this regard. One of the most heartbreaking encounters for me was listening to Mr. Bezwada Wilson speak about manual scavenging. Words fail me. I am ashamed to admit that it was as late as last year, at the age of 46, that I came to recognise and actually see the existence of manual scavenging. At this late age, for the first time I felt the horror and inhumanity of it. How could I have for 46 years accepted, without batting an eyelid, the fact that some of our countrymen are made to clean the excreta of others with their hands as a means of survival? That they have no means of escape from it because of the caste that they are born into? Why didn’t I notice or react to this earlier? Not because it wasn’t happening around me. No. I did not notice it because I guess I had grown so used to seeing it around me right from my childhood that it didn’t seem unusual to me! And as I was not the victim, the horror and injustice of it probably did not occur to me. I am afraid I am guilty of this insensitivity. How can I even think of a shared common good as long as manual scavenging exists?

Well, having reacted to it now, I think it’s high time I do something about it. Because, I do believe that we should work towards a shared common good, a shared vision, a dream which can belong to all Indians.

Jai Hind. Satyamev Jayate.

(Aamir Khan is an actor. His column will be published in The Hindu every Monday.)

More In: Columns | Opinion | Comment

Awesome article. Proud of you as an Indian, Amir!

from:  Venu Gopal Reddy Muvva
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012 at 20:12 IST

sc/st got the chance to study after 1947 constitutionally befor 1947
there were very less ppl who were allowed to study.(exceptions like
ambedkar).general have benn studying since the inception of generals with the background of 1000s of years of
teaching score 85% n sc/st with merely one or 2 educated genarations
score 65-70%.u decide who is inteeligent n plz dont forget that a
person having 40% in entrance test is better than the person having 0%
in entrance test n admitted via management quota.end the surname
system ban the surname.5 years down the line no one wil. know abt
anyone's caste n reservation will end too bcoz of this.casteism is the
root cause of the problem not reservation.

from:  mithun singh
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012 at 18:23 IST

YES. it is a serious problem we Indians are facing..but we have to
understand the roots and formations of these castes..then only we can
think of eradication... today everybody understands this is
unacceptable but in reality they wont stalin k mentioned inter cast marriages are one of the solution.. but only with this can
we achieve this? the peoples minds are tuned to castisim as everywhere
you see the discrimination is visible even in our names. is the
governemnt policies are in a way to eradicate discrimination on caste

from:  spandana
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012 at 17:21 IST

Untouchability,caste,religious discrimination wil stay for ever in India until we take some radical measures now.Few of my suggestions.Why do we need caste names for reservation.We identify them by some numbers so that next generation doesn't know their caste name.I know my caste name when I was 16 when my teacher want's me to fill a form to enter into a school leaving certificate.Why we all indians abolish the surname as Tamil people did it several decades ago and we are still living as human being without a surname, simply surnames easily identifies your caste. I think Tamilians is the only ethnic group in the world apart from amzon tribals without surnames.Why can't we provide the reservation benefit only to poor dalits, but if no poor is available for a particular post than it can be given to rich dalit and eventualy abolishing the reseravation once no more single Indian discriminate on the basis of caste.Why can't we teach our children the truth about god and abolish the religion.

from:  R.Manivarmane
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012 at 16:37 IST

Any society can be broadly divided into those having the resources and
those not having any. The communist countries in the world tried to
bring the equality between the two but they ultimately failed.

The point I am trying to make is that our country has more than 1
billion people and it is growing. The resources are not growing at the
same rate. So unless there is proper planning for equitable
distribution of resources(which again is very unlikely), manual
scavenging is here to stay. For the poor and destitute it is a way to
earn something.

And lets not forget, that the biggest violator of this law is the
government(Indian Railways) itself which framed the law.

As for the caste system, it has also become a part of the society and
it is better to use the system in an efficient way than to replace it
and cause more problems and commotion.

from:  alex
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012 at 16:02 IST

Kudos to Aamir Khan for his unmatchable contribute for the real development of India. Amir is doing his best, now its our turn to play our role. We criticized reservation on the base of cast then why not we should eradicate this casticism from India.Satyamav Jayate is reflecting these real issue to us because they know that it is only us who can solve this issue.

from:  Dr. Manish Singla
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012 at 15:51 IST

Continued practice of manual scavenging in this country is a shame on our democracy. Even though the law was enacted long back but the implementation of the law was very poor because of indifference attitude shown by the larger society. No laws can bring change without accepted and respected by its own people. Somehow we are comfortable in our caste hierarchy and very comfortable to have social slavery system that keeps certain castes to serve the rest of the society- it includes all forms of discrimination. I would like to congratulate Amir and his team for picking up this issue and challenging for all of use. I am not sure about becomming a super power (I wish every one should be either super power or none) but we should work towards promoting dingity of life and respect for fellow human being (beyond citizenship). Hope this issue will trigger further discourse. Hats off to Wilson Bejwada and his team for their quest for justice and promote dignity. We are with you.

from:  A Kumar
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012 at 15:42 IST

This show on untouchability was really heart touching.Your show is really giving good messages to our society.aamir u rocks

from:  divya pandey
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012 at 15:25 IST

Aamir khan says "many of us dream of India becoming a super power."Frankly I don't understand what it means to be a super power.In the olden days super power connoted military might.As far as I know there were two power blocks--one headed by the US and the other by the Soviet Union and the rest of the countries lined up behind one or the other super power block or remained non aligned.With the disintegration of the Soviet Union only the US remains the sole super power in the world.When Aamir speaks of super power he does not mean military might but only a country with poverty and illiteracy banished,self sufficiency in basic necessities like food,shelter,health,good education,safe and secure borders,absence of malnutrition,good roads and transportation,corruption free democratic governance,employment and the like.If these are what that makes a country super power,then we are already on the march of course with bridgeable deficiencies.

from:  Dr.Rukmini J.Rao
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012 at 14:07 IST

FREE and equal education policy for all can eradicate the problems of many walks of our life. This education should be provided by the government at every level. There should be no private school.

from:  manoj kumar
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012 at 11:52 IST

Kudos to Amir Khan & his team to bring out this sensitive issue!

Many people above feel the Reservations as the major factor to this undying existence of Casteism.
Though I don't completely agree but Yes, feel that somewhere hidden to our eyes it is adding to the problem of Untouchability.

Think about a scenario where we have two candidates - lower & upper caste. Both are average students, both have been given equal opportunities to build their knowledge, both score same marks but because of reservations one gets through and other is left behind.
From this point onwards starts the re-inculcation of Casteism in so called upper caste and this barrier continues to grow.

The Core factor which I believe is the reason for Untouchability is the wrong & old beliefs of our society. We need to correct those. Govt. needs to ensure that benefits for Dalits reach them, laws should be enforced, reservation criteria to be reviewed and Inter-Castes marriage is def. one of the solution

from:  Shalini
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012 at 10:45 IST

Kudos to Aamir for your active citizenship initiatives. Its been six
and half decaded since we have got our independence but still
casteism, corruption, untouchablity, manual scavenging and many more
evils are prevalent. As long as people are not educated and as long as
both urban and rural parents do not change their thinking, the future
generations continue to suffer. Last but not the least, our political
system must change for the better,there must be sense of
accountability, transparency and more importantly the "seva manobhava"
( service orientation) must be there, lust for money and power must
stop and citizens upliftment must be new mantra for all political
leaders and bereacratrs, only then a true citizen impact can be made.
Good going Mr Khan, please continue your good work. Jai hind,
Satyameva jayathe

from:  Karthik Sastry
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012 at 10:22 IST

Wilson too deserved a standing ovation for consistently standing up against the
system of most dehumanizing system of manual scavenging. However, it was too
simplistic to project its solution as financial contribution to one organisation. While
it is of great import that Corporate Houses recoginse the inhumanity of casteism;
struggle against casteism must not be allowed to be guided by a sense of charity and
sympathy. Casteism is historical and structural and the big question is whether the
nation is ready for a collective admission of guilt for a historic crime against
humanity and a evolve a programme of national reparation - financial, social and
cultural - for Dalits in India. 

from:  J John
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012 at 09:41 IST

It is hard to believe,Such thing like manual scavenging exists in our country.I would like to blame our so called media for not reporting to issues like this.This media brought us to a sense that here everything is Ok and well,and we r going to become a super power by tomorrow.They report about IPL,celebrities,movies,petty and filthy politics and politician etc etc of no use.We INDIAN YOUTH are really thankful to Amir to make us aware of country.

from:  Sadath Nedumangad
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012 at 01:36 IST

Caste and Untouchability are two different things one is the root cause and other is the consequence, Mr Gandhi of course was against Untouchability but never was against Caste and by talking about Untouchability and Manual Scavenging what we want? To annihilate the consequence or to the genesis of the consequence.

from:  Neil
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012 at 01:28 IST

Amir Khan is doing a great service to our country by highlighting some of the deficiencies
existingy in our society even after our country's independence 65 years ago.Who is to
blame?We are electing our representatives not based on their commitment to serve and
improve our society but based on their money power.That is why corruption is so deep
rooted and wide spread in our society.I wish the younger generation will emulate Amir
Khan's sense of patriotism and elect only people likeAmir Khan as our reprentatives to the
central and state legislatures so that our dream of a just society will be realized in the near

from:  R.Srinivasan
Posted on: Jul 11, 2012 at 00:39 IST

I left India at the age 16,and have lived in Canada for 50 yrs,read mostly about her Caste system from here and how it saps the energy of the Nation and keeps it is an ancient custom and steeped in the DNA of of the Subcontinent's populace irrespective of religion. First generation Indians practice it abroad. Only way to eradicate it, is to by pass it,like England has done to the class system ,WE need quality Justice system,to enforce laws for Jobs,education,housing equality and millions of India like Aamir Khan to work diligently for the progress of India.There no big hope from the third class mind of the ruling classes,whose sole purpose is to line up their pockets with riches of Republic and hide behind the law and drag
court cases for years ,if caught with their hand in till

from:  Dave Lebana
Posted on: Jul 10, 2012 at 23:44 IST

Mischievous (Lord) Krishna was stealthily thrusting his little hand into the pot containing butter.Noticing this his mother Yasoda queried as to what he was doing.Little Krishna replied that he was looking for his missing calf. "What? Calf inside the pot?what are you talking?" exclaimed an exasperated Yasoda. "That is why I am taking my hand out of the pot" little Krishna apologetically averred in reply! Casteism is bad and needs to be put an end to. That is why the government is going in for caste wise census of population in the country !!

from:  Dr.Rukmini J.Rao
Posted on: Jul 10, 2012 at 21:49 IST

The worst form of evil of caste is the practice of untouchability which even as it is slowly waning in the towns and cities but not so in the villages.People touch and milk cows and buffaloes, yoke the bulls on to the plough,allow pet animals and birds on their laps but refuse to touch humans belonging to a so called low caste.What an irony is this ! Are these humans less in stature than the dumb animals? Do these higher caste people when they fall sick and have to be touched and treated by the so called low caste Doctor refuse medical treatment at their hands? A genuine introspection into the inconsistency should open their eyes to say NO to untouchability which is a crime against man and sin against God. As regards manual scavenging mere laws do not seem to suffice.But hefty fine and cut off of power/water to those availing themselves of the services of manual scavengers may deter them to end the obnoxious inhuman practice.

from:  Dr.Rukmini J.Rao
Posted on: Jul 10, 2012 at 19:51 IST

Aamir Khan's Column deals with 2 very fundamental topics being untouchability and manual scavenging even as he has talked on discrimination based on caste and religion.But the said 2 fundamental topics touching on the very human dignity had not received as much attention as they deserved by way of what more needed to be done to eradicate the 2 evils resulting in the country having to keep endlessly harping on them.Reservation is having an immediate direct bearing on the economics of the commenting readers while untouchability and manual scavenging do not have that kind of effect on them as these are not questions of daily bread but only a social evil to be ruthlessly stamped out.While there is no gainsaying the need to fine tune reservation in such a way that the creamy layers are phased out and the really deserving down trodden poor get benefited the 2 main topics of untouchability and manual scavenging did not get the pointed attention in the comments.Regrettable indeed !

from:  G.Jagannathan
Posted on: Jul 10, 2012 at 18:23 IST

Its appreciated that such topic is dealt or spoken about on National level. How I wished Amir Khanto have had studied this in more detail. It’s the dedication of Mr. Ambedkar Saheb that we are leading life of dignity. I may have not done detailed survey but I know this reading History. Gandhi was and today even I praised for things more than what he has to society. The man who formed Constitution is now where mentioned? Why is this? I thought Amir’s show is result of detail study but even his team failed to run in authenticated facts and figures. No to mention many other issues were dealt with human tough but logically I didn’t like the approach of the episode. Many other social worker and their work is also not mention. For those who take things at face value, this episode must be perfect for them, but for me who believes in real perfection and dynamic view of thing misses the feel of the topic!!!

I may now not take every episode of this show at face value!! For sure…

from:  Piyush
Posted on: Jul 10, 2012 at 16:44 IST

In a competitive world its difficult for "some" peoples to loose their
economic and social advantage. So kids/parents coming from general
quota definitely finds it difficult to digest the economic prosperity
gained by the depressed caste kids/parents after graduation through
reservations. Reservations are one medium of social engineering for
the economic prosperity but social prosperity can only be achieved by
depressed castes through maturity of fortunate class which cannot be
enforced by govt. Those who talk of Merit knows nothing of India: 40%
people living under poverty line, 45% kids born malnourished, majority
of whom represent depressed castes. India for next many years require
a socialist approach towards policies to uplift depressed classes to a
minimum competitive level where their kids can compete with fortunate
kids. Till that time 100% merit can wait. They don't need your pity or
sympathy, they want to be feel equal, then they will show you they are
no different!

from:  Ryan
Posted on: Jul 10, 2012 at 15:36 IST

Dealing with differences caste community religion and in equality is dry intellect. People who do not understand in depth the need of them in system just keep slogan making . Can we really alter the differences God made. Are we 100%gods! This is unnecessary. In political stage it is good to talk to eradicate inequality, liberate all , in the greater good for nation and people. Politicians not a breed work,toil earn bread and butter. They were made to rule and push ego on others and administer. Can a Govt take a feature film and make it success. They are stereo type, creativity is inimical to them. God is creative this world is differences rich .

It is unnecessary talk on eradication of in equality. In the last 250 years material wealth is gained by just 1 billion or 10 nations. Not all can become equal.

Amir khan is taking this with out experiencing life himself. Content must be rich not attractive.

3 rd millennium is creative Green,frugal not to eradicate inequality

from:  N.J.Bond
Posted on: Jul 10, 2012 at 13:01 IST

Dear Amir Khan Ji
First and foremost I would congratulate you for being so instrumental through SATYA MEBA JAYATE in bring out the issues pertaining to social evils and inhuman practices in this sub-continent. I am sure thousands of passionate for social change are there with you to support to your initiatives.

There are 5 categories of people becoming easy prey to discrimination - dalits, tribals, women, muslim minorities, and differently abled. They are being dehumanized at families, homes/houses, work places, offices in different forms. The last episode on caste discrimination and manual scavenging touched to the hearts of many. It thundered at the level of attitude, behaviour and practices in public domain.

People should accept the fact of discrimination which prevents the progress of humanity without any negativity to be the aspirants for a super power country.

from:  Prasanna
Posted on: Jul 10, 2012 at 11:47 IST

Caste System is God's Dharma. We should not question it. That's what Kanchi Periyava says in "Deivathin Kural" and Lord Krishna says in GITA and Vedas refer to it. So, let us not be politically correct and ignore God's words. Varna Dharma is needed and has deep meanings.

from:  Raghav
Posted on: Jul 10, 2012 at 11:12 IST

As a first step, all of us should take oath that we will not use the
Wash Room when the train stops at any of the station.

from:  Srinivasan
Posted on: Jul 10, 2012 at 10:33 IST

Gandhi's love for the untouchables was a part of his politics and not a
heartfelt voice. It was only after the Communal Award and the ruthless
suppression of Civil Disobidence Movement in 1932 that made any
nationalist political activity impossible, that Gandhi started devoting
time and energy, however partly, to the question of untouchability.

Posted on: Jul 10, 2012 at 10:25 IST

For those who oppose Reservation,plz consider these simple but real
examples:A baby, born in a rich family,lavish upbringing,preschool
education at home and at playschool,then study at costly DPS like
schools along with tuition,huge pocket money to buy books etc.Result
is obvious,90+ in every class.Now look at another scene:A baby, born
in a poor Dalit family in a village,no light,no water and other basic
needs,parents daily wage labourer so no question of preschool
education and costly schooling.Study at govt. school in village,most
of the time is consumed in making both ends meet.That's where
GENERAL/SC/ST/BC 100% for general and 50% for's only

Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 23:39 IST

Its a shame on people who are still crying after reservations. The
goal here is equality of all. And reservation is just a means to
achieve the end. Policies change with government and we make the
government, if we do right to every human, there is no need for any
special policies to support or favor any special caste or tribe in

Its the mentality we have to improve, the youths have to emerge as
strong assets of the nation bearing the responsibility to accept the

Instead of finding more reasons to divide such as reservations,
comparision and casteism. Let us be one for all and all for one like
an Indian. Just once live like a true Indian. Satamev Jayate.Jai Hind.

from:  Ashudeep
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 23:28 IST

Kudos amir for bringing such a sensitive issue to such a large

from:  rajeev meena
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 23:22 IST

Discrimination in India is rife. There is age/sex discrimination for
jobs, caste discrimination in housing, social interaction. This is
exactly how the Brits left us to cope. I live in London and whenever
discusses anything about India with me, the first thing they talk
about are these discrimination and never about any significant
achievements. Incidentally am a "brahmin" and have seen these kind of
things in India when I was growing up including my own parents who
were really irked that my best friend was a dalit although they have
come around it now.

The only way this can be combated is to bring out a law against all
kinds of discrimination that has teeth and can be used as a stopper
for this heinous and barbaric culture. In the end it is not about
being a superpower or not, it is about being humane.

from:  Praveen Rao
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 22:31 IST

Untouchability is a CRIME....Education and Awareness of Law alone can eradicate it

from:  Ashok
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 21:48 IST

Is the government watching this.. Please take care of the sanitation issues that is
nation is facing on a war front so that poor people dont have to do scavenging to
earn a living..

from:  saxena
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 21:35 IST

if the government had provided enought toilets and drainage system, the
question of manual scavenging would not arise. the looters keep the
people at the sustenance level, for vote bank politics. it is normal
that a poor scavenger dalit cleans the latrines of rich dalits, dalit
ministers, MLAs,MPs etc. He also the cleans the latrines of all OBCs.
it is the poor of any community which undergo all agonies. when 62% of
the population have no access to latrines, when 60% live on rupees 20 a
day, where is the question of dalit only suffering

from:  n mohan
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 20:16 IST

Being open to the possibility, that the over ridden too can realize
their human potential and to care for others in this stiff competetive
world is a solution. The concept of keeping our children away from the
prejudice is good but as the going gets tough i fear they would also
get sucked into the quagmire of discriminative practises. Being more
scientific and understanding the concepts of genetic heterodoxy is a
solution to explode the myths of culture seethed in the blood. Putting
forward a culture of openness and scientific enquiry will help us bust
the discriminative practises.

from:  Vinitha Jayachandran
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 19:47 IST

IF Discrimination is being done on the basis of caste then why not reservations???if reservation is being given to a particular section then by pure logic its bound to happen that some students having lower cutoff are bound to get in.why so much Fuss about that?
i am not a firm believer in reservation but can someone come up with better idea instead of criticizing it??i remember an incident where i was being what my caste is when i went to my friends house as my name ends with a peculiar surname

from:  swagat
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 19:42 IST

I have worked as a school teacher for 25 years,& right through this
period filled the castes of my students in various
registers,forms,innumerable times. Not merely this task, as a teacher
I had to make separate mark lists for certain category of students.I
hated doing all this, because while teaching Civics I would emphasize
& explain the meaning of 'unity, equality, fraternity'. In fact the
students would enjoy the lessons & actively participate in role plays,
debates & discussions without even once wondering about their
individual caste.However, now that they are out of the school they
have to face 'reservation' at every level.Things might become better
if we do something for the economically backward, which naturally
includes economically backward 'dalits' too.

from:  Sunita Pant
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 19:31 IST

Do we realy think that untouchability will be finished if we remove reservation. If yes than this will be the most easiest and shortest solution. My dear friends, Reservation started only after 1947 but untouchability has been practiced since thousand of years. You saw in Amir's program that even a DU professor, IAS officer and even Chairman of SC/ST commision are victim of untouchability despite their powerfull position.

Reservation is only for the economic upliftemnet of not only SC/ST but OBC community also who are not considered untouchable in our society. Reservation is nothing to do with untouchability. I too feel Reservation policy have certain issue but believe me or not, reservation and untoucability are two completely different issues.

How we can defend a cruel inhuman practice like untouchability by criticising reservation policy? It is highly unethical, give a sincere thought over both the issue separately.

from:  Sugam Kumar
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 19:24 IST

Dear Mr. Khan,

Every word of this article is inch perfect!!! I still do not understand why manual scavenging is still practised in India... Why hasn't the Indian Government taken any steps to change this scenario... The most common place where this is followed as far as I know is the Railways Dept... Hope the government wakes up soon befoire it is too late....

Keep up the good work!!! We are all behind you!!!

from:  Krishna
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 19:08 IST

Reservations based on caste is easy to implement compare to
reservations based on economical status because caste is difficult to
fake as compare to economic condition with fake income certificates.
Economic conditions comprise of many factors and it keeps on changing
with time. It requires a very flexible system for database and
constant update with a non-corrupt bureaucracy. It is possible but it
will require great will, effort and honesty from the citizens to
implement. I request those who wish to bring this change to GET
INVOLVED in the governance otherwise to get used to the present govt.
system based on its surveys which clearly shows the most economically
backwards are those who have been oppressed in name of caste for last
3000 years. Of course there will be abuse of system by creamy layer
peoples but on a whole its at-least 60-70% effective. But the point of
this article is not reservations but caste system. Solution: Mix the

from:  Ryan
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 18:58 IST

This piece is simple and lucid. Therefore, it is easy for a common
person to read and understand. This is a great job The Hindu does for
creating the great feeling of 'shared common good' in our society. In
India, mostly, people ask one's name not to identify him or her
individually, but to unearth his caste or religion. This happens in
the everyday life of all kinds of people, including the educated. In
certain contexts, the educated are the most conservative. They wear
two chappals; one for their home and other for walking in the roads

The only way to get away from these castes of mind is to realize the
fact that caste is a social reality which permeates in our society.
These understandings have to inculcate the politics of democracy in
each and every citizen of India. Dr. Ambedkar devoted his life for
democratizing Indian society.

I think an actor talking about these will have its own effects in our

Great job.


from:  Rajesh Komath
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 18:49 IST

Thanks to Aamir. I love Aamir Khan.
People who talk about reservation here must have to get some knowledge about economical justice which proposed by Gandhi and social justice which proposed by Dr.Ambedkar.
Dr.Ambedkar gave enough explanations why we need social justice instead of economical justice.
People have felt more about the problems of upper caste poor who are less than 1% of our population but they are not actually ready to discuss the problems of one fourth of Indian population.

from:  Vijay
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 18:36 IST

Aamir Khan has reflected in his article not only the the state of our
caste ridden society but also the state of our minds which are still not
ready to accept a human as human. Though the current generation flaunts
of being modern , liberalized and democratic but somewhere it is still
holding on to our regressive and dehumanizing past traditions.

from:  Mitasha
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 17:50 IST

Dr B R Ambadekar did lot of research on root causes of untouchability and how it evolved, he dedicated his life to eradicate the untouchability. He made detailed report about untouchability and current scenario in india and he had submitted report to British Government. In that report he recommended that instead of common government, separate government shall rule them elected by their own community people, after long discussions with British government, finally the agreed to implement same. Then Gandhi expected that, this may create many more problems in the future i.e like, Hindu - Muslim, he fasted for many days to withdraw this implementation. Finally agreed that instead of separate government, some reservation system can be worked out to resolve the untouchability issue and to uplift of underprevillaged sectors. After introducing the reservation system also the untouchability not eradicated completely. Amdaker mentioned in the connstitution that reservations shall be reviewed for every 5 yrs.

from:  srinu
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 17:45 IST

Untouchability ! Reservations !
All divides created by humans and now we have to fight for removal of the same ... wah wah wah !!
May be started as some tradition and went on went on should STOP!!
Compare America or other nations, Why there is no such thing...bcoz ..America is rich.. India is its all related to poverty and stuff.. SMJ is doing good...i say

from:  varanasi anup
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 17:41 IST

What i would have love to read was Why is the evil of untouchability exists since the vedic times..What made it pass on from generations after generations..I have all the sense talk about how the untouchability exists drag us down and many ways to cure it..but no one has the guts to accept the exists because the Vedas sactions exists because the hindu religion allows is disgusting in itself to degrade a man untouchable..Only a religious reform will solve the issue and not education..MAny tribals communities(whom the HIndu community thought to be savage..they dont have this education is not the issue here..

from:  Luwang
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 17:39 IST

In our country condition of untouchable is worse than slave. Even slave are allowed to enter in temple, house and kitchen of their master but untouchable !!!!! their life is hell in India.
We Indian say white people call us black and consider us untouchable.We hate them for their such inhuman behaviour. But have we ever thought what we are doing with our fellow Indians. We are much dirty than white, at-least they do not practice untouchability among themselves.
I feel proud to be Indian but feel ashamed to be part of such dirty Indian Society.

from:  Sugam Kumar
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 17:35 IST

We take some responsibilities and follow some norms by hereditary.
Untouchability is there from past in our society.But it takes new
face,in olden days dalits are victims and at present poor people are
treated as untouchables. No one treat one rich sc/st person as
untouchable. First, we have to eradicate poverty and bring some
dignity in living conditions of poor people. Then only INDIA become
world power in near future. Today we are living in different socio-
economic conditions, when compared with olden days.Now the social
status of a man is not based on his caste which he/she was born but
based on his assets he posses.Our government give so many incentives
to poor, but those benefits are really reaching the poor? If answer
is no then who is responsible for that- corruption,corrupt officers
from both upper caste and lower caste. Improving the living
conditions of lower castes and upper castes poor will definitely
curb untouchability in our society. JAIHIND

from:  Bharath kumar.S
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 17:07 IST

To realize the true meaning of Reservation System and making it more inclusive, Government should take initiative to give reservation focusing to the strata of different caste in SC & ST category. In present scenario only few casts (like Meena in Rajasthan )who got the benefit and have uplifted their status economically as well as socially, now using reservation as a privilege and obstacle the route of deserving castes. To breach the differences in the society the suppressed caste should be focused specifically.

from:  Pankaj
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 16:55 IST

@JR et al.,I cannot fathom what economically poor upper caste people
would opine on the issue of untouchability, casteism &
reservation.The issue of untouchability is faced by people belonging
to certain Caste.It is due to reservation that these people are
visible in public space and tolerated to a certain extent.These
people do not aspire for development but are fighting for survival
(they do such demeaning work because apart from roti they get sabzi
too!) and human dignity.
It has to be seen that only maximum of 49.5% seats can be reserved in
educational institutions. 50.5 % is open category. This reservation
system too is restricted only in the public institutions. The doors of
private education system are ajar for everyone. Same is the case of
jobs too. IIMs may ask caste certificate but I do not suppose ISB
asks for it. IITs may ask for caste certificate but I do not suppose
Infosys asks for it.
Work hard if you are poor but what to do if you are an untouchable.
Pray I guess !!

from:  Kabir Khan
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 16:46 IST

Who says "we Can’t be a superpower as long as untouchability exists" ? Most developed countries have proven this wrong! US, UK etc have gone miles ahead with Untouchability and racism ...
we Can’t be a superpower as long as we think ourselves as Untouchable ... making a Nation community free may not be possible but molding a nation into people with different caste & creed with with nationalism will definitely make us a Super power. Being a superpower means totally independent for growth and sustainability, which will include education, job, food and shelter for everyone and a decent life style to survive. This will end the so called difference termed as Untouchability!

from:  Pankaj Singh
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 16:42 IST

On one hand we want to get rid of this caste system and on the other hand during the admission season or any government job vacancy, these guys lined up to get the caste certificate and proud to show that they are SC or BC... whatever.... lol....and 80% getting these certificates are from well affluent families not from the poor, whom we want to pass this benefit.... Yea u right Amir, India cannot become Superpower until we have 50% guyz are with reservation with lower marks competing with the world level.... Remove caste system and remove reservation too....

from:  Rohit Sharma
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 16:34 IST

There are no them and us! We are all humans deserved to be treated equally and with
dignity. If anyone who fails the test of humanity is the one that needs to be ostracized and
marginalized for their impetuousness. They will remain so until they could demonstrate their
humanity in some tangible manner. I take hat off to Aamir Kahan for touching such
untouchable subjects and bringing it to the attention of people in a non- offending manner.
Keep up with the good work friend!

from:  Saratchandran
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 16:11 IST

Thank you for such a great topic. To eradicate untouchability youth have to make a move. They are the builders of our future society , they have to make up their minds and their family minds in order to build a cast-free society.

from:  Nandini
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 16:08 IST

Let me make my self clear I am dead against untouchability.
"...I have seen the recent episode and it failed to mention recent architect of apartments with separate room/toilets for servants . When we will allow servants direct entry in our home ?
from: Raveendran Chinnasamy .."
Above is quote and me bit surprised to see this. I doubt very much about Raveendran house does not have one. Ok. If you enter any Government office, you can see separate toilet for officers and so on. This exists in many corporate houses too. Untouchability exists is some form or other in all parts of the world. There are too many other things too in our society. Even though the caste names are removed from the street names, we can see and hear it in all the movies now. Even in same caste there are too many divisions and so on. We need to improve our society by discipline and good attitude. Are we not seeing people simple cross the road even the green light is on for the lane. Let GOD save us.

from:  Raja Raja Chozhan
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 16:02 IST

Excellent, Wonderful. But I don't agree with Aamir Khan's statement or thinking that untouchability is the main factor for not becoming a super power. The main factor should also include RESERVATION. India MUST abolish this reservation immediately. It should provide financial support to all backward or weaker socities but not in the form of RESERVATION.

from:  Balu S
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 15:48 IST

In order to remove untouchable practice, we have to see the source of education due to which people are encouraged to practice untouchability which is inhuman and also against the human rights organization. We have to kill the source and educate the practiioner not the untouchable person. India is the only country where people fellow religious person practices untouchablity.

from:  Panditji
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 15:46 IST

Today our youth claim to be hard core liberals.but they must ask
themselves first are they really accepting that caste discrimination has
gone from our society.
A General policy should not be viewed from once personal eyes when it is
transforming lives of the marginalized.

from:  mukesh
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 15:32 IST

Untouchability is a menace for our society. It is a hindrance to social integration and have stunted development of india. At least in rural india, untouchability [ and also casteism ] is inherited in posterity by their olders. These social difference become more contrast when some selfish people make them a political issue for their advantage not for eradication. A positive attitude need to be developed among people to eradicate untouchability through various social program, mass media , education etc .

from:  Faiyaz Rasheed
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 15:25 IST

I think he is the first Indian actor to speak with concern on the plight
of manual scavengers.Sign is good.Film fraternity should now be moved to
highlight the problem through meaningful films.I am not aware of a
mainstream movie on this subject.Why can't a film be made with prominent
faces of Bollywood on this subject?In fact,Mr.Aamir himself can take the
lead.I am sure his project will not only taste commercial success but
will also make a difference.

from:  Sunil Kumar
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 15:25 IST

Reservation is not the solution of caste based discrimination. It makes young people more conscious of their castes and envy the lower castes who get easy entry to educational institutions, jobs and other public resources. If lower castes think that reservation is their birth right, so be ready to face discrimination even if it's wrong.

Inter caste marriage is the only way to dissolve caste system.

from:  vikram
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 14:55 IST

BRAVO Amir. I wish to add further that when it comes take a revenge,caste considerations disappear and the girls of low-caste origin becomes the first victim of gang-rape, etc.
Its a shame that untouchability vanishes at that time.

from:  Vipin Bhatnagar
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 14:48 IST

stop going to toilet in the trains.
how do we "ordinary" citizens feel about stoping this ? we want somebody who has power to stop this. what else is the solution ? do our part. for a train travelor, the first sentence mentioned is the solution.
The same theory applies even to waste disposal. no proper system to do this. either solid or liquid waste.
we have "sub chalega" attitude.
The changes will eventually come. it is a matter of time..
Satyameva jayathe... but it never says how much time it takes for the truth to win..

from:  Joseph
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 14:46 IST

Untouchability in India is deep-seated. It has been existing since
time immemorial. I now recall a scene in the movie Lagaan, where the
spinner, from backward caste, despite turning the ball well and
impressing Aamir Khan was not initially accepted by the people. Out of
200 odd people only one was against the discrimination and that was
Aamir. The root cause of this problem is the attitude of the people
and if that changes things will automatically change. The present
generation does not discriminate anyone based on caste, colour or sex
as much as their forefathers did and that is an encouraging sign.
Education should be caste-free, religion-free.

from:  DIVAKAR
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 14:37 IST

it's a good topic risen by Mr. aamir sir, untouchability is very big social problem...I think that through the education we can decrease the progress of untouchable. sir i have a topic for sathyameva jayathe about "HOW THE CHILDREN'S ARE FACING PROBLEMS BECAUSE OF PARENTS QUARREL EACH OTHER" and how the children's are mental abilities......thank u r showing responsibility towards social problems. jai hind sathyamev jayate

from:  ashwini
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 14:32 IST

Well ,
I think the caste system is there to stay in India simply because we have not abolished it insted we have reinforced it. I will not touch the topic of reservation based on caste as it has been given due weight by people who wrote before me. Let me talk about some very obvious things .
Why we still have all the marraiges listing by caste in website newspaper alike.
We have numerous organisation that is based on caste who are there just to promote the case of their own caste.
Then we have political party who openly champion the case of particular caste.
I also know of educational institutes were ragging was also done based on caste.
Now we would have census based on caste to further help political parties to do electoral mathematics again based on caste.

If in each day life the caste card is played so many time. How will be eliminate caste system.
Untouchability , segregation , discrimination are all based on caste system.
Let us ban the world caste itself!!!!

from:  Madhukar Anand
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 14:28 IST

Mr. Khan, I am curious to know your opinions on the topic of
reservation. Unfortunately it got ignored both in the show and in this

from:  Abhishek iyer
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 14:21 IST

It was heartening to read Mr Aamir mention about manual scavengers.However, little ,rather nothing is said about the plight they have to undergo.It is lesser known fact that manual scavengers are considered outcasts even in the so called lower caste community with their children denied admission to schools owing to dissidence even from those sections who themselves are subjected to discrimination on the basis of caste.It is sad that although termed illegal in our country,many still remain strongly gripped in the clutches of manual scavenging.

from:  Shijoy Varughese
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 14:20 IST

We say that we live in a Independent country; but are we independent??
We are partial with our people only; we differentiate them on the basis of caste, creed , colour. Even in our homes only if are maid is dalit we won't prefer her/him to work in our house or to touch anything. It's a high time that we should stand together and raise voice against it and not just by sdaying that we are one we actually feel it..

from:  Monika Gupta
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 14:16 IST

@ above many people justified reservation system as a solution to caste
problem. It is evident if this facility is provided on the basis of
caste it reinforces caste identity rather than removing it. If a section
of population is getting seats in education institute( AP is a prime
example where SC's ST's got seat without even attempting paper) just
because they belong to a certain caste( SC, ST, OBC) how can it remove
caste identity can any one please explain?

from:  Vinayak
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 14:00 IST

This is a very important matter to be discussed nation wide..we people feel
pity..because we are not victims.but according to my own point of view.there is
only 1 solution to this great age old problem.
First of all,our government is obliging us to feel and suffer through such
discrimination on the basis of caste and communities.
Our government provide educational,financial and every other kind of help to the
needy,only if he/she shows the certificate of being backward or different.
to avail the services provided,he/she must had to put him/her self in a different
automatically,the feeling of difference comes in their as well as our hearts.
To stop this,first of all the government should stop this reservation method and
instead of this caste based system,a person's overall capital should be measured.
If a person is having less than 8 lakh rupees of property including
house,conveyance and everything,than he/she should be given the aiding
facilities,no matter what his/her caste is...

from:  Akash Bajaj
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 13:48 IST

It is so shameful on our part. Mostly it is the educated people who discriminate which I have witnessed myself in the cities.Indians are colour conscious, if not we discriminate North Indians-South Indians and how do the fairness cream manufacturers make money ? Shame on us !

from:  Archana
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 13:46 IST

We need to kill the caste system from its roots inorder to help our
society out of it. It has been in our culture for over 1000 years and
the only way we can do it is by avoiding it completely . We have to
stop talking about caste , we have to stop representing caste and we
have to de-socialize it from our younger generation.Make them aware
that asking the caste of another person is not a good social practice
and also remove caste columns from all government records , so that
less people is reminded of their caste. In this way slowly we can
alienate our caste system in next 50 years or so. For that reason my
father had put my caste name in the end of my name, I would like to
start with changing my name so that my identity is not my caste.

from:  Dinoop
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 13:43 IST

The solution to every problem is right education. Our present education
system is laden with blunders and gross problems. We are producing
machines to work. What we need to produce are humans that think and

from:  Time Rays
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 13:37 IST

my heart aches. Its a shame it happens in our country sometimes right in front of us.. i am so shameful that i cant help them. I am so spineless..

from:  sampathkumar
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 13:07 IST

Thank you for highlighting all these important issue. In todays busy times when most of us are so lost in our own world and many of us bitten by the APATHY bug, your program surely helps us pause and think about such issues that our nation faces. It surely imparts critical awareness and knowledge about these issues and may have a cascading effect on the attitudes and actions of many citizens/legislatures/executive and our judiciary.

Wrt to this article, I make a committment that I will not discriminate in any form agaist any of my fellow beings! and approach people with more compassion and kindness. Also I will try and influence as many people around me as possible to do the same. Keep up the good work Amir!

from:  Priya Nambiar
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 13:07 IST

Untouchability exists everywhere, even if it is United States :-)... but what is making the difference over there... its law. Law should be efficient enough to give the verdict in time and it should be amended to suit the modern society. Even now the penalty for a homicide is 5 lakh rupees. What can one do with that? Another factor is in efficient judiciary system. It is not helping the common people. Whether it is meagre or major verdict should come within stipulated time period. If this is not happening, then the number of courts should be increased. I will not blame any one or dependent on police or securities if I have a proper law coverage. Most of the caste system and all other criminal activities are mainly on the budding environment of lawlessness. Law should come foolproof, only then we can strive here, and make our country a super power. All other factors will vanish if we have a very good and efficient law delivery mechanism.

from:  Renjith
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 12:58 IST

Discrimation is such a crime which not only degrades humanity, but also religion, Morality and Senses. First of all why ask caste? IF for any reason 'Reservation should be put up for them' it should be solely on income generated by them. First illogical is even to distinguish as SC, or ST. It would be difficult ( not impossible) to extract this hierarchy (supremacy) from our people when we still Reserve as SC or ST. And why not make it as indigenous people(minor communities from local geography), under BPL and so on. Why call them Dalit, SC or ST. Its just like calling Indian as Brown, or North-East people 'CHINKY' and so on.

from:  Rehana Rahman
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 12:53 IST

It is the time for Government to wake up and do away with this uncivilized practice.

from:  Dr.V.T.Sundaramurthy
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 12:48 IST

Let us not mix up Reservation for Dalits (in education,employment etc)and our outlook and behaviour towards them.Reservation is essential to assist them in uplifting themselves culturally and economically.But that is NOT ADEQUATE.iF WE SINCERELY AND HONESTLY feel that the dalits in our country are treated , saying in a mild term,unfairly,then we must wake up personally and individually.Everyone must behave with them like one cultured and responsible citizen behaves with another.No question of favour or pity.Treat them as equal in all respects irrespective of his/her individual status,just as normal people do among themselves.Our outlook towards caste system must change.As Justice Dharmadhikari said in the show 'Satyameva Jayate',we should and must stop asking another what caste he/she belongs to nor we mention our own.Stop mentioning caste in matrimonial ads. and affairs.Can't we decide a MARRIAGE without considering caste? We can and should.If the West can do why not we?

from:  Janardanrao
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 12:41 IST

Great episode touching the untouchability. Why do we wish to become a
super power? Why not become the self sustaining right power? Comparing
Indian democracy to American which is 300+ year old. People in that
system have matured much more because of that than our 65 year old
independence. Still there exists the untouchability of racism.
Unfortunately Indians are the biggest racists (color conscious) in the
world. We will take time to eradicate these social ills started in the
name of culture/religion influencing everyone, in the society. None
would deny that present days Muslims are the new untouchables in

Aamir Khan, Please continue exposing the ills of Education System,
Police Department and the new world order, Corporations (who care for
nothing but profit) and others that plague our society. Lets be
grateful with all that we have and educate our children with
compassion, empathy.

from:  Mirza
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 12:38 IST

This column on untouchability is a clear example of failure of caste
based Reservations in our country.Reservations based on castes should be
ruled out because we can see rich and poor in every caste.Reservations
should be based on Economical backgrounds and government should fastrack
the awareness programmes.I can say government itself is indirectly
encouraging castes,untouchability etc to get benefited from vote bank

from:  Santosh Kuamr Kanala
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 12:34 IST

the caste system in india is so deep rooted that the govt itself is propagating it by asking your caste for all welfare measures.only economic position of the family should be the criterion for welfare benefits.scheduled castes scheduled tribe backward community-etc should all be replaced by the total income band of the by defining poverty line.i have seen children of mps and ministers reaping concesions at all levels just by mention of caste name.
it is a shame that application forms still ask for your caste name in india.

from:  mythiliragavan
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 12:28 IST

Dear Sir,
Im happy to read this article on The Hindu every Monday, because it gives me an eye opener on many socio-economic issues. Being a person who worked outside my native for the past 10 years and a non-Hindi speaking person, I also underwent racism with fellow other language speaking Indians. I strongly believe that We Indians only have origin of the feeling Racism. We don’t have rights to claim that other continent or other country person as racist, we have to first clear our house (India) without racism feeling.

from:  Venkat
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 12:27 IST

Can't become superpower.. full stop.. No need to say anything more.

from:  kkg
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 12:24 IST

Amir Khan is used as pawn to publicize the show
and thereby to hide the real heros of India's true history. In this
episode of untouchability cleverly hidden the greatest pioneer
of Indias freedom struggle as well as the equality and upliftment of
India as whole i.e. Dr Ambedkar. This has clearly proved that this
show is created by vested interests.

from:  Dr Param Anand
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 12:22 IST

My experience after visiting USA,Canada and living in Africa long time,NRI working in different countries are not at all particular about casteism especially unaccountability is not heard of.Even in social gathering friends from different countries mix up as Asians (Desi)without indulging in dirty political talks.The day we land up in India every problem starts.If I allow my cook to sit with me at dining table as we do abroad,my Indian friends will prefer to leave without having meals.Although, we are following WEST but to the full like equal treatment for all citizens.

from:  Ravindra Raizada
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 12:21 IST

Even if Gandhiji born again, His name be pasted in a Caste Certificate without the knowledge of The Great Mind, from his KG education onwards , he need to bow for this blame, Is any one their in the Red Fort and its Annex Building to abolish this caste system

from:  Kabil Dixon
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 12:13 IST

I agree with your views Aamir! Thank you for sparing your time, energy and resources meaningfully to fight against social evils. As Satyamev Jayate is a hugely popular programme, let us hope it would stir up the collective conscience of our whole nation signaling the beginning for change! I am reminded of Mahatma’s quote that we should be the change if we want to see in the world. Where the mind is free without fear, where there is no caste or religious based discrimination, where everybody has equal opportunity, dignity and respect, that will be true freedom, as rightly echoed by Tagore. As you rightly pointed out that the dream to become a superpower will remain elusive as long as our society is beset with all these social evils. However, as there is lot of water already boiling in the pot, your programme is giving the much needed ignition, which I believe surely produce visible and sustainable results in our country. Doing a great job. Keep going Aamir! Satyamev Jayate!

from:  K Mahabub Ali
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 12:08 IST

The Indian sub-continent is not a land where rich and poor reside. This
is a country of touchables and untouchables, high-castes and low-
castes, pure Brahmins and impure Chandalas. The poor can hope to shed
his poverty tomorrow, but how can an Untouchable ever become a Brahmin.
So, the whole societal structure needs to be done away with; if we ever
wish to be one, the notions of high and low via the mere accident of
birth should not remain. And the only and the greatest impediment to
that is religion - the fetter that enslaves us.

from:  Vicky Chandra Ranjan
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 12:04 IST

Mr.amirkhan did a commendable job in bringing this issue to the limelight.It is such an irony that even an IAS OFFICER and an elected MP gets discriminated on the basis of caste.Indians leave no stone unturned to create divisions in society.50 years down the line i think we would be discussing the samething.Can you imagine a group of indians of different castes travelling in a spaceship.I think they would prefer to travel with an alien instead.I think we as indians should overcome such narrowminded thoughts and superstitions.People should know that caste is the false consciousness created by the dominant castes to justify their status quo.As long as caste exists india will not be free from the utopia of this distorted reality. Politicians are taking advantage of such caste divisions in society.People vote for their own caste memeber no matter how corrupt he is.I think the government should pass a "don't ask don't tell law" preventing caste politics and caste discrimination.

Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 11:57 IST

Caste and untouchability are one thing, and practices like manual scavenging are another. The latter can be eliminated if the government acts tough and wields the stick mercilessly. But as it was found in Vidarbha (article in The Hindu), even people who had no financial compulsion were voluntarily continuing on the job! Strange. On the other hand, caste will go away only with education of the mind. Because, here both the oppressor and victim are responsible. While the oppressor feels superior for no reason, the victim adapts double standards. A well-to-do "backward" citizen (be in BC, SC, ST, anyone) should stop enjoying reservations. Else, they are perpetuating the very system they blame.

from:  Ramana Murthy
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 11:48 IST

Swati, can not you for once, think anything other than reservations?
Why do you all fail to see the invidious discrimination in the
society because of your great religion? And since you mentioned IAS,
will you be interested in knowing that my father was an IAS officer
and that never insulated him or us from any insults because of the
caste to which we belong. Maids still refuse to work in our house.
Regarding inter-caste marriages, the high-castes say - what if he is
an IAS, these low-caste people are filthy and uncultured. When we
have parties, the drivers and body-guards of many of our guests
refuse to take food in our house. And I could go on endlessly. But
you still will not understand. All the Hindus can think of and care
about is reservations.

from:  Vicky Chandra Ranjan
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 11:46 IST

Dear Mr. Khan, On the broader topic of the episode - casteism, I feel
that the team should have covered the views of the economically poor
upper caste people too. The story covers only poor dalits and not the
rich lower caste people who continue to exploit the system by getting
seats for their sons/daughters who might not even qualify otherwise.

Lower caste people atleast have a ladder called "Reservation" that
they can use to uplift themselves. The upper caste people dont even
have that - the same argument holds true for the upper caste too -
"Why should we suffer now".

The problem starts with the Government - all the Government form asks
for "Caste". If the Government is hell bent upon removing casteism,
they should first stand corrected. They should also work towards
creating a reservation system that will take into account only the
economic (and NOT caste) status of a person. Till the time vote bank
politics exist, caste based reservation will continue to exist.

from:  JR
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 11:40 IST

@Swati - That's a valid point when you say "people with fancier upbringing than mine getting into IIMs with just 80 percentile." However, because of some instances like that we cannot totally abolish reservation system. It is because reservation system has its uses. It is needed to temporarily provide a support to a whole lot of people, who are at a huge disadvantage due to the history caste system and resultant discrimination. Now, what I mean by that is: Definitely, a learned parent's child has an advantage over the child whose parent's are not university educated. (Now we can say what if the parent doesnt help. Agreed. We are talking in a general sense here.) Similarly, providing a small relaxation will help in uplifting lot of people. (Of course, this small relaxation will look like lot of students missing out. But in the interest of big picture, we need to adjust.)
Morever, reservation need not be in place forever. (Should be discontinued after a few generations)

from:  Venkat
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 11:36 IST

@Sanjay Singh - Solution is within us. If every person changes himself/herself and try to change their own family then change will be visible.

from:  Maulik Chandya
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 11:35 IST

"Love Marriage" is a solvent which can dilute the two unacceptable
practices in our society namely dowry and caste system.
P.S: Please dont discuss reservation here. It is no justification to

from:  Mano
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 11:05 IST

Untouchability is a serious menace. The loss of massive human resource
where some people are forced to do menial and demeaning jobs is regrettable. Manual scavenging continues inspite of a law against it
in the form of "The Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction
of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993" is horrifying.
A movie 'Paar' which I vaguely remember may depict a facet of such
Reservation is a very important tool for the emancipation of such
people and bringing them in the main stream as the expectation of
change of heart of the majority of people in India has not fructified
even after six decades of promulgation of the Constitution. Education
is the only way out for people trapped in such situation.
The subtle portrayal of Mohandas K. Gandhi as the torchbearer of the
'causes of untouchables' in place of known Dalit face of Babasaheb
Ambedkar gave the topic a universal appeal.

from:  Kabir Khan
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 10:57 IST

I feel that untouchability is one of the most difficult problems which India faces.When our superstars like shahrukh khan or shilpa shetty are treated badly in some foreign nation,we get angry and start demanding apology.Why?If we can treat our own brothers and sisters in an inhuman way on the basis of caste and religion,then a foreign nation has all the rights to do that..right???We all need to introspect what big mistake we are committing.Why don't we realize that all of us are equal,all of us are human beings.but i guess its not our mistake.We don't have that mindset to understand such things.
Still so many people are illiterate.forget about them,those who are literates also they themselves believe in such petty and cheap things.We dream of becoming a that dream achievable??surely not!!just as a team wins a match only when all the players play unitedly,similarly a nation succeeds only when people are our case it is not so...really sad and shameful

from:  himanshu khandelwal
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 10:21 IST

I agree with Amir. At the same time , i feel very strongly about the reservation system. It should be done away with. I have seen people, with a fancier up bringing than mine getting into IIMs with a mere 75-80 percentile. Not to speak of getting into IITs and NITs. To quote Shashi Tharoor's book " The caste system will come about more in full force now than ever before" And that is because, Dear Amir, we who do not have a " backward" class feel denied and also mighty jealous because we do not see the Justice Here.
The reservation based on caste should be given in the basis of financial condition of a family .Strongly.
Otherwise the caste system is here to stay. Cause when i was a young girl i did not care about the Caste of my friends.But.Now i Do.That is because i feel it is so unfair. Where is the competition?U can even clear the IAS exam so easily!look at the differences in cut -off marks for both categories!So discrimination is full-on. You can't have the cake and eat it too.

from:  Swati
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 10:10 IST

though I appreciate the main topic of this article, what I fail to
understand is a couple of things

a. what makes a country super-power? what do people really mean when
they say a country as a super-power?
b. and why is each and everything tied up to being a super-power.

just being cynical, didn't USA become a super power with
untouchability having been practiced for decades.

please lets not mix each and every social indicator with a super-
power. Every one have their own definition of being super-power. For
one I don't believe India can never be a "economic" super-power.

from:  arun mony
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 09:58 IST

Everyone should see other person as a human being. That will be the
very first step in eliminating the discrimination between castes. No
one can have right to decide who is a ‘higher’ level of human being and
who is the lower level. Everyone is born as a human being only. How can
anyone be so cruel to make someone his or her slave? It is at the first
place, against the right of a person to be a human. The right way to
treat another person is to make him improve and not to make him
descend. Without the support of the so called ‘Rulers’, it will be
difficult to make all the people come into ONE flow. We should
progress, not only individually but also taking all our fellow Indians
with us!
Jai hind! Satyamev jayate!

from:  vivek patil
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 09:51 IST

Given that manual scavenging is outrageous should we not stop it RIGHT NOW !!!

Why are we still writing and discussing - do we need a committee to discuss on this.

Pathetic - Amir people like you who have the influence must see to it that state govts do the needful - please don't stop at writing, which in itself is no doubt a great service.

Thank you

from:  Sankar
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 09:47 IST

Lets face it we as indians are among worst people on earth.
discrimination and hate is what defines us, whether it is color, caste,
religion, even what stream of education or job etc we hate everyone and

from:  New Yorker
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 09:26 IST

The point is well made but what is the solution? Legal remedies have mostly failed to eliminate these evil practices. Maybe a special incentive in jobs, education for inter-caste marriages can be given but seems largely unworkable in a conservative society like ours. Similarly mixed-housing, if provided a legal cover, may help building a more cohesive and inclusive society. But ultimately its the attitudinal change which has to happen, and it can't be forced. In long-term, universalisation of education, skill-development for gainful employment and mobility due to economic growth is the best bet.

from:  sanjay singh
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 09:06 IST

No doubt untouchability still exist in India Whether it is educationally developed state or backward state..Indian educational system has serious flaws in this regard..Reservation alone will not solve the purpose..a moral obligation of every human being is to respect the personality irrespective of their caste and creed..but People who belong to lower caste should also take the responsibility and should come forward and should not be under estimated...

Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 09:06 IST

Great work! Mr Amir. This is an eye-opener and something of which we all
are guilty of.

from:  misha
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 08:46 IST

Satyamev Jayate on Manual Scavenging:- Even though the government has
already declared Manual Scavenging illegal by passing the Act,
existence of such inhuman practice is still there in our society. The
Act or the Law is not the solution of this growing problem…
Government’s Law coupled with effective welfare schemes and commitment
to meet the deadlines will be the best ways to deal with the
situations. This societal problem should not be left with government
itself to handle, we the common citizens must come forward and work in
tandem, accepting the problems of our owns not of a particular caste or
community, lend our helping hands to stop the Manual Scavenging
practiced as a means of survival.
And also need to create an atmosphere for scavenging professionals to
lead normal human life. They must be taught either formally or
informally that carrying or gathering human excreta are inhuman and
even health hazards.

from:  Rajeev Kumar
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 08:42 IST

We have to make the low caste people to educate. If they are educated then no one will feel that they are untouchable. The government should punish the people who makes the difference among the people.
Always we do tell like this only. But why can't we do something instead of depending on government or on the some other higher officials? Think once.

from:  Mamatha
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 08:36 IST

I have seen the recent episode and it failed to mention recent architect of apartments with separate room/toilets for servants . When we will allow servants direct entry in our home ?

from:  Raveendran Chinnasamy
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 08:08 IST

Aamir khan potrayal of Gandhi as the the sole fighter against untouchability is ill
informed and not without caste prejuidices.Gandhi was himself supporter of
chaturvarna which he claimed to be an ideal hindu society.He may have campaign
again untouchability but he opposed priviliges for the oppressed by fasting against the communal award.There are many instances,where he has opposed the political
emancipation of the depressed classes.Spiritual emancipation had no meaning
without political emancipation which was based on equal rights and priviliges.If
anyone deserves the credit of annhilating the caste and destroying untouchability is Dr Ambedkar and his mentor Mahatma Jyotiroa Phule with Shahu Maharaj.It is Just
because of them that the depressed classes live with dignity and respect today.

from:  Dr Deodatt M Suryawanshi
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 07:24 IST

Good quality education can only free our society from old evils! Make Education free till 10+2. After 10+2 give loan for education. Give moratorium on interest till person start earning. Government should give subsidy on interest. Reservation should be given only to inter-cast/inter-religion marriages and on economical basis.
The person daring Indian Constitution should be punished.
The person misbehaving as in case of Dr. Kaushal in JNU hostel should be
punished and to be send for Psychological treatment and community service.

from:  Manoj Kumar
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 06:20 IST

A very compelling and touching episode on untouchability. Giving mere reservations
do not help in bridging the gap in the society but bringing change in the hearts of the people does. Team satyamev jeyethe deserves a hearty round of applause for such a nice episode.

from:  vivek datla
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 05:47 IST

Proud of you, Aamir. Satya Mev Jayate :-)

from:  Sapan Kapoor
Posted on: Jul 9, 2012 at 05:27 IST
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