Caste discrimination

January 22, 2016 10:42 pm | Updated September 23, 2016 02:24 am IST

It is time for us to introspect what is wrong with Indian society even after nearly seven decades of Independence (“Suspension of 4 students revoked” and “Grim shadow of caste over educational institutions in T.N.”, Jan. 22). We cannot blame political parties or other organisations for the prevalence of caste or caste-based discrimination; the prejudice is in our mind. Irrespective of region or religion, caste-based discrimination is being practised in our society. B.R. Ambedkar had said, “On the 26th of January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics we will have equality, and in social and economic life we will have inequality. In politics we will be recognising the principle of one man, one vote, and one vote, one value. In our social and economic life, we shall, by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man, one value. How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions?”

Unless the mindset of India changes and we begin to treat each other as fellow beings rather than as superiors or inferiors, this deep-rooted social evil is not going to disappear. The emotional reaction to any event such as this suicide will slowly but surely disappear in the course of time. However, the main problem of caste-based discrimination remains unresolved.

Suresh R.,

Thiruvananthapuram There have been instances in history when people like Socrates chose death over giving up their principles. Today Rohith has shown the same “courage” to stand up for what he thought was right. Amidst the outcry for justice, we must pause to think, would convicting the rulers in Socrates’s era have brought about true justice? Likewise, will convicting members of the government now do the same? What has happened is due to prevailing prejudice, which is not the fiefdom of one party. We need to fight this prejudice which is deep-rooted and cuts across party lines. Hurling accusations and earning political dividends will only belittle Rohith’s sacrifice. By demanding resignations and playing politics, we are displaying our lynch mob mentality.

Shashank Jain,

Delhi It is not enough for everyone to be equal under the law, they need to be equal in our eyes as well (“The clarity of a suicide note”, Jan. 21). Despite reservation, many Dalits and those from other lower castes face inhuman treatment from other students. The fact that Rohith said that his birth was a “fatal accident” speaks volumes. This incident should make us wonder where we’ve reached since Independence. As it is clear that there is no equality in our eyes, we have to take urgent steps to modify our systems, beliefs and thought processes.

Karan Dange,

Allahabad

Reservation on the basis of caste must be stopped at some point. No one denies that the downtrodden must be assisted, but there is also tremendous discontent among the younger generation as merit is not given enough importance. Reservation was introduced to uplift some but it has been continuing for generations and is merely being as a tool by political parties to garner votes.

R. Vijayakumar,

Coimbatore

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