After all, its a country that's been hurt, and to some it's not even a country, its a wound, a wound that is still fresh, that is still in the process of healing. Maybe that's why they say that ‘India’, is a “developing” nation.
Though if you ask me, I don't think India is underdeveloped or a developing nation, It is developed. Infact, I would say, out is overdeveloped. We have developed a remarkable population of people who are smart enough to understand their needs and choices, and smart enough to manipulate groups of their own very kind to do the unwanted jobs. Also very smart to maintain such hierarchy and make sure that it is embedded into the minds of people such a way which even after all these years of scientific development can't be erased. As if this code of conduct was inscribed in stone with gold. Like one of the laws of nature.
A bifurcations were easy. A set of people who will do the cleaning and all the dirty, unacceptable and inhumane work (the Dalits), a set of people who would protect the people from people of their own kind attacking for resources and greed (the Kshatriyas), a set of people for managing the resources (the Vaishyas), a set of people who will work with their minds and do all the mental labour (the Brahmins).
About 120 thousand years ago, when Adam and Eve were around to today's date, the human civilization has witnessed impossible change. Especially about India, which first grew, then got invaded, destroyed and parted, and now is growing (healing) again. I really wonder how India would've been without all these customs and rituals, and also without this whole concept of religion and caste or classes.
Apparently, people of the indian subcontinent never used to cover their upper bodies, and then the Romans came in with their culture of covering upper bodies with ornamentation and fabric. Similarly the Mughals came in with their own ways of cooking, then British gave us a new system of working, a constitutional approach and the lavish lifestyle alongside their manners, eticates and code of conduct. And the list is long. Which denotes that Indian culture is an amalgamation of different cultures but the interesting thing to know about this is that inspite of a lot influences from other cultures the inhabitants of this land still managed to revive their own system of 'castes and classes'. When they were exposed to different cultures they welcomed them and then ammended them accordingly.
Everybody interprets religion in their own way, even an atheist. And many have also tried to reach out to the roots of this whole idea of religion. Some believe in god and some do not, this is entirely a matter of choice and India being a democratic country a lot of people have different ideas about the origin of religion. One such believe can be that religion was invented as a propogator of hope, as an entity to symbolise hope. A hope trapped inside all these dietys and other entities which today are referred to as gods or holy texts, while for some religion has been established by the God, who inturn is considered to be a superhuman and the messiah of various situations. Some also bow down to the holy books written specifically for the religion. But religion is discourse of correct practice not of correct text.
If we go back to the time of Adam and Eve, we didn't have caste, creed, racial discrimination back then, because there were other important things to be taken care of. Infact, interestingly, these castes and classes came into the picture after a long period of time. Humans first learnt how to reproduce, then they learnt how to cook their meals, they learnt how to grow crops and cover their bodies, they invented fire, they also understood the importance of sanitation along with excretion. Humans started becoming smarter, they started fetching help from natural sources to make their lives easier.
Men and women knew that doing certain was a dirty business and also not all jobs can be done by all kinds of people, different people master different skills and some are even born with them. Hence, a permanent reform was needed to overcome this problem. Hence the invention of class came into the picture. Development was there. Reforms were there. Now we had a permanent set number of people doing the dirty work ( called the Dalits ) who fall under the lower class. Generations kept on passing by and people according to their families automatically got bifurcated into these classes and sub - classes which can also be referred to castes and sub - castes. Development was not absent, it was happening, we had a problem, we found a solution for it, we made it a reform to solve that problem permanently.
On the other hand God became strongly linked with these reforms and what was born out of this can be called as Culture. People were very good at making stories. After Food, Shelter, and clothing, stories are the thing which kept them alive, after all. People made stories, propogated them in different art forms, hence enriching the culture, and yet again culture is a sign of development. But was this development in the correct direction?
Culture created a lot of norms, social norms to be precise. As the human civilization progressed, there emerged out laws and methods for everything. There were laws to greet, there were laws to meet, to dance, to sing, there were laws to practice all the daily life activities. Culture was progressing. As Culture grew it started getting accepted without curiousity. No one cared to ask ‘why’, all of them wanted to know ‘how’.
Culture gave definition to undefined entities like how a specific gender shall dress and how a specific gender shall behave on the basis of their climatic as well as religious conditions and parameters which were set in the holy book of their respective religions. Which also gave birth to a lot of stereotypes.
Let's change our vocabulary,
Let's use she/he instead of he/she.
And whoever begs to differ,
Just let them be.
Let's chuck out the Rickshawala Bhaiyas,
And let there be some Rikshawali aunties.
Let's be murderers of sadness,
And love & affection be our bounties.
Let's love all the animals equally,
And not just cats and dogs.
And let's call every creature the cutest,
Even if they look like hogs.
Let's dance and walk around naked,
And tell others to do the same.
And consider stealing, looting and cheating instead,
As a matter of ‘shame’.
And let being an artist be the greatest profession in the world,
And not just a businessman and doctor.
Let's not judge people by what they do,
And consider the word ‘character'.
Let us all take an initiative and enlarge this definition of 'personal space'.
And make sure that our eyes are tolerant enough,
Before we look at this human race.
For one day,
Just for one day,
Let's not follow the hype.
For one day,
Let's just face these stereotypes.
This poem gives us a glance about some of the stereotypical thoughts that have penetrated in the Indian society. India is not backward, I don't believe India is backward or orthodox, India is just misguided. India has made progress. But maybe not in the correct direction. We have become successful in solving a the dispute of who will do what, and then divided them into castes, but then maybe in the process of dividing them into castes we forgot that they're humans too. And humans have dreams, humans have aspirations, desires, and most importantly, they have choices. The monarchy took over and the kings took over then the government came in the constitution was formed, but this embarkment, this whole concept of castes had become so strong, so rigid, it was impossible to change it. And why won't it be so rigid, after all, it had so many stories to support itself and so many incidents to strengthen the pillars of its foundation.
We had a system, we had a working system which was so fool proof that even forgien influence would've taken years and centuries to shake it. If this is not progress then I do not know what is!
Had it not been developed, would great philosophers and mathematicians be Indians, would Arthashastra write itself or zero invent itself? Or the big IT companies and international market prefer to offer jobs to Indians before their own fellow countrymen?
A deadly combination indeed. Progress and a wrong direction. India is a secular country now, also is the largest democracy in the world. Democracy is also an art in itself, the art of accommodation, the art of brotherhood and sisterhood and also the art of tolerance. What India needs today is a second chance. A chance to cleanse itself, a chance to heal, a chance to build the nest again, so that the “Sone Ki Chidiya” comes back and starts to reside here again.
The best thing right now is that we've realised that something is wrong and a good number of people are working towards it. Inorder to heal and undergo treatment, you must first admit that you've been hurt, we're hurt but we're healing.
India has overdeveloped this system of castes and classes has become more hegemonic, India needs to unlearn some things and learn a few more...