28.5.06

Achhoot.

I have a beautiful set of tea mugs which I treasure.
Not that they are up for display, but one is fond of them.
When I make tea in the morning for myself I usually make a cup for the maid as well.
Never thought about it but due to lack of options the aforesaid mugs were used.

One evening some friends came over.
It was raining and the weather was beautiful.
Balcony + Tea + Biscuit + Dip-Dip was planned.
While pouring tea I realized one of the mugs was missing. I poured my tea in a glass and continued with the dip-dip.

A few days later a plate went missing.
Then a random bowl.

I figured a chat with the maid was in order. Try fishing for the tea mug first and then try telling her that if she needs anything she can ask.

I got the shock of my life.

Over the past 2 months, whatever food & beverage I gave her I usually did it in a plate or something. And she enjoyed eating it.
But then washed them separately and kept them away in a cupboard.
Because that was the way it was in the other houses she worked in, she said.
I asked her very sternly if she washed my dishes properly.
She swore on everything her vocabulary could allow.
I told her not to bother about them in that case.

I thank my family for bringing me up with very humanitarian values. I was taught all human beings are one. And the motto for Sikhism is ‘Manas ki jaat sab eke pehchaanbo’ (treat all humans as one). And surprisingly if you think carefully, all religions in some way or the other, say the same thing.

I remember working in my grandfathers farm in Jalandhar during my vacations from college. On day one I leisurely walked home at 1 pm from the fields for lunch and was given the firing of my life.
And sent back.

If I work, I am a worker. Behave like one.
And lunch became a routine in those days with the workers.
And trust me the food was yummy. Rich buttered daal, aalu / gobhi / mooli parantha, a bowl of sweet and lots of butter milk.
Just that it was had under a construction shed with no fans and sitting on the floor.

That taught me the biggest lesson of my life. Dignity of labour.
Something I feel the urban youth of India knows nothing about.
I know people who were not allowed by family to do a hotel management course because they couldn’t see their heir as a waiter.

Caste or economics, classifications are a very important part of the Indian society. They cannot do without it.

My father celeberates his ‘happy birthday to you’ on 1st of January. And the first morning of the year is a routine since before I was born.
There is a ceremony of the completion of the reading of the Guru Granth Sahib and recitation of the hymns of ‘Assa Di Vaar’. Followed by the most delicious, finger licking, bowl slurping ‘Langar’ or free kitchen, prepared by my mom. Poori-Aloo, Chana-Rice, Rajma, Paneer, Parantha, Raita, Saffron Rice, Kheer, Sewaiyaan and lots of awesome pickles.

On one such occasion while my father was posted in Chennai I was visiting him (I was in college in Punjab) and after the ceremony he went out for some work with mom.

I decided to hit the bed. I had been up all night partying. Up all morning playing goodboy.com with my parents. And working the previous evening clearing the living room for the prayers.

Ting –tong.
And guests arrived.

To wish “saar” happy birthday to you and choicest wishes for the coming year.
I was sitting doing small talk with them (what you doing? What stream? What year? What plans?) and the doorbell rang. Again…

I opened it to find the smiley faced Mr. Subramaniam standing in the frame of the doorway. He was an office assistant in my dads’ office. He came for the same reason as the other blokes in my house but because the dude got me great food and takes good care of me when I visit dad at work, I insisted he come in. There was ‘langar’ and it would be rude if he did not eat. It was ‘prasad’.

As he walked in, after removing his shoes, which I insisted he not, the other blokes sitting in the living room drinking butter milk, gulped down their drinks hurriedly and stood up.
Mr. Subramaniam did Good Morning Sir with everyone.
And they all hurriedly left.

Confused, later in the evening I caught hold of an offspring of the aforesaid guests. That fact that she was the prettiest girl in the colony had nothing to do with it.
I was told yes, there was a chat at home. Mr. Subramaniam is a low caste individual and on the very first day of the new year seeing his face and all ruined her parents ‘happy new year to you’.

I was disgusted.

I walked away. Never spoke to her or any of those people again. And respected Mr. Subramaniam even more.
Because knowing well, what was happening he said good morning and happy new year to them as they stomped out of my house.

When I subtly mentioned it to him, he said job was more important than pride.

So, does the caste system exist in India?
Yes.
Where?
In urban - educated India.
By who?
The urban, educated, humanitarian metro – uber or whatever ‘sexual’ we like to call ourselves these days.


I am a great fan of the Hindu religion. As I am of Judaism.
You have to be born Hindu. There is no process to induct you. And you will die a Hindu. Because there is no process or mechanism in the Hindu religion to excommunicate you.
You may chose to follow or preach whatever religion or way of life you chose to, but if you’re born a Hindu, you are hooked buddy. No matter what you practice, no matter what you preach.
(If you believe in life after death, plan your last rights. You could do without that surprise.)

Now both these religions do not breed. You will never hear people converting to either of them. Because here religion is a birth right.
Every other religion in the world, can be adopted or left at will, by a legitimate recognized process.

And by that logic, Hinduism needs be the most religiously tolerant as they have no insecurity.

Well... almost.

Because here lies the divine comedy. The Achilles’ heel of the Hindu.

The caste system has forced many so called schedule castes to adopt other religions that offer a level ground. Of humanity.
The conversions were and will continue happening at rapid pace till the Hindu religion gives up the caste system. Or the lower class classification.
We can worry and yell about religious intolerance but trust me, every other religion besides Hinduism gives you a right to live without a caste tag. Be it Christianity, Islam, Jainism, Buddhism all of them treat all humans as one.
Who wouldn’t want it? If I faced such behavior from society where I was a ‘achhoot’, I would be the first to go.

So all guardians of Hinduism, while the nation fights over the reservation issues and the government fails to find a way to uplift the under privileged and keep competition alive at the same time, brace yourself for a much bigger battle.
The one that you are waging against your own religion via the caste system. Harshly put it is called cannibalization.

I feel the priests of non-Hindu religions who are often targeted for converting people and hurting Hinduism, are not at fault. They merely facilitate the process of granting someone the psychological right to live without the caste tag. The ones who willfully came. In search of a god who doesn’t see with a jaundiced eye.

The ones at fault are the society and clergy of the religion they abandon. Imagine, someone’s’ humanity is so shaken that he needs to search for a new god.
After being used, abused, ignored, shunted and humiliated by the guardians and followers of their own.


(Apologies for any sentiments that were hurt. The intention was merely to state the truth about the state of affairs. My opinion.)

63 comments:

mathanki said...

Hey Harjee,

Beautifully written.

On a lighter note; my favorite part of the post: Poori-Aloo, Chana-Rice, Rajma, Paneer, Parantha, Raita, Saffron Rice, Kheer, Sewaiyaan and lots of awesome pickles:)

Yashita said...

ok 1st thing, this is one post everyone should read!!! brilliant!

and then, I love punjabi food!...it is 11:46 in the nite and I had a nice fillin dinner...but just read these, "Rich buttered daal, aalu / gobhi / mooli parantha, a bowl of sweet and lots of butter milk.Poori-Aloo, Chana-Rice, Rajma, Paneer, Parantha, Raita, Saffron Rice, Kheer, Sewaiyaan and lots of awesome pickles. "....and my mouth's all waterin!:( umnnn...ok, I think I'll go look for something in the fridge.

"sen"sational said...

errr....I thought that you could leave Hinduism...if you choose to???
And...nice post by the way...:)

p.s. the workers in punjab have 'rich buttered dal....paratha..'..omg!!! And my mouth has not stopped watering since...

Monika said...

Very well written post... I was thiking on writing one on caste system and reservations in India for a long time, just totally stuck in work...

I could totally relate to the mug and plate missing story you are talking about... that was the first argument I had with my mil. They are humans and they should be treated like humans too... Sadly most of the educated upper caste people don't seem to realise the same and sometimes I wonder if they can't understand this then what good is education anyways...

Anonymous said...

Very nice.
Except for a moment, all I could think of was the Punjabi food mentioned!
All of us agree with your opinion, but I think all of us are guilty of prejudice some time or the other, however small.
Change is a very slow process in India, if it happens at all.
But, hope floats :)
Again, very nice harjee.
- Nishant

eve's lungs said...

Harjee - a most sensitive beautifully written piece . Caste ism is truly an issue which needs to be taken up very strongly by all . It still appears to be the reason why so many children studying in colleges in UP Bihar Haryana refuse to use their surnames and use a prefix like Kumar or Singh or just their first names . Of course in Bengal we are lucky but in neighbouring states castesim still takes on horrifying aspects . I like the descriptions of food you wrote about - I think Punjabi food has a strong earthy appeal for all of us - I still remember the lovely punjabi food my mom's friend used to make - kamal ki kakdi(bhey ) , kadhi chawal, rajma chawal and a plethora of stuufed parathas in winter with that distinctive blob of homemade white butter ..... I could die !! ( I came to your blog via Priya's )

Queen Bee said...

Give yourself a good pat on your back, Harjee! :) It's great to see everyone as equals, esp when you are in a position to humble yourself to seek others. :)

ishita said...

:-)...why am i smiling coz i went thru this debate a few days ago wid an aunt :(...and right now reading this was like hearing an echo of what i wz tryin to get across to her!...m gonna hand out a print out of this post to her!

hmmm..i'm more familiar wid another form of intolerance in my home state...that against tribals...and when m there it hits me coz sitting here in delhi, it makes no difference to me but there the bias runs deep...it's quite sad. the way i've come to luk at it is...i'd rather laugh at the other person's stupdity and ignorance than feel bad for being born in a particular tribe/caste...

on a lighter note....shud not have read this now when i skipped lunch!...u have me feelin oh so hungry now!!!!

bitchlet said...

its so sad.. there r so many ppl.. wholl be lyk i respect everyone.. n i beleive in dignity of labour but wen it some down to their "bai" she still not sitting or eating with them..
its almos as if theyr poison..
its so stupid..

zeena said...

hey where'd you go?
well i totally agree with you on this.
fuck segregation.
i have a similar post, a more concise one.
written in the context of how i see filipinos in the world.
or how the world sees filipinos.

http://zeenazalamea.blogspot.com/2006/03/borderless-society.html

thanks for helping me out.
cheers!

zeena

Anonymous said...

A great post. I totally agree with how people are treated differently.

Why can't people say thank you to an auto driver after he takes you around the crazy traffic of this maniacal city. Long conversations with them have revealed that people do not treat them with respect, that people do not even want to talk to them and are qucik to blame the for anything and everything. One even said- 'Depending on how people treat me, I can be a hero or a villain'.

Why can't people give respect to a waiter? I recall an acquaintance once ordering around the waiter saying -get this, get that. When we all suggested that she get up and get it herself, she said-don't worry, I will tip him, He's worth that. It outraged all of us sitting there. You call yourself civilized and tolerant and your thoughts are a reflection of the stone ages[Atleast then they must have still been equal, undivided by the similar clothes they wore]

For our recent English Literature Exam, we had an essay prescribed for us - 'Why I am not a Hindu'- by Kancha Ilaiah. Try reading it if you get your hands on it. HE talks about the aliention that is an inevitable part of the Dalit child's school life. He shows the readers differences that are basic and all pervasive, which range from food to habits to gender roles to religious beliefs. LIke some of the instances you mentioned yourself.

A great post.
Cheers
--Ananya

Cold Coffee said...

phew!!! It was nice of you to speak kindly with the maid.. imagine accusing her and finding that everything is in the house after all :O

i like the flow of your story right from the maid to the caste system issue.... its really not fair that everyone isn't treated equal.. people are cruel.. i think they get some sort of sadistic pleasure by putting the others down.. and some just want to hold on to some ridiculous theories..

you've learnt some really delicious lessons at your grandpas farm... delicious because the food sounds so yummy...

abroad sweepers and waiters etc are treated with so much of dignity.. they're paid well too.. just because labour is cheap out here people feel that its okay to look down on them... and its these same people who change when they go abroad..

Cold Coffee said...

the world's full of hypocrites..

Madhu said...

Good One. First things first, "Rich buttered daal, aalu / gobhi / mooli parantha, a bowl of sweet and lots of butter milk".....wow! muhme paani aa gaya. I love punjabi food, esp parantha, curd and achar. lip smacking!!!

Ok now the serious issue, I agree with on this. The sad part is some ppl have accepted this kind of segregation and are thinking of ways to adjust (via reservation, etc) instead of fighting against it. And this is being encouraged by our political system and religious system!!

Education at all levels is necessary for equality but that education should not be based on reservation, for it will defeat the whole purpose.

Edward Ott said...

an excellent article on a very serious subject, Your parents raised you in a most excellent fashion as much of this seems to be taking you by surprise.

aakriti said...

It's true, the food descriptions made my mouth water as well. More so, coz im eating some low-calorie marie biscuits!!
But, i think this post was amazing. And the fact that the 'so-called low caste' people are turning to other religions for a better life is right on the mark. I hope we, hindus, realise how we are unknowingly promoting more than half the conversion in India.Not that there's something wrong in it but these conversions are happening for the wrong reasons.

sanjana said...

Hi there Mr. Busy bee

was taking a long blog walk since a couple of days to meet up with all the people who have been kind enough to leave their foot prints on mah space so done with jan comments then feb and now into March and i found your id again. hehe

One of the few things we have in common i guess gives me hope for a continued online ship with you.you didnt expect me to say friendship and give you the chance of biting my head off a gain.now did you?I am not a fast learner but i never forget what i learn. hahah

A very nice insightful post and it was a topic i posted too on my blog a couple of weeks ago. its funny that you should mention caste. you know my maiden surname is Rodrigues. and many generations ago we must have been converts. My Dad says that their original surname was Prabhu information that was passed one generation to the next and we were the so called Brahmin. Even today when we go to our native place they refer to my fathers house as Prabhus house. Its funny how these things remain.

another incident came to mymind. years a go i knew someone who worked in a child adoption centre. and she would say that the nuns would not give children to Hindu parents. when there were so many HIndu parents willing to adopt. I understand where the nuns apprehensions come from considering Christianity believes that it is the only true religion and its god is the only god. but what i didnt understand was letting religion take precedence over necessity. the children need parents.One of the reasons that inspite of being a Catholic by birth i have so many reservations regarding my religion.

"The conversions were and will continue happening at rapid pace till the Hindu religion gives up the caste system. Or the lower class classification"

That is so true. reminds me of another instance.

Lots of people are against the work done by Mother Theresa saying that once they partake of her charity she makes them cahtolic.

But really i would like people to remember it takes a very special and committed person to embrace lepers, and bathe them and look after them. its all nice and easy to sit on your horse and pass the verdict but how much do we do for our brethren. all of us are guilty of walking past beggars, hurrying past lepers and mad men, walking over a drunken man in the subway without batting an eyelid. but someone else does somethingfor them we are quick to find fault in it. Like you pointed out casteism is the achilles heel of Hinduism but me thinks that ourlack of compassion, our lack of sensitivity, are the biggest undoers really. can a man be blamed for taking up a religin that saved him from an existence equivalent to hell. can a man be blamed for taking up the faith of the person who saved him. NO NO.

I dont think it is easy to change ones faith. there are always reasons. That said i am totally against us Catholics going out and convertiing .It exists and it is sad. that you try to bite the hand that feeds you. so not done.I really do think that is an insult to the motherland. you know Jesus once said. "Let others know by you acts that you are Christians." something we have so forgotten. you know Gandhi said something i cant quote him word for word it was something to the effect i dont like Christians but i love Christianity. how true.

okie sorry to rant and take up so much of your space. but i would like you to read this.

http://spaces.msn.com/luckysanjana/blog/cns!20EB8162E3BDDD5D!235.entry

and ofcourse you are expected to leave you comments.

okie gotta go now. i have added you to my space .Hope that doesnt bother you.

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

hi ...

i'll comment on the serious issue points one by one

yes , you are right abt the caste causing problems. but with the reservation issue coming up , it is gonna get worse than ever.

who do u define as backward ? one who is financially bereft or one who WAS socially bereft ?

notice that i used the word : " WAS " and not "IS " ... coz these days , other than the Adivasis and SC/ST (probably), there are no socially bereft people

I'll talk about the 2 states I know well :
Karnataka and Kerala

In KArnataka , the Gowdas are considered backward. Have a look .. u'll see that they are the most powerful , as well as the richest set of people in the set. But they take undue advantage of the reservation quota.

In Kerala , a set called "Izhavas" are considered backward. But every Izhava family has atleast one member working abroad. Still , they claim to be backward.

How do u justify that ?

Noojes said...

You've always had a good heart my dear

noojes

rachna said...

HI...I just needed to comment.Whatever you have written could not have been expressed in any other way. Fantastic. I follow the same tea ritual with my maid, luckily she keeps it in the bowl near the sink!

karmic_jay said...

Very well written post pal. Loved the part about the food. Sometimes the best food is often not served in the most palatial of surroundings. But thats how it is.

Re; religion . You are spot on pretty much. Except there a a few folks I have seen who are Hindus by choice and not by birth. I am not sure how that works. I don't really care :) Each one to their own. I am also something of an agonist and a secular humanist.
As for the caste and domestic help. How some folks treat their domestice help just amazes me. And then I see you and folks like my parents treat them as if they were a part of the family. People often react to you based on how you treat them and for me it is treat people as you would like to be treated.
As for sentiments being hurt, it's nice of you to show consideration for your readers. But it is your place, your forum so you get to decide what you say. Your readers have a choice to not read it they are offended. :)
So keep on rocking!

Demi Goddezz said...

wow really well written...ek dum dhammal... i used to eat with maids in m y house back in india too for which any relative who visited would give me a UGH look..but hey like u said its all about ur principles and what you have been taught...:)

nowheregirl said...

this morning me, my boss and a labouror from the office next door was waiting for the lift... the lift came... me n my boss got in... the other guy just stepped back... didnt take that lift cause "saablog" was there... my boss was telling me how scary it is that such caste system is ingrained in so many people's head even now... and i remembered your post..

Blue Athena said...

Nice to see someone with clear vision and undulterated values in life. :)

Am glad I dropped by! (via Lovemark's.)

Anonymous said...

Its not about the way u write it, but what u feel from within comes out in the form of words. really like the way u think, its very rare but the truth is treating people like ur own.
i've been thruough this....i've been kind to people and i know it will do me some help sometime later. i dont expect it, but i just know.....it will.

sunayna said...

hi... so it's my first stop on your page and i must say i truely enjoyed the read... not only are you brilliant with the words, the content is so fresh and refreshing... very much needed to get past the rest of the week : )

AakASH!!! said...

So now comes the ultimate battle for Hinduism, and pointing out the chaos within the camouflage of order is
>>>Da Harjee Code<<<

Now running successfully on a computer screen near you.

Okay kidding apart ( i knew that was pathetic), this piece is very well written. Though for my own inclinations i liked the AAAI-waala post; always loved that world.

And ofcourse, you write really well.

AakASH!!! said...

And somedays when 'he doest write much', he is posting poems on his other blog, aksar.rediffblogs.com

Godspeed.

AakASH!!! said...

You know i actually thought of Harjee DA Code at first (this side of India, everyone learns to be 1% punjabi!); but then socha ki sacntity (and rhyme)of original title wd be lost. :)

ishita said...

hey:)..tagged u!..check my blog for details...:)

Shikha said...

Atlast someone who agrees that caste system exists...and its not just the economically inferior people who has to face the prejudice..in kerala(deepa's comment),ezhavas may be financially secure..not getting a job in god's own country sends many 'abroad'to work as labourers,and since dirhams and dinars are worth a lot of indian money ,of cos there is financial security...and those who stay back face prejudice in the form of lost promotions...or comments as despicable as how a low caste person can be fair..i have no idea why but 'upper caste' ppl seem to have an unwanted sense of superiority..maybe some of them dont even realise it.

p.s.this is the first time i am actually able to see ur blog cos in office this site is blocked cos of "prohibited content" :))

DysfunctionaL said...

wow - I'm glad I read this..
very nicely put..
if only more people were to rationalize and adopt ur way of thinking..
=)

Grey Shades said...

Well said dude! well said! :)

Saher said...

Wow! A great point was made through simple words...pure reality stated so beautifully...BrillianT!

Very well written!

Smiles!
Saher

Why Am I said...

awesome post...yea hinduism is a truly tolerant religion...and it does not force neone into nething..in the sense u can even be an athiest...and the caste system is something i guess is prevalent in all parts of india...bu then sometimes i really think tht hinduism per se did not impose these caste systems...yes the Mahabharath speaks abt the Kshtriyas, the Brahmans et all..but tht was based on the work...it is something that has evolved over a period of time...neways...real nice of u with the maid thing...its appaling tht some ppl find this whole "oh the maid touched it so i wont drink water from tht" attitude....yea cleanliness and hygiene are important...but the same ppl wont think twice before stopping at a road side dhaba.!!

well i wont exactly agree with u on the conversion...other religions portray man to be a sinner and blah blah...and ppl around the world find different ways to fight...guess we h\just use caste as an excuse!!sorry if any sentiments were hurt...

smz said...

that was a amazing piece of work there... well our generation doesnt care abt these things the past ones certainly did... and we should all make sure we are not following their foot steps...

very well written...keep it up!!!
smz

SCRIBBLEZ TO WAKEUP said...

"Rich buttered daal, aalu / gobhi / mooli parantha, a bowl of sweet and lots of butter milk"- Wow...U mad my tummy yearn for all these thing right now n it is noon...kahan milenge??

ANyways wht u say is true, the caste system n religion go hand i hand....

I dont have nything against people converting to any other thing but if they r converted because they r poor and they r shown money ot whtevern then told tht if they do convert they get lavished by all tht, converted out of no choice,..ie by having premartial sex with someone of annother eligionn telling the girl tht unless she converts, the boy will not marry her n thus she converts...I mena tht is something I wont accept...And you may think this percent of convertion is very small but harjee, this is a living truth in India..SO many loads of women have affairs with guys of another religion, I ma not saying u shoul dnot but I expect tht there should be some respect for the individual religion followed n no dhamnki ki if u dont convert I am going to abandon u n the to be born child is going ot be father less...These people r poor n fall prey to this all the time , every day even as I wrote this n I have seen this personally so many times....I detest tht...

N I had a teacher in college who was a Muslim, married a HIndu n converted into a HIndu, i dont know how she did it but she did it out of her own free will as she despised the family who accused her of too many things...She changed n now is a Hindu woman with a Hindu son....I am wondering how she managed to convert.....

And also, buttermilk in hot chennai...Wow wht a relief from the heat nah....

NO personal offence meant here n it is merely an opinion just like anyone's!!
:) :)

Oh I forgot to mention about the tea cup...U r such a nice person....I love china too, rather my dad does... I gifted him with a 6000 Rs worth ofsome stuff n he never used it..One day I made chai in tht n liked it!!! :) :)

Shilpa F D'Mello said...

hey...

thanks for dropping by at my blog. how did yu chance upon it? r yu on ryze???

yu have nice stuff going on yur blog too... keep writing!

Thanks
Shilpa

someone out there said...

well the younger generation in india is surely getting over this caste thing but the day india is free from this is not close...well hindu religion dis not introduce caste as lower or upper and the caste system was not permanent...it was based on profession and not birth. but the problem came when it was related to ones birth...

btw, your writing reminds me very much of khuswant singh...do we have another dangerous sardar in making...

that girl in pink said...

the caste system really is one of the worst parts of hinduism. although, i think now its become more of an "indian" thing rather than remaining just a hindu thing.

i know these christians who's families converted a couple of generations ago. and even after converting they're all very clear about what caste they were before converting. so a christian brahmin will only marry another christian brahmin and so on.

it's weird. and stupid. and the whole reservation crap just makes things worse.

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

Harjee , this is w.r.t Shikha's comment .... the Ezhavas managed to gain financial security .. How ? Because they had reservations. So , they have been uplifted. But , they are still demanding reservations ... so , where does it leave the so called " Forward " classes ?

Let financial status be the criterion for quota , and not caste ....

Though the caste systems exist , these days , we find the "Backward" classes on top of the "Power " and "financial" ladder .. it makes no sense to have still more reservations.

And abt the superiority of the "upper" classes, take a SC/ST student and a "upper" class student in similar circumastances and with the same facilities etc ,... watch their tendencies , nature , and performance .... i think things will be clear ....

of course , there is no way a person can say an "upper" cast person is good / virtuous / perfect ... all kinds of people exists in all sectors.

but with the reservation thingie coming into exisstence ,it is gonna divide us like nothing ever has ...

AakASH!!! said...

So HappySingh ji, going by your prodding, i finally posted.
Ab yeh kitna happy hai aap hi batao?
Now its your turn to write. :)

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

Check this out :

http://my-thoughts-random.blogspot.com/

kitsch said...

Humanity rules, one should really f*** the other crap.

sophie said...

this was an awesome read....
u made me feel hungry..and now i am

silverine said...

Hinduism is the only religion that has snippets of the best from other religions. But it also has the caste system. Which I think is a primeval natural selection method. In the ancient societies the intelligent became brahmins, the physically fit became the warriors and the business skilled became traders while the rest were classified as lower caste as they could not contribute to the society in the above three positions that was the social framework. Afer centuries of living under this classification without any outlet to better their lot their only redemption is in conversion. The Hindu religion does not allow them to cross the laksham rekha, so they see a way out in embracing other religons.

Very good thoughts here!

silverine said...

"Poori-Aloo, Chana-Rice, Rajma, Paneer, Parantha, Raita, Saffron Rice, Kheer, Sewaiyaan and lots of awesome pickles" *SLURP*

:))

lovemarks said...

Great Post!!!
I had a discussion with a friend couple of days ago on the same topic-on how my 'highly educated' neighbours thought it always necessarily to meddle in everybody's business because they consider themselves god as they are highly qualified!And how today in our own relations and friends, people are either good or better or indifferent depending on 1. The amount of money one has, 2. the social network and 3. caste/religion/language... and it's so sad to see it mostly in the urban areas of this country. I've always believed- that Education is not the same as wisdom and Urbanisation is not necessarily Development.
I esp recall an incident when a Tam-Bram (tamil brahmin)guy, who obviously was well-qualified and successful had parked his car wrongly in our lane and when requested to move it as no other car could pass by, he first began yelling and then resorted to gaalis! And to top it all, he had come to the nearby temple to change his thread- a most auspicious time for all Tamilians! Tch!
BTW: I abs love the Langar food- esp the ones they serve at the gurudwaras.

Shikha said...

harjee,i dont mean to flood your space but cant help it:D

'Creamy layer' has been defined so that the financially better off ones dont get reservation...so if the govt takes care of
that,i guess there should be no problem..
And if we take two ppl,one SC/ST and one upper both in the same condtions;let us say both financially weak;they still are
not in the same circumstances bcos the SC person has to deal with an extra problem..caste discrimination..
and meaningless discrimination in the name of something which you cant comprehend is not exactly a morale booster.
Deepa,its good to see that you agree that reservations uplift people..(And you have also shown how Kerala is the best
example for that)..but north India seems like another world..where caste system is too rampant...if reservation has worked
in the southern states,why shouldnt it be tried in the rest of india?

bitchlet said...

half century.. cuz after all statitics are imp

Neha said...

wow.tht is one awesome post.Very well written...

We need many many more people who think and act like you do. Family is what teaches us all this and ur lucky to have such amazing people around you.

about urban india.. you're right.. people would probably not say something to someone's face.. but everyone has their own criterias.. their own discriminations..be it on religion, caste, money.. anything!

you write very well..thanku fr visitin my blog and complimenting :-)

d4u said...

Your posts make one think...nice!! Thanx 4 dropping by my blog!!
P.S Even the poem "goonj" below is well-written!! Will keep coming!

Madhu said...

You have been tagged! Check out my post for details.

Madame Mahima said...

hey harjee awesome post...i know so many people who treat the so called 'lower' castes like crap, i've seen it with my own eyes..thank god i have parents as awesome as mine..they're good to everyone, no matter what caste or religion.

the food..good lord it was hard to focus on anything written after u wrote about the food..
*yummmmmmmmmm*

Madame Mahima said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
scorpio said...

Harjee... long post... lotsa ground covered. But most of all, the chai and dip, dip was very close to my heart. Also the story that followed.
I'm a single living in Bihar and had a similar experience when i moved into patna from Sikkim a decade or more ago. My daily help was astounded that I could sit down to tea with him ... however there was a flip side -- a couple of my good friends stopped dropping in when they discovered that i don't keep 'cups and plates aside' for the servants... good ridance to them...

frank

Xpressions said...

Well wrtitten....
Agree with yr view point....

Rupali_Srivastava said...

Hey ,

Nice blog! It's sad that we have such divisions, and especially during marriage people insist on caste and sub caste and sub-sub-caste..I am positive about the young generation though and I am sure we will make a difference In times to come.

Rupali

Matahari said...

hee heew good fun.
Domestic humour....

still life said...

Beautifully written

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