It failed to realise that the castes condemned to social denigration would produce saints and intellectuals like Maharishi Balmiki, Sant Ravidas and Kabir. On the other hand, the people of the so-called upper castes started taking things easy and stopped hard work because they felt that their social and economic position was safe. This led to lethargy on their part and to slavery of India by foreign invaders.
Now the political parties are perpetuating the same caste system by making reservations for Dalits in the government jobs irrespective of whether the parents of such Dalits are socially and economically well off or not. Most of the political parties do it for votes. Some of them feel that we have to provide a level playing field for the Dalits by providing reservations to them as they have been exploited for centuries.
Even if the arguments put forward by these parties are conceded, there is still the question of gender bias in the matter of reservations. If a man from so-called upper caste marries a woman from a Dalit caste, his children are not given reservations while if a man from the Dalit caste marries a woman from the so-called upper caste, his children are provided reservations.
So my plea is there should be no reservations on the basis of caste and in case, such reservations have to be made, there should be no gender bias in them. This would also promote national integration. I would even suggest that all reservations on caste basis be abolished except one time reservations for them who marry a man or woman of the so-called lower caste. This would really promote national integration.
Due to the reservation policy of the government and also owing to their own efforts, some of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes persons have become eminent personalities in their fields like Ram Vilas Paswan, Babu Lal Marandi, Buta Singh, Arjun Munda, Bangaru Laxman and many others. They have joined the elite class along with many other IAS officers etc. belonging to SC and ST but the tragedy is that most of the nearly 23 per cent of country's population comprising the SC and ST remains poor and unlooked for.
The elite persons of these classes just neglect their fellow beings and concentrate on attaining their personal gains. It is left to the Christian missionaries to help out the poor people belonging to these castes and tribes. However, these Christian missionaries are accused of converting these poor helpless people.
Before pointing out an accusing finger at these missionaries, we should search into our own souls and see to it that we people belonging to other religions and particularly those amongst us who are at the helm of affairs and belong to SC and ST categories, help our brethren in need and ensure that these poor amongst the poor rise above the poverty level and become useful members of the Indian society having skills and literacy.