What Mr. Gandhi wanted to say was that barrier to achieve a particular target was higher for the outcastes due to social stigmas and age-old caste-based inertias prevalent in Indian society. Put it differently, equally talented upper caste Hindus and outcastes could have different results, if they aspire for the same target with same determination and similar efforts.
Well, fine, upper caste Hindus, in fact most of the caste Hindus, have prejudices and biases against them, when it comes to outcastes. But to be consistent many Muslims too have nostalgia about the medieval Islamic rule. There is nothing wrong if it is confined to Muslims alone but in reality there are many things that Hindus don’t like and in fact many among them object many times.
Sure, present Muslims cannot be blamed for anything that Moguels and other hardcore Islamic rulers did to Hindus. That’s for sure and this is correct as well. To emphasize the point I am not at all supporter of disputed structure’s demolition way back in 1992, though I strongly think that the land belongs to Hindus and a grand Rama temple should be built with the majority-consent of Muslims in a rather quiet and peaceful way.
Even though I am nobody I would never support any discrimination against Muslims or against lower castes or outcastes. Why I have talked about the Ayodhya dispute is because I keep some affinity with saffron family’s end result without agreeing with their means. I want to be honest or else, the reference is not required.
Similarly, present caste Hindus cannot be blamed for the past apartheid that their ancestors did, but they don’t; at least so explicitly and overtly. For the utmost backwardness of outcastes and lower caste people, they are entitled to have affirmative actions, subsidies and other benefits.
Now as I have already said that since present Muslims cannot be blamed for anything that their medieval ancestors did, shouldn’t present Hindus also have equal ‘escape-the-argument’ criterion to let skeptics and critics judge their position over the matters concerning the status of outcastes in Hindu society?
Isn’t consistency a much needed property required in the present day India?
Before one misjudges I am not a supporter of caste system but I fully understand that it was Brahmanism along with ritualism which have made India that big as it exists today with significant Hindu majority.
It should be noted that India along with Israel, the South Korea, Singapore and Japan is the sole hope of democracy and free market based economic system together in Asia. That was not possible without India’s present demographic and geographic features.
Neither, I oppose Rahul Gandhi for any reason. He appears to be a rather reasonable person having some vision about the nation and the society. If he becomes the official Prime Ministerial hopeful from the INC side then the contest between him and the BJP’s hopeful Narendra Modi would be very interesting.
But I must remind all ‘saviors’ that they cannot enter the personal and social spaces of anyone; mind you anyone - from the richest to the poorest; from the fairest to the darkest; from Brahmins to Dalits.
India even though has its own social system but still majority of elite Indians follow Western ways of living. Now, edge cannot be undone with any legislation; whether it is Hindus’ edge or Muslims’ edge. But at the same time it does not mean maintaining the status quo and stifling and obstructing the required changes.
Sure, the changes must come but they should be consensual, slow and gradual and more importantly they should not affect the competitiveness and efficiency of India.
To remind everyone there never were nor are nor shall be, individuals so big that they affect and intrude into people’s personal spaces in India. It was outside the domain of absolute rulers, if there were few in any period of time in India. If few try they will loose the trust of almost everyone, except the beneficiary classes, with violations of legislative or executive laws becoming norms.
Again, I don’t support caste apartheid but I must remind that one should take only that much which rightfully belongs to him and her. There is hardly any chance of redistribution of wealth and resources in India, in times those that I can see.
Raising taxes and increasing subsidies for either populism or for doing justice and bringing equity may not always be economically viable and it will most certainly affect the competitiveness of Indian markets and their players; big and small both.