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India's obsession: 'what caste are you?'
Where should I start or how should I start screaming to those casteists in this country? My high pitched voice can never be audible to all these Indians even if I take assistance of the most efficient public address system.

Allow me to use the cliffs of the tallest mountains in India so that I can beg the skies to shower a casteless society. Let these castes flow away in the ocean of my tears. I dream for a day when my ears won’t have to hear the word ‘caste’. Let all those glasses of caste break into pieces.

Day by day it’s getting tougher to digest the question of ‘what caste are you?’ And it’s becoming much tougher when my own friends started tagging their caste to their names which was not found earlier. How conscious they are!? Of course, they are the burgeoning youth of the nation who want to build a better nation without the knowledge casteist devils. Some claim they don’t like caste system but still tag their caste at the end of their names.

I stayed in a house to attend a series of examinations in a distant place (a town, rather a district headquarter) for a week. The first question I was asked by my landlady, aged around 40, was my caste. And she was so eager to tell what hers was. Of course, she doesn’t know that she was suffering from ‘castemania’. She couldn’t resist asking.

One summer afternoon while I was browsing my Facebook account, I could see my friend’s post which was neatly and colorfully made in a PageMaker titled ‘his name’ ‘his sir name’ ‘his caste name’. He was born and brought-up in two different regions of Andhra Pradesh. On one side his caste comes under backward classes and the other side it comes under the unreserved category (the upper castes). He uses OBC certificate to claim reservations and occasionally tags his upper caste name to enjoy the social respect. However, that post was out of my sight after few days.

My girlfriend turned friend (of course, I am not her boyfriend, she neither has one) recently replaced her sir name with a name that can easily identify her caste. A jovial and fun making bubbly girl fell in the trap of the ‘casteism’ unknowingly. She proudly says that she wants to follow the trend of Ravi Shastri. I don’t know whether she is aware or unaware of the cruelties of caste but she was infected with it. These tags are so tempting. Reddy, Banerjee, Chatterjee, Goud, Yadav, Chowdhary, Raju, Aiyar, Nair, Shastri, Naik and many like these.

Not all the people can tag the caste name whichever they like, but only those who were born with it. Tagging is a sign of domination over other castes. Tagging is a symbol of authoritarian attitude. Tagging is a principle of magnetizing the same caste people leading to favoritism and nepotism. Tagging is like strengthening the casteist attitudes of the people. And my girlfriend cannot tag a ‘yadav’ to her name as she doesn’t belong to that caste. If it is the birth of a man that decides his caste then it is both ‘birth’ and ‘marriage’ (if she marries out of her caste) for a girl that shows her caste. She has to get it from the male.

I was so shocked to see my junior, who is a 10th class student, writing in a post on his Facebook that “Reddy – it’s not a caste but a character”. We can look at him how deeply it was injected into his mind about the sense of being casteist. After all he is a tenth class student. One of my friends tagged her name with ‘Malhotra’ (a kshatriya clan of north India) and updated her Facebook profile with this tag. After two months, she removed it and replaced it with ‘bai’ (who actually she was).

Generally, most of those people who are tagging these names are the so-called upper castes of India or the people who are in the top echelons of this social order who only occupy very less portion of the population of the country. Three fourth of those people who tag castes at the end of their names want to show “they are above all” - above all means above the rest of the other castes whose great grand parents worked under those upper caste rulers. They want to retain it. They want to spread the same to their next generations. Cruel intentions.

I hope for a day to let this casteist mindset be changed and the hierarchal order comes to a horizontal order where all castes are treated as one or for an entire casteless society and let that be “India- Untagged”.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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sandeep reddy
hi shiva, you just concluded that only the upper castes were tagging. Being a Navodayan I have few questions to ask you ( I belong to upper caste but my economic status was so weak that I coundn't have my graduation either if am not a navodayan). 1.When am in Navodaya though I have a tag it didn't reminded me of my caste but once I was out of navaodaya, there started the actual problem of caste reminding.starting from the application fee of EAMCET to the allotment of seats (because of which I had to quit the ambition of becoming a cardiologist), this is the first time I was taught that I belong to upper caste so I must not dream big with my current economic status. 2.So leaving aside my ambition I wished to join in BSc, there got a second stroke in terms of college fee. few of my fellow navodayans have joined in the same college and they admitted for free ( just the reason is they get scholarship, surprising thing is their economic status is much higher,(either or both of their parents have a govt job) still they get scholarship and study for free. but for my case I have to pay the complete fee ( though my parents were farmers and living below poverty line) there are many more experiences which reminded me that I belong to an upper caste (I don't know why all think upper caste people are all rich) so that I am not eligible for any thing even though I top in my college and in top 10 for MSc entrance exams. how could I have a different mindset if they keep on reminding me that you belong to upper caste which means you are not at all eligible for any thing. I must not say this but the funniest thing is now a days all people are tagging themselves with their caste but when an upper caste fellow calls a lower caste fellow with their caste name( even if they are friends) they can book a ATROSITY CASE but they can call upper caste people what ever the way they want and that wont be a problem and the upper caste should take it lightly and must go on.. and if you observe easily you can identify who is "they are above all" concept, who is becoming lower..????
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