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Legal recognition for casteism

Legal recognition for casteism

Of late, three separate incidents reveal the depth of casteism deeply rooted in our country’s social systems.

One of them is BJP national president Amit Shah’s racial insults against Mahatma Gandhi and the approach of the media towards the incident. That the ideology of the hardcore right wing politics led by Sangh Parivar is caste-based isn’t something that’s ambiguous. They have, many a times, during the period of reservation protests, declared it overtly and without any inhibitions. The humiliating remark against the Father of the Nation is a non-bailable offence according to law. The national media instead of making the insulting remark by the ruling party’s national president a subject of a serious public discussion and pressurizing the government into taking legal actions, have tried to trivialize the matter to a mere Congress-BJP scuffle. At a time when the upper-class social system have gained a rare supremacy over all major power centres, there are several incidents that showed the ‘self-censorship’ adopted by the media becoming humiliating examples of bowing down to the government. However, more than the silence prompted from the fear and apprehensions over the harassment by the government, the fact that it’s the caste interests of the media outlets, that’s most of the time the crux of unilateral reporting, is more frightening.

Second incident is the recent verdict of Hyderabad High Court judge justice B Siva Sankara Rao. Rajasthan High Court Judge Mahesh Chandra Sharma had recommended that cow should be declared as national animal. It shows that suggestions like that of Sharma aren’t isolated ones and also hints at stranger recommendations that are yet to pop up from the country’s court rooms. After the curbs imposed by the Centre on the sale of cattle for slaughter, the feverishness, to legally recognise the moral concepts of the elite class communities along with the subservience to the government, can be seen in the observations and rulings of different courts. The court argument that the cow could be considered as a ‘substitute to mother who was a substitute to God’, came while considering an appeal by a cattle trader Ramavath Hamuna who was punished for keeping cattle at his residence for selling them to slaughterhouses. It’s high time we questioned the source of law from which such biased verdicts are spawned. It’s because at a time when it has become clear that the judges who form the essence of judiciary themselves display a casteist mentality, investigating the ‘caste’ of the courts becomes an essential necessity for upholding the value of judicial system. A court's recent remark that the slaughter of cattle during the Eid-ul-Adha is not a fundamental right of Muslims in the country was in a case that had nothing to do with the topic. Instead of making one think about the definition of court rules, such remarks prompt doubts about the casteist interests of the judges turning into their verdicts.

Third incident is the indifference and justifications of the political parties in Kerala towards untouchability existing in Govindapuram Ambedkar colony that is celebrating the 100th anniversary of community feast. The left wing ruling the panchayat is unable to appropriately resolve the social evil that’s being practiced in the village. The approaches of the Left wing parties at the national level towards the beef protests in Kerala also reinforces the upper-class caste mentality. In short, the statements, indifferences and laxity of the media outlets, courts and political parties confirm the miserable reality that it would take centuries for the caste groups branded as lower class to achieve individual equality and a social order sans caste rooted in equality. All these incidents signal that the Hindutwa forces are successful in creating a situation where there is general recognition and legal backing for the likes and dislikes of the elite class in the Indian society. The three instances plainly prove that the obstacles before the protests of the Dalits and the minorities to become a complete human being, aren’t that small.

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