How does the concept of ‘Law’ fit into Caste System ?
Law & Practice
According to the constitution of India, India is a Sovereign, Secular, Democratic Republic.While the de-jure position is amply clear, what is the de facto position? Is the country secular and democratic as claimed and declared? Does rule of law prevail or rule of religion prevail?Let us examine.
Interpretation As A Powerful Weapon!
After completing the longest Constitution in the world,written after studying 70 constitutions , Dr.B.R. Ambedkar, Chair Man of the Drafting Committee, remarked ‘If after all these checks and balances,the constitution does not work,well ,let us remember that man can be vile..’ His expectation regarding the vile nature of man did materialise, with our legal experts diluting the constitutional provisions through’ tricky’ interpretations.
‘No’ means ‘Yes’!
The word ‘secular’ played into the hands of our legal experts. Oxford English Dictionary authoritatively defines’ Secular ‘as ‘ Not connected with religious or spiritual matters. But our Authorities over- ruled the Oxford and defined’ Secular’ and defined it as ‘relating to all religions’. Its like interpreting a clear’ No’ as sure ‘ Yes’! This small trick is a great leap for the religious forces to pierce through the formidable firewalls of the Constitution. Religious forces displaced the throne.
Result- utter chaos, hatred, harassment of minorities,beef on ban etc. Today the nation is at the brink of disaster due to a small trick of interpretation.
Collapse Of The Rule Of Law.
A series of such tricky interpretations has robbed the Constitution of its chastity and today the rule of law in India appears to be a distant dream. But it does not mean “ law” does not work in India!
What ‘law works and what law cannot work in India?
Three Types Of Law In India.
Those who keenly observe India, would have noted that everything in India is subordinate to one Supreme Power. Don’t ever think that the Supreme Power is God! That supreme power is nothing other than the great Caste System!
Anything, including “law” inconsistent with the Caste System does not work, what ever you do,however best you try! The opposite is also true. That is ,anything that strengthens the Caste System works very well even without any “law”supporting it or inspite of a ‘law’ against it!
So, in India, these are 3 types of Law, as under:
Type 1: Mandatory “law”
Which has to be carried out, against all odds. This category may or may not have legal backing. But it surely works. This category can work against legal “law” also.
Eg.Government opens a new building.There is no ‘law’ that you should perform a ‘pooja’ while opening a new building.In fact there is ‘law’ that says that India is ‘secular’.But nothing can deter any one from this ritual and no Government scheme is launched without a ‘pooja’ preceding it!
The CS has a powerful parallel or superseding legal system which is enforced much more effectively than the constitutional legal system. Recently a kangaroo court in Uttarpradesh ordered “rape of two sisters belonging to Dalit community” as a punishment for inter-caste marriage! Imagine the guts with which such sentences are passed in a country which has the longest written constitution in the world.The peer enforcement mechanism in such cases is much more effective than the legal enforcement machinery of the Government.
Type 2: Enacted “law” which is beneficial to Caste System will be enforced
There are hundreds of laws in our statute book.Not all laws are equally enforced.But ‘laws’ which strengthen Caste System is always enforced by the concerned.
Eg.Pollution Control Laws are never enforced against the offenders,as the industrialists owning the units are always ‘upper castes’ but a simple phone call from some one prompted a raid on Kerala Bhavan, for allegedly serving ‘beef’!
Type 3:Enacted law which is inconsistent or against Caste System.
This’ law’can be treated as good as’ dead law’.This ‘law’ dies as soon as it is born !It cannot be enforced at all even after exhausting all available legal avenues.At every level there is stiff resistance against its enforcement.It is very interesting to know how it works this way.
Eg.Let us take a case of an atrocity committed against a Dalit and he goes to the Police Station to file a complaint.The Scheduled Castes And The Scheduled Tribes (Prevention Of Atrocities)Act, 1989 requires the officials to register the complaint promptly and says ” 4. Whoever, being a public servant but not being a member of a Scheduled for neglect Caste or a Scheduled Tribe, willingly neglects his duties required to be performed of duties by him under this Act, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to one year.” But practically the complaint is no complaint is registered and more over the Dalit making the complaint ,is often harassed for making the complaint.
At every stage of the proceedings,the Dalit finds stiff resistance.Suppose he stands firm and fights his way through till the end,he finds the case dismissed on ‘fancy’ grounds !
In Tamil Nadu ,one dalit adolescent girl was raped,murdered and buried in the sand in Cuddalore District.Her hands were showing out through the sand and people who saw this ,reported to police.The case was taken up,proceeded and finally closed by the Police as a case of ‘suicide’!How did the Police believe that a girl could committ ‘suicide’,then dig a deep pit,then crawl into it and bury herself into it , showing her hands out? The CasteSystem made them believe this incredible story !
- Media’s Major Role in Shaping The Caste System
Since media is a major instrument used for maintaining the Caste Dharma,media can ill afford to be true to the happenings around.The media has over a period of time,developed an inherent tendency to project events in a way that would strengthen the CS in some way or other.
Eg.In the 70s ,once a candidate who belonged to low-caste Dalit (named C. S. Das,if my memory serves me right)secured 8th rank in the Open List of the All India Civil Services Examination. Now,when media got wind of this info,they chose to suppress it completely ,as it conflicts with the CS propaganda that Dalits have no brains or merit .However,despite their best efforts,truth did leak out,but not many would know it!
A few years back,when the huts belonging to Dalits, in a village down in southern Tamil Nadu were torched,the Dalits decided to retaliate, with protests after a day of the incident.A leading English national paper published from Chennai ,carried the following headlines’Dalits on the rampage in ……’ The last line in the report casually mentioned’It may be noted that the caste Hindus in the village had torched a few huts belonging to Dalits two days back ‘. What one need to understand is that the paper has not published the first incident of torching the huts at all,as it is not ‘press-worthy’ in its eyes!
- Is ‘Exploitation’ an essential part of Caste System ?
Exploitation is an essential part of CS. The Caste Dharma demands servitude of the Shudra Castes and Dalits to the upper castes. So CS justifies’ exploitation’ as’ natural and normal’.
Eg. When Government instructed Public Sector Banks to provide business loans to SCs for their livelihood, some enterprising youngsters availed the facility. Most of such units failed because the upper castes’ refused to patronize the units. One young Dalit running a Cycle Hire Shop in a village, complained that all upper castes did patronize and were hiring his cycles, but not paying even a Paise, for the use! He felt utterly helpless against high caste customers under whom his caste serves. Soon the unit became sick for no fault of his! But a systematic propaganda that Dalits are not capable of running was let loose,to prevent further finance by the Banks!
- Caste System,sure Kills Conscience!
CS slowly kills conscience. As narrated in the fore-going case, if conscience is present, one will not refuse to pay after hiring the cycle.Conscience is bound to prick.
Few decades back ,a well known music maestro of Tamil Nadu ,donated Rs 13 lacs for the renovation work of the famous Sri Rangam Temple at Sri Rangam. Money was received promptly and used for the renovation work.But when the renovation was completed and inauguration was done ,the donor was not invited, as he is a Dalit ! He is ‘untouchable’ but his money is not !
- Forgiveness has no place in CS!
CS encourages vengeance for any action against the individual or caste for any action that is perceived as intentional insult against caste. Nothing is accepted as a possible mistake. So there is no place for forgiveness in the CS and vengeance is almost a ‘certain’ consequence for any perceived offence.This spirit of vengeance can last for even 100 years in some incidents !
- What is Gratitute ?
CS defines that ‘Dharma’ is carrying out one’s caste duties without expecting any recognition or reward ..So there is no space for the quality of ‘Gratitude’ in the ‘Dharma’dispensation. ‘Gratitude’is nothing but recognizing something good done by somebody to us and feeling thankful to him for it. There is no provision for doing something good to anyone in CS and hence no provision for gratitude also. In other words,CS is ‘good proof’ ! If some one oversteps and does something good to anyone, CS does not allow the ‘recipient’ of the benefit, to thank them.
Eg. Prior to the advent of the British rule in India,the CS did not allow any access to education for the the poor non- Brahmins. But the British decided against such a discrimination and opened the ’education to all the castes including the Dalits in India. How grateful should every beneficiary feel towards those who made available quality education to all for free ? But even national leaders who studied in English schools and enjoyed the benefits often speak against Christianity and the British.
Sashi Tharoor went to the extent of claiming reparations for British exploitation of India,in a language that they taught him ! Why ? It is not him to be blamed but the CS that ensures that no one feels grateful when they enjoy any benefit .
Let me share an incident to illustrate this attitude. When I was serving as a Senior Executive in a PSB, I had to cancel a particular Banquet Meet fixed ,due to some unforeseen circumstances.I did not want the lavish dinner I had arranged for the meet to go waste and so invited some poor workers residing in the area ,to enjoy the dinner.They all came,sat and silently enjoyed the dinner.When they left NOT A SINGLE SOUL chose to thank me for the gesture of providing the dinner !They do not know what a ‘thanks’ mean and why they should ‘thank’.I won’t blame them but blame the CS that controls them.
- “Merit” according to CS means………..
Caste System has no place for’ merit’ as ‘merit’ is inherently attributed and reserved only to Brahmins who constitute just 5% of the society .By continuous propaganda , all people are made to believe that other castes do not or cannot have ‘merit’ what ever they do.This propaganda is so powerful ,even the target group themselves are made to believe that they have no brains !
What happens if some’ news ‘going against this propaganda leaks out ? Ramar Pillai, a Dalit village scientist from Tamil Nadu,invented a method of extracting petrol from herbs. Even though he proved the process before scientists of IIT Madras, the entire Indian intellectuals mocked at him and humiliated him on grounds of his low caste.Later the same process has got approved but not credited to him! Similarly while selecting sports persons ,low caste people are ignored even if they are excellent performers.Fishermen are excellent swimmers but never selected for swimming contests of national or international levels,as they winning in international events may add to the nation’s pride but tilt the CS apple-cart !.
By Sundar A.S