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Day 61- Ques Ans

What we know today as ‘caste’ is more a product of colonialism than of ancient Indian traditions. Do you agree? Which British interventions led to the strengthening of the caste system in India? Discuss.

Cast system started in ancient Vedic period where the sole purpose of caste was to divide based on employment. In post Vedic period it has changed its face and today what we see it is mix of Indian practice and contribution by British system. Colonization has contributed to it but they did “value addition” on the system as per their requirement to strengthen their rule in India. British practice which provoked caste system was-

  • Armed force management- they started on the basis of caste, region, and religion intentionally so it divided Indians among them.
  • Divide and Rule policy- not only at princely level, but at society level also they play this policy and provoked caste to divide Indian society.
  • Governance policy- census in 1872 was caste basis; voting representation was based on religious basis and caste basis. Railway system also influenced by same.
  • Grouping- British Raj provoked grouping on caste basis to make Indian struggle weaken from inside.
  • Initial social changes- like custom change of old Indian traditions, although were very progressing steps but that time it was more for strengthen them self rather bring any positive change in society.
  • Minority representation- started from 1909, they allowed separate representation in 1932, a dangers move to divide Indian society on caste basis.

It is true British policy used cast system but it was Indian culture that provided them a solid base, so reform was also possible form inside, Jyotiba Fule movement, Abdedkar ji contribution, Gandhi Ji life time struggle, justice movement in south, and then Indian constitution has done a lot to break the social evil.

Tribal identity today is centered on ideas of resistance and opposition to the overwhelming force of the non-tribal world. Comment.

Tribal or “Adiwasi” word mean a group represents thousands year old society which belongs to same place, culture, and have unique way of life. If it get threaten by external force by any name like development, than resistance is a natural reaction. Today in India, tribal seen as identity of resistance because-

  • No proper representation- as promised in constitution, still they have not get it as right and no major tribal leader in Indian has emerged at national level to put their perspective.
  • Way of life- tribal life is cohesive with nature. If it get threaten as in Niamgiri, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, and Andman, they feel threaten and stand against it. Naxalite movement is one glaring example of it.
  • Different perspective for development- the development theory what majority understand today, it get imposed on tribal way of life after independence without proper communication and other social development. So they feel it as burden and stand against it.
  • Extension of colonization- many ways like forest policy, land policy, and social development, state largely failed to ensure visible difference form past colonial rule so still today they are in resistance mode.
  • Heavy price for development- for any new mining, new dam, new infrastructure development, it is tribal who pay maximum price. Naramada movement is one example.

To bring the change in scenario not only central government or state government we all citizen have to change our mindset towards tribal community and few change we need to bring. Respect for their culture, wisdom, traditional art, food, and sustain way of live we need to learn from them.

There is no unity in diversity. Rather unity coexists with diversity in India. Elaborate.

India is a home of all major sects following people and major religions like Hindu, Jain, and Buddhism get evolve here. Thousand of languages flourished here, food habits, dressing, natural diversity, cultural practices; all are symbols of Indian diversity. But this diversity is not real symbol of unity but its existence and nurturing throughout the history is real beauty of India. It can father understand as

  • Historical bondage- within the nation and with other nations is unique feature of Indian history which strengthens the unity in diversity in spite of all debacles
  • National movement- which is represented by all section of society across the nation to fight against British raj, provide great legacy to independent country.
  • Indian constitution- which provide ample space for diversity to sustain and make enough provisions so it get respect by government system. Preamble justifies it beautifully.
  • Indian federal structure- which represent all states, treat each state equally, and have mechanism to represent voice of every individual in society.
  • Indian festivals and culture- across the nation different regional festivals Indian celebrates with respect and many festivals, temples, events are great instrument to bring all together like Holi, Eid, and Kumbha festival.

Diversity and unity both are parallel throughout Indian history. Unfortunately it is getting diluted in the name of narrow political issues like water supply between states, food habit of a religion, religion practices, language basis, urban vs rural debate, son of soil Theory and so on. We must remember Indian sustained because of diversity, this core strength of Indian society we need to pass coming generations successfully

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 is a step in the right direction and was much due in the Indian social context. Discuss.

Transgender represents a minor population but very significant part of our society. Their total population is around 5 lakh but the social development is much below than any other section of society. In that context, new Transgender protection bill  has following measurements-

1-Definition to transgender- after LGBT movement across world many get confuse about scientific transgender definition; this bill helps to clear it.

2-Certification of identity- the most significant challenge till recently get address in the bill and first time UPSC exam, Delhi university and many institutes has provided option for third gender with male and female as gender.

3-Strict action against discrimination- the bill provide whole range of protection to transgender like education, employment, health, right to move, right to rent and reside and so on. So it ensures legal protection for transgender section and provision for strict action against office.

4-Welfare measurement- like financial inclusion, rehabilitation, take care centers, promote skill development, benefits of PDS, and other social welfare schemes are direct by it.

These changes were long due in India because

1- Sexual, physical, psychological harassment of transgender community is common.

2- Issue like social security, health issues, dignity in society, are they missing largely.

3- Application of constitutional right was in practice was long due for them.

indeed it is a welcoming bill after long time, but it will be success if get proper implementation with more social awareness, political rights, and open discussion on transgender issues. Transgender also need to be legally aware for their rights to use it so only it will transform to successful mass movement.


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