From day before yesterday, I am disturbed about Ilavarasan’s death. He was a “so called” lower caste boy who married a “so called” upper caste girl, Divya. After political influences, court cases, Divya went back to her parents. Ilavarasan was devastated and he was found dead on railway track near Dharmapuri yesterday. Police are investigating. This Hindu article can give you complete account of what happened.
He was a victim of rampant casteism that’s prevailing in India, especially Tamil Nadu. You can ask me, why this death has affected me more than thousands of deaths because of casteism. Ilavarasan is like Nirbhaya. As she represented the thousands of rape victims, Ilavarasan represents the victims of casteism in my state.
But over these two days, while thinking about this issue, it occurred to me that what’s the difference between those caste politicking politicians and us. Nothing. In a way, we are closet casteists who subtly practice this consciously. A silent bloodless violence.
We are not ashamed of putting our caste behind our names like badges of honour. We claim that it’s an identity. We are not ashamed of creating caste based groups/friendships wherever we go. We don’t have the spine to go against our parents and marry a person from another caste. And those parents who taught us the eponymous Bharathiyar song taunt us when we propose to marry from another caste or religion. We don’t raise our voices when you see a silent casteist remark or discrimination based on castes. We don’t have the strength to oppose the oldies in the house when they curse you for befriending a other caste boy/girl. We shamelessly accept our parents to post a caste based matrimonial ad saying “***** caste only apply”. We are shameless closet casteists who will not openly discriminate but subtly discriminate in our daily lives. We discriminate at work. We discriminate in every possible way in every possible place. Untouchability of a different kind.
But openly criticise these caste groups just to show off that we are against caste. Probably, write a “letter to the editor” with your casteist name prominently printed. We also discourse how reservation is unfair but at the same time make sure we pick up candidates from our community in our offices for work. Competitions, business, friendships everything are based on our community but we talk about caste discrimination.
We don’t care a damn about these types of casteism. We are bloody worried about Ilavarasan and Divya whose love was murdered. We call it crime against humanity. We fool ourselves that we are not like “them” without even accepting that we are no better than them. Don’t even come up with the argument of religion here, every damn religion has different communities and we openly discriminate.
We don’t have any right to criticise those people who kill based on their caste. At least they have the guts to openly tell their castes are important. We are hypocrites who have our caste in our head and stay inside the closet. We should talk about casteism when we shed that caste from our head, from our life, when we can see people equal, when we don’t discriminate and then talk about caste politics.
The first thing in solving a problem is to accept there is one. We as individuals practice casteism. And let’s accept that we discriminate.Until then, let’s shut the **** up…
Note 1: There is no word “casteist” in any dictionary. Casteism is approved word in Oxford Dictionary
Note 2: I am personally a non-believer and I don’t follow any religion, caste, community, race or anything.
Note 3: I haven’t posted any pics because this article is about every caste and every individual.