Monday, 14 July 2014

Questions on caste and education and occupation

... where I had mentioned the utter damage schooling has done to rural children, leaving them neither fit for village activities, or other dream jobs, one youngster came to me. 

 'Madam, but you all say you are looking for alternatives. In the past did not village occupations exist in an integrated way in village communities'. I told him I agreed completely. Then he dared to step further, 'Did not the caste system integrate occupations in a sustainable manner ?'. I again told him I concurred completely, and also felt that while untouchability was a cardinal sin, the caste system was being linked with it and was wrongly maligned. I told him that I also agreed that it had vast strengths. And some distortions which needed corrections. 

He was emboldened, and said, 'I think the caste system was 95% valid', and then looking at me, ventured, "Actually 100% ... only some corrections needed'.

I was impressed that in a day and time when caste is a bad word, a yougnster in his twenties had been able to think on his own and form a clear and different opinion ... there is scope for an honest and indepth search. And an urgent need also.

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