Saturday, October 10, 2009

Rahul Gandhi and Caste System in India

Rahul Gandhi is considered as the future Prime Minister of India. In fact, I wont get surprised he becomes the head of the country within the next 10 years. He is from the Nehru-Gandhi family and that is perhaps he has more chance of becoming the future Prime Minister than any other leader in the Congress Party. Of course, India is a democratic country and it is the people who ultimately decide. So, I have nothing against Rahul if the people vote for him today or tomorrow. Even I like to admire him for starting a debate about the caste system in India. Recently, he visited, ate and even stayed in a Dalit home.
About definition of Dalit, Wikipedia wrote:
Dalit is a self-designation for a group of people traditionally regarded as low caste or untouchables (outcastes). Dalits are a mixed population of numerous caste groups all over South Asia, and speak various languages. It is impossible to differentiate between Dalits and the various other caste groups on the basis of phenotypes or genetics.[5] Consequently, population statistics remain controversial and are often subject to political agendas.

Some opposition leaders have strongly criticized this action by Rahul Gandhi by stating that it was merely a political stunt. Rahul has strongly defended himself this way:
“Those who never visited Dalit homes, the homes of poor and rural people and farmers, only took the slogans from television".

Caste System is perhaps the number one problem in India and it is a shame to a democratic and civilized country like India. I hope that Rahul Gandhi takes some good initiatives to this bad thing. Of course, other leaders and parties have to support him. The main problem is that in some states of northern India, elections are fought on caste calculation. So, the political leaders would not want it to go away as it would put their future in jeopardy. More leaders like Rahul Gandhi are needed at this moment.
Granted, caste issues are a reality in rural areas. But, while the perception of caste does exist in urban areas as well, it's economic issues which hold the key there. And a look at population projections reveals that the share of the urban population in India is expected to reach 40 per cent by 2021. By as early as 2011, urban areas could contribute around 65 per cent of GDP. This is why it becomes necessary to frame the question of poverty and social backwardness in economic rather than caste terms. Given the overlap between economic backwardness and caste in rural areas, focusing on the former will chip away at the foundations of discrimination based on the latter as well.

There is no doubt that this problem is not going to disappear in India in near future. However, what is bad is that strong political will is lacking among the parties. 


  1. any system that divide people should b condemoned, caste system is defin8ly 1 of them, but sadly I don't see it changing in near future, coz even young people in INDIA (specially frm rural & semi-urban areas)believe in it,& people frm urban areas just talk that they'll change this rubbish,I think it's hightime 2 walk the talk.I would like 2 urge 2 my fellow countrymen that "luving sum1 doesn't necessarily mean hating others"

  2. Caste System is a beautiful system of India. Please note this system has acheived what Govt. of India failed in economic survival, housing,education,health and social development. Caste system should be encouraged and helped because in this system people become self reliant and develop a family line of skills. It is a sad thing that this Indian system of development of humanity without any cost to the exchequer is loosing. Even so many castes are developing well!!!!!!!!!