Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Gangtok still under the shadow of casteism

Gangtok, 8 May: In the 21st century, even in the town like Gangtok to which the western culture has mostly engulfed the untouchability is still prevalent. Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi quotation “Inhuman boycott of human being” has been brushed off. The untouchability which had already come to an end in 19th Century in India with the social reform movement on the part of Swami Vivekananda, Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Mahatma Gandhi like great leaders.

Simon Paul Rai a young journalist says, “Even in the 21st century in this advance age only there is cosmetic change. The set of mind of the people haven’t changed at all, only their outer appearances have changed.” The cast system has rooted so deeply in the society let alone Hindu even in Christian the religion which at least does not give importance the untouchability the casteism has penetrated. “In Christian too while marriage they at first take into account of their matachable cast,” Rai says. “But it is right that like earlier in the olden days the casteism isn’t so effective.”

Champa Bardewa, the state president of Sikkim Dalit Sena, has also opinion like of Rai. She says, “I reside at Deorali one of the towns of Gangtok City Corporation, but the priests who worship at upper castes’ house hesitate to come to perform puja at my home because tomorrow they will be boycotted by the so-called upper caste.” But Champa Bardewa has also the answer of how to uproot the casteism from the society. “The schedule castes should be made economically viable and educated by the state by endorsing various scholarship and reservation.” She says. “Only then they will be recognized by the society.”

On the other hand Subash Sundas, the general secretary of All Sikkim Damain Samaj, don’t agree on the view of the formers. He thinks that the casteism has virtually vanished away from the society. “Every where we are free to go and come,” he says. But he adds the rider, “Yes, a bit of casteism is still prevalent in older generation but that will be remained no longer.”