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pogo

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pogo

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Posted: 08 March 2010 at 6:46am | IP Logged


 Condition of 'women' and 'backward classes' in India after 6 decades of independence 






History:

Dravidians the earliest inhabitants of the country had a well structured administrative and social system thousands of years back, before the advent of Aryans.  Women had a very important role in the society. When Aryans who were nomads, reached India they were amazed at what they saw here.  Well structured economy, cities, flourishing trade, art forms.( best example is Indus Valley civilization) Aryans being a warrior clan defeated the peaceloving Dravidians without much effort. What happened then? Social system started degrading. Condition of women and backward classes became worse with the passage of time. Sati, untouchability and all such barbarian customs evolved and lead to the stagnation of society.


Present:

   In India 95% of prominent public representatives, corporate leaders and top bureaucrats are 'men' belonging to forward castes. Why? Why dont we have more representation from members of 'backward castes' and from among 'women'. Backward classes constitute majority of the countries population. Brahmins constitute a very small minority of less than 5% of India's population. But they hold majority of the powerful positions even after 60 years of independance. Why? Why women and backward classes are segregated from power and wealth? Remember the words of the great revolutionary, 'Bhagat Singh' : "Once the british leave, the elite classes will take up their position and continue exploiting the masses."

 

                   Some great reformers emerged from backward communities during the british rule including  Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Sree Narayana Guru (whom even Mahathma Gandhi considered as a guru) E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker, Jyotiba Phule e.t.c. These powerful leaders tried to reform the society. They tried to uplift their downtrodden brethen through various movements. Ambedkar recommended mass conversion to Buddhism to escape the shackles of caste system. Sree Narayana Guru gave the slogan "One caste, one religion, one god for man". Many of the social reform movements which occurred at the same time as our freedom movement saw success mainly in South India. In North India all such movements were crushed by the landlord class. Today the states which can boast of least caste based and gender based discrimination are Kerala and Andra Pradesh.

 What is happening in other Indian states?


Atrocities against backward classes (Source: Wikipedia)

Rajasthan

In Rajasthan, between the years 1999 and 2002, crimes against Dalits average at about 5024 a year, with 46 killings and 138 cases of rape. In January 2007, a Jat girl was thrown into a canal near the border with Haryana for marrying a Dalit boy, although she swam to shore and was rescued by strangers.

 

Bihar

Ranvir Sena is an caste-supremacist fringe paramilitary group based in Bihar. The group is based amongst the forward-caste landlord, and carries out actions against the outlawed naxals in rural areas. It has committed violent acts against Dalits and other members of the scheduled caste community in an effort to scuttle reform movements aimed at their emancipation.

 

Punjab

On the evening of January 5, 2006 Bant Singh, a poor Sikh Dalit, was attacked by unknown assailants. His injuries necessitated medical amputation. He alleges that this was in retaliation for actively working to secure justice for his daughter, who was gang raped by upper caste members of his village in Punjab five years earlier.

A 55-year-old Dalit Sikh woman, Sawinder Kaur has been tortured, stripped and tied to a tree in Ram Duali village of Punjab because her nephew eloped with a girl from the same community. The police arrested four persons for allegedly committing the crime on 9 September 2007.

In January, 1999 four members of the village panchayat of Bhungar Khera village in Abohar paraded a handicapped Dalit woman naked through the village. No action was taken by the police, despite local Dalit protests. It was only on July 20 that the four pancha yat members were arrested, after the State Home Department was compelled to order an inquiry into the incident.

In Amritsar, a Sikh mother of four children, Gurmeet Kaur was allegedly paraded naked by a father and son duo at the bus station of Jhamaka village falling under Chabhal police station on Sunday.

A Dalit Sikh woman, Sukhwinder Kaur of Sumel Kheri village was molested and beaten up by an octroi contractor of Malaudh when she resisted his attempt to sexually exploit her.

 

Maharashtra

On September 29, 2006, four members of the Bhotmange family belonging to the DalitBhandara district of Maharashtra. The women of the family, Surekha and Priyanka, were paraded naked in public, then allegedly gang-raped before being murdered. 

 

 

 

Atrocities against women (Source: Wikipedia)

Dowry

A 1997 report claimed that at least 5,000 women die each year because of dowry deaths, and at least a dozen die each day in 'kitchen fires' thought to be intentional. The term for this is "bride burning" and is criticized within India itself. Amongst the urban educated, such dowry abuse has reduced considerably.

Child marriage

Child marriage has been traditionally prevalent in India and continues to this day. Historically, young girls would live with their parents till they reached puberty. In the past, the child widows were condemned to a life of great agony, shaving heads, living in isolation, and shunned by the society. Although child marriage was outlawed in 1860, it is still a common practice.

According to UNICEF's "State of the World's Children-2009" report, 47% of India's women aged 20'24 were married before the legal age of 18, with 56% in rural areas. The report also showed that 40% of the world's child marriages occur in India.

Female infanticides and sex selective abortions

India has a highly masculine sex ratio, the chief reason being that many women die before reaching adulthood. Tribal societies in India have a less masculine sex ratio than all other caste groups. This, in spite of the fact that tribal communities have far lower levels of income, literacy and health facilities. It is therefore suggested by many experts, that the highly masculine sex ratio in India can be attributed to female infanticides and sex-selective abortions.

All medical tests that can be used to determine the sex of the child have been banned in India, due to incidents of these tests being used to get rid of unwanted female children before birth. Female infanticide (killing of girl infants) is still prevalent in some rural areas. The abuse of the dowry tradition has been one of the main reasons for sex-selective abortions and female infanticides in India.

Domestic violence

The incidents of domestic violence are higher among the lower Socio-Economic Classes (SECs) The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 came into force on October 26, 2006.

Trafficking

The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act was passed in 1956. However many cases of trafficking of young girls and women have been reported. These women are either forced into prostitution, domestic work or child labor.

Other concerns

Health

The average female life expectancy today in India is low compared to many countries, but it has shown gradual improvement over the years. In many families, especially rural ones, the girls and women face nutritional discrimination within the family, and are anaemic and malnourished.

The maternal mortality in India is the second highest in the world. Only 42% of births in the country are supervised by health professionals. Most women deliver with help from women in the family who often lack the skills and resources to save the mother's life if it is in danger. According to UNDP Human Development Report (1997), 88% of pregnant women (age 15-49) were found to be suffering from anemia.

Family planning

The average woman in rural areas of India has little or no control over her reproductivity. Women, particularly women in rural areas, do not have access to safe and self-controlled methods of contraception..


 



 



Year Crime against SCs Crime against STs
1997 27,944 4,644
1998 25,638 4,276
1999 25,093 4,450
2000 23,742 3,959
2001 25,516 4,098
Total: 127,933 21,426
Average: 25,587 4,285


Edited by pogo - 29 May 2010 at 12:42am

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Posted: 08 March 2010 at 7:58am | IP Logged
Nice topic pogo bhai....

The main problem in India is corruption...........when laws are made they are abused by power ful people.........the benefit of reservations goes to the people who do not need/deserve it.......and this applies to everything...........do u think that the dowry law has stopped dowry........the women who really need this law are not in a position to file complaints and on the other hand there are hundreds of stories of how educated women in big cities have used the dowry law to harass their husbands and in laws...

Similarly the reservation in our engg, medical and Mgt schools doesn't benefit the people who really need it because these people don't even meet the minimum standards to get into these colleges on the other hand the rich get the advantage of these reservations.......so all these exercises are futile and crap...........until someone really works to strenghten the rural India all these laws and quotas will be used by the rich and powerful and educated and will not benefit those for whom they are meant...........

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rogna

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Posted: 08 March 2010 at 7:59am | IP Logged
gender based discrimination does not happen only in india. there are still a lot of people in this world even in advanced and developed countries which are still very biased towards females such as talking of equal opportunities and equal salary. people even in advanced countries still pay women less than men, and men still hold the major seats in both business and politics. this is where we agree with the feminist that indeed this world is a male dominant world. even when there are improvements that had been made over the past hundreds years towards women. as for caste, i think it is because india is still low in the percentage of education. many people are uneducated and just treat other people like their ancestors treated each other. and it is always true anywhere that if you belong to a respectable and well known family it will be easier for you to get opportunities due to your family connection or your own connections. perhaps this will be able to be reduced by education and people might start respecting other people not only for their family, their caste, their parents but for the fact of who they are themselves. we are often blinded by prejudiced and therefore act this way. the caste system biased and prejudiced is indeed difficult to be reduced but it is not impossible. however, as the caste system is deeply embedded in india, it will be impossible to eradicate it for all. and prejudiced and biased will always be part of human life, just like when there are people who tolerate different race there are also people who are still racist. when there are people who tolerate caste there are also people who will never going to be able to overcome it. therefore, it is impossible to totally eradicate it.

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Posted: 08 March 2010 at 8:47am | IP Logged
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pogo

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Posted: 08 March 2010 at 10:25am | IP Logged
Originally posted by Emptiness

Originally posted by pogo

Dravidians the earliest inhabitants of the country had a well structured administrative and social system thousands of years back, before the advent of Aryans.  Women had a very important role in the society. When Aryans who were nomads, reached India they were amazed at what they saw here.  Well structured economy, cities, flourishing trade, art forms.( best example is Indus Valley civilization) Aryans being a warrior clan defeated the peaceloving Dravidians without much effort. What happened then? Social system started degrading. Condition of women and backward classes became worse with the passage of time. Sati, untouchability and all such barbarian customs evolved and lead to the stagnation of society.

This is an out-of-date theory Pogo, no-one believes in the Aryan Invasion Theory anymore, atleast not by any scholar involved in IVC studies.  Now before you accuse me of supporting the "Hindu Nationalist" view, please note that my objection your paragraph is purely evidence based, and not on any political/ideological or religious basis.

The Dravidians were not the earliest inhabitants of the subcontinent either, and even today we don't know the identity of the Indus Valley Civilisation.  Yes, some linguists such as Asko Parpola are advocates of the Dravidian hypothesis, whilst others support the Munda hypothesis, and some people like Michel Witzel don't believe the IVC inhabitants even had a writing system!  However, all such origin hypothesis are far from established, and have been critically reviewed by other linguists.  The biggest problem to deciphering the script is due to its brevity.  As of present, there is no universal consensus amongst linguists as to the identity of the IVC people, let alone scholars from other fields like archaeology.

Secondly, the practice of Sati actually goes against the Vedas, there is a verse in the Rig Veda which explicitly encourages widows to move on in life and to remarry.  There is no mention of untouchability in the Vedas either, which is a custom that came into vogue much later on.



         I'm not biased against any caste or religion Empty bhai. I just stand for truth and justice, that's all. I was born in a hindu forward caste family. I have renounced my caste. I fill in application forms and all  as 'non religious'.

       Till date no scholarly historian has refuted the 'Aryan invasion theory'. Some fundamentalists and biased historians have come up with new aryan theories but with zero proofs. Statues from 'Harappa' and 'Mohanjodaro' have the physical features of Dravidians.

       Yup caste system was not rigid in early vedic period. And women did enjoy good status in the society. Evil customs and practices crept in later.  'Manu smrithi' talks about pouring led in the ears of a sudra who come to hear vedic verses. You can read about those multitudes of laws, rules and punishments that were used to oppress women and lower castes in scriptures like Manu Smrithi.

    


Edited by pogo - 08 March 2010 at 10:35am

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pogo

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Posted: 08 March 2010 at 12:31pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by Emptiness

Originally posted by pogo

I'm not biased against any caste or religion Empty bhai. I just stand for truth and justice, that's all. I was born in a hindu forward caste family. I have renounced my caste. I fill in application forms and all  as 'non religious'.

       Till date no scholarly historian has refuted the 'Aryan invasion theory'. Some fundamentalists and biased historians have come up with new aryan theories but with zero proofs. Statues from 'Harappa' and 'Mohanjodaro' have the physical features of Dravidians.

       Yup caste system was not rigid in early vedic period. And women did enjoy good status in the society. Evil customs and practices crept in later.  'Manu smrithi' talks about pouring led in the ears of a sudra who come to hear vedic verses. You can read about those multitudes of laws, rules and punishments that were used to oppress women and lower castes in scriptures like Manu Smrithi.

    


Don't get me wrong Pogo, I do not support the caste-system in any shape or form, and I don't identify myself with any caste.  I also come from a Hindu background, but I'm an agnostic.  All of my information comes either from journals, or books published by experts in their field of study.

"Aryan" and "Dravidian" aren't racial groups, they're purely linguistic concepts.  There is no such thing as "Aryan" or "Dravidian" traits or genes, both North and South Indian populations are extremely diverse.

I know in India they continue to teach the AIT in schools as if it was an accepted "fact", however it is widely discredited theory in all scientific fields, there isn't a single shred of archaeological evidence which supports the Aryan Invasion Theory, read some of J M Kenoyer's articles, he's one of the world's leading authorities on the IVC.

Yes there are fundamentalists and biased historians (btw this is on both sides, not just Indians) with vestige interests who hold onto particular theories for their political/ideological agenda, however not everyone who disagrees with the AIT is a fundamentalist, biased or has any ideological affiliations.  There are many respected scholars both from the West and India who reject the AIT on valid grounds... on the whole, most people do not subscribe to the invasion theory, however there is another theory that some scholars subscribe to, Aryan Migration Theory.  This again, is a hotly dispute subject, with little consensus.


I didint get you wrong man. I know you are no supporter of caste system and all. By the way, i'm also agnosticSmile

  Scriptures give lots of evidences. We see that in vedas, puranas e.t.c.  all the asuras are depicted as dark skinned and all devas fair skinned. The fair skinned fight with the dark skinned and win over them.  Then you can say that vedas and puranas cannot be considered as evidences. Aryans have been identified as a sub group of caucasian race, who where nomads and migrated to regions including India. Dravidians have more of negrito features, dark skin, curly hair and flatter noses.

We are moving away from the original topic. So what you have to say about the oppression faced by backward classes even after more than 60 years of independence?  They still have little access to  public wells, food, shelter, education e.t.c. Vast majority of them still lead a sub-human life.


Edited by pogo - 08 March 2010 at 7:10pm

rogna

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Posted: 08 March 2010 at 7:49pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by pogo

Originally posted by Emptiness

Originally posted by pogo

I'm not biased against any caste or religion Empty bhai. I just stand for truth and justice, that's all. I was born in a hindu forward caste family. I have renounced my caste. I fill in application forms and all  as 'non religious'.

       Till date no scholarly historian has refuted the 'Aryan invasion theory'. Some fundamentalists and biased historians have come up with new aryan theories but with zero proofs. Statues from 'Harappa' and 'Mohanjodaro' have the physical features of Dravidians.

       Yup caste system was not rigid in early vedic period. And women did enjoy good status in the society. Evil customs and practices crept in later.  'Manu smrithi' talks about pouring led in the ears of a sudra who come to hear vedic verses. You can read about those multitudes of laws, rules and punishments that were used to oppress women and lower castes in scriptures like Manu Smrithi.

    


Don't get me wrong Pogo, I do not support the caste-system in any shape or form, and I don't identify myself with any caste.  I also come from a Hindu background, but I'm an agnostic.  All of my information comes either from journals, or books published by experts in their field of study.

"Aryan" and "Dravidian" aren't racial groups, they're purely linguistic concepts.  There is no such thing as "Aryan" or "Dravidian" traits or genes, both North and South Indian populations are extremely diverse.

I know in India they continue to teach the AIT in schools as if it was an accepted "fact", however it is widely discredited theory in all scientific fields, there isn't a single shred of archaeological evidence which supports the Aryan Invasion Theory, read some of J M Kenoyer's articles, he's one of the world's leading authorities on the IVC.

Yes there are fundamentalists and biased historians (btw this is on both sides, not just Indians) with vestige interests who hold onto particular theories for their political/ideological agenda, however not everyone who disagrees with the AIT is a fundamentalist, biased or has any ideological affiliations.  There are many respected scholars both from the West and India who reject the AIT on valid grounds... on the whole, most people do not subscribe to the invasion theory, however there is another theory that some scholars subscribe to, Aryan Migration Theory.  This again, is a hotly dispute subject, with little consensus.


I didint get you wrong man. I know you are no supporter of caste system and all. By the way, i'm also agnosticSmile

  Scriptures give lots of evidences. We see that in vedas, puranas e.t.c.  all the asuras are depicted as dark skinned and all devas fair skinned. The fair skinned fight with the dark skinned and win over them.  Then you can say that vedas and puranas cannot be considered as evidences. Aryans have been identified as a sub group of caucasian race, who where nomads and migrated to regions including India. Dravidians have more of negrito features, dark skin, curly hair and flatter noses.

We are moving away from the original topic. So what you have to say about the oppression faced by backward classes even after more than 60 years of independence?  They still have little access to  public wells, food, shelter, education e.t.c. Vast majority of them still lead a sub-human life.


dude you are wrong, there are also other black people from the scripture who are considered to be noble and heroes and valiant. for example, ramji was dark in complexion yet he was the hero of the ramayan. krishnaji was dark in complexion yet he was a very respected prince whom the pandavas listened to, respect to and etc etc. draupadi is dark in complexion yet she had the honor of becoming the wife of the pandavas, became queen of khandavasprashath, indraprasath and hastinapur. she became the mother of five great heroes the sons of the pandavas and the list goes on and on.

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