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Lighthouse - January, 2017.

Caste System in the World

rahat-talrejaOh no? What did I just say? isn’t this supposed to be a corporate journal and I need to write all the neutral and nice sounding things which appear modern and liberated from the past clichés of society like caste , class etc.

Shouldn’t i have written words and phrases like “go green” or “value addition” or “digital revolution?”

How could I use THAT word in the 21st Century?

But me being me, I can’t remain on the surface for long. So let’s get to the real thing. Which is our internal world which is not seen by all but runs us constitutionally in every way.

Caste! So what is it? It is nothing but a race or a set of similar people who follow similar customs and traditions and mind set and thinking. Not wholly but mostly.

My current insecurity makes me identify my current caste.

If sitting with a Delhi person, I am from Mumbai

If with a Chinese, both Delhi and I are Indian

If with a European, all, Chinese, Delhi and me are Asian

If with an alien, all, European, Chinese, Delhi and I are from the Earth

If in a car, the guy on the bike is another caste

If with a female, I am the guy, the other caste

If with an old person, I am young, the other caste

If I am fat, the thin guy is another caste

Besides if i am my caste, all others are from the other caste.

So basically, my dual nature of viewing things, with two eyes, and not the third eye: the eye of perception, everything is Another Caste

I am basically “casting” myself in one slot, viewing with 2 eyes and automatically the other becomes “other caste”

If you see, this caste system emerges from human insecurity and nothing else

He is just trying to get comfortable in his own casted space.

If insecurity is a fear and the human overcomes it be “casting” himself, how can it be wrong since it comes from a totally helpless and hapless position

Now a lot of countries like India are especially infamous for the caste system. North Indian, South Indian, East Indian, West Indian. Dig further and you get many such bifurcations.

So as we have observed, human beings first need “security” It is the most fundamental need and survival instinct of a human being. You cannot move forward one bit unless you feel secure. This is why now I come to the point that it is not the bad word it is made out to be. In fact the whole world follows it. I have seen in India. Japanese forwarders work with Japanese exporters/importers. Germans work with Germans. And so on. It is the feeling of security, of being like them, of having same thinking. And this is across the world. A very big role is played by the caste everywhere in the world. I have heard how Jews are comfortable with the Jews. How Whites avoid marrying the other colours.

Nothing wrong. It’s the comfort, the security; the same values the same thinking, the ability to address issues together.

The problem is we made it a bad word and then started avoiding using it on the surface although internally, our fundamental need of security and comfort drives us to think with that mentality. Many people suggested that the world citizens have globalised and everything is common now. But look around on the socio-geo-political front, globalisation has failed miserably. Protectionist policies are coming back on the economic front, on the leadership front, protectionist leaders are getting elected with recent examples of this being Mr Trump in the USA and The Brexit vote. How you find the disparity in retirement ages bring grudges to the hard working European countries vis-a-vis the earlier retiring populations of other European countries. In fact the prime agenda is now to save the EU. How the migrants from Syria and the other GCC countries being met with resistance from taking refuge. How Russia is consolidating its CIS position. How India is protecting its local farming industry for years now with protectionist duties.

As they say, you can only make others happy if you are yourself happy. Same applies to races, castes, countries etc. Human populations became adventurous in the name of globalisation and now are coming to terms, that first is security, then comes the rest.

Don’t you see that pickle jar being off loaded by the customs for an Indian traveller? It’s the pickle that gives him security. That taste. Makes him connect to himself, before he connects to others. The goal of every person should be to make a relation with himself first and then others. Every act you do should take you closer to yourself.

And for that, I think the most important is to see things in three dimensions and not duality. Beyond good and bad, beyond right and wrong, beyond day and night, beyond fire and ice, beyond high and low. The fact that every aspect is useful to understand the other aspect. That good cannot be understood without knowing bad. That richness can never be achieved without knowing poverty. That tall cannot be understood without seeing short. This is the third dimension. Which takes you beyond presentation, performance and any other external activity. It gives you a “cast” where you slot yourself and see things as they are. Without judgement. Because that my friends, is the actual caste that we belong to.

The inner world of blood, bone, mind, soul, perception. All the same.

Cheers and Merry Christmas to all

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