The caste system is one of the most deep-rooted evils of Indian society, which continues to affect the day-to-day lives of many people.
Actor Pratik Gandhi, who will be seen in the web series, The Great Indian Murder, talked about the problem of casteism in India in a recent interview with Hindustan Times. He shared incidents from his personal experience as well.
The Great Indian Murder, a show based on Vikas Swarup’s book Six Suspects, is a crime-thriller that brings six guests under suspicion when a notorious industrialist gets killed. The web series will also explore the way the caste system is entrenched in the minds of people.
Talking of the same, Pratik said that the system is so ingrained that the lines between what’s right and wrong are blurred, blinding people, as they don’t realize how casteist they are being at times.
The caste system is so deep-rooted in our society for all processes. Beyond a point, it is difficult to realise how wrong it is. Even our regular discussions, the way work has been distributed, the way our surnames are given, everything (involves caste system).
When the actor was asked about any real-life incident he would like to share, he narrated how once he used to work for a company that set up power plants across India. Pratik and his other colleagues had to acquire land from landowners, who would get money and a job in return. When the people weren’t educated, they were given jobs as helpers. While most of the time people accepted, landowners from the higher castes considered it below them to take up those jobs. He added:
For them, it is difficult to differentiate between their jobs and their personal identities. It is about their ego. Things do not work like that in today’s corporate world, but for them, it is a question of life. I have seen and experienced this. When I heard this the first time, I could not believe it. I was like “What is this guy thinking?” and more importantly I’d think, “How do you change it?”
Casteism may be a deep-rooted establishment that has tainted the country, but it isn’t an impossible system to abolish, and it’s high time we collectively work towards ending caste-based atrocities in India.