Casteism is the biggest issue that this country somehow never talks about. Caste is a problem. IDK, what you have to say, its very existence is antipathy to a civilised society. And yes, you have also been casteist in your life. Yes, you! So, here are a few things you might want to consider before you go around flouting your privilege like a white man in the 20th century.
1. Giving your domestic help a different utensil to eat, making them sit on the ground while you sit up. You think it’s classist but most of India’s classism stems from centuries of deep-seated casteism.
2. Telling someone they don’t look like a Dalit. Passport photo mein jhaadu leke khade rahe kya for your satisfaction?
3. Saying you don’t see caste. This is your privilege that nobody ever asked you about your caste. Because people of DBA communities get constant reminders of their caste.
I don’t live in North India. And I have studied at an IIM. Faced caste discrimination there as well. Caste is practised in all spaces. You’re just not aware about it because you don’t see it happening in front of you or because it is not done to you.— Sophie (@asophiesfables) August 5, 2021
Also “educated people don’t see caste” or “I never see caste” are both wrong! These are privileged statements that only an upper caste person can make — because caste doesn’t affect you!— Sibin (@sibinmohan) July 29, 2021
Oh, also look up the Cisco California case.
4. Taking pride in your own caste may not seem like casteist to you, but when you identify yourself at the top of a fascist system that continues to oppress millions, then maybe you need to cast yourself out of said system and get a perspective.
The ones who were defending Jadeja & Raina taking pride in their caste (used for oppression) have an objection to a state (Punjab) celebrating its contribution to the national team.— Jas Oberoi | ਜੱਸ ਓਬਰੌਏ (@iJasOberoi) August 5, 2021
Also, they won’t speak a word against the hounding of a Dalit female hockey player’s family.
5. Asking people their caste. Well, firstly, I am pretty sure, as rampant as it is, it is still illegal. You can’t go around asking people their castes, because that’s how discrimination starts in professional spaces.
I remember that in this school I attended for class 1 and 2 (in Delhi), every kid would ask others what their caste was. Obviously being UC it didn’t affect me negatively and I didn’t even think about it. Just assumed it was another word for surname. 1/2https://t.co/zfAMpnMgoq— Aakhree Naashta (@gaseousmaterial) August 20, 2020
6. Using words like cha**r, bha**i etc as slurs is a big no. You can use the name of whole communities as slurs to refer to people you see beneath you.
7. Saying dumb crap like ‘I have never discriminated against anyone, why should I suffer from reservation’. See, the Dalit kid with 70% marks has had to go through terrible atrocities every day of their life that you can’t even fathom. Your urban upper-caste privilege means that you’re not competing with them. You are way ahead of them by the sheer accident of birth.
Why should I pay for the crimes which my ancestors have done ?— Pranav K (@Pranav_Kass) July 30, 2021
8. Saying ‘why is he so well dressed if’. Yeah, just because people come from oppressed backgrounds doesn’t mean they can’t dress well if they have the resources to.
9. Thinking Dalit leaders like Chandrasekhar Azad Ravan taking pride in his moustache is patriarchal when Dalits have been attacked and killed for trying to grow a moustache. It isn’t patriarchy, it’s a sign of defiance.
10. Taking up Dalit spaces to talk about Dalit issues when you aren’t a Dalit is casteist, no matter how much liberal spin you put on it. That’s right Swara Bhaskar, you can’t do that, no matter how progressive your filmography is.
swara bhaskar came to jamia and spoke instead of muslim and student leaders, she came to jantar mantar today and spoke instead of dalit women. stop placing celebrities at the front of social justice movements!!!! pass the mic, it's not your space to occupy right now.— hannibal lecter..🌹 (@dimsums_) October 2, 2020
Can somebody ask Swara Bhaskar to pass the mic?— बिल्ली 💙 (@meowist_life) October 3, 2020
You’re doing the same thing to #DalitLivesMatter what your industry counterparts did to #BLM. I get your itch for activism sis but we savarnas need to amplify and not hijack their reach.
11. Making films about caste atrocities but filling it up with upper-caste white saviour characters, played by upper caste people while the marginalised are reduced to being oppression-porn.
I don’t think movies like Article 15 or Madam CM empower Dalits. Keeping the all-UC cast aside, the movies are clearly made from an UC gaze with casteist stereotypes being enforced or the UC saviour rescuing us. Makes you feel misrepresentation is just as bad as no representation— Sankul Sonawane (@Sankul333) January 22, 2021
12. Asking people to debate or organising debates about if casteism still exists and if we still need reservation. See, people’s lived realities and their right to have a chance at a life with dignity is not up for debate.
13. Not calling out friends or family or anyone who indulges in caste discrimination. Being silent is a crime. If you see it, call it out.
14. Making vain arguments like ‘why bring their caste into this’, when it comes to sexual assault/ rape cases where Dalits were victims. Their caste was part of the reason, and often the only reason that they had to go through what they did. It is necessary to bring caste into this.
15. Saying non-sense like ‘manual scavenging is spiritual’. Tu kar le fir.
In his book, Karmayogi, PM Narendra Modi talks of manual scavenging as a “spiritual experience”. I urge him to ask a manual scavenger if s/he feels even remotely spiritual while cleaning other people’s excreta. #StopKillingUs https://t.co/v33WlVspXh— Bezwada Wilson (@BezwadaWilson) February 25, 2019
Well, I guess it’s futile to ask too much of you but be less of a prick, will you?