Sunday, 17 August 2014

How to be true Indians


This is the modern age of equality To be true Indians we must change our mindsets and genuinely believe in equality But do most indians genuinely believe in equality ? I am afraid the answer is no. Most Hindus and most Muslims do not genuinely believe in equality. Let me try to prove this.

Let us take Hindus first.

Most Hindus believe that the Scheduled Castes are inferior. The test of this is whether non- SC Hindus would object to their sons or daughters marrying SCs. Most would certainly object, obviously because they regard SCs as inferiors.

I had in earlier posts given two examples. One was about a lady OBC Professor with whom I spoke. She claimed to be liberal and modern minded, but when I asked her whether she would permit her daughter to marry an SC boy she immediately said no. So even the so called backward castes regard SCs as inferior. The other example was of the Madras High Court SC Judge who had married a non-SC lady, and the lady's family performed her funeral rites on her marriage and thereafter had nothing to do with her. Any number of similar examples can be given. In many parts of the country if a non-SC boy or girl marries an SC both are killed as an 'honour ' killing.

Does this not prove that most Hindus do not believe in genuine equality, and regard SCs as inferior ?
Now let us consider Muslims. Most Muslims have castes, and Sayyids, Sheikhs and Pathans regard themselves as superior to Ansaris, Qureshis,etc. and would normally not marry with them, although Islam teaches equality of men. 

Moreover, Muslim Personal Law treats Muslim women as inferior, because while Muslim husbands can orally divorce their wives giving no reason, Muslim wives cannot do so, and have to file a petition in Court which may take several years to decide ( after appeals and second appeals), and then, too, the outcome is uncertain because they have to establish by evidence one of the grounds mentioned in section 2 of the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939.

Also, Muslim daughters get only half of what their brothers get to their father's property.

When I said this a fierce attack was made on me by many conservative Muslims alleging that I am against Islam. I have many Muslim friends, and I am not against Islam, but I am certainly against inequality. The Muslim Personal Law is an unjust law as it treats women as inferior, and so it must be abolished ( just as the old Hindu Law was abolished by the Hindu Marriages Act, 1955 and the Hindu Succession Act, 1956).

So if Hindus and Muslims want to become real Indians they must change their mindsets and practice and genuinely believe in real equality. Hindus will become real Indians when they stop regarding SCs as inferior, and marriages between non-SCs and SCs take place on a large scale. Muslims will become real Indians when marriages between the so called 'upper caste' Muslims and 'lower castes' take place on a large scale, and when a large number of Muslims demand abolition of the unjust Muslim Personal Law which treats women as inferior and get it abolished by legislation which abolishes oral divorce and makes Muslim men get a divorce in exactly the same manner, and on the same grounds, as Muslim women. Also, daughters should get the same share as their brothers to their father's property.

Until that day arrives, I will not regard most Hindus and most Muslims as real Indians.

I know I will be fiercely criticized for saying this, but that does not matter. I have been called a maverick, a publicity seeker, a crazy person, a person with a hidden agenda, and even a dog ( by one Chief Minister) in the past, so by now I am quite used to such vilifications and abuses. I will continue saying what I regard as in the national interest.

27 comments:

  1. Sir inequality is not only in marriage its every where

    1) Smart people (like you) think that others are fools and don't know anything but everyone has something special (Smart-fool inequality)

    2) Killing animal and eating them is secular? Why they are not given freedom? Life is same for all even animal? For our entertainment we put them in Zoo? Make products made of animals body parts? (Human-Animal inequality)

    3) People have money to give gold in temple, buy cricket team but don't have money to pay salary of their employees (Rich-Poor inequality)

    There are many inequalities the above are few examples

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  2. Sir, your point is absolutely correct. The feeling of " we are superior and they are inferior" must go and then only we will be real indian as well real human.

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  4. I wonder how being egalitarian is the definition of being 'real Indian'. Equality could not be seen in any respect in Indian context, neither it was ever, nor it will be ever. Real Indian is one who does not seeks for equality, but who seeks for excellence: excellence in what he is performing. '[Intercast-] Marriage assures equality of status' is not very convincing, for one could see the inequal [status] treatment of woman from man.
    In turn, I would go much radical and say real Indian will be defined only as Indian, not as Hindu/ Muslim or man/woman. And, Marriage as a social institution should take place between an 'Indian' man and woman without any discrimination [of religion, caste etc.], only then one would be called 'real Indian'. But, distinction between man and woman should sustain, so that marriage might not take place between same sex persons for simple reason of its being quite butnatural.

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    1. Do people need to show equality while marrying someone? I'm not sure if this question is relevant. But I do govt should not discriminate on caste basis. Reservations to SC in education is acceptable. But after taking a doctor seat under reservation the SC candidate should be expected to work hard and pass out sufficiently as doctor. After sufficiently passed as doctor he/she is given reservation again in employment to govt to become a doctor. Why this reservation doubled? This is the way SCs have no incentive to become knowledge.They r still staying as SC 60 years later, because politics keeps them SC.

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  5. Attaining Equality seems to be a distant dream.........

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  6. I think our society would take a big step ahead if it just let women exercise their free will. The issues of "domination" have been ingrained in our society through centuries of colonialism. Though history tell us that the struggle for liberation of female has coincided with the one for freedom of colonies, very few of us in India acknowledge the role of Western feminism in initial struggles for independence (even though our flag was designed by a woman).

    Letting women have their "individual" rights to exercise their free will would diffuse a lot of the pressures through power and coercion that are created in our families - regardless of whether they are Hindus or Muslims. This is an issue of the right of the female - and should be seen outside of the context of religion. No religion, after all, can meddle with the right of the individual - or else our constitution and rights it provides to the individual would have no value.

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  7. I believe during Chola times in Southern India, 1000 year back, girls had exercised free will to choose man of her choice. She had right to deny if her parents choice was not good in society. Although, at that time, caste was not established.

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    1. It was through colonialism - a system where a whole race of people are denied rights on basis of their birth - that crimes against women rose - gradually denying them basic rights. When men cannot achieve their potential in such a system, they fear that a free woman would choose the better man - probably amongst men who exercise a "superiority".

      History is full of examples where such "ownership" of women develops. Egypt, Iran, Kenya - all had history of freedom for women - but only until these societies were colonized. Let's not forget that the first marriage of Prophet Mohammed himself, was with Khadija who had proposed to him (not the other way). There is no reason to think, therefore, that Islam itself is incompatible with free right of women.

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    2. I recently came across this piece of Info. Angkor Wat Hindu temple monument was the largest religious monument in the world. It was built by a Tamil King Suriya Varman II, in Cambodia. Its a 500 acre site, and outer wall perimeter alone 3.4 miles. It was built in a record time of 30 years, with 50,000 labor. But, those labor Were Not slaves!. Such was the society and society's abilities to pull off magnanimous feat, if ordered by King. The current ill society can not pull off anything, except working as Labors for foreign corporations(IITs and IIM products included). Finally, the nation seem to have woken up, a leader in the name of Modi at helm now, only history will know what it would pull off. I will not be here to see if India pulled off anything by the mid-2000.

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  8. Sir, I asked you about the Jury system. Why was it abolished in India? If India brings that back again, will it move India from the present Judicial clogging into faster trials and real verdicts? I see it has tremendous benefits in USA, where I am living now.

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  9. Dear Sir,

    You have made some very valid and relevant points. My 2 cents...

    1. Most Hindus believe that scheduled castes are inferior because the religion teaches them so. None of the self proclaimed Hindu religious leaders have the balls to stand up and admit that casteism was a aberration in hindu religion and that discrimination based on caste is no more part of the hindu religion, All hindus should treat all other hindus as equals in terms of castes. They are yet to start that revolution. why is that so? It is sad that law still could not discipline the religion whether it is Hindu religion or Muslim religion...(Is it because the majority do not want that to happen?1!!). So we need strong and righteous Hindu religious leaders who take a relook into the religious mistakes and set it right to make the religion more humane and relevant for today's society. Mindset of people may change. After all we have a high degree of herd mindset.
    2. There are funny comments such as equating reservation with caste discrimination. Why a majority of the indians have no proper knowledge on the caste atrocities that has crippled more than 30 crores of indians and continuing to put them under tremendous psychological trauma and mental harassment, stopping the whole group of people from social, economical, cultural, political and legal advancements!!!. Government must make sure that the whole society is made to understand the history of casteism and the inhuman behaviour of a section of Hindu society which has resulted into a distorted condition of the hindu society and our duty to set the same right through conscious and concerted efforts on everyones part till we say one day..We are out of an eveil design in our religion called caste and discrimination of humans in the name of caste.(I only wish that there could be some provision for trading reservation with caste discrimination for all those who stage demonstration against reservation....What a waste!)

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  10. Mr. Devendran, on the point number (1), I disagree with you. Hinduism is not a dogmatic religion. The words Hindu or Hinduism were introduced by British about 400 years back. And there is no text that Santana Dharma, created SC or ST. The castes have evolved based on the work with which one lives his/her life. Most of caste names revolve around specific job or work. Sub-castes are man created over period of time. Government has nothing to do with Religion. Religion and State should be separated. Government is purely for governing. Governing means, it do not even have duty to remove poverty. Government should simply make sure, naturally born men and women in India, have freedom to life, freedom to express, freedom to faith. The institutions originally setup were only the Executive office, Judiciary, Law Enforcement, Armed forces for security. Everything else that you see today, government grabbed them over period of time. For example, Tamilnadu Govt started "Amma Restaurant". This is violation of Constitutional mandate, but Courts have refused to intervene to stop Governments run businesses in the name of "Poverty Elimination". They started with steel, cement, fertilizer and etc, finally in Restaurant business.

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    1. Mr. Sengaiyan. How can you say that Santana Dharma did not create untouchables or shudras. What is in Manusmriti ? What Purushukta hymn 10.90 of the Rigveda says ?? Who created shudra and untouchables ? I f caste system was not created by Hinduism thn What Bhakti saints were opposing ? Government should intervene in the religion if its character is oppressive and undemocratic as was done through Hindu Marriages Act 1955.

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  11. काटजू सर आपको तो शायद उर्दू आती हे तो इसी से जुड़ा एक दुखड़ा आपको सुना दू सर कुछ दिन पहले आपने अपने ब्लॉग कश्मीरी पंडितो से जुड़े सवाल उठाते हुए भारतीय मुस्लिमो से कुछ शिकायते की थी जो तहलका हिंदी में देखी फिर मेने यहाँ कुछ कॉमेंट किये सर मेने बताया था की एक सेकुलर भारतीय मुस्लिम से ज़्यादा तनाव दबाव और कोई नहीं झेलता होगा ( http://justicekatju.blogspot.in/2014/07/kashmiri-pandits.html#comment-form )अब देखिये अल्लाह का करना ऐसा हुआ की इतनी जल्दी इसका प्रेक्टिकल दिख गया सर देखिये की उर्दू के शायद सबसे बड़े पत्रकार अज़ीज़ बरनी जी के अखबार अज़ीज़ुल हिन्द में 17 अगस्त को किन्ही शायद नेहाल सगीर साहब ने लिखा हे की सिकंदर हयात जैसे ब्लॉगर इज़राइल का समर्थन कर रहे हे मुझे उर्दू नहीं आती हे सो मुझे नहीं पता क्या लिखा क्या नहीं लिखा ? वो तो उत्तर प्रदेश में मेरे कज़िन ने पढ़ा और उसने मुझे फोन किया तब पता चला ( वैसे अभी भी नहीं पता चला क्योकि देखा नहीं हे ) और भी सुना हे की मुझे काफी भला बुरा कहा गया ( http://epaper.azizulhind.com/archive.php?arc=2014-08-17&newsId=7184 ) खेर पहली बात तो मेरा तो कोई ब्लॉग ही नहीं हे फिर दूसरा की मेने इज़राइल का समर्थन नहीं बल्कि इज़राइल की कड़ी निंदा की थी इसी पर एक यहूदी सज़्ज़न से बहस भी हुई थी एक नहीं 2 – 2 ब्लॉग पर . में हमेशा सिर्फ पीड़ित के साथ ही खड़ा होता हु वो चाहे कोई भी कोई भी क्यों न हो देखे http://readerblogs.navbharattimes.indiatimes.com/KASAUTI/entry/%E0%A4%AB-%E0%A4%B2-%E0%A4%B8-%E0%A4%A4-%E0%A4%A8-%E0%A4%AF-%E0%A4%95-%E0%A4%AE-%E0%A4%B2-%E0%A4%B9%E0%A4%A4-%E0%A4%AF-%E0%A4%B0-%E0%A4%B9%E0%A4%AE-%E0%A4%B8-%E0%A4%B9 - http://blogs.navbharattimes.indiatimes.com/triptishukla/entry/indian-mujahideen-and-gaza मुझे समझ नहीं आता की फिर मुझे टारगेट क्यों किया गया ? देखिये काटजू सर यही वो हालात हे जिनसे बचने के लिए आपके दोस्त ने कश्मीरी पंडितो पर लेख लिखने से पीठ दिखा दी थी

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  12. Dear Sir,
    Great and needy article today

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  13. Sir, an OBC, BC or FC parent certainly do not entertain their ward marrying SC boy or Girl not because they construed to be inferior. It is not inferiority that matters, but quality and civilized life does matter for every parent on earth. The real discrimination emanates from inequality in wealth and poor education. Proper education and decent wealth assures “Quality Life” and in turn this will bring equality among citizen. Just Hindu FC/BC/OBC marrying SC’s will not bring equality. If your view is correct, you can suggest our parliamentarians passing a Bill to mandate Hindu FC/BC/OBC marry SC and bring equality. Is it possible Sir?

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    1. Surprise...surprise...u cannot be living in india. U mean to say a middle class SC can marry a middle class other caste (read upper caste) and majority of the people welcome such rishtey?!!

      Come on buddy...caste discrimination is beyond all these. Even a pauper can discriminate. In villages you can see how crazy are people to follow the caste mandates.
      Though intercaste marriages itself cannot resolve the issue, it can be a message to others to ponder over. (In any case marriages cannot be forced between people)



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    2. MR. Paran: Read constitution carefully. The core is: 1. These United(Union of states in India) Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States … We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
      2. "That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed".

      ...
      So, where is the word 'Marriage' here. Your proposal or idea, is unconstitutional. Don't spread such among Indians, many are uneducated!.

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  14. Sir, I had stated that I have high regard for you Sir. I contemplated for few days about this blog. You have chosen 'Marriage' as the Subject to measure the Equality. I went back to Constitution to see if Marriage is mentioned anywhere. I don't find Marriage is placed anywhere as a right under constitution. Trying to measure the Equality in marriage should be, out side the scope of Constitution of Republic of India. Having said that, I continue to marvel at your enormous wealth of Knowledge. I do not mean that Equality in Marriage should not be debated. However, it can not be demanded as a requisite to develop India socially and economically. Marriage probably falls into the Right of Pursuit of Happiness of oneself.

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  15. Dear Justice Katju. As always, very illuminating blog and very well said. It is a fact that most of the Indians do not believe in equality and there is no doubt whatsoever that equality is need of the hour. This is a complex issue and solution is not so simple. No doubt, discrimination on caste lines is still very rampant. To my mind, one of the ways of showing equality is stop discriminating on the grounds of caste, religion, gender and region. Inter-caste marriage is a way to express that we do no discriminate on caste lines.

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    1. Mr. Ramji, your comments just a theory. Or ideals. Or expectations. Albert Eienstein once said: "In theory, theory and practice are same.But in practice, they are not.". Equality is the need of hour. Agreed. You didn't offer a solution here. Do you know a fact? In china, the Rape is one of the lowest in the world. They implemented a practical approach. The government mandated that from LKG to Collges, every boy is seated next to a girl. Its so nautal that the Boys sitting with girls next to each other have made it possible to create respect, dignity, friendship with one and another. And the result is lowest sex crimes in the world!. Talking is one aspect. And that's the only aspect Indians are good at.

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    2. Mr. Ramji, inter-caste marriage is impossible. Government has no business to force inter-caste marriage. Who are you asking to do inter-caste marriage? The Constitution certainly do not allow you, nor government to force inter-caste marriage. Period. End of the story. Caste discrimnation can only be removed slowly over a period of 50 to 100 years, if certain Principals are followed coherently by the entire nation. Else, it will remain as a dogma. I could not go and marry a SC or ST girl myself. Why in the world I can have a right to expect Caste non-discrimination!.?

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    3. Dear Mr. Sengaiyan, I had never said that Government should force inter-caste marriages. You had stated that Marriage is Right to pursue one's happiness. In India, at present, even if the boy and girl like each other, they cannot marry if one of them hail from a lower caste. There are instances where boy or girl or both are killed (honour killing) if the lakshman rekha of caste is violated. Therefore, there is infringement on the personal rights without doubt. However, please note that inter-caste marriages are not impossible. they are happening but not on a large scale. Coming to equality, I do not understand why we should not aspire for egalitarian society without discrimination on caste, religion, gender etc., Why we should treat some one as inferior based on birth? Every citizen deserves right to dignity. Caste discrimination is a social evil and must go for our country to progress. Mindsets should change for eradicating this social evil. Tell me one thing, do you feel that Scheduled Castes are inferior? I don't.

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    4. Mr.Ramji is making a point. Inter caste marriages are not a solution for caste inequality, but free intercaste marriages are a sign of a society moving towards caste equality.
      As you said and as a fact majority of the caste indians still have a feeling of superiority over sc and st. This has to change. It will change if the same religious which has advocated caste inequality text is rewritten.
      The society and religious leaders should accept the shame and correct themselves infront of humanity.

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