Friday, December 10, 2010

Casteism in my eyes

Yesterday, one of my friend updated her profile with the following lines,"Breaking religion and caste based system is not easy. still so called owners of religion and caste feel that sharing food with SCs/STs and with other religions is acceptable but when it comes to marriage.......... fight is going on within our systems/families/work place at one level and another fight is in our minds."
Well, I am not in support of the caste system as such, but I have a different view. 
The question raised by her is not a new one, for last five thousand years, some good people around us tried for these, bur still the problem is not solved. "The Mahabharat" is all about two major issues of the society that remains the same even today, one is the woman's right in this society and the difference of caste system. The same issues were also dealt by Sri Balaram Dash, a great poet born in Odisha, whose " Manabasa Laxmi Puran" is read by all women in this state at least for one month, still the problem is unchanged.

I ll say the puran in short. Once there was a poor family, the lady being "Shriya", she was a shudra by caste, popularly known as "Shriya Chandaluni". She was a sweeper of the Jagannath Temple of Puri. She was  a great devotee of Prabhu Jagannath. One day she found a gold ring, and gave that to temple administration. But the Temple administration charged her for theft, as the ring was of Prabhu Jagannath. She was forced to leave the job, and people around her too started teasing her. 
But one of the priests who was not a good man in the eyes of other priests, knew she was innocent, and asked her to worship Devi Laxmi, in a particular manner on all Thursdays of the month of Margosir. She did the same, and Devi Laxmi was very happy on her. 
One Thursday, Devi Laxmi arrived at her home and gave her wealth, health and every thing she was in need. When Devi Laxmi came out of her house, Bhagban Balram, the elder brother of Prabhu Jagannath saw her. 
He was very angry on Devi Laxmi, as she entered into house of a shudra family. He said to Prabhu jagannath to leave Devi Laxmi. But Prabhu Jagannath could make his brother agree to make some Puja for "Sudhi karan" of Devi Laxmi. 
When Prabhu Jagannath said the same to Devi Laxmi, she preferred to leave the temple.
The next day, when Prabhu Jagannath and Bhagban Balaram got up, they did not get anything, no food to eat, no water to drink. They called for the servants, but nobody was there too. This happened because Laxmi left home. 
The day passed with out food. Next day they decided to beg, and walked on the streets chanting "Vedic Slokas", but they did not get anything. 
Later they saw a beautiful palace on the shore. They asked for food to the servant there. But the servant said that the palace belongs to a lady who is of lower caste. Bhagban Balaram asked for some raw rice etc. so that they can prepare the food by themselves. The same were given to them, but Bhagban Balaram and Jagannath could not prepare the food. Later Bhagban Balram asked the servant to provide food. 
They were welcome inside the palace and given food, which were similar to that of the food prepared my Devi Laxmi. Bhagban Balaram could knew that this is the plan of Prabhu jagannath. Now Bhagban Balaram understood that a lady is the most important person for a home,and caste-ism is not good. Devi Laxmi said she will return to the temple only on one condition that all the people shall be allowed to enter the temple irrespective of their caste. 
But we know that it is the only temple where only Hindus are allowed. The so called protectors of religion don't allow people of other nation and religion to this temple, hence the devotees of Prabhu jagannath built their own temples which are more beautiful then the temple at Puri, I don't know whether Prabhu Jagannath still resides at Puri or not.
But when the question comes to marriage, I just cant make others understand what I think. In my eyes, if parents say no for some one, we must respect them, why they are saying no is not to be asked. The fact is that they feel ashamed for this reason, I know there is no base for it, but we can't deny this. Look at a man whose daughter or sister left home for some one, how they live in the society, with sorrow, anger. And look at the people around, how they talk about the girl. This is the fact even if girl left home with man of the same caste.
I can't support the view that makes the parents small in the society. They would have been happy, if the girl died doing some thing good. If we can make parents agree on our choice, then there is no conflict. 
I am in support of caste less relations, but can't see tears in the eyes of old ones who brought me to this world.
Fight with the society to give justice to your children, but don't fight with the parents for a man or woman who came to your life after 16 or 17 years of your parents. You may be thinking that you cant live without him or her, but imagine your life if your parents would have been left you at the age of 1 or 2 years. I am not supporting caste feelings in relations, I am opposing conflict with parents for marriage.

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