MCPH hosts talk on Casteism2 min read
Manipal: In a talk organised by Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities (MCPH) on August 13, Gopal Guru, a professor of social and political theory in the Centre of Political Science at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), voiced upon the issue of “Çasteism is Dead: Long live Caste”.
Guru is also an active commentator on the prejudices faced by the Dalits and has written numerous articles on women, politics and philosophy. Speaking about the origin of Casteism, he addressed the transition of caste as a form of segregation to an ideology by itself. Topics relating to castes being a pan-Indian concept as well as the role of females in propagating casteism were also raised. In order to explain the condition of the lower castes during specific times, he referred to the works of U.R Ananthmurthy in ‘Samskara’ and Premchand in ‘Kafan’ as well as Stalin K’s ‘India Untouched’.
During the event he spoke about how caste remains to be a relevant clause in Indian regime and how it is reproduced in the domestic front. He also lead into issues of caste clusters in order of merit, role of families being a central organisation for the caste system, caste domestic reality in the urban culture and how journalistic media should approach such socially sensitive subjects.
Taking back something from the interaction was Shashi Joyce Soans, a faculty member of Community medicine. She said, “The important part is after we go back home. What do we decide to do about it? Do we think Casteism is good? When my son went to LKG, he needed a form filled. Under nativity and caste I wrote Indian, Indian. He brought the form back and told me to please fill all the options. I tried explaining to him but he was a child and almost in tears because he just wanted it filled ‘correctly’. And to me, my child’s happiness was the prime concern.”
“Casteism is such a huge issue and very complex. Lots of new ideas and theories that I haven’t heard of were put forward. I’ll need to go back and gather more information, do research on the subject,” said Chitralekha Manohar, first year from MCPH.
An interactive session followed the talk with a highly inquisitive audience raising other aspects of casteism, its relation to race and women, influence from animalistic hierarchies and prominence in other countries, among others. Assisted by Prof. Sundar Sarukkai, Director, MCPH; Guru answered the questions for close to an hour.
Sub-edited by Toshia Kader