Friday, May 12, 2006


Caste is one of the great unmentionables among the educated youth in our country.
The young 20 somethings, educated in elite public schools, pride themselves for their ultra-rational approach to life, spurn illogical religious beliefs in word and deed, decry 'Fate' and in short, exude the spirit of William Henley's lines -
"I am the master of my Fate,
I am the captain of my soul"

Fair enough. Sublimation of the Religious instinct is wholesome and desirable.
In keeping with the spirit of the times, it is natural to expect the youth to become not just less God-fearing, but also less obsessed with identity, more inclusive and liberal and less susceptible to prejudices.
Strangely, this doesn't seem to have happened.

The hypocrisy of the Ayn Rand toting youth is pretty evident in their obsession with Caste and Identity. While it is considered politically incorrect to inquire about someone's caste, Caste remains something very close to everyone's hearts.

I could sense this while surfing profiles randomly on the orkut community yesterday.
Orkut is a social networking hub which is predominantly used by Internet-savvy, twenty-somethings. Many among my own list of acquaintances describe themselves as 'Atheists', 'Agnostics' and 'Humanists' in their profiles. Yet, you'll find the same blokes in the 'Thenkalai Iyengar' and 'Havyaka Brahmin' communities ;)
Strange, but apparently our friends don't sense a contradiction.
The maniacal obsession with Identity is scary. There is a community for almost every
sub-caste on orkut. Babboorkamme brahmins, Hebbar Iyengar, Reddys, Iyers, Agarwals, Jats, Kauls, GSB's, Dalits...you name it.
Mind you, these communities are populated by urbane, English-speaking yuppies who are more likely to swear by Ayn Rand than by God.

The 'enlightened' youth may try their hardest to present their 'pseud', rational selves, but to no avail. The fact remains that in India, NOBODY, i repeat nobody is willing to spurn their identity. Period.

chanced upon ur entry when i Googled for caste communities on orkut, obviously I was devastated to see them. So much for social networking, why can't we stick to the same old caste meetings in undeveloped areas (ethically) and carry on that stuff. Proud to be an indian, fight against reservation (or support it), but a member of caste communites on orkut.Hippocratic pieces of crap.

More than anything, I think it's simple pride and show off, to have someone from "my clan" recognised world over (or so we think) and associate ourselves with him/her strangely they carry on caste wars too in communities which are at logger heads. Indians>Religion>Region>caste seems to be the hierarchy of our identities....
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