India is being called a progressive nation but do we act accordingly is a million dollar question that will linger in the minds of the youth all over the country. With half of the country’s political parties taking the burden of acting as moral police it is quite a task to sneak around and fall in love as even if you manage to escape your parent’s eyes there is some stranger who is ready to shoot you down as he feels that you are spoiling the culture of India and he is trying his best to safeguard it. If you are lucky to find the right guy, fall in love, escape everyone's prying eyes and when you are ready to take your relationship to the next level and enter the sacred institution called marriage, it is time you will have to open the topic to your parents and then they pose the biggest hurdle even if both of you belong to the same religion, it is the big bad “C” called Caste.
We say that the west discriminates but are we not more into it than the west. We discriminate our own people based on so many categories and reasons. There are children being killed by parents as they marry someone of a different caste. Where are we as a nation heading to? We should be “United in Diversity” as that is what we proudly portray our country to the rest of the world but only when we live within the boundaries of India do we realize that we are far away from being united.
I hail from Tamil Nadu, though I have never lived in Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and down South I have relatives from there. The caste system is in their blood it is mandatory for them to enquire about the other person’s caste even when they get acquainted and they feel that it is derogatory to have an inter caste marriage in the family. This trait is slightly lesser in metropolitan cities like Coimbatore and Chennai but people who are first generation migrants to these cities still believe strongly in this caste system that they are not able to fly out of the cage which they have locked themselves in. I am not stating that only South Tamil Nadu is filled with such ideas. It is there in all the states and all the non metro towns and cities. I have referred to South Tamil Nadu as I have seen bloodshed and broken hearts first hand in these places in the name of Caste.
Will we as a country ever have a broad mind set? Will daughters-in laws ever be treated as daughters? Will the caste category ever be removed from forms and minds? Will we ever stop being bias towards fair skinned people? Will the criteria for most marriages change from money, and status? Will “Love” replace all of the above and will we ever be a nation that is truly united inspite of the diversities? We as the youth of the nation should work towards it and make the people who find it hard to accept the changes that we are changing for the good. It is in the hands of the youth, it is time we take a stand and be the change that we want to see and stop pointing fingers at others in order to avoid taking responsibility. Let us take the bold step and make our country a happier, better and truly free country to live in.