Thursday, 12 April 2012

be the change.

WARNING: This post babbles. But still read it :)

Firstly I have to mention I have such amazing friends. They are the ones that encourage me, teach me and help me to do better and work harder in life.

With that said one of my good friends sent me an article, posted on The Globe and Mail called "Remarkable school gives girls from the bottom of India's caste system new hope."

The entire article discusses the caste system in India and the need to change it, but also what can be done after it is changed.

Most of us feel the need to change a system that has existed for so long, but often we do not ask ourselves what will be done after the change has been implemented.

I've been to India plenty of times; walking out of the plane, you can feel the heat, smell the diesel, and if you are a claustrophobic person, the way to face your fear is to come to India. 

When I first went, seeing young children on the streets begging for food, with their faces sunk in, begging and begging, I could not handle it. At times I didn't even want to leave the house because I knew I had to 'deal' with such things. But like most things, you cannot avoid the truth and you have to go out and experience it.

Once I did, I got 'used' to it, like most people in India do. My cousins would tell me not to give too much money to the adults who were begging because it was all business dealings. They also said not to give it to children because the elders would snatch it from them. It was politics within begging. So I stopped. I stopped giving money to the kids, plus when I did, most would say "didi, aur do"- sister, give me more- my heart still aches.

Now back to the caste system. Dalits (untouchables) have been part of India's caste system for centuries. Though the system has been abolished under the constitution, it still exists. First, I do not understand how someone chooses a person to be considered a Dalit. It blows my mind, but then again look at our culture, we separate the poor, middle-class and rich. It's all based on social structure and I believe in my lifetime no one will ever be 'equal'.

However, I do feel humans be it anyone deserves a chance to be more then shit on a stick. To be frank, that is exactly what 'untouchables' are treated like. One of the most powerful lines in the article I read was this:

Sister Sudha's fundamental goal, to replace the sense of worthlessness inculcated in them since birth.“All that they have known and heard and seen is, ‘You are like dirt.' They have internalized this: ‘This is my lot,' they feel. ‘This is where I belong. I don't belong on the chair. I will sit on the floor, and then no one can tell me to go any lower than that.' 

If someone told me I can't be what I want or do what I want, I would tell them to f' off. But that's exactly what  these people have to deal with- they hold no power, are considered worthless- it's awful.

But again, you cannot hide from the truth. So, even if you aren't physcially, emotionally capable of wanting to change the social structure that has existed for centuries, at least do it in your life. Be the person you see yourself being.

I feel in my life I have settled for a lot. But it wasn't until recently I decided to make my own change and I have never looked back. That is what I truly hope for these children- move ahead and never look back and never be stuck-up. Being stuck-up towards others is the WORST quality to have!

Anyways, to end my babble, I will leave you with the famous quote Mahatma Gandhi Ji said "Be the change you want to see in the world."  

No comments:

Post a Comment