I am an Upper-Caste; Hindu… And I am not ashamed of it!! Period

I have been missing in action for the last 5 days … I was travelling yet again ..!! And while I was away some very interesting (read shocking) events took place … Donald Trump banned the entry of Muslims from 7 countries … His move generated torrential discussions across the world and people were further polarized into “Pro-Islam” and “Anti-Islam” camps. I, on the other hand, was wondering why should my religion define who I am … I was sitting on a river basin (I was in Haridwar which is known being the land of the holiest rivers of Hindus … Ganga) and I saw people praying and performing rituals with such reverence that I realized that you cant take away from them their faith … It is probably they only thing they live by … You take their religion away from them and they shall be orphaned. It occurred to me then that the only way you can make people secure is by respecting their identity and it is unfortunately true that in the world of 8 billion people you are identified by your classification into one of the 4 dominant religions … We are indeed a strange species!

Coming from a devout Hindu family and marrying into another one has shaped me who I am today and being from an upper caste yet another dimension has been added … It is my primary identity and I am not ashamed of it. My faith has nothing to do with my food habits, my lifestyle, my attire or my opinions … But it has everything to do the value system I follow, my concept of Karma, my Gods and the stories around them, the rituals I practice, my fasting habits and my belief system.

I have often seen people hiding behind “spirituality” to conceal their true religious beliefs (Not all of them belong to that category) and it is more evident in the educated, bespectacled, English speaking individuals who loosely label themselves as “liberals” … Being liberal does not mean cloaking your religious identity … To be a liberal means to asseverate and not assert … To be a liberal implies being tolerant of others and identities different from theirs …

I have friends who understand the mechanics of fundamentalism but refuse to understand what it means to be attacked in their own country for being a Hindu … I know people who sympathize with those who became targets of communal riots perpetrated by the majority but had no tears to shed when the majority became the minority in certain other parts of my country and was made to undergo the same brutality … If you are truly liberal, why should there be different strokes for different folks??

Time and again I am made to feel privileged by those who are either privileged themselves or by those who are not as blessed as I am … While I understand the accusations leveled against me by the latter, I cant understand the former. What am  I supposed to do if I am born with a certain pedigree?

I am a Hindu … Yes. I am a Brahmin by caste and I am proud of my lineage … I am proud to belong to the religion of tolerance, peace and love … I take pride in being a part of the caste which is known for learning, literature and scholarship … I stand tall in the defence of my faith which has taught me compassion and generosity … My religious identity is not my only identity for I am more than my religion but at the same time I cannot be alienated or scorned at should I choose to make it my primary identity …

In today’s world to be an intellectual is to denounce the majority in favour of the minority; to penalize the rich for being rich; to avenge centuries of discrimination by holding the present generation responsible for it. However, to be a humanitarian is to overlook such fissures and extend help to the destitute … religion, caste, gender and other divisions notwithstanding AND I would rather be the latter instead of choosing to be former … Understanding pain and misery requires human heart as against statistics and theories … “Why should I be hanged for the assumed and alleged crimes committed by my ancestors?” is one of the most common arguments by those who feel targeted … Why is my history being held against me? Why should I be belittled just because I belong to a certain religion … Why should benefits be denied to me because of my caste? Where does objectivity go when such decisions are being taken? The day I get my answers, I too shall renounce my caste-religious identity but till then …

… I am a PROUD UPPER-CASTE HINDU

Select your own tag … Heres Sugarsatchet wishing you safety!!

 

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4 Comments

    1. It is not just about being Hindu … It is about taking pride in who you are … One must be proud of one’s lineage! I am a PRIVILEGED; RICH; FAIR SKINNED; UPPER CASTE; HINDU WOMAN … I must have done something good in my past life to deserve it all.

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