Why caste does not matter?

Why it’s not a surprise that ignorant people like Arunan see the ministers in Modi’s cabinet only by their caste!

The title would sound like a no-brainer to most modern Indians. However, every now and then a celebrity or a politician or someone in public life talks about this question and then it comes up before us.

If you have not heard of this person by the name Arunan Kathiresan, you haven’t missed anything in life. He’s one of those character’s who is in a profession which is most unsuited for him (politics) and even worse, a misfit in his own party (CPI-M). This gentleman who calls himself a Marxist is known for making casteist statements, making everyone wonder whether he belongs to the DK or the CPI(M). The recent statement he made on May 30th is that Modi’s cabinet has 9 brahmins and 12 upper castes.
(Source: https://twitter.com/Arunan22/status/1134328550079655936)

To serve the cause of nation-building, they have joined to work under the leadership of a someone from backward-caste (Modi) and were sworn-in by a Dalit President.

Arunan was not famous in his own party prior to the advent of the live debates are on TV. He has no record of having performed any notable work among the unions or in the party.

As the grandson of a life-long Marxist, the author wants to share some facts with Arunan.

When the CPI(M) was formed in 1964 and 32 leaders walked out from the Communist Party Congress, 20 of the 32 founding members were upper castes and a whopping 12 of them were brahmins. From the state of Tamil Nadu alone 3 of the 4 leaders were brahmins (75%). All 3 first-time chief ministers from CPI(M) were Brahmins – EMS, Jyoti Basu and Manik Sarkar. The previous and current General Secretaries of CPI(M) were both upper castes!

Should these CPI(M) leaders be viewed as brahmins or upper castes alone? Is that how they were known during their times? Persons like EMS Namboodiripad, P Ramamurthi, MR Venkatraman, Sankaraiah and AB Bardhan actually toiled all through their life for the betterment of the poorest of the poor and the downtrodden. They did not long to be on TV like Arunan but actually stayed far away from the media doing real change in the ground and helping create an alternative narrative to the Congress. No one can deny the role of the communists in India for the last seventy years in helping create an alternate narrative to the Congress.

But people like Arunan are ignorant. That is why it’s no surprise in that he sees the ministers in Modi’s cabinet only by their caste. Many of them have either dedicated their life to the cause they believe in (of development of their mother-land) or left lucrative private careers to serve the people.

To serve the cause of nation-building, they have joined to work under the leadership of a someone from backward-caste (Modi) and were sworn-in by a Dalit President.

This is exactly what worries people like Arunan – that Indians have started to look beyond their caste, and it puts people like him on the unemployed list.

The founding members of CPI(M) nor the members of Modi’s cabinet should be known by their castes but only by their work and the impact, it has on the lives of millions of Indians. Anyone else who sees them differently deserves to be called a “loosu” by the likes of Seeman!

1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

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