The caste system is a special type of social stratification found mostly in ancient and modern India’ but elements of it, and even well-developed systems it is found in various parts of the world. The word ‘caste’ is derived from a Latin word caste meaning breed. It is divided into 4 varnas (color) later which on came to mean castes; they are, Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaisya, and Sudra. The caste system is extremely complicated and ancient and at one point dictated the occupation of people. Even though that might have changed a bit, a few of its fundamentals remain the same. A person born in one caste has to die to be a part of the same caste and since caste is hereditary, intercaste marriages continue to be a huge taboo in both rural and urban India.
Marriage, on the other hand, was an institution formed a million years ago as a means to occupy the land. People came together to form an institution, procreate and create a family so their possession could be passed on from them to their children. They felt the kinship would help them restore their property. Over the centuries, a family has become the most basic institution that people are born and raised in. It has evolved into an extremely complex institution that helps us form an identity.
So when the caste and marriage and marriage collide, what happens? There are a series of rules that need to be followed and extreme negative implications if we don’t. Our society is fuelled by a system where everyone wants to prove their superiority so God helps you if you decide to marry in a lower caste. With social boycotts, family abandonments and rampant honor killings, we keep proving time and again, that oppression is here to stay. Yes, there is the law that legalizes intercaste marriage but no law that protects the ones who do, despite the increasing number of crimes in such cases.
Casteism is a real issue. It starts from hating on a reservation and ends up in Not Caring of lower caste people whose dreams and love was higher than their caste. Let’s remove the discrimination and create a society where we find honor in loving.