Caste Based Discrimination Still Exists in the 21st Century
The caste-based discrimination still exists in the 21st Century in my country and people from lower caste are even killed, threw on rivers like dead animals. There are many places in Nepal where people are facing discrimination according to their caste. Caste-ism hasn’t left those suffering people even in the 21st century. We are identified in the world in the name of ‘Unity in Diversity’ which means we live together even though we belong to different castes, follow different traditions and cultures. Everyone from other countries respects us, our culture and most of them visit Nepal to see the beauty of our nature and the hearts of people living here. Yes, we live together in a small beautiful nation. Yes, there is unity. Yes, we have a big heart and we welcome our guests heartily. But at the same time discrimination among people still exists in Nepal. The lower caste people are dominated by higher caste people in our own society every day in many ways.
Belonging to the middle class and lower caste family background, I have experienced this discrimination since my childhood. It always felt very bad when I had to face discrimination within my society, my school, and among my friends. Young adults who belong to lower caste families are not invited to their friend’s houses in birthday parties while others have been part of every celebration. People are not allowed to go to their rooms and kitchens. A bell ring early morning from the temple nearby is an alarm clock for everyone in the village but only higher caste people can enter the temple. They aren’t allowed to go inside the God Shiva temple even during the month of Shrawan while many Hindu women from Dalit communities besides higher caste women also take fasting every Monday during that month. History was even worse. Dalit people who were surrounded by higher caste people never thought of participating in the community activities/ programs because they were Dalit and of course they were not allowed as well. These people never thought of challenging themselves with higher caste people. They always had to put their heads down. People are not engaged in the celebration of higher caste people but they are still their neighbors. Even if they were their friends and it’s their marriage or birthdays they couldn’t attend if the ceremony is happening at their homes. I have seen these older people who spent more than 20 years of their life fasting for different Hindu gods and they still worship every day and believe in their gods but they are not allowed to go to the temple. Exactly today the month of Shrawan has started. I am afraid of how many women are suffering again. Maybe they don’t or maybe there will be fewer women who suffer. Maybe society has learned a lesson and has become an educated individual. But these priests at the temple will barely accept the bitter truth. Exactly today the month of Shrawan has started. I am afraid of how many women are suffering again. Maybe they don’t or maybe there will be fewer women who suffer. Maybe society has learned a lesson and has become an educated individual. But these priests at the temple will barely accept the bitter truth.
Growing up in the Hindu community, most Nepalese people have a strong belief in god. We never see a person who belongs to the lower caste family being pujari in the temples. Only Bahun people are not the ones who do worship or take fasting for the specific god. But most of the people who belong to the lower caste are also interested in fasting and worshipping the gods. It’s not that all the higher caste people are bad. There are higher caste people who support these Dalit communities and are working towards ending this disgusting tradition of discrimination. There is also this fact that only male Bahun becomes a pujari in the temple. He doesn’t let people belonging to the lower caste go inside the temple once he finds out. We were surrounded by higher caste people and people from our small society never thought of participating in the community activities because they were Dalit. We never engaged in their celebration and them in ours. Even if they are our friends and it’s their marriage or birthdays we couldn’t. Inter-caste marriage is still not acceptable in many corners of Nepal. If ever happens then a girl or a boy has to sacrifice his/ her family. They are even killed by higher caste people.
I think these kinds of superstitious beliefs should no longer exist in our societies. If we have religious feelings for gods then being lower caste should affect their religious beliefs towards something. They should not be avoided or ignored or restricted for something they want just because they are from a lower caste family. I can still see that the people belonging to the lower caste are dominated by some people belonging to the higher caste. I see these kinds of discrimination in my society, in many districts a lot. Especially old generation people who belong to the higher caste try to discriminate against lower caste people and also try to keep them away from their children, house, kitchen and other activities. I never believe that people belonging to a lower caste should be treated differently. I always stood up for this when I grew older. I have met many friends who are from higher caste but have always supported me and haven’t done any kinds of discrimination. I started getting connected with the municipality and engaged in the clubs in my community and helped with the development work like organizing different programs done by the municipality, taking membership in the community finance organization, participating in the community-based programs. So like my society has changed a bit now. Not completely but I have seen a little bit of change.
Discriminating people according to their caste is something wrong, something totally unfair going on in Nepal. Yes, discriminating against lower caste people should no longer exist in our country Nepal. We should still speak up for equality for Dalit society to make more changes in the different parts of Nepal. In my opinion, there is no higher or lower caste in fact there is only one caste and that is a human being. Dalits shouldn’t be treated as they are from another world. We all are human beings. We need equal rights and justice like all other human beings on this earth. It doesn’t matter if that is going inside the temple or believing in God, participating in the religious ceremony, nominating for the governmental post, or going to a boarding school. We all survive on this earth. We need equal rights, justice, and freedom to live freely in our country. You are no one to decide!