The Curse of Caste

I came into existence aeons ago
But I am a blot on humanity
I trace my source to an ancient scripture
But I am the root cause of inequality
I claim to be the basis of labour division
But I have deprived millions of opportunity
I have been a part and parcel of a religion
But I created the curse of untouchability
I exist in every sphere of life
But I have destroyed the country’s unity
I have entrenched myself deeply in the public psyche
But enabled a few to flaunt their superiority
I am the driving force behind vote-bank politics
But also the perpetrator of gruesome atrocity
I have divided and sub-divided mankind like none other
But simultaneously justified the stratification of society
I discourage egalitarianism and brotherhood among people
But at the same time foster prejudice and animosity
I’ve concentrated prestige and power in a few hands
But denied basic rights to the vast majority
I’ve caused irreparable damage and destroyed many lives
But if am not stopped, I’ll do the same to posterity.

So to all those who stand for progress
In here lies my fervent plea
This nation was built on the ideals
Of justice, equality, liberty and fraternity
But if this dream is to ever materialise
There can never be any place for me
No longer shall you wait, no more relent
Until you have annihilated completely
Me and this hierarchy which I was to build
And helped your brothers break free
From the shackles of a system which has caused them
Unbearable humiliation and misery
It is your duty to ensure a dignified life
For every member of the citizenry
And uphold the values which are enshrined
In the constitution of this great country
Make no mistakes, this is a war
Which you must wage in the memory
Of the founding father of this great nation
And rest not till you attain victory
By relegating me once and for all
To the forgotten pages of history.

Shukr Usgaokar is a final year law student. A bit naïve, he still believes that words and ideas can change the world.

Featured image credit: Dimitar Belchev/Unsplash