India’s Caste System, Social Inequality and Demonetization

Jan 20, 2017 by

By Satya Sagar –

For over a millennium one of the recurring debates among Indian philosophers was whether this world was real or a mere dream. To be more precise, the claim was, we are all part of Maha Vishnu’s dream as He sleeps peacefully on a giant serpent, with a lotus blooming from His navel.

Paradoxically, those who preached most passionately that our senses mislead us and everything around was Maya or an illusion, went on to corner the largest chunk of material reality.

Behind the smokescreen of clever mythology, it was they, who grabbed the lion’s share of everything tangible over the centuries – from land, water, natural resources to hard political and social power. Worse still, using a mix of brute force and religious mumbo-jumbo, they consolidated the exploitation of those who work by those who merely cook up tall stories, through the nightmare of the caste system.

Today the politics of Maya is well and truly back in play with Narendra Modi’s ‘Mahayagna’ a.k.a. demonetisation promising a digital Moksha through the tapasya of a ‘war on black money’. Once again, as in India’s sordid past, the biggest losers of this devious push for a cashless economy are going to be those right at the bottom of the Indian caste hierarchy.

From all evidence so far it is clear, that the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, who make up a bulk of those surviving off India’s vast informal economy, are the worst affected by the sudden disappearance of cash from the economy. Labour in agriculture, construction, fishing, textiles, micro-enterprises, the urban and rural poor – mostly from these marginalized castes – have been pushed to the brink of starvation or worse due to loss of jobs and income.

The other sections hit hard, are small and medium sized farmers, who are overwhelmingly from the different Backward Castes and artisans, mostly from poorer Muslim communities. It is true that demonetisation has also hit the economically and caste-wise better off trading communities, but they seem to have been sacrificed in the quest for complete domination by global and national corporations – who pay our politicians to run the country on their behalf.

Source: India’s Caste System, Social Inequality and Demonetization | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

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