Over the years caste system has been a major part of Indian culture, with inter-caste marriages being looked down upon. There was a point in time when people belonging to the lower castes were not allowed to listen to the scriptures and if they did so, they faced the most brutal punishments like lead being poured into their ears and so on and so forth. Over the years, these issues have mellowed down to a certain extent but they have not completely gone away, and one of the states that still feel the ramifications of the said system is Haryana.
The caste system in haryana or rather the stringent measures to uphold the same in Haryana has given it a bad reputation over the years. The societies in the rural areas in this north Indian state are ruled by an elderly class of people, who have always acted as the guardians of the cultures and traditions that have often been found oppressive by one and all, especially the victims.
Violence against Dalits is a common menace in this part of India. Incidents like destruction of property and rape of their women can be heard and such issues are absolutely not excusable for a state that is looking to project itself as a paragon of progress in the days ahead. The situation is similar when it comes to position of women in the rural Haryanvi society. Patriarchy is such an important and integral part of the rural areas in Haryana that women hardly have any scope to vent their angst or voice their protest over the treatment that they have received over the centuries. The problem is that ones who have created this social order, so clearly in favour of men, are also the ones who are creating the caste-based obstacles.
Very recently, women have ascended to important positions within local governance in villages in Haryana and there have been some efforts to mend the situation. However, nothing much has come out of this as most people are saying that all this is a mere eyewash as they feel that the main aim is to maintain the sanctity of the caste system that forbids you from socialising with people considered to be of a lower caste.
However, the biggest effect of this caste system in haryana is the way in which it has continued to defy the laws of the land, while setting its very own and just making an absolute mockery of the entire setup. The justification of a system lies in the way it improves people's lives and not the other way. While it may be hard to completely scrape off a phenomenon that has been there for centuries, it is still necessary to create a structure that can act as a substantial counter to the oppression that is being perpetrated in the name of caste. One way traffic is always unwelcome and this one should definitely not be the case.
References: Media reports