In 2005, I was on the rear seat of the scooter when my senior was driving. The person driving ahead of us on the road was driving like he had no driving sense. My senior shouted at him, “gadi theek se chalani nahin aati hai kya” (don’t you know how to drive properly). The person got angry and the first thing he said was, “Main press reporter hoon (I am a press reporter), don't you dare touch me".
Many people like being represented by groups. Groups can be of any kinds for e.g. based on caste, religion, state, city, age group, language, gender, profession, educational courses etc.
One of the basic purposes of forming a group is to provide equal rights to everyone that is the part of that group. Unity is strength so doesn't matter if one is weak or strong. Together they can do wonders.
But anyone who is a part of the group is an individual as well and not all people think of team as a team or a group as a group. They might think of their personal benefits.
Also, not all the members could be equally talented to manage that group or the challenges they might face in the society so instead of finding a solution or finding their areas of improvement, they would simply start pointing fingers at the other group which is probably the easiest thing to do.
A few days ago someone pointed out to me that people in Tamil Nadu are discriminated for their complexion (skin color). I do not like such kind of discussions yet I argued that this statement was useless as there are number of people with fair complexion as well and I showed that person some people who were born and brought up in Chennai yet fair enough.
To this I was told, “They are Brahmins, that’s why they are fair”.
I dropped the conversation there only as there was no point in arguing any further!
Problem is not with complexion, problem is with the complex that is developing or has developed inside the minds of such people. Great personalities are remembered because of their qualities not because of their skin color.
When I used to swim in the Ganges or fly kites on terrace my skin tone would go darker and darker. But when I was more at home my complexion would improve. Color of skin is hereditary most of the times but also depends on one’s exposure to direct sunlight.
Those with only some Geographical knowledge also know that people with dark complexion are limited to not only Southern part of India but can be found across all parts of India and skin color has nothing to do with the talent.
When I was in Indore, one of my friends there was ashamed of being born in a Brahmin family as Brahmins is not a warrior caste. I told him the contribution of Brahmins in Indian (Maratha) history as warriors and their contributions in Indian freedom struggle. I gave him number of examples including (but not limited to) Bajiprabhu Deshpande, Murarbaji Deshpande, Peshwas, Veer Savarkar etc.
He argued that Brahmins are seen as dominating caste and generally called as “Cunning” people. I told him how Gyaneshwar, Pandit Jagannath, Eknath and Shankaracharya struggled due to caste system despite being Brahmins. I told him about Saint Namdev, who belonged to lower caste, yet was visited by so many Brahmin families that he was opposed by some Brahmins.
Those who have read little history fall into this trap of caste system.
I referred Namdev as belonging to lower caste just to explain to him. Otherwise I believe strongly in what Kabir said, “Jaati na pooccho sadhu ki, poocch lijiye gyaan”. Similarly I told him how Mirabai (a princess) became the follower of Ravidas (born in a lower caste). No one knew who Sai Baba was but that great soul received respect from all parts of the society including upper castes.
Caste has become more of a political propaganda after Independence. Remember, every caste has produced great men and women. Caste system refers actually about the qualities of an individual and not just birth into a particular family. Please refer Shrimadbhagwadgita if you want to know what Lord Krishna told Arjuna about the qualities of various castes.
Similarly, there are people who would say because they belonged to so and so religion they could not become successful. Others would simply put blame on the crime rate in their cities, their type of job, their managers, neighbors, or even their country.
I can say by experience that it is very tough (for me at least) to motivate a negative thinker. Negative thoughts are so strong in some individuals that sometimes it feels difficult to protect ourselves from those thoughts. Only God helps during such times.
Mahatma Gandhi who was once thrown out of the train by the British became one of the major reasons for the British to Quit India. Babasaheb Ambedkar born into a dalit caste went onto become the Father of Indian Constitution.
Indira Gandhi became one of the most powerful prime ministers of India despite being a lady. Gangubai Hangal became one of the most reputed singers in the history of Indian Classical Music despite the fact that it was not considered a good profession to be pursued by women in that era.
Those who are not talented enough often try to hide behind the excuse of skin color, gender, caste, religious faith or any other kind of discrimination. No doubt there have been people who faced or are facing such problems but the talented ones found a way to success while the others enjoyed criticizing others.
Talent is never suppressed no matter where it was born. No matter which caste, creed, gender, etc., it belonged to. It blooms and although it may take time, it will appear in a glorious fashion that would be followed by the generations to come.
लाभस्तेषां जयस्तेषां कुतस्तेषां पराजयः I येषामिन्दीवरश्यामो हृदयस्थो जनार्दनः II