Sunday, July 6, 2008

My CASTE is my life's one Greatest Feeling !

I am an Indian. I am 23. I am working in the field of computers. Have quite a few friends. So, obviously the statistical probability of me being on Orkut portraying myself with my likes and dislikes and spending time with my friends there is quite high :)
And on one such occasion today, when i was on orkut, i saw that i had long back joined a community named " I HAVE NO CASTE, NO RELIGION" !
I was just casually wondering about the reasons I joined such a community. Was it just to show off to my friends and everyone that I do not care for what my caste is ? Was it just to make it a point to everyone that I do not care for a person’s caste ? Was it for the reason that I wanted to tell in the open that I do not use caste as a means to identify a fellow person ?

If all the above were true, then I wondered as to why should i be in a community that expresses I have no feeling about a quality ? ! Something that represents I do not care. Something that shows that I do not give an importance to. If I didn’t care about it, did not give importance to it, and did not even feel the feeling of it, then why even join a community and show the absence of it ?

The first answer my heart gave me then was “Unjoin it”.

But then my mind told me, “ No ! You do not have a caste feeling. You do not distinguish between people based on their caste. So, you rightfully belong to this place of like minded thinkers. Do not unjoin. You belong here. They are ‘YOUR’ sort of people. ”

And it was at this point, I was shocked. My heart questioned, “ ‘YOUR’ sort of people ? What do you mean ? A caste of people thinking they have no caste ? ! And priding themselves in doing that ! You must be worse than those who love caste for atleast they are in love ! But you seem to hate and be indifferent to the same thing while feeling the same”

My Mind answered, “But you do not hate who do not belong to your caste. ‘They’ do ! You love everyone equally !”

My heart laughed at this statement of me loving everyone equally. It asked, “Do you even love your sister as you love yourself ?” I felt insulted. I was horrified. It was not the first time in life my heart was pinching me that way. It does everytime I give it a chance ! My heart went on, “ You love everyone equally ? Do you love everyone at all let alone loving equally ? Let alone everyone, do you love atleast a few ?”

My mind said, “Enough Sai, go sleep now. No more such thoughts. Tomorrow there is a project deadline and also you have to get up early” !

My heart said, “Coward, he is protecting his caste feeling of no caste”

So, I did what I do best in such times. Surrender to my heart and asked, “What should I do now ?” . And it is then it came up with the thoughts below.

Friends, many a times in life we think of a particular quality as bad. It is purely based on our experiences and because of what we have been told is bad. So, we seem to not want that feeling. And yet knowingly or unknowingly, we do tend to exhibit the same even if we claim the absence of it. For instance, how many among us claming to have no caste feelings have put up their last names in their profiles as Iyers, Naidus, Reddys, Iyengars etc., etc., How many among us have also joined a community that represents our caste apart from joining a community that represents we have no caste feeling ?

Well, if you all haven’t, that’s great. But if a few of us have done that then that’s even greater for me ! For we have the feeling of caste although we deny it. And because we have a feeling of caste, we can also feel a sense of unity and relate to ‘OUR’ sort of people more !

And I always personally felt, that there’s no greater feeling in life, than feeling a sense of togetherness with another person. There’s no greater feeling in life than relating oneself to another person’s happiness, sorrow or any feeling of his/her. There’s no greater feeling than love for a person. And if caste can teach me that or if it requires belonging a caste to do that, then I have no objections belong to any caste ! Infact, I want a caste in such case. Not because I love caste. But because it helps me love people. It helps me relating to those people. I identify myself with them through it !

So, I decided I will have a caste and I will proudly claim it as mine. I will do everything possible required of me in maintaining that caste. I will have a caste because I want to love and be loved by people. And then I thought, if I want to love and be loved, then why restrict myself to loving and being loved by only Brahmins ? Let me belong to a caste that helps me love and be loved by everyone .

Thus began the process of me searching for a caste that will make me love all people and be loved by them. What is that caste which will make feel united with everyone and feel love for them ? What is that caste whose customs will be an antidote to all the ills of the society ? What is the superset and supreme of all castes ? Then dawned the answer !

If at all there was one caste in the world, that could make me feel united with everyone, if at all there is a caste that will awaken the feeling of love towards everyone, if at all there is one caste that will help me love everyone equally and make them feel loved, then it is the CASTE OF HUMANITY ! Yes, it is HUMANITY.

Humanity is that defining caste which will fulfill all the requirements that the customs and needs of society demands of it ! Humanity speaks the language of the heart. Humanity follows a religion called love. It sees goodness in everyone. It cares to remove the badness in everyone. It asks us to follow the customs of having compassion in our heart, care for a fellow person in our heart. It does not attach itself to names, forms or symbols. Humanity does not distinguish between people for positions of power, duty or even sharing one’s life. The only tool it knows and uses is love. It has existed every since life first took its form on the planet. It is not egoistic. It will not take lives of other people in the name of land. It will not force people to limit themselves for its realm is infinite. It is what everything a caste can be and even more. And I want to belong to it. Infact, we must belong to it ! That alone will make the customs we follow and the life we live worth it.

So, friends, let us not just promote NO CASTE FEELING for only love marriages to be successful. Let us truly belong to a caste that will bring a change in the society. A Caste better than a Caste of “no Caste feeling”. A Caste better than a Caste of “I hate Caste feeling”. A Caste called the CASTE OF HUMANITY. A Caste that will extend the boundaries of a good but limited thinking and will allow us to love everyone.

Let us all not drop or killing the feeling of caste in us. But let us use the same to expand our love to everyone. So, for all those who are in IYER community, I ask why only in IYER community ? For all those who are in REDDY or BRAHMIN community, I ask why only the Reddy or Brahmin community ? Ofcourse, Brahmins, Reddy, IYER, NAIDU everyone are good and fantastic in their own way. But if they cannot make you feel the ultimate feeling of love and togetherness with everyone and make you selfish, restricted then of what greater use are they ? Limited love is no love at all ! And false portrayal of love is a sin !

So, let us use our castes to grow. Let us act. Let us destroy our narrow minded thinking. Let us all do the right thing. Let us all make existence of love for EVERY fellow being a condition for having a caste, rather than existence of caste as a condition to love. We live but only once. So, let us make it a point to love everyone regardless of where we are born into. After all we all eat food from the same mother – Mother Earth and when she cannot distinguish between her children why do we brothers and sisters do ? Let us practice the caste she belongs to and the customs she is practicing – The Caste of Humanity !