Hostis humani generis-I

Human beings have evolved over the generations. From a primitive man who lived in the jungle, largely dependent on the forest and the nature; man has developed to become the most intelligent creature in the world. We have used our energies to give effect to our imaginations and have developed technologies which can generate power from flowing water and the wind; we have machines which can erect huge structures with much ease and some others which can reach the finest of our blood vessels. We can travel the world in hours and our intelligence has crossed the horizons of our planet and has established itself in the outer space.

Despite such innovations, there remain several enemies to mankind.

Hostis humani generis refers to ‘enemy of mankind’. One such enemy is the prevalent caste divide. The ‘classification’ based on caste was adopted to ensure the smooth running of the society. It was to demarcate the activities which were to be undertaken by a particular segment of people in the society. And it was a flexible structure in the Early Vedic times, as one could choose his profession and hence his caste. One’s actions defined his caste and not his ‘birth’. With the changes in the society, the upper castes interpreted the vedic texts to their benefit and altered it to such an extent that the birth of an individual was to determine his caste. A person could not take up any profession other than what had been bestowed upon him by his birth. The social structured hardened on these lines and the same has been followed up to this day. Today, despite the fact that persons from various castes have taken up different professions and have been very successful; they can’t do away with the indoctrinated concept of ‘caste’, which is inherent in the society.

Howsoever big a position may a dalit reach; he would still be considered a dalit, and hence looked down upon. His merits are hardly recognized and all that remains is that he would not have been able to reach the height, without his ‘quota’. And this attitude is gross. A brahmin who chooses to join the beauty industry or one who aspires to become a hair stylist is equally belittled by his immediate family and friends; for he should not be doing any such jobs which doesn’t suit his caste. I don’t understand as to how should a profession suit one’s caste. Can a non-brahmin not be a better teacher than a brahmin? Does the army allow only kshatriyas to protect the borders of the motherland? Are only vaishyas allowed to carry on trades and businesses? The answer to these questions is certainly in negative and everyone believes in the potential of a non-kshatriya prime minister, in a non-brahmin president and in a non-vaishya business-person; all of whom have been very successful in their respective fields.

In a situation as such, where people from every caste can do everything else, in a great way; I sincerely believe that the caste system should not stand as an enemy to the society. There should be no discrimination based on the caste of an individual. It should not be caste but one’s actions which should be determinative of his life and position in the society.

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