Virender Sehwag: I want to know truth about our Indian caste system. How can we ensure more inclusiveness and equality?
Sadhguru: Namaskaram Viru. This system essentially began as division of labour. For a society to function, a certain number of people in the population must do variety of skills and artisans. Somebody should take care of administration. Somebody should take care of education and spiritual process for the community. Like this they made four basic divisions.
Over a period of time, they became further and further divided, not essentially as a discriminatory process, but more as a division of labour. And also, we must understand in ancient times when there were no engineering schools and medical schools – if your father was a carpenter, you learned carpentry at home from childhood and became a good carpenter. So skills were transmitted from generation to generation by maintaining this caste system.
This [Caste] system essentially began as division of labour
But, unfortunately somewhere along the way a goldsmith starts thinking he’s superior to a blacksmith. Though a blacksmith’s work may be far more useful to the society than a goldsmith’s, somehow one thinks he’s superior to the other. And over generations, this superiority gets established. All kinds of exploitative processes happened, and it came to a place where caste system almost began to manifest itself, or it has manifested itself like apartheid. Still in many villages in India, the people who are considered to be lower caste, or what you call as Dalits, don’t even have basic human rights in many villages. Though much has changed in the last 25-30 years, still many very horribly undesirable things keep happening in our country.
The only way out of this is, one thing is, it’s not relevant to these times because skills can be transmitted in many different ways. We have educational institutions, we have technological institutions. So this family transference of skills is not the way it is going anymore. But there is one context that is of social security. People take care of their own clan and their caste. They will always reach out to people who are in trouble in their caste. This kind of social security is there. So it is very important that we bring a nationwide social security system, and an education system which will transmit skills to everybody according to their aptitude. Once that happens, I think caste system will die a natural death.