Published: 05th June 2021
Discrimination is a strict no-no: How can we find apt solutions in schools, colleges to teach our kids better
Caste discrimination still remains a problem. The Coach tries to find apt solutions in our schools and colleges to teach our kids better
Divide and rule was introduced in the pre-independence era in our country and was one of the most important tools to establish dominance. But even after we got independence, it hasn’t stopped. Why fix it, if it ain’t broke, right? This was the attitude that ensured that this practice continued and hence, the DIVIDE grew bigger.
In spite of never even thinking on those lines, during many a conversation, people ask me “You’re a Lingayat, right? How come you’re with friends with people from different caste(s)?” I find it absurd! What’s even more absurd is how this topic has become the talk of the day again because of a post on social media by a comedian making derogatory jokes on reservation. So, the question that came to my mind was whether we should consider having caste sensitisation sessions at educational institutions.
It’d be taking it too far if we have caste sensitisation sessions in schools. Why? Because I can foresee the same situation being repeated like what happened with the comedian(s). Imagine,
after class, students ask each other which caste, creed or community each belongs to and then indulge in what was intended as HARMLESS BANTER only to turn into a mess and wreak havoc later. If not contained early, it can grow to a level wherein parents will end up fighting with each other for what their kids did innocently. I say ‘innocent’ as they might not have been able to predict the outcome or understand the consequences of their actions.
College is a whole different story as there are many factors that work in the favour of effective sensitisation. Almost all students would be adults. Their mental maturity and experiences in life would have made them more street smart and facilitated faster learning. Their exposure levels would make it easier for them to relate to what is being discussed and how it affects each and every one.
How to execute?
It’s not just about CASTE. There are a lot of issues that need to be addressed along with the above. Also, I wouldn’t be sure about the optics of it all. It should be a carefully thought of, well-planned, holistic approach that covers all aspects and focus on SENSITISATION as a whole, rather than splitting hairs. Equal emphasis should be given to all topics. At the school level, the emphasis would be on bullying, body shaming, respect to girls and women, personal hygiene and so on. But when it comes to colleges, topics such as casteism, sexual harassment,
verbal harassment and gender could be stressed upon.
The point is to make the course outline or module as assertive as possible and it should emphasise the following, so that it’ll be more effective to address the above:
1. Having an open attitude
2. Practicing gratitude every day
3. Protecting women and drawing
4. Practicing IMPARTIALITY, especially without bringing in caste, religion, region, creed or sex
5. Empathy and how it feels to be on the other side of bullying, body shaming, passing lewd comments
When these act as a foundation, not only will the sensitisation be effective, but it’ll also facilitate the development of MORAL INTEGRITY, strong values and social responsibility.
Adarsh Benakappa Basavaraj