Sunday, December 6, 2009

SC wants caste system abolished

“Unfortunately, the centuries-old Indian Caste System still takes its toll from time to time. This case unfolds the worst kind of atrocities committed by the so-called upper caste (Kshatriya or Thakur) against the so-called lower caste — Harijan caste in a civilised country,” the top court observed.
“It is absolutely imperative to abolish the caste system as expeditiously as possible for the smooth functioning of rule of law and democracy in our country,” a Bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and A.K. Patnaik said expressing anguish over occurrence of such crimes. While restoring the life sentence to six members of the Thakur community — Mathura Singh, Udai Bhan Singh, Dhirendra Singh, Munna, Ram Niwas Singh and Vijay Karan Singh — for the heinous crime, the Bench directed that the four surviving accused should surrender to the authorities immediately while cancelling their bail bonds.
“The accused belonging to Thakur caste butchered seven innocent persons belonging to the Harijan caste and to wipe out the evidence of their atrocities, after shooting they were thrown in the Ganges,” the court stated.
The above text is from Deccan Chronicle report on 6.12.2009.
I studied caste system as a student of Sociology. There are only four castes—brahmin, kshtrya, vaishya and shudra. Dalits are outside the fourfold hindu society. I do not use the term harijan. I agree with what Mayawatiji said about it. Dalits do not belong to any caste.
It is a very noble thought that caste system should be abolished. It would have been most welcome had the judges suggested ways of abolition.
What were the judgements of lower courts?

Another notable judgement.
Recognising the right of Muslim women beyond the iddat period under the Family Court Act of 1984 and other relevant legal provisions, the Supreme Court has held that a divorced Muslim wife would continue to get maintenance from her ex-husband if she doesn’t remarry. This was reported in the same news paper on 5.12.2009. As expected muslim clerics have raised concerns and I am also sure that a Rajiv will undo the judgement.
In one judgement SC asks for abolition of caste system but in this case does not even suggest enactment and implementation of uniform civil code, which to my knowledge is part of ‘directive principles of state policy’.

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