Contemporary Casteism

The father of the nation worked hard to eradicate caste system in this country. He wished for a place where all would feel equal. On his birthday, a new system of inequality was introduced. So draconian, it makes you feel that the US is a smoker-friendly country.

When the ban came in effect, I was away, in the UK. Obviously I expected change when I came back.

And what a change! It is now seen in the eyes of every person who watches me smoke. What would have been perceived as simple disgust before, has now changed to complex hostility. And I am no exception. There may be a few good reasons why the ban was called in — one purpose it has served however, unfortunately, is the creation of two classes opposed in personal choice.

Shibboleth - 10

The response to my previous post, for example, is an insignificant example. You’d almost think that one side was avoiding commenting on the post to discourage any further attention on written matter related to tobacco.

I am drawn to Asuph’s post about Homosexuality: a meta (or non) normative take. The last piece in that post — the “no rules” are the most interesting. While he writes that with a specific context, it is fairly universal. I would add a fourth category to Asuph’s post:

D. De-normalisation through legislation.

I have observed the ban being brought into force the world over, the initial reactions and eventual resignations. The moment these things are legislated, there is potent belligerence in the air. For example, even some of the tolerant non-smokers have been swayed to extremism (and thankfully, both sides of the extremes — but those are negligible) by these bans.

Someday, you will be on the wrong side of the legislation according to the Recurrently Dividing Set Theory. To borrow and build upon Oscar Wilde’s thoughts, even if I disagree, I’ll defend to death your right to choose; question is, will you?

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3 thoughts on “Contemporary Casteism

  1. Does D really work? I can think of Sati system where it worked. And moderately, with dowry. But there, I think it’s not even close to “success”. When legislation is frivolous, to say the least, I don’t think it holds any moral authority to de-normalize. But then that’s just my opinion. Stranger things have happened in past. Lot of what we consider norm today might just be an arbitrary legislation some time (no beef eating?).

    Hmmm.

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  2. ==Asuph:
    Possible @ arbitrary legislation once upon a time. In this particular context however, it is a much more than arbit or frivolous. This is a catch-up as well as one-upmanship and populist even. And of course it is designed to distract.

    De-normalisation based on primitive moral concepts is pretty common, if you look around you. The effectiveness of it (whether legislated or not is secondary) is another Q. The real Q is, perhaps, why – in the first place.

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  3. Pingback: Venn Diagrams of Intolerance | Gaizabonts

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