Mumbai: A Dubai-based lawyer and activist is on a mission to root out India’s caste system and has served a mandatory notice on the central government in Delhi to eradicate the social classification method by the end of this year.
The caste system in India is a system of social stratification, which is now also used as a basis for affirmative action. Historically, it separated communities into thousands of hereditary groups.
Rooting out the deeply entrenched malady from Indian society is easier said than done but K.K. Sarachandra Bose is determined and is presently on a 40-day Bharat Yathra (Indian journey) that began on June 9 in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala state.
Along with a team of 34 volunteers, the sexagenarian is addressing people across various states before reaching Delhi mid-July, traversing a distance of almost 14,000km.
Along the way, Bose is also distributing a book title Caste Away! India, Hinduism & Untouchability, which he wrote and published in November 2013.
“It is in fact a 13-month mandatory notice I have served on the Government of India for Constitutional Reforms to eradicate the caste system from the country — by or before 31 December 2014,” he told reporters at the Mumbai Press Club on Monday.
A lawyer specialised in corporate, commercial and contract laws, Bose has been practising law in the Gulf for three and a half decades and is a partner in a legal consultancy firm, Dar-Al-Adalah, Advocates & Legal Consultants, Dubai.
He is a member of the Kerala High Court Advocates Association, Karnataka Bar Council and of the International Bar Association.
He also happens to be the founder-chairman of Gulf-Trivandrum Airfare Forum (1989) and successfully campaigned for the upgrading of Trivandrum airport as the fifth international airport in India (in 1991) after independence.
As part of the journey he has undertaken, he is carrying over 10,000 copies of the book — for free distribution.
“I’m happy that some philanthropists and well-wishers have offered to print several thousand copies,” he mentioned.
The activist, who will cover all state capitals and hold meetings in more than 35 cities and towns, said the expenses for the road trip were entirely self-sponsored.
“I do not depend on any organisation or political party whatsoever, though I’m happy many are supporting my cause.”
He pointed out that the Supreme Court in its observation has said that the caste system signalled a weak and divided polity.
“In short, ‘the caste system is a curse on the nation and the sooner it is destroyed the better,’ the apex court has noted.”
He also believes that the usage of the term ‘caste’ goes against the 1948 UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Accepting the fact that eradication of caste “may sound a bit over-ambitious for compatriots at large,” he stressed that his mission was driven by absolute faith in realising his goal.