Caste, conversion and contestation at Jaipur Lit Festival


"Today one can find separate Gurudwaras for Sikh Jats, Kabir panthis and the tanners," she said. "While Sikhism does not recognize caste, just like in the case of Islam, the situation of the ground is very different from the one visualised in scriptures," added Dutt.

Drawing attention to the ground realities in countries where religion forms the basis of law, Navaria said the country would not become secular and discrimination-free just by adopting Buddhism. "I don't like religion based systems because they end religion is detached from caste," he added.

Even as the panelists disagreed on various issues, they did agree on one thing that the aim should be that of a caste-free society. "I don't agree that caste cannot be abolished or that equality cannot come to India," Ilaiah said.

And while Navaria disagreed with him on how to achieve this goal, he did outline his vision for India. "What I want is neither a Ram Rajya or a Buddha Rajya, but in fact a Lok Rajya."

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