‘Caste is what has made Indians fearful of change’

Why doesn’t the BJP, which brags so much of inner-party democracy, simply not go ahead and hold an election to elect its next leader, instead of humiliating L.K. Advani from below while trying to anoint a leader from above?

R. Jagannathan, in DNA, suggests that the reason may be caste. Centuries of caste-based protection has made Indians reluctant to change; afraid to abandon the old even after it has outlived its utility. Therefore, he says, we are afraid of the outcome of democracy.

“Caste is like the shell of the tortoise. When faced with predators, the tortoise withdraws into its shell. Caste was the protective shelter under which the Indic peoples withdrew when confronted with the radical new ideologies of Christianity and Islam. So successful has caste been as protector, that even the others have adopted it. Caste now permeates Indian Islam and Christianity, not to speak of Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism. Put another way, caste is a force independent of Hinduism.”

Read the full article: BJP’s succession blues