How many of us have been asked about our family background? In an interview for a job, or maybe for a scholarship. Or perhaps by a new acquaintance. How innocent was that query? Surely, the person was attempting to get a measure of our background or our character?
Do read the comments, even if comments on rediff and indiatimes test our sanity and patience a lot. Most of the respondents think the researchers are implying that Indian companies are engaging in direct caste discrimination. The article implies something far more dangerous – that people are discriminating without knowing it. Their decision making process is influenced by the answers they receive to all the questions, which includes a background check. Why ask for background if you are going to ignore it? Why ask for background if it is irrelevant? Thats because sub-consciously, we are equating backgrounds with castes. And our decisions are being influenced by the background of the applicant.
Caste discrimination is a practice that has had thousands of years for perfection. It has been taken to such a level of perfection that its practice is so subtle, so innocuous that an accuser would be treated as irrationally paranoid. You will have to bore into the very nuances of language, behavior and culture to know it is occuring.
It s a fight that has to be fought on a different level.