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Go to: The secret scandal of Britain's caste system

maxpsycho's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by maxpsycho

Well actually growing up in areas around North and West London that have a much bigger population of residents from the South Asian subcontinent, largely of Indian descent, I personally experienced that this issue of caste discrimination, sadly is even more rife in schools and colleges than one would think.

To illustrate with just an example off the top of my head, I attended Harrow College for my A' Levels, where students flatly "refused" to speak with one another in the same classroom because they had an inkling of the fatuous idea that they belonged to a supposedly higher caste of Gujarati Hindu than others. One was kind enough to tell me that as I was a Hindu Punjabi (allegedly), she would have to take a second shower for speaking with me.

I am, sadly, not referring to migrants from the sub-continent; these are the grandchildren of that generation that migrated here from India. These are children that are born and raised in this country, unfortunately in terribly divided ghettos. We are talking about 16-17 year old sixth-formers who, one would expect in all sensibility, have reached at least some sense of maturity about the subject of discrimination.

Having moved to the UK from India, even I found this stunning. Mainly because you do hear the horrific tales of caste discrimination in the "Metro" cities of India in your childhood; but these tales usually originate in extremely backward villages of the country (however I must caveat this, because at the time of writing this, even a city as metropolitan as Mumbai, my home-town, has sadly become a breeding ground for Hindu nationalist fascists who are dreaming of taking India back to the glorious ages of the four caste system of society, and countless other horrors).

Sun, 26 Jun 2011 10:17:14 UTC | #842763

Go to: Happy birthday, Christopher Hitchens

maxpsycho's Avatar Jump to comment 63 by maxpsycho

Happy Birthday, Sir. Like many others, and hopefully you too, I shall be celebrating this joyous occasion with a Johnnie Walker Black Label with Perrier. Have a great one!

Wed, 13 Apr 2011 21:47:04 UTC | #615147

Go to: Astrology is a science: Bombay High Court

maxpsycho's Avatar Jump to comment 83 by maxpsycho

I was born and raised in Mumbai till I was 13 and even now I visit Mumbai at least twice a year.

I'm not the least bit surprised at this contemptible display of stupidity by the presiding judge. Things like astrology are sold even today (and in many cases, in greater numbers today), and one of it's major contributing factors is television.

Respected News channels in India, have their daytime and primetime slots dedicated to (I won't say pseudo-scientific as no word containing "scientific" should be used for these people) what can only be described as charlatans who spend entire airtimes taking people not only through the horoscopes but advising them on everything from when they should switch jobs, when it's ok to buy houses, to what foods to stay away from, what to eat if you're an asthama patient and what colours will be beneficial to wear this autumn.

And the marketing is so effective that even highly educated university graduates, doctors, scientists can be spotted wearing bizarre health replenishing pendants, charm bracelets etc.

A more personal experience was when I visited a doctor in Mumbai just last December. As our family GP was unavailable, I went to someone new and as I entered the clinic and sat down opposite him, I saw him wearing a garish blue bracelet that I had noticed in an advert just 10 mins earlier. This is something that apparently helps in warding off evil eyes and costs approximately £60.

I was on the verge of making a hasty exit when he noticed me looking at the object and promptly took it off apologising that his wife insisted that he wear it before leaving the house. We laughed about it later but this judgement really is no laughing matter.

It seems that, as Prof. Dawkins stated in fact in "The Enemies of Reason", the idea that a concept has survived sheer passage of time doesn't mean that it's true or good and unfortunately this is what has been crippling our education in India. We are constantly bombarded with appeals to respect our 6000 year old lineage of people who knew so much back then when nobody else did - not noticing that we know so much more now that they never could have.

Wed, 16 Feb 2011 13:02:40 UTC | #592442

Go to: Atheism in the workplace

maxpsycho's Avatar Jump to comment 68 by maxpsycho

I had a very similar experience at my workplace - I work at one of the Big 4 firms in Central London as a Forensic Technology Consultant, and our group is rife with faith-heads (me being the only atheist in my team of over 70 people).

When I joined the firm, there was a muslim woman, from Bangladesh, in the team who seemed fairly liberal for a muslim (no headscarves or veils, heavy drinker, chain smoker - basically a party animal).

At the time, I had just finished TGD and started reading God Is Not Great by the Hitch, and upon seeing it on my desk once, she complained to the team director that I was being offensive to her faith.

The director had a word with me, and I was made to (not officially of course) hide my heretical identity as the team was also host to a radical young-earth creationist (he harangued me to read his copy of Bones of Contention which he constantly carried around with him and really did believe that the world came about at 9 am on 23rd October 4004 BC), a group of strongly believing protestants, a couple of hindus and the larger majority of catholics.

Well that was the last day I had spoken with her, but I did make it imperative upon myself to embarrass her overtly in front of the team leaders every single time that she took off for her 5 daily prayers leaving her work half-done or when she used to bugger off home early during Ramadan that she was leaving the rest of the team one person short and implicitly asking us to support her beliefs whether we wanted to or not.

I don't agree with Gandhi on much of anything but I do think that at the very least, we absolutely must employ the tactic of shaming the other person when they are being bigotted, hypocritical twats and expose them as such.

Wed, 16 Feb 2011 12:36:09 UTC | #592433

Go to: Clinton John Dawkins

maxpsycho's Avatar Jump to comment 58 by maxpsycho

I am very sorry for your loss, sir. My condolences to you and your family.

Thu, 09 Dec 2010 07:26:45 UTC | #560546

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