Who remembers the classic track by Edwin Starr, “War”? Well in a similar vain, today we’re asking, “Caste, what is it good for?”… “Absolutely nothing”!
The purpose of this article isn’t to regurgitate what many other sites have already covered, there won’t be any coverage of how or why the Sikh caste system evolved or how our Gurus sought to abolish the ancient Hindu caste practices. The purpose of this brief article is simply to highlight that we’re in the 21st century, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee.
Whether you identify yourself as Jatt, Kamboj, Ramagaria, Saini, Khatri or one of the other myriad of documented Sikh castes, how many of you are maintaining your ancestral occupation and pursuing careers as farmers, carpenters or traders? I for one am not farming, I’m sitting here writing an article to express my frustration with the Sikh communities archaic obsession with the caste system. A community that was formed on the premise of equality.
Sadly however, based on what we see on matrimonial sites, even within the Gurdwara matrimonial services and in popular culture, it’s still prevalent. Based on the teachings of the Gurus caste should have been confined to the history books. ‘Intercaste marriage’ should not be a phrase that needs to exist and neither should people be searching for ‘Jatt Matrimonial’, ‘Kamboj Matrimonial’ or any other caste based matrimonial sites.
Sikh Caste and Matchmaking
Caste often rears its head at the time of matchmaking, and with SeekSikh.com being a Sikh matrimonial site it’s only appropriate that we address the elephant in the room.
It’s quite infuriating to see Sikhi TV channels that air matrimonial TV shows fixate and promote caste, even the Gurdwara matrimonial services, should really be taking a stand against this, however they’ll happily acquire and use ‘caste’ as a matchmaking filter.
As we enter the second, third, fourth and even fifth generations of British Sikhs, caste based matchmaking is to some extent being sidelined, however to the ‘older’ generation and traditionalists it’s still an important factor. The reasoning behind peoples preference to remain within certain castes can be complex, some bow to peer pressure, some feel a sense of superiority, whilst others choose to seek those with the same or similar castes due to a perception that they have a similar culture and shared traditions.
Whatever the reason, just remember that you’re searching for your soulmate, and if you believe ‘Rab Ne Banaiyan Jodiyaan’, then please don’t insist on categorising people in to buckets based on historical social stratification. People are people, if you want to find the one, then base your search on criteria that really matters, find someone who is on your wavelength, likes travelling, reading books, enjoys munching on galab jamuns and possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of Star Trek.
Caste Being Addressed
The issue of caste is in the spotlight; recently the Pink Ladoo Project took offence to the use of a song that stated ‘Jatt’ within the Farmers Protest Super Bowl commercial. Following this a huge debate ensued and we’d suggest you go and check it out on the Pink Ladoo Facebook post – although there were several threads.
Prior to this we hadn’t really heard any association of caste with the Farmers Protest and in all honestly, we saw Sikhs united fighting for a common goal and we truly believe that if Sikhs want to continue to thrive – we must stand together in all aspects and disregard caste which only divides.
Separately, Golden Roots, a Sikh dharmik band founded in 2014, made up of five UK born and raised Sikhs have recently released a track titled ‘Caste’. They state:
Don’t Let Caste Limit your Choice
In closing, if you choose to search for a partner with caste as an item on your tick list, that’s your prerogative, however Sikhism does not endorse caste based distinctions in society and we feel that this is a problem that needs to be addressed. So how do we address this issue? The answer is simple, “caste no bar”, not just words but in action. Find someone who makes you happy, not just because they tick the caste box.
For that reason you won’t find a field to state your caste on SeekSikh.com
We hope you find the right one.
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