Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Curing Caste by Sahodaran Ayyappan: READINGS ON KERALA


Curing Caste
Sahodaran Ayyappan

Paragraph questions:
1.      Explain Sahodaran Ayyappan’s coinage “Caste Disease”.
“Curing Caste” is a poem written by Sahodaran Ayyappan, translated by Dr Ajay Sekher and published in the book Sahodaran Ayyappan: Towards a Democratic Future. Sahodaran Ayyappan uses the phrase “Caste Disease” to denote the practice of discrimination based on caste that existed in Kerala society. He uses medical terms to symbolically phrase the harsh realities of the caste-based social order prevalent during his time. Sahodaran Ayyappan suggests two cures for the caste disease: one is applied from the outside and the other is from the inside. The cures that are only applied externally leave the real causes of the caste problem unsolved. External solutions are short-lived. Without being eradicated, the caste disease could cause further damage in the psyche of the individual as well as the in the function of the society similar to a disease that is left unhealed. According to Ayyappan, the only way to heal caste disease is to apply a cure from the inside. 

2.      How do some politicians exploit caste disease?
Sahodaran Ayyappan is a social reformer, revolutionary, poet, rationalist, administrator, and legislator. His contributions in ushering progressive thought in the Kerala polity are significant. In his poem “Curing Caste”, Ayyappan uses a medicinal simile to articulate his anti-caste views. According to Ayyappan, caste can be compared to a disease that has two forms of cures; one from the inside and the other from the outside. The medicines taken externally can have an only transitory impact on the disease. The caste disease thus left unhealed, could retreat into the inside and wreak havoc inwardly in the individual’s psyche. Ayyappan invokes the perspective of ancient sages to demonstrate his point. He says that hate, gossip, and nationalist rhetoric are symptoms of caste existing dormant in the collective psyche of society. Individuals who nurture caste- bias are prone to become successful as politicians who rally masses in the name of caste and hate-speech. Politicians exploit caste-disease to gather support and secure power.

3.      Explain the lines “Those who cure caste without trying to alleviate it/ Are trying to cool off without extinguishing the fire.”
Sahodaran Ayyappan is a social reformer, revolutionary, poet, rationalist, administrator, and legislator. His contributions in ushering progressive thought in the Kerala polity are significant. In his poem “Curing Caste”, Ayyappan uses a medical simile to articulate his anti-caste views. According to Ayyappan, caste can be compared to a disease that has two forms of cures; one from the inside and the other from the outside. The medicines taken externally can have an only transitory impact on the disease. External solutions are short-lived. Without being eradicated, the caste disease could cause further damage in the psyche of the individual as well as the in the function of the society similar to a disease that is left unhealed. Ayyappan suggests that without minimising the intensity of the caste problem, no cure can have its desired impact. Without extinguishing the raging fire of caste-based discrimination, none of the solutions would work properly. It would be similar to cooling off without extinguishing the fire, a meaningless as well as hopeless act.
4.      What are the benefits of curing caste?
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5.      What, according to Ayyappan, are the essential elements for gaining full human potential?
Sahodaran Ayyappan is a social reformer, revolutionary, poet, rationalist, administrator, and legislator. His contributions in ushering progressive thought in the Kerala polity are significant. In his poem “Curing Caste” Ayyappan sees caste as a disease and prescribes remedies to heal it. According to Ayyappan if the individual is healed of the caste disease, he or she will be able to see the true nature of human beings. Those individuals become healthy and normal. The poet compares the individual freed of the caste disease with those who recuperate from a major illness. He states that the flaws and virtues of a human being can be identified only by those who can overcome the caste disease. The essential elements for gaining full human potential are not just the use of human intelligence or learning new skills. It is, on the other hand, getting rid of the caste-bias.

REF: Multiple Modernities, edited by Board of Editors, Kannur University, Cohin: Hornbill Publishing House, 2019. Print. 


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2 comments:

Student said...

Short summary on chapter

Student said...

Summary on the chapter