Caste system and food- yes, it’s related.

I’m not a nutritionist but food has always attracted me towards itself and for good. I grew up in a very strict household where my mother made sure that I knew what was good for my body and what wasn’t. Junk food was a strict no-no! No aerated drinks, no chips, no pizza etc. I hated all the restrictions which were put on me but with time I understood that it was all a part of food education- yes, it exists and you actually have to educate your kiddos about food. This isn’t a common tradition in India but for my parents it was crucial that me and my brother knew everything there was to know about food and it’s benefits.

Fast forward to my 19 year old self, I thank my mother for all that gyaan! The compliments I receive for my physique today are a result of my upbringing.

Sometime back in college when things were hunky-dory a friend of mine walked up to me and asked if I was ‘on’ some diet.

‘I’m never ‘on’ a diet Ayesha, it’s a part of my life. I eat to survive. Diet is survival!’

‘Don’t lie, I know you are on Keto. I’ll also start from tomorrow’, and off she went, even before I could ask her what that diet was and what she was planning to do. I went home and Googled it and was not surprised to find out that like many other diets out there, this one also kicked carbohydrates out of the balcony! NO CARBS WHATSOEVER (it says little carbs but if I can’t I have my roti and chawal it’s equivalent to no carbs only.)

This diet is a disaster in making. I hope all of you know about the Vedic caste system. For those of you who don’t, let me explain it to you as simply as is possible. The Vedic or let’s say the Hindu caste system divides people into four castes or say, types- Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and the Shudras, with the Brahmanas being on the top of the hierarchy and the Shudras at the bottom rung. Now the caste system has another category- the Ati Shudras.

The Shudras and the Ati Shudras were despised by everyone. In a town which comprised of the other three castes, the Shudras weren’t allowed to enter. They lived on the periphery of the town and were subjected to the most inhuman treatment you can fathom. Worst was the scenario for the Ati Shudras who has sound a clapper before they set their foot in the town so that the people knew they were coming. The system was pathetic. It poisoned the body politic of India like nothing else and we are bearing the brunt of it even today.

Now to understand the relation between the caste system and food, replace carbs with the Shudras, Protein with Brahmanas and the story will become clear to you. Think over it, it may ring a bell somewhere in your brain.

I’ll elucidate on this tomorrow. Also, I do not mean to hurt anyone’s sentiments or feelings by this article. I’m only drawing a comparison. Please forgive me if at any point it hurt you even if in the most subtle way. Healing is my only intention. I mean no harm to anyone.

Om Shanti.