In India, social inequality is a reality, particularly in rural areas where caste plays a significant role in establishing one’s social standing. Using caste identification to practise untouchability was criminalised at the start of modern India, but it has yet to be totally eradicated.
(a) Conflict resolution strategy
Setting a good example
As a sarpanch, my first step would be to provide a good example for people to follow. I would send children from my family and similar-minded acquaintances to the school and eat food prepared by the new cook. If the sarpanch is willing to go the extra mile to set an example, others will be willing to accept change as well. It is more important than everything else to change people’s perceptions.
Gathering of the community
Gatherings, where people socialise with each other without regard for caste or religion, might be held to improve relations between all the communities in the village. This will lead to a more positive perception of equality in the future.
If all else fails to work, this must be the last resort. This may cause friction among communities, but given the need of proving the seriousness of equality, it must be carried out.
(b) Responsibilities of different social segments and agencies
The family plays the most important role in fixing this type of problem. If children are taught human equality in the home, they will undoubtedly be progressive and will avoid evils such as casteism.
As Sarpanch, it is my responsibility to inform all Gram Sabha members about the evils of casteism and untouchability.
Similarly, administrative agencies can play a significant role in resolving this type of issue. People should be made aware of such issues by administrative institutions, and those who violate the law should face consequences.
As a result, if various social sections and administrative agencies carry out their responsibilities honestly, a positive and socially pleasant environment can undoubtedly be created.