TikTok
Boys gather near the H&M showroom in Connaught Place to make TikTok videos | Photo: Jyoti Yadav | ThePrint
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When I went to Delhi’s Connaught Place in September 2019 for a feature story on TikTokers, I met hundreds of them who were lip-syncing to songs from Gully Boy, while others were crying, laughing, dancing and acting like film stars. I found their confidence astonishing.

I also came across a group that was sitting at a distance and laughing at their moves.

When I talked to one of the members of this group, I discovered how a section of the Indian population thinks TikTok is mainly for the ‘lower castes’. The boy proudly boasted about his ‘upper-caste’ identity and said: “These jokers are lower-caste people, and no one from the upper castes would ever make such videos”. He also added: “The traits of this app are very similar to those of people from lower castes — ridiculous and funny. Why would anyone aspire to be like them?”

Later on, during my conversations with some more ‘upper-caste’ people, I got a sense of what they think about this video-sharing app — “idiotic”, “frivolous” and “cringeworthy”. They, however, never categorically said that TikTok only suits Dalits or the lower castes.

In a recent tweet, which went viral but has now been deleted, a user categorised social media platforms into caste-based hierarchies. He put YouTube and Instagram under the ‘Brahmin’ category, Twitter under ‘Kshatriya’, Facebook under ‘Vaishya’ and TikTok under ‘Shudra’. This led to more arguments about whether to support or reject this caste-based division of social media platforms.

While some supported this division, quoting the Bhagavad Gita to establish that Kshatriyas are known for their bravery, Brahmins for their knowledge, Vaishyas for commercial trade and Shudras for ‘low-profile jobs’, others were left fuming.

The rigid, hierarchical caste system divides Hindus into four broad ‘varnas‘: Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. ‘Untouchables’ are ranked below these. Kshatriyas are rulers and warriors, Vaishyas are traders and Shudras do the menial jobs. These groups have also been assigned certain personality traits, with Brahmins allotted the most socially-desired traits, by conventional standards.


Also read: ‘Better to be TikTok-er than a rioter’ – Delhi violence has divided TikTok users


Instagram life an aspiration, TikTok life an aberration 

The irony here is that social media platforms were supposed to offer a democratic space for equal representation of every section of society. But Indians, consciously or unconsciously, have divided social media into a caste system too.

Instagram has become a place for privileged elites who flaunt their destination weddings, dinners at fancy restaurants and coffee at expensive chains. The highly romanticised and lavish lifestyles of Instagrammers have led many to consider them privileged ‘Brahmins’.

Twitter is seen as a place for people who govern India and those who set the dominant narratives about the country. People here are constantly arguing with each other over different issues, such as liberals and conservatives over politics.

An important question is: Why are TikTokers being labelled the ‘Shudras of the internet’? This could probably be because the settings of some of their videos show them ploughing in their fields, cooking in their one-room homes, or making bricks.

But why are the TikTokers subjecting themselves to this mockery? Because they aren’t ashamed of their torn clothes, tanned skin, malnourished bodies, and, most importantly, their poverty.


Also read: Om Shanti Om to Helen: TikTok users are taking ‘man-woman’ Bollywood songs & going queer


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48 COMMENTS

  1. Just see the Twitter handle which posted such ridiculuos tweet, it is “atheist” krishna means it is breaking India gang, this is propaganda of Anti- India, Hindu phobic The print

  2. The Print- Hub of Stupids, so called ‘liberals’, ‘Secular’, ‘Intellectuals’, ‘Hinduphobic’.

  3. Show a video of the interaction or it never happened, leftists has always been known to make up stories in their offices.

    • There’s a video in which upper castes insult lower castes on YouTube. Search the print, shabaz ansar.

  4. Uselesss, irrelevent article only to foment caste hate. Few people mentality cannot be branded as indian mentality.
    The Print only publish articles that negatively divide the society rather then bringing article of positive nature.

  5. Uselesss, irrelevent article only to foment caste hate. Few people mentality cannot be branded as indian mentality.
    The Print only publish articles that negatively divide the society rather then bringing article of positive nature.

  6. Prove that tik tok is only for shudras……By birth i born in brahman family but i am respect peoples according to their beahviour and nature not by their caste…brahman is tolerated caste which tolerated most like a shudras from ancient period……It can be 1947 maharsatra brahmins genocide 1990 kashmiri brahmin genocide and day by day well planned killing of brahmins like up,bihar…..kbhi brahman majority k gaon m jaa kr phir jana other caste like jaat,gujjar,ahir,rajput k gaon m jaa kr shudra bhaiyo se…..ki un k saath kn discrimination krta hai……m saare brahmano ki gurantee nhi leta hai hr jaati m hr trah k insan hai….but jo hate or jealousy hai shudra bhaiyo main vo peda krte hai khstriya…..Jiss se ki vo apni superority maintain rkh ske….unhe lgta h brahman caste main superior hai agr …..financially,socially superior ho gaya to hmaari raaja saahi chli jayegi…..itne veer brahman yodhao n desh k liye jaan di…kbhi unhone aapne naam k aaghe pandit ya kuch nhi lgaya jiss se jaativaad n lge….e.g ram prashad bismil,chandra shekhar azad,lal bhahdur shadhtri ji,atal bihari vajpayee,deendayal updyay ye sb political parties n lgaya pandit in sb k naam k aaghe piche..or kuch apne aap ko superior saabit krne vaale brahman byaiyo n bhi…….Sb se jada aaj ki date m jo love marriges hoti hai brahmans m hoti hai …kisi or caste k mukable….brahman bde se bde position pr h private or public sector m dekh lena kbhi kisi k saath parsiality ki ho to……..Hmm to u hi badnam kre jaate hai…jra dusro ki or dekho unki rag rag m jaativaad hai……na hm arakshan andolan krke shr jlaare…na hi hmaari koi party….jaise or jaatiyo ki partyia hai..up,bihar,haryana,rajasthan….etc……na hi koi hmaari regiment foj m or brahman fiji itne hai foj main ki rajputo k brabr bethe…. na hi hum kisi shudra ko godhi se utarte na hi hm kisi shudra ko jla kr ya rape krte …..bss hm to u hi bdnam hai…..Agr hindutva ki baat kre te drpok…or jaati kr to jaativadi…or sb ka doshi to sirf brahman upper h vrna system main is liye…ek baar vrna system pdhna jo brahman ne bnai thi…na ki jaati system

    • Brahmins tolerated others? It’s the other way around. In Bhima Koregaon Dalits were made to walk with a broom tied to their buttocks and a plate hanging from their neck. Thery weren’t allowed to enter temples. They weren’t allowed to touch the uppercaste people. The violence of so called neo-nazism still exists in the form of honor killings and lynchings of the Dalits

  7. ‘Brahmin Shoes’, are made by the White people in America, but how they have taken Brahmin name from India and Americans are White people and Chinese are Yellow people and Indians are Brown people and Africans are Black people and like this Supremacy of White people continues in the world, but how long discrimination will continue.

  8. ‘Brahmin Shoes’, are made by the White people in America, but how they have taken Brahmin name from India and Americans are White people and Chinese are Yellow people and Indians are Brown people and Africans are Black and like this Supremacy of White people continues in the world, but how long discrimination will continue.

  9. As per hindu mythology, God has created caste syestem. In the sense, Only Hindus are created by God ,what about another 600 cores peoples living in this world with out caste and creed.who has created them.please answer this.Caste syestem in our country should be abolished by the govt.Law must be pass by the govt one India and one caste.Because we are all children of mother India.A mother can begot children’s not enemies.

    • As per Hinduism everyone is created by God, not just Hindus.
      That’s why hindus don’t have any ceremony to become hindu while other religions do.

  10. Chun chun ke laate ho…. Such articles should not be printed at all, not because they are factual or not but fanciful. Caste, Jaati and Varna are used quite loosely when we wish to just express our hatred or pet peeve.

    All humans have unbound potential that we can achieve provided we work hard and where we are born hardly makes sense.

    Grow up ‘The Print’

  11. What kind of an article is this? Some people accused shudras some people accused brahmins etc where’s the proof? And why would anybody who is an atheist classify websites into Hindu castes? What right does he have to classify so? This is not what I call quality journalism.

  12. Wat a foolish people still even in this generation they are talking about casteism. Learn to respect people not their caste

  13. One may not subscribe to the views of auther but the proponents of Caste System and Varnashram have one thing in common; they keep their caste on their sleeves wherever they go. Therefore, Babasaheb Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar forewarned that if the Monster called would not neutralize timely, it would become a World Problem.

    With prevalence of social media, world increasingly became boundryless; therefore, those sporting their caste superiority on their sleeves in everyday life became more introvert.

    Caste System is not synonyms with Varnashram; but the former provides fodder to the latter. Varnashram is, therefore, largely maintained in mind and Caste System is being perpetuated in order to give it a justification and acceptability in minds of its subjects.

    The article of the auther is substanciating this perspective. Concern put forth by the auther may not be ubequitous; but it has all the capacity to further viciate the social media platforms.

    I, therefore, congratulate the author for her article.

  14. This article is stupid. The Varna system is of co-existence. The Brahmin couldn’t perform his puja unless the goldsmith made the vigrahas for the puja or made the puja utensils. He couldn’t wear his special cloth unless the cloth was woven by the weaver. The kshatriyas couldn’t fight wars unless the blacksmith manufactured the implements of war,the vaishyas couldn’t trade unless the farmers and the other skilled persons worked for his products of trade. Shudras were skilled people. The invaders have tried to tear this fabric of our society for their selfish purposes. Respect for everyone’s contribution to this society is more important. Stop spreading such non sense about caste. Caste them who are terrorists and who disturb the peace.

  15. The response of people indicates that they realise the stupidity and bad seed of such articles. May Good sense prevail. Only common people can stop such bad air to spread.

  16. India was easily conquered by the foreign invaders ( Turks, Mongols,Farcies ,British, French, Portuguese and Hollanders) in the past.
    And we lost our territories to outside religious groups.: Afghanistan, Pakistan. Bangladesh
    And they easily swallowed our cultures, and our lands.
    How it was possible ?
    Because we are devided by castes
    We failed ( even at present ) to recognise our fellow citizens as our brothers and equals
    We always ( each and every caste) want to establish superiority over others.

    Hence this position
    .

  17. I do believe that caste system in India has not been eradicated. If anything it has become politically more entrenched but to believe that media platforms have also been divided in caste basis is little too much. There is no research data to substantiate it.

  18. I’m from an ST clan and a Twitter warrior. It’s true that tiktok is s#!t mostly their users are low iq no matter from why caste they come from. Say it loudly tik-tok is cancerous toxic s#!t for brain dead people. Meanwhile I also make walkthroughs for various games on YouTube.

  19. What’s wrong in that? Jo log tiktok pr behuda mujra krte hai unka samajik bahishkar hona hi chahiye aur latiyana chahiye

  20. What a pathetic piece of article. Just by writing this article it is not the social media but people and organisations like you and yours have very much the reason of breaking this beautiful nation..

  21. Idiots use every opportunity to create hatred towards Brahmins because they can never attain the discipline in life these brahmins have achieved. Others take stray incidents, “mad-man-bites dog”incidents as great events.TIK TOK ITSELF IS A CREATION FOR FALLING MORALITY OF HUMANS. Only those who cannot articulate in a socially uplifting manner, fall into such cheap videos and angle for wide publicity. Pity them.

  22. Quote from geeta 🙄🙄 now that’s how you make shit journalism by spreading anti Hindu sentiment in geeta it’s written that all human being are one the print at least get some rest you are always disgracing our india and hurting Hindu sentiment

  23. Pta nahi, the print ko hi kyu aise log milte hain. You met a group who told you that “tik tok is for shudras”. I challenge you to add a video clip of that instance. And yeah, tik tok is cringeworthy. I believe you on the fact that the group must have been laughing at them bt then narrating a fake story is just your desperate attempt to create caste divide amongst Indians coz you can’t tolerate harmony.

  24. Wow talk about meaningless articles. Somebody tweets and you write a semi literate piece on it. As some wisecrack said ” Better to keep one’s mouth shut rather then open it and reveal foolishness”. So if nothing to write, better keep quiet, rather then write and show the world your wisdom (lack of it)

  25. This is such bizarre! Why take an individual’s remark and extrapolate and generalise it to an entire race?! This is more like a figment of the writer’s imagination which she wants to popularise. International media is now going to lap this up and people will have animated dinner conversations on the land of snake charmers and caste maniacs! Yet another useless reporting from your newsroom!

  26. First go and learn the difference between Varna and caste. Do not mix them.. Varna is NOT based on Birth but on occupation. According to Varna system a son of a Brahmin can be Brahmin, Vaishya , Shudra depending upon the occupation he/she is in. A person with surname “SHARMA” does not becomes a Brahmin until and unless he/she is a practicing Brahmin ( carrying out duties of a Brahmin) . If he( SHARMA) is running a grocery store he would be a Vaishy ( trading/business class) . Also SHUDRA is not a derogatory word though it has been used in the wrong sense by associating this word with people carrying out specific work. In which Varna would one place a Government servant?

  27. Very well written article and it also suggest that our hasn’t changed till now over cast factor

      • Wasn’t varna sysem a reservation, that eventually turned to rotten caste system? Isn’t denying dalits entry into temples, a reservation? Isn’t brahmin priest only in temples,a reservation? Isn’t No-inter-caste marriage a reservation? Wasn’t it a reservation back then, when dalits and women were denied education? Wasn’t Sati a reservation? Wasn’t untouchability, a reservation? Isn’t CAA, a reservation?

        The reservation you are talking about is to uplift the socially oppressed people, be it dalits or women who have been facing it from the time immemorial, and to give all sections of society equal opportunity. Its for empowering them. Caste discrimination is a reality and has been practiced for generations. If you have any better idea, tell me how you would end caste system, discrimination, regimentation of society that’s so deeply rooted and how would a poor dalit or adivasi join the mainstream or are they designated to live that pathetic life for eternity, who didn’t have any hope from the society until constitution granted education for all and reservation. I don’t see any better idea than providing reservation in education and opportunity and raising their standards of life, so that even they could reach that level of equality. First of all, start from yourself, stop discriminating based on caste, stand against people who discriminate, and throw this caste-system-garbage out of your mind.

  28. Very well written article and it also suggest that our hasn’t changed till now over cast factor

  29. Dear Ms. Preeti, annidiog who does not know the difference between jati and varna should not be able to make misplaced quotes. Texts considered Hindu describe many things. The varnaa are trait based and I dare you to find a reference that it is based on birth

  30. Absolutely stupid article from a libtard to defame hinduism and divide hindus and these dimwits call themselves Liberals.

  31. All stupidity breeding day by day ,these r suffocation entities, they r exaggerating classes in socity, quoting Bhagvat gita,most cause for discrimination in socity, divine text Bhavatgita has never reveled of classification of certain living group always gas ancestral holding of class but Dvine book very clearly states d catogary of person through his efficiency of knowledge, bravery, trading, and service to socity, an I individual recognized by his extraordinary capacity to get or achieve this catogary of class,but unfortunately people have misuse d term of Divine book Bhagvat gita, ther is no discrimination exist,or specified,

  32. To be honest, I never saw such a bad spin to a tweet. And being fool enough, the author also gave an idea of what could have been the idea behind the tweet by Photoshopper.

    U need to thoroughly work on your spinning skills yaar. The Print has a reputation to maintain.

  33. All the media’s belongs to Shudras only in all the ways from Astrologically to Zealousness.

  34. What dumbo article? Is this lady doxxing on people. Who is shudra anyways? Nowadays none, I have not found one community with shudra name? We have jat, rajput, ahir etc but no community as shudra, so why to get angry on it.

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