The answer is simply, `I don’t know…’ by Sujata Anandan via merit without antecedents in Kuffir's blog. Excerpt:
"It was a lesson well learnt but I realised that my father was romanticising too much. India had moved on from the early days of Independence and Nehruvian ideals. And while I was brought up completely without awareness of being either a Hindu or a Muslim, Brahmin or Dalit, everyone now wears both religion and caste on their sleeves.
So I try not to get angry when they ask me for my antecedents, though I still stick with the “I don’t know.” And when others flaunt their identities based on anything but their merit, I still squirm but let it be."
My own suspicion is that these identities accord status without having to work for it and that and endogamy perpetuate it.