Shoot me…I’m an upper caste!
It finally reached its crescendo at a recent ‘reservation’ and ‘no reservation’ debate around me. I heard a passionate colleague talking about reservation for Muslims and how the SCs and the STs of the country had it better than them. Another voice from some other corner cried foul play over the fact that reservation was supposed to be in effect for around a decade, but it still lingered on, stronger than ever due to vote-bank politics. Another one pitched in saying that even a fraction of the vision had not materialised and all of that. My only thought…Please for the love of humanity, shoot me, for I am an unfortunate dog to have been born in a ‘so-called’ upper caste Brahmin family.
It is surprising that for a community that is supposed to be the root cause of all oppression that the history of this often enslaved nation has witnessed over the millennia, it is extremely difficult to say that what is going on in the name of ‘caste uplift’ is wrong. I am afraid to say this simply because all others will say that since I have had it all good over the centuries; I don’t deserve to be treated as an equal on my own soil.
Picture this, I am an ignorant pig. I don’t know about numbers and figures. All I know is that during my few decades of existence, all I’ve seen is that children of well to do minorities and favoured casts have it superbly easy. Look around in any of the colleges, government offices or small agencies, you’ll find undeserving individuals sitting pretty just because their ancestors were subjected to prejudices. That alone is enough to guarantee you a better life while the ‘general’ cattle slog to make ends meet.
Often one comes across headlines claiming that so and so community ‘only’ holds 10% seats in an office or institution, demanding more quotas. What about the ‘majority’ of millions who have to fight it out for a handful of seats when you compare the percentages and numbers. 40 seats for a section of minority community with a population of 10 crore while 27 seats are ‘left’ for the ‘general’ population of over 50 crores? Is this even sane? Aren’t we pressurising the people into blowing up into another anarchist movement?
IITs, DUs, AIIMS, IIMs, JNUs and other such places are graveyards of the dreams of a ‘majority’ of deserving youth because despite scoring much more than their friends from more favoured communities, were left to pursue lesser fitting careers just because they were unfortunate enough to be born into the ‘general’ quota.
How can you justify not giving admission to a student who comes from a struggling lower middle class family and scored more in his/her entrance test than another one who belonged to a family of a well to do government servant or the likes and scored less, just because the former was born into an ‘upper caste’ home?
It is a reality that an upper caste child today is afraid, literally afraid of saying so because there would be umpteen from other ‘minority’ communities to shout at him, telling him that he deserves far less because he is from upper caste. And what population of minorities and majorities are we talking about? WE ARE A NATION OF OVER A BILLION, THE SOON-TO BE-LARGEST POPULATION IN THE WORLD. Even a minority here has more numbers than three European countries combined.
If the system of reservation was right, how do you explain the large number of downtrodden all over the nation despite decades of following the reservation system? One answer to this can be – Let’s stop admitting the upper caste in schools, colleges and offices and push them out of existence. When that fails, we’ll think of something else, till then, let’s just play vote-back politics and satiate our sadistic inclinations.
Some nurtured dreams of doing a PhD and teaching, some wanted to be doctors, some engineers and some civil servants. All the above are either selling telephone connections, listing to the white man hurl abuses on their BPO headphones, waitressing, working as human modems, falling into an abyss of depression.
All this for one fault of theirs- not the lack of talent or hard work, but for the curse of being born in an ‘upper caste’ family that lives in fear and struggles to make ends meet.
There, I said it, now shoot me. I’m an upper caste.