Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Diatribe on reservation

It makes little sense to provide reservation based on caste. If anything, we must provide for the rural, the poor and the handicapped. And them only.

Caste based reservation sucks.

There are those who say we must have "positive discrimination", an oxymoron if I've ever heard one. Our upper caste ancestors, they say, have abused the lower castes and structured society so they were discriminated against. And we can undo this by screwing the upper castes of tomorrow, who are largely involved in exchanging ring tones with the lower castes of tomorrow, who in turn believe oppression is when they're not allowed into an "A" movie.

To blame the errors of the past on the children of tomorrow is an absolutely ridiculous idea. I will not have my children pay for the mistakes of some idiots in the past. Female infanticide was and is a curse, and we all recognise it. Should we then kill male babies for next hundred years?

And caste downtroddenness, if such a word exists, was perpetrated by the lower castes as much as the upper castes. There are those, even today, who favour a caste divided society to keep social norms in place; norms that no longer accept reality, technology or change. Why do people fear inter caste and inter religion marriages? The same reason applies to some who want to keep caste differentiation in our society. And these are the very people who will call someone "SC/ST" in a derogatory way - and this label is firmed by reservations.

The more we reserve seats for the backward classes, the more we brand our society with the caste iron. We have to undo this only by removing caste reservation altogether; and provide only reservations for the needy - the rural, the poor and the handicapped. These are "fixable".

Think about it.

You can fix "rural" if the place you live in develops. Reservation helps; after all, if you study, you may be in a position to develop your home town.

You can fix "poor" by getting rich. Reservation helps, you study, and you have opportunity.

You can fix a lot of "handicapped" - if you can study, you can help with research of those with your disability, or earn enough to get more expensive treatment or survival devices.

You can never fix 'caste'. You're born with the tag, and you die with it. You can therefore NEVER achieve anything by reserving seats for castes. Or for genders (male/female).

(Some will say you can "fix" gender through sex change operations. But inherantly, gender needs no fixing - there is no shame in being male or female. There is no shame being of any caste either - that is only a birth tag. Are you ashamed of the day you were born?)

In fact you shouldn't ever discriminate those things; make it illegal to discriminate between castes or genders in any job or educational institution -> no such rule is enforced, in fact people still post ads saying "Wanted female receptionist" or "wanted salesmen, preferably male". This is disgusting - and should be illegal.

If we continue tomorrow we will need to make reservations, in jobs, for stupid people. Why? Because such people are discriminated against, no?

2 Comments:

Anonymous chipmunk said...

There is a divide in the indian society based on castes, and thats certain or else inter-caste marriages wudn't have existed, and on a different note be a problem for those who favor it. The reservations are essentially, so to speak, dividing the society, but if the society is already divided, then how are they doing any harm? Its a democracy after all, and they are gettin only 27% of the main share! And thats not even near to being fair as all OBCs and SCs and STs combined should prolly demand an equal share? heh. Reservations should and will exist only till the caste bias exists within the society. The caste system is almost like a wild beast that has been tranquilized but not dead yet. That means it does fall in the category of items to be "fixed". We gotta attack our modern lil version of the "caste system" and not the reservations. Thats shud be the whole point anyways. And besides reservations are the only hope for a lot of poor dalits to get a decent education. Majority of them are below the poverty line and wudnt even bother goin to school, even if they wanted to.

12:04 PM, June 02, 2006  
Blogger Deepak Shenoy said...

Chipmunk,

Societies are ALWAYS divided, based on something or the other. The only thing that makes sense is to ensure that equality is enforced everywhere. Make it illegal to discriminate between what we would say as essentially "equal" for the purpose.

Certain Castes have no better right to education than any others, therefore all castes should be equal and nothing should be reserved.

Caste bias exists and EVEN More with the OBCs than the upper castes. Ask gowdas and lingayats in Karnataka - classified as OBCs these people enforce caste bias with impunity.

"poor dalits" - can we concentrate on "poor" rather than dalits? "poor" can be funded, can be fixed, and perhaps can even be reserved for. "dalit" is as good as "brahmin" to me, and should be that way, with no reservation one way or the other. No IIM or IIT or NIT differentiates on caste, except to favour the so called lower castes. In the process, the so called upper castes suffer.

What you suggest, with the "below poverty line" bit is exactly what I do - that we should help the poor, the rural and the handicapped. The poor because they have no access to money to fund their education - this is currently addressed through scholarships, but reservation can be done. The rural because they have no access to the quality education of hte cities, and the handicapped because they need a head start to end up even.

2:34 PM, June 02, 2006  

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