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Bring back Untouchability!

Let me begin with the shortest of stories.

Three and a half years ago, two people joined one of the premier engineering colleges in India. They were both from a seemingly similar background and both of them ended up in the same branch. They paid the same amount as tuition and mess fees in the college. One and a half years ago, both of them signed up for a coaching class to aid their preparation for arguably the most competitive of exams in India, again, by paying the same amount of money as fees. Two months ago, both of them appeared for the exam they were preparing for. Even though they were instructed and mentored by the same instructors and the same institute at the same time, one ended up outperforming (by a margin that left no doubt as to who was better) the other in the exam. Last week, when the results trickled in, the guy who did better in the exam failed to qualify for the admission process of a premier B-school while the guy who did worse qualified. The reason being of course, that the guy who performed worse belonged to a "backward" caste. This is the Indian story of progress. This is how India ensures equality among its citizens.
How does the constitution define "backward"? It doesn't. It has a list of castes scheduled as "backward", and if you belong to one of them, you get innumerable benefits all through your life for little effort (much like our worse performer in the story). Why does this provision even exist? For upbringing of the "backward" castes, states the constitution. That goal was achieved decades ago when untouchability was abolished. But the special provisions were never removed. Why? Because the "backward" castes had realised that they were going to have it easy from here on. They would be able to achieve a lot more than their peers for a lot less effort. Over time, this his resulted in an oppression of the non-"backward" castes (much like the better performer in our story). It is time for a revolution. Since the "backward" castes wish to remain backward, wish to stake a claim to special provisions, wish to be treated differently from the others around them, it is perhaps time to do so in all spheres of life. Reservation was provided for them as they were untouchables before and weren't allowed to mix with the "elites". It was provided to ensure they were not discriminated against. It was provided to remove untouchability in practice, as removing it on paper was of absolutely no help. If there is no untouchability (in practice), continuing the provision for reservation amounts to nepotism. It is our duty to make the government look good (it can never do it by itself). So, we need to justify the provision for reservation for these "backward" castes. Since untouchability and reservation go hand-in-hand, we should either remove the provision for any kind of reservation to any caste or sex, or we should start practicing untouchability again. Since our politicians are vote-hungry dogs who will not just block any attempt to remove the reservation system, but also go on and justify its "necessity", it is time to bring the practice of untouchability back into the society. Bring back untouchability. As long as caste-based reservation exists, it is no evil.

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2 comments:

  1. I can well understand your anger and I share a good amount of it. While there are cases where well-to-do backward caste people abuse the reservation system, many kids who truly deserve additional support have changed their lives solely because of this system. I believe in such situations, the 'backward' student must give up his reservation seat and seek to go the general merit way(I personally know a couple of people who did this). I agree that the system needs change, but is it the system or is it the people who abuse the system?

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  2. Good post.
    True story.Happens EVERYWHERE.
    And frustrating like nothing else.

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