Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Food for thought (again! )

With reference to my previous post on Reservations, I recieved a reply from one of my classmates in an Orkut Community. M posting his views, and my reply here...

Hey Vivek!
Read your blog. I really appreciate the stand that you have taken regarding reservations particularly the fact that you taken this position in the face of an almost revolutionary wave of protests against it.But I disagree with a couple of things that you have said in the blog, namely the idea that the policy of reservations is a divisive one and that casteism is on the way out in India.

Vivek, you just need to look around yourself and the refutation of the idea that casteism is on the way out will stare you in the face.
Tell me one thing, how many people in our class belong to the backward castes?
If the statistics reflecting the representation of backward castes in the upper rungs of society is studied, I am sure you'll find that though casteism in its most barbaric avatar does not exist in urban India, its effects are far from rectified.
Also rural India is, to this date witness to the practice of caste system in a form that is not too different from what it used to be in the pre-modern era.
Even today dalits are not allowed entry into temples and they still pretty much remain an ostracised lot in rural India with the upper castes not willing to share the same wells with them and things like that.
What I would like to say is that we cannot make the limited experience that we have had as urbanites as a basis for our judgement on the caste situation in the country.
lastly i would like to say that reservations are not a way to divide society but a way to bring an already divided society to more egalitarian terms.
p.s there's lots more I would like to say about reservations...If you have the patience....

:) Anur, I guess m a bit late in replying to your post.

The points that you have presented are very much true. Infact, I have personally observed incidents where people discrimminate between castes and disallow dalits and harijans from their fundamental rights.

The concept of Reservations is not new. Its been in here ever since we achieved freedom. The plans were proposed to uplift some of the backward sectors of the society, and twas decieded that the laws on reservations would persist only for a span of two or three decades.

But did the laws really do any good?? Its been nearly sixty years, and we are still fighting for reserved seats in schools, colleges, parliaments - for the laws have been twisted and turned as per the need of smart, rich dalits and harijans.

I am not against reservations. But it does not mean that I support them. My proposal is to change the laws and reserve seats on the basis of the economical condition, not by birth.

A dalit guy captures a seat in some IIT - IIMs, does well and is now enjoying a quality rich urban life. His family is doing well, and all of them are in the state of wellbeing. Ten years down the line, he's a proud entrepreneur. Would you still call him a Dalit??

I bet the Indian society wont. (But his children would surely show the certificates and capture seats! LOL! )