Caste discrimination and demand for reservation


Here I remember the scene of the movie ‘PK’ starred by Amir Khan where he is looking for the “thappa”( the mark) on a new born child. When we come on this earth, we do not have any identities. All superficial identities are pasted on our back by our family, surroundings as well as the whole society. In fact, we proud Indians wear all narrow identities on our sleeves. On the face of it, lets talk about the most talked identity of Indians- the caste and its system.

Indian society is divided into innumerable castes since ancient time. It has gone so many changes as well as intermixing and most importantly reformation also but we do not want to leave our caste identities. It seems that caste has been ingrained in our brain as well as genes. The most tragic part of the caste system is that it provides the power to some sections to oppress and humiliate others. It is not that everyone is like that but a large section persists with all caste biases and prejudices.

To ameliorate the century old caste atrocities and oppression, the Constitution of India introduced some affirmative measures in the form of various concessions and reservations to  bring about positive change in the society. Certainly, these measures brought about positive change in the life of many but there is a long way to go in transforming the mindset of the society. Even after all measures taken by the state, the caste oppression and discrimination persist in the society due to various institutional, structural and systemic failures. Here, we need a deep, systemic and societal reform to bring about the real transformation in the society.

Come to the demand for reservation from various sections of society from various parts of the country every now and then. Now is the turn of Jat in Haryana. Before this kapu community in Andhra Pradesh was demanding quota and the last year, Patel community in Gujarat was protesting and asking for quota in the government jobs. It is very complex to understand why this is happening? In fact, I am really puzzled that the way people are asking for quotas, the day is not far when all forward communities will also demand for quotas. Will giving quota to one community solve the issue? There is already a Supreme Court Judgement regarding providing reservations which should be based on some specific criterion. Certainly, the vote-bank politics is one of the most important reason, which is responsible for these quota demands. Political parties promise caste-based reservations in their election manifestos for winning the election. It emboldens them to go on rampage for demanding reservations. Another reason can be that people are thinking that reservation is the only way to get government job in this competitive environment. Take a example of JAT community. They are the dominated community of western UP and Haryana. They have lot of land as well as they are also politically influential in their respective states. They also have lot of money due to recent selling of lands to corporate sectors. However, they do not dominate the intellectual class as well as officers class. And they are also not that much fluent in English so that they can get job in Corporate sectors. That is why , they think that quotas for them will solve the problem of employment opportunity in government sector.

In fact, there is no end to this issue because  there are so many strands and complexity  present in the issue.In the last, I can only say that we really need non-partisan, accountable, fair and transparent administration and the government system which can bring about substantial reform and transformation in the areas of education and employment opportunities in the country. The role of civil society as well as individuals is also important because the real change can come only by the effort of every individual.

Solutions of the present crisis:

* Do not provide to reservation benefits if three generations of the family have used it to get government jobs.

* Strengthen the “creamy layer system” and make it transparent.

* Provide free world class education to all atleast till 12th class. Develop massive infrastructure and create quality manpower for teaching and training purposes.

* Every human being in India must be treated with dignity and respect.

* Most importantly, create job opportunities for skilled,semi-skilled and unskilled people of the county.

* Root out the massive corruption and unethical behaviour from the country. It is creating insurmountable inequality in the country.  1% Indians have around 80-90 % of wealth of the country. Other 99% are managing with 10-20% of the wealth. It will only create resentment and anger and will lead to disaster for our country.

Our country’s leadership need to work on war footing to solve the pressing problems faced by the country. Discrimination on the basis of caste as well as inequality due to economic reasons  both must go from this land to make it a happy and prosperous country.

 

Disclaimer: It is my personal view and people have every right to differ and have their opinion.

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/does-gandhi-have-a-caste-4700974/

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