One alumni of my alma mater where I did my Masters wrote this on reservation:
There is lot of hogwash about reservations in cricket (the great Indian upper caste time pass). Let me tell my friends, it is not a laughing matter. In South Africa and again in Zimbabwe, we have seen sort of reservations in cricket. And look it has produced a Makhaya Ntini! Caste system is as horrible as apartheid, if not worse.
Reservation debate in India runs along strictly caste lines. So I can understand the IRMAN class remaining unconvinced about the need for reservations. It comprised of primarily upper caste students. When it comes to the issue of caste, the best progressives like Murthy and Premzi shed their clothes and reveal themselves in their full upper caste reactionalry glory.
The best evidence in support of reservations comes from the experience of South where there was strong anti Brahmin movement and reservations were instituited in all spheres of life. South is now the flag bearer in socio economic development within the country and the gulf is widening daily threatening the very existence of unitary nature of the country. One of the major reasons for excellent performnace of South and West lies in the system of reservations.
This experience gets buttressed by worlwide experience. Historically societies that are more equitable have progressed. Look at China.They banished their middle class elites to the countryside to plant rice. And look where they are now. I plead with my upper caste fellow alumni to read more world history, to remove the reactionary goggles they are born with. Else, I can predict nothing but disaster. There also exist Pol Pots and killing fields of Cambodia. Naxalism is gaining ground daily precisely becausly we are a most inequitous society.
The only argument being propounded by pro reservationists that has some merit is the issue of reservations to socially dominant OBCs like Gowda in Karnataka. Yes, this needs to be debated. Historically in many parts of the country, some of the castes enumerated under OBCs have been dominant – holding major land and virtually ruling the country side. But OBC as it is defined is a heterogenous mixture with some dominant castes and a huge number of castes that exist almost on margins and in fact may be worse than SCs. In South, I understand they have already created separate categories amongst OBCs, classifying some as MBCs. In North, the Jats have been enumerated as OBCs under political pressure. This was done by the BJP government and is supposed to be part of a RSS plan to discredit the very concept of reservations.
The way out of this conundrum lies in accepting the reality of caste in the first place. This our elite just refuses to do. The most ludicrous argument being floated around by anti reservationsist is that reservations increase casteism. Everywhere a lower cate person goes, he gets humilated because of his caste. People have to acquire new identities and hide their caste. and here is a set of people arguing that reservations increase casteism. Castes need to be enumerated and studied. Census enemeration shoudl start again even if it opens a pandoras box. Alternatives are more frightful.
Anti reservationsists with their street agitations are doing a great favour to the pro reservationsist. They are arousing a sleeping giant – the 85 % of the country’s deprived communities. For their own sake, they must stop playing with fire.
I however feel is that all he had is a series of rants – not one fact that can bring home the point that reservations or affirmative action are a success or even benefit those who get it (in fact as Karan Thappar suggests most indications are to the opposite). One Ntini is not enough of a compensation for several other deserving folks who only mistake may have been to have born with the wrong skin – in a world of reverse racism!
X subjugated Y and now Z was born in the same”group” as X – so is it game enough for descendants of Y to discriminate on the pretext of the atrocities of their forefathers?
This, friends, is a VERY slippery slope – and for all the doomdays forecasts that this guy has made for the opposite view – it is THIS very equation that he IMPLICITLY suggest which has wrought the greatest bloodshed.
Hitler used the same logic.. When Modi’s goons went after innocent Muslims in Gujarat because Hindus had been burnt in Godhra .. . they had used the EXACT same logic.
It is very tempting to make those – even innocents – of a group pay for the folly of others – living or dead… But all this “retribution” brings is bloodshed and devastation!
And please when we go around giving lectures of equity – dont bring in China… you need to either GO to China and live there or at least talk to those who have lived there and endured the “equity” at the hands of those with power to get the full picture.
What we should be trying to look for is a way to EMPOWER the poorest of the poor.. the weakest of the weak.. through subsidies or special programs where they can get the basic education and when they perform – money etc not be an impediment.. but to simply let them walk into a medical school with 40% when a general candidate cannot find a place with 95%.. then something about the entire picture is wrong .. . and the worst sufferers will be those who get the quota.. because the others would be pissed enough to not forget them. Therefore, the right way is NOT to shift the frustration from lower castes to “elite” castes.. but to ELIMINATE the frustration of the lower castes. WHat you suggest …. is set up an eternal VICIOUS circle in place of one who has the power to bring the hammer of injustice on to those who dont!! In an autocracy, the “elite” had the power.. .in a democracy .. its the “lower” castes… soon the tide may change.. and the frustrations will be reversed! HOW LONG WILL THIS GO ON??