I have to rush to the gym but need to type this out else I won’t be able to concentrate. I have been thinking about the whole reservations issue and am not sure which side I stand on. Do we need reservations? Do we not need reservations? What do I think? And then I realized, I am not the one who needs to have an opinion. It does not impact my life in any way. I don’t know how it impacts the people for who reservations are done. I have decided not to have an opinion on this one. *For a change*.
It is funny when people don’t want to admit discrimination exists. I can tell you stories about them and am not even someone who is social or friendly. Even I know about how bad things are for the so-called “lower” castes.
- It breaks my heart everytime a new maid/cook asks me which glass they should drink water in, which water they should drink and if they can use the loo. It is not a normal question. They were not born with the idea “we are of a lower caste” in their heads. That idea was put there through the discrimination they face.
- A friend who joined a top B School did not tell his classmates he does not belong to the general category because the general perception is that “he got through the reserved category, hence he is not good enough”. Nobody considers the fact that his parents are not rich and so he did not have the same resources at his disposal that “normal” people have. And yet, he managed to get through a top B school, crack the interview and get a job at one of the best organizations in the country. It does not end there. Everytime he goes to his village to visit his parents, he still has to face discrimination from the “higher” castes. Basically, if you are unfortunate enough to be born in a certain caste there is no way out for you…. No matter how much you claw your way up, it is never high enough.
- In my government engineering college, some seats were reserved for people from North East. Some of them deserved it and some didn’t. Some needed the reservations and some misused them. But am happy to say that almost all of them finished their course and went back to North East and work there. None of them flew off to USA to earn big bucks.
- If getting admission or a job on the basis of caste wrong, why is it ok to pay donations? What is the difference between donation and reservation? Why is the former a norm and the latter a disgrace?
- Am I a better engineer- someone from a “regular” caste (I have no idea what my caste is) but started preparing for CAT in the 3rd year of college and don’t remember a word of what I studied- compared to someone who got through the “reserved” category but has done full justice to the profession?
- Does it matter where we come? Isn’t it more important where we plan to go?
I grew up in a boarding where we spent 9 months living in uniforms, studying the same thing, talking the same stuff… I don’t remember discussing caste, religion, race, colour, politics with anyone in school. Then I would go home for 3 months and see my mother serving tea to the maid in a different cup. I didn’t think too much about these things then. But the “caste” conflict entered my life when my parents met KC’s parents. Initially, I thought they had issues with the fact that KC is a Marathi, their lifestyle is very simple and different and that his parents aren’t as well off as mine. One fine day I realize it is about the caste. KC is from some caste which is not acceptable to my parents.
*I had no idea about KC’s caste till then. I mean, I met his parents 2 days before the wedding. That is how much his background mattered to me. Ditto for him. Like, my sister and he still haven’t met and probably, never will. Yes, yes- everything is really messed up. And funny too. I can never stop laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation*
That is when I realized that I cannot fight such strong prejudices and I had to choose. I can either choose a world where such crap will always be a part of my life or I can choose to live in a world where I don’t give a shit about such stuff. I chose the latter. And I haven’t looked back.
Here are things I have seen happen in my family:
- Husbands beat wives. Nope, no police complaint. Sometimes, everyone can hear the lady getting beaten up but nobody does anything. And by nobody- I mean her mother, brother, sisters, children and even herself.
- Guy marrying a girl through arranged marriage despite having AIDS. And having unprotected sex with her. What do the parents do? File a police complaint? No. They silently get her divorced, try to cover up things and get her married again as soon as possible to stop tongues wagging
- Husband dying of AIDS because he would go to prostitutes. Nobody cares. Everyone is sad he died.
- Parents getting their unborn child aborted because she isn’t a boy and they already have 1-2 daughters. Did you say pre-natal sex determination is a crime? Oh you naive, innocent person.
One tip to parents- if you want your kid to grow up with the same ideas as yourself, don’t send them to a school which teaches them equality. And then don’t educate them in government colleges and hostels where 50% reservation exists and they actually have friends from “lower” castes.
So people, if you are from general category and have never been discriminated against or haven’t even bothered to find out what it feels like, please shut the fuck up. You don’t get to have an opinion.
Coming up next- Twitter jokes on Hard-dick issue. Sorry, that Russell Peters jokes always cracks me up.