What poor reporting on Dalit suicides in premier institutes (The Killing of Shambukas, April 16). An alumnus of IIT Kanpur, I know at least one case in the list—of Madhuri Sale—was one of a failed love affair. At IIT, there was general disdain among rich students for those who weren’t so well-off, but this wasn’t caste-specific. The trouble is, many students who enter premier institutes on quotas and find themselves unequal to the academic challenge tend to distance themselves. This feeds the complexes growing in them and at the same time puts them further from the help they might seek from others. Those who did not have such problems—indeed, there are those who enter the institutes on merit and yet find themselves challenged by the course—found support in their peers and managed to pass out. Suicides were common at IIT Kanpur. Mostly they were of upper castes.
Anurag Gupta, Corvallis, US
Once I was proud of being an IISc, Bangalore alumnus. Now I feel ashamed.
V. Narayanan, on e-mail
It’s tough to interpret the numbers S. Anand gives without comparative statistics for non-Dalits. Indian academic institutes can be hellish for anyone without a thick skin, whatever their caste.
K.V. Bapa Rao, Los Angeles
If casteism is the hatred an individual bears for those who don’t belong to a group, the writer could well be accused of casteism himself.
Gaurab Banerjee, Calcutta
There have been four suicides in the IITs in 2011—all Brahmins, three from rural areas, the fourth in a relationship. What can one make of it?
In global terms, these so-called centres of excellence are no more than also-rans. In decades of existence, have they produced one Nobel laureate? Justice must be done to the innumerable Shambukas these institutions kill.
Shuddhodhan Aher, Mumbai
How can the caste system be eradicated when group after group is fighting to get itself listed as backward to avail of reservations?
Achuta Bhat, on e-mail
Apropos of The Killing of Shambukas (Apr 16), if the writer had at least given the number of general category students who have committed suicide in a comparable time-frame, the events could have been put in perspective. For pressure tells on everyone, not just one section of students. Other blindspots: a failure to realise reservations have, over 62 years, only benefited generations of a select few, distorting the basic logic of affirmative action.
The article is a sad reflection of the sate of affairs in our educational institutions.But I have many reservations about the way facts presented.
1.The writer used these unfortunate episodes more to show his antiupper caste attitude rather than for solving the situation.His outbursts against Guptas ans Sarmas are unwarranted. I know atleast 3 boys from bania/ gupta families who dropped out of studies unable to cope up with harrassement from seniors. One of the boy attempted suicide, another has not settled even after 5 yrs of the episode.
2. The sucide rate among nondalit students is also high in not only in AIIMS and IIT but also in all professional colleges.Some of the reasons r sudden change of medium from local language to English, shift from remote rural villages to Megapolis environment,
3. Dalits r lucky in the sense there r National commissions, Media,Dalit organisations to look into the deaths and conduct logical enquiries, where as deaths of nondalits go unnoticed.
4.By including deaths unrelated to social discrimination the real problem gets diluted.
5, It is a fact that Dalits also show a lot of social prejudice against nondalits in all institutions. It is not a onesided intolerance.Too much pampering of Dalits is one reason for social divide.
Over the time, I have come to the conclusion that the quota system has actually kept the caste discrimination alive. In comparitive terms, the discrimination against negroes (a term used generously before 1990s) in USA was equal to the discrimination against Dalits, if not more. In India, one can hardly tell about the other person's caste, lets say in bus, whereas in USA, the blacks could be easily singled out. In USA, the discrimination was to that extent that blacks were not allowed to occupy front seats in the bus and were supposed to vacate the seats if a white person is standing (Rosa Parker case). If we go by the history, Indians gave universal sufferage to all its citizens before USA. So what could be the reason that blacks in USA are relatively better off than Dalits in India. Both have almost same population percentage (14% blacks in USA and 16 percent)
The major reason posited by experts is the religious justification in caste system. This explains an aspect of the problem but fails to explain it in totality. The decline of religion in India, especially in cities is imminent as well as visible. In sociological terms, religion has two parts, the religious belief and rituals. The decline of religion has started with the decline in religious practice. The new generation is not that much engaged in religious rituals. In Hinduism, the caste system can be best descibed as a ritual than a belief. If Dalits were not allowed in temples, untouchability was practiced, segregation in housing happened, it was more a practice.
BR Ambedkar once, like always contradicted Gandhi in his Gram Sabha idea and dislike for the migration to larger cities. Now I, for one, find Ambedkar the most intellectual Indian of 20th century. The reason for city migration idea, as given by Ambedkar was in consonance with his own view that caste system wouldn't be rigid in cities, as people are unknown (unlike Black White in USA) and they are economically independent in cities.
The end of religious practice of caste based discrimination, a government law, is coming to an end even in orthodox places. But the belief in caste system on religious basis is becoming stronger over the time. How can someone explain the caste prejudice in the mind of upper caste Indian who writes his religious belief on FB page as humanism, naturism, whatever and add ism. Some one who rarely if not never does any religious ritual but understands what are the caste dynamics.
If I give you my own example, I was in 8th standard and it was a board class. Out of blue, teacher came to our class and asked for those who have quota to stand up. They had to get lesser marks to pass the examination. It was for the first time that the idea of caste seeped into my mind. It was then and there that I understood what a G quota and SC/ST/OBC quota is. From education to government jobs, I have to bear in mind what this quota is and I have to undertand what caste system is.
This is not to say that Ambedkar, inadvertently made a mistake. However, intellectual some one is, he is bound to make the mistake. This could be the reason that American blacks face lesser dicrimination, as the affirmative action in USA doesn't allot any reservation to blacks and there is no added reason to cry for reverse discrimination. Having said that, I in my personal opinion, find Ambedkar more worthy for being called Father of the nation that than Gandhi, whose fatalism could put to shame Jatts of Khap.
The only problem with caste based reservation is that it is a monster that has now got out of hand. With all the castes asking for reservations, Brahmins in RAjasthan, Gujjars in JK, and more to come, there needs a strong politician who could bring an end to the caste system. I think I can do that. I have ingrained hatred for some groups and I have read Friedrich Nietzche and I am fully conversant with the idea of overman. I am fighting assembly elections in my state and please vote for me. My election symbol is condom.
The author cites the number of suicides of Dalit students but doesn't give any comparative statistics for non-Dalit students, which makes it impossible to interpret the numbers. There is no denying the prevalent attitude of prejudice against Dalits however.
Indian academic institutions can be hellish places for anyone without a thick skin. From day one, when one is greeted with ragging, the pressure is unceasing, the environment can be quite brutal. Usually, the concept of institutional supportiveness found in American colleges is foreign to Indian institutions, though there are any number of individual students and faculty who are caring and supportive. The authorities are usually lacking in imagination, and can't go beyond platitudes and preaching.
The problem can be compounded for students who are members of an "out" group and without a support system. To start addressing the problem, senior students and local professionals in the field should take on a mentoring and supportive role by organizing get-togethers, tutoring sessions, etc.
O Bitter Truth,
"" There are just 13.5 million jews in the world and yet they have won 20% of the nobel prizes awarded so far ''"
I am not sure about the number of jews in the world, but they definitely do dominate the world of 20 th and 21st century Physics. But 18th or 19th century ---- hardly any. You mean to say jews suddenly mutated towards end of 19th century to become brilliant physicists? To understand this you need to study the culture and sociology of Jewish people and not their genes.
I suggest you read an article written by a brilliant physicist and populariser of Science, (and a jew) Richard Feynman. It is entitled "It's as Simple as One, Two, Three,..". from his book 'What do you care what other people think'. Here he describes his experiments on himself and others to find how they 'count time'. How different people use different methods, some visual, some verbal etc. Solving a science problem involves such varied abilities, guess no two people think alike even when they are solving very simple problems. To reduce this to superiority or inferiority is like trying to 'explain' a monument in terms of bricks and mortar.
Dr. G. Bender from Recklinghausen, Germany.
Have you ever been to the Olympic Games or watched it on television?
Next time, if you get a chance, do watch 100 m sprint finals and 100 metre freestyle swimming finals.
In 2008. in finals of 100 m dash, all participants were blacks. On the other hand, in freestyle swimming 100 m, all finalists were whites.
Other races almost never make it to the finals of these events. Does that mean the Olympic Games are a racist events where rules are bent to favor certain races?
Think about it without any prejudice.
Just like there are differences in physical capabilities of races, there are differences in mental capabilities too.
There are just 13.5 million jews in the world and yet they have won 20% of the nobel prizes awarded so far.
There are 1100 million Indians, 1300 million chinese and I guess 1300 million blacks. How many nobel prizes have they won? Hardly any.
and don't tell me all those billions of Indians, Chinese and Blacks are all uneducated or college dropouts.
The facts are right in front of your eyes and still you are asking for proof.
>> The 25% reservation is a golden oppurtunity for the rest of 75% to learn from.
What a boat load of crap!
Why deny this golden opportunity to minority institutions? Don't the students studying there need to learn? Why handicap them by denying them this golden opportunity, supposedly available to their peers in majority run institutes?
And what about boarding schools? Why should the likes of Rahul Gandhi and Jyoti Scindia lack such a wonderful opportunity? They should learn it at early stages, instead of having a grovelling media following them to the house of Kalavatis later in their life.
The issue of 25% reservation has nothing to do with merit. Primary education should be a fundamental right. But, it's a right that has to be ensured and provided for by the govt. It should not be a burden transferred to middle class parents, just because they don't constitute an important enough vote bank for the govt. I don't know of any country that follows such a principle. Govts ensure universal primary education by funding and running it directly. Primary institutions are left to their own devices.
Let's consider a simple scenario. Say some parents doesn't want to send his kids to a school that is forced to follow this policy. They instead choose to send them to a nearby school that is a minority institution, and is not required to follow this law. By simple logic of demand and supply, the minority institution can raise its fee, and rake in the moolah, just because the govt wants their votes. Is that a fair system?
ps: Since I'm responding to a post, keeping it in the same thread. The moderators may move the entire discussion to the RTE thread, if they want.
@ saroja, I never meant poor are byepassing merit, there are poor students who are brilliant. If the goverment schools are equally good like private ones, then 100% RTE is possible than just 25% that too under immense financial pressure.
None of the supporters of the downtrodden are shouting for quality in goverment schools, instead they want seats in pvt schools which are funded by pvt people, this is outrageous.
Stupid Manmohan singh goverment after getting caught in almost all forms of scams, now indulging in Robin Hood kinda affair to gain cheap popularity, which is definitely going to fail like all the other stupid policies.
I was not talking about poor bypassing merit. I was thinking of priviledged people like me learning how the poor in our country live. I learnt this in my 30's as I worked with the riot victims in the aftermath of Bombay riots of 1992/93. This inspite of coming from a family with egalatarian values and which has always maintained strong rural connections. The 25% reservation is a golden oppurtunity for the rest of 75% to learn from.
"" The AFRICAN AMERICANS were "captured, transported, bred and traded" like CATTLE for centuries by WHITES yet do not demand reservation like it exists in India. ""
I thought that there was something called Affirmative Action in US. May be some of the NRIs can tell us how it works
@ saroja, I like the first part of your comment, but the second part is banal cliche, often comes out of anger than prudence. Getting few seats by byepassing merit, shoudn't be an abition of a downtrodden youth, he should demand equality and quality in education and infrastructure. He should assert himself as an equal Indian who deserve things now only available to a few.
There could be nothing more stupid than the 25% law, again a too simple solution to a complex problem. Why not government take education in to its hands just like in super developed countries like Germany. By this law we cannot create equality we can only create students with more inferiority complex.
Self proclaimed lower castes (ambitious for reservation), who is always in a fighting mode, spitting hate on the so called upper caste should realise they are making a hill out of a mole. Untill they themselves treat them as equals to the so called uppercaste, the self proclaimed lower castes are going to gain nothing.
""...Almost none of these Brahmins in South India is “fair-skinned”... ""
WHAT! We have a whole vocabulary detailing different skin shades and we consider ourselves superior to those who are darker and are deferential to those who are fairer than us. A fairskinned foreigner will always find us very friendly. I am not sure what percentage of African students have any decent opinion about India. Fairness cream business is a big industry endorsed by celebrities of dubious intellect. These days they target men also.
We have a system of reservation. But it has not been enough. And it has fuelled a myth of MERIT. It goes as follows..." I would have got into ________ but for reservations for these SC/ST. " And it is accompanied by righteousness. Now our Supreme Court has upheld Right to Education mandating reservation of 25% seats in educational institutions for economically backward families. Our concern must be that these young minds are not hounded by their classmates or teachers.
Respected Sir “Bitter Truth” (from Surat India)
You make statements which are at the best thought by someone with no knowledge of the facts but sarcastically you state them as “facts”.
Intelligence and learned behavior are two different aspects. Both are influenced by the environment to a large extent. The genetic influence on intelligence is well documented but the assumption that only the so called “upper class” of your country has this genetic material is largely an assumption! Where did you get this statement from?
The theory referred by you about the migration of Aryans is highly controversial even though many of the historians have supported it for a long time. The theory that Aryans were foreigners who invaded India and won over the so called indigenous people pushing them down to south of the country has long been successfully nullified. Were it so, where did the Brahmins in South India did come from? Almost none of these Brahmins in South India is “fair-skinned” as the Aryans were thought to be! Your thought that caste system was a social system thought over by the “foregner Aryans” is equally wrong – please refer to Manusmriti on this issue and also compare the time at which the Aryans are thought to have come to India and the time as which Manu described the society in this caste system.
The statement that the Caucasians are most intelligent race was the theory of the German ruler before the second world war – bearing no relevance to truth whatsoever. I am myself a German and a Caucasian and am writing this because your statements are so foolish. We have had a very difficult time in our history because of such foolish ideas – please don’t forget this! It has been proven beyond any doubt that people from your country have a very high intelligence quotient, it is also not without reason that our industry and education system gladly employs people from India – not because of their colour or caste but because of their high intelligence and efficiency.
I am a medical doctor and a research worker in the field of psychology and psychiatry – but never have I seen the proof of statements made by you regarding the intelligence of Africans or South Asians! The ignorant and unfounded statements made by you are indeed very surprising! By the way which scientific tests are you referring to – when you claim that your statements about racial intelligence have been proved scientifically?
As far my understanding the classification of the society in India into untouchables (or SC /ST as you say) is largely an issue of opportunities. The classes in your country who lack or lacked the financial resources are being given a certain amount of preference so that they can also come forward – this is an ideal system for your country. This is, for your information Sir, the only way to let these people come forward. And this system supporting the underprivileged earns respect from all of us. No other country is known to have taken over such clear stand on the support of the lesser fortunate citizens!
In the end, you have said that the most successful people in the west are from upper classes! With due respect let me point it out to you Sir that this is a totally foolish statement. When we in the west don’t know the caste system – how can there be an upper class; sorry, we don’t have that here!
Summa summarum it is to be said that your input about intelligence and its’ inheritance is totally unscientific and not known genetically. The superiority of this and that race over others is total humbug!
The suicide of this particular student is and remains a sad story and is to be regretted. It signifies the importance of looking into the institutional flaws in the mentioned medical school.
Best regards : Dr. G. Bender
There are 4 suicides in IITs in 2011 and all of them were brahmins. Yes, 3 of them came from rural background.One was in a relationship. What to make out of it?
Please , for God's sake , stop dividing the society on caste lines.
Do you know that some students of KG Medical College , Lucknow who were failing repeatedly were prevented from being expelled on the grounds which were birth ascribed by Medical Council of India. such is the preference.
Further , No. of OBC students selected in UPCPMT is generally 1.5 times the general candidates.
You still say ...well ..what you say ..just to make up a story..Saraswati needs purity of intention too, my dear.
Dalit students are regularly served the poison of hatred.It is utterly disappointing to learn that our educational institutions reek from the stench of minds drunk with notion of caste superiority.It is the evolved sense of camarederie present in Dalit thinking that perpetrators of such criminal acts get away with light admonition only.It is time to give stiff punishment to those who keep alive the cactus of caste based discrimination.
Root out the caste system - but how?
Simple. Make comments like "if the majority of Indians are backward thats because of this USELESS and BRAINLESS upper castes"
This comment may or may not help root out the caste system, but it feels good to post (especially in Upper Case).
Incidentally, using any other word or phrase in place of "upper castes" may make it a cognisable offence, but that's the fun of it, isn't it?
Wonder how many contributors to this forum have read the preamble to the Indian Constitution which begins with "We, the people of India" and then goes on to speak of concepts like justice, liberty, equality and fraternity. These concepts cannot be taught, they must be learnt.
The SAYYED THANGAL MUSLIM FAMILY perpetually occupy the President post of MUSLIM LEAGUE in Kerala. The only claim they have is that they have "maintained their genetical identity" from 16 th Century when they landed in Indian- Malabar cost- from YEMEN till date. ----------------------------------- The SYRIAN CHRISTIANS who also landed in Kerala in 4/5th century also "frown upon" marring from outside their community and consider themselves to be upper caste christians. The MARTHOMA Christians are another group who claim "upper caste". The SUDAN war is all about ARAB MUSLIMS & BLACK MUSLIMS killing each other. SO CASTISM in India IS PROTECTING ETHENIC IDENTITY which is followed all over the world in different forms.
The castism in India- not amongst HINDUS only but all Indians- is a method of protecting their ETHENIC IDENTITY. The Rajputs, Yadavs, Jats, Brahmins, Ahirs, Reddys, Raos, Nairs, Dimasas, Ahoms, Nagas, Mizos, Kukis, Maiteis, Mizos, Hmars, Khasis, Gharos etc etc are all "separate ethenic groups" and effort is on to ensure that their ethenic group survive. In MIZORAM, law exist that MIZO WOMEN marring non- MIZO, even if he is CHRISTIAN- she loses right to own property in Mizoram while "no such restriction is applicable to MIZO MEN marrying non-Mizo women". The NAGAS have fully converted to Christianity but the sub- tribes of NAGAS- Thangkhuls, Angamis, Aos, Semas, Zalirongs etc etc rarely inter-marry and "violently oppose their women marrying outside their sub-tribe". MIZO CHRISTIAN marring NAGA CHRISTIAN is unheard of. So castism is all about "ethenic identity".
The AFRICAN AMERICANS were "captured, transported, bred and traded" like CATTLE for centuries by WHITES yet do not demand reservation like it exists in India. In India the untouchability, ensured that everyone was free to live their own life- no breeding like it happened in USA. If Brahmins considered someone inferior, they were equally free to consider the Brahmins "untouchables"- just keep off.
This is so depressing but a reality. I know of people/friends/relatives around me who openly denigrates dalits, people of lower castes and people from other religions, especially Muslims. It makes one sick. The problem begins at their homes where they are taught about their superiority to all else's inferiority. It gets compounded at primary and secondary schools. By the time you reach college, it becomes incredibly difficult to uproot these impressions, resulting in the terrible incidents described above.
If Hindus can't purge themselves of the casteist mindset, this great religion is doomed for disaster.
Why doesn't S.Anand talk about the tens of thousands of Dalit youth who have benefitted from the reservation policy, and have made successful careers for themselves? Why only talk about the small minority who have allegedly been abused? And again, why no mention about students from forward castes who also have committed suicide at our educational institutions? The entire article is inflammatory and one-sided. S.Anand seems to have been tutored well by the likes of Kancha Ilaiah, who thrives on Brahmin hatred.
@Shaila Lokhande 3.Serving the undeveloped is the responsibility of every developed citizen. To blame only the rich lower castes is anti national.
While I do agree with most of the other points and that reservation is needed to correct inequalties prepetuated over thosuands of years, I am surprised at your defence of the creme layer in point 3 above.You want everybody else to make sacrifice and give up some seats for affirmative action,but the rich from the lower castes are not required to do something similar.Can you please explain why?
Also, for all those who want reservation based on means rather than caste,the change in criterion will not make a huge difference.Read any governemnt of India or any agency report on poverty in India.Huge majority (upto 85%) of the lower castes and even muslims are poor or very poor. The change will certainly help the poor from upper castes but classification as poor is as difficult in India as getting a passport.In the end , it will only deprive some deserving candidates.
And all those who want to do away with reservations usually talk of idealistic scenarios like education for all which India has not achieved for last 65 years.So those who oppose reservation should first accept this failure , make sure that such 'utopias' are present on ground and only then oppose reservations.
This entire article is extremely cynical. Instead of treating the death of a young Indian as a tragedy and a loss to the nation, the author gets pleasure by making nasty comments, especially about citizens possessing certain surnames. An extremely narrow minded and hate filled statement which seeks to tar everybody with the same brush namely "welcomed with barbs and taunts from faculty and fellow students" is permitted by the Outlook editorial team under the guise of freedom of expression. Virtues such as repect, love and friendship are spoken of, but not of the necessity of spreading such virtues in all directions.
If "casteism" is defined as the hatred borne by an individual for those who do not belong to his particular ethnic group, the this article and its author can certainly be accused. But then perhaps, accusations of casteism can only be made against certain specific targets. The author would no doubt be happy to guide us regarding the identity of such targets.
SELF DECLARED Upper Caste's Questions and Lower Caste's Answer ! :-
1. To give quality educationto not only DALITS but ALL Indians was the duty of self declared upper castes policy makers and implementors.They have failed on this count. So they are neither efficient nor meritorious!
2. As per the global standard, India itself a backward country and that too after so many decades of the upper castes rule. So if the majority of Indians are backward thats because of this USELESS and BRAINLESS upper castes.
3.Serving the undeveloped is the responsibility of every developed citizen. To blame only the rich lower castes is anti national.
4. No reservation in defence and isro. Yet there is lot of mess ! who but the brainless upper castes are responsible for this.
5. The highest demeaning is to declare that only WE, the upper castes are capable. The fact is totally contradictory. But just like an owl, the so called upper castes can not see the sunlike truth.
6. To define merit only on the basis of certain suitable parameters is not meritorious ! The gold medalist iitans cant plough the farm or weave the cloth'efficiently' !. Yet these 'inefficient' elites serves the foreign countries very happily and efficiently!. For India , the Lower Caste Indians serving here are more patriotic than such self declared elites.
7. To help the undeveloped citizens by ALL the developed ones is rational , national and humanist. To expect 'their' rich to help only 'their' poor is irrational , anti national and satanic.
8. When 'Brown' Indians are killed in 'White' Australia , it is 'RACISM', but when the Lower Castes are killed in the upper caste dominated elite institutes (which in fact are , far far below average institutes as per the global standards !) it is not 'CASTEISM' ! . This is what the double standard is !!. In the social terminology , this is what known as 'Brahminical Justice' !!!
@Charan Dewry - "A 12 pass student who doesn't get a collage seat due to "religious discrimination" may just get an inconsequential post of a Constable in police, but it is they who are in the forfront of controlling riots"
Are you telling that religion-based discrimation is good for controlling communal riots ? :)
CASTE reservations are bad- but the lower castes had been discriminated for long. Worst is RELIGIOUS reservation- reservation in Christian and Muslim education institutions on religious grounds as these religions never faced discrimination- in fact they ruled India. How can a 12th class student who doesn't get a collage seat while his MUSLIM / CHRISTIAN friend who secured less marks than him gets into the same collage be expected to be SECULAR??? Even St- Stephens, Delhi has reservation for Christans. Students who are deprived of seats on religious grounds in collages feel cheated. A 12 pass student who doesn't get a collage seat due to "religious discrimination" may just get an inconsequential post of a Constable in police, but it is they who are in the forfront of controlling riots. So for India to truely become SECULAR, education must be made secular by stopping all religious reservations.
There could be nothing more demeaning than asking for reservation, one can fight for equality or education or development that fight will be an honor, begging for reservation is not. If you availed it bypassing merit, you certainly deserve the side effects.
When all castes are competing to become more and more backward,in order to get the reservation benifits,how the caste system can be eradicated?
As if the caste system was not enough, we are topping it up with a Super caste System which allows ABLE people of lower castes (especially in urban areas) to "cannibalise" their own kith and kin from rural areas. How is it that A union Ministers or for that matter an MLA's child needs the cructhes of Reservation while competing with children of similar background with similar facilities. For eg. If LaLoo or Paswan's kids are studying in say patna or delhi, don't they have the same tution classes available as doe sthe children of a Pandey or a Chaturvedi?
Shame is on all such ABLE people who are a hinderance to the kids coming from Rural Lower Caste backgrounds who are indeed at a disadvantage. But will these SHAMELESS lower caste, rich people in Urban centres do some service to the disavantaged? No Noever!
@Rajesh "Reservation is one of the means to achieve equal access and particiation in education and emplyement ... "
I have said that quality education should be given at the primary stage, through out schooling. With such an education they do not feel inferior to competing with the rest for higher education and jobs. And they do not fare any worse than the rest in coping with the rigours of higher education. Reservation is like giving fish to a starving person. Education is teaching him to fish instead. As far employment, the private sector's performance is better than public sector. Given a choice, private sector employer prefers an efficient dalit to an inefficient upper caste. Affirmative action should be a bottom-up approach - Not giving sops at the higher levels.
You are absolutely right. The remedy against reservations is to root out the caste system. 60 years of "affirmative action" has only resulted in more castes clamouring to climb on the bandwagon. The biggest supporters of the system are the beneficiaries, the so called "creamy layer" which has fought tooth and nail to oppose any system which allows their less fortunate brethren to climb the ladder. How long will it be before we stop calling a President of India, a CJI or the Speaker of the Lok Sabha (and daughter of a Deputy PM) as "opressed".
I know more about caste today than I did 45 years ago when I was in school.
Reservation is one of the means to achieve equal access and particiation in education and emplyement and to remove caste barrier that prevails in our society. Why blame reservation when the real problem is the rotten caste culture of India that has oppressed and denied education to Dalits and advasis for centuries. Caste based reservation is not new in India. It existed for thousands of years. Brahmins and other upper caste people had 100% reservation for thousands of years which gave them unfair advantage in advancing their educational, social and economic interest.Why is that current 20% reservation is a probelm when the US and other advanced countries including Australia have some form of reservation and other affirmative action programs.
TO all those who are against the reservations my question is that why dont you try to eradicate the cast system? To remove the reservations root out the caste system first.
Less than 1% in 2 British universities are black. The discussion there would probably be on "why there are so few blacks seeking admission". (I assume they would qualify for admission)."In contrast there is silence in India" - Yes. Silence in the sense of no rational analysis. But in India reservation is thought of as a panacea for all evils.
Reservation is the primary reason for poor performance in elite institutions. Entry through reservation is also the cause of a feeling of inferority complex. Dalit and underprivileged students should be given free education and other incentives to make them as good, if not better, than the rest. After the age of 15+ they should compete with others on an EQUAL basis. That does wonders for their morale. If a qualified dalit is admitted on reservation quota, blame it on reservation system. Successive governments have taken the easy way out on education using the reservation carrot. If only dalits had good quality school education, they wouldn't be needing reservation, nor the need to commit suicide.
The medieval Sant Chakradhar Swamy declares that "SARVADHAMATTVA BRAHMANATTVA". The master piece by S.Anand (Outlook, April 16) exposes the "sarvadhamattva" of these so called higher learning centers. Going by global standard, these self declared centers of excellence belongs to lower than 'also ran' category. The fact that even after so many decades , they have not produced Nobel laureates speaks volumes about their standard and excellence. Thus even standardwise , they are 'adham'. Why the juidiciary is not initiating suo moto action against these anti social elements ? If juidiciary can give justice to Jessica Lal then why not to Anil Meena , Bal Mukund Bharti & others? The better judges & citizens of coming generations are going to raise such pointed questions . Those responsible for this mess are anti national terrorist and so must be penalised , for they have defamed our beloved nation.
Caste problem is a very complex one, think our policy makers tried to solve this with a very simple method called reservation. Reservation has indeed made the problem worse. If youre going to tag someone with a caste and give appointment how the hell can he or she remove the tag. Someone who lost an appointement inspite of having merit and just because his forefathers were upper caste, will have the bad taste for a long time. 'Development and education for all' is the answer.
S.Anand >> What they do not do is sensitise the predominantly ‘upper’ caste faculty and students—the Dronacharyas and Arjunas at these institutes who insist on hacking the thumbs of Eklavyas
This is what represents what we call as "Inflammatory and Irresponsible " Journalism. Dalit Writer S.Anand is telling us through the above statement that every Upper Caste Faculty and student in the educational institution is hell bent on hacking the thumbs of adivasi/dalit students.
With such a kind of mindset that borders on hate mongering on a entire section of Indian society, no solutions can be found. There is no denying of the proble m of caste discrimination and untouchablitity and the consequent damage on lives of many many countless students. But trying to abuse all of an entire section of society as potential violent thumb cutters is nothing but trying to inflame violence. Mr S.Anand, you may be a great Dalit writer, you may say this in high pedestal, you may win elections and maybe become the next President of India but spreading such inflammatory statements wont solve the problem for sure. Take it from me, it will not solve any problem. Infact you and your hateful mindset is as much as part of problem as those upper caste idiots who are insensitive to the struggling dalit/adivasi students seeking better education. You are just using your own power of pen to push your agenda.
PS - And just read the whole article again and think of this - It is always easy to curse the darkness but difficult to find and light a candle. If you are really interested to solve the problem, please do the latter.
Caste prejudice in India is a given. The biggest perpetrators of the system are those who insist on selecting people for poitions on the basis of caste rather than merit. Ditto those holding exalted positions whose first defence when charged with criminal offences is to claim that they are being harassed on account of their caste.
Anurag Gupta has put the matter in perspective. The greater number of suicides are engendered by failure to cope after having been pushed through on the basis of caste. Try placing your child two or three classes above his present one and see if he/she can cope with the pressure.
It is a matter of shame that such prejudice still persists. Those exhibiting such attitudes must be sent to re-education camps, including some commentators in this forum.
@ 3/D-64 Madmax, Even I thought the same thing. Infact this guy got so traumatised by Satya Sai Baba's visit to Karunanidhi's home that he stopped writing altogether. But good things don't last.
What poor reporting! I know at least one case in the list - Madhuri Sale from IIT Kanpur. It was due to a failed love affair. I am an IIT kanpur Alumni. I hardly saw harrassment of lower castes. There was a general disdain among some rich students towards others but it was not caste specific.
A majority of students who did not enter IIT on merit AND performed poorly sought to distance themselves from others, not because of anyone's barbs. These students were not just lower castes but also many foreign students from rich families in Nepal and Bangladesh. It had little to do with caste but more to do with the complex arisen from the fact that they did not earn their way in AND performed academically abyssmal. Those students who did not have such mental complexes mingled with everyone freely.
Suicides at IIT Kanpur are a regular occurence. Most are upper castes. It is due to a stress filled academic life and a generally unwholesome social life. Very little to do with caste.
Unfortunately, such slipshod journalism leads to loss of credibility of even the accurate facts. I wish journalists did a better job to make their work matter.
LOL @ outlook.Isnt this the same S.Anand who used to report from Chennai for the Outlook?.Would it hurt if you mention that fact?.
The need of the hour (actually generations) is to reach the audience that could actually make a difference. One might say that the urban population believes in equality and would treat the dalits with respect. But then, hold that thought, it might not actually be true. Most of the maids and laborers around us are dalits. Do people actually give them a thought other than ensuring that they are at an arm’s length? So, then, the need is that the media that reaches the urban population makes them realize this. People must be made to feel the guilt of this bias and a mirror has to be shown to them on this issue. Another reason for the urban population to isolate the downtrodden is the inherent conception of them being unhygienic and the fear that they might steal from them. Think of it who likes wearing filthy cloths? Their cloths are filthy because they cannot afford a constant flow of good ones. Why can’t they? Because we, as a nation, do not pay our maids and laborers enough. So, is increasing their pay the only solution?
Let us then, take an example of a labor-oriented industry that pays peanuts to its laborers – real estate and construction. Should we pay the laborers more and make our apartments more expensive? The prices are already unbearable, but then, there has to be a solution, a balance or perhaps an out-of-the-box thought. The government could probably fix a minimum wage (definitely not 26 rupees) and reduce the property taxes or do some other sort of balancing act, some mechanism where the benefit is directly received by the needy. Well, that seems like good welfare-economics capitalism (perhaps great economists like Amartya Sen could shed some light). Direct economic empowerment and acceptance by the economically better off of the urban poor is the only solution.
Coming to the rural dalits, this is where the most atrocities are reported. The need here is the reach. The media condemns it and so does the urban population, but the murders might actually find sympathizers within their own social classes. Then, how can media touch this mentality where a dalit murder is often justified? The answer is that the media can do only very little here. Also, this cannot come solely through the educated dalit who goes back to his village to get murdered, not without another few generations of blood shed. Organized working force will definitely do the trick. This will free them from the need of recognition from the upper class for their uplift. Take for instance the Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Projects of Dakshina Kannada District of Karnataka. The dalits, tribals and the rural poor here are much more empowered because of this. They are empowered in terms of money, leaves, constant work, and most importantly respect and hope for future without depending on the upper class. If the NGOs or government organizations could emulate them or come up with such great ideas, the empowerment of the dalits would be faster and peaceful.
Seriously, why do all existing discourse on caste (and hence class) in India seem to start with this banal 'he-could-not-drink-the-water-at-his-school' typecasting? Why can't we have something like:
My pupil flicker, my teeth gnash whenever I think of a Dalit guy procreating with my daughter. How could we let that happen? It's one thing to write, but it's entirely anothing thing to mix blood. How could I possibly choose to let my heritage pass. I'd rather choose hypocrisy.
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