Why aren't we treated alike?

I came across this during my early morning browsing section.

Whining about inequality.

Seems legit enough, the guy wants to know why some people are treated better than himself though they are equals.

Before I start, let me qualify that this is not meant to defend the caste based reservation system (CBRS) as it is now. There a lot of loop holes in it as any other government policy.

But I am here to reassert that reservations are to stay in our country and CBRS is the only way for us to go.

But why?

Privilege, you dumbass!

Hardik Patel was able to wage a war against the state to demand something he wanted. Patidars is not a weak community by any standards, after all who gets to murder 10 people brutally on our streets and walk away unscathed?

How many so called unprivileged castes are able to do the same?

You will see scores of petitions online raging to destroy caste based reservation. I see that the ones who support caste based reservations are betting against a huge majority in ‘this online India’!

Do you know why, or have you bothered to check why?

Stats say only 18% Indians accessed internet in the last 12 months. Rest 82% are away from all this chatter, a few people are bothered.

Do you have any idea what is the basis of economic classes in India?

What segregated people based on their jobs for centuries and hence directly correlates with their economical condition?

Do you know despite the intake of ~22% civil servants from the SC/ST community every year, they represent only ~2.5% of officers at the highest echelons of power?

And we haven’t had a single cabinet secretary from the SC/ST community for the past 68 years of freedom?

Have you bothered to check the statistics? Around 50% seats are reserved for 70% of the population. What made us reserve the seats for them in the first place?

No numbers, no statistics, no facts. Just plain emotional appeal that resonates with the privileged classes of the Indian society.

I see a lot of cases trying to argue anecdotally to prove the point. Its hard for them to think as compassionate individuals and see the crux of the system.

The wealth we all possess is not a constant entity. It flowed to us through ways untraceable. I haven’t met a single person who could account for all the pennies he own.

He doesn’t know how much was inherited. He doesn’t know how his ancestors aggregated that property. He doesn’t know or sometimes doesn’t care about the injustices that went behind the process.

Having an social status is a privilege. Having educated parents is a privilege. Having parents is a privilege. You can’t expect everything to fit in to your equation of the world.

Unless we are not ready to give up our privileges, how can we ask others to give up what is rightfully theirs?

I admire capitalism for the meritocracy argument. But I cringe when people evoke the same meritocracy argument against CBRS. I shall rightfully put you in context.

We rarely protest against the ‘management quotas’ or NRI seats in our institutions of higher education. The question is how could we sustain our institutions without someone paying for them?

But how did this student get admitted to this management seat? What made it possible? Isn’t it the money that his family possess? Isn’t it some sort of reservation?

Reservation based on money is not frowned upon, but reservation based on social equity is. Why?

Because not everyone possess the political limb necessary to assess the situation.

I see people whining over the upto 69% reservation in Tamilnadu. What doesn’t embrace the headlines is the caste demographics of the state. Almost 90% of the Tamilians belong to either backward castes or Scheduled Castes and Tribes.

Don’t you see a serious social equity problem here? Even the British did, I don’t know how one could skip it.

Think about a society in which more than 70% of the population are discriminated against when it comes to education and power. Do you see a stable society there?

I don’t. Stability of the society is the right of all the parties concerned. The lines of caste were drawn between us much before we were born. But if we are not able to distribute the social equity rightfully, we don’t have the right to expect a peaceful society.

But evoking the “we need to kill the caste, so let’s kill CBRS” is like “we need to get rid of inequality, so let’s cut subsidies - subsidies reinforce the notion of inequality”.

I will write more about the need of identity politics and why caste as an identity should stay. Not as a means of discrimination, but as a means for us to evaluate ourselves.

Let’s not be the vestiges of a bygone era, we live in world that is much peaceful than what our ancestors had. As compassionate individuals, we cannot let ourselves be engulfed by some parochial ideology. All thoughts about this article is welcome in the comment section below.

Footnote: There can be “fallacy fallacy” lying somewhere around in this article. And this article doesn’t intent to defend the loopholes in CBRS where the benefits are cornered around an handful of individuals. I will write about my thoughts on rebuilding the system sometime later. Thanks for your patience!

Written on April 27, 2016