Tuesday, May 23, 2006


It is interesting to analyze the violent stereotypes that the anti-reservation group is spreading about Dalit/Adivasi students. There are two main pictures which emerge.
One is the greedy, underserving middle class Dalit student who is arriving in a private vehicle (son/daughter of a high level beaurocrat who has got into the system through reservation) and who is sneaking into the system immorally.
The other is the village lout who cannot speak english very well, nor can cope with the complex classes because he/she lacks merit, period!
As far as the midde class dalit is concerned (the elusive creamy layer), when one takes the admission procedures of IITs etc. it is clear that very few first generation dalit/adivasi students might be able to compete with the coaching centred entrance systems of the elite institutions. Does this mean that already under-represented communities need not be represented at all? Moreover, when one considers the still prevailing racial discrimination in our interview systems (which even middle class dalits face) and the lack of inner confidence and lack of availability of role models for underprevileged children, how are we to easily buy the creamy layer argument?
In this situation, when the "deserving" first generation reservation benificiary comes into the institution, s/he faces castiest comments about "merit." Kamaal hai!


Rupali_Srivastava said...

Read your blog. Have a few comments. Please read with a rational mind open to ideas.

I dont know if you have ever faced the brunt of being in a so called upper class. If not just spend a few moments to read my experience.

I came from a middle class background.Dad served in tthe private sector and was the only source of income. He made it clear to me that if and only if I get admitted to the Govt engg college will we be able to afford a enginnering degree education. For your information fees for a year in govt college was 4000 rs at my time and in pvt colleges the fees was 32000 on paper + a minimum of 10000 extra.

Under that pressure i worked hard for entire class 12. I had only one coaching class for math under an elderly teacher i respect like God . He took only 75 rs a month for Math class.

I went to no other fancy classes.My dream was the computer stream in the govt college. Because of it's name that college has the best campus recruitment which offers a means to get a job with no "JACK" . It means a way to rise in economic stature and sort of wipe out the past.

I got 96.33 % in my class 12. My father had tears in his eyes as he felt that I had fulfilled his dream..He got me a bouquet of flowers and a gold ring that I yet wear , the day the results were declared.

I applied and then the dream ended. In the open category the computer stream closed at close to 98%. Yes!!! There were 20 people atleast who had the same percentage. Meaning 20+ people with 97 in the open category.Such is the competition!!!

I did not get admitted to the stream I wanted . I had all the other private colleges open for me. some of best after the govt college for the stream I wanted. But I knew i cannot afford to get into a private college.My elder sister was in a private college already.

I chose a stream i did not want. I came home in shock.Many people who I knew had lesser percentage than me got in easily. These people were very well to do.Owned cars and a big house.

It was my time for tears that night. It is a feeling you will never know. My father consoled me. in vain.

Think again abt a person who worked so hard only to see someone else walk off with what was rightfully his/hers.

Did u hear in the interview of Arjun singh that 50% of seats remain vacant and 50% of the others take more than 6 yrs to get their degree.

I had people in my class who had taken 7 yrs to pass a 4 yr degree.

I never even knew about the caste of my friends untill some of them got admissions they did not deserve.

So, for middle class people like us merit is the only chance for us to get into the right places. And we work hard for that.We pay our taxes, dont arson or burn anything, we live normal lives and then some one weilding a caste certificate jumps ahead in the line giving us a huge slap on the face.

I respect ur difference of opinion but you look like a classical example of a person untouched by this issue..May be I am wrong.

poli said...

rupali, your story is unfortunately a very sad one, but nonetheless there are atleast a miilion people or more in this country in this country who do not have your 'merit' but dont get an oppurtunity to study anyway. 'merit' is not something biological. it is created and nurtured by generations of economic and social surroundings. you were able to get 96.33% because some of your ancestors had not been denied the right to live a dignified life. there are still people who have to clean drains and toilets in cities because its their 'family profession'. please dont put up sob stories on the net and expect sympathy. BTW, i am a brahmin of a middle class background.

Anonymous said...

Why are people confusing SC/STs with OBCs?? The current protest is ONLY against OBC caste based reservation. Not all OBCs have had similar history of past discrimination like SC/STs. In trying to do the "right" thing, a lot of people who are the so called "forward castes" just use blanket arguments like yours to justify anything in the name of social justice. Please look at the facts and evidence about who constitutes OBCs. Not all anti-reservationists are against reservation for the backwards but a lot of them are against the current policy proposals. There are better methods to provide social justice (no i am not suggesting the primary/secondary education route).. where we can better "target" the people who need most help by using some kind of deprivity index. No its not impossible, JNU already implements such a scheme.

Try to keep an open mind and stay away from broad generalizations.

shyam said...

like the previous poster said u r confusing the issue...sc/sts are genuinely under priviliged and can understand reservation for em...but listen...i know so many "obc's" in my coll..dont want to mention it but suffice to say its one of the ones being penalised by reserv,...all of em are fuckin smart..all of em bar none hate ppl like u who are just reminding em of their supposed "backwardness"...ythey made it into this elite institute with their brains and hard work...they didnt need reservations...they didnt need a crutch like u want... listen "obc's" are some of the richest and most well to do communities in india..chettiars and mudaliars in tn for example are the richest ppl in tn..ask any tamilian...Ac muthiah owner of spic and murugappa grp,pchidambaram are all "obcs" in tn.....listen u are dividing this country based on caste when nobody wants to think of it...if u want to get into an iit/iim...study man...arent u ashamed that u cant come up on ur own ability...shame on u and ppl like u..

we support obc reservations said...

first of all...don't be sure of anything. I might not be an OBC. I might not be a man, either! If you read my post, it is about stereotypes. You are imagining that only OBCs will support OBC reservations? You are wrong. We support it because it is just, and not just because a lot of us are also OBC. And, women can also have opinion on politics. So...do not address a blog writer as "man" ever again. I am a PROUD HIJRA!!

vivek pal singh said...

i am wih obc quota
i dont understand why those upperclass are worring for seats are increased that means no change in there competiton or they dont want people from backward class to have their own identity .if you want equality then come let us all be called obc or sc ,no i am sure u dont want it to be happened yes the history says it not me