Seed of Discord

Just now one of my colleagues called me to ask for a favour. Her relatives had gone to Ajmer Sharif and are now stranded there. She wanted to know from Internet about bus journey details from Ajmer to Ahmedabad. How distraught rest of the family must be feeling. For most of us its like “None of my near & dear ones are there. So it doesn’t matter”. Not only her relatives but around 50,000 people have been stranded as more than 50 trains have been canceled due to Gujjar women who have blocked the rail routes. Earlier, the men had damaged railway tracks. In fact it has been estimated that India’s corporate sector has lost some $1.25 billion since May 23 and Indian railways suffered a loss of Rs.29.6 million ($696,659) on May 29 alone because of delays and cancellations of trains. Read this here and here. All this because the Gujjars want to be re-classified as a ‘Scheduled Tribe,’ to qualify for jobs and university places reserved for disadvantaged groups.


Do these people ever think of the sick persons, pregnant women, examination/interview candidates, small kids, the elderly or poor people who are stranded due to cancellation of trains? As if terrorists weren’t a big enough problem for all; that now we have Indians causing problems for Indians. We have become so selfish in our demands and so greedy that we ignore everyone else’s inconvenience. Like these Gujjar protests, political strikes in Kolkata etc etc. Satyagraha or rather Gandhigiri is just a celluloid dream. Now the attitude is “If I want something I’ll snatch it by hook or crook”…rather only crook i.e. violence and riots.
My point is that Indian leaders who laid the foundation of a new country 60 years ago just sowed the biggest seed of discord by defining different castes and tribes and making provisions in the Constitution for them; by giving the word “reservation” a whole new meaning; by creating a divider bigger than the Partition. We are just reaping what they sowed. It was supposed to benefit the rural and backward classes who are poor to get education and job. But in reality? A friend of mine who is a Bachelor of Engineering, has own house, very good monthly income and is counted as upper middle class; gets job in public sector using “quota” allotted to his caste. And a kid in a village is still illiterate and a farmer or weaver. So Mr.Leader’s soul, it hasn’t quite turned out the way it should have been, right? Now what do we do?
As for these Gujjars, they want a re-classification!!! I want one too. From being “General” or “No Category”; I want to become “Categorized”. I want to be given preferential treatment everywhere. I want my son/daughter to not do hardwork in studying and to get admission in finest colleges/schools just on basis of caste and to get a job just as easily.
As for these Gujjar women, have they stood up in protest against the rampant use of infanticide against the girl child in their caste? Have they ever raised their voice against abusive husbands or other malpractices against women? Have they protested against the falling sex ratio, unavailability of brides and the resulting polyandry in their caste? Then why now? Out of greed? Even if they are “re-classified” do they assure that they will send their daughters to school too and give them equal opportunity as their sons?

I just pray that may all the people stranded reach their destinations safe and sound. And…

रघुपित राघव राजाराम , पतित पावन सीताराम
सीताराम सीताराम, भज प्यारे तू सीताराम
ईश्वर अल्लाह तेरो नाम, सब को सन्मित दे भगवान

Translation:
Lord Rama, Chief of the house of Raghu,
Uplifters of those who have fallen,
(O divine couple) Sita and Rama,
Beloved, praise Sita and Rama,
God or Allah is your name,
Lord, bless everyone with wisdom.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are entirely mine and I have no intention of hurting anyone’s feelings. Neither do I support nor I oppose anyone.
All images credited to NDTV.

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26 thoughts on “Seed of Discord

  1. here we have affirmative action…which sounds like the same sort of rot.

    I hate it and think it should be gotten rid of too because it doesnt make anything more “fair” only more unfair.

    and Ill pray for those stranded as well (I had to fix my typos, my boss was about when I posted)

  2. I absolutely do not subscribe nor encourage these ways of expressing your displeasure!!!

    What harm have all those people stranded done to you man!? Why make them suffer!??????

    Sad!

  3. ‘We have become so selfish in our demands and so greedy that we ignore everyone else’s inconvenience. ‘

    I think this is always true.. only when you have enough for yourself you’ll think of others.

    reservations and its woes!

  4. Try not to be too truthful, people don’t like the truth to be said openly.(< --sarcasm) Only solution to make our country more stable is to remove all reservations OR simply include all people in reservation. As you said, Me too don’t want my children to be drowned because of these reservations giving facilities to incompetent people. Suda

  5. yeah all this reservation system in india..it really sucks..actually reservation should be given to only those students who are intelligent and are deprived of good schools and colleges due to lack of money irrespective of caste or religion. atleast this would encourage students to study hard. next i believe reservations should not be prevailed in jobs! hmm i didnt knew about this whole gujjar issue but what i know, that they even held strikes in delhi and my sister was happy that she got off from office 🙂

  6. @Robert I dont know about affirmative action. Plz tell me little about it.
    Thanks for ur prayers.

    @Nova Its really sad!! Its so much trouble and inconvenience..the bus and flight services must be making money from the situation

    @Sandeep The problem is even the world is not enough…So we have to think about others somewhere along the path to acquire the feeling of “enough”

    @Suda I can’t help it…Got the typical Gemini sharp tongue. Hey lets sit and block one railway track for our demands. 🙂 🙂

  7. This is beyond any words. Humans have proved time and again that there can’t be a more disgusting species in the whole universe. This is just another small tiny proof.

  8. @Amit Yeah! Imagine so much monetary loss when we are suffering a huge price rise and food crisis. All for damn reservation. I think its time for the Apocalypse to wipe everything clean on this planet.

  9. Reema,

    I wrote a big ranty post about it but basically its selection for jobs based on race backed by government tax breaks.

  10. @Robert Don’t be sorry about ranting in comments on my blog!! U can rant any amount u want…repost the comment..I demand it!! I agree..discrimination & partiality on basis of anything is unfair! I guess every country has its share of “caste” problems…under different names.

  11. heheh I lost the will to retype it.

    But basically it was about how unfair and discriminatory it all is.

    And how even tho I am a white male, my family has always been poor and the steel and coal barons of this country oppressed them and paid them the lowest possible wages for deadly and dangerous jobs in coal mines and steel mills in the 19th and early 20th century and how no one ever talks about whites oppressing whites, much less legislate for it.

    and that the most qualified person should get the job no matter if they are white, black, yellow or purple.

    but it was long and angry sounding and after I read it I felt kinda bad about it.

  12. Reema I replied to your comment at my blog too…

    But I figure Ill be redundant and answer here too…

    Ill need birthdate/time and either longitude/latitude or the city you were born in. (I can look up long/lat on google earth then)

    More exact birthtimes are probably better but not necessary

  13. @Robert errr..u know the moment u click on publish I get the comment in my mail..So I have already read it :)Dont feel bad..anger is best vented out.

  14. Discrimination!
    I think there is an international law that tries to fix the problems of discrimination in the past by further discrimination and giving culture groups that are thought to be marginalized certain benefits so they can improve their lives but still embrace their culture.

    In Belize we have mid forms of that but are still unjust. Maya people can swat whatever land they want to form villages because that is how they used to do it. Mennonites can run their own schools and teach their children whatever because of their culture. Garifuna people can fish in and out of season and harm the ecosystem despite the warnings of professionals.

    In my little protest to it all I avoid the culture group/ ethnic group question on forms. When I was in school I never took part in culture day. My teachers thought I was being racist…. when people try to place me, I play stupid and never answer their questions. When I teach my kids about the culture groups I am very careful.

    We are people.

  15. Reema, no I didnt know that…

    I thought it just told you that you had new comments not copied them in there.

    now I feel extra silly.

    sigh

  16. A society that starts an ill-thought exercise deserves to repent at leisure.

    Whether it was the choice to use blacks as slaves, women as second-class citizens, or lower castes as undeserving of a decent life, those who kept slaves, behave misogynistically, and continue to perpetuate caste-based discrimination are paying the price through affirmative action and reservations.

    Not a day goes by when I do not hear a snide remark from an ‘upper caste’ Indian about the SC/ ST/ OBC people. I only ever met an OBC person for the first time when I went to college. Two of my 3 closest friends were OBCs. One left India in disgust and has made a stellar career in the US, in telecoms where nobody cares what caste she is. One lives in India and has made a superb career in consulting, hears the jibes but does not care. Both were meritorious and are winning on merit. But it is unfair to plague their days for an accident of birth. Some days I wish I were an SC/ ST/ OBC so I did not have to feel ashamed of being an ‘upper caste’.

    It is easy to blame ‘them’ when all we should really take into account is ‘us’ and our own behaviour.

    Indians are so prejudiced at so many levels that when they complain of racism abroad, I want to laugh and point them back to India where they treat their own people with such contempt and hatred.

    The Gujjar agitation may be unfortunate but it sends a message strongly that unless everyone has a fair chance to participate, the progress juggernaut cannot proceed. I say this conscious of the fact that I am headed straight into this melee in a few days.

  17. @Beth yes we are one people..global citizens…Kids are lucky to have such a sensible teacher.

    @Robert dont feel silly…its ok..as Indians would say “chalta hai yaar”

    @Shefaly Nice to hear a different point of view. I guess India is reaping what she sowed in ancient times. But my whole point is giving reservations on basis of caste takes away the “fair chance of participation”.its better to abolish caste system totally..no upper no lower. But it is a Herculean task to bring about such a change.

  18. Bang on target!

    Most of the ones protesting (… not only in this case but in other protests happening in the country e.g. Bandhs, Strikes etc.) it is often the common man that suffers, and they often end up doing something bad for the nation rather than something constructive!

  19. In our country only whole nation is usually taken on ransom by a particular sector of society feels hurt(!).

    @NiKesh

    you are right, it is often the common man that suffers!

  20. @Nikesh yes, strikes just causes problems for the common man.

    @Sakhi The amount lost in one day is strike is enormous still these people dont come to their senses.

  21. BIngo !! Great Post !!

    India is the only country on this entire planet where people feel pride in calling them as ‘Backwards’ !! .. That is really pity ..

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