WOULD EKALAVYA HAVE BENEFITED FROM RESERVATION?

It is interesting how a certain class and caste group in India function.

There is a clear-cut dichotomy In what they SAY and in what they DO. One takes some time to realize that this caste group has ABSOLUTELY NO qualms to say something and do something else. When questioned about what they do (or don’t do) they always hold the position that they have spoken about as proof of their actually having done (or not done) what they are saying.

This phenomenon  is so universally practiced and upheld, it is so consistently supported by the others in the same group, it is so vehemently protested and so appreciably argued, that it has now culminated in a fine position called the caste rhetoric.

If you take any position that is speaks on behalf of the poor of the country, you have these caste groups jumping into the bandwagon, shaking their heads, quoting international studies and sagely offering to steer the ship, to lead from in front, to guide, to support, to nurture, to mentor…….. but tell them to step back and let the ‘poor’ take the lead……….. they suddenly develop a hearing loss. Or even worse, they might agree with you.

They might tell you with a great deal of concern that you are absolutely right and that a person from the ‘lower fringes of society’ should be identified to lead the activity, but once any such person is identified, they will immediately get together a minimum of five of their own kind, who will categorically state that the said representative does not have the require skills or moral fibre or whatever.

So you see…………..it’s simple really and very, very effective. It shows them in a good light while ensuring they get ABSOLUTELY what they want. They will even bring it up on their own with their donors, who being Caucasian will understand F*** all about these issues, and who will tut tut and talk about a similar problem in Africa or Tumbuktoo.

India is now caught between two shades of saffron – one the unsophisticated, bawdy, rabid pro-Hindutva fundamentalists, and the other even more insidious, dangerous and venomous – the pseudo sophisticated, modern academicians and self proclaimed philosophers. This category has written books, published papers, spoken at international conferences – even said in so many words that the ‘SC/ST and muslims’ have a bad deal in this country. They will widely publicise atrocities committed against these two groups, they will make sure that these words get special mention in their speeches and writings, but at no point will they look at it as a human right point of view.

They will not take it up as a life time agenda, they will not change their own ‘upper caste’ names, they will still attend all those ceremonies (including the cross thread and arangetram) that validate their caste status, they will still talk about discrimination as a cultural phenomenon that is best left untouched, they will still not question that they are present in overpowering numbers at decision making bodies, they will NEVER give up their spaces.

How long can this rhetoric go on? If you so called upper caste guys and women, really want to move your inane mouthings of equality and equity into the domain of actual practice, then move out ACTIVELY from spaces and bring in ACTIVELY, those your caste group has traditionally oppressed. This oppression has been rampant across the country, outrageous and inhuman. Stop occupying spaces. So what if you didn’t become a professor in spite of all your medals and acclaimed virtues. So what if you won scholarships from the day you were born.

You didn’t have to mind cattle while you studied, you didn’t have to drop out of school to ensure that you had water in your house (because the upper caste group refuses to let you have water when you have the time to collect it), you weren’t made to sit outside a classroom or wash the toilets (coz that’s your job). You didn’t have your house located in a COLONY that government officials NEVER visited in case they got polluted by the caste you were born with.

If you had to get through all that and get into a professional situation, they surely you deserve a little more support, right? That’s kind of the underlining philosophy of equity. Equity, from the point of an ‘upper’ caste person is to give up something you think you deserve because of your CURRENT achievements, to undo the unfair advantages your community or your caste has received because of PAST (and current) human rights violations. You become accountable for what your community has done over generations.

People who are ‘upper caste’ and who object to reservations must understand that they have won the race unfairly. They have access to the best of education, the best of resources, the best homes because they have attempted to destroy and dehumanize their  potential competitors. Your grandparents and great grandparents and their relatives and their communities DID not allow your potential competitors to even contemplate the possibility of competing.

Ekalavya came up to the level of Arjun (and more) not because a system supported him. He came up entirely on merit (NO RESERVATION) but the system still broke him. It broke him by taking away the only thing he had (AND LOVED). This has happened for generations and it has broken people’s will and people’s self esteem.

SC students commit suicide. In your heart you think “SERVES THEM RIGHT FOR ENTERING MY DOMAIN’ and that is because you believe very INTRINSICALLY that it is YOUR domain. Your religion, your parents, your community, your ‘upper ‘ caste friends reaffirm this every day and day in a day out. You genuinely believe in your heart that you deserve more. This is this paradigm that drives you ALL the time. You believe that it is your karmic position that gives you this advantage and therefore you happily accept a state of inequality.

This is the core of your belief. Think about it. Really deeply think about it and then decide.

References: The Drona syndrome

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18 thoughts on “WOULD EKALAVYA HAVE BENEFITED FROM RESERVATION?”

  1. Ekalavya was punished for trying his skill in the mouth of a dog. If he had done something like that today, SPCA might have dragged him to the Courts!!

    Btw major parts of present day India was under the rule of Islamic Invaders and European Christian colonizes for nearly 900 years prior to 1947. What had they done for the “lower-castes” during that time?

    Why the Muslims and Christians (alongwith the upper-castes you referred to above) are shedding crocodile tears for them now? Is that only for increasing the head-count by hook or by crook by exploiting the fault-lines in the native Indian culture?

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  2. Dear Raghu, I am sure you must have heard the story well enough to know that Arjuna’s threat perception was what led to the loss of Ekalavya’s thumb.
    Are you trying to say that Muslim and European Christians didn’t do anything, so it justifies the Hindus not doing anything?
    Please take time off and visit a dalit colony near your area and just talk/observe from a human rights point of view. Who knows, you might end up shedding some real tears……..

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  3. Dr. Sylvia Karpagam, Mahabharata is an Epic (Story) and not records of Historical events! do you really think Arjuna, Ekalavya, Drona, etc really existed?

    “Hindus” are your natural enemies who had subjugated you for more than 5000 years. Then how come you are expecting them to do anything for you?

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  4. Dr. Slvia, you seem to be in intelligent person but your hatred for Hinduism is clouding your thinking.

    If you look at the world history, you will find that rich and powerful minority always suppressed majority which was poor. In Europe just 200 years ago, 90% of population was called as peasants or commoners and were extremely poor. While a small minority called nobles or lords lived in fancy castles and palaces which are tourist attractions today. In facts by some accounts, commoners were couple of inches shorter than nobles due to lack of sufficient food. And there was not much of socialization between 2 groups. So India is not unique in that sense.

    Cast system is not really the root cause of all discrimination but in reality is a symptom. If not cast system, discrimination would have existed in some other form. In Islamic world and most other places it took the form of slavery. (Slaves are not even there to tell their story anymore because most male slaves were castrated!)

    I am not trying to justify cast system but just trying to say that primary reason for the current scenario is poverty and lack of education. The key issue is India’s per capital GDP which is very low. Increasing it is the only way to eradicate poverty and stop the exploitation of poor.

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    1. What is going on in Haryana is really horrible and guilty should be caught and punished. I am not from north so don’t know what is going on but crime against women has been on the rise in Delhi, Haryana and other northern states, which is really sad. But, are these cases of crime against women or oppression of Dalits or a mix of both? I don’t know.

      Here is an excerpt from another report on Hindu:

      Their argument on caste oppression in Haryana springs from experience — but the police insist caste isn’t the only factor driving rape. Senior Superintendent of Police B. Satheesh Balan says that “of the 38 cases that we registered in Hisar, six were found false, in 26, the accused and the victim were from the same caste, in three cases the accused were from the dominant caste and in two cases the victims were from the upper caste.”

      http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/other-states/lost-in-haryana-rape-debate-a-girls-story/article3988816.ece

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      1. Nilesh, there is plenty of evidence to show that atrocities have been committed for generations by the ‘upper’ castes against the ‘lower’ castes.

        Many are obvious like rapes, murder, burning houses and physical assault. Many more are insidious like denying people food, land, education, health, self respect. Many people are not allowed into professional domains. There is institutional racism. There are cases of students being treated so badly that they drop out.

        These are things we should not try to argue against because the evidence is OVERWHELMING that caste creates many barriers. As long as one group think they are superior and the others are treated as inferior, we will always have these violations in our society.

        Instead of trying to disprove the facts or saying that these problems exist everywhere, the educated/knowledgeable/intellectual/intelligent ‘upper’ caste Hindus should come together and identify a solution to this problem. They should stop looking the other way when these violations take place.

        A dalit girl is a girl at the end of the day. For her to be stripped and raped and beaten is a violation. One cannot be quiet just because she is a dalit.

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      2. Dr. Sylvia, I have never said that upper casts have never committed atrocities against lower casts or that sexual exploitation of a dalit girl is okay. What is happening in Haryana is bad and has created a huge uproar in country (regardless of the fact that victims are dalits or not) and Haryana government is under pressure to act.

        But it is also important to understand if crimes being committed are hate crimes or if there is an angle of caste oppression in it. If I look at the statement by superintendent of police, it doesn’t seem that way.

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  5. The manu smriti states that a brahmin, kshatriya or vaishya man can sexually exploit a shudra woman and the killing of an ‘untouchable’ is equal to the killing of an animal. Can you quote any other religion which provides such inhuman guidelines. Now the fundamentalists want to push the Manu Smriti in the place of the Indian constitution.

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    1. Dr. Sylvia,
      Manusmrti is a horrible book and is not practiced or followed by most Hindus today. Some Brahmins may still be studying it but I have not come across anyone reading or teaching it in my life. I am not even sure if it can be considered a religious book of Hindusm at all. So don’t worry, it will never replace constitution.

      But since you mentioned that it says that Shudra women can be exploited, I found a copy on internet and found following lines in it, which are contrary to what you are saying:

      385. A Brahmin who approaches unguarded females of the Kshatriya or Vaisya castes, or a Shudra female, shall be fined five hundred panas; but for intercourse with a female of the lowest castes, one thousand.
      13. It is declared that a Shudra woman alone can be the wife of a Shudra, she and one of his own caste the wives of a Vaisya, those two and one of his own caste the wives of a Kshatriya, those three and one of his own caste the wives of a Brahmin.
      64-65. If a female sprung from a Brahmin [man] and a Shudra female bears children to one of the highest caste [a Brahminman], the inferior tribe attains the highest caste within the seventh generation. Thus, a Shudra attains the rank of a Brahmin, and in a similar manner a Brahmin sinks to the level of a Shudra; but know that it is the same with the offspring of a Kshatriya or of a Vaisya.

      Link: http://www.bergen.edu/phr/121/ManuGC.pdf

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  6. Dear Nilesh, there is a group of persons who are actively promoting the Manu Smriti. These are the same people who do moral policing. Your clause 385 is interesting because it is specified by the word ‘unguarded’. Your clause 13 is exactly what I said in another blog – that a brahmin will not marry a dalit but he will have sex with her. Your quotes have just given the background for their behaviour.

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    1. Verse 385 clearly says that Brahmin should be fined 1000 panas for having an intercourse with a Shudra female. I am also not sure what unguarded means here. And verse 13 actually says that a Brahmin can marry a female from Shudra or any other casts. Looks like you are reading what you want to read in these verses.

      At the same time, there is no doubt that manusmruti is castist in nature and that is why it has not place in modern society. Only place I find reference to it these days is in writings of dalit intellectuals because they want to see Hindusim only through that angle.

      As far as I know, even RSS has never promoted manusmruti. There is a political party called Krantikari Manuwadi Morcha but one person from this party who contested election got something like 500 votes. That clearly indicates where Hindus stand on this.

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  7. Dr. Sylvia Karpagam, in which part of present day India was “Manu Smriti” the Constitutional law? I have not come across any Brahmin or any Upper-caste Hindu who wants to make Manu Smriti the governing law in India now but there are plenty of people who wants to make India a Caliphate or a Christian majority country. Have you heard of Joshua Project, a project for conversion of unwashed millions in Asia? Why the foreign churches are pumping millions upon millions of dollars into India for conversion business? Are you aware of the activities of the self anointed Bishop Yohannan?

    >>>>These are the same people who do moral policing>>>> do you know who are doing moral policing?
    http://persecution.in/content/moral-police-attack-pregnant-woman-husband-kerala-kashmir-making-1

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  8. >>>>Can you quote any other religion which provides such inhuman guidelines>>>> yes. I can. Pl search for “The Skeptics Annotated Bible” for category-wise verses like Absurdities, Contradictions, Hatred, Violence, Women, Sex, etc from the Bible (both Old Testament and New Testament), The Qur’an and The Book of Mormon. I do not want to waste my time by copying and pasting them here.

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  9. Dear Nilesh,
    Even the document that you have referred to states that
    A shudra woman alone can be the wife of a shudra, she and one of his own caste the wives of a vaishya, two and one of his own caste the wife of a Kshatriya and those three and one of his own caste the wives of a Brahmin. A shudra woman cannot be the first wife of a Brahmin or kshatriya even if they live in the greatest distress. A Brahmin who takes a shudra ‘wife’ to bed will after death sink into hell. What this says is that the shudra woman cannot be a first wife (which means legally wedded wife) but she can be a third wife (which means mistress). So basically a brahmin can have sex with a shudra but he cannot marry her. This is precisely what I was saying in my blog and what is happening everywhere. Many Brahmin men have lower caste women as their mistresses, but they neither marry them not give them any status. A good example is available with the devadasi system in Karnataka. If you meet and talk to some of the devadasi women, you can understand better about their sorry plight. Basically they are drawn into sexual activity without much choice and they don’t have any rights. It is sad that our society does that to women.
    With regard to Verse 385 that you have quoted please read it in context of all the other castes, what the other castes are fined and then decide.

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  10. Dr. Sylvia Karpagam, you are just using some outdated texts to ridicule one section of the society and your intentions are very clear. You people want to break up India by instigating the so-called “dalits” in the name of some atrocities purported to have been committed on their ancestors by the upper-castes!

    Equality in Islam and Christianity are just myths. Had it been the case, there would not have been a single “dalit” in UP and surrounding areas ruled by the Islamic Invaders for nearly 600 years and in Kerala where the Missionaries were very active.

    Polygamy is a punishable offence under the laws existing in India. So a Brahmin cannot have four wives belonging to four different castes but four wives are allowed even now in India for some others. And of course there are people like Chander Mohan a.k.a. Chand Mohammed, the former Haryana Dy. Chief Minister who take advantage of that. He had sent 3Ts thru SMS when he lost interest in that poor lady and she had committed suicide a few weeks back!!!!! Congress MLA from Assam, Rumi Nath’s case is also well known.

    This is what happens to the “dalits” in a country where there are no Brahmins!!!!!
    Flood relief by caste, creed
    http://dawn.com/2011/09/22/flood-relief-by-caste-creed/

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  11. Dr Sylvia, you have hit some raw nerves. I hope that your readers who felt anger at your post take the time to reflect on the cause of that anger. Perhaps their anger is justifiable. Perhaps it is righteous. Or perhaps it is because they know that you are right and it disturbs them. In my life, i have learned that I gain the most by reflecting on the reason for my anger. I don’t want to hear about the poor, because then I may have to help them. I do not want to hear about institutionalised injustice, because there may be some pain for me in acting against it. I react strongly when outsiders comment on injustice in Australia – what would they know? ignorant and arrogant! Later, when I reflect, I see that sometimes they are right, sometimes they are wrong. You are a knowledgeable insider. Perhaps that hurts more. It hurts people when matters that are at the core of their identity are challenged. Sometimes we grow through the challenges. I do not understand though why when you raise an issue about caste, someone starts talking about Muslims. An interesting and telling response!

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