Sometime back, I was in the most unfortunate situation of attending a seminar at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and got to hear some of the faculty and students speak. The place is like a rabid den of shamelessly overt casteism and just being there for an hour was like being in some ghastly nightmare that one wakes up sweating and swearing from. It got me thinking that if kids from marginalised backgrounds if at all were ‘allowed’ entry into such spaces (if at all), they would be subjected to an extreme degree of mental torture, humiliation and discrimination by rabidly casteist faculty and students who think that such spaces belong only to them(selves) by right.
These students and faculty see people from marginalised communities as undeserving and greedy trespassers into hallowed spaces reserved only for brahmins. They have the audacity to talk about dalits in such derogatory terms and nobody thinks of questioning them or calling them out. The person I went with for this seminar was advising me to be strategic when I was calling out the casteism, and another person said that the space that IIMB offers for dialogue and discussion is valued which is why they allow each other to speak. Basically the bottom line is that rabid casteism is given ‘space’ to speak (instead of being called out and punitive action taken), and those that are at the receiving end of this structural violence have to be ‘strategic’. It’s just absolutely, mind-blowingly disgusting. Imagine these people as faculty – imagine the kind of hatred they must be spewing to those from their same jaaths over their coffee table discussions, imagine the derogatory way they would view people who have struggled to enter these spaces, imagine the extreme efforts they would go to to keep people out of these spaces.
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, as chairperson of IIMB, has the absolute audacity to talk about merit. She is raking profits from government grants paid with tax payers’ money, she has got subsidies from public money, she is living on welfare of the state and raking profits by abusing and manipulating bureaucratic and democratic processes – what moral or ethical right does she have to talk about merit?? These casteist institutions should be called out and the doors broken down for kids who really deserve to be there, not these spoilt, rich, rotten casteist brats.
International universities should refuse to take in graduates or faculty from IIM because they do not follow diversity policies and are openly casteist. International universities should take graduates from IIM ONLY if they are from marginalised communities. We should write to different universities asking them to take this position and boycott Indian Institutes of Management and any such autonomous bodies that get government grants and side by side practice caste based discrimination.