The uncomfortable truth

We have a constitution, now, that never lets us forget our caste or religion. What is hailed as the most comprehensive constitution of all times, undoubtedly written by the best keepers, failed to take into account greedy politicians and irrational people.

Before Mandal Commission gave out caste-based reservations, I didn’t know or care about my classmate’s caste. And overnight, everything changed. Those of us in schools at that time, will know exactly what I’m talking about. The ones in colleges were bitter and fighting it out, politicians did their bit, house-makers feared for their children’s future. ..and we, watched silently as the seeds that were sown then turned us into cynics in later years. More than two decades later, we trust nothing.

Also, as I grew up, I understood the merits of the reservation policy and then watched those merits disintegrate as the politicians pulled forward the ‘backward’ flag for everything.

What was meant to be an important social and economic exercise now merely reduced to a political campaign. And important it was. There was education to be taken care of of the ‘lower’ caste, primary and secondary – the lifeline of our students. There were job opportunities to be made, even for unskilled labour with higher paying jobs. The ‘upper’ caste were to be educated to allow the integration and facilitate it. It was important to make our society to respect labour – all labour. But when has something that has been forced, not left bitterness and resistance?

Imagine the travesty of ‘upper’caste but economically backward group of people. They have nowhere to go.

Imagine the exasperation of ‘lower’ caste but economically better people. Looked down upon for their lack of merits.

Imagine the despair of economically backward, ‘lower’ caste people who never got the benefits of the reservation, because the politicians and their kins, and the better educated amongst them took all the advantage. They were let down by their own.

In the recent Rohith Vemula’s case, the second part comes true. We’ll never know the truth behind the suicide. It’ll remain hidden behind political voices, propaganda and the scratched words on his suicide note. All I know is that none of our education system miss a chance for protecting a good student. You see, they are the face of a successful institution, not those who are constantly rebellious. Maybe the students think that there is more success in being a politician which requires little merit, and indulge more of their own time and parent’s money in campus politics. I don’t know.

But its scary to think that there are more potential political leaders’ whose efforts will be sky-rocketed than the quiet hardworking lot which silently pursue what they set out for in these institutions. When will our obsession with the political class reduce? Its sad to know that those who do this (caste apart) will continue to struggle for jobs.

As usual, the meritorious are not rewarded, professionally or financially.

Its never too late to rectify the policies, that’s what policies are meant for. A re-think of the existing system which doesn’t break the backbone of our society.

As always, there are no bastions for benefit of the poor, only those who showcase and debate it.