Supposedly the greatest democracy in the world, India moved another step closer to becoming the first democratic dictatorship in the world. There is news that now Indians will be profiled on the basis of our caste. In a country where the constitution proudly proclaims that all citizens are equal, irrespective of caste or religion, our lawmakers go ahead and completely forget the basic tenets and principles on which our nation was founded.
So what does caste profiling entails? When the census people come to your house asking how many people live there, they also will ask about the caste and religion of the people living. Once this data is collected and aggregated, political parties will go ahead to discriminate openly based on caste, by giving more and more reservations to their respective vote banks, pretending to implement social equality while introducing higher inequality in the society.
If you think, ahh, he’s making noise unnecessarily. Its not a big deal, telling my caste for the census. Well, even the jews in Nazi Germany in 1930s did not think much when they were profiled based on their religious beliefs. The result of that profiling is now known as the holocaust.
We currently live in a largely discriminatory country. A country that discriminates with its citizens based on their caste and religion. A country where you will get admission to premier colleges even if you score just 1/100 if you have a quote, and where you will be ignored if you score 50/100 without a quota. The only good quotas and reservations have done in the last decade is to win political parties votes. No socio-economic conditions have changed as a result of these quotas. There is equal employment opportunity irrespective of your caste or religion in the private sector. There is discrimination for the government jobs though, where out of 50 open vacancies, only 1-2 will be for the “general” category. Rest is all reserved for castes, not for those with merit. No wonder we complain about all government functions: how do we expect good performance from government when it does not consider merit at all!
I have a disclosure to make. I belong to the “general” category. It is assumed that if you belong to this category, you have privileges that the reserved categories (SC, ST, OBC….) don’t have. I knew a lot of people in the “general” category who were poor, yet they did not get any special benefits. I also know a lot of IAS, IPS, IFS, bureaucrats, doctors, engineers & politicos, who make good money, roam around in red light cars, living their lives in a lavish way, and yet their children enjoy the benefit of getting a “reserved” seat. Why? They are not socially downtrodden anymore, their fathers/forefathers reaped the benefits of reservation and lifted their families out of poverty and suffering. So why should these socially upward people be given any reservation at all?
When Dr. Ambedkar created the policy for reservations, he restricted its life to 20 years. 20 years that should have been sufficient for lifting the downtrodden castes to a level of social equality. Dr. Ambedkar was no crusader for scheduled castes or anything, he was a crusader for social equality. A fact that is not understood by politicos peddling their wares in his name.
Today, in 21st century India, we the citizens will be profiled on the basis on our caste. Something that was never EVER done in independent India. What does this signify? It tells us that no matter how promising Rahul baba or Omar miya may look, our political representatives have fallen into a sewer from where retrieving them is not possible. Not now, and not in the future, near or far.
When the census people come to visit me, I am telling them that my caste is “Indian”. I do not expect them to understand it, but I will make sure that is what they write down against my name.
INDIA: This is my caste and my religion. And I am proud to be an Indian. Are you?