Reservation based on Caste - Right or Wrong?

India, a country with 1.25 billion population, second most populated after China. India is a nation which is known for its values and culture worldwide. A nation which has provided the world with precious gems like Gandhi, Aryabhatta, Ramanujan etc.

Being born here in India, I feel great. But sometimes I question myself “Is India really that Great?” and it doesn’t take a second for me to conclude that “Yeah It is – Incredible India”. Myself being an Indian gives a great support to this conclusion. If I was American or any other countryman I could have seen the flaws in India, but sadly I am blind to see that. My point in the above paragraph isn’t that India is not Great, but my point is that being a loyal Indian I am blind to see its flaws. Most of the Indians are chauvinist. This happens with every one of us. We Indians often say “You can say bad about me, but dare not to say anything bad about India“.

In my family, there are also lots of flaws which should be removed but as being a part of it, I am so blind to see them. We General Quota people are also blind to see the truth and generally stick to what our ancestor have said. We sometimes think over Reservation System based on Caste too deeply and as soon as we start to see something right in it, we shatter the analysis and shout in mind “These Dalits have always been below us and they should, F*#k Reservation System“.

Before proceeding further, I would like you to put that thought aside for a while and be more Rational. We are well aware of the fact that how angry are people with Reservation System based on Caste from our day to day happening. Whenever some exam’s result is announced and we see that cut off according to caste, we say “F**k these SC/STs”. I understand your pain how it feels to be in that situation. Pain is something that we can’t measure and compare and we shouldn’t. If that Pain has to be that equal then why those SC/ST have suffered from the beginning of India. Just because they are born with that caste tag.

High caste people doesn’t consider SC/STs as a human being and they do such horrible things to them. Tell me one incident when a Dalit has stripped off a brahmin woman publicly or even privately.

Now look deeper into the problem. In the Hindu caste system, Dalit status is associated with occupations regarded as ritually impure, such as leatherwork, butchering or removal of rubbish, animal carcasses and human waste. Dalits work as manual labourers cleaning streets, latrines and sewers. From the time India got its existence, these people were physically segregated from surrounding community. They could not enter a temple or a school and were required to stay out of villages.

Like you, I too used to believe that Reservation System must be abolished and even if it has to be that Reservation should be done on economical status based i.e. poor must be getting reservation. But after analysing lots of stuffs, reading lots of articles and researching a lot (really tough job), I came to the conclusion that Reservation based on Caste is Right for India in present time and to time ahead until certain situation is achieved which I will discuss later on.

Visit any of college and you will find approx 5-7 ST student out of 70. Now if this reservation thing is put down, there would be 0. It is not about the reservation, it is all about jealousy. When we crave for Equality, then these people ratio should be equal right?. I mean if there are 80 students, then 20 SC, 20 ST, 20 OBC, 20 General. Now since the population of the communities aren’t in equal proportions, so at least there should be the same percentage of SC/ST in the class of 80. 22 % of the Indian population. Ok then, 22% of 80 = 18 approx. Right. So at least there should be 18 of them, but it is not the case even with this Super Reservation System. Without this, they would have lost existence. Equality doesn’t mean Justice. 

According to  a 2014 report to the Ministry of  Minority Affairs by Amitabh Kundu,

  • 44.8 % of Scheduled Tribe population in rural India was living Below Poverty Line (BPL) in 2011-12
  • 33.8 % of Scheduled Caste population in rural India was living Below Poverty Line (BPL) in 2011-12
  • In urban areas, 27.3% ST and 21.8% SC population were below poverty.

SC/STs form half of India’s poor population. Now only 55.2% of ST and 66.2% of SC are living above BPL and I think out of that only approx. 30% are in such good condition to go to school for education.

General Quota students and candidates are clamouring for the abolishment of Reservation System. They post dreadful things on social media and comment. Now these people have just seen the half truth. They are living in urban cities where the situation is not that bad. They see their Dalit colleagues getting admission to good college and themselves struggling for admission. This creates an unpleasant environment. These General Quota urban students are unaware of the reality. Let me put it to you.

Almost half of the Dalits are primary drop-out. They couldn’t make it to higher studies. It is because that their economical status doesn’t allow them to study further. Also the discrimination done to them in school make them live a life of misery and finally they choose a way out. Among state schools, 88% discriminated against Dalit Children,  while 79% required  Dalit students to sit in the back of the classroom.  In 79% of the schools, Dalit Children are forbidden from touching mid-day  meals. They are required to sit separately during lunch hours in 35% of schools. In high schools,  higher caste students are often advised not to mingle with Dalits. Now if you were at their place, what would you have done. You alone can’t fight with all, so better drop-out. One of my friend said that SC/ST whose parents are IAS etc. should give up their reservation. Why?. How many SC/STs make it to IAS – think over it. People always consider the economic cost (here in case of SC/ST IAS), but they never consider the emotional and psychological cost which Dalits go through 365 days a year. Who would consider that?

As you can see a very few Dalits make it to higher studies, that is not the end of their suffering though. Let me ask you few questions and please answer them with full loyalty.
  • Are there a good number of  SC/ST in your school?
  • Are they really good at studies?
  • Are they your friend?
  • Do you share your lunch with them?
  • Do you treat them as equal?
  • Oh well, undoubtedly answer to all these question is “NO” with few exception of those very open minded people.

Now you know, that Dalit guy in your class is have gone through lots of hurdles to reach here. He might have faced discrimination bravely and opted continuing study instead drop-out, he might have faced all those comments from higher class people, he might have cried at times just because he wasn’t allowed to eat together with others, he might have felt great pain of hunger while other higher castle children were being fed but he had to wait, he might have felt suffering to those cruel words “Chamar Sala”, “Chamar ki aulad“, “Bhangi Chu**ya”. In such cases with all those suffering he might have not studies well too though he might have capability.

I don’t remember seeing such a healthy SC/ST. Do you?

Dalit students and job seekers in metropolitan cities and large urban areas of India (having brutal majority of upper castes) are not rented residential accommodations as they are discriminated and often treated with hatred by the upper caste population of these big cities. And mostly Dalit students and job seekers often have to hide their surnames to save themselves from the harassment by their upper caste landlords.

There are very very few Dalits on Top posts in India. General people make all efforts to prevent a Dalit sitting at top of any organisation because if any Dalit sit at top of organisation, these general people will have to obey him which is against their traditional views. [How can a Brahmin obey an order from Dalit].

There have been reports of Dalits being forced to eat human feces and drink urine by upper caste people. Dalit youths and teenage girls (after rape) have been burnt alive by upper caste goons in many different incidents in one instance in India, a girl was set on fire because she was receiving education. These all crimes just because they are born with title “DALIT”. These are events are not which used to happen, but these are still practised in India. Why don’t we hear that a Dalit man raped or stripped a brahmin girl in public. It is because they do consider everyone as human.

Now after all these, If he is getting some support from govt. Is that Wrong?

A crime against Dalits happens every 18 minutes – 3 women raped every day, 13 murdered every week, 27 atrocities every day, 6 kidnapped every week.

Reservation System based on Caste is waiting for the day,

  • When Dalits get equal respect as Brahmins get.
  • When Dalits get equal living standards as rest of countrymen.
  • When Equality is really practised by countrymen.
  • When Someone say “I am SC/ST, and you response “Oh come on, who cares”.

And that day, the task of Reservation System will be over and even caste system will have no role to play.

In conclusion I would say that Reservation based on Caste in Indian education system, in Jobs and different areas is not wrong. We talk of equality and merely know what it is. Reservation System is required so as to achieve Equality in all premises. Once that equality is achieved there will not be any need of it. Once everyone is treated as equal irrespective of caste creed and color, not need of reservation them. Once these SC/STs acquire good living conditions, become literate, enjoying top positions in organisations, even caste system can be dissolved. The only solution is that, give them respect and treat them equally and spread love.

– Shashikant Singh


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