Thursday, April 28, 2016

The real game of thrones

Just like the Iron throne which is at the heart of the Game of Thrones drama series, the tag of being branded as minority is something which every caste group with more than one person is aspiring for in present day India. Be it Mandal or Ambedkar or any of those luminaries who set about in restoring social parity amongst all classes and caste in India, in their best intentions, framed rules, intending to benefit the needy. Now that every single person has become needy, needy for power and freebies, the very rules that were supposed to safe guard has become moth ridden.

The problem is, though the concept is based on numbers, one cannot simply look at it purely from numbers perspective. Minority doesn't just refer to lesser count of people. Theoretically, practically and for all literal purposes, though that is the definition and the way in which its perceived, its highly impractical to view it from numbers perspective alone. How does one quantify a sect/religion/caste as minority? How does one demarcate the area where the data is driven? Does it happen at street/district/state level? Or is it a mere extrapolation? Every succeeding census rates the percentage of minorities to be on the rise. But that happens at religion level and not at caste level. India is always projected as a Hindu majority country, though the opposition may beat itself to death in crying hoarse against it, labelling the nation as secular, making Hindu a bad word, which would be for a different post at different time. The problem comes with the way Hindu religion is structured. Firstly its not a religion secondly there is no structure. You cannot simply compare it against organized religions like Islam and Christianity. But the mere mention of Hindu as a religion always brings with it the connotation of upper class and Brahmins in particular. If you take a step back and look at the vast number of castes and subcastes that constitute the crowd labelled as Hindus nothing would be more confusing for there are in-numerous sects and sub sects of upper castes and lower castes and several layers of strata within, that are having much less number of people than the popularly acknowledged minority factions. Does Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis all are categorized as Hindu? I guess not. Are they more in number than Muslims or Christians. Don't think so. Then are they all minorities? Absolutely not. There are towns and cities in coastal TN, infact i find this similarity across almost all coastal places that i've visited in multiple states, where in Christians are the dominant sect. There are entire villages down south that are fully converted into Islam. Does one call them as majority in those areas? Considering that political parties take advantage of this fact while selecting candidates for such regions, one might be tempted to think so. But the answer is no. Even if 99% of a locality comprises of people from sects classified as minorities, they still don't get quantified as majority and yet they get to enjoy the benefits sanctioned by the government. Brahmins, have been one minority clan, all throughout, by design and rule, who have held sway over the rest. Though, numerically, they would constitute as minority across any locality, they are never classified as one and are often at the wrong end of any policy involving the numerically smaller groups.

Those in favor of reservation for minorities would credit the fact that, the so called upper castes, when a dominant force, let loose social inequalities and they abused their wealth and power to the extent possible. The very reason for the concept of reservation being, social justice and equality, merits a mention. But the law and the rules guiding it have been used more of a punishment by the rulers (couldn't call any government as elected representatives any more) against the upper castes. With population explosion and numerically widening gap between the classifications, does the concept of implementing reservation in the name of social justice finds place in this decade and in times to come? Can such a statement bordering on being ludicrous be passed so freely, sitting and viewing the world from metro cities? Has the ground reality on villages changed any bit from where we were pre independence? With caste related murders and "honour killings" happening amidst our so called urban civilization is it really required to revisit the law? Has the time arrived to move away from the concept of social equality towards economy based approach which is the reality? With every single caste vying and fighting to be tagged as minority to get government benefits and with obliging leaders, will the original idea of social justice survive into the next decade? Will the politicians allow such a realistic approach, sacrificing their dirty petty vote bank politics? How much time should the law makers wait and how will they measure the success or failure of their actions? With so many critical administrative positions being held vacant, be it by force or for want of options, how long can the government machinery rumble with all those grumble? With increasing automation will digital era finally manage to achieve what wasn't even imaginable in erstwhile times?

When the first commission results were announced the nation was in a boil and considering that the 90's was not that much media savvy, most of the events were blacked out. In this decade of dime a dozen media houses, will the country survive any such meaningful change whenever it happen?

To quote from the drama series, the winter of eventual change is fast approaching. The rickety throne of power needs an iron willed leadership who can guide the country in those troubled times.

Note: All the points mentioned above are based on my casual chats with my friends and peers from different groups and none are fact based with data driven metrics. That with my little googling, i did find them to match with my view points is a side note i want to mention. But that in no way is to substantiate any point made here. As always, the intention behind the post, is to voice out my personal opinion alone which i honestly believe is not prejudiced or biased.


Asha said...

So many questions??!!!....this topic boils my temper although whatever i talk is heard only within the 4 walls of my house...nothing on a public forum. How long should a few be at the receiving end of brickbats. especially when it comes to seat allocation for students. One of the famous institiute of India has only 100 seats of which 50 is reserved and only 50 for general category. even if a general candidate works doubly/ triply hard, it is difficult to get there while a reserved candidate can breeze into the college ....Pathetic state and regarding honor killing...the least said the better...these are the people who make things worse.

gils said...

its a sensitive topic obviously..there are definitely benefits for those who are socially discriminated all this while..aana the way in which the rules are being handled its driven as a punishment

Ramesh said...

Complex sensitive topic that is sure to inflame passions. I would therefore simply comment that I am also claiming backward status on the grounds that I am absolutely backward when it comes to knowledge of Kollywood, despite the valiant attempts of Thalaivar Gilsu :)

gils said...

rotfl :D elarum athey thaan solraanga..inimay vandila laam kooda no forward gear..reverse gear mattumay