By The Editor: Siddharth Sehgal
There is big difference between desperateness and entitlement. You might have seen children roaming through streets sifting through heaps of garbage for plastic bags and items, you might have seem them asking money at traffic stops. You can practically look around and see in the naked reality of our society numerous faces that are stuck in the quagmire of Poverty. Some are orphans, some have a label of caste and others are looking for next meal. Circumstances may vary but a lot of Indian children go hungry, uneducated and uncared for. If giving a destitute kid a seat in a school, college or a government job can free him from chains of impoverishment then do you think he should be given that chance or may we should give that opportunity to someone who feel entitled to it.
For years I struggled with the idea of reservation and I still believe that it’s just a bandage to a disease that has poisoned the veins of Indian society but there are stark realities of our life that we cannot ignore. Today Gujrat is burning, yesterday it was Rajasthan and tomorrow there will be some other state. Caste system has undermined India and frankly speaking Hindus more than anything else. We make someone unfit to touch based on the color of their skin, last name, community or the work he does. It’s not that other countries, religions doesn’t have differences but who we are trying to feel superior to, if we are backward then who is holding us back. We kicked the British out so on whose shoulders we are resting the weight of our blame.
While studying and working in west, I got chance to observe how other people of different countries and cultures see Indians. For Americans, Chinese, Europeans and Africans we are simply Indians, some perceive us in a good way and some others negatively but most people couldn’t care less. They don’t know who is Brahmin, Kshatriya or Dalit, our appearance associate us to our country and that’s all everybody know about us and that’s how it should be.
Now coming to question of reservation itself, people find it strange that Patels need reservation despite being one of the most well off communities in the country but even if their demands are met or not in coming days more and more groups will take to the streets to get a piece of reservation, this is what they call a “moral hazard”. You either give it to everyone or don’t give anyone else. If certain parts of social structure are poor, persecuted or oppressed is because we are bund by our own dogmas. No reservation, benefit or privilege can take a person, family or community ahead in life, it solely a personal choice to make where you want to be and if you want to work for it.
It’s also our country’s grave misfortune that our politicians don’t have the courage to tell people the truth. No body wants to address the root cause because politically it will be a suicide. That’s how British ruled our country for so many years, playing one party against the other. We can only hope people would come to senses but given the rioting, deaths and mayhem it’s highly unlikely that reason will take hold.