Leaders Must Drop Caste-based Perks

The whole of Rajasthan is burning. More than a dozen protesters have lost life. The state all over is under siege. Jaipur Highway is under army. Trains are moving through Rajasthan. And for what a silly reason! Gurjjar community wants it to be designated as Schedules Tribes. But why do they want that? It is because that gives certain advantages in government jobs.

Our constitution makers incorporated reservations for the scheduled castes and schedules tribes in employment. However, that was only for just 15 years. But our politicians have gone on extending and perpetuating that till date. And then came the reservations recommended by Mandal Commission and incorporated by VP Singh, the great. With Congress coming in power in 2004, the floodgates of divisive politics opened with reservation for OBC in the institutions of higher learning initiated by disgruntled Arjun Singh. Meira Kumar pushed for the reservations in private sectors. And the Gurjjar protests in last few days are the manifestations of the mistakes committed by the crooks in society. A 80 year old army man is behind this uprising. It becomes difficulty to digest these news.

How can Gurjjars be schedule tribes? Neither their look, nor social status supports the demand. I can’t even imagine that my friend Sirohi or neighbour Baddhana are from schedule tribes. I don’t find them anyway inferior to the so-called upper castes in look, IQ, or social status. Many questions are becoming pertinent. Has Indian society changed so radically that a community, at present categorised as OBC, would willingly opt to move down the social hierarchy in return of prospective material benefits? In Haryana, Jats have been demanding OBC status, although they rank higher in the caste ladder. And Jats in Rajasthan have already succeeded to get into OBC category. How can it be different for different states? How can the caste leaders decide it? If at all, it must have been done by dharmacharyas and must be done on countrywide basis. In my childhood, I did remember some castes trying to put on sacred threads and getting into business of conducting the rituals to prove that its belongs to the highest caste. Today, perhaps, the same caste is ready to get coverted into schedule caste, if officially done and if all the benefits are made available.

It is high time that all politicians decide to leave back this way of winning election. It is also high time that the so-called Dharmacharya or Sankaracharya denounce the caste system in Hindus. It is also high time for the educated and intellectuals in all the communities to drop the mention of castes all together. It is not going to serve any purpose of the nation. It will only divide the country and its people to a limit from where it will be impossible to return and evolve as a nation. The nomenclatures evolved over the ages are totally outdated and out of place in this twenty-first century with globalisation moving so fast.

It reminds one of the well-to-do people getting them enlisted into refugee list in the post independent period. As I understand a similar thing is happening to get into BPL list. It can stop only if every benefit comes on basis of merit, and if the government stops giving doles and subsidies. The government and the community leaders must empower every citizen of the country to live a respectful life instead of making them beggars.

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