From a Partial Mother to a Hurt Son.

Updated (25th April 2012) : 

CGirl is on a break from this space, and does not want to go into serious thinking, discussing, debating mode. Hence, comments are closed on this post for the time being. Ciao.

Updated (16th April 2012) : 

NOTE : I shall no longer reply to comments on this post. Because : a) I have said all that I had to say already b) I can see that we aren’t actually debating – just arguing. c) I do not want to argue endlessly

So, thanks for commenting, and sorry for not responding.
The topic can be taken forward by readers if you wish. I shall simply approve comments from this point.

Son, you know I’m a mother of two. I have you – who is all that is bright, capable, energetic and wise. You are a little tiger cub roaring and raring to take on the world. And your brother, who is crippled by birth. He is bound to his wheel-chair.

I know I am partial towards him. More attention to him. More care to him. Softer with him. Partial to him.

You are hurt to the point of being estranged. It is unfair. I know.

But.. I have only two hands and can only do so much.

Can’t let him go out alone into the world. He can’t survive by himself. Kids throw stones at him when he walks using his crutches.

He may have been given a wheel-chair.. But your argument that “he is mobile now. he doesn’t need special treatment anymore” is weak.

He may have wheel-chairs.. But ramps for wheel-chairs are not yet a default facility in buildings.

And of course, he can not take public transport. He still needs someone to lift him occasionally

If he drops a sheet of paper, he still needs someone to bend to pick it up for him.

He needs special attention. He is easily prone to depression, low self-esteem …. I need to stand by him till he is no longer insecure. Insecurity isn’t a crime, you know. It happens. Quite commonly. Especially in those who have been leading crippled lives.

You’d understand if you think outside of your privileged, rose-tinted world.

You argue that he isn’t all that much a poor little helpless saint. He sometimes takes advantage of my soft-corner to abuse you. When the both of you have fights, he always has this smug “poor me” expression when you come to me for justice. He knows that I would hardly believe you. And I, being partial towards him, always listen to his version first.

That’s true. I am guilty of being arm-twisted easily. But I can’t think of any better way. Between him being ridiculed, abused and oppressed by the cruel world and him turning oppressor sometimes, I choose the lesser evil – the former.

You accuse me of not living up to what I taught you : “All are equal”. If equality is to be taken in the literal sense that idealists like you are so attached to – Yes, I am a hypocrite. A glad one. For your kind of equality to be practiced, the world has to be ideal. Which it is not.

You ask me why the world isn’t ideal. I give you social, historical, psychological reasons. You are never happy.

You ask “It shouldn’t be so. We are all equals and now mature. Why should it still be so?”. It is very easy to ask that.. never to answer that. You would know, since you can never answer your own question.

When I taught you to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, I did not mean to say you take along all your privileges, your independence, your ideals, your maturity. Empathy is more complicated than asking “What would I have done? How would I have felt?”. It is about understanding and accepting the disadvantages and the misery of the other as the person that he is, with the world-view that he possesses.

It is about learning not to be bitter if your brother pushes you to the ground. It is about getting up, dusting yourself off, reminding yourself of the truth.. That even when hurt, abused and wronged, you have it in you to get over and past all of it. That even if you are stripped of your rightful inheritance, you have it in you to start afresh and conquer the world. It is about patiently waiting for the time when neither you nor him would have to put up with unfairness.

That time would come, it would. It would arrive when I successfully take your brother through surgery. Multiple, complicated corrective surgeries. With each surgery, he would get a little better, a little more self-sufficient. With each surgery, I would get less partial towards him, and more understanding towards you. I am sure I would change and not get complacent.

You wouldn’t let me stay unchanged, would you? You would always remind me that I am not really practicing equality. Keep reminding me till then. But do not nag me all the time. Keep feeling hurt till then, if you must. But do not be bitter to your brother. And more importantly, don’t keep distracting me from my goal in your game of seeking attention.

Do not let this hard reality stop you from conquering the world. Do not lose trust in me.

I am after all your mother. I am hard on you only because I know fully well that you can take care of yourself. If you are forced to miss the flight, you would take a bus and reach your destination. While in his current state, your brother would only be stranded crying in self-pity and hatred towards the world. You wouldn’t want that, would you? Your quest for ideal equality surely does not make you overlook practical glitches?

Your mother, Mrs. Law, is tired my son. Your brother is crippled with multiple ailments. Casteism and Oppression against Women to name the major ones. And I can only find non-ideal treatment methods – Caste-based reservation, Women-centric Dowry act, Anti-rape laws, Marital property and Divorce laws etc.

Remember, you have the voice to protest – you blog, go on TV, share FB posts and what not to make your displeasure known. He does not. And yes, he would use the same “Look, I have been oppressed. I need help” line for decades – it may sound clichéd, but it is true.

I can’t be practically be fair, equal and loop-hole free. I am not meant for computers and machined – to be bug free, back-door free, loop-hole free and to give equal run-time to all processes. I am meant for people – and there are far too many possibilities to cover for me to be “fair to all” and impossible to be misused. I can NOT cover them all, no matter how ever extensive I am. Plus, I need to take short-cuts, make generalizations and go by common truths to stay practical and effective. As it is, justice in this country is much delayed because of a flawed system that has made exploiting my loop-holes the norm. Believe me, if I close one loop-hole, there’d be more discovered and exploited. My way, I am at least practical and actually work. The more elaborate I get, the more difficult I am to apply and the easier it is for people to flout me citing minor points.

Don’t ask me to wait for ideal treatments to turn up. I’m afraid your brother would be either long dead or depressed beyond retrieval by then. Don’t frown.

If you can, suggest innovations to the treatment methods. Small, practical ones. Ones that can be implemented quickly enough. Ones for which, we have the means, resources and technology. Ones that would not add to his pain. Ones that would maintain or increase the rate of recovery. Ones that would not be drastically different that it puts him at risk of new ailments. I’d appreciate constructive criticism.  Not idealistic condescending accusation.

If you can’t, please change your focus to your own life. And stop nagging me. I need all the time and energy possible to tend to your brother.

Hope you understand,

Your partial mother who knows no better way

The Law of the Nation

Conjecture Girl’s note : 

This post was triggered by recent and past reactions to changes in the Law – Dowry act, Divorce and marital property division laws, Caste-based Reservations to name a few.

Why does it always sound to me that the privileged always put up tantrums when these things happen? Citing minor problems?

Dowry Act : Women apparently misuse this law and victimize men. Agreed. Some do. If you have been a victim of this misuse – we are sorry, it should not have happened, but please move on – after all, more often than not, you have the means to fight against this injustice. That is no reason to ask the act to be less accessible to whom it is meant to protect – harassed women and their families. If proceedings against dowry abuse were any more complicated, it would have no takers – an already harassed woman does NOT want to face more torture in the name of law. It is difficult enough, as it is.
Divorce and marital property laws : The same argument holds.  Most divorces leave the woman at a disadvantage financially – especially homemakers who have lost careers or simply have had no education or training to create careers because hey, they are any day only going to be married and looking after husband and children! Simply because some men are married to privileged women with good careers and the ability to take care of themselves does NOT mean that a law that is essentially meant to protect the weak is unfair.
Caste-based Reservations :

This perhaps get the most rotten eggs and tomatoes thrown at it. Primarily on three counts :

a) Merit and only merit should be the criterion for all opportunities. This argument can not be more flawed. Comparing the “merit” of students who attend IIT-JEE coaching classes from class 9 or 10, (not to mention different kind of classes and personality development programmes through their childhood) with a child who has no means to obtain even quality primary education is plain stupid. If a student from a rural background, who has been studying while helping in his father’s agriculture work right from childhood, who can barely speak English can crack JEE even with reservations, he IS far more able and brighter than a privileged student who has had coffee come to his table while studying all day and after numerous coaching classes, reference materials etc. Merit CAN NOT be gauged with mere numbers as is done in this country’s education system.

b) The percentage of reserved seats is increasing exponentially and depriving deserving candidates from the General stream. I can safely say that whenever the percentage of reserved seats is increased, the total number of seats is increased so as to keep the number of general category seats in tact. The privileged have been, are, and will be, fighting for the same number of seats irrespective of reservations. Yes, the number of seats are not increasing with the population – there is a huge supply-demand gap. Ask for more colleges, more universities – not to scrap reservations. Ask for recruitment of more faculty to take the burden of increased number of seats, ask for better packages and research grants and freedom in the academia to attract quality faculty – not blame the reserved candidates for the pressure on the system.

c) Reserved candidates ‘dilute’ the quality of the products of the ‘premium institutes’. Come again, really? Being an insider, I can assure you that the quality drop is because of the “meritorious” minds having been trained to become pattern-matching machines by the coaching center culture. It has nothing to do with the reserved candidates. In fact, their struggle once they enter this “main-stream” is worse than what they had to put up with before. How much ever they improve themselves and achieve, the “reserved candidate” tag never leaves. If they commit mistakes as is natural of human beings, it is always linked to their caste. Who ever says casteism is non-existent in the “elite” society needs to get their eyes and ears checked. The elite simply do it subtly.

I can go on & on about this – it would need a whole new post and this one is  too long already.

So, I stop with this : Before you sulk or tantrum, think about the bigger picture and for the long-term. And remember, you are already privileged and strong enough to be fine in spite of  “unfair” laws.  Time to stop being all idealist and to make practical sense when dealing with complicated issues.

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49 thoughts on “From a Partial Mother to a Hurt Son.

  1. Sorry don’t agree with reservation.. why. I study as hard as someone from reserved category.. I am placed 306, he is placed 806.. who shud get the seat..

    Zero reservation.. that is dividing give free education free facilities free everything but when there is a competition only the deserving get place…

    The laws you mentioned well ANYONE who can Use it for their benefit will use it irrespective of gender. Millions of women do wron so do men..

    Maybe time has come for contracts to be signed before a wedding. That’s the only way I see forward.. or rather no marriages ..

    The way things are in India even a happy wedding gets spoilt with all the filth. That is going around. You sad move on to the men who were accused I suggest you read my post on how living in UK I am a accused in a dowry case.. I am not even married to them..

    The problem we have is everything is in extremes..

    • On Reservation :
      Why are we comparing apples and oranges by their ranks in competitive exams? Me working hard for two years by sacrificing TV, games and leisure time to study and only study and get 306 is NO comparison to a boy who has been studying only in his spare time all life, has no means to all the resources and facilities I have, does not even know there exists competitive examinations till he reaches class 9 and has still managed to be placed 806. Mine is simple working hard – his is living and working hard on multiple things. Who says he does not “deserve” the seat simply because he started late on the race and did not have any guiding forces? He damn very well deserves it! Even if both were competing for the same seat, I would say he should get the seat – he is better than me, though he may not know as many formulae as I do.

      That is not even the case here. The general stream competes for a pool of seats, the backward castes compete for another pool of seats. What is the issue? Is it that “these are new resources in my nation, so I should have access to it”? Why can’t a mother buy two toffees separately for the poor maid’s child while asking her own children to share two toffees among themselves as usual?

      I used to be an advocate of income-based reservations if any, since caste-based reservations “are clearly not working in all these decades” at some point. I change my stand now. Giving them free food, free electricity, free education, free books – it does not work that way. Given the poverty in the country, all these free goodies would only be sold off to add to the pocket.

      Reservation gives them hope. They know that they started too late in the race. They know that how much ever they work hard, they can not compete and win with our aggressive crowd. Reservation gives them hope that even so, they CAN get a better life, a job.

      I think we get too fixated on “I am missing out on studying in the college I covet because these guys get in through the back-door”. More than the coveted colleges, reservations are the reason most backward caste folks can even get a basic graduate course seat in the local college. For is, if not the coveted college, another college. For them, that is the ONLY hope.

      Zero reservations can be a reality only when people are pulled up to the same starting line. Long way to go for that..

      • So you think reservation does not divide people more. Sorry but this is a myth that the they have to study and work.. Well to be very frank those people dont get a chance, because the ones who have got plumb positions or seats and made a better life its their wards who again take the benefit of reservation… WHY..

        And coming to position is someone who is 1800th better then the one who is 300th.

        The same person becomes a doctor how good will they be….

        All this brings a further divide… And it will continue always….

      • Reservations don’t balance anything. A merit-ranking student from a backward caste is told to apply on to open quota. The reserved quota is still saved for those students who are from backward castes but get low marks. Though the idea behind 40% reservation means that at least 40% of the students should be from backward castes, the actual number ends up being more.

        Poor people from backward castes cannot afford to go to college even for their bachelors degree, not because of the tuition but because they are better off spending that time earning to feed their family. Hence, middle-class backward caste people take advantage of the reservation policy. So while this policy purports to solve the problem, it just increases it.

        Being part of a country should guarantee you liberty and protection, nothing else. No one is entitled to college education. It comes for a price, and sometimes that price is merit-based.

      • Also your analogy is false. Parents are duty-bound to taking care of their children, no matter how disabled. Government isn’t a parent. This nanny-state ideology results in the systematic obliteration of individual rights.

      • @liberalcynic

        wait,so you’re saying that a backward student who’s got merit is asked to apply in open quota,but reservation quota is still open for students who get more marks.But,the reservation quota in the end is more than 40%,so,you’re saying that’s bad?the backward student no matter which quota she came in as,is getting getting education. Wasn’t the goal of this all?So how DO the poor people get educated?Should the current generation be let there to toil & earn for their family?

        No one is entitled to college education?so,then what pray should one do?You would prefer a family who is still in ruin to be there & the father earns a pittance the mother toils away cooking what she gets & the children are working even if they are “children”.They don’t deserve education?The government is supposed to give shelter,sustenance & education so that they(themselves & their family) benefit,what will a child who is already starving do?will she go to school or go work & help her family eat a few morsels of food?that is when the government steps in.

        it is mandatory,it is a nanny,when her real nanny cannot afford to take care of her. Obliteration of rights is only a matter of concern when the individual is empowered,a person as mentioned will not bother about rights even should she work in a cow shed if it would mean a few pennies & few morsels.education>Equal infrastructure?we are a country of one billion with more than three-fourth BPL,how fast can you build infrastructure?not just buildings,but
        1)roads to connect village & school,
        2)transportation to get there
        3)skilled & compassionate human resources to teach
        4)buildings,not just shacks that few thousand provide for a few hundred,but modern buildings
        5)food at the school(Tamil Nadu I’m proud to say has an excellent system)
        6)Awareness at the villages & dusty towns to the parents & labourers for parents so that they send their children to educate
        7)food & shelter for parents so that THEY can eat & live,etc

        Would you be able to do all that & more on a nationwide scale with free & fair means to people who deserve it?Even if you could,how soon can you?6 months(you would be a god),a year(still venerated),5 years(revered still),a decade(praised still),half a century?because people live & people will wait.

        A liberal cynic by virtue of statement is a person who wants to be free & believes virtue is gained through self control self interest & independence.I’m sorry but you should be more liberal.
        Look at the section for exclusion http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reservation_in_India#Excluded_from_the_reservation_system

      • Ok. . And what exactly is the problem if the actual number ends up being more? Esply since as u said, the “extra” number come in by pure merit? Isn’t that exactly what we want? The “us” and “them” to merge seamlessly?

        I wonder how the current middle-class backward caste got to be middle-class and educated if not for affirmative action that gave them the hope that if they put in effort, they can get past the vast differences and discrimination and get educated.

        And no.. My analogy doesn’t feel any wrong to me. A state that ensures only liberty and protection can apply for Utopia. We are far from utopia. And calling a state that struggles against complicated issues like the Caste system a nanny-state trivializes the issue – call it a nanny-state when it bans books cos they offend someone, does moral policing, bans smoking in public places etc.

        If we ignore the issue in the name of individual rights and “it comes for a price”, we would only be reinforcing the differences and discrimination – as we had done for centuries before independence.

      • The problem is that you’re victimizing the open-quota students. They have a lower probability of getting into the university for no fault of their own. Also, the people you’re favoring are the middle class of the lower caste. I think your assertion that their affluence is due to affirmative action is baseless.

        Your definition of nanny-state is too limited. A nanny-state is one that believes it knows what’s best for you. Affirmative action is on that principle. Also, good intentions and good consequences are not the same. Even if we accept that affirmative action is well-intentioned (that itself is debatable), we need proof that it works.

        Also, giving special benefits to people based on caste and race reinforces differences. Not the other way round.

      • who has been studying only in his spare time all life, has no means to all the resources and facilities I have, does not even know there exists competitive examinations till he reaches class 9

        There you go girl, Provide them equal infrastructure ( facilities, money in terms of scholarship etc) and enable them compete on same level.

        Instead of giving them unfair means of Reservations. These crutches & wheel chairs will never ever let him stand at his own with pride & capability

        and at same time will hurt the other child’s capabilities by bias in fact make them enemies in long run.

      • Providing equal infrastructure is easy to say – not to do. We do not have the infrastructure or system or economics to do that to such a vast target population. It does not need just the infrastructure, it needs awareness and education – communities, parents, students, teachers – all need to be made aware of the education system, the opportunities, and the how-to.

        That can be done only with education. And I think desperation makes them say “I should somehow get that college degree, and get out of this hell-hole”. THAT, works much much better than any economic sops handed out to them on a plate.

        As I said in the post, crutches & wheel chairs are a necessary & temporary step – you can’t just make someone who has seen nothing but oppression for centuries stand up and walk with pride by just patting them on their back.

        Hurting the other child – what ever happened to the maturity to understand or make understand difficult realities? Isn’t that supposed to come with education and privileges?

      • Who said its not easy to provide awareness and infrastructure.

        Its very easy and get going solution madam. If you like get out of your cozy comfort home and roma around the country, there thousands of people those doing this without any government help. Just because they want to make a change in society instead of supporting step which has given politian a tool to play with peoples mind and make more votes.

        When a child is under pressure of performing, to whome you are expecting understanding? He has his future to look after.

        Even you wont marry a person whos education credentials are not bright enough or who is not earning “seven figure slary”

      • You make it sound too easy. Thousands of people is too less for a country this size. The issue needs a more structured, wide-spread effort. And even the said thousands of people do not have the requisite resources. The government’s hand is inevitable!

        So only the privileged have the pressure of performing and the under-privileged do not have the burden of surviving with dignity and self-empowerment? A little empathy towards issues more important than finding the highest paying job and a pretty bride is too much to ask for?

        For the record, I would marry for the person and don’t care about his salary or his educational qualifications – an undergraduate degree would be good enough. Now, that men might find my PhD, my credentials, and especially my opinions “too good” for them is a different issue. Let us not divert into comparatively trivial angles. This has nothing to do with missing out on seven-figure salaries or the inability to find brides without branded university tags.

        And what makes you think you know what kind of person I’d like to marry or whether I haven’t/can’t/won’t get out of the cozy comforts of my home? I have been out and about roaming and trying to do my bit – and that is WHY I hold the opinions I do! I would appreciate it if you resisted from making personal comments – lest I find it condescending.

    • On the misuse of law :

      Yes, I have read your post. And yet, I hold on to my stand.

      Any law and every law gets abused. I’d think the provision that gets misused most is that of an appeal and asking for postponement of the hearing on some grounds. This rabid abuse is the reason justice is so much delayed and effectively denied in our country. Murderers roam loose, innocents get arrested as naxalites and what not.

      But we get all riled up about “misuse” only when it affects us – the privileged lot. Doesn’t that appear selfish?

      Yes, misuse is wrong. But lack of access to justice is a total blunder. In spite of these “partial” laws, dowry deaths happen every minute – women are not able to go to court. Make the law all fair and lovely, dowry is here to stay – for ever. Our folks wont change – unless they are intimidated by such ‘draconian’ laws.

      Till then, victims of misuse = collateral damage. We have to learn to fight it – after all, we can!

      Contract weddings, no marriages, filth free weddings – are all dreams. They are not reality now, and would not be in near future. The law can not wait – it has to act NOW and do what is best to tackle the menace in the CURRENT messed up society.

      • And the law is helping.. A wedding now costs lakhssssss earlier it was not that expensive..

        When has law ever helped in our country which law tell me…

        Till people start treating each other as human beings all these laws are not going to work..
        Rather they are another tool to make money by anyone who can use it .. SIMPLE truth..

        Majority of people who say this and that what they do in thier huse is completely different.

      • Please educate me. Law helps wedding costs escalate? How? Wedding costs are escalating because the economy has opened up, sections of the society have come into money, and people have become more materialistic and dumber. The law has nothing to do with it!

        Agreed. Till people don’t change, laws can’t help much.. people would keep abusing the laws till then. But people do NOT change by themselves. There have to be harsh laws (for the required period, of course, and with updates when dynamics change) to force them to change. Along with awareness. Without the fear of being dragged to court and punished, people would only get worse.

        Instead of attacking the laws and constitution, we should be attacking the machinery that has lead to the utter failure of the system. The law gives provisions – provisions SHOULD be there – attack the system what abuses them or does not uses them. If necessary, with more laws.

      • By expensive I did not mean its because of law. Sorry if that the expression I gave.

        There are laws against dowry but has that changed anything.. No dowry is there in another form called gifts..

        But fine I am not going to argue.. Yes get the laws made..
        but I will stand by that these are just providing more tools to the clever..

        Moreover I am yet to hear where GENUINE victims of marriage be it a gilr or man get justice.. What they have to go through is another war of a kind…

      • All laws, without exception, has both good and bad sides. Thus the question should never be if there’s bad sides to a law (the answer to that is always yes), but instead if the law will cause *more* good things, or more bad things to happen. That is, on the overall balance, is the law beneficial or harmful.

        I think quotas for disadvantaged groups are beneficial, despite sometimes causing harm. We’ve got them even in Norway – despite having repeatedly been ruled worlds best country on the topic of equal-rights, we *still* have quotas, for example companies that are traded on the stock-exchange by law must have a minimum of 40% representation from each gender on their board.

  2. The moment we say reservation, why do we think only of top colleges – IITs, NITs, AIIMS, govt medical colleges? Reservations apply everywhere and I don’t think the the people who abuse reservations are any interested in going there.

    What is a myth and what is not. . We can argue forever.
    I think we should let numbers talk. Researching the effectiveness of caste-based reservations – especially, who gets benefited. Will be back with a post on that.

    Let people fighting against reservation because it brings down the quality of engineers, doctors, etc fight against everything that brings down the quality. We don’t make much noise about management seats, seats being bought – 40lakhs for an MBBS seat, much much more for higher education seats. . Frankly, I haven’t seen much debate happening on these. Why? Cos it benefits the privileged society?

    Yes, reservations is not a solution. The problem has a much deeper root – the foundations of primary and secondary education are rotten. But if we keep saying “wait till we give you great school education first. You can compete with them after you become as good as them. But this will take a few decades, may be a century too. Have patience”, it is unfair and dumb.

    The divide exists and will exist – reservation or not. I am more bothered about first removing the economic and education gap more than removing caste from the memory of the nation’s psyche. That can come later. If I say I shall remove caste first and that will do the bridging gap business, na. .it’s not going to work.

    • Hmm right so as usual instead of tackling the basic problem we ignore it and try to make new rules to help.
      Meanwhile the not so deserveing will make sure that their wards also take on what is not deserved.

      No wonder their is a brain drain as the deserving ones go abroad ..

      • That statement sounds all nice and mature, but I wonder if one should read in between the lines.

        I know you did not mean it that way. . but does that mean the brain drain is because of caste-based reservations? Is it because the privileged (? snooty?) do not want to work along with the “undeserving”? Isn’t that plain bigotry? Do we have a habit of carelessly saying things that end up reinforcing subtle discrimination?

        Tell me brain drain is because of the shortage of resources and opportunities here. I can digest that. Not this.

        And yes, we can argue for ever. . But the post more or less says all that I had to say. Let me stop arguing too.

      • If the people who deserve don’t get the job/education,should no one study or work?would you prefer if offices & colleges be closed because the less fortunate cant make it?or should some one study and work so that the ones who do can live a better life?by the way,how do you decide who deserves and who dont?

  3. What I said, only indicate that there are good options & those are working too and if more sincere effort come in, problems are not as huge as sounding.

    Its just matter of sincere efforts.

    Reservation were not solution and never will be because if it was a solution, problem would have have disappeared by now.

    I beleive in sincere efforts. I will do that. becasue I know governments are beast & totally corrupt that will playing their tricks.

    You keep flaging RESERVATION till every single seat will be reserved. Good Luck. Period.

    • What will you do differently than what is being done? I’m asking sincerely.
      So what do you believe in if not government? caste? feudal? monarchy? or no government & everyone just says “viva,viva la vida”? What do you advocate for the betterment of mankind?

      • People are already doing it.

        Spreading awareness & make available infrstructure as much as I can. i know others too those are doing this. I beleive in these efforts.

        I dont beleive in RESERVATION.

      • yes,i got you.you don’t believe in RESERVATION. I got that from your previous comments.Yes agreed creating awareness and infrastructure is the way.

        All I’m asking is tell me how you do it.You rally a few of your mates and go on a jolly ride in teaching building & making people aware?

        Ok,you do it,so do others,but how do you do it?how soon will you do it?to how many people?a few around you?so who does it serve?by saying what you say,you are just getting a feeling of contentment while what you are hiding is contempt.

        so,shall we let a few generation of humans,lets say a father-mother+their children+their children pay for it while you & few others do it the way you want to?whom does it really serve?you or the people who deserve it?

        Progress should have a wide and even reach to all sections who yearn for it,not just a niche village which you adopt or a small group of children you teach or a few women & men you give skills to.

        Open your eyes,broaden your views,rally resources,that is what governments are for,just because today a government is not working optimally you would abolish it?have you read the constitution?It’s in out pledge national itself.would you rather be happy if we went back to caste based feudal domination?how would you and your bunch of mates do progress in anarchy?

  4. There are schemes by government ( other then reservation, e.g. scholarships) we let them know, few people teacher others. Like wise there are more.

    I understand every try to cater as many individuals as possible and collectively we are huge number but we know population is way higher and more efforts are required & we are trying ot get more hands in.

    At the same time we understand there is no short cut possible for “sincere efforts”

    As far as catering of 100% people is concerned, thats impossible. We know if even 80% are covered it will be a great acheivement but we are not content on this nor having any relief or flaging frutated flags like others.

    We are just doing our bit and believe if we continue. We can do it.

    But ofcourse we someone expecting a magic to happpen over night. Thats again not feasible.

    • Ok,scholarship,one method to do it.What about something better?

      I am not asking you if you are doing your bit nor am i asking if it is worthy.

      i was asking what do you perpetrate in place of a government and how would make sure everything is fair & proper?

      • Govt has many more schemes. I am not going to start detailing them all here.

        We are not here to perpetrate Govt.. They might be doing their bit in someway. I am not bothered.

        What I know is, I use these schemes are good tools, I can do my own bit and If every one doing their bit there wil not any problem.

        Natures has a law, nothing can be perfect.

        What’s your age btw??

      • OK,I can’t take it anymore,Dude,You earlier said that (quote) “because I know governments are beast & totally corrupt that will playing their tricks”. So,what do you propose in place of it?feudal system?caste based system?anarchy?or Viva la Vida(which means “live your life” in Portuguese)?

        Nature has a law?which?Survival of the fittest?That sure is not perfect,that is not nearly good even.But,so are people,that is why we need a better system.

        My age?25.Let me ask you though,why ask.I’ll guess once.If it is more than yours,are you going to say the older generation is the reason the government is a beast & corrupt or if i is less than yours,will you do the accepted norm of brushing away my views as childish & naive?

        You still don’t get what i am asking do you.OK,cheerio & Godspeed in all your endeavors buddy

  5. 🙂

    Take it easy. No point getting your nervous worked up.

    When I said “because I know governments are beast & totally corrupt that will playing their tricks”.

    It means govt official who are actually supposed to their duty wont do. ( like spreading awareness, there are kissan mitra, vidhyardhi mitra etc )

    and when I say, We can use schemes are tools I mean, we can use scheme those should have been used by those official for public welfare.

    As far as anything else concerned let me not comment on that. 🙂

  6. The backward caste doesnt mean people are poor. I know many people from such castes who are very rich and well to do and use every caste reservation possible for their advantage. The reservation should be based on financial status and not caste status!

    • We forget that such people are a minority. And most likely to be not eligible for reservation if only the norms were followed properly. The vast majority of the backward castes are still backward in many ways. Caste still seems to be the simplest indicator of status. And the provision has already changed to exclude the creamy layer. Why don’t we fight for implementation of the provision to perfection rather than scrapping it altogether?

      Even I thought financial status should be the basis. . But, given the prevalent practices of black money and not accounting for actual income, the better off would still abuse reservations.

  7. It’s odd, I agree. The rich, educated and priviledged so often complain when some marginalized group gets “special” treatment. But they conveniently forget that they themselves got special treatment in a billion small and big ways from *before* they where even born.

    They grew up in the womb of a mother who was well-fed and had adequate access to good-quality medical care. Then they where born in a modern hospital with the best doctors, medicines and machinery available. A few days later they come home – to a home where the roof does not leak, where there is adequate heating in winter, and cooling in summer. Where fresh healthy water runs freely. Where the beds are soft and the neighbourhood safe. Where books and toys are plentiful. Where smart, healthy and intelligent parents do their very best, using their considerable resources to give the best possible start in a new life. All this before they even utter their first word.

    You don’t get to pick your parents. Your time or place of birth. Your gender or your genes. It’s a lottery. It infuriates me how many have themselves had the luck of picking a winning-number, who have no compassion for those of less luck. Instead they think they “deserve” it.

    Sure, hard work influences outcomes a *bit*, if you study hard and work diligently, you may succeed in doing somewhat better than the average person of comparable luck. But the lottery-part totally dominates. Even the laziest, stupidest, unkindest, do-nothing son of a millionaire in most cases end up financially much better off that the most hard-working girl born in the slum. Even the laziest stupidest Norwegian has a standard of living that is higher than 90% of humanity.

    What philosophical principle makes “special” treatment due to having won the birth-lottery fair, but “special” treatment by the government in an attempt to compensate slightly for the grossly slanted playing-field unfair ?

    And I *totally* hog your comment-space.

    • I agree. I cant help wondering if the vision of the privileged has become so narrow that they do not see beyond their own problems – which are often trivial compared to what the rest of the world is facing.

      • It’s very easy to lose sight of the big picture. Growing up in Norway, I considered myself, and my family, to be “normal”. And indeed we where, if I stuck to comparing myself to others in my school.

        In a global perspective though, my entire village was *hugely* priviledged, indeed even my entire country, and arguably even most of my continent. In my case, I thus had to lift my gaze quite a bit to *really* see.

        And it’s not enough to hear on the news about famines, where anonymous people you’ve never met die in large numbers. People don’t tend to feel really human, to be *real* to you without any direct contact.

        You are real to me, in a way “a billion Indians” can never be. I find myself caring. And that’s a blessing and a curse for sure, because there is a *lot* to be mad about in the world, once you start noticing.

  8. My dearest Partial mother,

    I reply to your letter with my utmost love. First, let me remind you that I have not lost my love for you or faith in you. Otherwise how would you explain that everytime I felt dejected by your treatment of me compared to my crippled bro, I came back to you for justice(Really, I dont have anyone else to go to).

    Dear mother, please understand that while you were busy looking after my brother, you seem to have totally forgotten about your other son(me). I have been ignored to such an extent that I have grown weaker and weaker with passing time. And, today I am not even strong enough to take care of myself leave alone protect myself from the stones thrown by the children in the street(who are bent upon seeing me down and hurt) and the challenges thrown by society. I cry to you for help but you have become ignorant to my requirement of your love as you are preoccupied with helping my crippled sibling.

    Of late, though there has been a ray of hope for me from the orphanages and homes for destitutes (like me) which are ready to feed me and take me into their care. These orphanages have taken me far away from you into foreign lands. Though I am well fed here, I have never been able to free my mind of my love for you. I yearn and cry to return to your warmth and love everyday, but being a practical person I understand that I may not get your love even if i return. Hence I wait here in the shores of these orphanages waiting for the day when my brother is self-sufficient and you start thinking about me. I hope that day will come when I return to your folds and warmth as you have and will always be my only mother.

    FROM
    Your forgotten son

    PS : I totally agree with you when you say that a farmer’s son who gets into an IIT with reservation is better when compared to a boy who goes to coaching classes from 8 to 10 everyday from his 10th standard. But, please observe that the farmer’s son can be of any caste of creed. Unfortunately, in our society money and economic might seems to be blind towards the caste system the country has created. Hence, there are many farmers and their sons who are from your so defined priveleged society. And similarly there are many IAS,IPS , IFS officers, doctors and businessmen with children who have all the comfort but end up being from the underpriveleged class as defined by you.

    • Dearest son

      Dear son, the ‘orphanages’ you mention aren’t saintly orphanages. . they seek you for your skill/money/both. And the very fact that you have their ‘support’ means that you are anything but disadvantaged. And yeah, people throw stones at you? Sorry, I do NOT buy that

      Hope you find your way back to me.

      PS: The privileged of the lower castes should technically be out of reservation scene – cos they belong to the creamy layer. And as far as the underprivileged from the higher caste, I still think they are at least socially better off compared to the underprivileged lower castes. Caste based reservation is the simplest classification that would work – for the time being.

      Your Loving mother,
      Law

  9. @rebel
    Please don’t show me the exclusionary criteria for reservation policies. I’m sure it’s riddled with loopholes, and people in power will find ways to abuse it.

    We want to help the underprivileged. We assume that most of the underprivileged are part of some backward caste. But there’s no evidence that the people benefiting from these reservation policies are underprivileged. The place where I did my undergrad had 28 seats, 12 of which were open-category. The people from backward castes who took the other seats were mostly middle-class. A couple of them drove their own cars to college. This isn’t a rarity. It’s an oft-heard complaint of the beneficiaries of reservation. Who exactly are we helping here? We are effectively hurting the open-category students.

    How will the poor get educated, you ask. We have municipality schools where they can get free higher-secondary education. We can subsidize their education should they get into a government college by fair means. Hell, let’s even pay them to study, and maybe let them do a little extra work in exchange.

    The rest of your argument all over the place and frankly, a little straw-man. I never said that the government has no place in uplifting people’s standards of living.

    To your comment on my name, I’m a liberal in the old-school definition of the word. I believe in liberty. Now, of course, such people tend to call themselves libertarian, because the word liberal has been highjacked. Anyway, when we allow the government to draw lines, we create room for manipulation of those lines. That’s why I believe in limited government.

  10. @liberalcynic

    So another anti-government person.

    Ok,most were middle class.Wait,backward class?under privileged?Not all Backward class are under privileged.Open your eyes brother.That is how the caste defines it.Forward are Brahman.Everyone else is backward.Period.

    I’m from Backward community,though I don’t know what is backward myself,I’m not narrow-minded, orthodox or any-of the sort.

    Municipality schools?Brother,by your own word,a poor person only deserves to get educated in a municipality school where there are no teachers,poorly trained if any,no proper classroom & they have 2 travel a mile a million to get there,IF they do go to school that is,if their parents can send them to that “municipality school” that is.I mean,Hell,even you’ll pay for it.I mean,after all,what’s running a municipality school going to cost a mighty mortal like you,you will even make them work in return for their education>Right on

    & Oh Brother,Where art thou..There’s only one definition for “liberal, that’s “willing to respect or accept behaviour or opinions different from one’s own; open to new ideas”>The word comes from Latin(liber),which meant essentially ‘suitable for free men”.

    You’re not anti-government,but,you wont let the government make any policy or programme,You believe in government,but limited government,FUNNY.

    Make up your mind,give a few real ideas,then bitch them.Not just rant

    • Who is wise? He that learns from everyone. Who is powerful? He that governs his passions. Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.-Benjamin Franklin

    • There can of course NOT be R or E or S of Reservation in this – because it is purely effort from a group of individuals who want to do their bit. I follow Swaram and am proud to say that the work she does is truly inspiring. I’d myself contribute in similar ways when the time comes. Have done it before, will do it again.

      But none of that takes away from the fact that affirmative action from a governmental level is far reaching. . it takes 300-350 individuals who can afford the time and effort and to put away their personal careers, family time etc to achieve this at this level – it would take much more to reach a larger population, address more issues etc.
      From experience, I can safely say that putting oneself effectively to such work needs a) financial stability/support – a privilege, b) full-time commitment – a luxury, c) maturity – to be able to deal with the issues, the disappointments, the feeling of “being back at square one”, “going nowhere on this, in spite of all good intentions and efforts”, “would things never change?” etc.
      Good if that kind of attitude is displayed, but it can’t be expected to be the norm. If it isn’t the norm, it is not practical to expect this to be the sole solution to the problem!

      If the government does not work fine, it is our duty to question its efficiency, corruption etc – not to write away all affirmative action. Governmental action and individual efforts can co-exist. . but I find writing away action at the governmental level to be a scary attitude.

      That said, since I currently can not afford the mind-space to take this on forever, I am closing comments on this post. Thanks for your comments and time.

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