I am sorry if anyone feels offended - though I am not writing this to offend anyone.
I read posts here, comments on other blogs, news websites and social networks like FB and Twitter. And I was surprised and rather amused to see the kind of comments people from supposed upper castes were making - saying ''real issue'' is that of caste reservations or ''casteism is due to reservations'' (!) or that Aamir's episode was ''one sided'' and ''what about discrimination of upper caste''!
Sorry to say, but I completely disagree with such comments and notion of so-called reverse discrimination!
- First, casteism is not a result of reservations. It is reservations which came about as a result of casteism which had continued to exploit an entire population of people for thousands of years!
- Second, the so-called ''suffering'' which ''upper castes'' go through is nothing compared to sufferings which the 'lower castes'' and tribes had to go through for thousands of years.
What do we guys have to face? Some frustration at not being able to secure seats at premier institutes due to reservations? That is all. We were never asked to clean toilets at our nursery school the way ''lower caste'' kids are still compelled to do in various parts of the country. We don't get labelled as ''chooda'' or ''chamaar'' or judged by our appearance. Our elders are not handed jhaadu-pocha to clean the building in which we live. We aren't denied accommodation only on basis of our caste. No one ostracises us, ridicules us or performs some ''purification'' ceremonies at places we have stayed or even sat!
How the hell can upper castes compare their so-called suffering to the suffering which lower castes and their ancestors had to go through? The lower caste ones are still ridiculed - even if they succeed on their own merit, or are assumed to have less intellect, less ''class'' - just dismissed as inferior!
Some years ago, an SC had made it to Top 10 rankers in a prestigious national level entrance test for law. And looking at rank list, so-called high class people were wondering how come an SC made it to top 10! They are supposed to make it ''only through reservation''!
Another time, a police officer from ''low caste'' had ranked #1 in IAS exam - his selection was also met with surprise only. So the lower caste one is humiliated even in success achieved on his own merit when people express wonder at how he achieved it ''despite his caste''!
A person from ''lower caste'' even if he makes it on his own merit is looked at either with surprise or people think he was given top marks because exam board was ''favouring'' his caste!
Still the so-called higher caste ones think it is they who are ''suffering'' due to reservations?! ''Choodey toh Raje hain aaj kal!'' - that's how they dismiss them!
The upper caste made it worse for lower caste even after reservations. Now they say it's reservations which cause casteism!
Ha! It's we guys who made it worse for lower castes by alleging they get everything ''easily'' and have no merit.
My question for all ''upper castes'' is why blame ''lower castes'' and ''STs'' to hide your performance in an exam? Also, if the upper castes continued to blame, bully and dismiss lower castes as brainless for centuries, and thought of themselves as superior in terms of intellect, then why can't they top exams, get top scores on their own merit and make it to top colleges irrespective of reservations?
- ALSO, MAIN POINT - Why and HOW do upper caste ones or their supporters reduce issue of casteism to just reservation debate eh?! How come you ignore or wish to divert attention from humiliation, stereotyping and ostracism which people from ''lower caste'' are subjected to, whether they have achieved something in life or not? How can you ignore excesses committed against Dalits by rich and so-called high class people in remote villages of India - raping, disrobing women, literally buying Dalit kids as slaves, bonded labour, torture, lynching, public humiliation by village mob?!
How you try to hide how lower caste students are ridiculed in urban areas also, bullied or forced to clean other students' rooms and toilets in hostel?! Or isolated in mess and common hall?
Then ''upper'' caste ones try to mix poverty with casteism - though they are interrelated BUT DIFFERENT issues altogether! Brahmins or other ''high castes'' being poor or ''poorer'' does not imply that issue of casteism is not there at all, or that higher castes suffer ''as much'' or ''more than'' the ''lower castes''! No excuse to paint ourselves as bigger victims of ''reverse casteism''!
I belong to so-called upper caste and I do not think I suffered anything except in case of admissions. And even that, while I admit I feel bewildered to see some people with lower marks get into top institutes due to reservation - I do not deny even my own responsibility. I probably should have worked harder or attempted the paper better according to my category.
I have seen even top professors being ridiculed by their own colleagues as ''chooda'' or ''chamaar'' in front of them and behind their backs. I've seen students trying to insult professors based on their so-called ''low caste''.
This is casteism. You get bashed, humiliated even if you're established in your profession and made it on your own merit. Casteism is not just about reservations.
- We also complain of our so-called ''religion'' or ''religious texts'' being ''insulted'' or ''misinterpreted''. So what is the right or true reading of your ''religion''? And more importantly, why do religions, which had no mention of caste continue to practise caste discrimination?!
What is the excuse or explanation for humiliating and torturing an entire section of population for centuries?
Has any upper caste (be it rich or poor) ever suffered so much torture simply or humiliation simply on basis of his/her caste? Did people of their own community and religion, disrobe their women simply on basis of caste?
I would really like to know what so-called ''reverse casteism'' or ''reverse discrimination'' the ''upper or middle level'' castes (!) are facing! And is it comparable to casteism and discrimination faced by lower castes?
- Why object only at caste reservations? Why no hoopla over reservations based on domicile, gender, foreign/NRI background and so-called management quota?!
In some universities there is quota even for employees' kids! Why not bash such quotas also?
- The issue of reservations is highly debatable. In some ways it exacerbated casteism and made us more conscious of our labels. It is used for vote bank politics. I would basically favour abolition of notion of caste altogether (tradition or culture is no excuse). Perhaps it is right to expect reservations to be scraped altogether. But does it mean casteism will stop and state of lower caste people would be improved?
I COMPLETELY DISAGREE to this notion of ''reverse casteism'' or ''great suffering'' of upper caste and reducing complex issue of casteism to reservations debate and ignoring all humiliation and torture which lower caste persons have to go through!