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Mall Road

Bus Addey, Maal Rode, Camp, Madal Toun, Ajadpur, Shalimaar...

The Ungreat Indian Middle Class

Clinton says India's done a great job in tsunami relief work. Thank you very much sir.

"Bill Clinton Should Call for Creation of Stronger Human Rights Protections," says Human Rights Watch .

Don't take their word. Google for tsunami+Dalit and you will find about sixteen thousand results. Discrimination against Dalits was seen not just in the immediate aftermath, as exposed by The Indian Express and others. Discrimination in tsunami relief work continues till this day.

I have just one question. Blood pressures shoot up across middle class India the moment you make the mistake of uttering the word 'reservations'. Middle class India, which would like to believe it is merely a co-incidence that it is largely upper-caste, was seething with rage against caste reservations throughout the Nineties despite the unprecedented opportunities that opened up for them after Manmohan Singh's 1991 liberalisation. The reason they give you for their anger is that reservations amount to unfair discrimination against the 'meritorious'.

So when there is such shameful discrimination amongst victims of a natural calamity that didn't discriminate, where does middle class India's anger disappear?

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-- Blogger Vulturo, 5/29/2005 04:37:00 pm

Shivam, I do not agree.

In a truly free society there should be *no reservations* "by the government", reservations is equivalent to discrimination - the keyword is not *no reservations*, it is "by the government" because the Government belongs to everyone. The government is not private. Someone can privately discriminate, it would be their prerogative.

There should be no discrimination where "public funding" is involved. And I'm against the discrimination if it was done by the government or an NGO who used public funds. But If Mr. X was a private philanthrophist using his own money, he could have discriminated against anyone. It was up to him whom to help. Same goes for a privately funded NGO.

Discrimination is BAD, when it is done at a macro level by the Government or a Large Body which is controlled by individuals but has public participation. For example a "public listed" company, or a publicly funded NGO.

How can you be so anti-middleclass?, and how can you "generalise" this against the middle-class. How many people belonging to the middle class have you polled, about the discrimination against the Dalits in Tsunami Relief? I'm sure that if you actually had polled, the same middle class who was against reservation would also be against discrimination against the Dalits wrt Tsunami Relief

You are generalising without a concrete basis.

The Dalits have it good when it comes to reservations. Merit and merit alone should be the factor, when it comes to anything which is "public". The Dalits are stealing jobs from meritorious people. How would you like it if a "Dalit" doctor who got admission into a medical college through reservations, was responsible for the death of your father.

True the Dalits have it bad as well (and not just good) - the correct approach is not "caste based" - it is based on economic condition. A "Dalit" living in an Airconditioned Apartment can't be called it a Dalit anymore even though he's Dalit by caste.

I've seen fairly well-to-do classmetes unfairly get the better of me when it came to admissions in colleges, just because I was Bramhin. And those colleges did not reserve seats for OBCs and SC/STs themselves. They reserved due to government "rules". Reservations is not the key. Caste based discrimination by the government is not the key. The key is to gradually reduce poverty, and provide assistance (in form of scholarships) to Dalits or whoever is eligible (on economic grounds)

Stop the politically correct hogwash.    

-- Anonymous Anonymous, 6/02/2005 01:54:00 am

Here is my take on reservations.

"The middle class" said nothing about the discrimination against the dalits because it doesn't affect them. On the other hand, reservations do. Discrimination against dalits is wrong, and so is "the middle class" not raising its voice against this; but that does not make reservations a correct policy.    

-- Blogger shaun, 6/04/2005 01:30:00 am

Niket said: "The middle class" said nothing about the discrimination against the dalits because it doesn't affect them.

Bang on! You clearly prove my point about the Ungreat Indian Middle Class: we are selfserving and self-obsessed. Being middle class you perhaps have to be like that in order to keep floating. But this clearly proves that the middle class is concerned about its own benefit and not that of the nation. Reservations are nothing but legal implementation of equality of opportunity that is denied to lower castes precisel because of the tsunami-relief kind of discrimination that does not irk India's middle classes to take to self-immolation like Mandal did.

You may want o read my article Caste and the City.    

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