26 October 2009

one step forward, two steps backward

There are two kinds – the oppressors and the oppressed. Sometimes the oppressed hit back, like when the Maoists decide to screw the Bengal government, or when they get the politicians to reserve seats for the lower castes in universities. The Forward Ones cry in protest. The Backward Ones know that a rule once made is hard to shake. Ask Ambedkar no?

The Forwards argue that we should focus on primary education, and uplift the masses instead of lowering the bar. Fair enough. In an ideal world, we could use primary education to liberate The Oppressed – oppressed since we began recording history. The oppression of The Forward Ones has just begun, and they’re weeping already.

In my Brahmin school called P.S. Senior in Mylapore, Madras, I recollect seeing 2 lower caste students in my 15 years holed up in that school. Now that I think of it, perhaps there were a few more, bunched up and banished from the rest. Then I looked up Wikipedia, which generously put my school as one of the top 5 schools in Madras, along with similar schools with purely elite or forward children.

Some 3 year old kid is taken to my school’s Principal, who then passes judgment on whether the kid is suitable for this school. It’s no coincidence that the Principals always pick one way. Essentially, The Forward Ones impose near 100% reservation right at the start, and then go on to celebrate their success and crib about reservations in higher education.

This kind of unwritten social reservation is infinitely more crushing than a 50% hurdle the Forward Ones face higher up… there is no number fixed, no explanations required… and nobody finds it odd. There is pride in sending kids to these schools. There is pride in oppression.

For the sake of the Principals who judge 3 year olds, and their kind, I hope hell exists, with 50% reservation for The Forwards.


Sriram said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sriram said...

any reason how those guys got picked then? the 'exceptions'?

Wanderer said...

perhaps so when people ask why so many elite fucks, they can say - hey! look, we have the token backward fuck so you can't complain.

isn't it bad enough that they're exceptionally few?

the school is but one instance... its with work, temples... any social interaction.

Anonymous said...

Your angst-ing has taken a mature turn. Very well written. These are the kind of things in life to which there isn't one correct answer or solution. Hopefully we grow towards better understanding and resolution soon.

Sarah said...

haha.. sorry dude couldn't help it after the last comment..

Dinosaur Biryani said...

Sweeper...You are ranting about one side of the coin.

If the forwards go the same schools as everyone else, and get the same scores as everyone else...what happens when they apply to enter colleges? Get in like everyone else? I think not.

Tamil Nadu has 70% reservations. Which means..the forwards compete with everyone for the remaining 30. So what are the odds?

Oh wait...maybe they don't deserve it because they were born forward.

Maybe we should lynch the british too..because of what they did centuries ago to Asia and Africa. And the whites..for the slave trade. That would solve everything, wouldn't it?

This is a never ending debate. Lets assume that there was no caste based reservation.

Lets just say that children were given admission to these schools based on how smart they were (lets assume we had a blood test to determine the smart quotient). If the principals gave children admissions based on their SQ..then where would the other SQ-challenged kids go? The smart would get smarter..the duds would get farter. That would be reservation too. So what is the solution when 100 kids apply for 10 seats? All kids are equal..so how do you choose? If you were the principal..what would you do?

Instead of blaming the principals...blame the politicians who don't create enough good schools. Blame them for not paying the academicians good salaries..not attracting good talent for teaching.

The politicians would say they don't have the funds to build these schools and pay good salaries to teachers. Maybe people need to pay more taxes. But where would taxes come from..the people. But the people don't have any.

So in the end..who do you blame? God maybe..because he is responsible for everything...supposedly benevolent and just? Peace be with him. If you think the principals should go to hell for being choosy...where do you think God should go for allocating wealth unequally between N.America and Africa, creating wars..creating a lack of quality schools,colleges and jobs,creating castes and creating George Bush. Maybe make a beeline with the principals?

Ok..i'm digressing here. But the point is...more demand..less supply..always a confusion. The balances always tilt.

My rant doesn't have a point nor conclusion, but I feel your perspective is skewed.

On a lighter note. You always said PS was hell. The principal is probably in the right place. In PS ;).

Wanderer said...


If you read carefully, the post is not written in favor of reservations, nor do i claim that it solves any problem.

An eye for an eye will make the world blind. i just don't want the forwards to claim that reservation is an eye for nothing.

too many people and too few seats is a different problem, unrelated to giving all the seats to the elite.

lol Principal in PS... even Hell is cool if you're Yama.

vivek sekar said...

I kind of feel this similar to the situation, that the top schools in TN take the best students (after numerous filtering)and prove their place in 10th and 12th with these toppers. Having body shopped the centum scorers and boasting the schools high scores as a result of this.

instead of taking in a mixed bunch of students and proving the schooling mettle they have (If they really have it).

picking the best, and showcasing the school as the best. And this has been the norm for some time.

Mad Blogger said...


I was refused admission into P.S. :) By birth, I ain't oppressed.
Minds seem to have broadened, and have diverted towards choosing from the financially forward and backward now.
If you got a kid somewhere to be put into school these days, they only look if the parent is carrying money even in his dick... Nothing else works da!

Wanderer said...

while the school in the example manages to discriminate in more ways than one, giving more people more opportunities to feel aggrieved, the school was not the focal point of the post.

the forward people oppress in ways more far-reaching that one (or five) school in madras. it's everywhere, we just need to open our eyes and acknowledge.

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