Saturday, 26 January 2013

This Space..Reserved

Yes, it is the day of the founding of our glorious Republic today, and for those of you willing or able to count backwards, it is the 64th time that we are celebrating. Our proud nation has thrown of the yoke of oppression, had done so more than half a century ago in fact, and is now well on the road to becoming an economic superpower.. et cetera. In fact our great nation has been on the road to becoming an economic superpower for the better part of a decade, and is projected to surpass other incumbent economic superpowers in a decade(or a century, depending on which news channel you follow). Anyway, the whole point of this being that the government of India, yes that bastion of the republic, under whose aegis our great country thrives has been largely responsible for this maelstrom of progress that has enveloped our country. In doing so, they have enacted many policies which on the face of it, would be sheer genius. These policies have, in a nutshell, accelerated our growth and brought true progress to our nation. Or provided the largest part of a corpus to a certain banking firm in an Alpine country(once again depending on which news channel you follow).

For you see, our country is famous for its oppressed status. We have always been opressed(or so we like to think), for we have been invaded(time and again), our riches looted, our houses burnt and our glorious heritage tarnished by those goddamned infidels who dare to invade our country time and again. The Hindus are oppressed by the Muslims, the Muslims are oppressed by the Hindus, the Christians are oppressed by everyone, the Sikhs aren't oppressed, they really don't get out much..and so on and so forth. The poor in our country are oppressed, the rich in our country are oppressed, the women are oppressed, as are the men. We now, have come to take pride in our singluarly downtrodden and defeated status.

This, in a rather perverse way provides the impetus to many of our government's policies(so THAT's where the first two paragraphs were leading..huh). WE have reserved special seats for those who are the most decrepit amongst us. A bit like those comfortable sofas for the chief guest at the party. For you see we can now stand tall and proclaim ourselves to be Backward, and not just any type of Backward, but Non Creamy backward. This probably means we like our tea black, or our milk skimmed..who knows exactly what it means, the important thing is the assumption that backward must automatically be made forward for the greater glory of our nation. The meek shall inherit the earth( or at least Government Sector jobs).

I wonder if there were some sort of Forward Caste that we could apply to. I for one would be the first to apply. I would probably take some sort of pride in being called forward. Which is not to deprecate any of my Scheduled or Backward brethren, who have obviously made massive efforts to stay as such and should not be derided.

In the sort of convoluted logic usually reserved for writing bucket sort algorithms, we have decided to make arbitrary sets of rules that benefit certain sections of society while regressing others. This category now includes women as well, since they have of course been the most repressed section of society since for ever. And ,of course this is akin to chopping off everybody's legs just because half the population is blind and felt bad that everyone else would be going about their daily business with impunity. The road to equality does not start with handouts, nor has it ever. Women and repressed castes now have the scope, in an egalitarian society, to prove their worth without needing special benefits.

Equality really should not involve one  party having the upper hand over the other. That, by definition, is inequality. You would have thought most of the people in our country would have figured that out by now.

Or maybe we just like being called backward...

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