This is in accordance with the recent event that has disturbed me and the amount of perturbation it has caused in my mind is quite intense and that is the reason why I am writing this. To people who have not yet known about the suicide of a medical student in Mumbai due to casteist slurs by seniors and to the people who have forgotten the incident this is a reminder. Also to the ones who are disturbed and worried I write this to get your attention.
Reservation which has been carried as a controversial subject from its beginning till date has caused a large number of psychological, physical and social distresses. Before getting into the topic I would like to focus on the idea of what reservation is meant for?
Reservation is not a part of revenge which the so called lower caste people do to the “upper caste” people for the atrocities which the former have faced from the latter in the past. Reservation is a constitutional mechanism which purely aims at “Socio-Educational” upliftment. Reservation is not a principle that aims at mere economic upliftment. When reservation was added in the constitution the criteria was “social and educational backwardness”.
Therefore Reservation cannot be confused or mixed with other schemes which focuses on economic status. (Although the 10% reservation system has completely changed the basic structure of reservation which has been defined in the constitution). There are various schemes which have taken economic condition as the prime criteria and of course economic conditions are one of the important matter in the society which has to be considered and taken care of. But in the Indian society Caste system exist as a reality from its origin till date and has propagated injustice among all sectors and sections of society. In such a contemporary India where the injustice and humiliating principle of “Caste System” exist caste based reservation has to be implemented in order to ensure justice. The Reservation system has been implemented since 1951 but till date the justice has not been completely achieved. Therefore Reservation is not just a scheme for economical upliftment. It’s a fight for JUSTICE.
To those who argue that “caste is been practiced because of reservation” the answer is “Reservation is there because of caste system and once the caste system is completely annihilated from the society and complete justice is ensured to each and every one then take away the reservation. But provided the conditions which I have mentioned above should be satisfied! and to the anti reservationists all around the country who talk about merit: no student from a reserved category gets a correct mark for a wrong answer!
Now to the people who belong to the category who avails reservation (caste based reservation). Be bold to answer to those who abuses us based on caste that “reservation is no one’s charity or mercy. This is our constitutional right”. We can face the same situation as Dr Payal Tadvi has faced. Learn to fight for justice. Our lives are important than anything else in the world. If Ambedkar had decided to quit when he faced the same obstacles and hardships in his struggle the India would be a different one. If Mahatma Ayyankali would not have begun the fight for education of pulaya (a dalit community in Kerala) the present Kerala will not be like this. If Jyotiba Phule and Savithri Phule has not fought for education for dalits in Maharashtra the scenario will be different. Therefore learn the past and history. These people were not characters of some mythological story. They lived, they struggled, they fought and they succeeded and they live among us till today through their ideas.
I hope no more Dr Payal Tadvi dies here.
RIP Dr Payal Tadvi…
Aishwarya KS is doing her MSW in Dalit and Tribal Studies and Action at TISS. She is a member of Tripunithura Ambedkar Thinkers Forum in Kerala.