20th August 2014.
I received a call letter from the Indian Air Force informing me that I have cleared the NDA/NA(1) 2014 examination conducted by the almighty UPSC. As per my choice I was called for AFSB.
AFSB Day 1: Screening Test
I cleared the screening test and was selected for a 5 day residential program for further selection. After clearing the screening test, all the selected candidates were called for document verification. Despite there being no reservation in the armed forces, the document asked for category of the applicant (i.e.whether SC ST OBC or General).
IAF ad: ‘It’s not where you come from…’
It must be noted here that all the candidates who cleared the exam did so in the so-called open merit and the document verification took place prior to the day the interviews were scheduled. Therefore, interviewer/s knew beforehand the category of the applicant.
The officer who was present there for document verification explained this act by saying that all this was done for statistical purposes only and no discrimination on the basis of caste was intended. He even warned the applicants of dire consequences in case they entered false information and were selected finally.
Now the question that I want to raise is: when we ask for the composition of the armed forces on the basis of caste, these so called DESH SEVAKS very religiously vouch for the integrity of the forces and say that there is no such thing as caste there. When they have statistical data of the caste composition, why don’t they make it public? Are they afraid that again the truth of Brahminical hegemony in the forces will come out? Are they afraid that the Bahujans of the country will get to know the harsh reality of their under as well as misrepresentation in the forces?
This question comes in the wake of caste census data that are not being released by the Government of India. I demand the forces to declare the caste composition of the officers and soldiers so that the reality of representation can be observed.
Asking for caste before an interview which boasts of not taking it into consideration is discrimination and it must end.
A Kumar is studying in Delhi University and considers himself a beginner in following Ambedkarite ideology.