It is said that those who come from poor socio-economic backgrounds have a stronger fighting spirit because of the need for survival. Then why are some students from these sections committing suicide when they enter the big universities of India? Do their expectations of themselves or the university or society go much higher when they come into the university? Or they create an illusion within themselves that after getting into the universities, the social system, the mindset of the people has probably changed?
How would their entry into the education system just change the social system? For that, we need to constantly work on it. It is a mismatch between their expectations and the social reality. Why they fail to understand the more you grow, the stronger, more invisible, and deeper is the caste system. And we have to fight with unity, patience, persistence to act against the social system. Why are we so overwhelmed by the system? We have to act against the system, the mindset. The way Buddha to Jyotiba-Savitrimai Phule and Babasaheb worked against the system. Many more social revolutionaries worked against the system. I would request our young generation to check this self-punishing attitude and act against the system.
The things we need to do:
1. Create a strong network within the campuses, across India and outside India to share their hardships and to learn how to overcome them.
2. Learn the fighting spirit of our forefathers and how they reacted to pressures. They acted against the social system by implementing different strategies.
3. Stop the attitude of self-punishment. By this, you will not gain anything, but your family and society will lose the battle.
4. Educated and socially conscious people are very rare in our society. Like Babasaheb said, “intellectual class is the ruling class of any nation, this class shows the direction to the society.” And now we have come to that level to lead the nation. Therefore, we must learn how, when, where and to what level should we express our emotions.
5. Act. In a social revolution, we will have to face a lot of humiliation, disrespect and negativity. We have to deal with all this with a positive attitude and fighting spirit. In this fight we will lose a lot at the personal level, we have to sacrifice a lot. Don’t think of any gain. We cannot see instant results, but the continuous, persistent fight can show some transformation.
6. The fight started from Buddha to Babasaheb. We crossed these many generations still the social system is the same way as it was before. We only find some changes in the infrastructure, primary changes, but not any core change in the system. Here we have to go a long way with unity, networking and communication.
Hemangi Kadlak is a Ph.D. Research Scholar at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.