December 3, 2006

Caste = ex

Gopatha Brahmana was crushed. Despite being in the 90th percentile, she couldn't secure admission in any of the IITs or the NITs. She didn't hold any grudge against her friend Sulabha Sudra, but thought it was grossly unfair that he breezed into IITX with a score that was barely in the 9th percentile. She decided to approach the Honorable Minister for Social Engineering His Excellency Dr. Shri Thiru Sarva Anartha, and after much difficulty and personal loss, was granted an audience. Knowing quite well that time is money to the Honorable Minister, she quickly got to the matter at hand. Here's the complete transcript of the conversation.

Brahmana: Sir, I scored in the 90th percentile and did not get admission, but Sulabha was only in the 9th percentile and he did. How is that fair?

Anartha: My child, I am really sorry that you didn't get admission, but you know, all is fair in love and social engineering...hehe! I agree Sulabha Sudra and you were both equally qualified, but we had only one remaining seat to fill. Sulabha got lucky.

Brahmana: Equally qualified? Surely, you don't mean 90 = 9, do you?

Anartha: Well, it all depends...

Brahmana: Depends on what? Even a a first grader will tell you that 90 is a lot more than 9.

Anartha: It really depends on how you look at it. Here, I'll prove it to you. [gets up with some difficulty, walks to the white board, and writes] 90 = 90. There, zero is nothing, right? I added nothing to Sulabha Sudra and voilà! Sulabha Sudra equals Gopatha Brahmana.

Brahmana: [incredulous] My life is burning and you are fiddling! Sir, you just can't add nothing to Sulabha with a stroke of your pen...er...marker, and make us equal. What did I do wrong to deserve this? [crestfallen, begins to cry softly]

Anartha: Now, now, compose yourself, my child. You may not have done anything wrong, but your father took nothing away from Sulabha's father. If he did not, then surely your grandfather must have done so to Sulabha's grandfather. Justice demands that someone pays for what your grandfathers and great grandfathers did to all the Sudras before Sulabha. Unfortunately, that someone happens to be you.

Brahmana: Sir, is it just to hang me for the murder committed by my grandfather?

Anartha: [chuckling] It's not same... Well, I can't really blame you, can I? You are too young to have the wisdom to see the difference. If your grandfather cut off Grandpa Sudra's legs, Sulabha would not be born without hands, right? You don't have to be a rocket scientist, however, to appreciate that if Sulabha's grandfather was not allowed to learn the Vedas, Sulabha is bound to fail in Calculus!

Brahmana: Sir, but if...

Anartha: [exasperated] No ifs and buts! How can I explain this to you...hm...Ah, you seem to be a bright young lady, surely you must know Calculus. What is the derivative of ex ?

Brahmana: ex of course.

Anartha: What's the derivative of the derivative of ex ?

Brahmana: ex...

Anartha: Precisely. Caste = ex. If a Sudra is Calculus disadvantaged, every derivative...I mean, every descendant... Sudra will be Calculus disadvantaged. That's Manu's Fourth Sudra...er...Suthra.

Brahmana: [horrified] Shame on you! Don't tell me that you, a Minister of Social Engineering in a secular government, believe in it. It's nothing but casteism.

Anartha: [ruefully] I am ephemeral... I may be defeated in the next election, or worse, die before I become the Prime Minister... but caste is eternal!

Brahmana: With all due respect to you, sir, what might or might not have happened to Sulabha's ancestors has no bearing whatsoever on his score in Calculus. It violates the central theorem of molecular biology.

Anartha: [taken aback by the change of subject] Central theorem of what? I am an old man, Ms. Brahmana. I am a social engineer, true, but I can hardly recollect the theorem of Pythagoras. What the heck is the theorem of multicultural biology?

Brahmana: That's molecular biology, sir. To put it simply, the theorem precludes the phenotype from having any effect on the genotype. Er...well, it's like this...let's say Sulabha's great grandfather was denied the opportunity to learn Calculus. That will have no effect whatsoever on the inherited genes that determine Sulabha's ability to solve differential equations as well as I can. Actually, it's not even settled whether Sulabha's genes have anything to do with his proficiency in Calculus.

Anartha: [confused and angry] Who said that?

Brahmana: Biologists...

Anartha: [snorting] The same fellows who said that you and I came from the monkeys?

Brahmana: But sir, we did descend from the primates. Darwin showed that a long time ago. His theory of evolution is taught in schools all over India.

Anartha: [livid, and losing all his composure] They do, eh? I am sure they teach that despicable theory in Sanskrit... It's Brahmanism at its worst... A conspiracy by the communal forces to defeat the secularists... Brahmanas like you have barred Internet access to the Dalits... Manu Sasthra prohibited Muslims from learning the Bhagawad Gita... That's why they are grossly under-represented in the IT companies... Islam is an egalitarian religion, but the Brahmanas have corrupted it with casteism... We should teach Calculus of Reservation in madrasas and ban Darwin from all textbooks. Get out of my office!

15 comments :
  1. Good , nice blog , right ?
    One small thing about casteism. The caste system does not allow one to dissociate one from his forefathers . A scavengers son is scavenger . He has to carry forward the burden of his forefathers. Right !? So in similar manner a Brahmana has to carry the burden of his forefather. This is the caste calculus.

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  2. >>A scavengers son is scavenger >>

    Lol ! This never ceases to amaze me. We set up the scavengers son as the ideal beneficiary of our policies, and then proceed to ignore him altogether.

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  3. realitycheck is SO right. when was the last time the fruits of reservation actually reached those who need it? in my own upper middle-class locality in noida, there are at least 5 kids (the father of one of whom makes 30 lakhs a year!) who have needed to be "rescued" from their "disadvantaged" social position! i personally know of druggy sons of senior govt. officers getting into top institutes just because they have those important two or three letters after their name...
    i am all for reservation, but not for the top 0.5% of india that is already in the first world! but, as can be expected, this top bunch of fat cats is going to oppose any rationalisation of the reservation strategy... and then people wonder why there is brain drain in india!! sigh!

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  4. True, it is all as bizarre as that!
    If they want to help the disadvantaged why dont they open more colleges so everyone gets a chance - why exclue merit from all opportunities?

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  5. << proceed to ignore him altogether. >>
    The point well taken but how many poor from upper castes are beneficiaries of the educational, industrial development since time of independence ? All the opportunities offered by different industries, are cornered by resourceful upper caste people. Nothing is left for brother by a brother.

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  6. >> how many poor from upper castes are beneficiaries of the educational, industrial development since time of independence ? >>

    This point is moot because there are no special social programs for the poor from upper castes.

    Whether there ought to be programs for the poor from upper caste is a separate debate.

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  7. "Nothing is left for brother by a brother." - very true... and until the creamy layer of all disadvantaged castes (SC,ST,OBC) is excluded from monopolising the advantages of reservation, it will literally be BROTHER not leaving anything for BROTHER.
    it's hypocritical to see my rich urban elite next-door neighbour get the benefit of reservation while dalits still have the poorest socio-economic profile. we need to invest a LOT more in their development with more schools, more hospitals, microcredit etc etc... just throwing out scraps of 'reservation' will only go to help the urban no-longer-dalit...
    of course, it's so much harder to actually build something as compared to make grandiose statements on paper extending 5% more reservation. the pie isn't getting any larger so how will we progress??

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  8. Those who do not leave anything for their brothers can not accuse others of not leaving anything for their brothers.Estoppel my dear!

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  9. http://frontline.in/fl2311/stories/20060616002609700.htm

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous:
    I have absolutely no idea why you posted the link to the Frontline article by Praful Bidwai. I have already summarized what Mr. Bidwai has written in two words - Sarva Anartha, that is, complete nonsense.

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  11. Let us not look at a few cases were deserving people lost seats. Let us look at the majority cases where lot of people benefitted. A real talented person never loses ou in his race for a seat, its the mediocre talent which gives way to some lesser talent.

    Lets look at the good the system has done. Before anyone jumps to conclsion I am not a person who benefitted in anyway from reservations or was ever eligible for reservations.

    SS

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  12. anon:
    Why should I be "really talented" to get a seat? All I have to be is more talented than the undeserving one who was admitted on the basis of caste. Besides, I loathe this socialist thinking of idealizing the denial of a few best among us in favor of benefiting many mindless. How many men does it take to equal one man who gave us the Theory of Relativity?

    ReplyDelete

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