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Saturday, July 5, 2008

More reservations please

We must be the only nation on the planet where our citizens agitate to be counted as Backward Caste and then kill and be killed to be given reservations in all institutions.

They may have something here. There are so many disadvantaged people who need reservations, that extra edge to get their toe in the door so to speak. I have been giving the matter some serious thought and have come up with certain other disadvantaged groups that have every right to demand backward status and reservations.

The first group would be that tiny tribe of Brilliant People. They are at a disadvantage wherever they go. First everyone accuses them of buying their question papers. They move into the workplace and everyone tries to put them down, or tells them not to act too smart. They cannot help themselves – they have to act smart because they are smart and their colleagues avoid them.

The second group is the small group of Average People who actually admit that they are Average. All others around them claim to be brilliant, clever, class-toppers. Everyone else has the solutions for all the ills of the world, but these quiet self-effacing types merge into the background and quietly do everyone else’s work for them. Not having the gift of the gab, these are generally exploited. They need upliftment.

Then you have the Failures in Life, who cannot get anything right. Every action they take is a mistake, every decision wrong. The only solace these find are at the end of a dupatta or rope. They need reservation, because these need more help than anyone else.

Then there are the Ugly People, who are shunned wherever they go. No clear answer is given to them, someone else was selected for the part in the play, someone else was given the job, someone else came along and married her, they are told it would be better if they did the backroom job and did not come in contact with the customers. They need to agitate for reservations and better treatment.

Fat People are sidelined when it comes to getting jobs and passing interviews in places where looks count, like modeling agencies and sales departments. Time was when fat people would walk on the road and thin people laughed at them while children played tricks on them. Now with the advent of television and fast food, this group is getting more representation with most people getting fatter and fatter, and you rarely see children playing on the streets. They too are usually fat.

Dwarfs – no one wants a dwarf in his organization unless it’s a circus. Why don’t we see dwarfs in courts, or colleges, or multi-nationals?

The same with Atheists. With all the fundamentalists trying to rub each other’s religions off the face of the earth, they look with horror and fear at the atheist who says he follows no religion. Institutions shy away, shocked suitors disappear never to return, atheists are not invited out.

And finally that large, floating and unrepresented group – Criminals. They’ve done their time, learned all sorts of activities and crafts in jail, but once they are released, they might as well go back inside again. Once out, there are no decent jobs available, except as paid goons for politicians and mafiosos. At least in jail, they got two meals and bath a day, and a roof over their heads. More importantly they had other cell mates who treated them as equals.

There are many other disadvantaged people: those with squints, those with cross-eyes, those with halitosis or flatulence, those who cannot sing, the unpunctual and the cured lepers. Our rulers have no reservations about dishing out reservations, they could spread the largesse around a little more.

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