What does independence mean to children dying in the hospital out of utter negligence?
What does independence mean to sexually assaulted women facing character assassination?
What does independence mean to aboriginals being deprived of their right to live by the state?
What does independence mean to sanitation workers dying in gutters?
What does independence mean to Dalits facing everyday discrimination?
What does independence mean to Muslims being labeled as traitors?
What does independence mean to women still facing patriarchal oppression?
What does independence mean to 40% of the Indian population living under army occupation?
What does independence mean to 70% of the Indian population living on just $2 a day?
What does independence mean to farmers being forced to commit suicide?
What does independence mean to the North Easterns who are called Chinese and whores?
What does independence mean to South Indians subjected to racial slurs and linguistic imperialism?
And what does independence mean to the 10,000 people who die daily from starvation?
Aren’t we still with being happy that seven decades back some rich brown people secured their right to contest in elections!
People who get orgasmic joy over the idea of a Hindu fascist state should at least come forward and tell us what they really mean by the word “Hindu.”
Because obviously for such fanatics the Keralites who worship King Bali and eat beef are not Hindus, the Dalits, the aboriginals and the OBCs are not Hindus, women who wish to do anything other than breeding children are not Hindus, the Northeasterns are not Hindus as they have a different culture, Hindus that are communists or liberals or secular or pluralistic are again not Hindus, Hindus who disagree with RSS are also not Hindus and so on and so forth.
So, who exactly is Hindu in this cauldron of castes and ethnic groups haunted by Gods?
Oh wait! This hocus pocus of a Hindu Rashtra is all about creating a fascist nepotistic theocracy for the rich male Brahmans! One by one, everyone else will be erased.
So before supporting this rabid idea of Hindu State please know that there is a very high probability that it might not include you!
Freedom can be political, social or economic but in order to have the first two, one must have economic freedom. The reservation policy or what is called ‘affirmative action’ is all about assisting the marginalized sections of society in attaining economic freedom. The critics of this policy might say that economic status must be the criteria for reservation, which simply shows that they are not in touch with the reality of this country.
Caste is class in this nation and this has remained the truth of Indian society for nearly three thousand years. It was the caste factor that decided the economic status of an individual for all these years. So if caste became the basis of political, social and economic injustice, then caste and only caste can be made and remain the basis of political, social and economic justice. There is much to be done in this direction and one critical aspect of that is to take steps to ensure that existing policies work in actual practice.
India is a democratic “welfare state” but today, a sinister public opinion is being built up that projects cheap education as a privilege/ tax-payer’s handout and an expensive education as something very normal.. Now how can a substantial number of Dalit or Adivasi citizens “benefit” from the reservation system when basic education itself IS MADE inaccessible to them?
Unfortunately, India is witnessing a massive war on public education ironically by the State itself that includes slashing the education budget, demeaning government schools, calling off scholarship programs and branding schools as the breeding grounds of Naxal and Maoist movements. As if this wasn’t bad enough, they have started branding universities as anti-national and are actively garnering popular public opinion around that! This entire design works on one simple principle: you drain public offices of funds and make people angry and when people get angry you let private corporations do what the State should have done in the first place.
While it is fair to say that there are many poor people in this country across caste lines, poverty is different from social discrimination and alienation, something only the Dalits and Adivasis of this country have faced for centuries. An inclusive economy, if that indeed is the great Indian dream, can be achieved by declaring the rights to food, education and healthcare as the “fundamental rights” essential of each citizen.
When the State ‘misuses’ reservation and starts handing it out to all and sundry (the Jats are the most recent point in case), it means that not only has it failed to mobilize affirmative action to uplift the Dalits and Adivasis for whom the reservation system was first introduced, it has also failed to alleviate poverty by creating jobs for ALL.