World of India!: EditorsEdit: Opposition to reservations for dalits- too hasty, too soon? e

World of India!

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EditorsEdit: Opposition to reservations for dalits- too hasty, too soon?

NDTV (Hindi) showed a eye opening feature on a successful Dalit millionaire entrepreneur, couple of days ago.

Mr.H.K.Peepal, is only matriculate by education and used to manufacture Hush puppy shoes before that venture collapsed after the fall of the Soviet Union and then set up the HERITAGE hospital in Agra. It was shocking to hear that he is yet struggling against discrimination of being a dalit despite his economic status. Normally one would expect that a man of his stature would have overcome this, at least due to the resources he commands, if not his abilities.But so entrenched are caste and community lines in our country that this seems to be a pipe dream , if one would have heard Mr. Peepal.

Mr. Peepal spoke of the struggle he had to go through to recruit doctors of upper caste since they did not like reporting to a dalit matriculate, despite the fact that the hospital is large in scale and has ultra modern facilities. Mr. Peepal said that the doctors even felt embarrassed to wish him 'Good Morning' and Mr. Peepal used to say this himself on his own, hoping that one day they would do so on their own !

Imagine what the state of poor dalits must be in comparison, if this is the state of a millionaire entrepreneur! No wonder they need the help of reservations to overcome the extreme barriers they face to at least come up to a platform from which they can progress the future of their new generation.

I believe that many of the people who oppose reservations currently, do not EMPATHISE enough with such issues and people. They believe that reservations would automatically mean lower standards, when there is absolutely no evidence of this happening. Take the example of U.S universities, for example, where positive discrimination ni favor of blacks began decades ago and is now yielding positive fruit to society. Our middle class and rich should then logically stop sending their children to USA universities, if standards of institutions are deemed to fall due to reservations. Or take the example of thousands of doctors and engineers who now serve effectively in our workforce but who could enter the mainstream of white collar labor only due to reservations in the educational sector, in many cases.

I must add that I am not a dalit and in fact me and my siblings have suffered due to reservations in education. But I still support reservations in the educational sector and do believe that we must not offhand wave reservations in the public and private job market without at least studying the pros and cons in detail.

The middle class and privileged, in my view, have been too glib, hasty and self centred in waving these proposals off.

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