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Graduation out of a Caste....?



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The issue of caste and caste based reservation was touched upon by a few
ppl
here in reference to the recent government decision to extend caste
based
quota system for another 10 years. Of course it is a divisive issue and
people come up with compelling arguments in support of whatever side
they
are on.

The fact that the caste based reservation system is a reality is not a
question, nor the well meaning intentions need any more explanation. As
Retu
says this policy has divided our people more then doing any real good to
the
people who it was intended to help.

The real, and politically challenging question now is how, if ever, this

caste based discriminating system going to either go away or start to
fulfill its promise of uplifting the downtrodden.

Caste being a birth based label which is somewhat permanent label that
one
carries for life,  and the very fact that a caste based reservation
system
strives to uplift the "Backward Castes" are contradictory statements
unless
there is a way that allows a caste to graduate out of the "Backward
Caste"
status.

The backward castes that were backward castes fifty years ago are still
called backward castes. If they are still backward, then obviously this
so
called caste improvement process has failed miserably, but if there is
some
way we can claim that caste based reservations have succeeded, then we
must
quantify our claim and graduate some castes out of the backward label in

order to free up some of the resources for others waiting in line.

I think in order to really challenge this divisive policy, people are
going
to have to give up their caste label, and especially the so called
"Upper"
caste folks need to lead the way.

I know it is somewhat unrealistic to even imagine that people are going
to
like giving up their caste identity, but without any creative change in
our
caste consciousness I don't see how we can lift our nation out of this
mess.

Umesh



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