ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Addressing Caste Prejudice

Oh...you will get a job, because you are an SC, I used to hear this from my neighbours from the Other Backward Classes (OBC), Thiyya castes. Some used to treat us lower than them. Oh you people get stipend, so you can study is another sentence Dalits used to hear from anywhere in Kerala. OBC is a reserved category who also get reservation and are only just above the Scheduled Caste (SCs). There are so many castes above them. This fact they do not realise when they pass these comments about an SC student. An upper-caste Nair would never ask these sort of questions; rather they would like to know how much money an SC/Scheduled Tribe (ST) gets while doing his/her MPhil and PhD.

I did not know how to reply to these questions when I was a student. But, once, I asked a question to them in my village. How much land do you have? An OBC brother told me that he has 50 cents of land. I told him, brother, you ask the same question to me. My father has only eight cents of land. We are four children. When this eight cents of land is divided by four, how much do we get, to construct a house? You get more; we get less. Why is this so? I told him that this is not your problem. This is the way land was distributed though it is a free good. It was my fathers and grandfathers ability that we got this much land, he immediately replied. I told him, that is what I am saying. My father and grandfather were not able to get it, but not because they were less intelligent than your grandfather. But, they need to survive the barriers which are embedded in a graded caste system. Reservation is to check and balance this historical inequality to form a good society of fraternity and impart equal opportunity to all. All these discussions and conversations occur only because many did not know the logic behind the reservation policy.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Or

To gain instant access to this article (download).


Pay
INR 59

(Readers in India)


Pay
$ 6

(Readers outside India)

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.