When I was probably 9 or 10 with no political knowledge of the world, limited to my world of dolls and family. Where every one is a relative and there are people always around. That's the time this happened. Something about VP Singh and quota system and how it is not fair. I understood little but my parents of general class were worried. There were jokes circulated that how it was lucky to be born SC/ST. My darker brother who was slow in studies was told that he could easily pass as a Sc/ St and get admission on special quota with low marks. No longer being dark and ugly became an underprivilege. In fact it was a privilege, by sheer number of votes as in reproduction they have been able to black mail the better caste people to pay for their ancestors behaviour to their ancestors. Your parents treated my parents bad here pay for it. Technically this is the reason Christians and Jews and many other religions are fighting, for inheritance. The right to belong to a group which stands for and against something.
There were also some who stood against mandal commission. The students did. They stood against the injustice and the opportunity to fight fair. Not everything is fair in life but that's not a function of caste. That had become the state of the nation. The lower caste was genuinely poor. And anyone who is really poor should get opportunity to get free scholarships and equal opportunity but not the seats. They should be given equal resources not reservations. Reservation is just an easier way of a Government to deal with its inequality. Like a head start. Lets proportion them but not provide. But that's bad Governance.
Bad Governance reminds me of Mandal Commission, so this was that crazy time when supposedly a new Janta PM came into power. He was supposedly educated and all but he took this calculated call in a leaking economy which did not have resources to deal with its inequality and poverty. The conservatives were in deep slumber hoping the great constitution was a mantra that will work everything. Our constitution is good. It's pretty fair and effective. It protects and leads but stays grounded. Doesn't move. It's the money and the economy which moves things around.
And this PM agrees on a quota for the special category from train berths to schools to colleges to degrees to jobs to everything else. It felt as if we have to give a part of our bread to someone else after winning it fair and square. So it became a big issue and our schools got closed because of the agitation. I was happy, also curious as to why but mostly happy. And someone had died
Yes a boy, he was a teenager who was part of a mob rally and he put mitti ka tel which is easily available in India and lit himself in front of public. He died later. I saw his burnt pictures in India today which my father sometimes read. It was a sad time. Mothers were worried especially their angry hormonal sons who could do silly things.
But silly things happen. In my own city. On one of these days amongst all the political and social turmoil there was a boy who sat on a plastic mat in his home with a candle burning next during the power cut. The next thing they know is that the mat caught fire and the boy was burnt. He too died later.
Every time a tragedy strikes a nation or a home it's a mother who looses her child. The plagues and the wars, the accidents and the fights, the punishment and the diseases, the mind and the chemicals, the heart and the soul, that of a mother.
Image courtesy: Amul butter