Minority and Majority – Reservation (Quota)

FarmerA congress political leader happened to be my co-passenger in a Delhi-Trivandrum flight in 2006. A series of anti-reservation protests (Anti-quota) was going on pan-India. We talked about caste/religion- based reservation and discrimination.

He said: “On a global perspective and in an international platform, our country gets a good name and reputation when we protect and support minorities…”

“That’s why you give Haj subsidy (= is an airfare subsidy given to Indian Muslim Hajj pilgrims)?”

“Yes- because we care for the minority”

“In that case, Christians and Jews are also minorities in India. Why don’t you provide subsidy for Christians for pilgrimage to Bethlehem?”

He didn’t have answer. I said: “I don’t think you love or care for minorities. You just want to appease Muslims…”

“That, all political parties do…”

“Sir, please NO politics. I am coming back from Malaysia. All government jobs and benefits will go to the majority community – Malay Muslims. Minority – Hindus that reduced to just 5% of the population now – is told to just get lost. Nobody cares for minority there. Still Malaysia has been recognized in the international platform – may be a step ahead than India…” I said.

“You mean to say we shouldn’t support Minority…”

“We SHOULD, but there should be criteria for it… Why don’t you support Minorities in Kashmir and East Indian states? I belong to linguistic minority community, why don’t you support us?”

“You are mixing up issues. Your ancestors – Brahmins – were once ruling class…”

“False…we historically dedicated our lives for the sake of Dharma and welfare of the society. I can easily prove that all allegations against Brahmins are false…” (Ref: Please Stop Brahmin bashing at http://www.udaypai.in/?p=12 )

“So what should, according to you, be the criteria? Sympathy factor?”

“Then my community has a stronger case. When St. Francis Xavier had persecuted more than 4 lakhs GSBs (who refused to get converted) in Goa, our ancestors lost everything and fled to Kerala and Karnataka. Another branch of our ancestors – Sarawats or Pundits – lost their mother-land in Kashmir. Don’t you have any sympathy? At least, can’t you provide merit based selection to us? NO ! But, I am not asking for any reservation or quota for my community…”

“Then what should be the criteria?”

“Our land”

“What?”

“See, we can live without caste, religion, politics, cinema, sports or international platform. But we need to eat food. We need to drink water. So reservation should be given to those patriots who believe that this is my mother land. Reservation, subsidy and support should only be limited to farmers or laborers on land. That is, real farmers who work in the agricultural land or farmland and NOT for planters or cash-crop producers. Please go to the villages and see the struggling poor farmers.” I said. (http://www.udaypai.in/ )

By
Udaylal Pai
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