yeTo quote my example itself, I studied in a rural area. My school/village had only a few so-called upper caste students/teachers, and most of the 'others' were peasants.
But still the treatment meted to everyone was same. That was the basic education for me, it was a Govt. school. We were all same when came the choice of education. There was only one difference in the education facilities provided in that village. There was a different school for Urdu learning people and a normal Govt. school for all the others! For this reason I hated the Govt. much earlier then.
Then some convents opened and even Muslims started to admit their children in those schools. So another level of equality achieved.
Then we all had to join a private high school, since we didn’t have a govt school in my village back then, it was a private high school with long history and stuffs. Treatment was same there too. Everyone had his share of "matriculation" there.
But amidst all these things, Govt. used to send some kind of scholarship to SC/ST (only) students, others even if they come from peasant poor background, had to pay the fee as prescribed.
Can you think of the impact these discrimination seals on a child's ability to think?
Till then I thought we were all same and then these people are getting rewarded from the Govt for what they have not achieved (Here, the amount of scholarship becomes unimportant). The discrepancy was brought in by the Govt.
My first experience with the real caste-ism is that. When urbanars talk of caste system in rural areas they tend to generalize and say the system is too bad!! How untrue?! Not all the rural areas are same.
Long back, as far as I know, many villages accepted Gandhiji's version of looking at things, even when practicing their family traditions. It all is in the attitude of the people.
I have also been a witness to one such change. Before 1985, in our village, the scavengers were kept away from entering the temple; but it is interesting to note that people did not avoid them as being shown in movies. Even those people used to attend the school with us and teachers would not treat them any lesser!! (May be I was fortunate enough to have such teachers and all)
But later on, I have witnessed a change in that rule and the village chieftains permitting them inside the temple,
There were so many families that were poor, peasant, home less, and still wanted their children to study, but they were not from the so called SC/ST communities, so had to fund their children's education from their pockets, thus ending their dreams of seeing their children as officers :(
On the other hand, there were some SC/STs who had good cultivable lands in the village, still their children got admissions in good colleges, free of cost; of course through reservations. These children of fortune ended their studies later abruptly. It means they blocked entry for a few of other 'brighter' students, also spoiling the resource of the Govt. for a few years. How shameful.
Please note that, I've never said 'all' in any case,
Also, these reservations have helped some notorious people form groups of their own, miss lead the failed children of a 'lower' community and crying on road for every small issues so as they have to be completely taken care by Govt and they don’t have any responsibility for the society/for themselves!!
This point shows the blacker side of the reservations, I'd rather say its the achievement of reservations, apart from it, the concept has not changed anything in the society.
I rank my village chieftains way higher than the Govt itself, for their honest effort in bringing the equality in their regions.
Now, coming to the ground reality,
Reservations have failed in uplifting the reserved community's standard of living, standard of thinking.
Reservations have failed in removing the rich-poor barrier.
Reservations have created un called for barriers between the communities in the form of community groups.
Reservations have created a kind of irresponsible environment in some of the communities.
I can list so many other things....
Finally what point I wanted to make is, apart from giving some politicians a political mileage, reservations have failed out right, at least in my village and its neighborhood.
I totally oppose the reservations based on castes.