Thursday, March 26, 2015

No "Reservations"?

A conversation among friends on reservation for minorities lead to a comment on vote banks and corrupt politicians. The point asserted was the need to get rid of policies that foster minorities, creating a level playing field, thus reigning in corrupt politicians and their dirty tactics. This led me to think-----


Political parties may manipulate community groups and rely on vote banks to acquire or retain power and continue on with the cycle of corruption. This is definitely not good. But we cannot tackle the issue or outsmart corrupt politicians by simply getting rid of policies affecting minorities  and artificially creating a level playing field. Creating a level playing field is a great idea but not easy as one may think. The reason being, its not just economic disparity that is  in play here when we think of minorities and think of creating a level playing field. The social-cultural disparities are more deep rooted and tougher to tackle. The kind of mind set that still prevails (overtly or covertly, blatantly or subtly) towards the minorities, to say with the least bit drama is that it is shocking! Having had  lengthy conversations with my Dalit/minority/tribal friends, and when they talk about the prejudices they encounter in their daily lives it's not just difficult but inappropriate to think of quick fix solutions, especially the type that calls for doing away with policies that favor them. I draw parallels to the African American communities in the US. One would imagine as a progressive, developed society opportunities are found in a fair and square manner and that its a level playing field. But no, the truth  is far from it. When social prejudices remain deep rooted, it becomes tough to seek out opportunities even if the law prescribes all are equal and therefore all have equal opportunities.

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