Hindustan or Caste-stan!

It is castestan aka Indian Union of castes – “IUC”, pronounced Yuck, avers Manas Chakravarty, in Hindustan Times.

Here is his eminently witty parody on the highly casteist 27% reservation for OBCs in India. (For folks from another part of the globe, India is a funny country where each group would perennially be clamouring for something special for themselves, at the cost of the country).

The Supreme Court’s judgment on the OBC reservation issue has left many people feeling hurt and insecure. The creamy layer among the OBCs feels sad and neglected. Non-creamy layer folks are scared that pay hikes may make them creamy. Advertisers in matrimonial columns are wondering whether they should add the words “Non-creamy layer” before “OBC Groom Wanted”. A smart creamy layer individual wanted to know if he would qualify for non-creamy status if he was paid Rs 2.4 lakh in cash (within the Rs 2.5 lakh annual income limit) with the rest of his salary being paid in wheat, rice, veggies and soap. And that’s apart from the slighted feeling that forward castes have because they haven’t been allotted a quota, or the angst that a Gujjar feels on sighting a Meena.

In order to solve all these problems and to heal the deep divisions within society, the best solution would be to have reservations for as many castes as possible. We could then have quotas for, say, the Deeply Scheduled Castes, the Not-so-Scheduled Castes, the Extremely Backward, the Most Backward, the Other Backward, the Most Backward among the Forward, those Neither Backward nor Forward and so on. We could also have a separate quota for the creamy layer among each one of these castes. And just so they don’t feel left out, we must also have a milky quota, a chocolatey quota, a plain vanilla quota and a frothy quota (this will include all beer-drinkers in each caste). In fact, the plan has already been well received by the media, which has dubbed it Mandal 76501, the figures representing the number of new caste quotas that have been recommended.

Once we have quotas for all of these castes, the next step would be to extend them to every sphere. Why should we have quotas only in educational institutions and government jobs? The government is already talking of reservations in private sector employment. But why limit it to employment? We need extremely backward entrepreneurs, completely scheduled cricketers, backwardly forward movie stars and even a Miss Non-creamy layer India.

The solution: introduce reservations for each of these professions. There is also no reason why we shouldn’t have quotas for politicians. As a matter of fact, it’s absolutely important to drive home the change in thinking by making a big bang statement.

For example, our ancestors have behaved extremely badly towards our tribal brothers in the Andaman islands, forcing them out of the mainland during the Stone Age and compelling them to live a primitive existence in the Andaman jungles. In recompense for having oppressed them, we could take a truly revolutionary step and make a Jarawa tribesman our next Prime Minister. I’m sure all our political parties would agree, in the interests of social justice. True, he may refuse, but a few blandishments, such as a hookah, a bead necklace and a few grass skirts should do the trick. If he continues to be stubborn, kidnap and enroll him in an IIT, whereupon there’s no doubt he’ll choose the lesser evil.

Of course, the course of action outlined here is not for the weak hearted. The person chosen to carry forward this programme of social engineering must be prepared to see the economy shrink year after year and India becoming a laughing stock around the world. But he must persevere, secure in the knowledge that he is correcting an ancient wrong. As for those who oppose the grand plan, the best way to co-opt them would be to give them a caste of their own – say SAC (sourpusses against caste).

Oh, I almost forgot. A country that carries through such a social transformation can hardly be called India, a name given by British colonialists and used by forward elites. Nor can we call it Bharat, who was obviously a forward caste guy Hindustan would be unsettling to our minority religions. All things considered, it would be best to call it Castestan. Alternatively, of course, we could call it the Indian Union of Castes – IUC, pronounced Yuck.

Here is another quip on this subject by Gurcharan Das of Times of India, which drives home the point very succinctly:

The political class is dead set against liberalizing education because scarcity would disappear. So would the need for quotas and so would vote banks. The roots of individual failure are laid in school. World Bank data shows that Arjun Singh presides over one of the worst primary school systems in the world, worse than many African countries. His job was to reform it. Instead he let loose a caste war. But voters are no fools and they can see through his game. If he thinks the Congress Party will win votes from his game, he is mistaken.

I wonder if there is any other country in the planet where its citizens are divided perennially for the sake of such artificial doles and preferences.

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