jump to navigation

Why aren’t the medical students in Tamil Nadu protesting? May 14, 2006

Posted by scan man in caste, Life in India, Medicine, News, Politics, reservations.
trackback

I am distressed.

There has been an ominous silence in Tamil Nadu's usually spirited medical student community.

Their brethren are being beaten up and water-cannoned by policemen in Mumbai, on hunger strike in Delhi and on protest marches in Mangalore and other cities.

The Mumbai and Delhi chapters of the Indian Medical Association have called for strikes on Monday.

Why isn't there any noise in Tamil Nadu?

By all rights, Tamilians should be in the forefront of any anti-reservation protest. We have been at the receiving end the longest, and we have been hit the hardest by caste-based reservations.

The students in the northerns states are protesting the newly proposed 27% hike in the reservations in premier medical institutions for students from the Socially & Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC – more commonly known as OBC – Other Backward Classes). They claim that in addition to the existing 22.5% reservation (for Scheduled Castes / Scheduled Tribes & SEBCs) this will bring caste-based reservations in educational institutions to 49.5% of the available seats.

Here are some of the common anti-reservation arguments put forward by the protesting students (in no particular order):

  • Caste-based reservations have gone on for long enough. Are 60 years of reservations not enough for uplifting the down-trodden.
  • Unacceptably high percentage of reservations in the limited seats that are available in premier educational institutions.
  • Build more institutions. Don't increase reservations.
  • What happens to equal opportunity? Are we creating a new elite based on the backward classes?
  • The death of merit.
  • The real socially and educationally backward classes are not benefited.
  • Caste should not be basis of reservations.

There are I am certain, an equal number of counter arguments. This is a debate that is akin to the Great American Abortion Debate, arousing fierce passions in India.

As a staunch opponent of caste-based reservations, I do not want to list the pro-reservation arguments here.

Back to my initial question. Why the silence in the student fraternity in Tamil Nadu?

Is it because they do not agree with the students in the north?

I don't think so.

Ask any student in Tamil Nadu about the current spate of anti-reservation protests and I am sure, one would get a surprised look and an answer such as this: "I don't know what those guys are protesting against. 49.5% reservation is nothing. We would welcome it."

Indeed 49.5% reservation would be welcome in Tamil Nadu.

For a state which has been chained to a repressive 69% caste-based reservation quota for all levels of higher education and employment in Government services, 49.5% would indeed be welcome.

It would be a relief.

Over the years I have come around to accepting reservations at the undergraduate level.

But to have 69% reservations at the post-graduate level, especially in medical and engineering colleges is criminal. It is nothing but vote-bank politics.

I am sure this post will generate some adverse comments from the pro-reservationists.

So here are some facts:

I belong to a caste which is officially classified an SEBC. My family was neither socially nor economically backward. I could have, but I did not take advantage of the reservation system. I got my medical undergraduate degree in a private medical college. I earned my postgraduate degree on merit through a competetive exam.

I agree with the views of the Indian communist parties that private colleges act as reservations for the rich. Isn't it time to ask the question, how many rich kids from the backward classes are abusing the reservations system instead of joining private colleges?

For the record I am not a right-wing nationalist. I strongly believe that all Indians should be treated as equals regardless of religion, caste, or region of origin.

The system of affirmative action that Gandhi, Ambedkar, Nehru et al devised for our country has been raped and abused beyond all recognition for narrow political gains by our political classes in the years since Independence. Affirmative action if it needs to be effective should begin at the primary school level with sustained effort by the government to really uplift the backward classes.

I think caste-based reservations and caste-based politics should be banned. In my opinion caste-based agitations should be equated with religious fundamentalism and should be tackled with the same kind of zero tolerance approach.

Arjun Singh and the UPA government are shamelessly playing the caste card for political gains.

God save our country from its political class.

Advertisements

Comments»

1. Moof - May 15, 2006

Dr. Scan Man … I believe I understand what’s happening, and I’m amazed at how complicated things are in India.

When you said “I strongly believe that all Indians should be treated as equals regardless of religion, caste, or region of origin.”,/i> it made me realize that along with all of the same things we face here in the US, you have the added factor of the caste system. I can’t imagine things being any more complicated.

And then, the idea that in Tamil Nadu, the reservations are for 69%! How can they justify that?

Dr. Scan Man … I hope that the students of India are heard!

2. It's me, T.J. - May 15, 2006

Am I understanding the situation correctly?

This is a human rights issue, with what we would call in the U.S., reverse discrimination?

later…

3. mchebert - May 16, 2006

I am married to a Sikh. My wife grew up speaking Punjabi, although she never lived in India (born in Nairobi, emigrated to London and then the U.S.) My mother-in-law is a pretty traditional Indian, but in the 10 years I have known her I have never heard her speak about castes, not one word. Perhaps this is because Sikhs tend to reject a lot of tradional Hinduism. I don’t know, but your post prompts me to find out.

4. scan man - May 17, 2006

Moofie I'm very angry that no one in my state (Tamil Nadu) – doctor, med student, non-doctor – seems to be bothered about the entire issue of reservations. Affirmative action originated in South India during the British rule in the 19th century. We are probably one of the most 'soically equated' states in the entire subcontinent. There is absolutely no justification for such a high percentage of reservation, especially at the post graduate level. Off the top of my head, these are the figures that I can throw at you. There are about 700 postgraduate medical residencies available every year. 50% of these are reserved for doctors who have opted to serve for two years in Government service. I don't think there is anything wrong in the government reserving some seats for doctors who choose to serve the country. Of the remaining 50% (about 350 residencies which include clinical and the supposed non-clinical residencies such as Micorbiology, Pharmacology, etc,.) there exists a 69% caste-based reservation. This is what I object to. Any doctor with a basic MBBS degree should be treated equal, regardless of sex, religion or caste.

TJ: I never thought of it that way, but now I agree. IT IS A BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE. I hate our political class.

Dr. Hebert: I think one of the basic tenets of Sikhism is that it holds all humans as equals. There is no caste or other subdivisions in Sikhism. I'm sure your wife (or your mother-in-law, rather) would be irritated if you compared Sikhism to Hinduism. You better find out fast…. for your own good 🙂

5. OrthoDoc - May 18, 2006

One issue I have never understood is how the TN Govt has managed to secure 69% reservation when the Supreme Court has fixed the upper limit as 50%. Apparently the Govt managed to convince that the state has more people belonging to the backward caste community, thats what one of my colleagues told me. I am not convinced, though.

The central govt is belligerent about implementing the quotas, however. I have strongly felt that the only way of getting the message across is a political boycott of the party or parties involved. There is nothing more scary for a politician than loosing out votes. The black badge demonstration and protest marches will not make any kind of an impression on our govt.

6. scan man - May 18, 2006

Hi OrthoDoc, Thanks for visiting. I just checked out your blog – very elegant. I’ll add you to my blogroll and put up a post about your new blog.
And thanks for commenting on the reservation issue. I was afraid that no one in TN was bothered. It is indeed true that the Supreme Court had ruled in 1992 that reservations under Article 16 (4) of the Constitution should not exceed 50%. Then our Dravidian parties stepped in..
“In a special session of the TN Legislative Assembly in 1993, it was UNANIMOUSLY resolved to call upon the Central Govt to take steps immediately to bring a suitable amendment to the Constitution of India as to enable the TN Govt to continue its policy of 69% reservation in Govt Services and for admission in Educational Institutions as previously. An all parties meeting had also been held in 1993 in TN urging that there should not be any doubt or delay in ensuring the continued implementation of 69% reservation for the welfare and advancement of the backward classes. The TN Govt enacted a legislation namely Tamil Nadu Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institution and of appointments or posts in the Services under the State) Bill, 1993 and forwarded it to the Govt of India. The TN Govt then requested the Central Govt that this Bill be included in the 9th Schedule of the Constitution of India. This was done in 1994 – in the 76th Constitutional Amendment Act.” I got this from the Indian Constitution website. The link seems to be down today. Try your luck later.
So the sad story is that ALL THE POLITICAL PARTIES IN TN, ACTED UNANIMOUSLY to get the Constitution amended so that their vote banks would not be disturbed. I agree totally with you that only public awareness and a boycott of the parties responsible will save us. But I don’t foresee that happening in my lifetime.

7. siva - May 26, 2006

TAMIL NADU IS RULED BY FASCISTS WHO CLAIM TO WORK FOR TAMIL CAUSE.

RAMADOSS WILL TRAVEL TO DELHI AND BOMBAY TO GET SUPPORT FOR RESERVATION. BUT WILL NOT PROVIDE FACILITIES TO TEACH TAMIL IN THOSE PLACES. RAMADOSS’S SON IS RESPONSIBLE FOR COMPULSORY HINDI LABELLING FOR MEDICINES SOLD INCLUDING IN TAMIL NADU….HEEE HEEE HEEE TAMIL PROTECTION MOVEMENT FIGHTING FOR ONLY HINDI CAUSE…

KARUNANIDHI HAS WRITTEN TO PM TO DEMANGING RESERVATION. THE TAMIL “KALAIGNAR” HAS PREFERENCE FOR HINDI SPEAKING MUSLIMS OVER TAMIL SPEAKING “FORWARD” CASTE PEOPLE WHEN IT COMES FOR RESERVING SEATS.

KARUNANIDHI’S TV AND SON SPORT ONLY ENGLISH NAMES…

‘TAMIL’ POLITICIANS WHO BEG FOR RESERVATION INSTEAD OF MERIT WILL PROBABLY NOT GO TO A DOCTOR WHO HAS COME WITH QUOTA…

‘TAMIL’ POLITICIANS ARE ALL FOR DIVIDING TAMIL SOCIETY INTO CASTES LEGALLY INSTEAD OF FAVOURING A UNITED SOCIETY.

KALAIGNER WHO HAS WRITTEN ASKING FOR RESERVATION NEVER WROTE ASKING TAMIL ANOUNCEMENTS ON TN FLIGHTS AS HE PROMISED IN DMK MANIFESTO….

DMK ADMK PMK ETC ARE PARTIES ARE FAKE TAMIL PARTIES…

ADD YOUR PROTESTS IN THE FIRST TAMIL ANTIRESERVATION BLOG
http://i.am/thamizhan

OF COURSE THE TN RESERVATION ACT IS LEGAL BECAUSE OF “BACKWARD” JUDGES,”BACKWARD” JUDICIARY AND COURTS.

8. Gbiju - June 1, 2006

ONLY WAY OUT OF RESERVATION IS TO DIVIDE INDIA BASED ON “CASTE”. OBC’s want everything. Let them. Ask SC and ST, if they want to be part of India or “New India”. Make a “New India” where reservation goes only to handicapped and mentally challenged.

9. Andy - June 9, 2006


This link will tell you how reservation works in the long run

It will also tell you how it is fair. Common guys ! I thought medicos were intellectuals. You do not seem to even have some cursory knowledge of development sceinces. Aren’t they teaching you that in your medi-school ? How do you guys do rural health projects ?

You had your dad,grandfather and great-grand-father and great-great… for inspiration, who were all educated. Also, it is almost impossible for back-ward caste people to perculate into your circles at even higher level educations and gain or contribute to knowledge.

But see, in TN, the over-all quality of Service in Public Sector is far superior to those of Northern States. The reason is “people with attitude to serve” come into these institutions.

Brahmins hardly respect other communities and cared less for them. With them and other FC ruling in North, though you had a great head-start during Independence, you lacked over-all development.

You think you are genius ? Great ! You studied in Private colleges and hence you are here in MedCo. After your studies you go abroad with the least intent to stay back and serve the very people, the majority poor tax-payer at whose expense you studied. See the majority of the posts from stocks abroad for evidence who are anti-reservationists.

What do you guys think of merit ? A lower caste guy can catch-up with you in just a generation when oppurtunity is given to him. In just 150 years he will be ahead of you. Compare that with 4000 years of Vedic suppression he has experienced from your hands. Fortunately his brain and attitude is still intact. Had you been born in his situation you would not be upto matching him. In Southern States see how BC is very close to competing with FC. Just a generation more, the experts say and FC will have lost out to BC even in open competition.

Why is there a lot of corruption in India, dominated by Forward Castes ? Thats because you guys are the least patriotic to the country and fellow country men.

Relatively the corruption in Southern States are lower because the State Government Machinery is constituted in a more representative fashion reflecting the actual demographics.

How can you guys being less than X percentage by population ask for more than X percent of seats ?

And after education are you guys ready to serve the most needy and back-ward castes in the rural areas ? Then why make the poor majority tax payer bet money on you ?

Forward Castes are less patriotic. Any money invested on them never comes back as return. They never cared for the Backwards/Schedule. Their religion even forbids them to do otherwise. So how can you expect them to go reach-out the backward/schedule ?

Just let the communities rule and serve themselves. They do not need someone with smart brains. They just need someone with a heart to care. And in India do you guys have the heart to seek,reach-out and serve them ?

Let us be realistic. Caste system has been there since ages and will stay intact for hundred years more. After your degree you guys will put-up an add saying “well educated Delhi Brahmin seeking … Delhi Brahmin ..”. Why do you expect other communities from rural areas should pay for you anymore ?

I am a FC member, I am abroad, well settled, in NJ, like many in this forum. I married a FC member. I do not care for my BC brotheren. But atleast I dont want to hurt them.

Jai Hind !

10. Village Doctor - June 9, 2006

Betrayal Of The Upper-Castes
How true you are Andy. Upper caste people have indeed betrayed Indians.

It is high time the Indian psyche realizes they are the cause for their down-trodden condition.

My Grand-father had some land for himself and was not very poor. But he was a respectable man. Traditionally we are not the educated ones. My father dropped out of school because his grand-father did not help him in studies. The upper caste people had the backing of their educated parents and fore-father’s inspiration. The result was my father dropped out of school while his “friends” went to Delhi, as doctors and engineers. They hardly visit our village in Rajasthan.

They are betrayors in-deed. They studied with our money at school. My father took this as a lesson and now wanted someone who will be loyal and serve us back in the village.

Thus, here I am, as their Doctor today. Not a MD though. :).

11. Msingh - June 9, 2006

Ask the sick BC man in the village

Ask him which doctor he wanted: a genius but arrogant FC doctor or an indigeneous compassionate doctor who is not that intelligent.

Record his answer and provide him what he wants.
The genius doctors in Delhi can stay back and serve the rich FC in Delhi who can pay them. But then 10% of those will only want 10% of you. Lol !

12. INDIA HATER - July 3, 2006

FORWARD COMMUNITIES NEED A NEW NATION

Time has to come to politically divide the country and carve out an independent Forward Caste state in every present state of India.

The backward caste can have all of the what is available to them…forward castes can build their new nations from scratch without reservation.

13. salam - July 3, 2006

PMK MEANS PAASISA MAKKAL KATCHI
meaning Fascist People’s Party


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: