July 4, 2006

Bravo, Minister Horatti

A school kid who can’t or wouldn’t declare his/her caste affiliation can fill in ‘Indian’ on the relevant dotted line, in the school admission form. Karnataka primary education minister, Mr Basavaraj Horatti is reported to have so announced in the state legislature. Let’s pray the minister sticks to his stand. He would have brought more cheer had he used the word ‘human’, instead of ‘Indian’, a term which in its commonly accepted sense, refers to nationality rather than caste. To be a human is to belong to one of the two universal castes, the other one being the caste of war-mongers.

In a sense, the minister’s choice of word is apt in our national context. For the word ‘Indian’ denotes a sense of solidarity that cuts across the regional and linguistic divides. Mr Horatti, however, made the statement in the context of nine Mysore school children who were denied transfer certificates because they had not mentioned their caste in their application for TC.

If the media has got the minister right, Mr Horatti is quoted as saying, “Any child not willing to or who cannot divulge his caste can, simply, write ‘indian’” (Deccan Herald, July 5). The statement opens out refreshing possibilities. Public spirited parents with pre-school children can now test the govt. intention, and break out of the castes-line by declaring their children’s caste as , simply, ‘Indian’, at the time of school admission.
Such concerted move would hold out a semblance of hope for India to become a casteless society in the generation after next. I use the term - semblance of hope - because a majority of us have a vested interest in highlighting our caste affiliation under the quota system. In the ultimate analysis we can become truly casteless only when the quota system goes away, and the caste clause is scrapped from all official forms, altogether.

4 comments:

Blog-Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Bravo indeed, if true. And you have summed it up, hit the nail on the head about the oft talked/blogged about reservation Vs Caste (Upper/Lower). We can always harbor a semblance of hope, thats the optimistic side of us speaking. For humanity to evolve beyond such man made issues such as caste, may take a bit longer than the next few generations. I'm afraid, mankind has evolved in terms of technology but almost nothing in terms of being close to coming to terms with other humans and the environment around him/her.

Vidya said...

Finally...

I had taken up this issue frequently at manasagangotri... My contention was that since I wasn't claiming any reserved seat and was there based on merit, 'caste' was totally immaterial and irrelevant on the forms. Each year I would stand and argue with the clerk in the admissions office that I didnt want to fill it up. When he absolutely insisted, i said 'why not write atheist?'... fnally a prefessor of the humanities intervened and told me that these folks were totally capable of making life totally miserable for me if i didnt... so i gave in and wrote Hindu under religion and refused point-blank to fill in caste, sub-caste and other such nonsense.

Later on in Singapore i was asked what religion i belonged to in some immigration papers. I went to the immigration officer and asked her, 'what if i don't want to declare that? what if i think my religion is immaterial to anyone else?'

she looked at me and said, 'if you dont want to mention your religion, you need not. it's just for demographic profiling, and NOT mandatory'

is that what makes a difference between a developed and a hoping-to-develop nation??

Anonymous said...

Can this kind of traditionally followed system be removed by a single person's statement? The absolute reality is each minisiter who will have his own set of followers predominantly from the same caste to which he belongs. The vote bank is again cast-based. When we see hurdles everywhere, this statement looks to be a truth in the utopia.

Anonymous said...

Phony 'Captain' Murthy! We will expose you finally. There is no bull or cow here. We will give out the truth- that is your activities in Mysore decades ago and what you have been upto since then.

Produce evidence backing up 'I don't fly cargo and I ended up as GM/CEO of a passenger Airline'. Do cry for the support of your buddies in My Mysore, majority of them are a bunch of people establishing retired life in Mysore and loudly shouting what they will do to Mysore. where were these people when we neede all the support in the past?