Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Men, Women & The Politics of Reservations!

Thankfully, there are only two variations of human beings in this world, Men and Women. Keep wondering what would happen if there were more of our kind, like maybe, Apes with brains or Aliens from outer space who want to have a piece of the same pie. Wouldn’t it be so much fun, having some company and competition from the millions of other species on earth and elsewhere, all creations of god. Wouldn’t that take competition and survival to a totally new level?
Origin of the C’s

Luckily he decided to make his reservations clear at the outset and chose to give each species what it deserved. Hence he chose to give the Human Species something called a brain. Thanks to that, few centuries back man started thinking he is superior to god and further classified this world into far more interesting species or what we call as Castes (C’s). Today there are as many C’s in this world as there are people in a Mumbai local train at peak hour. 

The earlier man made these C’s not out of any fancy whim but had a good reason to do so. If the animals and birds had their own set of functions to do, so did the humans. We had farmers, potters, cobblers, goldsmiths, priests, merchants etc all doing what they were best at. So the simple thing was to classify them into certain C’s. An easy name to call a fraternity of people, all doing the same work. Something akin to us calling the American film Industry Hollywood and the Hindi film industry Bollywood and likewise. The advantage of doing this? By containing the craft into one segment of people the skill could be passed on to the next generation easily. Education as we know it today did not exist then. It was more of a vocational training, father teaches son and so on, passed on through generations like an inheritance. Very simple logic and made a lot of sense. Then what happened?

Evolving world                    
As the famous saying goes, the only thing constant in this world is change. So the world changed and people changed too. We had the Renaissance, Industrial Revolution, World Wars, Communication and Internet revolution and many other big events that changed the face of this earth as well as man’s role in it. This change is so rapid and never ending that even today we have new types of jobs being created that did not exist few years back. What about all those new jobs? Don’t we need to create more C’s to continue the practice of inheritance?

Well, the situation now is no more a vocational thing. Any job can be done by anyone; Education and merit being the only criteria. That’s how the entire world has moved on. Yet we have this beautiful country, India. That takes pride in its ancient culture and still swears by the C’s that have been created by its great fore fore fore fathers and beyond. Little did they know then that the world would change so much. Let’s talk a little more about India of the 20th century.

Indian Perspective

To put things in perspective, let’s start at the time of Independence, 1947. India was still a dependant nation; poverty and illiteracy were the two banes that held us back. Our administrators then had a plan and introduced something called as Reservations for people belonging to particular castes. The idea was to encourage and give equal opportunity to people from the downtrodden C's, so that they can take part in this changing world and move with the times. And it did make a difference, now we hardly know anyone who is from the same profession as their fathers. More so in the 21st century, almost 60 years after the concept was first introduced. It’s been a successful formula, one must accept. But wait, do we still need them?

Even railway and movie ticket reservation systems have changed now; we can book tickets through our phones as opposed to standing in queues. So what’s with the Indian Caste based reservation system? Isn’t it time someone decided to call the bluff and restore order. The onus lies with our dear Politicians to make this change. Yet, what do they decide to do? Think of ingenious ways to create more C’s and milk maximum mileage out of the existing C’s. And now they do the unthinkable, manage to create an entirely new C based purely on the gender of the person, the ultimate form of reservation. Just by belonging to a gender one is entitled to more privileges than the other. It might sound empowering to women in a society like ours. But is that the truth? 

There is a powerful secret which no one wishes to acknowledge yet. In the next few paragraphs I will talk about the equation between Men and Women and in the process unlock the secret. Many might like to disagree with me but I wish to present my case. Feel free to voice your opinion on this.

Men vs Women

Let’s pick a fight. Who do you think is more powerful, Men or Women? Think deeply. 

On first impression it looks like it is the men who are ruling this world. What with a majority of state heads worldwide being men. History has also shown us that it is always men who ruled this world. I doubt if that is the truth. As the famous saying goes “Behind every Successful Man, stands a Woman” I have also heard this “Behind every successful man, stands a Woman who keeps telling him that he is Wrong”. I couldn’t agree less with the latter. 

Men by nature are either lazy or aggressive. Its only when a woman is part of his life that he is able to strike a balance. A balance without which he wouldn’t be as successful as he is today. The process starts in childhood with the mother who is the biggest influence till he grows up to fall to the charms of a younger woman and later enters the institution called marriage and in case of outgrowing the marriage only manages to fall into the arms of another woman. Study the history of the most powerful men in this world and most have either loyal long term partners or have messy divorces leading to another partner. There is no escape for men from women. They are too powerful. Women on the other hand traditionally needed men to Provide for and to facilitate the process of Procreation. Both of which they are capable of doing so now without a man. You will realize that there is some truth to what I am saying if you do a little check yourself.

Women and History

One might say, in rural India that isn’t the case, what with dowry deaths, female foeticide and such bizarre stuff still commonplace. I beg to differ. Don’t forget that there is always another woman involved in such issues, be it the mother, sister, mother in law, sister in law, daughter in law, etc. Its women against women. Men are mostly mute spectators. The politics that women play here are far more dangerous and deadly than those know to men. 

Take the epic story Ramayana or the Mahabharata and try to single out who was responsible for the stories to take place in the first place. It might be tempting to say Ravana is the primary villain in Ramayana, but the ones who are directly responsible for all the misery on Rama are Kaikeyi and Surpanakha. And talking of Mahabharata one knows what Draupadi did to the entire clan of Pandavas and Kauravas. One woman could change the course of history. These are not isolated cases, take the Trojan War for instance, it was Helen of Troy who was the main cause. Cleopatra was the undisputed women and is said to be singularly responsible for changing the face of the world during her time. There are many more examples right upto contemporary times with names such as Margaret Thatcher who was called the only man in her cabinet and Indira Gandhi the iron woman of India. Also more recently take the cases of Amma Jayalalitha, Behan Mayawati, Didi Mamata or Madam Sonia Ji. Show me one man who can stand to the power of these women. The men again are just puppets in their hands.

33% power?

With regards to the above context I find it amusing that 33% of seats in the parliament are now going to be reserved for women. Do we even realize what it means? 

Naturally gifted Politicians who were content behind closed doors till now will be pushed to the forefront. Assuming that the remaining 67% are men in the parliament, my guess is almost 100% of them are already ruled by women in their lives. So this dominance is going to be total and final. The Pandora’s Box has opened. Men beware, your days are numbered!