Wednesday, January 04, 2006

What a 10-year old held on to dearly in life

Sometime in 1990, a 10-year old picked up a newspaper and proceeded to read an article whose headline screamed about Mandal Commission. The boy, who until then had never gone past the sports page stood up and took notice. On asking what the entire controversy was all about, his dad dismissed it off as "Bandal Commission". His eyes opened and his morning newspaper reading habits were never the same again.

To be honest, the boy understood very little of politics or sociology. But, what he found disgusting was the caste card being flashed to move ahead in life. Later, the boy found that he himself belonged to the 'lower-caste'. Yet, the disgust lingered.

He performed below expectations in SSC. On the day of submitting application forms he mistakenly stood in the queue for SC/ST candidates and found 16-year olds dressed in Calvin Klein jeans and Polo T-shirts. He was asked to play the caste trick and gain admission into some respectable college. He refused and settled for a college that is more (in)famous for the brothels that surround it.

He ended up making a hash of HSC exams. Yet again he refused the SC/ST quota and gained admission into one of the lower-rung New Bombay engg colleges. That he went on to quit engg (after two years) is a different matter altogether.

He took the entrance exam for an undergraduate management course and ended up with a decent rank. On his first day in college, he met students who had scored less than 25% of what he had, proudly proclaiming their top-10 ranks. Students, whose sole claim to fame in life was their surname. The boy never discriminated against these free-riders, but somewhere at the back of the mind, his contempt for them remained.

Later, his attempt at belling the CAT proved successful. With his almost-99 percentile and decent GD/PI at IIM-L, all he needed was a caste certificate and he would have been duly inducted into the hallowed precincts of an IIM. He refused. He claimed, "I am a Narcissist. I like to watch my reflection, first thing in the morning."

He had to rest content with cracking CET and got admitted into a top-rung B-School. Managed to pass without any problems and is currently working at a private bank. A boy who always told himself, "If you are good, you will be successful." had finally got his due, without the help of artifical crutches like caste and quota.

Today, around 16 years after the day that shaped his belief, he read about the Govt's attempts (or is it arm-twisting) to introduce caste-based quota in private firms. He cried.


Blogger whim_gen said...

This is such a nice post on (ur struggle?)ur beliefs..
Its indeed something that ppl actually refuse their Caste Quota and move ahead because of their Abilities...


8:17 AM  
Anonymous Jk said...

Cool post man...real? then I bow to that guy... even if not, I applaud ur sincere efforts to bring up the subject of 'quotas' with a nice make-believe story..

9:31 AM  
Anonymous anonymous said...

‘Fool’ is the right word!
What a 'muck of a post' is this?! I have one thing to say to this boy - whoever it is, whether you yourself or somebody else. if u did not know how to utilise your caste card as the 'magic wand' for admissions and many more in your entire life, YOU are to be blamed for it. Dont cry about what the government is doing for the lower caste people because i dont think they are doing any wrong. I mean what the fuck! If our country is a democracy and believes in giving equal opportunities to all, then why refrain from introducing caste reservations in private sector as well?

10:18 AM  
Blogger Surya Ragunaathan said...

@ Anonymous - "Fool is the right word!" for you ?...So is that how you address yourself? Okie,fine with me if u insist...So Mr/Ms/Mrs(take ur pic) Fool, for a start please define what is 'muck of a post' coz if u call THIS 'muck'then let me remind u that U have just read the 'muck',have undergone a thought process on the 'muck',and have spent your precious time typing some rubbish lines on the 'muck'(wonder why would you want to do all of that, if u thought the post is a 'muck' at the first place.)
"if u did not know how to utilize........YOU are to be blamed for it." – OUTRAGEOUS is a light word for this statement. Here is a boy who finds it inappropriate to take advantage of being allowed to flash the caste card (legally) and opts to race through life the 'fair' way, whilst living in a world where many 'open category' candidates flash falsely/illegally made caste certificates in order to race ahead. Do you even know what it means to reach upto the GD/PI stage in an IIM and not get through? Any other normal student would have used that 'magic wand'(in ur words) to get through the last stride, but it takes an extraordinary gesture to be able to NOT do so.
"if our country......reservations in private sector as well?" – Leave alone making quotas based on caste, the government is infact discriminating. Had there been equality in its agenda, then reservations would have by now been a done-to-death concept. According to me, reservations are just a means to keep alive the age-old social stigma of caste system, under the garb of giving equal opportunities.

BTW, I just about had the time to stop by to pour-in my appreciation for Dhananjay for his struggle, for his beliefs and for having written such an excellent post....but, after reading your comment,I could not resist typing a rant at gives me much more pleasure u see!

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Jk said...

Fuck was U...holy crap...bloody me, how could i not understand that!!! SINCERE APOLOGIES yaar(didnt read the blog correctly the first time around..).. Glory to thee!

11:39 AM  
Blogger K.K. said...

anonymous - if you don't agree with the author's views there are much better ways to put it . Please refrain from such cheapo comments.

dhanno - tussi gr8 ho, hats off to u ! IIMs r very tempting :-).

We must have complete elimination of reservation including regional ones such as mallu, gujarati, sindhi quota etc.

JK - Seriously fuck you man ! chillu bar paani main doob mar !

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Acharya said...

"‘Fool’ is the right word!"..... is absolutely correct......u said it anonymous......would expect nothing else from a sniveling, cowardly scum like u. The least u can do is come out from behind the "anonymous" veil.....
Beyond that dhanno, i don’t know what the govt. is thinking. A few years ago they tried to do the same in the armed services...... in typical army fashion they were told to f*** off. I wish someone from the pvt.. organisations would tell them to do the same.
But lets not crucify anonymous yet... he belongs to the 99% of the world's population who just don’t think……”sheep” is the exact description for them.
They fail to see that people taking advantage of this ‘caste card’ are actually pulling themselves down by doing so and not exploiting their capabilities to the full. Most of them could do far better without the caste card. Making all this caste stuff isn’t creating equality….. Its simply creating more handicapped people who lean on their “caste card” crutch through-out their lives.
And as for being backward…….. remember the Chevy Optra???
You can’t cure them…. They are beyond the stage of being cured.
Nice post buddy…….hope I have the courage to do something like this when the time comes…….. and not say “baaaaaaaa”

9:07 PM  
Blogger aShWiN said...

wot can i say...
First rate
5 star
only one question..
y is 1 comment deleted??

9:51 PM  
Blogger Dhananjay Shettigar said...

@ whim_gen - Yes, the post was my 'struggle' against the enticing opportunities to take the easy way out. But, honestly I do not need any comments of 'Bravo' from people. This is the only way I know of leading life. If I slip, I would just not be able to look at myself in the mirror.

@ Anonymous - I believe in equal opportunities. But, only for those who deserve it. Not for the undeserved. One of the arguments that you might throw at me is the NEED of the backward caste people to opportunities of the same nature. But, I do not believe that "fulfilment of an unearned need of a person is the obligation of another."
Suppose, I along with a 100 of my friends sign a petition regarding our need to sleep with your wife, would you grant us the privilege???

@ Acharya - Remember what happened during our placements when people fudged CVs and included stuff that they could not rightfully claim as theirs. And remember what a certain batch-mate of ours had replied, "I don't know what the problem is. The achievements of those who are raising this issue are anyways unparalleled." There is a strong underlying theme that connects the placement-debacle and quotas. They believe, "To each according to his NEED."

@ JK, Surya and KK - It is useless getting angry at people like anonymous who probably hasn't led a single honest day. They are the moochers who recognise need above ability. Thanks for your comments.

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Living_dead said...

Nice list, Sidin for sure. My fav humor blog is this!

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Prasanna Ganesh said...

Awesome post!!!!
Hats off to u!!!!

If only, others could think like you......

9:54 AM  
Anonymous vineet said...

Gud post yaar. I cudnt get it was u till joining the famous B-school part came. Have been reading ur blog for quite some time and found this post THE BEST.
Hats of to u !!!!

8:35 AM  
Blogger almost_useless said...

hey man, i hope u rem me, even if u dont, ur my new found hero.

Was in bombay with shukla during new year's and wanted to meet u and stuff, but didnt materialize somehow,

doesnt matter now, ur my new found hero for being able to stand up, and be counted when others wud have ducked, checking this space out after a while, will come back for more and more

but i hope there will be more like u, and hope is all i have

cheers to ur honesty, ur god

12:23 PM  
Blogger Dhananjay Shettigar said...

@ living_dead - Thanks for that link.

@ Prasanna - If wishes were horses. Actually, I know quite a few people who have taken this route and a wide majority of them have come out trumps.

@ Vineet - Good to hear from you.

@ almost_useless - Hmmm...are you a certain Pornob-basher who goes by the name Kunal. Hey, great to hear from you too. And honestly, I ain't no god. Its just the way I have chosen to lead life. But, that ruling on reservations in private sector (if it ever comes through) will be a slap on the faces of those who chose the path that I did, much much more than on anyone else. Looking forward to meeting you some day.

2:45 AM  
Blogger Ritesh Nadhani said...

Awesome post!

I never belived in this caste based politics. Its a mans deeds which makes man a man, not his CASTE!

On top of that comes this new issue of consensus in Indian Army. What a cheap trick? Will that make Army *more* patriotic to the country?

Indian Army is one of the last bastion (hopefully) which has not been touched by indian segregarian politics yet....

10:04 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home