Reservation – that’s what we are about to take a look at, in this brief piece.
But before we continue, I must ask you to do something. I want you to put aside all your preconceived ideas, opinions and thoughts about reservation. Try to be empty for a while, and if you can’t then please avoid reading this piece, because it won’t make difference to you anyways if you read with your mind being filled with garbage.
Now, let’s look at this issue with fresh eyes – and I mean literally, fresh eyes – eyes that are very little biased. I am saying very little biased, because it is neurologically impossible to be completely free from biases. The human brain functions on a daily basis, based on biases. That’s very natural. But you must also keep in mind that, not all biases are healthy, many of them are unhealthy and prejudicial. So, let’s try at the very least, to be less biased.
We cannot understand reservation without understanding the historical basis of this system.
Why does a nation called India, that is soon going to become the most populated country in the world in a few years , need a method called
I know you are going to say that it is very easy. But I want you to think again and go deeper into the issue. The real reason is deep rooted in the brain’s knack for biases.
Let me give you an example.
If an unfortunate situation occurs where you have to choose to save only one person between your own child and a child of the neighbor, who do you think you will save? You may pretend at this moment and proclaim that you would die along with your child and let the neighbor’s child live, but I think we both know what you will actually do.
There is nothing cruel in this kind of decision-making. All that there is, is a very natural biological urge to save your own heredity. This is how we all are evolutionary programmed to react in certain occasions.
We may pretend that we are an extremely advanced species with amazing mental capacities, but the truth is, deep down we are primitive apes – monsters with uncivilized behavioral traits. And taming that uncivilized, primitive monster within, requires a lot of mental exercise. And when those primitive traits of our subconscious mind, get mixed up with ignorance, prejudice and authoritarianism, it leads to the most barbarian form of discrimination, the kind that many Indians in the history of India have faced.
Religious authoritarianism had such control over the society that the Brahmins’ words were gospel to all. And the lower castes were expendable. These people at the bottom of the chain were thought to be not even humans. This distinction among people which we know as caste system, came from a Sanskrit scripture called the Rig Veda. But the scripture itself did not mention anything about the worth of a person based on his or her caste whatsoever.
As I have mentioned in one of my books Prescription: Treating India’s Soul
“IT WAS ALL ABOUT A PEACEFUL INTERCONNECTION AMONG DIFFERENT CASTES, WHILE MAINTAINING THEIR SPECIFIC SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES, SO THAT THE SOCIETY COULD FUNCTION PROPERLY.”
Let me bring up the exact hymn from Rig Veda which basically solidified the idea of various castes.
“When the gods made a sacrifice with the Man as their victim . . . .
When they divided the Man, into how many parts did they divide him?
What was his mouth, what were his arms, what were his thighs and his feet called?
The brahmin was his mouth, of his arms were made the kshatriya.
His thighs became the vaishya, of his feet the sudra was born.
With Sacrifice the gods sacrificed the Sacrifice, these were the first of the sacred laws.
These mighty beings reached the sky, where are the eternal spirits, the gods.”
Thus, the caste system was simply an occupation-based classification of people into four hierarchically ranked castes called varnas. But greed for power crept into the hearts of the higher castes, that is the brahmins and then the khatriyas. Hence arose one of the most disgraceful periods of human barbarianism towards humans. Looking at the urgency of the situation, one man born in a so-called low caste, could not accept the orthodox barbarianism any more. So, he became educated at a truly higher intellectual level, and thereafter contributed to the termination of the discrimination all together.
This man was Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar.
He was born as an Untouchable, yet he showed the entire Indian society with his heroism and intellect that, the so-called caste has no implication in the capacity of a human being whatsoever. In this context let me bring up an expert from Prescription: Treating India’s Soul.
“Though the sufferings of the Jews in Nazi Germany and of the blacks in white supremacist South Africa are well known and widely discussed, the no less horrifying sufferings of the Untouchables at the hands of the orthodox Hindus, as well as Ambedkar’s heroic efforts to emancipate his people from their age-old slavery, have remained virtually unknown outside India as well as inside.
After India became an independent nation in 1947, its new constitution officially outlawed the practice of “untouchability”. The constitution also established affirmative action programs to ensure that the scheduled castes would have access to higher education and better jobs. These clauses actually guaranteed that a certain percentage of university and job openings would be assigned to disadvantaged groups. And it is because of these programs, that there has been a significant improvement in the status of the scheduled castes.”
The idea of reservation was proposed as means to restore equality in the Indian society, and so long as there is inequality in the minds of the so-called higher as well as lower caste Indians, there shall be always a need for the system.
Nevertheless, we must also remember that, it is high time, that we work even more conscientiously together as human beings to demolish discrimination all together.
Human capacity does not abide by labels of caste, race, nationality or religion. Human capacity is boundless.
No human is lesser than another human, except for those who think of others as such. It is as simple this, once the Indians stop glorifying one caste over another caste, there will be no more need for any kind of reservation whatsoever. So, right at this very moment,
stop seeing yourself as Brahmins, or Khatriyas, or anything else.
Taking pride in these tribal uncivilized labels is no longer a sign of glory and cultural respect, it is a sign of blindness, barbarianism and delusions.
THE VIEWS AND OPINIONS EXPRESSED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR AND DO NOT REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SPEAKIN, ITS MANAGEMENT OR AFFILIATES. SPEAKIN MAKES NO REPRESENTATION AS TO ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS, CORRECTNESS, SUITABILITY OR VALIDITY OF ANY INFORMATION ON THIS ARTICLE AND WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY ERRORS, OMISSIONS OR DELAYS IN THIS INFORMATION OR DAMAGES ARISING FROM ITS DISPLAY OR USE.
Author: Abhijit Naskar
Abhijit Naskar is one of the world’s celebrated Neuroscientists, an International Bestselling Author of many books and an untiring advocate of mental wellness and global harmony. He has revealed to the world with his contributions in Science how the basic awareness of the brain can completely redefine our perception of life and make our daily life much more cheerful.