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Whose majority is it anyway?

Today, while reading a blog posted by one of my friends’ mother, I was forced into thinking about the state of affairs our great nation has come to.

Our country boasts of a cultural heritage which is one of the oldest in the world. In fact it is probably the only one of its time that survives to this date in this state of glory. But this glory seems to be superficial. For, the very heritage and history that we are proud of is today maligned by cheap political theatrics to voo minority vote banks. Even as sneaky political heavyweights thumb their noses at our age old culture, what is more disturbing and thought provoking is the utter disinterest shown by the larger diaspora.

The Hindus’ attitude to respect others and adjust is born out of the Hindu fundamentalism of live and let live. They do not believe in interfering with how others lead their lives. I’m sure you’ve heard of the story where Brahmins in the courts of some Hindu Maharajas declined from converting Muslims back to Hinduism since the Hindu religious texts do not have any directions on how to achieve the same.

The core problem lies in the fact that the majority is literally subjugated on the pretext of upliftment of the minorities just in an effort to gain an edge over the next guy in terms of vote bank. What is essential is for people to separate out religion from politics.  And the case is not such only for religion. Discrimination today is based on the minorities actually having more say than the majority. Sample this: “32 people including 12 women were killed” Now why in the name of God is it necessary to publish this female fatality in a highlighted manner? Its not like they’re another species or anything. A while ago the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd. (PMPML), the local bus transport authority in Pune realised that women were increasingly travelling by bus and there was a need to reserve seats for them. The over-enthusiasm of the officials resulted in the left half of the bus being reserved for women. Perfectly fine! Even given the not exactly 1:1 sex ratio in India I could live with it. What I can’t however digest is women sitting in the right half. When you have reserved half the bus for women, why not reserve the other half for men? Recently when I saw a woman sitting in the packed right side while there were empty seats in the left side, I requested her to sit on one of the reserved seats but she refused saying that she must sit with her husband. So I ended up paying for PMPML’s over-enthusiasm and the woman’s fierce matrimonial affection by having to sit in a seat reserved for women and being promptly made to stand when the said women boarded the bus! If there is a calamity or accident, does nature selectively destroy homes of people of a certain religion? Nature’s wrath is uniform no matter your religion or caste or sex.

What has pinched me the most is the reservations in education. All of them done with the objective of tapping into minority community votes, the reservations have condemmed countless “physically fit open (general) category Hindu” boys to a second string education – the purported majority I say. Amidst portions being carved out for women, Muslims (and occasionally other minority religions), children/wards of freedom fighters, children/wards of defence personnel, physically handicapped, SC/ST/OBC, Kashmiri Pandits and the like, it would now be more prudent to first set up a “minimum majority quota” for these supposedly “in majority” boys who are reduced to fighting for a handful of seats while students eligible for the quotas get seats easily having scored less than half the marks in the qualifying examinations.

As politicians pit religions, castes and genders against each other to bolster their manifesto, one is often prone to considering whether it is in fact a benefit to be the majority? In a world where we talk of equality for all, it is incredible to see how, to achieve equality for the downtrodden, the others are stepped upon. To me it looks like a see saw. Hopefully the future is waiting with a Hindu Reservation Bill.

Categories: Random Stuff
  1. 17 March 2010 at 19:44 IST

    hey Siddharth,that was one great post, so full of angst. only someone who has experienced discrimination in some form can come out with so much feeling. you say, ‘to achieve equality for the downtrodden, the others are stepped upon.’ I say that the latter is actually pulled down to make them equal to the minority or those in the reserved category. isn’t it pathetic?

    sorry, the previous comment got inadvertently published. please ignore it.my pc sometimes plays these tricks while i type!

    • Siddharth
      22 March 2010 at 00:40 IST

      thanks ma’am for the comment… it is true that often the majority is pulled down to do away with inequities that may exist between majorities and minorities… to the extent that the majority doesn’t even get what they deserve and what is rightfully there’s

  2. 22 March 2010 at 00:20 IST

    Serves you right for travelling in a PMPML bus! 🙂

    • Siddharth
      22 March 2010 at 00:41 IST

      dude gareeb aadmi hoon…. paisa bachane ke liye karna padta hai 😉

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