Tuesday, May 30, 2006

"Why should I suffer for the misdeeds of my anscestors?"

A very common and understandable sentiment. On the surface, it does seem unreasonable to "punish" somebody because of crimes committed by someone else. Even though, one might claim to not see the lower caste people as inferior and would not discriminate against them, the policy of reservation does not reward you for that. The policy seeks to make amends for crimes committed by ones forefathers. Just because your father committed a murder does not mean that you ought to be put in jail for that crime, should you?


One might consider this to be a strong case against reservations by arguing that it "punishes" the innocent.


Why then do you expect to inherit property and power that your ancestors had? Why should the sons of businessmen inherit their father's business and enjoy the foundation, which would have required much hard work, laid out by his ancestors? Is there a logical reason as to why one considers inheritence in this biased manner?


Secondly, does it really "punish" an individual? As in, is the policy framed so as to take out vengeance on a particular person? Arguing against a social policy aimed at communities at large from a personal standpoint makes no sense to me.


Thirdly, to deny the influence of one's ancestors on one's current status in society is illiogical. One is obviously influenced by his/her parents and you are dependent on them for 15 to 21 years of age (under normal circumstances). So, your current status is dependent on your parent's hard work. Assuming you were the exact same individual but were born in different environments - a brahmin family, a dalit family, an orphan, etc, you would be in different state (economic and social) at your age. Can you deny that?


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