Decades ago the Britishers, realized that if they propagate discrimination among the people, India would be divided and fall apart and they did it as they left. Despite many efforts by our freedom fighters, the seeds that the Caucasians had sown have developed into saplings, what with the introduction of the Mandal Commission and other divisive forces of our own politicians. These weeds need to be plucked off the land and a new unity has to be sown for the wellbeing of the country.
Indians are different according to languages, localities, region, religion, culture and tradition, education, life style-jobs, financial divisions, food culture, behavior/attitude, etc. This could be similar to the people in the world, too. But the most dangerous division is pointed out by Kavitha Sharma, a writer.
She explains, “The Mandal Commission was formed in 1979 by the then Prime Minister late Morarji Desai. The purpose was to identify socially and educationally backward classes. But greedy individuals started using this law in their favour and again produced an unequal divide. Now the situation is that everywhere there is the quota system but no proper work is being done. Let us take the example of the education sector. Due to quota system, good teachers are side-lined and favouritism in terms of castes reigns. Even if a teacher of the open category has good teaching skills, he or she will not be given the job but a so-so teacher of another caste lands the job. The autonomy of the institutions has also affected the education system. If a teacher of open category applies, they are not even taken in as contract workers and given peanuts as payment on per class basis. So people of the open category have to settle for the private sector and the jobs that they had not thought they would do. What is this if not open discrimination? Due to this kind of discrimination, people are asking for more regions under different languages. This way India will be broken into pieces in no time.”
Divya Bhatia Kaul agrees, “Yes, they are being differentiated. There are communities which differentiate on the basis of caste and religion. There are certain religions which do not allow marriages outside their communities and are being rigid in their decisions. We have seen such cases in the past. Though things are changing but still in backward areas the problem persists. On the basis of religion and caste, Indians are disunited and separated. Though there are people, who have now adapted to changes coming in society and do not discriminate between religions, however India as a whole will take a long time to become a secular nation.”
Thasveer Salim says, “Yes. If there is any disunity it is based on the either of the above causes. And the main causes are languages, localities and religions. Somebody cries for Kashmir and someone for Bodo land. Somebody wants Telengana, someone wants Tamil Elam. Somebody asks votes in the name of temple and someone in the name of masjid. If you see, these divisions are all made by politicians to gain their/party’s selfish needs. We can even go back to India/Pak partition even. The same thing happening even now. How a common man is benefited out of these classifications? I don’t know. Always he is a loser. It is the political parties, who separate minority and majority. And the worst thing is the reservation based on the caste system.”
Not Healthy: Sakshi Dudeja warns, “Discrimination should not be there and it is not at all healthy. Be it food or traditions, we keep on fighting that we are best in every regard.”
Divya Bhatia Kaul says, “No, it is unhealthy and absolutely wrong. How can we discriminate on the basis of caste or creed? Discrimination is harmful for our country’s growth and prosperity. There has to be equal rights for every individual, every Indian.”
Thasveer asks a relevant question, “This type of discrimination should not be there. At least discrimination and reservation based on religions/caste and creed is not there in the defense forces (of course army has many battalions in the name of various regions). If such a big uniformed force can sustain and perform well without any discrimination/reservation/politics why not in other sectors?”
Solutions: Sakshi says, “Unity in Diversity cannot be established in the country unless and until it is taught to the new generation in schools, colleges or corporates or camps organized at different historical places.”
Divya says, “That can only come through healthy education and when every individual contributes in changing the society. If every Indian starts thinking as one nation, it will definitely bring change in the society.”
He says, “I think now ‘Unity in Diversity’ is a nice sweet phrase to describe India in olden days. We speak about unity and we kill North Indians in Mumbai because they are not speaking Marathi and vice versa. It is time to think and act, to spread awareness among common people, to make them understand that all this discrimination have been created by political parties and other selfish organizations. Peace does not want any flag or logo. Mother Teresa also lived among us. Unity in Diversity is possible if we remove the caste based reservation system and we treat our neighbor with love irrespective of their religion/education/lifestyle. Also the government should act with responsibility to provide free education to every child and home for homeless.”
Thasveer also suggests the top solution, “Time has exceeded to stop these type of reservations based on the caste system. If at all reservation has to be there, it should be based on the poverty line irrespective of the caste and creed.”
Kavitha also asks, “Isn’t it time to revise this kind of reservation which separates our countrymen and make it according to the economic situation, rather than in terms of caste?”
This article was first published in Eve’s Times and has been reproduced here with the permission of the editor, Swati Amar.