Saturday, May 27, 2006

Sujai Karampuri

Check out his five-part (so far ;-) series on reservations:   I,   II,   III,   IV,   and   V.

Update: Sujai is prolific! Here is the sixth in the series. And, here is the seventh.

Update 2: Sujai is on a roll! Here is the eighth post in the series.

Here is my favourite sentence from this series:

Unfortunately, most parents in India judge their kids performance ONLY by their scores.


  1. Anonymous said...

    Abhi, I am reproducing here the comments I posted against Sujai's blog

    It is true that there was a time when Brahmins dominated the academic landscape and other professions like law, medicine, etc. To conclude that this was entirely achieved by suppressing the ‘other castes’ is incorrect. Over centuries, Brahmins have placed emphasis on learning and memorizing methods and these techniques held them in good stead when the British introduced the western style of education in India. In fact, it could be said of the Brahmins that they were incapable or incompetent in any other field – farming, trade, etc and so it was logical that they gravitated towards academia , found their niche and gained a dominant position.

    Communities such as the Marwaris in the North and the Chettiars in the deep South stuck to their core competence, namely trading and business, and even today control a disproportionate percentage of the commercial activity that takes place. Are we to conclude then that Brahmins have been suppressed in this field and therefore a certain percentage of the business must be reserved for them to remove the handicap that they have suffered traditionally ?. I think each community had its historical baggage and clung to what it believed it was good at, without any stigma attached.

    Historically, literacy among women has been extremely low. Very often in the past, social pressures kept them out. Do we reserve 50% of the seats for them today, to undo the damage done a century back? Or do we create an enabling social environment for them to get into the colleges on their own steam ?

    A disproportionate percentage of the cricketers in the Indian team hails from cities. There must be hundreds of Munafs and Pathans lying undiscovered in the thousands of villages in India To remove this skew, are we to assign a quota to cricketers from villages, to remove the handicap that they have long suffered?. Or should we try to create suitable infrastructure for the villagers to pick up skills, display them and get into the team on comparable merit?

    There’s no denying the fact that there have been instances of blatant casteism in the past, but in the last few decades, the system has not discriminated or disallowed access to any caste. The handicap, so to say, was removed long back. So, why create this bogey that the suppression still continues and therefore fresh reservation and quotas are necessary?

    If a single Dalit is kept out of any institution today for the fact of his being a Dalit, we must hound out the perpetrators of such crime and punish them severely. If policed properly and diligently, this will act as the biggest deterrent.

    For the Dalits to get into IITs on their own merit and with their heads held high, create conducive conditions in villages,– such as electrification, public health centres, etc- which will facilitate and motivate the young to focus on studies without being burdened with the task of having to earn the next meal. In 5-10 years, you will see dramatic results, as has been shown by experiments conducted by Grameen Bank, Bangladesh. Reservation or quota, without the element of free and open competition, will be counterproductive in the long run.

  2. Anonymous said...

    Thanks for the link, nice writing, some good insights which he gives from his personal perspective , but his writing seems slippery in nature.