“Reverse discrimination is a myth.”
After having read, heard, and learnt much about the oppression of the lower castes and sufferings of people of color, if I were to say that times have changed but in an unexpected and not-quite-positive way, would you believe me? If I told you that once the privileged, whites in the western countries and upper classes in India are being deemed for having born into a certain “creed”, would you believe me?
I couldn’t have believed it less.
“Aisa thode hi na hota hai.” This doesn’t happen!
But whether you trust this hard-to-swallow fact or not, it is in fact the truth.
While searching for some good topics to start writing white papers, I stumbled upon this one blog with “Reverse Discrimination” written under the “Social Issues” category. (Notice how we, as a society, have come from social evils to social issues, either way a severe societal problem.) Interested and curious, I researched on the topic and found personal blogs and case studies that left me stunned. The more I read, the better I believed that Reverse Discrimination is very much real and equally profound. From white students being banned in a theatrical event at University of Melbourne to Hindu students being domineered at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, the gnawing favoritism hints at its own prevalence and ubiquity.
Today, reverse discrimination is one of the most powerful castiest force around, especially in the form of preferential policies aka affirmative actions. Ingrained deeply into the educational system and workplaces, the policies have begun to act to preserve inequality than alleviate or eliminate it. With increasing numbers of supporters, the discrimination is no more confined to the bars of caste, religion, or skin color. People are being discriminated based on their gender, age, nationality, and sexual orientations as well. It is also the most stringent opposition to any sense of remorse that whites, upper classes, or the historically-advantaged groups might have.
The aim is to compensate the disfavored and neglected communities by increasing opportunities for them and offering them special reservations. However, more often than not, these positive actions prove to be beneficial for them but, at the expense of the once-deemed privileged.
Though the historical and contemporary issues faced by the lower classes and people of color cannot be ignored, the present-day scenarios of reverse discrimination cannot be supported either. Be it the ever-expanding quota system in India or cancelling the firefighter tests on racial grounds in Connecticut, the decisions born out of caste preferences are indefensible.
Taken the social needs and historical inequalities, many have stood up in support of this reverse discrimination.
“Inke saath toh aisa hi hona chahiye.” They deserve it!
When a society is wedded to the caste and creed system, weeding out the idea becomes impossible. Certainly, old habits die hard. While apologies are being made by Germans for Holocaust, Swiss Bank for financing it, Catholic churches and Baptists for slavery, and US for segregation, we are still wondering if we are honestly against discrimination.
There is no denial to the fact that the forefathers of upper classes have leveraged the vulnerability of lower classes to earn themselves advantages. But, should their sons and daughters be burdened with the sins of their fathers? Are they accountable for the decisions their ancestors made? Is there a way they could have controlled their actions? Will making the wrong people apologize bring the desired change? I doubt it.
While, the sorries today are fruitless and hollow, circulating the idea of reverse discrimination draped as affirmative action is both irresponsible and sad in equal measure. Neither does it address the grievances of the lower castes nor does it serve them any good in the long run. All it does is promote the biased political propaganda and leave the lower classes at the mercy of preferential policies.
Although, there could have been more concrete factors like finances and accessibility to an educational institute, the policies have been meted out based on caste, gender, and color of skin. Hiring practices boast nothing different.
Although, it is hard to say whether these compensatory systems are at all beneficial for the society as a whole. But, what we know for now is that stoic supporters of affirmative actions should not go too far as to turn the policies into reverse discrimination and people into breaking society forces.