Michael Holding and Ebony Redford Speaking on Racism
I can resonate with what Michael Holding and Ebony Rainford spoke. Every SC/ST will identify with what these two super achievers spoke.
There have more than a few upper caste persons who have been good to me in life despite knowing that I belong to Scheduled Caste. This has been the case even at work place, there have been a lot of seniors and colleagues who have helped me out knowing well that I belong to Scheduled Caste, and interacted socially well. However, I cannot forget two individuals, one who is long retired, and had the gumption to check with my colleague, whether I knew to read and write English well enough. This was because I had qualified under the reserved quota, though the written test marks were marginally less than the general candidate who was successful. The other occasion was again by an individual, who no longer can affect neither my career (hopefully!) or mental balance, he could not take the fact that a person belonging to the deprived could stand up to him, and show him the mirror. There were numerous occasions when caste played a role but there were minor incidents so I will not highlight it.
I believe in forget and forgive but whom do I forgive for the sub-human treatment my ancestors, and less fortunate brothers and sisters receive even today. What do I forget? Do I forget that we were told that we were born from the feet of Brahma. How to overlook the fact that we were made to believe that menial jobs were only meant for us. Is it humanly possible to ignore that still many of my brothers cannot go on a horse as a groom? What sort of individual would I be to be tranquil about the fact that my sister in some village is considered a sex toy for an upper caste? For age, we were told it is a crime against God to get educated? We were given to believe that entering a place of worship made the place lose its sanctimoniousness. There is nothing that can be forgiven nor anything will be forgotten. I will carry these wounds to my grave.
We are referred to as `Government Brahmins’ by a particular community from Tamil Nadu. This entitled community feels that after 3500 years us getting reservation was the biggest folly that independent India could have committed. They remind us this, day in and day out in office spaces. Every mistake we do is linked to the fact that we came up through reservation. When their kids commit mistakes, they are trying to be innovative but when we do it we are genetic idiots. We are basically considered unintelligent creatures who cannot understand most of the rules and procedures.
I was refused admission in a prominent degree college of Bangalore just because I belonged to the SC community. It is no coincidence that the same community I referred to above controls this college. Till early 2000s, there were certain identified areas in Bangalore from where SC/ST came. The boys from these area were labeled as rowdies and their job application was always declined. Many of them used to give address of relatives in peaceful areas. SC/ST fake themselves as upper caste to escape the ignominy. Some say SC/ST too have gotra but most of us who have to get a pooja done in the temples lie about our gotra.
I despise most those who say to me `Do we practice casteism with you’?. Should I take it as a blessing or acceptance of my social position that refrains them from doing so.
George Floyd is one amongst us, and nobody knows racism better than the SC/ST. I don’t what the future holds for black in America and Europe but I am sure it will be a lot better if they co-exist for 3500 years with the whites. Meanwhile, when we point out cases of caste discrimination, we will be called out for sensationalism and perverted mindsets. It will be told to us in no uncertain terms that we should have an open mind, guess what they were doing with their minds for 3500 years or are still doing?