Hi. I’m a Scheduled Caste.
And I’m a bright student.
Yes! I opened my article with this statement specifically in bold. I’ve a reason for it unlike the majority of us who continue to base their statements on illogical grounds. I wanted to draw your attention to the otherwise unattended issue which needs to be addressed. Also, it has nothing to do with me defending a particular community, especially the scheduled castes. I thought to be silently patient about the whole issue but then I’d have done no justice to my conscience. In fact, I’m here to present you with the other side of the downtrodden path where we (SCs) are the ones complicit in it as well.
I came across a piece of news while I was casually scrolling through my Facebook page. This news was about the recent cut offs for PhD Mathematics. The stats went something like this:
General: 94, OBC:84 and SC/ST: 0
Yes, a big round zero. Now, the majority of you will think I might have been happy since my community is being offered such a great opportunity of having just one mark to clear the cut-off.
What struck me the most was that my friend (who’s from General category) did not curse it as much as my other friend (who’s an SC) got angry on hearing this.
I’m not happy. I’m not sad either. I’m just plain disappointed. I’m disappointed in the way people have started to stereotype how SCs don’t study at all. Well, looking at this cut-off, I think this is what is being implied, isn’t it?
In other words, it’s being said that our community is not backward but our intelligence is. What is more disappointing is that nobody notices how SCs are being thought of as no competition. It’s disheartening to see how they’re being thought of as a community that has no brains. I have no community to blame except my own for not noticing the implicit insult and derogation.
It’s possible that some SC applicants for PhD Mathematics are happy about the cut-off. But they fail to see the most unhappy thing about this whole agenda of keeping the cut-off as a big round zero. This zero figure is similar to the hollow minds of our generation who fail to realize that they’re being mocked at rather than being uplifted.
If Indian education system believes in ‘uplifting’ the young minds by showing them incapable of getting mere passing marks, I think this is where I start to part ways with it.
This is not how we want our doctors, engineers, professors to be. I’m not sorry for claiming that I don’t support such a stereotypical denigration of my community.
There are SC students and teachers and in fact, humans for that matter, who are working hard despite the fact that they’re ‘privileged’.
Dr B.R Ambedkar, the father of the Indian Constitution, once said, “I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved”. Although I think that it’s a sexist quote, let me redefine it for some slumbering minds. I say I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which individual minds have achieved.
To all the happy faces of my own community revelling with sheer excitement at this new negligible cut-off and many more cut-offs to come, our community is not backward, our logic is.