This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by karan chugh. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

I’m A General Category Unemployed Graduate, But I Support Caste-Based Reservation

More from karan chugh

Time and again, Reservation makes it to the headlines on a new but important form of media – ‘social media.’ This new media impacts conversation at tea stalls, dinner tables, college debates and travel talks. People own this media, hence they feel an urge to believe what they come across here, especially since traditional sources of information (especially electronic media) have lost their credence or are in general considered as ‘bike huye’ (sell outs).

But in this zeal, people sometimes fall prey to the vicious propaganda of some (un)smart people and end up becoming either a victim or oppressor. In the wake of the recent Dalit protests aimed at securing their constitutional rights and annulling attempts of the majoritarian government to weaken an Act related to their security against some atrocity, the government tried to bypass the anger and heat of movement by running old propaganda, again, against reservation. Perhaps, it seemed more convenient to them to divide people on the lines of ‘pro-quota and anti-quota’ than actually paying heed to the demands of marginalized sections and working out a solution to pacify the situation. In all the last 4 years of this government, reconciliation has never seemed to be their cup of tea. Instead, they chose a path that failed poor common people at all the crucial moments.

I am not here for the Mahimamandan (glorification) of some government, but to voice the Youth Ki Awaaz as ‘an educated, not just literate, lad’ who believes he has an obligation towards our country, community and people. I hope to do so by taking cognisance of the ground situation and drawing up legitimate conclusions from there, while calling out the well-funded and organised divisive propaganda of ruling by the communal and anti-minority sections of society. It is the responsibility of the ‘educated lot’ in this country to dispel the myths associated with the reservation policy and stand for its relevance in Indian society in the present and future context.

Now, I need to make two important confessions. One, I am a general category student but I support reservations for minorities. Two, I am a jobless graduate, underline it – BEROZGAAR. Like many people, I badly need a job because of a severe financial crisis at home but I cannot see it coming at the cost of the rights of minorities. What I am clear all about is this – my fight is not with that guy from some marginalized section, who has been subjected to discrimination all his life, but with the one who is not creating more job opportunities or more possibilities, one who is assigned to do so, one who promised – in some unprecedented grandiloquent tone – to do so while trading for votes in 2014 campaign.

I mean, are we serious? The government is again making a fool of us by provoking anger against minorities at a time when we should be questioning the government for its failure at providing jobs to millions of unemployed youth and providing better spaces for shaping their future. We are just busy at calculating the harm reservation has done to this country and some specific communities based on a farce, narrow and opportunistic understanding of the subject.

Friends say that it has been 70 years since the reservation policy was implemented, so they question its relevance today, but glaring inequalities in society tell us otherwise. People belonging to marginalised sections have been forced to do jobs like manual scavenging, removing animal and human carcasses, or being slaves of upper caste masters. Some use even this as an excuse to question reservation saying that if it did nothing in 70 years, it is obviously futile and should be scrapped altogether.

Now to clarify these entirely selective and distorted hypotheses, the bottom line of the argument will be – when I speak in favour of reservation, I am against caste hierarchy because it is this same brahminical caste hierarchy that speaks up against reservations and, possibly, against Dalits as well.

Sadly, Indian governments belonging to any party could not grasp these essentials of social justice and always bowed down to upper caste fundamentalists. They could never resist or even question feudal brahminical manuwadi versions of pure and impure, leading to the catastrophe of untouchability, hence ruining every aspect of reservations including its true purpose of annulling the casteist mindset. The current government, dancing on the fingers of upper-caste fundamentalists from Nagpur, seems to be breaking all previous records by normalising atrocities on minorities through a propaganda of instilling existential fear into the minds of upper caste communities. This ‘new normal’ is too dangerous for our country to handle.

Yes, reservations could not bring social security for Indian Dalits but it did ensure some, small but sure. It provided economic security to people by having their representatives at the state and centre levels and also at government offices as bureaucrats.  However, when even the power of post could not avoid casteist remarks and further oppression in case of disagreement, that is where reservations appear like a necessary evil or maybe ‘Sanjeevani’ i.e. panacea.

Overall, the Indian political system could not live up to the expectation of our forefathers, who envisaged a caste-free India designed by affirmative action. Instead, the caste system has been further entrenched, all thanks to the oligarchical style of our political leaders.

Thankfully, the roots of the caste system are being challenged every moment by intellectuals, students, activists and civil society members in this country. What I want to tell my fellow mates is, – yes, we all need jobs and we have an elected government with all the responsibility to provide us jobs, as their own election manifesto claim. Two, marginalized sections of this country deserve our respect, support and our sensitivity to their cause, as an enlightened society we all owe this to them. I support reservations on the true economic scale as well but never at the cost of reservations for minorities.

Cannot close it without mentioning Babasaheb: “You cannot build anything on the foundations of caste. You cannot build up a nation; you cannot build up a morality. Anything you will build on the foundations of caste will crack, and will never be a whole”

Caste is alive, so are the reservations

Your mind is blind, so are your actions

Your resistance is fierce, so are my appetites to move forward

Crystal clear is the fact caste has to go first

So will reservations follow the course.

You must be to comment.
  1. Chinmay Barole

    Look ,first it’s not only about employment (like promotion in job and many things)
    And second I guess you don’t need a job because you may belong to upper middle class family or high class family .

  2. sicario 787

    caste based reservation is a bane to the society,it should be based on income.I dont think tina dabi was discriminated throughout her whole life,,a lot many examples are there of this kind..time to put this to an end buddy…written by a pro congressi….sabko engineer modi kaise banayega…kuch aur banne ki socho jobless writer..

More from karan chugh

Similar Posts

By Jyotsna Richhariya

By Azad bansala

By aashika shivangi Singh

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below