Privileges for the Scheduled Tribes exist to right the wrongs of history.But now the status of being a Scheduled Tribe is a sort of passport to a better life. Other non scheduled castes and scheduled tribes are thus naturally feeling the heat of being born in an India which does not recognize the higher castes. The uncategorized poor feel they are missing out juicy jobs, the traditionally higher caste youths feel they are being victimized for no fault of their own. Politicians reap the advantages from provoking every sort of ethnic prejudice. The Times of India reports the stripping of an Adivasi woman after a tribal rally turned violent and was then attacked by an opposing lynch-mob. It is now stale news that the perpetrators have been caught and yesterday’s Assam Bandh by tribal groups have been extended by Assam’s Santhal students’ association. As usual all political parties have routinely mouthed condemnations and are looking for political mileage from the incident.
Leering media caught other leering youth snapping photos of the naked woman who was chased through the streets of Guwahati. In short, what we have here is a feast for the perverts and a return to jungle-rule in booming India. The incident throws up some very interesting issues.
Three young men, Prasenjit Chakravorty (28), owner of a fast food joint, Ratul Barman (18), a hotel waiter, and Sudip Chakdar (20), a pan shop owner are the chief accused. What compelled these very young men to strip a woman all defenseless and begging for mercy? Is it only an innate violence against the status quo? Or is it a deep rooted perverse prejudice against women. Or is it symptomatic of a social malaise? It will not merely do to blame the three. They are criminals no doubt but we wonder at the kind of social system which gives birth to such monsters.
In Assam as in other parts of India, civil society is divided by law-recognized caste divisions. Everyone wants a pie of the caste-cake. It does not help that children of economically well off scheduled tribes and castes get easy jobs while poor general category kids have a short shrift of everything. Jobs have become scarce for general category students; they feel threatened. Then there is the issue of migrant workers taking away the jobs of local youths. Assam had been rocked in the past by backlashes against Hindi speaking communities. If these issues of reservation and migration are not addressed soon by the centre, we shall see a spurt of such violence. There will ensue a cycle of violence and revengeful counter-violence.
Reservations should be there but depending on economic lines and not on the basis of caste. Migrations of ethnic races should be also allowed but not cutting off from any jobs the sons of the soil. And exemplary punishment should be given to those three men for doing what they did to that tribal girl.
Via: Times of India