Recently, the popular writer Ravinder Singh was confronted on social media for his Instagram post criticising the Central Government’s move to reserve seats of OBCs, and EWSs in the All India Medical Colleges. The post was captioned, ‘Tum mask Pehno. Hum merit kill karenge. #reservations’. This statement is pretty convenient for an Upper Caste/Class, Business School Graduate, with work experience in an MNC to make. He is never reflected on his privilege, and possibly never will.
This conversation about meritocracy and reservation is a family get-together discussion among rich-woke households and Coffee-House discussions for intellectuals. One of the people to confront the author– Ravinder Singh–, or politely ask to re-think his opinion, was Gurmehar Kaur- from ‘Save DU Campaign’. In 2018, she became famous on social media for her anti-war stance and was later shamed and received death threats. Hence, she became an advocate for free speech and expression in India.
This conversation is an account of how two liberals talk to each other about their disagreement. This subtleness, and the sense of agreement in the disagreement. This is the exact way two people talk about issues that never impact them. Whenever a conversation about equal opportunities, and merits happens in a society, it becomes the duty of the ‘so-called intellectuals’ to participate. Srilal Shukla in Raag Darbari, a well-known Hindi satire novel, calls it the “crisis of conscience”.
I fail to understand the casualness of remarks on reservation, discrimination etc. by people who have the resources to read and get their information right. Now, count the number of times, among our privileged friend circle, people have expressed opinions without even having basic information right? Then, the argument comes, ‘we’re ready to learn’. Then learn before speaking. Because for you it’s just a casual party conversation, but for most, it is about their opportunities.
Last year, the Bollywood film star Ajay Devgan didn’t respond to a question about the protest against the CAA. Similarly, the Indian Men Cricket Team’s Captain Virat Kohli has time, and again come out and not shared opinions on the issues which concern the entire nation citing the lack of a clear understanding of the issue. I mean, you can literally hire people to sort information for you and recommend books to read about certain subjects. I feel that’s just a lazy, and privileged argument to make. Why aren’t this merit-based celebrity not questioned for being so ignored, and living under a rock? This is literally like saying I am apolitical, or I don’t want to talk about politics.
There is a remarkable article in The Indian Express on how our ‘heroes’ have to stand up against the injustices of society. They can’t just stay quiet, because the other side is roaring their opinions without filters.
Always watch out for liberals in conversations. They always understand the other side of the story which is nothing but conveniently ignored facts. The famous novelist, and human rights advocate Arundhati Roy said, “there’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless’. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.” Here, when oppressed is not part of the conversations than their struggles, & oppressions would always seem fictitious, and made up like some fragment of imagination.
Written By Rajeev. He likes to know about human experiences and the evolution of society. And, if you don’t find him reading a book then, you’d find him watching a film.