The students are beginning to protest on the streets against the proposed hike in reservation quota. This morning's newspapers carry that moving picture of a young doctor in her white overall braving the gushes of water. A question however looms large in the background of these images. Why weren't these young students, studying to make it big in the global job market, ever outraged knowing that they are part of a system where young boys and girls born in a certain category of social hierarchy would always grow up to clean their toilets and wipe their floors? That they would grow old doing this. And then their children would carry the baton . Why don't they ever see beyond their own jobs? Merit is only a smoke screen behind which they can solidify the foundations of caste oppression.
Why don't these students speak up when a high caste student despite his low marks gets seat in an engineering college by proving that his trader grandfather had been part of some nondescript protest against the colonial merchandise, which gave him a stiff competetion, in pre-independence India? Thus depriving a more competent student who comes from a lower social wrung, but who could not conjure any such certificate for the simple reason that he is not connected through caste strings to those people who matter at the issuing agency.