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The sins of the fathers are the sins of the sons

May 7, 2010
Thirty years ago, a 17 year old was waiting for his turn at the Anna University Campus at Guindy, for his engineering admission interview. His cousin had dropped him at 9 o’clock on his way to work. The boy told his cousin that he would find his way back home once the interview was over. The admit card said that his time was at 11 am.He was naive to believe that he would be back home at 1 pm for lunch. His turn came at 2.30 in the afternoon. He had not ventured out to have lunch for fear of missing his turn. He had to face 5 or 6 interviewers. There were many questions in the subjects he had prepared well In spite of his initial nervousness, he did reasonably well. Not that he had done badly in the qualifying exam PUC or Pre University Course. His was the last batch to do the course before the +2 came into effect. He had 200/200 in Maths, 192 and 195 in Chemistry and Physics respectively. He was confident of making it, but just to be on the safer side he also joined B.Sc in Physics in the same college where he did his PUC. When the engineering results came, he was shocked to find his name missing. He watched in frustration as many of his class-mates with lesser marks had gotten through. 
And what was his sin?
He belonged to the ‘Forward caste’.
He did not have the wherewithal to question the institution on the transparency of the selection process.
Today his son stands in the same threshold. What fate holds for him?
Are the sins of the fathers , the sins of the sons too?

18 Comments leave one →
  1. May 8, 2010 09:34

    PRG, Do you know that in the prestigious universities abroad, meritorious students and teachers are invited? My niece Archana is Professor of Computer Science in University of California. She is 32. Another niece Aparna has been offered post of Senior Lecturer in Cambridge University in U.K. She is 30. There they want the prestige of their seats of learning to go up, while in India we are lowering it all the time. Vote politics!

  2. May 8, 2010 12:39

    This is bad! Admissions should be given on the basis of merit and not caste! Tell him to not to lose hope. …shilpa

  3. May 8, 2010 17:50

    I was in the same situation. I had no money to buy fake community certificates which some of my friends had. I could never have got admission to government engineering college, but luckily got into IIT. Later on the advice of Uncle Gaurav I applied to many U.S. universities and finally chose University of California for my doctorate. I got scholarship of $25,000 per year for 2 years. I got my Ph.D. in 21 months. was appointed Assistant Professor,and three years later as Associate Professor. Now I am a full-time Professor, heading the Department. Can it happen in India? Go back to India? Never. As Uncle Gaurav says it is a cesspool of corruption and dirty vote politics.

  4. May 8, 2010 23:02

    Archana is quite right. The policy of reservation failed in the U.S. Now the Blacks are on a level playing field, though there may be a few prejudices. The U.S. government is now planning to give Green cards to any one having a post-graduate degree from an American University. They do not want to lose people with brains, whereas we Indians export our brainy people abroad. Only politicians who run their parties on their caste basis are happy.

  5. May 8, 2010 23:05

    Govind, very relevant post. I have always felt that reservations in the name of caste should have long been abandoned. If at all we need reservations, let it be for those who are economically backward and who have what it takes, at least the aptitude and ambition. Sad story this. And sadder that there will be no end in sight to it. Look how the PM, to great and unanimous applause in Parliament, decided that the census should also note the caste of the family. No better way to start withdrawing from the so called forward caste more effectively, I think!

  6. May 9, 2010 10:37

    More than the politicians the vast majority of the people are also corrupt. There have been many attempts by honest persons to start a honest party, but they have all failed. For most people, a candidate belonging to their own caste, religion or language, even if a lot of scams are pending against them, is their "ideal" one. Honesty does not count in India. There is no way now out of this mess. The inclusion of caste in census is the last straw on the camel's back.

  7. May 10, 2010 10:54

    At every place in this world, the fittest survives. Still the road to life is not a dead end. There are several avenues open and we have to keep the mind open to them. When compared to early 80's much has changed. There are more professional institutions and this generation of parents are more supportive to their children when compared to the earlier ones. Your son will certainly land in a good place. All the best!

  8. May 10, 2010 14:58

    Absolutely with you on this. Belonging to 'foward' caste is a crime! People are discriminated against for every little reason. And I guess India is the only country where minorities can demand so much and get it too. Again, each person's perspective differs. So I am sure someone from a minority community who has been discriminated against will have something different to say.

  9. May 10, 2010 17:06

    When will we find a cure for this scourge? It's so annoying most times when you meet somebody and they ask you pointed questions about religion and community. Just look at the number of people from our country who do so well abroad and occupy such high positions. Even Harvard Business School has scored a first with the appointment of the first dean of Indian origin. Recognition of qualification and merit will never happen in India. All this so called pride in a modern India with so much advancements in every field is completely overshadowed because hardly does a day go by without pictures and news items of "honour killings" and devious murders all to maintain family status and position in society. They say blood is thicker than water. It certainly is but not to those who kill in the name of honour and upkeep of tradition.

  10. May 10, 2010 23:34

    @ Babuman, Vote politics itis! The result inefficiency stares us in the face everywhere.@ Shilpa,Thanks dear. I will definitely tell him not to lose heart.@Usha, I think all this will even out one day. In my son's class lot of his friends have 'changed' their community. There are only a handful of 'forwards' left

  11. May 11, 2010 13:32

    And then they complain about brain drain!This is something that I went through during the time of my admission in college and something that seemed to worry and frustrate my children too during their time.

  12. May 12, 2010 21:02

    May I add my comments? In your profile, you describe yourself as schizophrenic. Please send me a sample of your DNA. I am doing research on genes pertaining to schizo.I think most politicians in India suffer from schizophrenic tendencies. They speak about the unity of India, but at the same time try to dissect India to pieces. Caste politics is one of the symptoms.

  13. May 13, 2010 08:17

    @Archie, it is so sad that one can change his/her community by paying Rs.200 or so. In my son's class barring a few most have 'converted' to other castes.@ Soumya, Brain drain is a great bane, when one's merit is not considered what can he do?@ Sneha, I honestly hope that the caste based census will be the last straw that will break the camel's back. At least then something will be done.

  14. May 13, 2010 15:03

    PRG, Are you sure you can get a caste certificate for Rs.200? Order follows for 50, C.O.D. These must be the products of corner street vendors.They must be like xeroxed currency notes, easily spotted.If found out, the student will lose his or her career. The really good ones can be got only from the Tehsildar for about Rs.10,000.

  15. May 13, 2010 22:40

    @ Charu. thanks for the wishes. I guess you are right.@ Pal, you are right. I don't know how they keep tabs on all the castes and sub castes. It is a mystery.@Priya, whatever happened to your blogs.Your comments are longer than my posts.@ Shail, It is very difficult to explain this phenomenon to the kids.@Aparna, I am cured. I am cured. I certainly have no intention of becoming a guinea pig for your research. May you find better subjects.@ Babuman. I didn't know the prevailing rates for getting the community certificates. Must be the inflation or is it the recession?

  16. May 14, 2010 15:19

    First, pl. allow me to congratulate Abhishek for getting high marks. Best wishes to him for getting a seat of his choice.Community certificates are issued by the Tehsildar (wrongly mentioned as Tahsildar) of the locality. No Tehsildar will do anything illegal unless he is paid very much. He can divert the amount to benami accounts. He has to pay a commission to the ministers too.

  17. May 23, 2010 17:18

    True admissions should be on the basis on merit only else we will end up with good-for-nothing doctors and engineers. I remember kids of CM's and MD's of big time companies in the coveted Computer Science department of our college just because they got through some quota. Maybe that seat could have gone to someone more deserving.

  18. June 17, 2010 21:08

    What a country we live in, shame shame!! where everything can be bought for some amount!! There were times when I felt that I shd have been in one of the castes or tribes. Immediately I am happy I am not, because I like to fight my way thru!! but it's a bane!! 62 years and more, we are still stuck with reservations, shows the amount of progress our country has made!! Gaurav's neices wow! no wonder brains are drained from here, we boast of opportunity, but none materializes!!

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