Friday, September 30, 2016

Shouts of Silence!

“Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute”… Josh Billings.

Josh Billings was the pen name of 19th-century American humorist Henry Wheeler Shaw. He was a famous humor writer and lecturer in the United States, perhaps second only to Mark Twain, during the latter half of the 19th century. I always believe, the person who can make you laugh he only has ability to make you think too! And my belief isn’t wrong with above words of Josh Billings, whose major literature is about humor but look at the way he has described phenomenon like silence!

The reason I felt like thinking about silence is none other than the recent Maratha Morchas all across the State, in a way its Silent Agitations’, a rare thing in today’s world where loudest voice meant righteousness! For those who are not from Maharashtra, Maratha is one of the thousands caste’s found in our Hindu religion but mainly warriors from the times of Shivaji Maharaj & which is backbone of State politics. Marathas makes major portion of the State population & are mainly in farming as well politics, as no more there are physical wars needed around. Yet in the rural it’s mostly Maratha families which rule the village, though many of them are in relatively bad condition due to less income from farming as well poor education facilities. As they come in open category in reservation criterion, they don’t get govt jobs easily. This makes most of the farmers’ suicide victims from Maratha community, at least that’s what the leaders from this caste claim as well the statics too reveals this fact. In addition to that the Atrocity act which restrains anybody from so called upward classes torturing or abusing any person from backward castes or class is wrongly being used against Maratha community only, is one more concern of the Maratha masses or that’s what our media says so. On such background the common people in Maratha community were silent for years letting the caste card being played by the political leaders but somewhere like molten lava, deep underground the unease was there! And suddenly the entire Maratha clan started uniting & came up with silent march & what a way to show their anguish or frustration or unrest about the prolonged issues which is hurting them! It started with one march referred in Marathi or Hindi as Morcha in Parbhani & slowly it became a revolution covering every major city in the State! Millions of people joined without any personal invite & walked silently for their demands which were unheard for years! It’s like witnessing Mahatma Gandhi’s iconic “Dandi Yatra” days back though here no police force is needed to use to stop these marches as fortunately till now we have free democracy in our country allowing anybody to protest in public! At start the media as well our leaders didn’t realized the volume & response these marches were generating but as every city responded with increasing numbers of crowd then even the social media started getting flooded with the comments which flowed in both ways!

I am no good at politics & never used my writing for commenting on politics but this is not politics; here millions of people of one caste or community are gathering together & silently walking for miles to protest & disburse peacefully leaving no signs of such huge gathering behind! That too happening with a community which is known for its aggressive behavior & supposedly only knows one language, that is of muscle power! Then again no single face is calling the cards neither there is any political party, rather political big names are made to drag behind the morcha & common names from the society that too women are made to lead the march! Are we not witnessing something phenomenal & this is what made me to share my views; as not just I too am from some caste i.e. Brahmin, which doesn’t gets well along with Marathas is what media has painted as well society thinks! My friends of all castes & religions let me tell you frankly, I am a Brahmin & I have neither pride nor shame of it as I took birth in a Brahmin family isn’t my choice or credit! We all took birth in some family & that’s why we should not boost about what we are by birth is my personal view & I am sure my many Maratha friends also will agree with my logic. It’s not our family name or caste or religion but what we do with what we are, defines us; is the logic I have derived from my favorite movie “Batman Begins”! But then in this very country of ours we are first recognized by our sub-caste, then the caste, then religion. Later by region & somewhere on social media on 15th Aug & 26th Jan we are Indian too, is a bitter fact! And in all this process we totally forget we are human being too which is in a way our first introduction to the world!

Right from enrolling our name to pre-school all this identification & then tagging ourselves starts & with every passing years its tightly screwed in our minds & hearts that you are of this caste & that religion & it’s expected by you to be proud of it or ashamed too in some cases! I am no authority to comment on reservation or atrocity but if you are allowing some caste some privileges for surviving then other castes people are bound to ask for the same, is nature’s law! In same was with acts like Atrocity, we want to protect some community then the other communities are going to claim for their safeguarding from the very same act is also equally true. So if studied closely then these morcha’s doesn’t come as surprise; what is surprise is the way they are happening & there is jealousy or fear or unrest  or doubt, whatever we may call it about the entire issue in other communities minds & of which target is Maratha caste! And sheer cause is our rulers as well opposition parties which jointly are supposed to run the Govt (which the opposition often forgot), both are equally confused about these morchas & what we don’t understand we fear it or we doubt intentions of it, is a nature’s law! The root cause is the entire system which makes reservation on the basis of person’s birth caste! Again, I am no expert on social analysis but the reason for which reservation concept has been induced in education as well in govt service, high time to check its outcome. Because if this system making some caste happy at the same time its making hundreds of other castes unhappy then somewhere something is seriously wrong. Because it’s not just Marathas in Maharashtra but in Gujarat its Patel’s & in Haryana its Jat's, whose demand are on similar lines, only difference is the path to protest the Marathas have chosen! In Tamilnadu it’s said that reservation quota has gone to 68%, again with due respect to all our rulers & law, how it can remain a reservation when it’s covering majority of any system, is the basic question comes to my mind! As with this speed entire 100% will be reserved for some or other castes & then who is so called open category & what is meaning of reservation in end?

One of the aspect to the Morcha issue is majority of Maratha’s are in agriculture based works, mainly farming. Barring few who has “bagayati” mean having a perennial water supply for farming most are of “jirayati” means farming depending of natural rains. It’s this spectrum which has been hit worst in last few years erratic rain cycle & many farmers have opted way of suicide leaving back families who have nobody to feed them! Every ruling party’s govt has given just promises about foreclosing the debts taken by these farmers even knowing this isn’t the permanent solution on the problem. No govt has taken any firm steps to build a system which will ensure comfort & stability of life to the smaller farmers & the morchas’ has provided outlet for victims of such failed agriculture policies too!
Years after years nothing changed & even having all prominent leaders from rulers of their caste, yet a feeling started building up in minds of common Maratha that nothing will change for him or her & no one cares! What we are seeing is representation of this feeling in every person’s mind & it is every this person whom we call “Common Man”; only thing is Maratha’s started protesting first! Most interesting part is in the era where any commotion or agitation like Morcha every part has to spend money & accessories like Biryani & send vehicles to gather people, here millions are coming on their own & with their families, just to walk silently! I think we must take cognizance of this outcry & by action.

Only thing in parallel with protests which Marathas shoul understand is, reservation isn’t going to solve their problems as look at the castes which has reservations for years! Times are changing & by having few percent seats in govt service or education institutes, what millions of people are going to gain? World is evolving & other castes like Brahmins, Jains, Sindhis or Sikhs who never claimed (at least till now) any reservation but changed themselves according to time. Try conquering new fields, search new avenues of excellence, listen what language outside world is talking in & adopt it, is the way for sustainable growth. This is the way by which not just few families but entire Maratha fraternity will progress. In coming year’s survival will be of only the community which will understand needs of masses. I have never asked caste or religion to any candidate who has come to me for job, as all I look for is his or her sincere approach to work & excellence in whatever he or she is doing! As these are two qualities which will make you survive in any situation whereas things like reservation will only cripple us taking away our potential to perform better! Agreed this is easy to say but to make it explain to families who has lost their head because of succumbing to drought as well by govt’s wrong policies but we are talking about a permanent solution & no reservation can assure that!

Social media is buzzing with posts in support as well against of such morchas’, I too shared my views which I am sharing here, just to make the readers understand the fears or doubts people have as well the cautions Maratha masses should take. Silence is big power & every power has to be used with responsibility, is all I will say to conclude!

Below are few of my views on social media...

*Maratha Morcha to Brahman Sabha to OBC March... I keep on receiving & reading caste or religion related forwards/posts on social media; this is my reply...
See the types of messages circulating on social media...I think we are going on very wrong track which will lead to destruction of nation not just state. High time for all political parties & so called caste leaders to come together n decide country is above any religion & caste! Accept that reservation if necessary then should be only on income that too genuinely poor class who can’t afford good food or good education... nothing should be in job but see that all gets equal opportunity to get good quality education & let there be open competition as there only is some hope for better India!!
As real problem in-front of country is not reservation but R & D about new science, Housing & many more; employment all wants but no one try to become employer & most important are threat to nature & biodiversity this country has. We should focus our strength of unity for these issues... hope someday people will understand but then there will be too late as by then thousands of species like maldhoks & many trees would have gone extinct i.e. for ever gone! If at all anyone needs reservation then its Trees!
Everyone is either Maratha, Brahmin, Dalit, Baudha or something... where is an Indian, leave apart a Human?
*There is some cartoon in some news paper regarding Maratha morcha; here is my appeal to all my Maratha & other friends...
Dear Friends, I am reading all your comments & reactions on FB! I am a Brahmin by myself but before that I am a human being as well Indian; what target you all have set, don’t waste it by such cartoons! This is what is going to happen to the strength & patience u all have shown in the morcha, remember Gandhiji, he achieved what he wanted to by not fluctuating from the target & path he was walking! Let people say or react the way they want, you all be on your path which is for the cause we understood! One of the friends mentioned about using sticks of flags in morcha as sticks now (bambu); well, that’s what people want you to do, one wrong move & entire effect achieved by morcha will be vanished! So think & don’t react to any negative comment rather kill it by neglecting, is the way!

*As expected Maratha morcha's success is either being en-cashed or criticized by political parties though silently & then there are elements who wants betrayal of it & simplest way is make Maratha’s react in wrong way so it will be easy to prove them wrong! Need of time is wisdom & not hot head & focus on what is cause... just ignore any party or an individual! So please stop arguing with each other or reacting or blaming individual caste or party! Let’s not forget in this very State, Peshwa's were Brahmins yet they were right hand of Shahu Maharaj who was Maratha & then there were Mohite's & Shinde's who were Marathas yet fought under leadership of Peshwas! For years Maratha , Brahmans & all Other Castes even Muslims have survived & fought together without need of any atrocity or reservation as quality & fighting spirit were only criteria’s... now if we starts reacting on what some political party says or some news paper prints, then remember their interests are different than ours! Just ignore is best way...

Incidentally on this background in Times of India I read that famous Hollywood actor Tom Hanks has visited India recently & got amazed saying, “I am intrigued by how such a diverse population co-exists in India!” Well, there is huge difference Tom between mere co-existence & togetherness! I think high time for not just our rulers but for every Indian to understand the term togetherness & play his or her role to live by it or else even in jail also people co-exists, don’t they?

Sanjay Deshpande

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1 comment:

  1. Well said,written and put forward.
    Keep it up.I wish many more blogs like this.


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