..”Jaha ek chandaal neta ne Mandal ka Kafan Oudhakar karwayi masoom vidyarthi-yo ki aatm-vilopan se pehchaan..us desh main mere bhai bolo mera bharat mahaan ??”..
When I had recited a poem, born out of anguish during the Mandal Commission episode, to a ex-Samajwadi leader, he explained to me in depth the situation that exists in rural India. In principle, he was all for Merit based selection, but the political machinations, prevalent in the north, read UP/Bihar, as per him made it – Aarakshan – necessary. A stand which urban youth, is not able to understand and never will unless exposed to the trauma of being a lower caste individual in the villages of north.
As Saif, ironically of royal nawaabi lineage, who plays a dalit in the film, put it that today too dalit students are expected to clean toilets of the schools they attend, and unless you see it for yourself, you will not believe it.
The ban exposes the intention of the political system in place, which like an ostrich, wants to bury its head in the sand, and hope that the problem will magically vanish.
V.P.Singh who became the prime minister riding high on the bofors wave, but was unable to provide a economically stable governance, divided the nation further in a single stroke by insisting to implement the Mandal Commission report.
Riots erupted everywhere, but this was one issue on which the nation’s youth was united, India needed a class based reservation and not a caste based reservation. Give priority to financially backward students/people irrespective of their caste, it did not make sense to provide scholarships/quota for a SC/ST who travelled in a Mercedes/BMW !!!
I feel the film medium is the best bet for initiating a debate nationwide, and to spread awareness of the pros-cons of Aarakshan, and among the current crop of filmmakers, it is Jha who can perhaps provide a better insight into the background of the reservation system.
Using a megastar’s presence, can perhaps further the cause of implementing a merit based education system in India. But knowing the culture of our dear politicians, this may remain a distant dream !!!