Monday, August 13, 2007

Reservations XVII: Bad Jokes

During those anti-reservation protests of May-Jun 2006, some upper caste Hindus took brooms and started sweeping the streets, and chanted songs warning lower castes to ‘be in your place’ (‘apni aukat mein rahio’). Describing this incident, and how calmly the TV channels have aired it, Siddharth Varadarajan (of THE HINDU) writes:

Nobody asked what kind of doctors these ‘meritorious' students were likely to become if they had such contempt towards more than half the population of India.

And now, I see another story floating around these days. This is forwarded to me by many professionals, and if you see the train of e-mails, you will see that it has gone through many top IT companies in India.

The story goes as follows:

Ant & Grasshopper

The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter. The Grasshopper thinks the Ant is a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away. Come winter,the Ant is warm and well fed. The Grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.

Modern Version

The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter. The Grasshopper thinks the Ant's a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away. Come winter, the shivering Grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the Ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

NDTV, BBC, CNN show up to provide pictures of the shivering Grasshopper next to a video of the Ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.The World is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be that this poor Grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Arundhati Roy stages a demonstration in front of the Ant's house. Medha Patkar goes on a fast along with other Grasshoppers demanding that Grasshoppers be relocated to warmer climates during winter. Amnesty International and Koffi Annan criticizes the Indian Government for not upholding the fundamental rights of the Grasshopper.

The Internet is flooded with online petitions seeking support to the Grasshopper (many promising Heaven and Everlasting Peace for prompt support as against the wrath of God for non-compliance).

Opposition MPs stage a walkout. Left parties call for "Bharat Bandh" in West Bengal and Kerala demanding a Judicial Enquiry. CPM in Kerala immediately passes a law preventing Ants from working hard in the heat so as to bring about equality of poverty among Ants and Grasshoppers. Lalu Prasad allocates one free coach to Grasshoppers on all Indian Railway Trains, aptly named as the 'Grasshopper Rath'.

Finally, the Judicial Committee drafts the 'Prevention of Terrorism Against Grasshoppers Act' [POTAGA], with effect from the beginning of the winter. Arjun Singh makes 'Special Reservation' for Grasshoppers in Educational Institutions & in Government Services.

The Ant is fined for failing to comply with POTAGA and having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, it's home is confiscated by the Government and handed over to the Grasshopper in a ceremony covered by NDTV.

Arundhati Roy calls it 'A Triumph of Justice '. Lalu calls it 'Socialistic Justice '. CPM calls it the 'Revolutionary Resurgence of the Downtrodden'. Koffi Annan invites the Grasshopper to address the UN General Assembly.

Many years later... The Ant has since migrated to the US and set up a multi-billion dollar company in Silicon Valley. 100s of Grasshoppers still die of starvation despite reservation somewhere in India. As a result of loosing lot of hard working Ants and feeding the Grasshoppers, India is still a developing country!!!

[End of Story]

What a sad state of affairs!

I am not sure why people keep floating such stories. They are not even amusing to start with. It actually shows their true nature which is quite disturbing. Just look at the names listed in the above story and see how it is clearly biased against lower castes, minority religions, the poor, the UN, Human rights groups! One wonders who these Grasshoppers are. Clearly they seem to be coming from the lower castes, the poor, the minorities and the Muslims.

Why is it that all the criticism is thrown at media agencies and the UPA government (which includes Lalu and Left parties) and why is there is no mention of BJP or its leaders in here? Can’t one easily figure out that this is a right-wing urban upper caste Hindu propaganda?

In fact, the story should have ended this way to make it more realistic in tune with the real world.

Realistic Version

Ant migrates to US and discovers that a US institute has rejected him to enroll a Pacific Islander student (a grasshopper) with lower marks, and that a top software company recruited a Hispanic engineer (another grasshopper) with lower GPA.

When the Ant gets hospitalized for a surgery, he continues to harbor these prejudices and refuses to be operated by a Black surgeon (another grasshopper) pointing out lack of competency in that surgeon citing affirmative action policies. That act is seen as an act of gross insult and soon the Ant is thrown out of the organization where he works.

The Ant gets disillusioned by such practices of affirmative action, gets angry by the shabby treatment given to him (when he was only furthering the concept of ‘merit’).

The Ant sticks to a coterie of upper caste Hindu Indians, participates in religious festivities at a nearby temple, debates on how Muslims and lower castes are ruining his country, sends his kids to nearby Hindu instructor who teaches Vedic Mathematics, and gratifies himself telling every one how his ancestors had invented zero.


  1. "Ant migrates to US and discovers that a US institute has rejected him to enroll a Pacific Islander student (a grasshopper) with lower marks, and that a top software company recruited a Hispanic engineer (another grasshopper) with lower GPA."

    Where in the US do they give reservation to Hispanics and Pacific Islanders? Pleaes elaborate.

  2. "sends his kids to nearby Hindu instructor who teaches Vedic Mathematics"

    Please give examples of where you have seen Hindus sending their kids to "Vedic Mathematics" school. Which age/place are you talking about? Where are these schools - I would love to learn about them. Please elaborate.

  3. Some Schools that teach Vedic Mathematics in US and UK

    I don't think it is my duty to enlighten those who have access to Google!

  4. Sujai: You may also benefit by some Google search on the difference between 'adverse impact' and 'adverse action' in the US law to appreciate why your comparison is utterly flawed.

    The other website you have referenced is for some TM universities. FYI, you would rarely see an Indian TM-er in the US. In my experience, the education of their children remains the top most priority for Indians living in the US. Unless Harvard or Stanford also start teaching Vedic Mathematics, I would be surprized to see Indian parents falling for it.

    Be honest if you have really seen Indian parents sending their kids to learn "Vedic Mathematics". I have not seen so far! Probably you saw them attending classes on Indian culture/ dance/ drama and decided to give it a sensational twist by invoking "Vedic Mathematics" or maybe you yourself did not know the difference.

  5. Sanjay:

    Really, honestly, tell me if you have seen an ant applying to a university. I can believe a worker ant, a Queen ant or warrior ant, but a university graduate? Hmm... you must be kidding!


    I know of Vedic Mathematics because I was asked to promote one such text books into US. I wouldn't confuse it with anything else!

  6. Way to Go, Sujai. Great Ending. You may also want to write how the Ant conveniently forgets the history where the grasshopper was never allowed to build his house or work in a decent place.

    ~ Vinod

  7. Vinod-
    Actually I wrote another version describing how the Ant ensured that the Grasshopper never got a chance to build a home or collect food depriving it of all access.

    But then, I felt this one (which I published) sounded better- in tune with the ludicrousness of the story!

    I wanted my ending to be ludicrous as well!

    (which is somehow missed by the few commenters above!)

  8. Dude: You are making conclusions about hundreds of millions of people - taking a sample of may be a few hundreds. Get a lesson called "Statistics 101".

  9. Just as in life you only see things that your eyes want to see - with Google you get what you want to search for. I think you are googling for the wrong things in life, my friend.

    God Bless!

    Here is what your respected Harvard CEOs are doing. May your alma mater needs to organize something like this.

    How to succeed in business: Meditate
    With hellish hours and info overload now the norm, the C-Suite set is turning to extreme meditation to cope, says Fortune's Oliver Ryan.

    (Fortune Magazine) -- The crowd of Harvard Business School alums who gathered at their reunion to hear networking expert Keith Ferrazzi speak earlier this summer might have expected to pick up strategies on how to work a room, remember people's names, or identify mentors. But tactical skills, it turns out, aren't what turned Ferrazzi into a bestselling author or sought-after speaker.

    Instead Ferrazzi let his fellow alums in on a little secret. The key to connecting, he told the group, is "not being an a**hole." And the most effective path he's found? Meditation. Exercise and prayer work too, he said, but meditation has been so effective that he now spends ten days every year at a silent meditation retreat. In other words, the man whose latest book is "Never Eat Alone" credits much of his success to alone time.


  10. Sujai said:

    "Really, honestly, tell me if you have seen an ant applying to a university. I can believe a worker ant, a Queen ant or warrior ant, but a university graduate? Hmm... you must be kidding!"

    Sujai: Two lies do not make a truth. First you claim that Indian parents in the US send their kids to learn vedic mathematics. When questioned if you have actually seen it, you reply that an ant doesn't go to university either. Please show me the place where I said that.

    I asked you a simple question if you have actually seen Indian parents sending their kids to learn vedic mathematics and you give an irrelevant remark.

  11. Sanjay:
    You are not getting the point.

    The 'story' and the 'modern version of the story' are ridiculous attempts to unnecessarily sully a noble cause.

    It is at the most a ludicrous attempt.

    It is made in a sarcastic tone.

    I employed the same sarcasm to illustrate a scenario where 'reality' can be quite different from what is portrayed in the story.

    # Do you really think an Indian would actually object to being operated by an Black surgeon citing incompetence in that surgeon?


  12. Sanjay:
    Yes, I know of parents who send their kids for lessons in Vedic Mathematics, along with other Indian cultural things. This is not a common phenomenon but still employed by some parents- especially during summer camps. I have seen them speak in big words how this math actually helps their kids in the mainstream education.

    Here a center in Newark has an overview on Vedic Math.

    School in Iowa

    Check this.

    and this

    I am still UNABLE to figure out why you can't do your own little research. Time out.

  13. Sujai said:

    "Yes, I know of parents who send their kids for lessons in Vedic Mathematics, along with other Indian cultural things. This is not a common phenomenon but still employed by some parents- especially during summer camps."


    Your monumental ignorance would simply be hilarious had it not been backed by your political agenda.

    Have you ever taken pains to find out, the truth about chinmaya classes or vedic summer camps or indian summer camps? They are used as baby sitting classes when the regular schools are closed. If you can offer your marxist indoctrination baby sitting services at a cheaper price, they will send their kids happily there too!

  14. Sanjay:
    AND when did I say that those parents send their kids for Vedic Math during regular school time?


  15. Your monumental ignorance would simply be hilarious had it not been backed by your political agenda.

    If you can offer your marxist indoctrination...

    And if you really have to get to me- You have to do much better than that!

    Why caste discrimination shouldn’t be practised has been beautifully explained in a story which appeared in today’s Hindustan Times:
    A tale for the ages worth remembering on why we shouldn’t give ourselves airs is found in caste-ridden Hinduism of all places:
    Adi Shankara was on his way to the bathing ghat at Kashi when an ‘outcast’ Chandala with four dogs yapping around him suddenly appeared in his path. “Dooram gachcha!”(‘Go Away!’) snapped the uber-sanyasi. “ What shall I move ?” asked the grimy Chandala sweetly, “My body, made of the same five elements as yours? Or the immortal Soul that is in me as it is in you?”
    Shankara’s eyes opened wide at that and he realized it was none other than Lord Shiva himself, accompanied by the four Vedas, who was testing him. He fell at Shiva’s feet and begged pardon for his lack of understanding.

  17. Sujai, I agree with your thinking on many subjects. However you have eccentric and biased views on reservations without analysing details fully. You have never commented about creamy layer in any of your reservation articles. You never questioned, how well developed Tamilnadu can have 96%(As per NSS) population as BC,MBC,SC,ST whereas underdeveloped states like UP has 25% forward castes. Why huge reservation is being continued in Tamilnadu inspite of the fact that Forward castes are underrepresented in every sphere.(Less than 2.6% students in Medical college is from Forward castes). Tamilnadu grabs maximum share of OBC reservation because they have declared everybody except brahmins as backward. NSS says Hindu OBC % in colleges is 33% as against 36% of OBC Hindu population. All surveys like NFS/NSSO have acknowledged these contents.

  18. Sujai: Bit belated but I just stumbled onto your blog. Brilliant ending. True on many levels.

    Unfortunately from the many comments expressed by what seems like NRIs (Darpan and Sanjay)they seem to have missed the point entirely. Dudes, what happened to satire...Lost it trying to become a gora.

    The NRI refuses to acknowledge that anything is wrong in his make-believe world. His 4 bedroom suburbian world is not touched by any of the evils left behind in India. He does not face racism, his kids don't do drugs or engage in underage sex, they don't date Muslims, Blacks, Noodles..., his work is greatly appreciated and his f..g adopted country (adopted by him) works...

    Point is unless the NRI is Mittal, Nooyi or Sarin, his life is no better than in Mumbai or Jaunpur. Instead of being called Bhaiya or Bangali or Madrasi, he is now proud he is called Asian or Brown. Instead of being called Patla or Singh, he calls himslef Pete or Deep.

    He lives in a predominantly Indian neighbourhood so that he is safe from daily racist abuse. He hopes his kids don't pick up "bad" gora habits like dating. He catalogue shops at Walmart or Tesco and pretends it is Harrods or Nieman-Marcus. He buys gifts from the Dollar shop for his relos on his trip back.

    He penny pinches, denies his kids simple pleasures in the name of "accha nahi hain tumhare liye" and yet buys a crappy second hand Mercedes or Beem or Lexus so that his friends in India think he's made it.

    The NRI lives in a chimerical dream world and damned if you, Sujai, bursts his bubble to the masses in India. The NRI has made it and the show goes on.

  19. LOL. This is so good. Darpan and Sanjay - you indians suck just like other Million+ brethren of yours in the US.

    Sujai: Thanks for exposing this brittle group of losers :) This is so funny.

    - Indians suck.

  20. Does any of your article on reservation has any statistics. You imagine OBC's are in bad shape(comparatively) because Karuananidhi or Laloo says so. But statistics from NSS always says.,Gujarati SC is better than UP Brahmin. Manipuri brahmin is worser than Tamilnadu OBC. NSS clearly says % of OBC in educational institution in in proportion to their population. Implementing reservation at central level will only ensure Tamilnadu OBC grabbing everything because everybody is declared OBC there. You never talked about Creamy layer grabbing seats from needy OBC. I see Rural/Urban, state(North east, orissa, UP, Bihar) and economical criteria are better indicators of backwardness than unscientific caste based backwardness methodology.

  21. Reservation should not be based on economic background. It should be purely on the basis of social status where a minority upper class hindus enjoing the whealth and oppotunities of the mejority lower cast,and they even insulting them pointing their cast name.
    And I feel the creamy layer classifications as the crukked ideas of upper cast who try to change reservation as financial status based.
    please read my malayalam blogs:
    സംവരണ വിരുദ്ധരുടെ പുതിയ യുദ്ധമുറ
    oil paintings of chithrakaran

  22. Dear Sujai,

    Extremely delighted to see someone sharing my views on the indian socio-political scenario.
    Here's my analysis of affirmative action policies on darwinian grounds.
    Will be seeing you around.

    Dr. Suraj Rajan,
    Trivandrum, Kerala.


    Pro reservationationists ironically favour Muslims who only speak Hindi at home or Nayudus and Reddys who speak only Telugu at home. At the same time they treat Tamil-speaking Brahmins and Chettiars as foreign invaders by excluding them . They also claim to fight for the Tamil cause….by dividing Tamil society!!? PMK, DMK, ADMK etc reject creamy layer, support the cruel 2-tumbler system of Southern Tamil Nadu and now demand extended reservation. PMK leader will go Delhi, Hyderabad and Bombay to promote reservation rather than setting up Tamil learning centers in those places. This shows that Tamil Nadu policitians don’t mind loosing their self respect and prefer to worship their Hindi masters than to work for an integrated Tamil society. Incidently the PMK health minister has made Hindi compulsory for medicine, the the DMK surface transport minister has made Hindi compulsory on national roads even in Tamil Nadu.

  24. to the anonymous person who talked about DMK, PMK, AIADMK....
    first if all don't confuse between many issues.
    Issue 1: pro-tamil
    anti-hindi agitation was held bcoz
    1. they feared that by making hindi compulsory tamil would loose its relevance in tamil nadu
    2. in central govt jobs if you have hindi as one medium of writing. then they would have an edge over others bcoz they are writing in their mother tongue, whereas others are writing in english.
    so it has nothing like pro-tamil govt. or anything.Tamil nadu is not against any language people. In fact it is one of the most linguistic tolerant state.

    Issue 2:
    tamil speaking brahmins and chettiars doesnt mean they are tamils. they live in tamil nadu. but they dont think they are tamils. but people dont discriminate. Govt. doesnt discriminate.
    In fact they are a bit well off.even AIADMK leader Jayalalitha is a tamil speaking brahmin. Thats why pro-reservationalists dont favour reservation for them.

    Issue 3:
    PMK, DMK ministers making hindi compulsory is subject matter of central govt. where it is a official language. that doesnt mean there is no tamil. and it doesnt in anyway threaten the existence of tamil.

    it would be better if you dont post anonymously

  25. ഈ പോസ്റ്റിലേയ്ക്കുള്ള ലിങ്ക് ദില്ലിപോസ്റ്റില്‍ ഇട്ട അബ്സല്യൂട്ട് വോയിഡിന് ഹൃദയംനിറഞ്ഞ നന്ദി

    Thanks to absolute_void for adding the link to this article in dillipost

  26. Hi brother
    you stupid shit head
    you people divide india on basis of caste

  27. To Mr அருண் குமார்

    Tamil Nadu govt and political parties including Telugu dominated DMK and PMK are against Tamil language and not against other language people.

    To prove why Tamil Nadu govt is against Tamil language : Go to Mandapam near Rameswaram, you will see a refugee camp, aka concentration camp for Sri Lankan Tamils. Tamils iltreated within Tamil Nadu. Recent deportment of Parvathi Ammal in Chennai airport. Central govt control ? What is TN govt doing?

    Tamil Brahmins and Chettiars dont consider themselves to be Tamils? What to they consider themselves? Hindians ? I am Brahmin but I AM A TAMIL FIRST, I DONT CARE IF I AM BRAHMIN OR NOT, BUT I AM TAMIL FIRST. Of course Telugu dominated PMK and Telugu dominated DMK do care about caste first than language. In fact they do NOT want Tamil in Tamil Nadu. The recent protests by Telugu dominated PMK against Compulsory Tamil is proof of this.

    Telugu speaking Ramadoss is considered a Tamil. Telugu speaking Karunanidhi is considered a Tamil, Telugu speaking Vaiko is considered a Tamil, Hindi speaking TNTJ party members are considered Tamils - these people dont even speak Tamil at home.

    Making Hindi compulsory supported by DMK and PMK is not fully controlled by Central govt. The NOC is controlled by Tamil Nadu. Maharashtra state has Marathi language compulsory in ALL CBSE AND ICSE SCHOOLS, NOC gets cancelled by state if they dont teach Marathi as compulsory subject. In Tamil Nadu, Tamil schools have been silently closed, Matric schools have been discretely converted into CBSE schools. The inauguration functions of Hindi-imposing CBSE schools is being attended by Tamil Nadu CM and education minister.

    Pro-reservation people dont favour reservation for Tamil speaking forward castes. But who are pro-reservation people - Telugu speaking Ramadoss, Vaiko and others. The same pro-reservation people wants the Unified Tamil State of Tamil Nadu divided into multiple pieces so that each piece can have a Telugu speaking Chief Minister. The same pro-reservation people know that for many years many people from out of state, large percentage are Hindi speakers are getting FAKE NATIVITY AND CASTE CERTIFICATES.

    For last several years most road construction projects in Tamil Nadu are reserved only for Hindi-speakers, Tamil are not hired in Tamil Nadu. Of course Telugu dominated DMK and Telugu dominated PMK know this.

    Why is PMK fighing for caste census and asking for bifurcation of Tamil Nadu. In the last 50 years in Tamil Nadu, caste is the most powerful way non-Tamil Tamil hating leaders in Tamil Nadu can hide their non-Tamil identity.

    Maharashtra and Karnataka are the only states which do care about their language.


  28. Interesting read. I liked the variance of thought across the post and comments. Let me clarify: I am not against reservation for the really downtrodden. It hurts when your classmate, a son of a senior IAS officer/Doctor gets into IIM just 'coz he has ST quota. He wouldn't have got in otherwise. I would have been very happy to see a poor kid from any caste/creed get that privilege.It would be far more interesting and fruitful if we discuss methods/mechanisms to get the reservations to the actually needy people, irrespective of their caste.

  29. Tamil Affairs AnalystFebruary 23, 2011 1:41 PM

    Tamil Nadu Reservation policy in Tamil Nadu is ongoing program for elimination of Tamil from Tamil Nadu and replace with Urdu, Hindi, Kannada and Telugu people.

    People like the above commentor Arun Kumar is either an 'ignorant Tamil', or not a 'pure Tamil' (must be home-Telugu or other speaking) or beneficiary of one of these Telugu political parties - hope it is just the first one.

    The Telugu Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Mr Karunanidhi has always been into Dramas - made a career out of it. His family unity itself is a drama. His 'love' for Tamil is just another drama.

    If there is one state which it against its own language it is not difficult to guess - Tamil Nadu.

    Everyone know that recently (only) 420 crores or so was spent on a drama called Tamil conference. A topic of debate came up - whether one should be proud of Tamil identity or Dravidian identity. English newspapers particularly did not cover it much - it was quickly hushed down - or else the Telugu Tamil-hating political parties of Tamil Nadu would soon expose their real non-Tamil identity. You would have guessed it - Karunanidhi always mentioned that "I am proud of my Dravidian identity" not "I am proud of my Tamil identity".

    Reality is the whole Dravidian movement in Tamil Nadu was a Tamil-hating movement, it was started by a non-Tamil and still run by non-Tamils including Mr. "Yellow Towel".

    For people from out of Tamil Nadu, this may be news to you, nowadays cement in Tamil Nadu has started coming from Pakistan - reason is that 'Tamil-loving' DMK owns 'India Cements' and control most the cement and dictates prices - and also several other monopolies.

    The recent news of the 'false flag' operation of 'abduction of Tamil fisherman by Sri Lankan Navy - was organized by none other the DMK party!!!!

  30. Hello Sujai, you have impressed me beyond all counts, kudos and keep up the good work, you have changed my mind on the reservation issue, I now support it whole heartedly, and would even write and fight about it.

    Looking at how rife the caste system in India is there is probably a corollary to be drawn, here is by hypothesis.

    "India has not approched development so actively because development means empowerment and considering that majority of India comes from the backward classes, there is a fear that these people will get unecessarily empowered and will forget their "awkat"

    Thus development is restricted to only surgerical blocks in our country so that the right kind of people are able benefit ?"

    What do you think about it ?

  31. I should admit that i liked the fist story which circulated in the IT companies and your story was bad. There are millions of families who believes in BJP and RSS just because they need an organization to make their lives better and dont keep any hatred to others (upper caste, lower caste or minorities).your hidden agenda is almost clear.You are sitting in a watertight compartment. So you better come out and broaden your perspective. you are dividing people as upper caste and lower caste + muslims. if you divide so, who will be the minorities? Come to Kerala and see the financial background of minority and majority. You will see a lot of upper caste students who are not able to pursue their studies because of poverty. Poverty does not have minority, majority, upper caste or lower caste. That is why we do support reservations based on financial back ground. For your information, reservations was not introduced based on caste or religion. Congress made it based on caste because they wanted to divide and rule this country. Communism is a better idea but what they do best (the communist parties of India) is indulge in killing workers of other parties (T P chandrashekaran) and sex scandals (Jose thettayil). At least in Kerala (I dont know about other states)never denied Muslims or Christians any educational rights in fact they are in a much better position because of reservation. We are not against giving any rights to them to make their lives better but if you are denying that to us (which can make our lives better) just because we are majority, then that is injustice. By the way Vedic mathematics is really useful. i am studying that now. you may teach that your children as it will help them to do calculations much faster.


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