Saturday, April 5, 2008
Caste Inequality in EFL-U
The objective of doing this survey cum study is not to blame any individuals or the university as such. Rather we tried to look inside the comfortable secular space that an Indian university offers and locate a few discrepancies in this ‘comfort’. What is extremely significant in our findings is the fact that the domain of caste exclusion/discrimination crosses over from the society which lies beyond our walls.
Here are a few of our conclusions:
Regarding Teaching staff:
It is clear from the statistics that as we move from the posts of lecturers to readers and then professors, SC/ST density is falling drastically. There is one Reader from the reserved category. There are no Dalit Professors. The backlog of posts to be filled up under the category of lecturers is also significantly high. One explanation can be that there were no eligible candidates available. Such an explanation is hardly enough to tackle this issue. Why do Dalit candidates never seem to apply for such posts? Does that say anything about modern India? Dalits never seem to be good enough, reservations or no reservations. The slogan against reservations was “I refuse to be treated by a Dalit doctor.” Do we refuse Dalit teachers? Are they incompatible with our learning? Or is it one of the many facades of caste in our everyday lives, even as we make claims to awareness and subsequent consciousness. If Dalits are really to be empowered, they have to be present at every stratum of professions in our society. Till such a situation is not reached, we will continue to live under conditions that remain representative of caste based exclusion which parades as apparent caste neutrality for us.