Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Call for Lawlessness

What stops us from:
Breaking the System

A radical suggestion to tackling the quota problem:
In a nugget: "Everyone of us, so-called higher castes, should use the corrupt administrative system in India to get false SC/ST certificates and get admission to colleges/educational-institutions/ jobs etc:. In fact once we are there, we need to make a point of flaunting the fact that we flouted the law but there is nothing to establish it in the court of law".

I think this single act of defiance against the quota policy is something that everyone of us can do. Further it is profitable for us to do. And the icing on the cake is that it is the right thing to do. Let me explain:

There are a lot many laws in various parts of the worlds, which in other parts would be deemed immoral and hence plain wrong. So just the making of a law doesn't mean that it is right. The relation is more indirect. Laws should be dictated by morality and a sense of correctness.
Now history is replete with cases when this hasn't been true. Struggles for independence, against slavery etc: come to mind. Note that most of them were "correct" yet "against" the law.

Further the support of the quota-seekers is game-theoretically dependent on the following single combination:
(1) The MLAs/MPs have no sense of correctness and hence will indulge in vote-bank politics
(2) The people who actually benefit from quota, will vote for these caste-politicians even if they know that these leaders are short-sighted and have no real interest in social change.
(3) The people who are affected negatively are too scared of "breaking the law". And more so, because breaking the law would be "wrong". Even if the same people would happily bribe somebody in the local RTO office.

Now look at the nugget again: "Break laws which you think are made in bad faith, are shamelessly discriminatory". Wouldn't you have broken the same law if somebody had said that we should have a quota for curly haired people (or people suffering from hair damage/are bald)?

It no longer seems so radical.

So to retaliate, one can have two options:
(1) convince the beneficiaries of quotas (the actual people AND the politicians) by appealing to the goodness in them (low chance of Success. More so when they are being specifically benefited).
(2) use the same things: like it is easy to get a caste-certificate for money, and use that to break the system

So what is the weapon we are using? In a Utopian society, where leaders had the will to sacrifice their personal interest for public good, we all agree such a law wouldn't have been made. However, politics has been said to be the art of acting in self interest and indulging in a propaganda that it is philanthropy.

Infact the corrupt Indian administrative (the district machinery that supports one caste over another) and legal system (police which looks the other way) are precisely the tools that the politicians are using.

So when a false caste certificate is produced we are using the same machinery.

Let me round up by going a few thousands of years back: In mythological terms it means that the days of Rama are over. The days of Krishna have started. Like the Mahabharata, the world of politics is sufficiently complex, that we should use all tools at our disposal, "sama daana danda bheda" as long as we are sure what we are doing is morally correct.

P.S: In the US, the government is looked upon as a necessary evil. So is the case in Europe. However, in colonised India, the British killed the spirit of questioning a rule/law that the "white man" had imposed to keep the "natives" under control (usually by killing the "native" in question). Somehow that vestige still remains, and to rectify the slave mentality, we should start doing what we feel is right.

post-script: This should be understood by both sides of the quota agitators.