So, how many Dalit or tribal friends do you have?

Shekhar Gupta in the Indian Express:

“…at a recent institutional investors’ conference which I was addressing on contemporary Indian politics.

“Just a little bit disconcerted by how many questions were being asked on the “curse” of caste-based reservations, I did something wicked. This was a crowd of nearly 500 of the best paid, globalised Indian finance whiz-kids, in hundred-dollar Hermes ties, seven-figure (in dollars) bonuses and fancy cars.

“‘We have here, fellow Indians with the finest jobs in the world, mostly with an IIT/ IIM education. Both institutions have also had caste-based reservations for ever. So how many of you here are tribal or Dalit?’

“Not a single hand came up.

“Sensing a QED moment, I turned the knife. ‘Okay, please tell me how many of you at least count a Dalit or a tribal among your friends or acquaintances? Or how many of you have even shaken hands with a tribal or a Dalit?’

“Not a single hand came up again.”

Read the full article: Our Singapore fantasy

Also read: Is Vijaya Karnataka ready for a Dalit editor?

‘Brahmins need a deeksha to awaken empathy’

What’s in a name? A key to a casteless society

CHURUMURI POLL: Are Dalits being taken for a ride?

CHURUMURI POLL: Is Dalit Dinakaran above the law?