Worse, this stock Hindu male has only to mingle with the polyglot, multicoloured crowds - and I am referring not to the colours of their clothes but to the colours of their skins - thronging any of India's major railway stations to realise how much of a minority he really is. Even his Hinduism is no guarantee of his majorityhood, because caste divisions automatically put him in a minority. (If he is a Brahmin, for instance, 90% of his fellow Indians are not.)if this stock hindu male, let's assume he is a brahmin, were to visit the offices of the ministry of mines, government of india, he'd find every guarantee of his majorityhood at most desks.
the ministry of mines, like the department of fertilizers, has only one obc in a creamy layer position: one group (b) officer among 63 group (a) and (b) officers. (check chapter 2 of the ministry's 2007-08 annual report.)
shashi tharoor had also written a book on nehru, the statesman who dropped the phrase 'unity in diversity' almost as often as he made close/distant/unknown kashmiri pundit relatives top bureaucrats, intelligence chiefs, diplomats, governors. that's a cheap shot at a dead man? well, the dead man started it. he was not so dead, and mostly, stark raving statesmanlike when he told the country's chief ministers he didn't want to 'swamp the bright and able people and remain second-rate or third-rate' around fifty years ago. and almost thirty years later, rajeev gandhi quoted his grandfather's argument in parliament. and fifteen years ago when the creamy layer was defined: wasn't that a cheap shot too?
the ministry of mines, one notices, doesn't want to 'swamp the bright and able people and remain second-rate or third-rate', either. yes, it's an ethic the indian state has consistently adhered to over half a century. actually, it's more than an ethic- it seems to be one of the most important guiding principles of the indian state.
do colours have a place in nehru's/indira's/rajeev's/sonia's india? the materials that went into forging india and the indian identity weren't 'second rate or third rate'. they were, with insignificant exceptions, first rate. therefore, no one who is 'second rate or third rate' is indian. india, through all the defining and redefining since independence, has shown itself incapable of accepting a little more than a tiny cluster of 'multicoloured crowds' in its fold. in india, the majority can only be a minority. it's time, i think, the 'second rate or third rate' started thinking of giving up knocking at india's doors.