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Caste Based Apartheid In The Indian Institute Of Technology, Madras, May 20, 2006

Posted by chella in IIT, Reservation.
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Presented At: United Nations World Conference Against Racism
Social Justice Retrieval Forum

IIT CHENNAI RESERVATIONIndia has been practicing Caste System for the last 2000 years. Hindu India is divided into 4 castes. Brahmins are the highest caste, they are the priestly caste. Then come the Kshatriyas (warriors), Vaishyas
(traders), and lastly Sudras (menials). A fifth group the untouchables (numbering 200 million) lie outside the caste system.

This division of Hindu society was based on Caste laws first set out in the Manu Smriti (The Laws of Manu), dating to the third century. Men are supposed to be punished for sins of past lives by being consigned in low castes.

The untouchables were not allowed to enter the temples. Their touch was
considered a sin and it made a caste Hindu impure. Shockingly, even
their shadows were considered impure. This discrimination unlike Apartheid
is not based on the colour of skin or the race, but on the caste into
which one is born. Untouchables are treated inhumanly worse than
animals.

Brahmins, (priestly class) are considered supreme and education became
their property. The Sudras and untouchables were denied education. If a
Sudra happened to listen to Hindu treatises cruel, inhuman punishments
like pouring molten tin in the ear were meted out.

Because of centuries of persecution of the untouchables under Brahmin
tyranny, when India attained independence (1947), the father of Indian
Constitution, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, made a provision for reservation in
all Governmental positions and educational institutes to ensure that
Untouchables and tribes (also known as Scheduled Castes /Scheduled Tribes)
were adequately represented.

The 'untouchables' prefer to be known as "Dalit" for it means broken,
crushed, destroyed and it represents the position of untouchables and
tribes. We use the word Dalit in the leaflet.

As per the constitutional right of reservation, Dalits are entitled to
obtain 22.5% of the vacancies in State postings & admissions to courses
of study. This percentage tallies with percentage of Dalits in the
Indian population.

Brahmins have monopolized entire educational sector in India. The
Brahmin caste forms only 3% of India's population but it occupies all top
scholastic & legislative positions. They deny the Dalits even basic
Education.

In this pamphlet, we bring out the plights of the Dalits and the
various harassments they face in one of the premier educational institute in
India- The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) were established in 1959 for
the purpose of providing higher technological education of world
standards to the poor downtrodden students, who couldn't afford to study
abroad. The institutes are in the cities of Bombay, Delhi, Gawhati, Kanpur,
Kharaghpur, and Madras.

Indian Institutes of Technology are declared under the Parliament of
India (Act 59 of 1961) as Institutes of National Importance. These six
institutes totally get an annual grant of Rs.9000 crores from the Indian
Government (approx. US $ 2000 million), yet sadly these funds are not
utilized for the benefit of the downtrodden.

Even these top institutes have not been spared from the disaster of the
caste system. The institute at present does not implement the
reservation policy for the Dalits. The reason for this vindictive flouting of
social justice norms is the Brahmin domination in the administration and
teaching at the institute.

In the IIT Madras, out of 427 faculty members (teaching staff) only 2
faculty members belong to the Dalit community. Both these members only
belong to the lower cadre. Also, this means that instead of 22.5% of
positions being allotted to Dalits only 0.4% reservation is being given.
If the proper process of reservation is followed there should be 96
Dalit faculty members.

Also, although Muslims form about 15% of the Indian population there is
not a single Muslim faculty member in the Institute. There are only a
handful of Christian faculty members.

Around 400 faculty members belong to the Brahmin community. This means
that the Brahmins occupy 93% of the teaching community in the institute
although their percentage in population is only 3%. About 15 faculty
members belong to other Hindu castes apart from Dalits or Brahmins.

The selection to the B.Tech degree is based on an All India Level
Entrance test called the JEE (Joint Entrance Examination), which is held
commonly for the 6 IITs.

Discrimination against the Dalits begins at the stage of applying
itself. The Dalit students are issued coloured application forms whereas
other students are always given white coloured forms. This year the
application forms given to Dalit students were pink in color and last year it
was green. This is a shocking case of modern day apartheid, and a
greater shock is that the answer sheets of Dalit students are also coloured.

This year (2001), 537 students were selected to join B.Tech in IIT
Madras. Of these 503 students belong to the general category and only 34
students belong to the Dalit community. Instead of 22.5% reservation
eligible to Dalits only 6.3% is being filled up. If reservation is properly
implemented there should be 121 Dalit students in B.Tech course.

Only a handful of the Dalit students who clear the Joint Entrance Exam
are allowed to join the Institute and some of them are forced to take a
one year training called Preparatory Course and they are taught school
portions once more. The institute then conducts internal exams, and a
few of them are selected to join the institute & are made a year junior
to upper caste classmates Conducting of Preparatory Courses only to
Dalit students is violative of Right to Equality and is a highly
discriminatory practice.

Dalit students selected for the B.Tech are continuously harassed & they
are wantonly failed in courses by Brahmin faculty. This is facilitated
because student's caste is mentioned in the roll call given to Faculty
members. Very few Dalit students are allowed to complete their B.Tech
degree and many discontinue. Dalit students are entirely denied
admissions to other programs like M.Tech, M.S. & Ph.D.

In the Department of Mathematics, IIT Madras, till 1998 no Dalit
student had been selected for the Ph.D. program. Despite appearing twice for
interview a Dalit student Mr.S.R.Kannan was not selected. For selecting
him Dr. (Mrs.) Vasantha Kandasamy, an Associate Professor of the
Department had to appeal to various social justice forums to see that he was
selected. Till date he is yet to be allotted an office room in the
Mathematics Department.

Dr. Vasantha fought for the Dalit scholar, so she is harassed in all
possible ways. She was selected as Associate Professor in 1996, but she
is denied her right salary. Despite being a highly qualified
mathematician having published over 350 research papers in journals & conferences,
she is discriminated because she is espousing the cause of Dalit
education. She has guided 11 students for their doctoral program – Ph.D.

In an effort to put a stop-gap to the Dalit movement the IIT Madras
administration is victimizing Dr. Vasantha. She has sent over 62 letters
of appeal to the Indian Government to do justice but no action has been
taken. So, Dr. Vasantha will be directly approaching the United Nations
Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

Over 200 cases are pending in Honorable Courts in Madras against
Director, IIT Madras, for the past five years & some of these cases are
regarding denial of reservation for Dalits.

Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam and Dalit Panthers of India along
with 21 other Dalit organizations have formed a Social Justice Retrieval
Forum and are fighting for the rights of Dalits and reservation policy
in Indian Institute of Technology IIT, Madras.

We pray to the International Forum of WCAR to support the cause of
Dalit Education in IITs, and recruitment of Dalit Teachers in IITs and
include the same in your agenda.

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Comments»

1. Deepak - June 1, 2006

Dear Writer,

Wat u have written is bull shitt. as simple as that just wait for the reply.

2. Deepak - June 1, 2006

Well after going thru all ur posts, it seems that all ur opinions are biased and not at all based on facts….. I dont know whether to clarify ur doubts or u r in such a state where u dont want to see the reality….. I dont know man…. But Sorry to say most of the things written is crap n is HALF TRUTH….. which is more danderous than complete lie……

3. Nimamman Na Keya - June 5, 2006

You fools are genetically incapable of standing on your own feet.

Thats because you have your heads up your arses all the time.

You have to deserve something to have a right over it first. Education is not your field of expertise. You shitheads will be better off cleaning toilets. Thats what you were born to do. Go back and do that you pieces of filth.

Oh… I am a upper class, brahmin boy without any physical disabilities. I can kick your asses any day. Bring it on, faggots!

4. chella_cheated - June 7, 2006

do you think they are all bad teachers? as long as they are doin their job well, there is no problem.

iit does recruitment on an allindia level, and is a centrally run institute. so if you think that there should be an automatic 22% or 50% or whatever reservation for teachers, you don’t know anything about teaching or teachers..

to have a look and see how bad caste based reservation in teaching is you should take a look at Anna University, opposite the IIT… It was once considered one of the best colleges in the country, but now has pitiful teaching and quality of students… Out of about 120 students in a class, only 2 – 5 manage to get jobs which are as good as those of the IIT students.

5. ujdbsg - June 8, 2006

Kudos to the writer!
u have brought out the harsh realities.
hey Nimamm….
I can kick ur ass ne day ne time.u mofo.

“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who in the name of charity and good will shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.”

6. Srinivas - June 12, 2006

“Brahmins have monopolized entire educational sector in India. The
Brahmin caste forms only 3% of India’s population but it occupies all top scholastic & legislative positions. They deny the Dalits even basic
Education.” Only 3% of the population dominating nearly 110 Crore people. Are you running out of your minds with these Statistics. Apply some logic to your thoughts man. Do not apply short cuts to your paths and that too with a mindset 200 yrs back. Know the facts of the 21 st century and do not publish stories / facts belonging centuries back.

7. Sheik abibullah - June 14, 2006

do u think reservations are ur birth right?…if u r capable show it off …else shut the **** off

8. Vina - June 15, 2006

The intention behind conducting a preparatory course for dalit students in IITs should be appreciated in the right spirit. It is to fill up the vacancies falling in a particular year, by the students who underwent the prep. The students, after the prep. join B.Tech. against the vacancies which have fallen in the previous year.

Unable to fill up the vanciies of dalit category students through JEE as the students have scored not enough marks, even after giving much relaxation of score, the IITs admit the candidates to prep. course, who have scored very less marks but not enough to get included in the merit list of dalit students of JEE with relaxed marks.

Such students come from background where their paretns may be illiterate; and the students studied in government schools which, in the name of teaching, wreck their lives. So, naturally, they will not be at par with others who had literate parents and were put to public school system.

There is, therefore, nothing shameful or discriminatory to teach these students their fundamentals of Maths, Phy and Chem for ten months before they are admitted to the B.Tech course proper.

Many students have successfully completed the prep.course and joined the B.Tech. and came out of IITs; and are now employed with good salary, both in private and public sector.

We must encourage these students who go to prep. course assuring them that the course will indeed do them good; and there is nothing to be ashamed of it.

If there is no such prep. course for such students, what would be the possible situation? As you said, only a 6 or 7% of the SC/ST seats in B.Tech course get filled up in IITs every year; and the rest have to fall vacant as no eligible dalit student, even with one-third relaxation, could be found.

Shall we keep the vacancies for ever, from year to year, unfilled ? Are we not using the fund given by the Government to IITs to impart education to the elite only? And leaving out the downtrodden SCs/STs?

The only way out is the prep. course shamed by you without much thinking.

If you don’t like prep. course, suggest a better one.

Do you mean to say that the students who score less than ten marks in JEE should sit in the same class with the ones who have scored 80% marks? Won’t it humiliate the dalit student himself?

Please think; and come with suggestions that will do good to the same people whose causes you take up with passion, but without reason or logic.

9. Bharani - June 18, 2006

How the hell a bull shit from UAE blabber on something going on in Chennai…. and in a premier institute….

10. ram - July 21, 2006

Dr Ambedkar’s intensions were to raise the downtroddens only until they raise.you people do not upgrade yourselves.
Then why the shot you are asking for reservations……..
reservations…….reservations……. you are making us as O.C
i.e ORPHAN CASTE and not OPEN CATEGORY

11. Only Merit Shud B the criteria - July 25, 2006

hi chella,
this what u have written here shows ur mindset and mind level,u people r given so much relaxation even then u r nt happy,all statics are wront given by u above,nd people like u who even dont worth iit r addmitted and given xtra 1 year traiining,.
u bullshits dont worth iits nd iims,ther shud b opened sum diff colleges for ur type of people.

12. Arasu - August 15, 2006

Hi Nimamman Na Keya ,

If there were no caste based system and the education was given for everyone from the beginning; talking about reservation now is meaning less. But, the education was denied for certain people for more than 2000 years and you guys want to treat them equal to you.

Those who appose reservation, imagine, if you were in our position what you will do now.

13. Mahendra - September 18, 2006

The author has exagerated . What is happening now ( caste politics ) is not right and what happened in the past ( caste discrimination) is also not right .

Indian politicians current and past ( Prime Ministers , Presidents , Chief maiminters , Finance mainisters etc etc ) are all ass-holes and thats why we as a country are like this

14. Kangeyan - October 6, 2006

The guys who are supporting the things happening in IIT chennai haven’t used any proper words to express their feelings. That means those upper community Brahmins(no way upper in their thinkings) looks no difference than a Brithish who was here. Even both are whites so you guys don’t know to think white.

Once more Periyar will come soon to control you guys. The social revolutions will not stop. You guys has to struggle hard once the 97% peoples are together. Please keep in mind that.

15. luke - October 7, 2006

he created bull sheat 5th caste, he must know that tribes like gonds have ruled till late 18th century in central india.


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