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MARTYR'S DAY
DEATH ANNIVERSARY OF MAHATMA GANDHI
Edited by Mohan Shenoy
October 2nd
         Indian nation observes the 30th of January every year as Martyrs' Day by remaining silent for one minute at about 11 a.m.

        Mahathma Gandhi had his own opinion on every aspect of life. He was concerned about human rights, a term recently introduced in the world. It was indeed the human rights that Mahathma Gandhi meant when he protested throwing him out of the railway compartment in South Africa in the late nineteenth century for being Indian, and coloured. It was then he realized that people showed scant respect for other people if they are different from their own colour, caste, nationality, ethnicity or other positions.

        Mahathma Gandhi belonged to a highly respected community in India and having very high self-esteem, felt deeply hurt when a railway official abused him even though he had a valid ticket to travel. This discrimination existed in various forms in the world at all times because it is a part of selfish human nature.  Even now there are discriminations practiced in subtle ways in India.

    The GSB community supported providing discriminatory reservation when it was introduced, to those belonging to SC, ST, and OBC categories in the fields of education, jobs, and many other spheres of life. But now after more than three decades of such positive action by the Government of India, the GSB people have become weary of this reservation policy. Although it is true that the GSB people enjoyed many benefits because of their caste in the past, the GSB community is no more placed at an advantage because of their caste at present.

       
        GSB caste is only a name and does not signify if there are any weaker members within the community. There are many weaker members in the GSB community and if a survey is taken it will be realized that there are more weaker members in the GSB community now than there are in the SC or ST communities.

        Only a survey using the same parameters of living standards for all people regardless of their caste can reveal the truth. We now estimate that there are many weaker members in our community who need support in the manner that SC, ST, and OBC communities are given at present.

        We take pride in being called a forward community and do not wish to seek reservation on the basis of our caste. But we do not want to be discriminated because of our caste, and not be counted for admission in educational institutions or for providing jobs, in spite of being eligible. The present generation of SC, ST and OBC communities have sufficiently advanced to compete with the GSB people in these areas.

         Therefore instead of increasing quotas for those people who were formerly backward and weak, the reservation policy should be gradually tapered off within a specified period of time.If Mahathma Gandhi were here today, we are sure he would have not proceeded any further on the present reservation policy of the Indian Government, but instead demanded that it be scrapped altogether.

Concluded
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