Not Fair: The Quick Version of being an Average Indian.


Okay. So today’s Daily Post wants me to talk about things that I think are not fair.

I’d only say, this question couldn’t have chosen a better moment to get asked. Yes I am in a mood to rant about the random unfairness of life.

We all know life’s not fair but I think sometimes the unjust cruelty gets too much to bear. Yes, it’s true that you shouldn’t look at people who’re better off because for every one such person, there are  hundreds who are much worse off. But it’s also true that there is the differences can pinch too much sometimes.

It’s not fair to be born in a country with a population of 1.21 billion people with half of them below the age of 25. It’s not fair to be in this age group, with the kind of competition that can make grabbing any kind of employment or education opportunity very, very hard.

Case in point: An average middle class Indian student who HAS to get through to an engineering college SLOGS through the kind of maths and science that can make your bones curdle for two years to compete for some of the hardest-to-get seats in India. The population already stacks the odds against you but indiscriminate reservation that is NOT on the basis of economic situation but on the basis of an outdated, outmoded, let’s-get-over-it-already caste system unique to Indian history. If you do manage a good seat, you slog through four years of college.

Engineering college isn’t really all that bad. The statistics are skewed at a ratio of around about 1:8 for girls to boys and that creates it’s own set of problems for both genders. I wouldn’t even go into those because that’s a whole other debate right in itself.

Once you’re through, you have another fight ahead of you for employment.  It is a taboo to not be employed; the culture of taking a year or two off to just figure your life out is frowned upon. The culture of taking up jobs like waitress-ing is frowned upon. The culture of choosing something unconventional is considered unstable, untrustworthy and a gamble. The culture of not being “married and settled in time” is frowned upon. The culture of not studying further after graduation is not seen as amounting to much anymore. And your business is everyone else’s business.

And to top it all off, thanks to technology and the Internet we can constantly compare ourselves to better countries where people have it easy. Where even working at a McDonald’s will give you a more luxurious life than many of our country’s engineers can afford. Where women can move around safely. Where the politicians aren’t corrupt and the lines not so long. Where government employees, policemen don’t take bribes. And metros aren’t overcrowded to the point of being suffocating. And men won’t take advantage of that and feel you up when you inadvertently press against them. Where you can go to a club or a bar, dress however you want and not be called a slut for that. Where being a girl is starting to breed certain somewhat unfair advantage and yet being a boy offers you the kinds of freedom denied to the other sex.

So. Unfair? Let’s not talk about unfair anymore.

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