This week’s newsletter was delayed - our schedule was thrown off last week as two members from the team were traveling. But our newest article went live yesterday so here’s the newsletter as quick as we could get it to you!
Today, we’re talking about the idea of “castelessness” and reservations. There seems to be a constant debate about reservations in upper caste circles - about if they work, when they will be stopped, etc. But the framing of reservations as something that the majority “gives” to the minority who suffered because of their caste hides the truth. In this 8000 word paper from 2013, Satish Deshpande explores how if we truly mean to annihilate caste, it isn’t enough just to understand how it disadvantages lower castes. We also need to understand the advantages it grants to upper castes. Read the summary below or click through to the site and get the full version
Our video this month will also elaborate on this subject. Here’s a sneak preview:
In 1969, 13000 people attempted the IIT entrance. By 2001, it had reached 150,000 - more than ten times. by 2006, it was 300,000. In 2011, almost half a million people would write the exam - and only around 3% would get admission.
It’s amazing that there are 500,000 people writing the exam - but it’s even more amazing that we - as a country - accept the fact that the right 3% were picked. We seem to genuinely believe that the best students are chosen to join IIT.
Hopefully everyone will enjoy the video. It should be out in one week!
If you’re interested in how we choose our articles and our writing process, we describe it in our latest Building in Public post. Here’s an excerpt:
Then, I give Thomas an oral summary of what I’ve read and managed to retain in my head. This exercise automatically forces me to focus on the core argument that I’d like to highlight and the most important supporting details. Ideally, at the end of this conversation, the person I’m talking to should have a clear idea of the text without having read it.
Once that’s accomplished, we have a discussion about headline, which is super important, because it decides the angle/framing of the entire article. This is also the point at which we discuss the “why you should read this” section of the post – that basically involves answering the all-important question of why this text might be relevant or useful to a potential reader.
The India Ink Team