In July 2015, there was high tension in Gujarat due to Patel Agitation. In the first week of July, Patel community started their fight to get reservation from the government of India. They organised a peace rally in Ahmedabad to protest against the government. Peace rally became violent as the things heated up in that rally. In the heat of the moment, Patel community damaged public property as their cars and vehicles were also damaged in that rally. After that incident, Ahmedabad became no internet zone. Government took that step to stop people from spreading rumours through social media. No one imagined that peace rally of Patel community will create havoc in the city.
When I left the home in the morning after that violent night, I saw burnt vehicles on the road. I was shaken a bit after seeing that. As I reached station, people were greeting each other coldly. People were discussing that incident and were doubting each other. There was coldness between Patel community people and reserved category people in the train. Patel community was demanding the abolishment of the reservation or some percentage of reservation for their community. Reserved category people were upset by their demand of abolishment of reservation. Thus they were greeting people of Patel community coldly.
“This is shit. Look at the city. Burnt vehicles all over.” Dwarkesh Kaka entered in the train in bad mood.
“Yeah, there is a smoke all over the city. This should not have happened.” I added while looking for some sort of update from my social media apps in my phone.
“My community has been divided into two parts due to this agitation. Some people are supporting this agitation while others against it.” Dwarkesh Kaka expressed his disappointment. Dwarkesh Kaka was a Patel and he was against that agitation. Mahesh Kaka entered in the train while we were discussing the incident. Mahesh Kaka didn’t greet Dwarkesh Kaka properly. Seeing that, even Dwarkesh Kaka didn’t ask him anything. During that violent night, Patel community damaged railway tracks as well. Thus trains were running late next day. Anand memu left Ahmedabad station at 9:05 a.m.
“Dwarkesh Bhai, everyone fine at home? Everything OK in your area?” Sharma ji showed his concern for Dwarkesh Kaka after getting into the train from Maninagar station. These questions should have been asked by Mahesh Kaka. Mahesh Kaka was part of reserved category people. Thus he was not in the mood either.
“They are not going to get the reservation. There was no meaning of rally and that violent act,” Mahesh Kaka replied to Sharma ji’s questions.
“I agree that they shouldn’t have kept their points in a violent manner but they have a point. There shouldn’t be even a single percent of reservation in this country.” Sharma ji was supporting the demand of Patel community but not their act.
“Sharma ji, we are cleaning the gutters since independence that’s why we got this percentage of reservation and we deserve it.” Mahesh Kaka started showing support for the reservation by taking the support of their past condition.
“Today, even the people of general category are cleaning the gutters and reserved category people are equally rich. Moreover, we are not treating reserved category people indifferently anymore. So there is no meaning of this reservation anymore.” Sharma ji showed real picture to Mahesh Kaka.
“And reserved category people are only taking undue advantage of reservation these days. They pay less fees in schools and colleges despite being capable of paying the full fees. They have different cut offs in colleges and government jobs. And those cut offs are much less than general category cut offs. Due to such special cut offs, general category people despite scoring good marks, miss out by one or two marks and don’t get the opportunity. Those who really need the benefits of reservation are totally unaware of it. So there is no meaning reservation in the country.” I added my experience to it and made that picture even broader.
“How can you say that? You have no idea about what we have faced! You yourself experienced it that when the head of cleaning staff was not allowing Suresh to sit on the seat. Just because I belong to schedule caste, no one used to sit next to me during my school days and you are saying that there is no meaning of reservation in the country.” Mahesh Kaka started shouting at me.
“If you remember the inappropriate behaviour of the head of cleaning staff then you should also remember that it was I who gave Suresh the window seat. That head of cleaning staff was of your age and he lived in some remote village. People of my generation don’t treat anyone indifferently on the basis of his or her caste. We treat everyone equally. So don’t shout at me.” I also raised the tone of my voice. People gathered near our row but Sharma ji changed the topic and everything became normal.
“I can also gather the people of my community here but I am not like you. Better, stop giving your input when I am talking with someone.” Mahesh Kaka threatened me as we reached Anand. I ignored him and carried on with my day.
In the evening, the train which used to depart at 1:30 p.m. from Anand arrived at 5:30 p.m. we boarded that train. It stopped at Nadiad. After waiting for the signal for half an hour. The train got cancelled at Nadiad. When we inquired about the problem then we came to know that 11 trains are running one after another and all of them are trying to reach Ahmedabad as soon as possible. We got scared after hearing that as there was already high tension in the state. Above that, I quarreled with Mahesh Kaka in the morning. So the tension was higher. I wanted to reach home as soon as possible. Luckily, Ahmedabad memu arrived at Nadiad station within ten minutes of the cancellation of that train. We reached Ahmedabad without any further trouble. Finally I felt safe and secure in the four walls of my house.