There are several groups in India that are severely discriminated. Almost all of these are discriminated in a conspicuous way and people acknowledge it. However, the group I belong to, although discriminated conspicuously, isn’t really acknowledged by people. Most even think it is a joke.
The group doesn’t have a name. Most members have faced hardships due to their belonging to the group but no one has thought of coming together to fight for our rights. Again, if such a thing is mentioned, people dismiss it as a joke.
I call the group HYMIBA. Its an acronym for all the characteristics the members possess which makes them target for discrimination. The letters stand for the following:
H = Hindu
Y = Young
M = Male
I = Information Technology professional
B = Brahmin
A = Able bodied
There is a sub group called HYMIBAR and I belong to this. The R stands for religion free. Although the H and B have religious connotations, they are mainly cultural. We don’t subscribe to any religious of caste ideas. Yet it is attributed to us, but that is alright and we accept it. When there can be Dalit Muslims, why can’t there be Hymibars?
As a Hymibar, I face imperceptible inverse discrimination. One must remember that carbon monoxide too is imperceptible but it is lethal. Inverse discrimination means age wise, disability wise, gender wise, caste wise, religion wise and economic status wise I am a “privileged” citizen. Because I am classed as privileged, a positive adjective, the discrimination is imperceptible.
In buses and other public places we see signs to the effect of “Please allow women, children, older people and disabled to sit”. I’ve always said it’d be much direct (not that we fail to get it) and much much paint could be saved if they just write “All young able bodied men better stand” because signs like these are everywhere. God forbid (just an expression) we show a sign of tiredness, we are in for a lecture on how young men must be full of energy. Society harasses those young men who don’t pay heed.
And God double forbid if we ever say we aren’t in the mood to go to work some day, or quit the job and take a break from work for some while. We have to face a wall of text equivalent of unsolicited lecture about how men must not sit at home and idle away. While society condemns lecturing women about being a good home maker terming it regressive and gender stereotyping, society forces men to be the bread earner of the house, and take responsibility of everything, even the women who are supposed to be liberated. I won’t even talk about alimony forced to be given to educated women.
Not to mention how being a male is an automatic misogyny in society. It is as though possessing facial hair and penis is a crime in and by itself.
Only because some distant ancestors of some of us were practicing some abhorrent inhuman casteist policies like untouchability etc every Brahmin, descendant of such disgusting people or not, must suffer and carry what I call, “Brahmin’s burden” or “Brahmin’s guilt”. Unfortunately, such practices are very much prevalent even today, but the practitioners from other castes outnumber Brahmins by a long margin. At best, only those Brahmins still involved in traditional priestly duties at temples are likely to follow casteism. (Note that due to government policies, one can’t always conclude a priest to be a Brahmin because the reservation (affirmative action) allows non Brahmins to become priests.)
People laugh at Brahmins at urinals when they tie their janivara up onto their ear. People recite gayatri mantra in a funny way, like it is supposed to hurt and insult Brahmins. We irreligious ones don’t care but the religious ones do feel a pained and angry. Brahmins are also ridiculed for their juttu and kachche. The movies depict every anti hero rowdy as a poor Brahmin boy, which is extremely wrong and plain lies, except the poor part. People make fun of how Brahmins are vegetarian and don’t have physical strength. They don’t know the R ones eat meat and workout. They taunt us with slurs like “bomman” and “shastri” and “pulchar”. Ahimsa is our creed, so we let them go. The worst is, we are made to look like criminals if we show a bit of intelligence when others are gaping at problems, or we are called sly and patronizing if we genuinely complement or try to help someone. We have to remember to tone ourselves down.
If that is about caste, coming to religion, increasingly, simply being a Hindu is seen by media and intellectuals as being non secular (aka Muslim & Christian hater). It doesn’t matter that we are cultural Hindus, we are classed with rowdy right wingers and treated badly. Funnily, when we point out that we are religion less, right wingers accuse us of being secular (or sickular, meaning Muslim & Christian lobbyist) or communist.
To top these, people constantly assume that because we work in IT industry, we are all stinking rich. Nothing can be farther from the truth. We are harassed so much that we can’t wear upscale clothes, not even merely “upscale looking”. Or have latest gadgets. Or have lunch at good restaurants. Or drive a big SUV. Or take an auto till our houses. Or office. Non IT colleagues generally give us this look of mixed envy and disgust. Auto drivers will start incessantly pleading for tips when they don’t rig the meters to fleece money.
Having at least one criteria of Hymiba can be quite an ordeal, imagine having everyone of them. Its a living hell. We are raped. Mentally. Day in and day out.
I am pretty sure, and I bet my janivara and koupina, that if a Hymiba is beaten to death in broad daylight by rowdies it wouldn’t make as much news and noise as a non Hymiba being the victim. In fact one need have just one letter missing, preferably the non-I letters, and all hell will break lose.
No political parties talk about Hymiba. Its a joke to the society if we narrate our ordeals. What are we supposed to do, make a noose out of the janivara and hang ourselves? We pay out taxes, probably the biggest tax payers. We are rightful citizens.
Yet the society doesn’t care about us, about me.
I call all fellow Hymiba(r)s to join me in making a political party, or at least a lobby group, for equal rights. The perception of majority that we are privileged must not be used as an excuse to discriminate against us.
PS: I wanted to call it Bhimya, but I didn’t want the other group accusing me of hate and misuse the law to send me to prison.
PPS: If you read this and thought this must be a bad joke, shame on you. Its people like YOU who discriminate us. Shame. On. YOU.