Rohtak boy, Randeep Hooda laments the ‘unprecedented’ violence that broke down the beautiful town of his childhood.

The actor says, “I am heartbroken to see my city Rohtak (amongst the worst- affected areas) up in flames like that. I have not witnessed this kind of violence in many years. Somewhere, I have this strong feeling that it was not just against reservation. Anti-social elements have instigated a series of events that took place and the entire agitation took up an inter-caste colour, and it turned into a riot. The violence and outbreak erupted more in cities than in rural parts of the region. I feel people have the absolute right to ask for reservations but violence is not the way to do it.”

 

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So, does Randeep support reservations for his community? Reacting to that he says, “We are all trying to bring about modernisation. But the existent social stratification by caste is a ground reality that cannot be ignored. As a kid, I had witnessed something similar during the Mandal Commission outrage. People say Jats are self-respecting and affluent people, but farming as a profession does not suffice for their families anymore. Young people are looking for more opportunities, and they have real spunk and potential in them that never gets realised due to lack of resources. Children from farming background are not able to compete in the general category. People of the community are now beginning to feel the pinch.”

 

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He adds, “Jats also have a peculiar problem, because they are not a community who by tradition can learn trade. They are not inclined to business. Of course, there are exceptions to this. But at the grass root level, this is a socio-cultural issue with Jats. The thought process limits their options even further. Whether reservation should or should not be there is not the question, but better resources should be made available to people. Other communities are a part of the quota whereas Jats are not. Due to the rise in population, land size has become smaller, which is making things difficult for people.”

 The conversation naturally flowed towards whether he feels reservations should be there at all or not. He says, “Reservations should be based on what your situation is and not what you are born into. There should be a socio-economic basis to quota rather than it being based on caste, creed or religion. In a utopian set-up, there should be level playing field and reservation should be completely done away with. But the Indian political system is based on caste politics, which makes it impossible to do away with it. There should be a holistic solution to even out these things.”
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Randeep reiterates what cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni said a few days ago — ‘We are able to argue about things because the army is guarding our freedom’. The actor goes on to say, “The Jats are proud of the countless martyrs and sportsmen they have given our country. They are the nation’s protectors and the popular vocations amongst them are army and sports, besides agriculture. Be it Captain Pawan Kumar or Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag or Virender Sehwag, we have people who have made the community very proud. My father has taught us that Jat stands for Justice, Action and Truth. Yeh apne sidhanto pe ladne wale log hai. Look at my father’s (Dr Ranbir Hooda) struggle. In his times, he became a doctor and his struggle was inspirational. A lot of my classmates have died fighting in Kashmir and Kargil. I hope people get some perspective and stop the violence. What good can come out of burning down our neighbours, or the new towns that have been built painstakingly? People are hurting others and in turn, causing pain to themselves.
source TOI

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