A humble request: Dont ask for letters of recommendation

These scholarships are not for people like you.” That was the comment of one of my professors a little over a decade ago when I said that I wanted to apply for scholarships to pursue doctoral studies in the US or the UK. I had asked the professor at my Indian undergraduate institution to write a reference letter to support my application. Given that I had been awarded a university medal for my MA, I didn’t understand what he meant by “people like you”. In India, I belong neither to a minority religious group nor to a section of society that is discriminated against. But the perceived indignity deterred me from applying for any more fellowships or scholarships for the next three years.

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