Saturday, September 4, 2010

Reservation- The Conclusion [Part 2]

continued from previous post

Personally, I believe that reservations are not really necessary and should be dispensed off altogether. They clearly violate the Right to Equality. Even if we accept that backward caste people were grossly exploited in the past, it does not justify why their grandchildren or great grandchildren should be benefited now. Take the case of Australia, now one of the most advanced countries in the world. However almost every Australian has an ancestor who was a criminal and deported [from England] to the sub-continent sometime in the past. Does that mean that since their ancestors were criminals, all Australians should be put into jail? Ridiculous. We need to get over the past and focus on the present. Even Ambedkar intended the reservation policy to carry out for just 50 years, by the time; he thought the backward caste people would have raised enough to walk shoulder to shoulder with the General category. However this did not happen. Instead reservation quota was increased. And with politicians such as Mayawati and Lalu Prasad Yadav endorsing reservation like anything, it’s unlikely that reservation will ever be stopped in future.

Unfortunately the only people who deserve to get reservation are those who don’t get it, namely the ones belonging to the BPL[Below Poverty Line Category]. Such people rarely even manage to scrape through school, let alone get themselves admitted into higher educational institutes or jobs. Politicians are also not bothered, since they do not constitute a part of their vote bank. But can’t we have some other solution apart from reservation?

Instead of just reserving a Higher Education seat, why not give him proper food, shelter, clothing and access to education from the very beginning? After all, the poor student will be unable to adjust to the environment if he is just given a free pass and nothing else. Moreover, it’s almost always the middle class people who avail of the reservation schemes, since their children study in decent private schools along with the General category students. The following is a common occurrence nowadays-‘Two children[say A and B], good friends study in the same school throughout till class 12. Then the competitive exams take place. A finds out that he has scored a decent rank but failed to get into the college of his choice. However he sees that his friend B has got a similar result. But he is shocked to know that B has managed to gain entry into the college of A’s dreams. A is bewildered. Only later he realizes that B somehow managed to obtain a Backward caste certificate and got hold of a seat reserved for S.C.s]. The above incident is pretty common. In fact, nowadays most people do not openly declare that they are from backward castes. They are ashamed to say in public that their grandparents were sweepers or cobblers. The stigma hasn’t really vanished. But when the opportunity arrives, they quietly get hold of such certificates in sneak into colleges/companies/etc. In fact, such is the greed to get hold of a seat, that many General category people are obtaining forged certificates stating that they belong to so and so backward caste. It seems that people will go to any length to find a shortcut instead of taking the right but hard path. And since reservation is legal, there is nothing wrong about it[according to them].

When I was in school, I did not even know which student was from a backward caste and who was not. I never discriminated anyone with respect to their caste, religion, status, color, gender, etc. However I will lie if I say that I did not feel disappointed[and also a bit angry] when I saw some of my classmates get admission into NITs[for example] with a lower rank than mine, whereas I did not get any seat anywhere[am from general category]. This feeling of anger is natural and justified. What did those students do to deserve the seats? The answer is they did nothing. It’s just that they were from backward castes. The same situation is prevalent throughout India. We need to seriously question the motive and policy of reservation.

Or else, we could simply keep giving more reservation to people who want them. Let us have reservations for all minority religions- Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist, Jains, Parsis, etc. Or we could have State Reservations- Marathis, Punjabis, Uttar Pradeshis, Bengalis, Assamese, etc. Or maybe geographical reservation- North, South, East, West, Central. Or reservation based on color- Dark, Brown, Fair, Extra Dark, Extra Fair, Medium, etc. Or reservation based on looks, that would be interesting- Beautiful, Handsome, Ugly, Horrible. Here is a sample Introductory session on the first day of college-‘Hi, I am A, Marathi Quota from Madhya Pradesh. Hello A, this is B, Central Quota from Haryana. Oh guys, wait up. This is C, Extra Fair Quota from Punjab. Hi, I am D, beautiful Quota from Maharashtra. Finally an exasperated guy shows up and starts speaking. Excuse me, but where is the registration for General category students? I did not find any place for that. Oh did you not hear? The General category Quota was removed. Now you need to find a Quota that suits you. Choose the State Quota if nothing else is applicable.’

So the question remains- Do we want a single united India? Or do we want to further divide it into numerous segments, dividing people across castes[which will be included in the Census, by the way], and introducing barriers throughout? The answer is only with us.


Chandrika Shubham said...

Thanks for sharing.
In schools nobody knows the caste of the best friend.

Satwinder Singh said...

@Chandrika: Thanks.. :)

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