Thursday, November 17, 2005

reservations on reservations


About a couple of months back the topic of 33% reservation for women in the Parliament & Legislative assemblies of India was discussed in this blog. This post is about reservations again, this time on the reservations in the education sector.

India is one of the fastest developing nations inspite of some of its stupid politicians who still live by the old-school theories and are a pain in the neck more than anything else. And in such a fast growing economy of such a huge size, education is a key to success and the accelerator to growth. India had its own share of educational growth producing mass pool of talent in various sectors every year.

India has some of the best schools in Asia and recognized ones in the World. The IITs, IIMs, several NITs, BITS, XLRI, Guindy Engg College, ISB, CMC, JIPMER, AIMS are all examples of popular schools recognized far & wide. They are renowned for the quality of education, class of teachers, availability of facilities and standards of the students who graduate from there. In addition to these schools, there are thousands of educational institutions who generate graduates ready to work in various sectors that have a labor demand. There are years of studies, exams etc., taken into account to select the best & talented into these institutions.

Then comes in Reservation. I understand the necessity of reservation. After decades of suppression, oppression, economic deprivation, one cannot expect a student from the downtrodden castes to compete equally with the rest. He/she needs a headstart and reservation is precisely given to accommodate that. However, as with any other social upliftment program, the politicians of India and the cunning selfish caste leaders have successfully manipulated the reservations program to their advantage.

To start with, the whole concept of reservation based on caste still continuing is mind boggling. Sixty years earlier, it may have been tough to identify economically downtrodden and it made sense to give some of these 'rewards' and upliftment programs based on caste. But in this 21st century, continuation of this idea seems absurd. Furthermore, minority religious educational institutions who claim to the government that they should not be forced to implement the reservation policies also claim that there must be a 5% reservation for minority religions in institutions.

The caste leaders are the most complicated ones. On one side, all the so called 'Dalit' leaders yell on the top of their voices that the caste differences need to be done away with; on the other side, they also scream and wreck havoc asking for reservation in education, jobs & what not..

  • First of all, not all castes within the "scheduled" castes are same.. Many of them are rich, affluent, govern towns and villages. Same is the case of OBCs. One doesnt need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the leaders only claim for reservation is to keep the nation divided and coin the profits.
  • Second, if the educational institutions already have reservations, why are there reservations in the job/industry sector too ?
  • Third, have we ever looked back to see what is the benefit to the poor man & downtrodden society in general because of the reservation implementation ? One cannot celebrate that just the fact we had a Dalit President of India has proved the reservation has worked well. Without doing necessary retrospection, how can we just go on and on with a scheme just because it gains popular discussions during every state elections.
  • Fourth, If reservations were so necessary still, why not the government and affluent caste leaders build world class institutions, provide reservations in those institutions and leave the rest to open competition ?

There will be thousands of debates to the above and other such questions, but there can never be answers.

It is just clear from the current setup that the concept of reservation is just to keep the caste leaders happy and enable them to secure their vote bank. There maybe a fraction of percentage of people who benefit this system , but it ends there. The rest is all manipulated and the downtrodden society transformation & egalitarian society formation that Dr. Ambedkar had envisioned isnt happening. Worse, because of this undue reservations, the talent pool is depleting within the nation with greater amount of dissatisfaction and loss of trust over the motherland.

As long as the caste divide is used as a 'reward' to allocate seats in top notch institutions, a healthy society can never be formed. It is time that sensible leaders bite the bullet and initiate the attempt to change some of these policies that have been taken for granted. This nation can progress only by unity and not by caste divides.

While these are topics are that are taboo, that become political controversies and touch sentiments of people and sometimes it may be better remain untouched, the truth cannot be hidden. And the truth in this case is that all this reservation system does is to deepen the divide within the society. Decades later, people will stop blaming Hindu society as the reason for casteism and will realize that it is this reservation that has harbored this casteism happily.


(PS: Bubbled this post up for discussions)

Monday, November 14, 2005

blog in blogger


Blogger thinks BLOG is a wrong spelling :)