Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Reservation for a certain section of society in independent India, has become a major issue of discussion, dissension, debate and bitterness. When India got its freedom from the British yoke in 1947, the framers of the Indian Constitution made these reservations for that section of our society which had been long neglected and disparaged. The purpose was well thought of and in all fairness, in order to enable the downtrodden, improve their status and enter into the mainstream of the country’s developmental works.
The basic idea was undoubtedly superb as, it was in all good intent, meant to build up to a certain level those sections of the Indian society which had hitherto been left uncared for. Besides, this was originally to be fixed for only the first fifteen years of independence. This was done so, with the expectation that, one single generation would be turned out in fifteen years and would become capable of joining the others and forging a march ahead. The programme as visualized, was rather good, but, what shape it has taken in the last fifty years is for all of us to see, and appreciate. The system has been misused by one and all, just for the betterment of each one’s fancy.
The Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes were, originally the only ones who were given this reservation, and that too for fifteen years. It was for this specific period only because, it was expected that, one generation would be helped to rise in this period. However, as we see it today, the policy of reservation has been completely changed in the span of the last fifty years. There has been unlimited extension of the policy for, no one knows how long, it appears as though the policy has come to stay for ever and its extension is also as though unlimited, with several more sections joining the bandwagon of the privileged reservationists.
A series of backward classes have now been included to be termed as the OBCs, and the latest category include in the list is of women. There are about than 50% or more of seats reserved everywhere for these classes, and where will all this end up, and, where will the so-called advantaged majority go, if reservations keep rising at this pace no body knows.
Reservations have come up in educational institutions, in jobs, in state assemblies, in parliament, in every feasible sphere. It will a wonder if this system is really going to help us raise our standards in any sphere at all, or will this become just a tool in the hands of a few, to forward their own interests, as has been upto this juncture. The reservation has been fitted only few families of any weaker section and not the mass in general. The reservation must be restricted to provide education to some state and give employment to one only one. After employment he should not be given any other facility and should be left to raise his family on his soldiers it self. Why a minister’s, chief minister’s or Deputy Commissioner’s sam be treated as poor and be given reservation once he is able to raise his family of its own.
Being of a reserved category should give a normal being a feeling of being someone less than others, but, in our present day scenario, it seems we take pride in being one of a reserved category, which shows an absolute lack of self respect in us Indians. Is reservation something we should hanker for, is it not charity that we want to progress upon? If we are a self respecting community, we should never want any reservation for ourselves. However, we seem to take pride and feel privileged when we are among the reserved class.
Reservation should not be based on caste colour or creed as it is now. The only plausible basis for reservations should be economic status of an individual. Those who cannot afford to be educated in Institutions of repute, and are really interested, should be allowed entry free in order to encourage them to follow their educational pursuits. They should be allowed to grow with the others, and not allowed any lenience in their passing, for, once they have the same educational background as all others, and not allowed any lenience in their passing, why should they have any further advantage over the others. Any lenience to them in the marking schedule etc., destroys the basic standards of our education, and beyond that, the standard of our workers.
Only economic backwardness should be the yardstick for anything like reservation. This policy in its present shape must be scrapped altogether, as, it is leading to more of heart burning than any progress of the backward classes. It is creating more and more confusion on the planning side and more cracks are seen to appear among different sections of society. By this policy what we are in reality achieving is, much too negative a prospect to be of any utility at this point of time. Most of the time we see that, in this process the brilliant children of the upper classes get stranded in their pursuits of education or job hunting because the vacancies are reserved for only the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes. This puts in the mids of these good students a hatred for these classes, and this not wrongly so. So, instead of doing away with the class evil, the system is making the demarcation still deeper. It gives a sense of frustration to the upper classes and at the same time, an unwanted boost in the aspirations of the Scheduled Classes. They begin to feel that, their’s are the reserved seats so, they do not have to make any effort. In this way, the reservation policy is helping to widen the gap between the two classes instead of bridging it, for which the policy was originally meant. On the work front also, when we put in less capable people just because the job is reserved for them, the work bound to suffer.
Regarding this policy, if at all it has to be maintained indefinitely, it should be reservations only for the economically backward, and not based on any other criteria. Besides, reservations should be only for education and that also, only for those who are economically weak. There should be no reservations for anyone at all in jobs, for, when all have had the same education, they are all equally capable to enter any competition in the open job market, and all at par so no reservations are required. For this system, the education has to be spread even to the poorest of the poor and this education of the best quality must be provided to all free of cost to all people of all castes, creeds and then they should all enter the job hunting spree on their merit. Only if merit is the only criteria we can aspire to get the best quality of individuals getting the best.
Once when a person gets what he deserves, he will have no qualms about favouritism etc. It has often been seen that, all the cream of our children coming out of educational institutions are going out of the country. Of course money they get outside is one aspect for going out, but another important criteria for this is a feeling of frustration among them while in India. This is because, the good students do not really get in India what they truly deserve, for, in several places, the obviously less worthy are placed higher than them due to the very reservation policy. This can and is very detrimental in our achievement of quality.
The reservation has therefore become more of a hoax and a vote catching device rather than serving as a booster to the lower sections of society, and help them rise to any worth while levels. The policy was very well meaning in its original setting but, as time has passed, the policy has become as if a convenient cash crop for the politicians in the last five decades. This has been done just to serve their own ends and not to serve the backward classes. Like any other policy of India, this has also become a sham and deceit throughout.

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