Reservations and Merit

Worthy causes hijacked by a crowd of motley objectives and pseudo-leaders with no vision……

Narmada Bachao, Reservations in educational sector, reservations in private sector, environmentalists, communists, secularists, Bharatiya Sanskruti Saviours…….

Let me talk about the reservations story….

First the disclosure statement – ” I was born to Higher caste parents ‘Brahmin ‘ parents..however at no stage of my career has my caste affected my opinions or thoughts..My caste means nothing to me but a word that the Government of India forces me to write on its documents! I have no pride in being a Brahmin and I have no anger or resentment for those who choose to wear that tag with pride…A little pity for them wanting to feel pride for some notional culture and its practice that has caused endless pain to India ..And I am an atheist…I accept rituals and religion but do not think of those as essential or important. “..

I have friends who have taken advantage of the reservations and succeeded and
I have friends who werent able to achieve anything from the process and
I have friends who chose not to use the benefits too!

Reservations – The ‘For’ Shore:
1. Lets be frank and accept that academics and education are two different aspects! Academics do not make a better society..It has not changed the attitudes and opinions of thousands of the ‘ Reserved ‘ caste students, who are not willing to cast off their caste tag and who havent been able to move beyond the blinkered stories of past atrocities!

Those who cannot forget the past are damned to live in it! And the same applies to my learned fellow Brahmins and other high caste humans for whom academics has never lead to a broader view of life or acceptance of the need to move beyond the caste tag…..the ‘upper caste’ fellows who have some notion that their merit is god’s own writ.

We need to stop talking about Merit of the reserved category is like starving a man for years and then cursing him for saying that he does not know how to eat! Urbanites may point out to rich OBCs and SC/STs, but rural india is quite another story..

Wealth makes no difference to attitudes..poverty or wealth make no merit on their own.

2. Many of the upper castes have an inherent advantage because their social and family backgrounds has always set a priority for academics and learning..And this advantage was built over centuries. It may help if some of the reserved category students are moved to schools where they are disconnected from their primary environment and coached to live in the modern world or a boarding school where the right environment can be provided for them to be able to move beyond some of the cultural shackles of their own castes.

Reservations – The ‘Against’ Shore:
1. Dont rob peter to pay paul. The problem today is that there are less than enough seats at most institutions. Creating reservations blocks opportunities for those who have the ability. The government should instead be focussing on building the fundamental infrastructure that is needed to raise the level of preparedness from the primary levels. If you want reservations , then limit the seats to the said percentage and refuse to allow any more OBCs/ SC/STs that cannot get seats within the quota numbers!

2. Government wants to abdicate its responsibilities Private sector accounts for less than a few percent of the jobs available in India, reservations may amount to nothing..but diverting attention from its responsibilities to killing the hen that has started laying golden eggs. The goverment of India has huge inefficiences within its system which clog up revenues as well as restraing fruitful expenditure…Let the government use its funds efficiently…. Why does no Politician promise ‘Good Schools’ and better hospitals land instead talk about ‘Rs.2 Rice !’ Our politicians are irresponsible people of the worst order and are disinclined to providing real leadership…I am ashamed of our honorable Finance minister who stooped so low as to support stupid electoral promises!

In some ways, it is critical that we have more educated people from the so called lower castes, because that will help us break away from the politics of caste and religion….if not because of better awareness, atleast because education( however little) enables people to look beyond their immediate communities. Education will atleast enable people to choose professions beyond those that have been ordained upon them due to caste or creed histories.

Merit and reservations are different debates..lets not mix them up and fuel a derisive divide!


~ by exploreamaze on May 28, 2006.

One Response to “Reservations and Merit”

  1. Read your blog.Liked it a lot.Here is mine
    “You say, if a student knows a seat is reserved for him he is not going to work towards it. Ask yourself- If a person knows Education is subsidized for his kids, food items are subsidized for him, is he going to work? Isn’t it harming the Economy? Isn’t the highly subsidized education we avail a classic example of social injustice? “

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