August 28, 2005

Reservations : Scrap &Rollback

Reservations of opportunities -- whether government jobs or college seats -- has become a national malaise. The idea was conceived in good spirit and as usually the case for any politically motivated activated, it has now generated into a thorn in the flesh of Indian civil society.

Let us get the facts straight. (a) Years of reservation has had a very marginal effect on the overall rise on the standards of living of the scheduled castes. A few, clever and well connected members of these castes have derived benefits. (b) The national hue and cry that the political class has raised for preservation and extension of reservations is a cynical, opportunistic and immoral attempt to get into vote-banks. There is no second thought or ambivalence about it. When people like Mayavati & Lallu Yadav champion a cause, there cannot be anything faintly decent about it. (c) Members of the rational, civil society are unusually coy about calling this bluff, calling a spade a spade, because they have this sneaking element of doubt and guilt .... of past discrimination and worse.

Going forward, we need to be very clear that the world is an unforgiving and competitive place. If the backward castes, were .. well .. 'backward' in the past, it is their problem not that of society at large. All men are NOT equal and any attempt to make them so will fail.

In the fiercely competitive society that we live today, the Indian nation cannot be fettered by the inefficiency caused by the incompetence of incumbents of reserved posts.

The political class is guided by the motive of self preservation. They want votes, scheduled castes provide vote banks and so politicians will never do what is right for the nation. They will do only what is needed to win the next election. ( Here, why blame India's politicians ... it is the same all over the world ... Look at George Bush !)

Members of the rational, civil society must not be hesitant in criticising reservation. We must take the bull by the horns and go on the offensive ... ask for rollback of reservation. Ask for a timeframe. It is not enough to stall attempts to increase reservation, we must actively seek to reduce and eliminate reservation from all aspects of life.

The first attempt to create a nationwide movement against reservation failed during the VP Singh era. North India was in flames ( which caused the death of quite a few agitators, who died of self immolation ) but the flames were quenched by the hard hearted politicians who hankered for votes.

We are in the midst of the second attempt, when a whole bunch of South Indian educational institutes have filed lawsuits that have been upheld by the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, politicians are gathering together to strike back.

Every member of India's civil society must now firm against the political vandals who are about to storm the gates.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree whole-heartedly with your point of view. However, I also believe that there has to equality of oppurtunity. The reason why India is way behind the first world nations is we have been unable to provide oppurtunities to all.

While reservation is not the way out of this mess, we surely need a solution that will work on the ground in India (here we need to factor in the fact that we are basically a corrupt nation at heart!!).

Will wait for your views on this in some future blog.