Saturday, April 29, 2006

Reservations in School, Colleges and Jobs

The issue of reservation has come to the forefront again, with students (medicos) protesting in Delhi. It reminds me of the first Mandal Commission that was passed and implemented by VP Singh government. The students have a right to protest, because these actions reduce the total outlay of seats available to the 'forward communities' or open quota. But, they forget the principles behind which the reservation was first proposed. It is quite true, that the present Government or current lot of politicians do not care too much of the impact of such resolutions, but only look at it as a vote gathering machine.

I for one support the concept of reservation, in the education system, jobs and political representation. Yes the system is not perfect, and the way it is implemented also is fraught with loopholes. But, if you for one moment stop and think of the problems the caste based society has created and still perpetuates in India, you will do a second take on the concept of reservation.

My case is a good example of people who are in the society will survive inspite of reservations and quota systems. I am from the 'forward community', what ever that means. And so, i am not entitled to support or benefit of lower entry point into education systems. I, however, made it through the education system, inspite of scoring lesser than desired marks. If it werent for the reservation system i could easily have made it to the a good college in the city. But to help people who were left out, the colleges were running 'evening colleges', made more money, and were able to bend the rules of the 'reservation law'.

But. more importantly, i think, i stood to benefit from a changing times in India. Thanks in part to the Govt of times, lead by Rajiv Gandhi, to try and computerize the economy and system, i rode the computer wave to success. At no time, during this process, was i ever given the glimmer of hope that i will succeed or that things will work out. I had to fight the battle for access to college (although i would have settled for a postal degree) and also attended a lot of interviews for different job oppurtunities. At no time, inspite of the despair and limited oppurtunities, did i ever feel, that i was deprived of something because of the reservation system.

The current system of reservation shows no mercy to the poor, only to the ones from the backward communities. And, one critical aspect that the caste system imposes a barrier in the rural Indian setup, doesnt exist in the urban society. In India, i mean the big cities of India, the caste system seems non existent, however, the same is still prevalent in full force. Literacy rates, economical status and access to Government support does not provide enough impetus to break the system. Till India, can fully address the law and order problem, where common citizen, and i mean everyone, big, small, rich, poor and irrespective of which caste or tribe they belong to, can get full right and access to justice, system like reservation are the only way out.

And having lived in the US, i can testify, the same system exists there and is called the 'affirmative action', although on a very small scale because of the very same reasons - access to justice. It is a myth that everyone in the US have equal access to power. And that should give an indication to India, that irrespective of the progress in justice system and democratic power, inequalities will prevail.

I believe and support a good reservation system. It needs to be tweaked, and should be tailored to meet the specific needs of the community. It can be modified to provide full monetary and protection of the law to access education and jobs. But i can see no reason, today, to eliminate it. I have always stood this stance, with my family and friends who all, except for a select few, who oppose the system.


Anonymous said...

I have few suggestion for both people in favour and people in opposition of reservation policy .I would like to suggest Indian government to show the people the way by a.) Securing 49 % reservation for SC/ST in parliament.b )In the cabinet. c.) All Minsters(specially PM and Mr Arjun sing) should get treatment only from a doctor passed in quota that will give courage to others who are questioning the abilities of our brothers.

For the people questioning reservation i would like to tell you one thing , the best way to express yourself is VOTE.Speak the language the other understands.


Memoryking said...

Liked your blog.Here is mine "No! Let’s join the self-proclaimed snobs protesting with slogans “Remember your place”, polishing shoes and cleaning premises? Let’s pretend not to see it at all! Damn Reservations!"