Sunday, April 09, 2006

Please....No Reservations!!!

When I first heard about reservations way back I was in school then, I hardly paid attention to it and what was explained to me that it was for the upliftment of the some castes. Well well well!!

Fast forward 10years...

Scene 1: I was preparing for CETs and had got all the relevant brochures. Was reading how all the seats are neatly divided amongst all classes. Yet it was all theoretical to me and little did I fathom that practical experience was going to be tough!!

Scene 2: CET results were out on a friday evening, got a good triple digit score and was on cloud nine as was expecting to get into my choice of college.

Scene 3: Monday morning I'm accompanied by my father to go the college for my admissions only to be informed that all general category students are suppose to come after 2 days since as of today only reservation quotas would be filled. I did not understand what the guy was talking or saying.

Slowly when things were falling into place and it dawned to me what the reservations was actually all about. It was the worst day of my life, I felt let down , felt unwanted by my own country , the policies sucked and I was miserable to the core. I felt brain drain was justified.

I managed to get admission in a decent college and complete my course.

All my school life I was taught that we were all equal irrespective of caste, creed and religion. I believed it all along. But on the day of admission I felt discarded, rejected and was treated unequally.

Some observations:
a) All general category students in my class always did well in academics. (of course they too had felt the same as I had during the admission process-it was no secret)
b) By the time we reached our second year, most reserved class students had given up as they had not faired up to the mark . They left the course. What a waste of the precious seat.

The same has been observed by my friends from different professional courses that by the time one moves to higher classes, people who have misused the opportunity and taken the back door entry aren't able to complete the course. Even if they do, its a struggle.

The reason behind reservations doing the rounds for years is to create equal growth opportunities for all irrespective of caste, creed and religion.

Growth does not mean, giving an unmerited admission, it means to raise the level aptitude, which does not seem to happen because they have been given the easier way.

There is already a reservation system in place in IITs, IIMs and colleges for SC & ST. The new proposal is to extend these reservations which will hike the overall reserved seats in these institutions to 50% . It is no coincidence that it just comes before the elections.

If students are denied seats on merit/good marks, thist is the greatest injustice since it will lead to the incredible devaluing of the country’s top institutes because eligible students will be deprived of seats based on merit, and others will be admitted based on their caste, this will greatly dilute the talents in the IITs & IIMs

I definitely feel the poor classes/minorities needs help and support from the government but by proper channels & verifications. If the government is so keen on working for the upliftment of the minority classes, it should provide students from those classes with financial assistance such as scholarships, free education, more schools in smaller cities, tutions, extra classes. But not at the cost of deserving students.

But the unfortunate irony is that the actual poor minorities are not benefiting from this quota system...its the well to do people amongst the SC/ST who are making use of these reservations—which they do not deserve to.

Also the policies should provide help to the SC/ST only in entry levels such as schools ...not throughout the high school and professional courses. In view of the fact that in school they have got the same education/platform as the general category… so why should they again re-use the quota while applying for competitive exams? Why should they use their status once again while applying for government jobs? In every level they have been using these privileges.

Thus our current law not only lets them get a concession to enter, but also gives them life long benefits and allows them to get promoted before others even if they are not as competent or skilled as the other people. Isn't this a case of undue fortification of one section of society?

What kind of incentive system is this, which provides for lifetime assistance/ privileges without asking for people to even work hard for the benefits?

But with time these slots have been misused highly to suit ones advantage (and the actual poor/minorities who may need it never get a chance).

So according to me, a)the financial status /backgound of a candidate should be the criterion of reservation if any, and that too with a proper verification mechanism in place.

b)And such benefits should be given at school entry level only (not in every phase)

The corporate world too has come down heavily on this proposal by saying that there ought to be other methods to provide for the minorities for their growth & development.

IITans have started this online petition to be forwarded to the president opposing the reservation thus stating their protest:
http://www.petitiononline.com/No_Quota/petition.html

10 Comments:

At 08:40, Blogger nabeel said...

yes anushka,i do strongly beleive that reservations has to be abolished, the only thing we gain is hatred among ourself, yes it is ok upto the school level, for SC/ST. education has to be provided only on merit basis, rather than on caste or creed. i hope the coming generation does not have to suffer from from this kind of brutality in the name of justice. " religion has to be only in spiritual level", they should not be brought into practical life. thats why i strongly advice not to discuss topics rrelated to religion in my blog, as it only creates hatred. coming back to your topic, even i have come across students who have suffered due to this reservation policies.

 
At 14:56, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even if the petitions are signed by ten lakh people, Govt. will pass the bill. We guys just sit here and say we can't do anything. Instead of just cribbing, we should all unite and protest against this move. We should be brave enough to beat up the politicians. All of us are scared ducks. That is the whole problem. Remember the young men who burnt themselves alive when the reservation was introduced first. Do you mean to say that there lives were wasted? Remember this is a freedom struggle against caste-based politics. If we have to win, we will have to make a lot of sacrifices. That is how we earned our freedom from the British. If we sit in our homes and crib about the reservation nothing is going to happen. So let us rise against this oppression and revolt.

 
At 15:31, Blogger Anushka said...

Anon

we can start by signing the petitions first. There are a huge number of people who have already signed it..and all of these people are voicing their opinion against it. I am sure this time the petition will and should be taken seriously. Coz if I compare it to the jessica murder case and the outroar & protest the common man had with the help of the media , the ones who thought they got scot free and had to face alot of deafening music & were once again taken to task. So I think with the help of the media we do have a strong standing this time around.

Regarding students who burnt themselves to protest it in the past, politics & politicians had their selfish way to win their 'chairs'. They do not care about those brave students who sacrificed their lives.

But that was a decade ago...this time around I am hoping we will have it our way--the just way.

 
At 21:48, Anonymous Nidhi said...

Dear Anu

I agree with all the points you have covered in your post.

Why everyone sympathies only for the SC/ ST/ OBCs, General Category students also have their own challenges. In my School, I have seen most of SC/ ST students were not good in studies. The education platform was the same and they were not from the very poor family where they have to do the side job for the School fees. I believe now those must be in better position then the general category student like me because of these reservation criteria.

:(
Nidhi

 
At 04:38, Blogger indu said...

To anon: I agree with you that we have to fight back against it. But, there are so many things that need to be met with justice in India. Countless, infact. The whole system has to be changed. Everything in the system is inter-related to every other thing.

Politics is one of the root causes for all these. We lack politicians who work for morality rather than for power and money. There's corruption. Even you and I are corrupt, no matter even if it'[s the smallest of mistakes. This is just one of them.

 
At 17:13, Blogger laks said...

Anushka,

Totally agree with you. reservations are not the way to better the oppressed people. Reservations discriminate against the whole of the majority, which consists of good intending people as well. The way reservations are going about is by assuming that whole of majority deserves to be punished.

Things are changing now and rationality is slowly being valued. It will take another 25 years, in my opinion, till we get back on track.

Petitions can be a good start. Thanks for visiting my blog

 
At 21:12, Blogger politically_incorrect_guy said...

Reservations are important in Indian Context, because of huge social differences.... do we not agree that Women should have 33% reservation in Local Bodies and are we not trying to reserve parliament and legislature seats for women??

Similarly, reservation for depressed classes - SC/ST and OBCs is a fact that must be accepted. Mindless petitioning makes no sense, just waste of time. After all the target group comprise over 70% of the population and politicians are already stating that we should have reservations for Muslims and Christians too.

Merit in itself cannot be a judgement of everything in Indian Society. A good example - consider a upper caste male, living in metro mumbai, having graduate parents, living in a comfortable AC Home, with broadband Net connected PC, private tutions, access to best libraries and the best English medium school - and this guy would compete in board exams with a Dalit girl, living in a remote village, with no AC, No PC, just one community TV,no electricity, hindi/vernacular medium one teacher school, and illiterate parents threatening the girl with an early marriage and also forced to concentrate on household work sharing with her mom. Do you think that judging the two by standard of merit would be socially just?

Think about that.

 
At 22:49, Blogger Anushka said...

Hi Politically incorrect

People who live in AC houses need not be intelligent or similarly people who live in the rural can be intelligent too.(my own parents had bare basic minimum, yet they came up only on merit and merit only)

Let me site you my own example.
There were students in my post grad class from OBC who had done there graduation in engg & came from the 'rich' family , full of priviledges ,yet they made use of the quotos. Why?
Obviously they must have got through engg also using the quotos.

Merit should have been the deciding criteria here since we both had the same basic priviledges in life.

Read my post again I said reservation if any should be given only to the poor who really needs it with proper research done...not the well to do . And that too only in the start level.

Do not compare apples to oranges.

Therefore its socially just.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

 
At 01:23, Blogger politically_incorrect_guy said...

Anushka,

Our educational system, the examinations and entrance test do not test for intelligence, but test for your knowledge of facts and information.. and that is where a Forward Caste Metro guy would be at unfair advantage vis a vis a dalit girl. That is where reservation comes. If a test is about how to do house work or how to fill up water from a well, a dalit village women would score heads and shoulders above a FC Metro guy.

The OBC Rich fellow getting advantage argument may sound good, but they are still a small number... and statistics show that OBCs still are underrepresented in every sphere of life. Just like women.. afterall do not the urban educated women demand reservations? There was also some debate (among the educated circles) about the few presence of women in boardrooms. Almost every women, esp educated/elite women are quite emotional and supportive about women's reservation bill and need to get it passed in parliament. Why?

Should we could consider reservations for one section of disadvantaged society (women only or OBC only) while we say Merit only for other section (OBC or women). That is not fair by any means.

And for reservation being provided only at start,what advocates of reservation say is that discrimination is built into system. And that is why we need reservation from starting point(temp jobs, college seats) to end point (Corporate boardrooms, Governors, CMs, PMs)

I dont see how reservations (for Dalits/OBCs/Women) can be wished away, though it does get unfair for the poorer segment of un-reserved sections of society. Democracy is about numbers and empowerment and the target group constitute a huge majority, which is underrepresented in the posts and positions of social importance.

 
At 02:46, Blogger Anushka said...

Once again I say am against reservations of any kind irrespective of caste, creed, religion and gender too.

If women support issues that they want reservation , I am not for it.

All should be given a fair chance to come up in life.

I have read successful stories of many rich people who have started from nothing in hand.

Also the people who make use of this quota are always from well to do families , so the real poor OBC does not even get a chance to come ahead as in their own category the rich OBC get the seats.

The financial status /backgound of a candidate should be the criterion of reservation if any, and that too with a proper verification mechanism in place. That is only the solution to give a fair chance for the backward to move ahead in life.

 

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