Reservations…Good, Bad or Ugly ?

06 Apr

This is a topic that has bugged me right from my school days. This is also a very controversial topic that has been debated widely. I think the fundamental core of the problem is to balance the problem of minority. To some extent, I think the idea of balancing out resources among unequal consumers is a classical act of a communistic society. While everyone is totally against communism and claim that it is not a good model after all, I dont understand why balancing out the resources is even considered. On the other hand, the question about the condition of poor and suppressed people who live in a negative spiral of economy is a very important issue that needs to be seriously considered as well. The question then becomes, what is the cost of balancing ?

I read in a siliconindia article today that IITs, IIMs and other leading government based elite institutions have been asked to reserve 49.5% of their seats to SC, ST and OBCs. I think it is a ridiculous move and will have significant long term impacts. Till I completed my +2, I never had any notion of what reservation was. As a school student, I never looked at my fellow students in the mental filter of caste, creed or race. Things were very simple. But, as I wrote my entrance exam and waited for the results to come, that’s when I realised how skewed the system was, in the act of “balancing”. Anyway, I got into a decent college (I am sure I have a majority here by saying that..:)) and was able to succeed. I can think of a large pool of students who didnt get into a good college just because of the so called “reservation”. I also know of a large pool of “qualified” students whose future was spoiled for the same reason. Where did they go wrong?

When I looked back into history, I can understand that people like Ambedkar and others wanted to see a society which is not limited based on their racial background. I perfectly agree with it. No one in this world should be devoid of an oppurtunity based on their racial background. I would even go as much as to say that, people from certain communities should be given some discounts, not based on their castes but based on their economic background. A little amount of “discounting” of the order of 10% is still understandable. But, numbers of the order of 50% or 65% (used to be the case in Tamilnadu) is just intolerable. I think politicians in India play a major role behind these moves. Are they to be blamed? Should people who back up political parties based on these reservations be blamed? I dont know. I was wondering what you guys thought about the same.


Posted by on April 6, 2006 in From AM-KICKING blog


4 responses to “Reservations…Good, Bad or Ugly ?

  1. Saumya

    April 6, 2006 at 8:59 pm

    You touched upon a good, sensitive topic Mindframes.

    I second your view of reservations based on economic criteria. I have witnessed both sections – really poor “forward caste” and terribly rich “backward classes” studying in the same college as I did. I even remember cases where the backward classes were receiving aid from the government when they were totally capable of paying up their college fees – when one uses their own bike to collect aid from government, can’t they pay up an engg college fees?

    This was definitely not what was envisioned by the leaders of India when they brought this movement to equalise the population across creed and caste. But like every other nasty political game, this too has become just another vote bank gatherer.

    What India needs is a grass-root change in mentality. We need talent examinations conducted for those residing under the poverty line, and create more employment opportunities among them: We need reservation to ensure a person who is capable of buying a seat does not make a person worthy of the seat forfeit his opportunity.

    Starting from elementary education to higher education, the donations and parental standing shadow a students merits or demerits.

  2. BrainWaves

    April 6, 2006 at 9:45 pm

    This is one more issue in which short-term political gain overtook long-term country building vision.

    It is easy to sell this idea to the masses. And tough to oppose. If you say anything against it, then you must be from “Forward” caste. And politician can blame them for screwing others for centuries.

    Now if everyone thinks they will realize majority is screwed in someway or other. Consider this, the so called BC will be suffering from MBC and MBC from SC/ST.
    Later, SC/ST may be suffering because politicians will find a way to introduce MSC/MST.

    A timeline and exit criteria must be put for the current model (10 years or so). And we can transition to another economical-status based model for another decade or so. And that is it.

  3. sdpal

    April 7, 2006 at 1:13 am

    I think, many laws need to be changed in India. Its quite absurd to follow still what was (no-offense to them) proposed 50/60 years ago. And this reservation stuff is one of them.

  4. bumblebee

    April 18, 2006 at 1:19 am

    Very sensitive topic. That is also the reason why nothing has been done about it yet by any party.

    I remember I used to be really wild about reservations and quota. Now it feels like a bad dream, that is all.There are new battles to fight. That is probably true for many people. This is a big part of the problem. Its going to take a lot more people than the current students and their parents to fight this battle!


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