Monday, September 17, 2012

Reservation - Is there an end to it?

Just when the BJP has disrupted both the houses for coal blocks allocation scam, Congress found an opportunate time to clear an important bill for reservation in promotions. Timing could not have been better as it would have portrayed BJP as anti-*. At a time when Congress popularity graph is reaching abyss, populist measures are being tried to get some stability.

But why so much of noise on reservation? Why do not we understand the benefits of it, and always oppose it. Probably it is one of the strongest evils which we have inherited from Britishers from their policy of "Divide and Rule". The fundamental of reservation was defined because there was a need to bring parity in Indian society. SC/ST were oppressed backward lot and just so that they can mingle with society, reservation was brought in Constitution. But I believe our policy makers failed to define a road-map for it. There seemed to be no strategy and no vision. Even if it was there, it has got lost in the vote bank politics. It was never thought that competition would get so fierce that reservation will be easy key to success.

In India, BPL is not defined by the caste but by the income. And so far, there is no single reservation system which takes income as criteria. Though it is easier said than done, but when i am spending lakhs on my child's education, and he could not get into his dream college just because of reservation, then I would curse the system. In our current education system, government is forcing private institutions to reserve 25% seats for EWS because it cannot provide good education. But I would not mind paying extra if it brings everyone on equal footing and is part of strategy to get rid of reservation.

I am of the view the time has come to move away from these petty politics and define a road map. Reservation is not something which people should be proud of. Lets define how we can bring everyone to the starting line, and stop tempering with the finish line. Government should take hard steps and should not take the easy way out. It should take steps to provide primary education. It is a constitutional right, but the government should ensure that every citizen gets its right. And it just does not remain on paper.

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