Talent or reservations to build the country?

Lata Jain

The word ‘Reservation’ is mostly misused, misunderstood, vague, and even mythical. There is a general belief that those who oppose reservations are free from casteism ….while those who support reservations are casteist, or politicians thriving for the vote bank. The truth is that there are many sincere people on both sides. (But are helpless) So the question is Do We Need Talent or Reservations to Build Our Country?

lata jain

Lata Jain

India is a democratic country. We live in a free country and this freedom is a gift of democracy to us. The Indian constitution formulated by Dr.Ambedkar gives us right to freedom and most importantly to exercise this freedom in an equitable manner. At the same time it is incumbent on the part of the state to ensure that equality prevails in all sections of the society. Reservations are hindering the country’s growth, development and competency in all aspects.

Post independence political equality had been enshrined in the Constitution, untouchability had been delegitimized, political representation was widely shared, zamindari had been abolished, a new development paradigm was instituted, and the state defined its goals in terms of common welfare. And yet by another measure—of how much more India would have to achieve to become a minimally equal society—even this progress was small comfort. Formal political equality did not translate into substantive empowerment; abolishing untouchability barely cracked open the hierarchies of caste; political representation coexisted with deep prejudice; zamindari abolition did little to alleviate the vulnerabilities of small farmers and landless labor; development was shockingly slow at expanding opportunities; and the state’s promise of welfare seemed like a cruel mirage to hundreds of millions of Indians condemned to poverty, corruption at every level ,malnutrition, illiteracy and disease.

A very genuine argument against reservations is that it will divide India, by asking for the caste of people. Are 60 years insufficient for the so-called uplift of backward classes, then does the governments intends to continue the reservation system for an indefinite period? This is a serious issue to be pondered over. Isn’t it fair to say that instead of abolishing the caste system, this policy reinforces it?

The subject of reservations is a vast one, in terms of a historical account. A great deal has been written against reservations policies since the acceptance of the Mandal Commission Report in 1991 in favor of reservations in higher education and government services for the other backward classes of India. In the Indian context, reservations were introduced during the last decades of the 19th century at a time when the subcontinent could be broadly divided according to two main forms of governance British India and the 600 princely states. Some of these princely states were progressive and eager to modernize through the promotion of education and industry; and by maintaining unity among their own people, like Mysore in south India and Baroda and Kolhapur in western India. Thus, the very first records of implementing reservations policies are from these princely states.

The idea that growth and economic development represent our best chance of unsettling fixed hierarchies of power has some truth to it. But we cannot get away from the fact that growth is bringing in new challenges of inequality, which we ignore at our peril. It is also true that much of the political discourse of equality has been hypocritical. But here we must acknowledge that debates over growth and equality rarely manage to dent the psychological resistance we have erected to avoid confronting uncomfortable facts about inequality.

Reservations on the basis of caste and not on the basis of condition are bad and unacceptable. Fair and just reservations to uplift the poor. Women in some cases can be considered for reservations .women are more disadvantaged than men since primitive times, domicile, family education, family employment, family property, family income and if any disabilities and traumas.

My opinion: I am all in the favor of having laws and rules to make sure that the underprivileged get more opportunities and it’s the duty of the government to analyze the reality without bias. When proper education is not provided to children belonging to such categories during the primary stage itself then on what basis are the reservations provided at a subsequent stage. Reservations should be based on economic status. But then, that should be done at the primary and elementary school level and not at the professional level or if the government wants it can make separate schools and colleges for reserved category people. Reservation in higher education and jobs is violation of Article 26, read Para 1 of Universal Declaration of human rights. We don’t need reservations based on castes or religion.

This way we would achieve equality eradicating caste politics and uniting the economically well off with the poor devoid of caste politics.

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