The aimless action called reservation

Sep 26, 2022

The backward section is still identified as “backwards”, much to their indignation. Any change in the perception hinges on our country’s bold move to break the caste-based reservation. Much brain drain has already happened at the cost of the British ghost of reservation. The darkness of tonight refuses to open for a morrow.

Exactly 24 years ago, I wrote about the scourge that is still surveying. The recollection is exciting. That was the occasion of India’s 50th Independence Day celebration. The subject was the reservation that India still sadly celebrates.

The reservation system in India has a British legacy. The architect of India’s constitution, Dr B R Ambedkar favoured the Communal Award proposed by the then British Prime minister, Ramsay MacDonald, in the Round Table Conference of June 1932, while Mahatma Gandhi repudiated such a proposal. Mahatma finally had to agree with Dr Ambedkar.

The architects of reservation in Independent India never favoured it as a permanent solution. They had a time-bound approach to bring up backwards-castes and other minority communities on the mainstream. Neither he nor others who favoured the reservation never had the plan to make it lifelong. But it seems to have happened as a lifetime plan. They could not have imagined that the beneficiaries would just take it for granted and for supporters I would be a vote-catcher. As the realm of the reservation expanded, some political parties used the tool for expanding the vote bank.

The lefts and rights have no rift on the issue. They maintain the same set of mind. Those who come to power reassert it to take home maximum advantage of this. A progress card never mattered, because politicians never wanted the backward to be forward in their social status and join the mainstream. Those who were called Dalits fell in their honey-trap. Surprisingly after 24 years, if I republish the core content of the story, readers may feel it as a fresh matter.

The Poor will always be poor. Politicians can never be social reformists. They only wanted to negotiate with every category separately to take advantage of people’s impoverishment. If every section of people improved their living conditions, they would not beg for the mercy of politicians. That will blow a hole in their vote bank.

That is the reason no political party is expected to stand against a reservation demand, even if that is not possible under the laws of the land. Politicians are afraid of ending the reservation. In making our society classless they find more enemies from some sections.

Our country will complete 74 years of independence next month. The reservation did not bring any major change for Dalits. It is already a long time to rethink a failed system.

The country must ponder over the reservation data to assess whether the backwards could take home any benefit and how far the reservation changed their life. Imagine, the RSS used to talk against reservation. They used their clout to ensure amendments in the reservation law. It seemed, soon they were scared to play with fire after its closest party BJP lost the Bihar assembly polls. That reminded me how Rajiv and later V P Singh too had lost power years more than three decades ago. Now we see the rising clout of political parties by being social parties.

Citizens must rethink whether the reservation has given any benefit to any section. If you ask me, I may say, not much except for politicians. A change was needed, accepting everyone as a human being. Social and cultural developments were necessary. Free education must be given to everyone who deserves it. That is the only way for any sector to grow up with optimism.

I am damn sure, if the court of law never was to interfere, our Netas would have given 100% reservation to a section whose votes were enough for them to grab power. Reservation closes the yardstick of merit. We need the so-called merit elsewhere.

I used to always wonder how political parties dance to different tunes.

That is strange art!!!

I remember the ideology based Communist Party used to talk about two religions – rich and poor. We wish to know their stand today.

Reservation for any caste or religion stalls the growth of the country. On the other side, there is poor competitiveness which spoils Indian’s position in the competitive global market. Competition with a positive spirit should be encouraged.

Everyone needs enough training to run a marathon. Training bolsters productivity and ensures the supply of a productive workforce in future. Reservation is only a gimmick for creating discrimination and demoralising the more competitive talents. When reservation blindly protects a section they are denied a chance to show their hidden talent and an opportunity to show their competitiveness. Aren’t we stopping them from entering into a healthy competition? Right?

The life of a talented class is difficult in India. That is the reason highly qualified talents chose to work abroad. That has led to a talent drain in the country and corresponding trouble for everyone.

There is less hope. Tonight refuses to turn into a morrow.