A scored a gleaming 90% in Class 12 board examinations, aspiring to become a doctor. B scored a meagre 50%. A was a ‘general‘ candidate, hence had to kill her wish and had to study Engineering from some XYZ college. B was an ST. She now plays in the lobbies of the best medical college; shamelessly clicking selfies all day long. Such is the unabashed wrath of this blasphemy called Reservation.
There can be no evil worse than Reservation. It emancipates the hidden vices of low hard work to the fore, to gain nothing but over-sufficient benefits – Benefits which the takers are unhealthy enough to digest appropriately and gratefully. Like over-yielding parents who pamper their children to destruction, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (who despite being an ‘untouchable’ by birth was the Father of a Nation’s Constitution!) had left no stone unturned to accede to such capable path-followers of this infirmity; definitely a protection leading to the annihilation of their nation as well as their bearers.
Nowadays, as contrasted to the olden times when reservation was looked down at and was considered a disgrace to one’s honour, being one of the reserved classes is an unnamed privilege which grants the earmarked the position of the cream layer. What people fail to understand is that the Quota system is a means of discriminating them, and labelling them as inferior to the multitude.
Jats, despite being a farmer class of Northern India, are well-heeled people. They are considered politically, socially and financially strong. To put it roughly, they are criminally strong too! This is the class which is feared by the masses due to their overpowering demeanour and the potential of their physical strength. Being in a state like Haryana which abounds in facilities sufficient enough for a competitive upbringing, they do not even lack the infrastructure required to improvise their state of affairs. All in all, what they seek through the quota system is a sure shot seat for themselves in the Government Jobs and Educational institutions by putting minimum efforts. To attain this reservation, among the arguments placed by the Jats, one says that their sons are finding it difficult to find a bride for themselves as the brides’ parents seek a groom with a secured Government Job and thus, they need a 27% reservation being from an educationally backward background. (If observed closely, the bride issue has a different perspective to itself i.e. mass female foeticide in the state due to which the sex ratio has slumped down to as low as 879, being the reason behind the scarcity of females in the state and thus the difficulty in marriages). But this is not only the case with Jats. All the so-perceived underprivileged castes are in no way deprived.
Reservation is a means of uplifting the disadvantaged and the suppressed and not a medium of granting unnecessary benefits to the already prosperous. No person is born mentally weak on the basis of the region or the caste of his birth. God has given birth to every person equally. Every person, be it the lowest untouchable class as per the ‘caste hierarchy’ or the highest Brahmanic class, has the same potential. What varies is only the amount of exposure to the divisions depending on their geographical location and the atmosphere and the society they are subjected to. With better infrastructure and facilities, the encouragement to utilise them for their betterment and their social upliftment, this bulk of reserved class will flourish much more than this prior arrangement system of reserving seats which rather, lowers their performance.
Consider the North Eastern region of India – At least 80% of the populace of the 8 states is reserved under the SC, ST, and OBC quotas. These people are extremely talented, innovative and also very loyal towards their culture. They are financially well-built too; it’s difficult to find a beggar in these states! For a better representation in the mainland, what they need is better amenities to hone their skills and prepare themselves for at par competition with any person from any other region across India, and not overly generous reservation policies. Again, they are not physically or mentally weak, they just lack the prerequisites. Building better coaching centres with well-trained teachers, developing the sports facilities, bettering the connectivity of these areas with the metro cities through cheaper means of transport like rail and many other things will help accomplish the goals for which reservations actually came into play years back. But what happens is, these sections have become complacent or rather, feel assured that they will get into a reputed Educational institution without efforts and these days, also without paying the fees (For instance, the recent 100% Fee waiver for the SC, ST and OBC students studying at the IITs, when many of such classes are economically well-to-do!). So, they put in the least required labour to achieve their goals and thus, we do not get any productive human resources from such regions. And this section of the population, despite such means of upliftment, still remains shrouded in the darkness of ignorance.
This is a phenomenon happening in every stream. We all know of SC, ST and OBC candidates sitting for competitive examinations, for whom the cut-offs are set extremely low, who despite being the poorest academician in our surrounding outshine us due to the mercy of the cosseting policy makers. When people from such sections end up becoming ‘Lawyers’, ‘Doctors’, ‘Engineers’, ‘Judges’ and other people of authority, they lead to a complete obliteration of the country. Most of these people with such prerogatives lack the knowledge of their respective fields. It is not uncommon to find doctors who are incapable of treating even a normal viral fever; and when such doctors end up treating some serious ailment, it unfailingly leads to a casualty. It may not be their fault. The benchmark for them has been set low and who likes putting extra efforts for achieving the things which are so easily attainable. How can we expect growth and development to embrace our nation when 50% of the seats in almost every stratum have been earmarked for the poor performers who do no justice to their position? How can we expect flyovers like Vivekananda Bridge of Kolkata to not fall, or the Metro Rail Girder accident to not take place in Chennai when the regulatory authorities are impotent?
Take the case of Patidars (or Patels) of Gujarat, who also seek reservation in Educational institutions and Government Jobs. The Patels, like Jats in Haryana, are a dominant caste of their state Gujarat. As a matter of statistics, almost every Patel family has an NRI member who earns in foreign currency. Like Jats in Haryana, Patels constituting a major population of Gujarat, are financially and socially well-off. Even the CM is a Patel! Like the rest, the ones jockeying for OBC quota here as well are looking for undemanding education and Government Jobs for reasons not dissimilar to the Jats’.
Reservation has become a game which every segment is trying to play hard, so as to win the trophy of ‘ease and convenience’. The deserving unreserved candidates who are proficient in their field are the ones who are actually deprived of their rights and their capabilities hence remain unharnessed. Reservation is basically for the physically handicapped and the like, who lack a social backing, who need encouragement in every possible form to enhance their growth to survive in this stereotyping world, who in reality work hard to accomplish their ambitions and for whom reservations play the role of a support system.
There exist some lesser known repercussions of reservation too. For instance, there is an OBC caste in Bihar called ‘Agariya’. The name of this caste is very similar to the Marwari title ‘Agarwal’ and it’s variants. The Agarwal Marwaris in Bihar use the name of this caste to their advantage to obtain an OBC status for painless access to top notch institutions and jobs. Can there be a thing more shameful than an affluent caste like Marwaris using such means?
Quota system is a curse. If every person competes for the same thing on an equal stand, there will be a fresh and potentially unbiased inflow of talents and knowledge, and the best for every task irrespective of their social background shall be chosen. That will not only amplify the general motivation to boost up performance, but will also lead to the opening of a wider path towards progress where only the deserving stand out. But this situation shall remain a hypothesis only unless the reserved classes feel the afflictions of the unreserved and give up this privilege by themselves, as no Government will take an intrepid step towards eradicating this iniquity due to vote-bank politics running sternly within the system.
(The author is pursuing Bachelor in Commerce from Saint Xavier’s College, Kolkata. This article was originally published on author’s personal blog myoutlook107 )