Say no to caste based reservation in promotion
Who should avail the benefit of reservation?
In what sectors is reservation Justified?
“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime”
– Author unknown
Who ever the author was he must have been an utter fool, illiterate and stupid. Obviously he must have been so or else why did our learned, elite, cultured and highly intellectual Rajya Sabha MPs pass the 117th constitutional amendment bill (overriding Article 355 of Indian Constitution which says the provisions for SCs and STs should not compromise the efficiency in the government) providing reservation in promotion bill for SCs and STs with an overwhelming vote of 206 in the 245-member House.
What started as one of the genuine efforts of the constitution makers and the most prominent among them being Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, to uplift the most downtrodden sections of the society to give them a reason to believe in themselves, to rise and work for their own future has but today become nothing but a hollow vote bank trump card.
The way things move among the political circles in this country, the day is not far when you would see politicians demanding reserved seats for SCs and STs for the next Salman Khan Blockbuster first day first show at your nearest INOX multiplex, that 15% of the time a SC candidate should open the innings for India in test cricket, and 7.5% seats reserved for STs in the joy ride in water Kingdom in Mumbai(and they are already demanding job reservation in private sector!), demanding that the Air India SC/ST pilot should be eligible to fly even if he knows only half of the instruments on control panel of the plane to pass the flying test . For once let the self proclaimed leaders have a taste of their own medicine. So the next time Mayawati falls ill, she should be treated by a SC doctor who would have been a third divisioner throughout in school, would have gotten less than half the passing marks in the medical entrance exam in his umpteenth attempt, and would have gotten reserved time based promotions although he might not have the necessary skills.
Is the government policy really uplifting the so called deprived sections of the society? The people who should be the real beneficiaries don’t even know of the existence of such policies. It is for sure instilling a feeling of lack of competitiveness, and an attitude of “I-don’t-need-to-study-the-government-has-ensured-my-seat”. All that these policies have done is to create further categories among the deprived classes, and the gap between the haves and have-nots in the deprived classes has grown even further.
I have a school friend who belongs to the Dalit class. Both his parents are Commissioners in Income Tax. Just before the exams when everyone would be cramming, mugging up course books he would not care about anything, and his only answer to our questions would be “You guys study, I can manage even without studying” and he was right. He made it to IIT-KGP and then to IIM-C and now works with ministry of finance under Department of Revenue today. My question is that with both his parents being class 1 officers in income tax was he the one who required this reservation? Moreover, once he has availed the benefit of reservation and gotten admission into the IIT is he still backward on any possible criterion to further get admitted into IIM on reserved seat and finally with the tags of IIT and IIM does he still need the reservation card to get the job ?, Can anyone say he didn't get enough opportunities in life and hence is a genuine recipient? Are these policies really egalitarian in nature?
No other country in the world gives reservation on the basis of castes. And there are people who talk about Ambedkar and worship him blindly (even though he himself was against idol worship after adopting Buddhism some time before his death in 1956) without even knowing the basic tenets of his philosophy and ideology. Ambedkar had a degree in law and doctorates for his study and research in law, economics and political science from Columbia University and the London School of Economics. He worked his way up with hard work and dedication. He achieved all this in spite of being from a financially backward family, an out caste Mahar Community, and at a time when studying abroad was a distant dream. Had Ambedkar been alive today, he would have certainly been pained and disappointed to see this condition of his fellows. The man who was a hard core proponent of education right throughout his life would have been grieved to see his fellows surviving not on their hard work but the reservation which does the opposite and does not motivate them to work hard.
There are a few questions that have long been not answered and we need their answers and we need them now. We need their answers as the citizens of this country. We need their answers, since we are the tax payers of this country who, from buying a bar of soap (in terms of VAT) to paying for our coaching fees (in terms of Service Tax) have been putting money in the government’s account to fulfill the vision of egalitarian and equalitarian society that the likes of Mahatama Gandhi, Nehru, Bose, Bhagat Singh saw when they fought to make this country free. The question is ARE WE REALLY FREE TODAY?
1. Why is there no creamy layer in the reservation for SCs and STs? Just a handful of people have really progressed and they don’t let the other deprived masses of their society avail the benefits of government policies.
2. When Ambedkar himself came up with the provision for 10 years of reservation policy, and even after stretching the same policy for 60 years with regular constitutional amendments after every 10 years we don’t find this working, isn't the policy itself flawed in targeting the deprived classes?
3. With the provisions of relaxation in passing marks in the entrance exams and departmental exams for promotions, aren't the SC and ST categories being forced to accept that intellectually they are inferior and have no capacity to compete with others, in spite of being provided free coaching, given free study material and financial assistance? Is it that their brains are dull that they cannot score at par with other students? How do they swallow this insult?
4. With the constitutional amendment Act for reservation in promotion coming up, how would a senior employee from the general category obey the orders from less qualified, less experienced subordinate when the latter gets promotion? For instance, a reserved category sub-inspector in Police from 2000 batch gets promoted and becomes circle inspector and a few years later he becomes Deputy Superintendent of police whereas a general category Sub-inspector from 1995 batch(5 years senior) is still a circle inspector only. In short where do the principles of meritocracy and hierarchy stand?
There have been instances where the reservation benefits have accumulated with just one caste and they have started dominating the other castes in their own category. Very prominent among them being the dominant Meenas in Rajasthan, demanding the exclusion of Dhanka community from the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category. They can dare to do so because they have overgrown in power and influence and thus bully the other deprived sections.
Surely this was not what Ambedkar had dreamt of when he envisioned the future of this nation. He adopted Buddhism because the Chaturvarna system in Hindus where one caste exploited the other was not acceptable to him. But today his own people have formed classes among themselves. And the blame has to go to the government for their petty vote bank politics.
The solution to all this lies in creating awareness at the grass roots, creating a platform to enable the people to work for their own upliftment. There is no dearth of funds with the government, they can afford to provide free coaching for competitive exams, financial assistance, scholarships to every person out there who is disadvantaged, and the 1,76,000 crore scam is just one evidence that they have ample amount of funds. The National Commission for SC and ST has already been setup in 1990 under 65th constitutional amendment act. Special provisions like the following need to be implemented 'a SC/ST student can issue 13 books for 90 days at a stretch and needs to pay just 1/4th of the semester fees at IIT Kharagpur'. The answer to this social problem doesn't lie in a political solution. A socio-politico-economic solution as discussed can only root out this chronic problem.
Folks, it is no rocket science, the logic is simple- the politicians have taken a vow to do whatever it takes for them to get votes even if it means selling their own country, putting the future of the county and the citizens at stake.They can dare to vow because they know here no one cares about the country and everyone is busy filling their coffers.It is now or never and the ripe time has come when we need to get up from the years of deep slumber, decades of lethargy, and centuries of indifferent attitude towards our own country and protest against the injustice happening and create awareness for the just cause.
"Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached."
The society and the coming generations will never forgive us for being just mute spectators while a handful of politicians put the country on a path which goes away from development, growth and progress. All I can think of right now is that some saint was so futuristic when he said:
" Ramchandra keh gaye siya se aisa kaljug aayega hans chugega daana dunka,
Arey hans chugega daana dunka aur kauwa moti khayega "
© 2012 Kunal Rahar