Friday, July 15, 2011

Aarakshan...

I have been hearing this hue and cry about special quota for the reserved category ever since I was a too young to understand the meaning itself, leave alone the implications. Through school, entrance exams, college and even office there was “Category?” always there.

Today as a grown up citizen of the state of India with all due respect I would like to ask the men in white, “Why do you not trust the doctors from quota with your life? Why is it that the doctors for you guys are always imported from the countries which have a completely merit based education system?”

The answer to me is simple, “You yourself are aware that the quality of a student reflects in the merit. It is not something you can gift a person on a platter.”

I may have sounded like a total anti-reservation mascot which I’m not. I have lived in this country long enough to understand the repercussions of the ancient caste system on the present society. There are a lot of malpractices done in the name of castes and the only way to put all that to an end in through education.

But this education has to be a part of life of each and every individual in the society. And this wouldn’t come when 60% of the country’s population still lives below poverty line and has no guarantee of the two square meals in a day.

The unemployment allowance is one solution to the problem. Many would argue that this would lead to people lying about their employment status or even worse, loss of interest in work. But believe me this shall pass and even if it doesn’t this would lead to a decline in crimes like theft, domestic violence etc. Most people commit a crime to feed themselves and their families or because they are out of options.

Another way of initiating a change in this situation is Reservation, but at a lower level. I’m not even talking about 10%, 15% or even 30% reservation, I vote for a 50% quota but between 0 to 9th grade. 10th grade onwards the system should be completely irrevocably merit based wherein a person who qualifies the exam gets admission and who does not, drops out. Again this 50% lot shall be admissible only after the basic background checks like education of parents, their work and income. As on a personal level I have come across a number of people who’ve gotten through college admissions using a fake certificate certifying them to be of the reserved category.

These steps would not turn around the situation prevalent at the moment but they will certainly initiate the change. And the change is what we need, Desperately.

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