Monday, January 5, 2009

On Maratha Reservation

On the occasion of Maratha reservation
Maharashtra government has made a decision to designate Maratha caste as OBC. Maratha is politically the most powerful caste in Maharashtra. An overwhelming percentage of politicians are of the Maratha caste. So why was there a need to declare Marathas as OBC’s? Is there an electorate out there who will vote for the government on this issue? That raises the question why do we need reservations?

If the government has a vision of classless society then the castes should be done away with. Why is it mandatory to put in the caste while applying for a school/college admission or applying for a job? Aren’t there any better ways to improve the social conditions of the so called under priviliged citizens? By bringing in quota’s aren’t we limiting the number of bright students thereby putting a restriction to India’s future? Aren’t we denying opportunity to the elligible? Aren’t todays elligible persons being punished for something that happenned few centuries ago? An easier way would be to ensure fairness and opportunity to every citizen in every field.

The reservation policy as adopted and implemented by the government in various segments of the society have not given any fruits. It has only spread resentment and possibly hatred. Sixty years of reservations and there still are people who are underpriviliged. Morever once a BC/OBC/SC/ST person is educated and has a job, it should mean that in future this person or his family should not enjoy any benefits of reservation. Because this person is no longer “Backward” as regards education. But that does not happen. Not only does he get the benefit, his future generations also lay claim for the reservation benefit. Reservations are also extended in getting government jobs! Reservation is thus seen a certain part of the population as right and not a privilege.

Clearly another reservation is not the solution. Then why do the political parties bring in reservations? Probably, so that they can show to the uninformed electorate that have done something. These jokers are sowing seeds of social dissatisfaction in the future when opportunities will shrink and the population increases. Its almost as if the politicians are determined to spell future doom for this nation. Why would this nation need Pakistan or China to destroy it when its leaders are people like Arjun Singh and (late) V P Singh. Why aren’t these guys made accountable for their actions?

The resentment in the educated middle class is because of the shrinking of opportunities that are already scarce. In the past few years what employment generation has the government done? Whatever employment has been created was in the Telecom, IT, Bio technology and manufacturing was purely because of private enterprise. The private sector employs a person on merit and hence it flourishes. It further invests and thereby generates even more employment. What the government is doing is that it is reducing the number of competent people of the future. By reservations it will only increase the shortfall of employable people. It will also mean that in future one in every two graduates passing out of colleges and institutions like IIT’s and IIM’s would be probably undeserving. Given a choice will people entrust themselves in the hands of a reserved category doctor? Will the politicians show the path by taking medical treatment only from reserved category doctors?

If the government is intent on s***ing the social fabric then an interesting thought comes to mind – why not extend the reservations to the Indian cricket and hockey teams and the Miss India competition? Or the armed forces for that matter? Where a person would be promoted on account of his caste and not capability.

Is there a solution to clear up this mess?
Maybe education holds the key. There may be a possible solution. Make 16 years of education mandatory for every citizen. 80% content of this education be standardised across the country. The remaining 20% difference would provide for region specific education. Give a tax free education allowance to every child that goes to school based on 90% attendance. This allowance should be more than that needed to buy books, travel and food expenses and any living costs if applicable. However, this allowance should be inversely proportional to the income of the childs parents. Any non compliance should be dealt with accordingly. Fairness to every citizen is the crux over here. If the scheme is implemented unfairly or half heartedly then it is sure to fail.

After this is done comes the part of coaching. In addition to private coaching, free coaching can be provided to those interested in competitive exams. The government can sponsor these free coaching classes based on its own guidelines.

Right now all the state governments and Central government is knowingly or unknowingly destroying the brand and the standards of institutions behind the veil of social equality and upliftment of the backward classes. They are just looking for some cheap publicity by offering easy and failed solutions. Ultimately, the government will end up not uplifting the backward classes but they have ensured that these castes get labled as “BACKWARD CLASS citizens” for life.

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