Personal Musings

This blog is intended to be just a jumble of thoughts that hit me and need not necessarily mean anything.

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Location: Kerala, India

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Friday, October 20, 2006

Supreme Court patches up Reservation inequality

Today when i put my eyes on the Hindu front page, i was delighted. Supreme Court has taken note of the "creamy layer" issue in reservation of jobs/promotions.

For the starters, reservation policy was intended to help the people who would otherwise not have had a chance to pursue a job in that position due to various factors. Creamy layer is those people who had the oppurtunity to enjoy the benefits of reservation once and then they or thier children started utlizing those benefits for thier own betterment even though their current social position is much better than the real people for whom these policies were designed.

Supreme Court has said that creamy layer must be taken out of the reservation policy. Reservation was meant for people from poor background, not for people living in two-storey building and driving around in cars. The court has recognised that these people dont really deserve any additional reservation.

The logic behind the concept of reserving seats for backward classes was that these people will not have got a chance to work if the government doesnot explicitly reserve a few seats for them. These can be due to social stigma or financial backwardness. But the people have now started politicising a pseudo-stigma binding the well todo families with the truely deserving people. In effect even the undeserving candidates avail the facility.

Supreme Court also set a ceiling of 50% for all reservations. If any state is having people belonging to backward classes more than 50% then they being the majority, no body can stop them from getting good jobs in the state. This is pure logic. Even if the so called upper class are forcing the lower class majority from getting the representation in the jobs, still atleast 30 - 40 % of jobs will inevitably have to go to people in these classes and they in turn will eventually help other people in thier communmity to get the jobs. Actually these problems are more prominent in the Hindi belt than else where. Personally, the inequalities present in the hindi belt is uncurable, simply because even most of the 'educated' people here are not putting the class based discrimination out of their lives. Also there are some state governments that try to get votes by giving more and more reservations. Reservation must be given only for the deserving.

People actually found out that mere reservation of seats was not sufficient to help fill the seats. When the reservation policy was first enforced there were no takers for most of the seats. Government was forced to lower the eligibility criteria to help fill those seats. Look at the pathetic situation in which a well-meaning wrongly implemented policy has fllen into.

There are many educationists who believe that the very conept of reservation has been implemented badly. Reservation must be for getting school education and helping the children come up with good basic education. This will have a cascade effect on their performance in higher education adn job interviews. The basic emphasis on the primary education is still lacking. Reservation in job front iss only supposed to be a short term patch up work to let the first wave of well-educated well-performing first wave of backward class students to come forward. Once that is through, then there is no point in reservation any more.

From what i have seen, it is better to give an admission to a person scoring 80% plus in well-conducted examinations than to give admission to someone who doesnt even have the basic concepts clear for the admission he is seeking for. The funniest part is people seeking reservation for women are following the same pattern of reserving things.

I am reminded of the story of Naranathu Brandan. This chap is considered to be mad by people. One day he was found rolling a heavy rock up a steep hill. Once the rock reaches the top of the hill, he will simply push the rock down the hill. He will watch the rock rolling down the hill and laugh out loud. Then he will again push the stone up the hill. People saw him doing this act many times over and over again. At last one peson sought enough courage and asked him why he was taking all the pains to push the stone up th hill and roll it down. The response to this query was quite simple. Naranathu Brandan said,"I was just trying to find out what pleasure people get from trying to commit the same mistake over and over again."

Are we not doing the same mistake over and over again?

It is high time somebody start dealing with the real issues and stop patchig things temporily. It is better built a proper building than to build one and keep patching it with the real needs.