Reservation, a silent killer ?

G.S. Vijay Kumar By G.S. Vijay Kumar, 9th Jan 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

There is an age old saying “Charity begins at home”. Why not create a pool of doctors drawn from only reserved quota for treating our ministers as well as members of parliaments and state legislatures. This should be the first step in reservation.

Reservation, a dis-service in the long run.

At the final meeting of the standing committee to adopt the report on Lokpal Bill, many dissent notes were submitted by various panel members. Among them, there was one from RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav who has asked for reservation in all the panels under Lokpal. Similarly, the LJP Chief Ram Vilas Paswan has sought quota for SC’s ST’s as well as OBC’s in Lokpal.

There is an age old saying “Charity begins at home”. Why not create a pool of doctors drawn from only reserved quota for treating our ministers as well as members of parliaments and state legislatures. This should be the first step in reservation.

Prima facie, reservation does not bring out the best from a person and it contributes to mediocrity. Besides, merit would become a casualty and caste divisions would
heighten .Reservation will be the biggest demotivating factor for the otherwise meritorious candidates and will over a period of time lead to further brain drain. And whatever progress we have made in the global software and other knowledge sectors may be in danger in the long run. And, last but not the least, this will be the single largest contribution made by the political class to Independent India.

When the Backward Class Commission announced the extension of the reservation facility for the socially, educationally and economically backward categories, it was intended for ten years. The Union Cabinet, at the behest of our then Prime Minister Pandit Nehru, maintained such a stand. But because of political exigencies, caste based politics has come to be the bane of the nation. And even after 64 years of independence, we still seem to have reached nowhere. Reservation in any form, whether for women in legislature or to non resident Indians (NRI’s) in educational institutions or backward castes should be done away with. Let them compete with the competent and come out victorious.

I am not for a moment against any backward class. I have any number of friends and class mates from the extremely backward castes and many of them have done exceedingly well in life. I have lived with them in their houses and they too have lived with us many times. Not for a moment has there been any feeling of forward and backward class amongst us. I want them to come up in life and shine like anybody else. But this should be done purely on merit. Only then will we as a society feel proud of our backward caste brothers and sisters. And they too will have the satisfaction of achieving something in life. Additionally, this will make them strive for doing better and better in life. Instead of tackling the issue the right way, the political class seems bent upon taking the usual short cut formula with an eye on vote bank politics. Even after 64 years of experience, we are not willing to learn.

Today, we have reservation in admissions to colleges, reservation in jobs. Very soon, we will have reservation in other professions too. Imagine reservation for teaching staff in schools, colleges and other professional institutes, appointment of judges, appointment in scientific institutions, appointments in security and military establishments, appointments in other vital installations etc. How far do we go and where is the end? Imagine, someone is at a life threatening stage and goes to a doctor who has passed medicine by virtue of reservation. What will be the comfort level of the patient with such a doctor? Why should the patient be deprived of a merit driven doctor as against a reservation driven doctor? Our politicians as well as our ministers go to the best of doctors, many times to foreign countries for consultation. But when it comes to a common citizen they want him to go to a doctor who has become a doctor by virtue of reservation.

Besides, imagine a medical or an engineering professor who has attained the position due to reservation. What respect is he/ she likely to have from the student community? The moment a student comes to know that his professor has reached the position due to reservation, he/she is likely to have scant disregard for the professor .The professor too is likely to feel embarrassed during such moments. It is in the interest of everybody to avoid such a situation.

Ideally, we should encourage children belonging to the economically backward, educationally backward as well as socially backward classes to attend schools. The government should provide free education, provide free books as well as free tuitions if necessary and this should be done at the grass-root level. Let us conduct free coaching classes in rural India for admission to professional colleges. Let the government invest in education and invite the best coaching institutes to open centers in backward areas. Alternatively, provide free boarding and lodging facilities as well as tuition fees to such children in order to join such coaching classes in urban centers. And finally allow them to compete with the best. This alone will make them proud of their achievements.

G.S. Vijay Kumar is a senior corporate executive and a columnist.


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Meet the author

author avatar G.S. Vijay Kumar
I am a management graduate and have worked as a senior executive for 25 years in the corporate sector.I am a columnist and write on management, Economics and socio-economic topics.

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