Doosra Pehlu

Reservation In India – Time For A Proper Reform

In India, we categorically believe in classifying everything. If you like Narendra Modi and name a particular religion, then you are a ‘bhakt’. Also, if you are not bhakt, then you are ‘sickular’. How sick is that? Can’t be sicker than our current caste-based reservation system.

Let me explain. Reservation is something that is going on for a really long time. I don’t deny that it wasn’t necessary back in the old days. Though, later, it became just a tool to vote in politics in our democracy. Reservation is supposed to help the needy backward class by including them in the educational and professional field. However, it is overdoing itself because it is painting a picture that shows that the general category people all are well off and meritorious equally.

There is an abundance of caste scholarship and trusts, but not many options for the average and needy general category student. It’s like these students don’t exist. Don’t they deserve an equal opportunity for education? or people are entitled to all kinds of opportunity irrespective of their academic record just because they belong to a so-called backward caste? Then what is the use of examination and marks?

What happens when you are a general category student from a low income, but not BPL family with a mediocre academic record? NOTHING. You won’t get admission in any good college, but you have to watch in frustration that some of your friends with lower marks get because of reservation quota.

When you are going to fill up a form of a competitive exam, the government will assume that as a general category applicant, you can afford to pay more fees. You can’t get a good scholarship because the competition is really high in the general category. Nevertheless, you are welcome to watch those who are confident that they will get a scholarship. Of course, they have quota! Ask yourself, is it not reverse oppression?

If I am a general category student, then I have to pay for what my long-gone ancestors had done to a fellow quota student’s ancestor. When in reality, we don’t care for caste or anything in school. This system sinks in when we are struggling to get a job or even survive. It’s harsh knowledge, though, in our constitution, which says everyone is equal.

When we get an equal opportunity, then there is this little addition of special treatment for SC, ST, OBC. It’s like we are supposed to deny the caste system and get punished or rewarded for being born in a specific caste. If that is not an absurd idea, I don’t know what else is.

Yes, I am against caste-based reservation, because I actually believe in ‘equality’. I know there are equally talented people among the reserved category just as in general category. I don’t believe in unfair opportunities. Yes, India needs a reservation quota. However, this reservation system should be based on merit and means.

One can’t expect to abolish a system when that system is very much in use for personal and political gains. If this continues, it’s going to stir up anger and resentment among general youth sooner or later. It is high time our policymakers wake up to this situation and bring a positive change. After all, equality is our constitutional right.

Indrani Bhattacharyya

Bookworm and music lover. Trying to find out where I belong.

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