Should caste based reservation continue even after 7 decades of independence?
Indian society has strong caste lines (though it prevails in developed countries like Britain as well but not so strong). There have been some bitter behaviour like decimation and untouchability in our society against few castes for centuries. It was real a black spot on our society. These brothers are really respectable that despite all those evil things and bitter experiences in society they didn’t abandon their religion. The Pain of these brothers is real deep and genuine. I could realise a fraction of that while talking to mother of my childhood friend. One really thought provoking point was, can their unemployed youth open a tea shop in a village?
Indian constitution makers had been brought up during British rule and almost all were part of freedom struggle. They incorporated best features of various constitutions and wanted to take care of all sections of society. They introduced reservations for backward castes. They dreamt to make India a country where people from all religions, faith, caste, and creed can flourish and contribute to growth of country.
A sick family member is given more care, especial food and more attention than healthy ones. Based on this family concept constitution writers had provisioned 10 years reservations for these brothers. Their intention was good, (hopefully) not politically motivated so didn’t think of future problems.
What new challenges have come up?
- The original concept of reservation was for those castes which were socially backward, untouchable, was not part of main stream society. Our politicians created another reservation in the name of Other Backward Castes (OBC) just for political gain.
- This new quota has triggered a new series of violent agitations and divide like by Gurjars in Rajasthan, Patels in Gujarat, Jats in Haryana. These agitations have destroyed crore of public property, taken many lives, created atmosphere of hatred in society. Public property worth more than Rs 20,000 crore (plus private property, business loss, Govt compensation, image loss to country) was destroyed during few days of Jat agitation and 30 lives. This money could have got employment (loan of Rs 10 lacs to each unemployed youth) for 200,000 youths, feeding more than 10 lacs people. Would it not have been better for society? Who can compensate loss of loved ones to those families?
- Our politicians divide people to get vote on caste basis showing fear of losing reservation to castes availing it and others to get reservation. We don’t vote honest, committed, qualified, right candidate but corrupt, criminal, ineligible, not doing any good for constituency from even own caste. This is killing sound principle and spirit of democracy. We have seen all this for last 69 years and it didn’t work. Can we change this and vote only right candidate above caste, religion, region?
- Reservation has created more caste based hatred in young minds from childhood and every day we fight on the name of caste. There are caste based groups in school, colleges, universities, work places which don’t go along each other, disturbs social harmony.
- Politicians have started politics of giving reservation on religion, income, rural/urban basis. It is working to further divide society, create hatred what British had done for years.
- Now around 90% reservation benefit is taken by those families who have already taken benefit of reservation. Only around 10% only are first time beneficiary. Now well to do people of same caste are taking benefit and not letting reach to those who are still deprived.
- Our constitution writers planned it for 10 years but had provision to extend it. It has become nice political tool and all political parties come together on this issue (though they don’t come together even on issue of national interest) and silently extend it. There has been not an single objective review and correction to this. There may be various castes which are now more well off by all criteria (say if number of IAS, IPS, IFS ratio according to population is considered one criteria) than even general category castes.
- It is killing merit, stopping right talent to go at right place. Best talent is going out of country and doing wonders (serving) for developed countries like USA, UK.
- Even reservation in promotion works as last nail in coffin and highly de-motivates our work force. A person got reservation in admission to educational intuition, got reservation in getting highly competitive job. Why is reservation required now? Why can’t be all promotion parameters be equally applicable to all?
- Like Chak de India everywhere we see person from caste x, y z but no Indian. We are not fighting together against our problems of drought, drinking water, corruption, unemployment, electricity but fighting with each other. Is it better to have country with reservation and problems or country with all basic stuff available to all even without reservation?
- Has caste based reservation resolved (at least for the castes getting reservation) all problems? Our problems will be better solved when we all work together for nation. Like water problem in drought hit district of Maharashtra is hitting everyone irrespective of caste. Can this problem be solved by reservation (then reserved castes should not be facing this) or fighting in the name of caste? It can be handled if all responsible politicians, bureaucrat, NGOs, scientists and people work together as society to handle this problem. Then it will be solved for all castes/religions living there. Same is applicable for so many other problems of country.
- Manual scavenging is big slap on our society and even Govt has banned. Are Politicians and other well off (with use of reservation) people at least in these castes doing anything for them? Though it is responsibility of whole society but these people do politics in the name of them so has bigger responsibility.
What is solution?
- Take strict action against anybody insulting, suppressing or harming dignity of our brothers of any caste. How powerful the person may be!
- Set deadline (say 5 years) to finish reservation without any provision to extend. Make sure our politicians never talk again about reservation.
- Reservation should be given to a child who is first time user (whether used in Govt service, elected representative or stuff like petrol pump etc) in his generation. It MUST be implemented right away. Those who are well placed by using reservation are taking up share of those still deprived. Many good people from these categories accept this fact and many of those have proactively started this appreciable step.
- Provide below help to our brothers from lower castes (dalits and maha dalits)
- Govt, people (from all castes), NGOs must work together to ensure their 100% kids reach school. Because education, not reservation will uplift all of them permanently.
- Support students financially (through current scholarship scheme or something more) so that they don’t drop out because parents can’t afford education cost or want child to earn.
- Establish counselling and preparation centres (may be at lower cost or with financial help) in colleges, universities where these students can prepare for competitive exams.
- Provide job oriented courses, easy loan to start own business for these youths.
- Well to do people including politicians, rich, higher positioned (who had availed reservation benefit) who care for their caste so much right now must come forward to help others on above listed lines.
- Some economist say bringing international automobile players and providing best competitive environment will help country, this industry rather than stopping foreign competition. Why is this principle not applicable in this case? Remove reservation, support these youth, set right competitive environment and they will definitely compete with others.
- Let’s come up with innovative ideas to come over caste boundaries and people from all castes living together harmoniously.
- Nowadays youth is going out of caste line in search of life partner especially in cities. Gradually it is increasing and will help to break strong caste lines.
- Indian mind-set is to know other person caste, position and make prejudice, behave accordingly. Can people be encouraged to write father name, village name etc as surname like people in many parts of country already doing rather than caste name.
- Lets discourage culture of people asking castes during interaction. Like in RSS people are addressed with first name and caste is not discussed at all.
- Caste must not be deciding factor for a voter but other real qualities anticipated out of people representative.
- African community in USA faced similar situation but their leaders didn’t go for reservation. Obama is first African origin president in around more than 250 years of independence. While Dr Bheem Rao Ambedkar became part of constitution making body and law minister without reservation but based on merit in this country. All Americans worked together to fight their problems and it became a developed nation today, reservation couldn’t have taken country there.
Let us all work together under tricolour to live together with brotherhood and fight together with problems country facing. It will better help each Indian citizen and help country to overcome all problems faster. It will help to provide basic requirements to each Indian like education, fresh drinking water, health services, work for hands, food for hungry stomach.