Reservation Issue

By – Supriya

The concept of reservation was enshrined in the Constitution to allow the so – called deprived classes to come at par with the so – called privileged ones. The Constitution of India allows this kind of positive discrimination in order to bring about equality of opportunity and status to the underprivileged in the society. The founding fathers had never intended Reservation to be a temporary phenomenon. Reservations to the underprivileged were to be extended until they were uplifted socially and stabilized economically . Reservations, with the view of helping the deprived classes to gain a better footing and avail equal benefits of an independent and free nation, was introduced in the system. Yet, the various governments till now have failed to truly uplift the backward sections of the society and failed to provide them with equal opportunities even after 64 years of independence. Freedom and application of a reservation policy, has changed nothing. In reality, reservation has failed at all fronts. Not only has it failed to achieve the desired aim of bringing the non – privileged classes into mainstream , it has marginalized them all the more and deepened the caste system even more. Moreover, reservations is now used not as an effective means of eliminating discrimination but as a vile instruments for increasing vote – bank. The 93 Rd amendment and the recent declaration of the government for reservation in institutions of higher education has once again stirred the anger of the youth in general all over the country. The moral ground in favour of reservations still holds good. What is needed is to formulate a well – balanced policy of reservation, which opens equal doors of opportunity to all . Development of one section of the society should not be at the cost of the other section. Development of the society can be possible only if all the sections of the society are given equal opportunities. Opportunity for development should be judiciously distributed among all the sections of society. Development should not be an exclusive commodity of a privileged section of the society. Opportunity in education , jobs and other fields of life should be equally distributed.
If one takes a look at the issue objectively one will realise that the intention behind reservations is not faulty at all but it is the implementation and the application of it that has proved ineffective . The way reservation has been implemented all these years has deepened and aggravated the caste distinctions in the society, marginalized the poor and the needy and has benefited only the topmost layer of the so – called Backward Classes. The benefit of reservation has failed to trickle down to the lowest section of the society. Moreover, it has killed the spirit of brotherhood and healthy competition , the desire to surge forward and to work hard. Reservations based on the narrow concept of caste is, thus, fundamentally wrong and hence has proved to be a failure. Thus, it is time to introspect ,by keeping aside the greed of political mileage , and thinking objectively about where things have gone wrong. It seems that nobody really cares about the welfare of the underdog but wants to gain a bit of the large chunk of political boost for the next elections. Reservation should not be forsaken because, in fact , every one wants that society should develop as a whole and everyone should reap the benefits of development . But reservations instead of being caste – based to meet the political needs of our power hungry politicians , should be based on a more acceptable criteria through which every section of the society is benefited. For instance, it can be based on economic status or anything else that can work truly for our society and state. We should take a lesson from the United States in this regard . It is the most market – oriented country in the world and has a policy of affirmative action. US universities and the government give preference to Black and Hispanic applicants in admission as well as jobs. Yet the US economy remains among the most competitive in the world. The trick lies in undertaking affirmative action by providing incentives rather than quota – based restrictions.We need to identify the ones who are really needy, downtrodden and underprivileged . Then ,we need to provide them with proper incentives such as education, opportunities and financial backing. After that real talent and hardwork should be awarded and accepted instead of blindly guaranteeing anyone a secure future merely on the basis of caste even though he/she is least deserving . Merit should be the criteria because the country needs the best of its people in order to develop and not those who are harnessing the unmerited and undeserved benefits just because they belong to a section of society which has been luckily marked in the Constitution as underdeveloped. It is so disheartening to see a well – deserving candidate with a promising future to lose out to another less deserving candidate because he happens to be from a reserved section of the society. Why should a deserving individual suffer only because he happens to be a part of the so – called privileged class of society – unfortunately or merely because of the faulty policy of the state? Instead of encouraging this kind of lethargy, the policy should be formulated in such a way as to harness the real cream of every section of the society regardless of their caste or commodity for the betterment of the society. In view of the present scenario, it is needed to keep aside the narrow vote bank politics and think truly of the betterment of the underprivileged and honestly pursue policies and programmes for their upliftment.


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