I was in class XII, and I decided to fill in the form for Joint Entrance Exam for the IIT’s, and there was a column called caste and I went up to my father because I didn’t know which circle to mark. My father told me about caste system and the reason why the column was there in the first place. Nothing wrong but a young guy knows that something called caste system exists and is something beyond the civics and moral science’s books. Then we all gave the exam and when the results came there was a separate lists for some of my friends…again the same question why??? The answer is they belong to a different caste and typically addressed as scheduled castes. So now a person who just knew the people as classmates, friends, learns a new term for some of his friends. So to the extent my experience goes I feel that reservations are creating the gap more than they fill. But this wasn’t enough, when I took admission in one of the government college and was staying in the hostel, I wanted to stay with one of my friend and wanted a room change, then I was informed by our warden that according to the rules the room has to be distributed as one general candidate, one scheduled caste/tribe and one OBC sounds damn funny. Since the person I wanted to shift with was also a scheduled caste the change did happened and he is my best friend still not because of his caste but because when he became my friend I was not aware that there is something as caste and there is nothing as good as pure friendship. This was not enough soon another phase started when the ragging started; the people were ill treated by the other caste seniors and all this because of the reservations. Till now even I became so proficient that I could tell people of their castes by their last names. Why all this hatred, I could never understand why??? The width kept on increasing when there were caste meets being attended by teachers themselves and we also got books form seniors based on our castes. I am really sure that this would not have been the intent when the reservation was introduced in our constitution. But the things have changed now and it is doing more harm than good. I am not against any caste or community but I have a few doubts and questions which the present form of reservation fails to answer may be at the time when this was planned it had a very valid existence but right now I find no reasons to support it. Some of the questions which my mind asks are-
1- The objectives of reservation were the up liftment of the people who were neglected by the country and the society and were the part of the country. Now first question is caste the only bases to identify the inequalities. Is there a possibility that someone who is also suffering from similar cause but doesn’t belong to a particular caste? If yes then does that person deserve an address to his cause on the similar scales? Is there a possibility that a person who is not suffering from the inequalities gets undue benefit? If yes then the first thing is the system is not perfect and there are flaws and a better system can be brought in place. So the system can’t be assumed sacrosanct.
2- Now it has been more than fifty years since we have been implementing this system. Has it really been removing inequalities and poverty and economic gap at the rate 22.5% year on year? I don’t believe this because I don’t think that our population is growing at this rate and there has to be some visible convergence then. Anyways there is a 22.5% there is often news flashes that someone strips a dalit lady, and makes her roam around the village. How would reservation take care of this I couldn’t see an alternative? Then you will tell me that there is dalit utpeedan act (I am not sure about of the act) but why??? I may sound stupid but my question is why??? If this is done to any of the person of this country the accused should be hanged because it violates the fundamental law of equality (why one more act to specify the caste of the victim, may be make him aware that she can blame her origin for whatever has happened to her). Second is poverty and economic gap, which is one thing which is addressed by reservation but to what extent. Does the system has proper checks, whether the benefits are reaching the needful and every needful is getting benefits. I still remember that the fee paid in our engineering college was refunded by the government for the scheduled caste/tribe students. And almost every scheduled caste/tribe student claimed it, though it was meant only for the economically weaker section of the society and the people availing it were mostly the affluent people who spent the money to purchase bikes, mobile phones, digital cameras and things which were distantly not related to the education on the other hand there were students from the so called upper caste but facing economic crisis at their home. They could just curse the system and expect that might be some banks give them loans which they would repay when they will start their lives. Not fair!!! is all I can say.
3- Then the measures are very qualitative, inequality, social, economic all these things are mentioned but there are no quantitative measures to check the real effectiveness. What is social inequality? Every one can stand anywhere, eat and drink anywhere, study anywhere, irrespective of any other thing except that he should be an Indian citizen. But what else can two people be equal socially. How do we found out that we have attained social equality? How??? What is our end result??? How can we be sure that reservation has done its job? Or may be it is not doing its job there are no metrics of these factors. Economic Equality is one of the most talked about factor, what is the economic equality… When every one owns the same amount of money than I can assure you reservation or no reservation this wont be possible. Or may be when the percentage of people below the line of poverty will be same for the every caste? Is that the metrics but do we track is reservation decreasing the people below the poverty line from the scheduled castes and tribe year on year and by how much, if it is reducing at a rate which is less than the growth of the population then it should be abolished as it not an effective way and something else should be tried out. Anything but there should be a clearly defined metrics and that too not it terms of time but in terms of result. So the reservation is not at all GOAL ORIENTED.
there are 100s of other questions in my mind but in the end all the things boil down to some of the few important that we as a nation decide something and take step and it doesn’t even relates to our goal and we can’t even measure how good or bad we have done for the country. Then I remember an old story of the cocoon which was struggling to become the butterfly and one of the children filled with emotions for the little creature and helped him out but the little creature never had the wings strong enough to fly. Are we doing the same to our fellow brothers by providing them help in their struggle? Especially in the light of the American society where the social and economic inequality between blacks and whites has been addressed very well over the years, also went through a similar situation from which we are going, there was a strong wave to get reservation for blacks during the reign of Abraham Lincoln, but it was turned down…and rest is a history..
So all I can say is that reservation is not the solution to the problems of the people as a matter of fact it is more of a gimmick which was once introduced with most sincere of motives but later turned into gimmick by the corrupt and polluted intentions of the Indian polity….