Reservation is wrong? Isn’t it? But so is the fact that most of you reading this were born in a well to do family and not in a rickshaw Walla’s family or a poor farmer’s family. Were you?
Why should you be given the right to go to a top class school? Just because your father gets a hefty pay check, and a backward caste poor man can’t afford to send his child to such a school?
Huh! Just this much of my statement and you must have made an assumption that I must be from a backward caste. And it must just be one of the lame attempts of a backward caste boy/girl to cover up his/her weakness. Well, you think what you have to! And I will say what I must.
And I would like to tell you a story. A story that won’t be something you would have never witnessed, but one that you would have ignored every time.
When I was a small kid, and when a worker of backward caste (Yes, surprise! I am general) used to come to my home for some task like painting, gardening etc., my mother used to serve them tea in a separate cup. A cup that was just meant for backward caste people. And that was not just it. My grandmother was even against the entrance of such people inside my home!
This is not just the story of my home. You must have witnessed it too, but mostly we choose to ignore it. We want to believe that we are not biased with caste, but the fact is, we are.
How common is this dialogue at any place “Bhaiya toh aap rajput hai kya?”. Or “Ye bhumiyar sab hote hee aise he.” or “Arey ye chotta jaat sab ka kuch nai ho sakta”. What do these dialogues prove? Why do we even have to know the caste of anyone? How does being a rajput or a Brahmin make one any different from another? Yes, in an ideal world, it doesn’t make any difference. But in the real mortal world of ours, the fact is, it does.
So, how do you propose to fill this gap between upper caste and lower caste? Well, hold on! Let me give you a few statistics.
Public Sector Jobs fall under 4 categories which are known as Group A, B, C and D. In 1959, only 1% SC’s were found to take jobs in Group A, 2 % in Group B, 9% in C and 17% in D. As it is evident from the statistics, only a small percentage of Scheduled Category people got high profile jobs in Group A, and the proportion increases as the amount of skill needed decreases. And when reservation tightened its grip in 1995, the above statistics changed to 10% in group A, 12% in B, 16% in C and 21% in D.
Statistics don’t lie. Will you at least believe them?
Now, come to the most highlighted story of reservations in colleges. What most people have against it is that they believe that the people, who need it, don’t get it. But that’s not completely true! Yes, there are a few backward caste people who irrespective of having a good financial background take benefit of reservations. But that doesn’t mean that the system is wrong. No matter what system you bring in place, there will be a few people who will try to play it. You just have to accept it.
I am from a government college, and I couldn’t make it to the IITs. Yeah maybe, if there would have been no reservations, I would have cleared JEE (Though, I would have got a terrible branch!), but this doesn’t mean that I am against the reservation. I am ready to pay this price if it helps in bringing equality in my country in any way possible. Because that is the need of the hour. So just stop thinking about yourself for one moment and think rationally. Would you?
Now coming to my college, I see a lot of reserved category students who actually needed reservation to be at that place. They are from remote villages that didn’t have access to quality education at all. Most of them were never introduced to computer education, ever! How do you suppose that they would have made their way to a good college in a big city without any help?
I have a small brother. When we were small, and when my brother used to fight with me, my mother always used to scold me. No matter if it was my mistake or not. Does that mean my mother loves my brother more than she loves me? NO, not at all. It’s just because my brother needs more help from my parents than I need because he is smaller than me. He needs more encouragement to move ahead like what I had when I was his age. And back then I needed to understand that, but I didn’t. But today I understand. The point is, will you get the point of this system in time?
And okay, I too think that reservation system is not perfect. But do you have any other system in mind? Don’t just spat away that give reservations based on economic background and not based on caste. Because again you will have to go through the statistics of how many people actually pay tax returns in India. And there’s really no way to know if someone is really poor or not. And some people will again play with the system which in this case will be more evident.
So, till our leaders are able to come up with a better system for establishing equality, we should just stop bitching about reservations and think rationally for the development of our own country. Because development can only come when everyone gets equal opportunities, and for that, a few of us may have to suffer for a while! The question is, can you do that?