Abolish Reservations in India
The President of India, The Supreme Court of India
The people of India
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The founding fathers of our nation wanted to uplift the downtrodden and bring them into the national mainstream. In nascent India, the downtrodden were generally those communities which were considered untouchables, and also other communities which were tribal and nomadic in nature. Therefore, they provided reservations in jobs for persons belonging to such communities, so that their disadvantage may be compensated. While it is true that 50 years ago, almost all the families in these communities were backward or downtrodden, it is also true that presently, backwardness and poverty are not restricted to only these communities. On hindsight, it does appear that our founding fathers made a colossal mistake in basing the reservations on a persons birth. While it is true that many persons belonging to the backward communities have progressed, it is questionable whether their progress can be attributed solely to the advantage obtained through reservations. It is more likely that such affluent families belonging to backward communities have progressed owing to hard work and disciplined lifestyles.
While it is debatable whether reservations have helped in uplifting the backward communities, it is true that this measure has given rise to two unnecessary consequences. Firstly, there are several persons belonging to the backward communities who do not wish to work hard and compete with the best, as they are sure of getting jobs owing to reservations. This has caused a lackadaisical approach amongst many persons belonging to the backward communities. Secondly, there are persons among the forward communities who have been denied jobs or promotions inspite of performing better than those favoured by reservations. This has caused anger, jealousy and hatred amongst the affected families belonging to the forward communities. Persons who belong to forward communities, but who have been deprived of fruits in spite of outperforming the one favoured by reservations, therefore opt to work outside India. The current policy of reservations has not eliminated the caste differences. On the contrary, it has strengthened the same and lead to hatred within society. It has merely inverted the caste hierarchy of ancient times.
In order to move towards an egalitarian society, we need to abolish caste system. Instead, reservations are strengthening the same and causing hatred amongst people. This suits the politician and hence reservations which were originally intended for a few years have been extended till today.
Nowadays, reservations are being justified by some persons by the argument that some communities were oppressed since centuries. However, it is patently unfair to set right a bad practice by indulging in another malafide practice. If the same logic were to be applied, one community can complain of harassment by another foreign invading community and will demand the right to harass the other community to set right an old mistake. Two wrongs do not make a right. Such logic is sadistic and will definitely cause immense harm to all people.
If reservations on the basis of birth is against merit, so is reservation for the rich in the form of management quotas and capitation fees. Reservation in any form needs to be abolished if we wish to prosper as a nation. We need to devise a system wherein a bright yet economically poor person, can compete with his wealthy counterparts. Lack of finance and resources should not deter intelligent and hardworking persons from working their way up the ladder. Instead of reserving seats, jobs and discouraging competition, we need to provide the poor with free knowledge and resources. We can provide free education, free books, scholarships and even free food to candidates who are bright and deserving, so that they are not hindered in competing with those who are economically well-off. It should be left to the individual to make good of the knowledge and resources made available to him and thus grab the opportunity when it comes his way. Reserving seats and jobs for persons who have obtained all resources freely, but who still lag behind in competition will definitely affect merit.
Merit needs to be the prime yardstick in any selection. This can be surely done only if we discourage caste system by becoming truly secular: by abolishing all references to caste & religion in public life and in gubernatorial affairs. If this is not done, the people who are adversely affected by reservations will breed contempt for India as a State, although they will love India as their country. Frustrated at being constantly deprived, in spite of performing better than those benefited by reservations, such groups may demand a land of their own. It may well be impossible for all judicial, legislative, and even military attempts to thwart such a demand and another partition will not be far if the present policy is continued. Such a policy of favouring persons on the basis of their birth will surely pave the way for balkanization of India, which we need to avoid.