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Time to make India a no reservation country
August 29, 2006
This a gameplan by the government. I read in a mail forwarded to me that Jawaharlal Nehru felt our country did not require reservation because every person was unique. Is the government keeping Nehru's word or just elaborating what Nehru actually meant?
Also few people like me who support reservation say: First, let there be reservation in Indian politics -- such as 47 per cent for the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes/Other Backward Classes, but the country's two largest parties, the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party, are controlled by the upper castes.
Then, why not consider reservation in the Indian cricket team? Of every six batsmen, two should be from the reserved category and from the four bowlers, two should come from the reserved category, the wicket-keeper in every fourth game should be a SC/ST/OBC. Can this be possible? Will it make us win the World Cup in 2007? According to the people -- no; according to politicians -- yes.
Then why don't they apply this to Bollywood -- a 47 per cent reservations for heroes, heroines and villains? A directive that every fourth movie should be directed and written by OBC or SC/ST. Why should Bollywood be spared? The backward castes should get a chance to prove themselves. Then why not start from here? Why from the IITs and IIMs?
Of the 1,223 total seats in the six IIMs, 20 per cent are reserved. Getting a seat in the remaining 80 per cent is as tough as snatching the World Cup from Australia in Australia when Australia is at its peak.
It will be even tougher with reservation increasing to 47 per cent. It is a quickfix solution by government -- increase seats overall but the problem will still continue. Will companies from abroad still come for campus recruitment? Will they get the most intelligent from the intelligent once reservation is increased to 47 per cent? And is there enough infrastructure to handle this upgradation?
I do not know why the government is reserving seats for higher education where 8 out of 10 Dalit children drop out of school before Class X -- which means the drop-out rate is approximately 80 per cent.
I see a future where students will get fake SC/ST certificate and reserve seats in IITs or IIMs. Then in a Deewar 2007, Amitabh Bachchan will ask Shashi Kapoor: 'Mere paas daulat hai, IIT ki degree hai, IIM ki seat hai... tere paas kyaa hai?' To this, Shashi Kapoor will grandly reply -- 'Mere paas... mere paas reservation hai Bhai.'
In these past months, I have noticed one more thing, no party in the Lok Sabha has opposed this reservation issue. Either they are afraid that their vote bank will be lost or there is something unthinkable about what the UPA is doing, who knows? Where are our young leaders who claim to speak for the youth? Why don't they show up at a time of crisis and only appear during elections?
And then let us have more young MPs in Parliament. Those who can think intelligently on how to make India a truly great country based on merit and not on quota.
Rajat Narang works for rediff.com in Mumbai.