As my autorickshaw rode down the Nehru Place flyover this morning, I took notice of graffiti on the left side of the road. It said: “Reservation for Dalit Muslims”, followed by the name of the Member of Parliament or MP sahab who has demanded it. I could not read the name of the MP sahab because of the speed of the vehicle, but I will mention his name when I update this post. He surely deserves to be known!
‘Reservation’, is a word that has swept the nation with peaceful and mostly violent agitations, either against or for Reservation Policy adopted by the government. People who support this policy argue that it is important to empower the backward classes and give them equality of status in education and profession. Those who are against this policy argue that it is a “clear infringemnet” of the the fundamental right – Right to Equality.
A policy incorporated at the time of independence, for the depressed classes, has become a political weapon of hungry and greedy politicians, seeking votes of the depressed classes, not really oppressed anymore. These politicians try to strike the right cord, the weakness of these poor masses, to later make the depressed classes sing on their tunes.
The success of Kirori Singh Bhainsla’s Gujjar Agitation in Rajasthan in 2008, might have encouraged many such ‘Bainslas in the making’, preparing to launch agitation for getting their respective reservation demands fulfilled. What I saw near Nehru Place flyway today, was just a hint to that. And when this demand comes from an MP, you can imagine where the country is going.
Have we ever thought how is the 27% reservation in higher education benefiting the monetarily poor “depressed classes” of rural and urban India! When the youths from poor Scheduled caste, scheduled tribe and backward classes are unable to get even the basic education, what good will this reservation in higher education do to them?
My personal experience says that this benefit of reservation is actually enjoyed by well-to-do students belonging to the depressed classes. These students with poor merit get easy admission into the “best” colleges and institutes, merely by dint of a Caste Certificate. While on the contrary, meritorious students fail to get admission or find their names in the list of the successful candidates of national level eligibility tests. What a mockery of Right to Equality! It is nothing but inequality in the name of equality.
Is reservation the only way to uplift the status of the depressed classes? Can there be no effort to provide proper education and employment avenues for them? Can’t these greedy politicians do something constructive, thinking away from their narrow political gains?