Reservation System in India [Part 1]

In a country like India, freedom is a gift of democracy. We have been given the right to freedom by our Constitution and most importantly the right to exercise this freedom. Consequently, it becomes the responsibility of the current government to ensure this equality prevails.

However in today’s time, one of the major roadblocks to this equality is the Reservation System.

During our vacations, my friends and I were travelling from New Delhi to Panipat in Haryana Roadways (state transport in India) when our bus was stopped by a group of people holding lathis, or hockey sticks, in their hands. A few men had some papers stuck to their chests claiming “JAAT AARAKSHAN ZINDABAD,” meaning Reservation should be given to the JAAT community. The bus was vacated and immediately set on fire. The police was a mere spectator to the entire scene.

Normal life was severely affected with the agitation affecting supplies of essential commodities like milk, vegetables, gas and petroleum products in several parts of the Haryana state including Rohtak, Jind, Bhiwani, Sonepat and Hisar. Trains were disrupted across Haryana and bus service also badly affected.

Allow me to give you a brief idea about what a reservation would mean to the society and why are people fighting for it. In India, some of the classes like Schedule Castes(SC), Schedule Tribes(ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) have been given reservation. Mind you, the reservation is not based on the economical condition, it’s just that these communities have been considered as backward classes. More surprisingly, What actually constitutes a backward class? What are the determinants of a backward class? The answers to these questions have not been defined in the Indian Constitution. So the question is, how can the reservations be made for something which is not defined?

Currently, as per the government policy, 15% of the government jobs and 15% of the students admitted to universities must be from Scheduled Castes. For the Scheduled Tribes there is a reservation of about 7.5 %. (Source)

Other than this, the state governments also follow their own reservation policies respectively based upon the population constitution of each state. Nearly 50% of seats are reserved. Evidently, there’s hardly anything left for the masses (General) not belonging to the reserved community, which becomes the main cause of this agitation in society. Everyone wants to be uplifted and given special privileges.

All of this means that for example if you’re in India, your admission to a university is going to be decided not by your merit but by your category. The admission forms today are filled with questions like “Are you SC/ST or OBC or General Category?” Sad, indeed.

However, I myself support reservations. But in my opinion these should be based on economical considerations. There are many people from rural areas that do not have the basic amenities such as food, shelter, clothing and facilities to attain primary education; they deserve the right to be reserved and given special treatment of reservation.

There are many cases where students from well-to-do families or people who possess all the facilities to get a good education still belong to the reserved class and take advantage and exploit the reservation system just because of their caste.  This arouses the feeling of injustice in the society.

Well, India aims at achieving inclusive growth which is not possible without ending social injustice. Mere economic upliftment will not be enough in a society like ours.

The concept of caste should be removed. In an educated society, no one is inferior or superior.

Reservations shall be supported for EBC, Economically Backward Classes, and the people from the rural area who are deprived of education and other civic amenities.

Do not spoon-feed people who’ve already made it past the high school. They should fend for themselves. If they weren’t good at this level, they won’t be much better off later.

By eradicating the caste system we shall be putting our best foot forward in uniting the people of our nation and helping the economically poor, irrespective of their castes.

-Naman

(Cover image source)

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