How caste reservation system is depriving talents in India
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India’s independence is one of the most significant moments in Indian history. At the time of India’s sovereignty, many dreamt to rebuild this nation so that it could stand back strong and revive from the dent of the past. But even after 75 years of hard-earned freedom, we are still under a rule, and this time it is an unwanted concealed political control. Few of the decisions taken then have become a burden for today’s population. One of these was the decision of reservation.
A brief background of caste reservation system
Soon after the independence, the reservation system in India gradually came into existence, in an order to safeguard the interests of the communities who were either less privileged or had suffered oppression from the higher class. In the year 1982, under Article 15 (4) of the Indian Constitution, the nation agreed upon reserving 15% and 7.5 % of the government job quotas and seats in an educational institution primarily for the Scheduled caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) of India respectively.
In this, not only reservation was given to Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes in education, government jobs, Parliament, and Legislative Assemblies, but equal opportunities were also guaranteed.
The primary intention, as stated by the government then, reservation is a concept to level the fortunate and the unfortunate section of society. The purpose behind this might have been to address any kind of disharmony in society.
From the very beginning, neither the union government, nor any state government deployed any strict policy towards eradication of caste based oppression. For example, “untouchability”. There were no strict implementation of anti-“untouchability” law in anywhere by any government. In the name of freedom and religious freedom, they have completely overlooked the root cause of caste based social oppression. Rather they were somehow more interested in forcefully pushing people into various positions based on their castes.
Is it Caste Reservation or “political” tool?
What reservation is doing today and laying the foundation for the future is hard to believe and understand. This reservation system has gradually become an instrument that is dividing our society, and our people based on caste. It is slowly and steadily elevating the wall between two neighbors with two different castes.
Eventually, this system of reservation has now shattered the dreams of many young generations as well. Because of the reservation system, it is hard to believe, that the caste system is much ahead of the genuine logic, abilities, and potential of individuals. Now let’s focus on some of the main concerns this reservation system is spoiling society with.
On one hand, while the number of government jobs is decreasing day by day, on the other hand, the pressure of getting jobs in fewer seats is increasing. In such a situation, due to reservations, promising applicants are often deprived of their opportunities. Hence this arrangement is bringing hatred and revulsion among the masses.
The reservation system demeans the labor and hard work of students and applicants who works days and nights to achieve high grades to get them admitted to reputed colleges or get their names on the merit list for job selections. Due to the reservation system, such deserving students or candidates are often made to wait behind those who might not have scored well as compared to them but because they are entitled to the reservation, their journey becomes much easier.
Hence the reservation system here again divides the society between the privileged with lower merits and unprivileged ones with high marks and labor.
How can a nation move ahead without merit? Take an example of developed countries. They have only the merit of a person as sole yardstick (with very few exceptions). When you push a person on the basis of caste then it is evident that the job does not need merit! Its a science and hence no argument can hold when it is merit versus caste.
Encouragement of Casteism
Well, many of us would agree that if our society did not have the fetters of caste, then this would have been a more beautiful place to live. Today, when we should break the shackles of caste and move the country forward by working shoulder to shoulder with each other, at the same time, because of this building odium, we are heading to nowhere.
The reservation system is encouraging disgust rather than adding prosperity to our lives.
With things remaining unchanged in the country, people, especially our youth are getting desperate to leave the country and switch to someplace where discrimination on the grounds of casteism doesn’t exist. After completing their schooling, many students leave the country to be admitted to foreign universities.
It is because they know that their hard work and marks won’t get diluted anywhere against reservation.
Their seat will not be easy to grab no matter if they have attained higher grades than the ones from the reserved category. Similar is the case with government jobs. No matter how well you have performed, your cut-off for merit will be much higher than the one who belonged to the reserved category.
Hence, after many futile efforts, if you are unable to get a job, you would fly outside the country where knowledge of skills and value of grade are considered.
More castes will come into power
If this practice of casteism remained unrevised in years to come; there are chances that more castes would demand reservation under the guise of convenience the reservation offers. You cannot deny the possibility of politicians alluring people in return for votes by promising them to adjust into a reserved category.
So, it won’t be a big deal when society might face pure unrest in the name of casteism. The Gujjar violence in Rajasthan for the demand for caste-based reservation is the best example of such unrest.
Let us criticize the government for reservation system
The government received no predicament on this from the opposition as it paved the political opportunities for everyone in the long run. Though, it was agreed on the fact that the percentage of relaxation will be reviewed after every 5 years and it will be intended to last for 10 years only but it never happened as thought. Reservation in India has gone far ahead of its purpose.
As we all can witness, it has been subsequently extended every 10 years from the time it was levied.
Much later, in 1979, a commission was set to review or redress caste discrimination and was chaired by BP Mandal. Rather than bringing down the reservation, the commission submitted the report to the president on December 30, 1980, with the recommendation of a 27% reservation quota for other backward castes as well. This time the OBCs came from those lower and intermediate castes that were considered backward because they did not enjoy an upper-caste status in society.
As per the commission’s recommendations, a total 49.5% quota in government jobs and public universities was put forth. Then-Prime Minister, VP Singh, implemented the commission’s recommendations in August 1990 which led to mass protests across the country and especially in the northern parts of India. It was since then no substantial efforts were made by any regime that came to power, to review the prevailing quota system. As a result, many young deserving talents were deprived from their rightful opportunities and payed enormous cost of discrimination on their very own land.
The 50 percent cap
In addition to it, the honorable Supreme Court of India made a ruling in 1992 which stated that reservations could not exceed 50 percent; anything above which it judged would violate equal access as guaranteed by the Constitution. It thus put a cap on reservations. However, the recent amendment of the constitution exceeds 50% and also there are state laws that exceed this 50 percent limit and these are under litigation in the Supreme Court.
In 2019 the government announces the 10% reservation in educational institutions and government jobs for economically weaker section of the general category.
So today, in India, reservation is provided to Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) at the rate of 15%, 7.5%, and 27%, respectively, in case of direct government recruitment. Along with, 10% reservation in educational institutions and government jobs for economically weaker section of the general category.
What it should be?
If you have enough money, then you can even buy a soul today! That means, when you have enough money then you can buy your own book, you can study your own subject and nobody will resist you to go and seat in the exam. Then why do you need a caste-based reservation? Only to evade the higher cut-off marks, right?
On the other hand, when you do not have enough money, then you can not buy your own book, you can not study your own subject, and your poverty will resist you to go and sit for the exam. Then why do you need a caste-based reservation? The only thing that can take you to the exam hall is a free book, free tuition, and free exam form. All these can be ensured through an economic class reservation. Poverty does not spare castes.
Now after understanding the roots of reservation in the country, it is also necessary to know how it is hampering and depriving the young talent of their deserved rights.
Today, reservation is more of a political issue than an actual tool for the upliftment of deprived people. Hampering the soul and the motives behind the reservation, our politicians have turned out to be more distorted than the Britishers would have been on their Indian conquest.
The 10% reservation for the economically weaker section made by the government of India in the past years, should be the only reservation that should prevail.
And what about caste-based reservations in job promotions? This must be totally banned as this practice is meaningless and literally, there is no science in it. If a designated post can be filled up only by using caste-based promotions, that means it is a simple violation of equal rights. How can you prove that a deputy manager will give you better output if s/he is of lower caste? If you can not, then you are doing wrong!
No matter what caste creed or society we belong to, if any of us is economically weak, let us all together uplift the needy. Let us all lie in the general category and share our privileges with the actual unprivileged ones.
Only then we can define what was meant 75 years back by our constitution creator, Dr. Baba Shaheeb Bheem Rao Ambedkar.
In the end…
Going back to history, Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar never aimed at making the reservation system permanent, rather he believed and stated to review the reservation in 10 years to analyze the improvement this system has brought or not in the lives of these people. He was very clear with his intentions and there he stated that if any of the classes get benefitted from the system, then the next generation should not be given the benefit of any kind of reservation.
Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar was clear in his thoughts and words. He never wanted reservation to turn out as a crutch for society rather wanted people to develop and then compete on the same levels.
If he wanted, he could have made this system of reservation a permanent one but he’s not doing so clearly reflects that his ideas and thoughts are wrongly manipulated by the politicians, to make a profit of all kinds from these policies and the manifestation of reservation.
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