On reservation

Even since there has been renewed talk of increased reservation for other backward classes in premier Indian educational institutions, there has been an intense debate going on. In my view, it is hardly a matter of debate – just a matter of populist measures trying to cure the symptoms rather than the disease, and garner more votes in the process. On the one hand, India is slowly but surely finding its rightful place in top league, with its economy doing well and people in general being able to afford more. This should be a catalyst for the political spectrum to try and change old mindsets – to make people take more responsibility for their lives and their country – and get away with the ‘chalta hai’ attitude. But no, the very man who has inititated economic reforms in India heads an executive that now wants to turn our educational institutions into symbols of mediocrity where you are judged not based on your merit but the surname that goes behind your name. If affirmative action is required to pull people along, provide them free training/coaching – help them to compete, instead of turning them into second-class citizens with a carrot of special privileges. Continue reading for a counter-argument as to why reservation should be supported (expressed by somebody in a Rediff message board):

"I think we should have job reservations in all the fields. I completely support the PM and all the politicians for promoting this. Let’s start the reservation with our cricket team. We should have 10 percent reservation for Muslims. 30 percent for OBC, SC/ST like that. Cricket rules should be modified accordingly. The boundary circle should be reduced for an SC/ST player. The four hit by an OBC player should be considered as a six and a six hit by a OBC player should be counted as 8 runs. An OBC player scoring 60 runs should be declared as a century. We should influence ICC and make rules so that the pace bowlers like Shoaib Akhtar should not bowl fast balls to our OBC player. Bowlers should bowl maximum speed of 80 kilometer per hour to an OBC player. Any delivery above this speed should be made illegal. Also we should have reservation in Olympics. In the 100 meters race, an OBC player should be given a gold medal if he runs 80 meters."

I’m sure most of us would agree on these recommendations for reservations ;-) The only ‘reservation’ I have is that the list could have been longer!

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