September 06, 2011

Reserved Thoughts

So much has been said and acted upon reservation that it seems nothing else is left to be said or done. And yet, every year the same question arises again. I always wanted to say something of my own on this flaming topic. I know, a lot of people might not agree with what I say but what needs to be said, needs to be said.

I am from General Category. Which means I have never "enjoyed" reservation of any kind. And that leads to frustration; when you see other "less capable" students reaching where you want to reach. And in reality it doesn't serve any one, since those who eventually get admission also quickly realize that it they shouldn't have!

It is frustrating to see everyone and their dog enjoying reservation these days. Reservation for SC, ST, OBC categories, reservation for migrants, reservation for minorities of all kind, reservation for girls, reservation for handicapped, state quota, foreign quota, management quota, EWS quota... There are so many kinds of horizontal and vertical reservation that I believe General category students should also get a special reservation of their own! Don't get me wrong, I fully support some of these reservations. And had I been getting benefits of reservation somewhere, who knows I might have been supporting all kinds of reservations!

Having said that, I think if reservation has been granted after all, then it is idiotic not to take it. I see scores of seats go empty every year in college since there are no eligible students in the reserved category for them. I see women travel standing in the buses because some lazy ass men have occupied their reserved seats, and they are too chicken to ask for their own right.

Reservation in a way has been good for me too. Some of my bestest friends come from reserved category whom I might have not met if they weren't from their respective categories. Of course, counter arguments can be given that one is bound to find good friends wherever one goes, but as I look back, I am not ready to trade them with any one else.

I think reservation per se is not the main problem. For me the lack of sufficient resources is. Even if you abolish reservation fully, the cut throat competition will still exist. So until and unless we can generate enough resources the headache is not going anywhere. Think about it, if 120 students are sitting in an exam for 100 seats, do they really need reservation?

India's really crowded!
Tell me who among them needs/deserve reservation and who doesn't.
And the biggest malaise for reservation is not the reservation itself. It's the ill thoughts attached with reservation. Personally for me, caste is nothing to be talked about (just like religion). But, reserved category students are still thought of as "lower caste". Casteism is still strongly prevalent in educational structure (which is ironic, since main aim of education is to free us of this third world thinking). People instead of working hard to grab the opportunities are doing everything in their power to either get or stop reservation, which brings further hatred towards each other.

I think to an extent reservation is still needed. And in some cases (PH) it will always be needed. But it's important to not take it for granted. People who need reservation must be given, but it should also be taken promptly from those who don't need them any more without caring for vote bank/protest. Children need to be taught of value of hard-work rather than short-cut. "Quota to hai hi!" thinking must go, for good!

So, what's your own thinking about Reservation? Please let me know in the comment section. (please keep your reservation status away while giving your views!).