Saturday, May 13, 2006

~SOLDIERS for a different cause~

The medical students in the capital have started what promises to be a revolution in the making. The protest against the proposed hike in reservations for so-called backward classes is all set to gain momentum what with the Govt. acting in an irresponsible and despicable manner. The police action on a group of peaceful demonstrators shows that the Govt. is trying to nip this movement in the bud... lending a deaf ear to the voices of the youth of India who believe in Equality, Meritocracy and Excellence.

The police fired tear-gas shells and water-cannons on the group of medical students on a peceful march without as much as a warning. This has prompted the Indian Medical Association to declare a strike in the capital. This agitation is all set to spread like a wild-fire.

A recent report on NDTV showed how easy it is to get an OBC certificate in India. The NDTV correspondent got it made for a mere Rs. 1000 in Amritsar. I agree that the burgeoning vote-bank that the OBCs present is very tempting for the politicians to resort to such pathetic measures which divide the country on the basis of caste and creed, but should we, then, believe that not a single of our leaders refrains from playing dirty politics.

A question that naturally comes to our minds is whether these reservations actually benefit those who need upliftment most. The answer is a plain and emphatic NO. 60 years of reservations in India have done little to remove the inequality from the society. To truly uplift the masses, the Govt. needs to work at grassroots level... universal primary education, aid to the needy and free coaching for the backward class students can be viable alternatives which would not compromise on quality.

Most of the students from backward classes who go for higher education are considerably well-off and need no reservation. The fall in quality of output at the IITs and IIMs would adversely affect India's Brand value as Indian talent is renowned world-over.

It is shameful that our Prime Minister and the President, who are both among the highest-rated intellectuals of India, have chosen to ignore the agitation by the medical students as well as the thousands of mails sent to them in this regard.

We hope that some sense would prevail in the end...


Prerit said...

well written yogesh....the govt. needs a bashing for this


Anonymous said...

"The answer is a plain and emphatic NO. 60 years of reservations in India have done little to remove the inequality from the society"

=> How will primary level upliftment remove CASTEISM ?

"universal primary education, aid to the needy and free coaching for the backward class students can be viable alternatives which would not compromise on quality"

=> here is something to open ur minds regarding working at grassroots level.Go through the following and know for yourself regarding how an attempt for grassroot level upliftment through reservation of seats for eco backwards(NOTE: not just caste basis) is being scuttled by the same elitists who "recommend" grassroot level action. hypocrisy?

and of course, here is my fav comment:
"Private schools have been lobbying with the government to get the clause scrapped. They argue that children from weaker sections will find it difficult to cope with the syllabus. Their backgrounds will be very different from those that usually study in these schools, causing a mismatch the authorities will have trouble coping with."

doesnt this argument sound familiar, rings some bell...thats the same argument which is being put forth against reservation at grad and PG level. Where does this stop, If our society is not willing to accomodate people from weaker section at the lower(primary) levels, then do we have the moral right to harp on quality and upliftment ?

and tell me wht quality are we refering at nursery/primary school level?


P.S I am also against the proposed OBC reservation but before advocating a certain line of action do take some time to know in depth about the issue from different perspectives

PPS: for why I am against this new legislation go through the following blog

Yogesh said...


Yes I do believe that the only way to remove casteism from India is through education. Tell me, how many educated youth of India really care about which caste they belong to. The fact that one of my closest friends is an OBC came to my knowledge only after this Quota issue came to light. But the reservations have ensured that now we care about things that didn't really matter before.

Don't twist what I say to suit your own meaning. Universal primary education is, indeed the need of the time. I happened to go through ur blog.. and it seems that u have, perhaps, a greater understanding of the issue than I do.. but still you ask questions that amuse me.
Tell me, haven't you heard that the only reason reservations for several decades did not uplift scheduled castes was the huge drop-out rate among them at primary levels. The same applies to OBCs as well.. The benefits of the present and the proposed reservation policy are being exploited by selected few who are already affluent.

Thus, the GOVT. has to ensure that all, please note, ALL children have access to basic primary education. On the higher education front, what is needed is AID and not reservation.. for while the former promotes talent, the latter fosters mediocrity and indolence.

It's stupid to expect the private sector to do what is plainly the Govt's job. While any such gesture from private unaided institutions will, indeed, be a noble one.. we cannot heap our expectations on them. Education today, accept it or not, is a business and the private schools are here to make money. Primary education in villages, suburbs and even in cities for the economically backward ppl is responsibility of the Govt.

And, yes, I was having my exams and couldn't check my blog for a while.. good for u.. u got the opportunity to throw in another remarkable observation.. (I have spared my blog in the latter case.. hope that's okay)

BTW, why post an anonymous comment...

Anonymous said...

first of all apologies for the second comment...

now coming to why I post as anonymous, I dont have a bloger identity and neither do I want as I cant keep up with updating my blog. What it implies is that you got it wrong, "reality@" is NOT my blog.

"Tell me, how many educated youth of India really care about which caste they belong to"
=> A lot, since you are going by anecdotal evidence, my answer is based on the same. The reason why most of "us" do not bother is
a) we are on the right side of the caste divide
b) Urban areas=> which has reduced the caste divisions. At least superficially. Although when it comes to crunch, say marriage. Caste is all for there to be seen

The mistake most of us make do is to use this cliched argument of "I never bothered abt my caste etc" Just becasue you adn "most" of forward caste people dont care abt caste doesnt matter casteism doesnt exist.

Another mistake you are making is that education will remove casteism. CAsteism is a social phenomenon,which education does little to remove. E.g. if you had wathced NDTV last week they covered an indicdent in Rajasthan about caste discriminatin.and both sides invovlved wr educated!
I think its high time that you came out of your make belief world of "caste doesnt matter". Caaste is still the dominating criteria in the indian(Hindu) pysche.
Now the next logical ques is how reservation (I am talking of SC/ST here) had/will help? First of all, reservatiinos are/were never meant to remove caste divide, it was/is meant to improve representation from the "socially" disadvantaged section s of the society. And the results ar there to be seen in the form of dalit middle class. Therefore, if one says that rsvation doesnt remove casteism therefore shld be stopped is a logically flawed argument. In fact the primary and only reason for the dalit middle class and representation is reservation.

The next obvious question is that if represntation was the aim and it has been achieved, is it time to relook at resvtion policy? My ans 'Yes', may be the quantum of rsvtion can be reduced over a period of time. but if we keep on arguing on false concepts of merit and quality it will be futile and only act as cannon fodder for people with extreme views (in particular politicians).

What I strongly object to is your comment that education for socially disadvntaged is a govt job.This is prceisly the mindset and habit of disowning our responsiblity which casues problems.

Did you care to find out the pvt school which the delhi govt asked to provide quotas got land on concessional rates? Do they still have the moral right to indluge in "profit mongering" only?

and tell me if you dont care about even taking part of ownership by advocating private sector reforms(in education sector) and are keen to give up and wash your hands, does your arguments sound anything but hollow? This is what ails the strong anti-quota protestors, refusal to give even symbolic acceptance to teh need of social justice and throwing everthng in the govt basket!

and I havent discuss the issue of merit which is a fraud argument.

Since you are joiing IIMB, here is a blog by IIM B alumni who talks abt resevation and gives examples of academic 'merit' of quota students at IIMB.

Yogesh said...


Not having a blogger identity is no excuse for posting as anonymous.. neways, that's ur choice. And ur saying that u can't keep updating ur blog amuses me further. But let's not go into all that.

Now an earnest request--- future comments, if any, can be mailed to me at Since ur comments no longer are about my blog.. I don't want my blog cluttered with same. This is not to say that you are not welcome to criticise what u find objectionable in my blog.

Okay, I'll agree that the indifference attitude towards caste among youth is largely confined to urban areas, but the only logical explanation that comes to our mind for the development of the same is awareness and education. We cannot judge the state of affairs by counting how many inter-caste marriages are being allowed. That is one extreme, which the Indian society will not attain in the near future.

No one denies the evils of casteism... but we do have to debate that aren't we ensuring that this malpractice never ceases to exist.

You got me wrong again. I never said that education 'only' can remove casteism. But it can, indeed, serve as an useful aid in doing the same. We have to encourage the backward classes to come forward and not serve success on a platter to the few privileged ones among them. This can only happen when the Govt. (Yes, the Govt.) ensures education for all.

As regards the responsiblity of the private sector... yes, what they have committed must be done,no denying that. But to expect that they would compromise with their profit-motive is a bit presumptory.

You have an uncanny ability to draw meanings that suit ur purpose, which here seems to be criticising my viewpoint. No problems with that, though. When I say that primary education is a Govt's job, I am within my senses. Yes, as primary education must be universal and in most cases, free.
And you must also note that when someone advocates educational reforms, he says so for higher education which indeed needs privatisation.

If we begin talking about the wide spectrum of casteism and its redressal, we'll never reach a conclusion. What is important is that we understand that reservations in higher education is no solution.

And, your argument that merit is a false issue is also amusing. No one has said that reserved category students are born "not meritorious". But, merit needs cultivation, effort and the unfortunate necessity of 'proof'. It cannot be taken for granted. That the present system lacks. It takes away the incentive for putting in any effort at all. This will lead to stagnant growth and not "upliftment".

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