TODAY -

Critical analysis of reservation system

Moirangthem John Singh *



Reservation system enshrined in the Constitution of India under which certain identified sections of the people are given favourable opportunities whether in getting education, jobs etc. in Government run institutions is one of the most controversial policies since the framing of the Constitution.

It existed during the British rule in the form of quota system in British India and then spread to the princely States. So, reservation system or quota systems favouring certain castes and communities in India is a brain child of the British.

British being a colonial power and India their colony, the main motive for British rule is economic exploitation and to prevent the people from becoming one or create a sense of disharmony among various groups.

The most effective strategy they used is the so called divide and rule policy, where they divide the people in all possible ways whether on religious, communities or economic lines and thus ensuring that a wall is constructed in their minds against the others and a sense of hostility exist among them.

The next step in this policy is to continue to put oil in the flame so that the walls in the minds stands solid and thus prevent them from having inter caste or inter religious marriage as cross breeding gives better pedigree which could be a threat to them.

Reservation policy or quota system is a part of the divide and rule policy where the British favour one particular community and making the others beg for the same favour and thus belittling them and at the same time creating disharmony among them. The Indians ignorant of the malicious intention of the British gradually demand the deployment of this system in getting education, jobs etc in the princely States too.

This system became entrenched in the mindset of the people and the caste barrier which was automatically to be diluted with education became more rigid and thus the walls in the minds became more solid.

The mindset of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar whether his anger against the upper caste people or his support for the communal award are all outcomes of this divide and rule policy. The Reservation policy finally got enshrined in the Constitution of India and thus the divide in the minds continues till today.

Brain drain problem

Reserving seats for one particular community for the wrongs they have done (like outcasting them) appears to be a very beautiful policy but its only an illusion. The emotional intelligence of a person who belonged to reserved category will make him or her feel weak or inferior and the weak mind could be infested with negative thoughts.

Wont the person with reservation tend to live a bit relaxed thinking he will be able to achieve the goal easier than his peers in the unreserved category which results in him or her appearing to be less intelligent (which in reality is not so). Besides, a wall will automatically be built in the minds of the reserved category person and will tend to live in seclusion thinking himself or herself to be inferior.

It is evident from the fact that many students who come from the SC community hide their surname (their name will be without any surname) while taking admission in colleges, thinking their caste is a shame to them. Wont such people ever leave a chance to leave this country where they cannot even feel proud of their identity. Thus, the brain drain problem of India can be correlated with this policy.

Corruption

Corruption which is rampant throughout India is a result of this reservation policy. It can be viewed as a means to bring communal harmony among different communities. For instance, there are two seats for a Government job-one reserved and the other unreserved and the highest mark scored among the reserved category candidates is less than the highest among the unreserved candidates. (Though this could be an illusion as mentioned above, the reserved candidate may be capable of scoring higher marks than that.)

Since he is going to be selected, all other candidates scoring at par or above him can be considered eligible for the post. Wont the selector justify selecting another candidate whose mark is at par with the reserved candidate (to be selected) and not the topper by taking bribes as these two candidates are more likely to work together in harmony ?

This selected candidate in all likelihood will resort to corruption to get back the money spent in bribing. Thus, corruption became the norm and the rat race to earn in every possible way through corruption began and the vicious cycle continues. Reservation policy has also made the minds of the people just to think for oneself and the sense of universal brotherhood seems to have lost leading to rampant corruption.

Godmen culture

Is getting a job the real goal of ones education ? Isnt the journey to reach the goal that is more important than the goal itself as the journey is going to shape the person. Will the reserved category person get the same respect and love like his peers from the unreserved category ? Will he get the same happiness and self confidence of reaching the goal?

These factors are responsible for the emergence of godmen in India where people mainly from the reserved category come in search of guidance and emotional well being and do away with the confusion in their mind. Some may even in the futile attempt try to buy happiness by resorting to worldly pleasures. But happiness ,like love, is a mental construct which cannot be bought.

There is never a shortcut to bring equality in our society. Shortcuts always lead to more harm than good. Humans are very intelligent beings who have emotional intelligence too They are capable of solving their problems among themselves. Its best to leave their mind free and let positivity grow among them and the wall constructed in the minds will itself get destructed.

Its time we come out of the illusions created by the British and decipher the mind games British had played leading Indians to think themselves as inferior and corrupt, if India is to become a Nation where we forget our caste, creed, race, religion and become one. It was just a half won freedom we got from the British (only in body, not in spirit).

Until and unless we do away with the division created by the British in our minds, their avatars will emerge from among us. Its time we come out of this mess; reverse the brain drain, do away with corruption, godmen culture and insurgency problems and make India great again; that India which was once regarded as the cradle of human civilisation.

Lets remind ourselves the very meaningful poem by Rabindranath Tagore which is relevant even today-

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls;

Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake.



* Moirangthem John Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is an Economics graduate DU
This article was webcasted on January 31 2023.



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