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Monday, August 3, 2015

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the reservation system in India?

I think these frustrations will slowly be shared by all Indians including the backward classes as we proceed towards a globally networked economy and are required to be competitive to survive. Reservations are palpable as an option only in zones of our economy which are still in the pre 1991 era. This means government firms and institutions. Private firms are still either out of reach for the backward classes or are barely allowing them to survive given that there is cut-throat competition and skills are needed on a regular basis. Giving a reserved seat in a college to an individual does not make them capable of handling a position of responsibility post graduation, even if you reserve such a position for them. Therefore, the discrimination will always be there since they are identified easily due to preset performance standards. 

Discrimination does not supersede merit. If you believe that, you are brewing up a disaster for your community. You can make the government to reserve seats for you in education and jobs but you cannot ask companies to let go of profits and efficiency because someone from another caste discriminates against you. It is just not a logic that would stand. The only way to uplift yourself is to become competitive and capable and there are no shortcuts to that no matter what your caste is.

Reservation is the biggest scam affecting the backward classes. Even if 100% of seats are reserved for them, and the rest of India is home schooled and goes into private enterprise, they will still not have progress for centuries. The reason being the numbers of affected is orders of magnitude higher than what is available through these gimmicks. If reservation is not there, the governments at both center and state levels would actually need to devise mechanisms for social progress rooted in trade and education which they are neither capable of nor sincere about. Why would they be? If a person from backward classes figures out ways to progress by himself, he can vote on merit. That is a disaster for political parties that boast of the magic wand of reservations.

One can also hold the intellectuals belonging to the backward classes responsible for demeaning their respective communities' ordeal of centuries of oppression. Social upliftment was needed to make these people feel respected and secure. What came instead was a symbolic goody bag which solved 0.05% of the problem in the most disrespectful way possible. It was a statement which sounded like

"You have discriminated against me for centuries. Now give me a free ride to education and employment."

How is that not disrespectful? You need legal representation, social justice and skill development on a population scale and you devised a political farce. It is not a step to solve discrimination, it is discrimination against the backward classes. It makes it OK to accept a gesture as a solution rather than asking for a solution and demanding action.

Even if you worship it, you have to accept that reservation would not work and even if it did, it still would be like a drop of water meant to irrigate miles of wasteland. We are at 50% now and constitutionally maxed out. If we alter the constitution for vote banks, that is a different disaster in itself but assume that we stay at the legal limit of 50% for 100 years with no effort and leadership from among the backward classes that focuses on personnel development rather than brewing inter-community hatred. If that happens, you can place a wager on whether we would see progress for centuries and even if you are from a backward class, you know which side of the bet you should be on if you want to win regardless of emotions.