Sundarrajk's Weblog

Solutions to Reservation Problems

Posted on: June 1, 2006


Its surprising as to how prejudiced that a mind can be. One needs to read the following two articles to understand this.
The first is this by Andre http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1584038.cms
and the second is this http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1600662.cms, which has been written as an rejoinder to the earlier article.

People need to understand that while the “so called” upper class agrees that there is still discrimination of the so called “lower class” in rural areas, the urban area is relatively free of this problem. One hardly bothers as to what it the caste of the person with whom one is studying. There is not talk to say, look he is a OBC, or SC/ST and that is why he/she is failing to clear.

One has to only see how a child in the city is brought up. They are not taught about the caste from homes. The only thing they are probably told distinguishing them and us is that they eat meat and we do not eat meat. And this is not a scenario now, but this was even when I was in school in the early seventies. Never did we speak about a shudra or caste of a person. Even religion was not spoken with contempt.

The first time my encouter with caste came when I realized that my admission to higher studies after HSC would become difficult as I was from the “upper caste” and so I am eligible for only a part of the seats that are available. Till that time I was least aware or bothered about the caste system. In the class in which we studied there were both so called “brahmins” and “non-brahmins”. But never was I asked not to mix with “non-brahmins”, neither did I see this tendency with any of the other boys in the class. (I can speak only for boys as during that age we were segregated into classes based on gender during the growing stage.) I had friends from different backgrounds and used to move about with all of them with no difference. All of us used to have a game of cricket with balls made of rubber bands tied around a paper (as we couldn’t carry bats to school and we used our palms to hit the ball.) There was absolutely no grouping when it came to playing.

The first and foremost problem that we face today is that we do not respect labour as much as we should. Today any manual labour is considered to be menial job. This attitude has to change. If a person can do a manual job with skill and with honesty then why should we not pay him his due and appreciate him for his skills. If we can admire M.F. Husain for his weird (for lack of more euphemistic word) works, then why not appreciate the artists in Rajastan for the intricate paintings that they come out with or the artisans from anywhere else. Why is there no means of livelihood for these people? Has the government asked itself why is education taking such a precedence over other vocational activities which can provide livelihood and which can push people up the economic scale. Is education the only way of progress? Yes some education is required, but it need and should not be the only means of economic and/or social growth.

Here are some suggestions to the Government if they are listening to advancing the social status of the “backward classes”.
1. Remove the term caste, and religion from the constitution.
2. Declare that everybody living in India is an Indian and there will be no discrimination (positive or negative) between one an the other.
3. Remove the middlemen in various business, starting with agriculture and make it possible for the producers to directly market their goods.
4. Change the education pattern so that everything is not based on rote learning.
5. Bring in vocational courses to supplement the regular subjects. Let somebody who is good at drawing get his certification with drawing as primary and somebody good at maths get his certification based on maths. Let it not be said that everybody needs to master logarithms and derivatives to get certification.
6. Last but not least forget about vote banks and RULE with a gentle but firm hand.

That should solve most problems.

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