"The reservation bill that promises to set aside 27 per cent of seats in educational institutes for the Other Backward Castes"
The earliest recollection of 'Reservation Controversy' was when I was in fourth division, the year going by reverse engineering would be 1990, studying in what was arguably the most elite school of New Delhi. It was sometime in March and the unforgiving annual examinations were just around the corner. Something like ‘Mandal Commission’ could be heard on AIR almost all the time. And along with it loud opinions, violent disagreements and of course loathable turncoat statements of politicos thronged the idiot box, almost invariably cutting on my daily appetite of Cartoon shows.
Suddenly one fine morning news came over that some Rajiv Goswami had self-immolated in Deshbandhu College. This college was just around the corner of my house and had the rare distinction of being both ‘Laila-Majnu’ college and ‘Stud Bhai ka’ college of Delhi University.
(Till now this had been the talk of the town only for the ‘Staff Power’ that its I-Cards yielded. For the lesser mortals who are unaware of this divine truth, an explanation follows. I-Card of Deshbandhu college was enough for any one to board any private bus be it the vanilla Blue-Line or the Deluxe White-Line ones and get a free ride to just about any destination.)
As the news of the attempt to self-immolate spread like wild-fire, panic gripped the city. The union government immediately ordered a curfew in most of the high-risk areas in the posh suburbs of south Delhi. My school came bang in the middle of that locale and a result the exams got postponed indefinitely. When classes finally resumed after about a fortnight later, the exams had to be replaced by a miniaturized caricature of its original self, referred in the school circles as Unit Tests.
It must be ironical that just about the time Rajiv Goswami died an unknown death , the controversy seems to have resurfaced. This time thanks to the spineless congress led coalition, a party which can almost hold the patent for Vote-Bank politics. I had always believed that being a good individual os no excuse for being ineffective or inefficient. Manmohan Singh as honest as a credential he may sport has been thoroughly ineffective in all measures after the initial bold move of ending the License Raj. That too was undoubtedly the credit of P.V Narsimharao, one of the most effective leaders this country has ever produced. No wonder hence that Manmohan suffered a humiliating defeat in our parliamentary constituency of Outer Delhi when he stood against an unheard of Delhi University Professor, V.K.Malhotra. He paid the price of being incapable of leadership and being on the wrong side. The same side which was ornamented with goons and thugs like Jagdish Tytler and H.K.L.Bhagat.
This once, the honor is done by another one of unique congress sample’, Arjun Singh. A person who is doubtful of being able to recite even the alphabet list in any language of his choice without stumbling-fumbling and gaping for air! A person who is as capable of dispensing his duties as is the idea of solving complex algebraic equations by chewing bubble-gums!
Coming to the bill as such; for the fist time this kind of positive discrimination bill is conspicuously missing the ‘creamy layer’ condition. This would make the reservation legally applicable to even the wealthy ‘backward cast’ citizens. (It is another matter that these people have probably always used such reservations using extra-legal methods, even when they were legally exempted from such provisions). This does gross injustice to an average ciizen who toils his life out in order to make way into educational institutions of his choice. The fact theta the IITs and the IIMs are any different from Amity Engineering College and ITM School of Management is because of the rigor of its admission process which sieves only the most dedicated and disciplined of students. (Note here that intelligence is not a criteria. Most students who actually compete neck to neck for such entrances have about similar intelligence levels)
The unfortunate thing is that the reservations are not into making them at par in the competitive entrance process but to take them through that even if they are sub-standard. This process does profane injustice to those students in the backarward communities who would have made it through the selection process even if there were no reservation. He will be subjected to the same contempt in the student community of looked down upon at similar levels to those of his peers who made their way by the sole blessing of their birth in the ‘scheduled caste/communities’.
The funny thing is next time I go to a doctor, ik will forst ask him to prove that he is not one who made his way in due to reservations before I let him examine me. Next time I hire a software engineer in my firm, I will discard the IIT Kanpur grad in the HR round due to ineffective communication skills after one brief look at his caste certificate. Rest assured without the cruches of another round of reservations (one that Kamal Nath is threatening to impose) these people will find it almost impossible ot make way into any respectable job.
What the IIT & IIMs can do so as to negate the detrimental effect of sub standard people coming in due to such reservations is to mention the category under which the student has got admission in his passing certificate. This will make the job a lot easier for the corporates to screen out the defunct ones.
The country seems to be moving into an era in which a person’s origin of birth is assuming greater importance than the person himself. An unfortunate scenario, which will almost inevitably breed such birth-cert spoofers and fakers, and they could actually scarcely be blamed for that !