How reservation has failed at uplifting backward & succeeded in dividing society

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The Indian Constitution replicates equal law for every citizen of this country but reservation has been made to bring underprivileged classes at par with general ones. Whether to have a reservation system or not, is still a debatable question in India and needs to be addressed in nation’s interest. But still, the condition of so called underprivileged sections in India are the same even that we have crossed so many decades of independence.


Instead, the policy of reservation seems to be demarcating Indian society further. It is being used to uplift one section of the society at the cost of another, which is not fair. Instead of this there should be equal opportunities for all. Moreover, a capable candidate does not need any certificate of being from a lower caste to prove their worth. It is his mind, education and ability to compete that can bring change in life. Taking a seat just by showing your under privileged certificate won’t give you anything, but just the degree or a simple job.

Like India, there was a reservation system in United States too, but was abolished long ago. Though it does not mean that they are not working for the underprivileged in their society. For admission and appointment purposes, now they have point systems in which people from backward regions are given some extra points but, not a certain number of seats. So, though the government is helping those who need, but it is not at all discriminating or snatching away the rights of eligible candidates.

The latest of all in quota system addition is that from mid June state government of Maharashtra will decide to make the whole of Maratha community as OBC, giving 20% reservation to it, which is too simply just a populist move before assembly elections after Congress tragic loss at center in 2014. If solution to backwardness was reservation then after so many years of reservation there should be no backward communities in Indi. In reality, the situation is very different. Why? This we need to introspect.

Albert Einstein said, “Solution to discrimination is not discrimination which injects hatred and frustration. Only anti-discrimination mechanisms can eliminate problems of discrimination”. The present quota system, created to facilitate the poor ends up wrongly being utilized by children of rich, which includes politicians, ministers, businessmen, landlords and high class government officers belonging to a specified caste.

The Indian Constitution guarantees equality to all citizens and thus establishes a rule of non-discrimination by the state in any manner. It ensures the state to treat all citizens equally and allow equality of status and opportunity to all, and specifically provides that discrimination on the basis of religion, sex, color, caste, race or the place of birth etc are impermissible. After all the whole purpose of the Constitution as proclaimed in the Directive Principles is to move towards ‘a casteless and classless society’.

The Objectives of Reservation is to uplift lower strata of society, ensure that minorities are not discriminated in job selections and promotion and ensure proper political representation of minority groups. As described by All India Anti Reservation Front, the level of primary and secondary education must be boosted. All the problems start from primary level itself, if a student does not have a strong base, then he or she cannot complete higher education successfully. The government should make effort to uplift economically weaker classes by strengthening the educational base of these classes at the primary level.

The government should start a campaign to ensure that students from all sections of society are encouraged to pursue studies at least till 12th standard. The number of seats in premier institutes may be increased, but then the quality of education should not be hampered. To attain this, it will be necessary to increase the teaching faculty as well along with the infrastructure. Assistance may be provided in the forms of scholarships. The essence is to ensure that every child has an equal opportunity, not to become equal but to become different – to realize whatever unique potential of body, mind and spirit he or she possess.

Achieving high standards in education is of utmost importance to uplift the lives and for that simply assigning a quota and saying that responsibility is fulfilled is shoddy policy. There is little evidence that quota has made a difference to the poor over the forty years of practicing it – which is proof enough that this quota and reservation approach needs to be re-looked. Even if abolishing all quota with an immediate effect is not possible or realistic – a process of phasing them out should begin, should even assign dates by which various reservations can be ended. Think tanks should start formulating policies – which instead of taking short-cuts can work for real infrastructural building so the advantage can reach the economically downtrodden. Only then, India could develop. Otherwise, the nation will keep wasting it’s resources and precious time in eyewash like reservation, whose sole meaning and purpose has been reduced to sending political advantage to parties during elections.

Written by Himadrish Suwan >>

Himadrish Suwan is a student of DU & a regular contributor for various leading registered magazines and e-magazines. He is the youngest Recipient of the International Young Achievers award in the field of Media & Information Activism. He is also a well acquainted RTI activist. He was recently included in the list of India’s Top 6 “Young Powerful Change-makers”.
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Indian Exponent: How reservation has failed at uplifting backward & succeeded in dividing society
How reservation has failed at uplifting backward & succeeded in dividing society
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