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[ All India Navodaya Alumni Association (AINAA) ]

All India Navodaya Alumni Association (AINAA) :: View topic - In the Defence of Reservation
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In the Defence of Reservation

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School Co-ordinator

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Posts: 87

PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 3:29 pm    Post subject: In the Defence of Reservation Reply with quote

Dear frds,

here i am putting a different and very logical view expressed by one of our professor Dr. Rahul Verman on Reservation.

Why are we Opposed to Reservations?

I teach at one of the IITs, and off late my students, colleagues, friends
and relatives have been sending me mails, organising meetings, writing
petitions, initiating e-tirades, etc. against the recent MHRD announcement
and generally taking it for granted that I’ll join them in their protests.
Each time they are taken by surprise when I decline their offer, try to
mumble something as to why I do not agree with them, or sometimes simply
keep quiet if I have the advantage of an impersonal medium like the email.
But increasingly it has been hard to shrug the whole issue away - every
time I open my mail box, or as I walk along the corridor, and even as I
bid farewell to my students of the outgoing batch, the sentiment against
reservations seem to be thick in the air intermixed with the feeling of
unease when one does not make the ‘right’ noises. And therefore I’ll try
to articulate at some length as to why I disagree with the
‘anti-reservationists’, (the issue is too complicated for a mere agree/
disagree vote); in spite of having little sympathy with MHRD and their
‘motivated’ methods.

Let me begin with an incident which occurred when I had just joined IITK
way back in 1994. We were staying in the guest house then and some census
officials knocked on our door one afternoon to make enquiries for filling
up a questionnaire. On being asked about my caste my wife expressed her
unawareness. When a brief consultation with each other trying to
‘categorise’ my surname did not yield any answer, the main person resolved
the issue in an ingenious way. After confirming that I was a faculty
member, he told his associate in quiet confidence, “likh do, Brahman
honge”. The point that I want to stress here is that it is not suddenly
that either Mr. Arjun Singh today, or 16 years earlier Mr. B P Mandal,
suddenly injected the caste divisions into our society (or, for that
matter, in the elite educational institutes) as is being alleged by those
against the reservations. The caste divide very much exists everywhere in
our society and especially so in any of these elite institutes; my claim
would be borne out by the names on the doors along the corridors in the
faculty corridors or during the roll call in any of the class rooms. Only
thing is that those who are on the right side of the divide can choose to
ignore it. This will also be borne out by various kinds of statistics if
we bother to look at them.

Some say that instead of caste we should talk about the economic
deprivation and by bringing caste reservations we’ll only bring in more
divisiveness. I do not understand this argument; it is like saying that we
should not address the gender oppression as an issue primarily concerning
women, as men also have been sometimes oppressed; or that racial
discrimination is not about the blacks and Hispanics in the US, as whites
also are sometimes on the receiving end. Further, as if acknowledgement of
this form of discrimination(s), instead of being a logical step towards
affirmative action, would actually promote them. Coming back to
reservations in the present context, it is true that a lot of men and
upper castes are also oppressed, but here we are talking about a specific
systemic historical subjugation of a massive magnitude, at present perhaps
involving more than half a billion people. Reservations may not be answer
to this problem but the issue cannot be addressed by bringing in every
other kind of discrimination also while attempting to address this issue.
Caste problem can be solved only by addressing caste issues; similarly if
there are other discriminations that exist in the society (and of course
they do) they need to be identified and addressed too, not substituting
one form of redressal for the other. Further if the social and economic
equity spreads it will not harden the caste identity but loosen it as I’ll
argue further through the experience of the southern states later.

Of course the most important argument of those protesting is that it is
against the ‘merit’, that it is going to keep the ‘meritorious’ students
out and bring in lesser students due to reservations, which in turn will
‘lower’ the standards and destroy the excellence of such institutes, which
has been so assiduously and precariously cultivated as a part of the post
colonial nation building project. Now this argument is at various levels
and we can examine various parts of it one by one.

The first part of the above argument is that reservations will bring
students who lack merit and hence will lower the standards of the elite
institutions; hence they should be kept away from such reservations. The
point is that what does this merit really mean? In any exam where lakhs
appear and only thousands get selected, it is not that rest are ‘bad’ but
only that there are very limited opportunities. But does it mean that if
we go down in the performance list of the exams, others are incapable of
undergoing the training and we as an institution are incapable of teaching
them in whatever it takes to make them a good professional? Remember we
are talking of half a billion people when we say ‘backwards’. Can’t we
find handful out of them who have the ‘capability’ to undergo the required
training? To me the argument does not sound very different from the
ancient times where by their birth a large number were excluded from
learning Sanskrit or entering the temples. It is very much like
Dronacharya refusing admission to Eklavya. Moreover, we do not seem to
even recognise the odds that the children from disadvantaged face; my
friend who is from a village 100 kms from Kanpur tells me that his
village has just one school where hundreds study across classes with one
18 year old teacher for all the classes put together! And the point is
that, even in this school, dalit children are not even allowed to drink
from the public pot kept for the rest of the children. In contrast, is it
merit when we see that overwhelming majority of those who clear the JEE
and CAT are able to do so, only after spending huge resources, money and
time, as will be borne out from the newspapers inserts everyday and
hoardings at every corner in vast urban parts of the country? What this
shows is the singular lack of opportunities and the desperation of
educated youth to find a berth in the elite institutions that will
catapult them into a different social and economic orbit. Now the point is
that these berths are being reserved in one way so far, the question is
are we ready to alter that process?

If something sets the elite institutions apart it is the enormous
resources that they attract, both human as well as material. And I do not
see what stops such individuals who enter even after reservations from
becoming good professionals given proper nurturing and resources. As far
as failing of students in such institutes is concerned we’ll find that
students of all categories make such a list as the overwhelming reason for
that is either lack of motivation and/ or the social context and not the
lack of ability. Many students after clearing JEE, CAT, etc. lose the
motivation to do well – they stop going to classes and studying and look
for other expressions in life and simply feel alienated with the
academics. The second reason is that many students simply find it hard to
adjust to a westernised – elite culture of these institutions, especially
those who come from rural or small town background. Since they are not
able to find the right kind of supporting network of friends and peers
they are not able to perform as a lot of learning in such institutions is
collective. Many of the reserved category students have to further bear
the stigma of coming through ‘quota’, of not being good enough and hence
they get into a shell and are more likely to find themselves alienated,
which finally reflects on their performance. If this is so, then what is
required is more supporting systems within institutions and not stopping
them at the gates.

As a teacher I have also seen cases where within a semester or two some of
the so called ‘poor students’ are completely transformed. They have been
able to adjust to the requirements of the system and flourish, may be with
the help of a supporting friend, or a patient teacher, or through an
activity where they could express themselves, or a combination of the
above. Moreover if these institutes are not only abut learning inside the
class as we never tire telling the fresh students, but about becoming a
complete professional as so many alumni will vouch for, and transforming a
teenager into a professional who is in touch with her surroundings, then
of course this diversity can do wonders to the overall learning inside and
outside the class rooms. I have learnt so much from those of my students
who are different from my protected middle class upbringing – a village in
eastern UP, a small town in Bihar, a construction site in Kerala, and so
on. Though I understand nothing about the medical education, but I am sure
if a student can bring his experience of a Chattisgarh village, it can
contribute hugely to the real education in the class.

One can at this point ask a further question, is merit all about passing
exams? After all, are the exams a means or an end? If the exams are means
to look for ability to make better engineers, doctors and managers, then
can there be better methods to look for such ability? After all in my
first engineering class I was told that a good engineer is the one who can
produce the best out of the least resources and similarly, management is
supposed to find one’s way in an uncertain situation – or allocate scarce
resources in the most optimal way possible. If that is so, whatever I have
seen of our deprived masses (of which overwhelming majority belongs to the
backward, dalit castes or adivasis), they have the astonishing capacity to
make something productive from almost next to nothing! For the last few
years I have been studying small industry clusters, like Moradabad brass,
Varanasi silk and Kanpur leather. Put together (all the clusters in the
country), they are exporting more than the IT sector and their cumulative
employment will be several times of the whole of IT industry. In all these
clusters they operate with miniscule resources – small investment, no
electricity, forget about air-conditioning, non existent roads, lack of
water, and little formal education. These clusters are primarily
constituted of these so called backward/ dalit castes and are truly a
tribute to the genius that our society is. But in spite of centuries of
excellence these communities have hardly produced any formal ‘engineers’,
‘doctors’ and ‘managers’, and conversely these elite institutions have not
developed any linkages with such industries and their people.

This brings me to a further question, what do ‘meritorious’ students from
these institutions do when they pass out? I recall what Srilata
Swaminathan, the noted activist, had said at the beginning of her talk at
IIMA in the early 1990s (I at the time was a student there), “I am told
that this is the cream of the country, and what do you do, sell soaps and
toothpastes (ITC, HLL, etc. were the most coveted recruiters those
days)?”. There was hushed silence in a room full of students and faculty.
I remember in the mid-90s my sense of disbelief, when I was the placement
coordinator for my department, the HR manager of one of the big three
Indian IT companies told me, “as long as somebody can recognise a keyboard
we take him” in response to my query about what they sought in a potential
employee. Remember this company over the years has employed thousands of
IIT-IIM engineers - managers. As a child I remember the famous surgeon in
my home town, who would first cut up a patient and then renegotiate the
price with the relatives, before proceeding with the surgery! Or
everywhere around me I find ‘meritorious’ doctors employed in public
hospitals, drawing comfortable salaries and doing roaring private
practice! You are not even required to turn up in the village health
centre even once if you have a rural posting. If the majority of our
people usually have to do with the village quack, they would not mind a
‘slightly less meritorious doctor’ coming to take care of them, instead of
finding solace in the fact that super-specialised doctors are ensuring
that the elite of our country have no wrinkles, and such like grave
ailments. I recall when some students from IITK, almost all of them
belonging to the North from UP to MP to Orissa, went to participate in
post Tsunami relief work in Tamil Nadu. After they came back the
overwhelming feeling was this difference from the North that “things are
different over there and they work!” My relatives and acquaintances prefer
to go down south when they are seriously unwell and not to Delhi or
Lucknow. Remember this is the same place which has implemented the ‘quota’
much before Mandal and much beyond it too. I hear of far less caste strife
in Tamil Nadu than in UP where caste based reservations have been
implemented for such a long time – it does not seem to have furthered the
caste based identities in South into a full fledged war like Bihar and UP.
Point is ‘merit’ is not about stopping somebody at the gates or throwing
them out of these seats of learning, but in creating robust institutions
which can cultivate and nurture the talent with all the complexities of a
vast and disparate society that we are.

Let’s put the creamy layer argument also in perspective now. Point is that
such elite education which has so many barriers – expensive and time
consuming coaching, expensive education, elite culture, etc. is under the
present order going to be a preserve only of a select few. All we are
saying is whether it is going to be the preserve of a few higher castes or
some of the other castes can also find an entry. Even if it is backward
IAS’s daughter, so be it, finally many others are also IAS’s wards, so how
does it make a difference? As has been rightly said by the critiques, it’s
a populist measure for the votes. etc. But so is every single policy of
the govt. and so it will be in a ‘vote bank democracy’ – either for the
votes directly, or for generating resources for the next election. When an
Ambani or an Enron is granted abominable concessions, why don’t we come on
streets and say, “it is for money for the next elections.”

The difficulty perhaps is that we are only against certain kinds of
reservation. When an Ambani becomes a CEO, when a Gandhi becomes a
minister, we do not say it is against merit, when a professor whose son is
not able to qualify JEE, is still able to send her child abroad for higher
studies, we do not say it is reservation, when only Valmikis do all the
cleaning work at IITK we do not say it is reservation, the point that we
need to ponder is that why is it that we are only against certain kind of
reservation and for certain kind of merit?

Finally for those of us who think that the present reservation exercise is
ornamental and they would like to do something more basic and lasting, I
recommend a reading of the Mandal report - they will find that the report
goes to some length to capture the socio-economic indicators in
understanding and classifying ‘backwards’. Moreover reservation is a small
part of their recommendation which includes things like special coaching
for the disadvantaged to basic issues like land reforms. The difficulty is
that in all these years, only the naxalite movement seem to have taken up
some of the radical suggestions of the Mandal Commission!
Meanwhile I have a question for those whose problem is the hasty implementation, that “how
can we implement MHRD’s recommendations so suddenly?” After all, the
report has been available for debate, discussion, modification and
implementation for all these 16 years! Why is it that we have suddenly
woken up to bother about primary – secondary education as well as the
economic upliftment of the masses, only when the government has started
acting in its own bumbling ways? As far as I know, no academic body or
business institutions like CII has debated these issues and no committees
have been setup to examine the Mandal report all this while. Finally,
history is catching up in its own imperfect ways. We need to ponder
whether these institutions are meant only for supplying cheap labour for
the American corporations. If they have to be more than that, the time has come for us to be self critical and look beyond the knee jerk response to the present quagmire.

Thank You
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Joined: Dec 23, 2005
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Rajkishor,
Since you have posted the above article by Prof. Verman, I am assuming that you support his thoughts.

I do not know whether the professor belongs to the backward classes or not, but he seems to be very sympathetic towards them. A small incident of a census official assuming him to be a Brahmin made him feel for the backward classes. But he does not seem to be aware that the same incidents do take place today but the case is just the inverse. If a person has got a job in public sector or a government undertaking, then he is assumed to be an SC/ST/OBC. I have been brought up by my parents telling me that you have to study extra hard because you are not going to get a govt. job, they are reserved for backward classes.

During my student life, be it my school or college, we used to mockingly say that I am going to get a fake SC/ST certificate so that I can get easy entry to the institutes. I have witnessed 'general' class applicants being stuck on waiting list number 1 and other students getting lesser marks, but belonging to special category, getting entry. I have seen and been a part of the frustration that has build up during the formative years of our nation. This frustration is now showing as the agitations against reservations.

Dr. B R Ambedkar, who headed the commitee which wrote the Indian constitution was of the opinion that reservations should not continue more than 10 years. These are like 'baisakhi', they are useful only when a limb is not properly working. Once the disability is cured, they only hinder one's movement and progress. This is exactly the case with reservations. It is high time that we do away with such support devises and let the lower strata of the society work their way up to the top.

I would like to give an example from nature. Once a child saw an insect coming out of the pupa. He saw that it was struggling to break the cover and it seemed very difficult for it to come out. The boy was moved by the condition of the insect and thought of helping it. With the help of a stick, he broke the pupa and the out came the insect. But the insect was not completely developed and some of its parts were swollen. When an insect tries to come out of the pupa, his struggle is an exercise which helps develop its full body. But the child unknowingly interfered in its development and was instrumental in making it a cripple.

Dr Verman seem to be really confused with the concept of the examinations. On one hand he wants the backward class students a quota in these examinations, on the other hand, he is also talking about the futility of the exams. If he feels that they are so unnecessary, why does he bother writing such a long article in favour of getting some places for lower classes in them?
Also talking about the immoral practises that every professional indulges in to justify the use of reservations, seems highly absurd. Is he suggesting that those who come through quota do not follow such practises and are paragons of model behaviour? Is their any guarantee that those dostors who belong to such categories will not cut a patient and then re-negotiate price? I feel that the above two points were totally unwanted and did not enhance his points at all.

When he talks about 'stopping such students at the gates', I can do nothing more than laugh because no reservation does not mean stopping these students from entering the elite institutes. If they clear the examinations, they are more than welcome. On the contrary, the introduction of reservations does stop those who are more eligible but do not belong to the reserved class.

The professor contrasts the situation of a small school in a village 100 kms from Lucknow and the huge amout of fees that students pay to clear the entrance examinations. But he himself later tells that their are students in the village who do not belong to lower class. Now tell me, what do you recommend for those children - social awareness in their village or a reservation in the AIIMS?

The article ends with really good alternatives to reservation, like special coachings to the disadvantaged and I fully endorse them. We need to find out the really talented people from the backward classes and support them. What is equally important at this point in time is to remove the animosity that is developing in the minds of those students who are on the receiving end of all this, towards those who are going to benefit from it, otherwise this is going to lead to another fissure in the Indian society. And I assure you, hiking the percentage of reservation is not the best way to do it.

In the end, I would like to reiterate what has been suggested as an alternative to reservation. We should pay more attention to the primary and secondary education of the deprived classes and thus help them indirectly in entering the elite institutes. This way, we will make them more eligible to the posts that they will hold and also boost their self-respect.
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Joined: Jul 06, 2005
Posts: 87

PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Shweta… Hi
Shweta wrote:

It is high time that we do away with such support devises [reservation] and let the lower strata of the society work their way up to the top.

When u say this we do not need reservation now, then I doubt that u have understanding of the logic behind giving reservation.

Social backwardness is the main criteria for giving the reservation. We have not achieved the goal of bringing lower class people to the mainstream, so there is not point on saying that we should do away with reservation. Mission is not accomplished yet.

I don’t know what make someone to tell you that you have to work bit harder to get the job in govt. sector as if all the sits are reserved. He must be aware that reservation do not exceed more that 50% , except few cases. If you can not compete within 50 % , then it is not that you are being deprived of . If u say u are being discriminated you may call it. But I will say it is Positive Discrimination. So be it.

Reservation is a systematic mechanism to catapult the lower class people to bring them in main stream. As Dr, Amartya Sen argues, if a male and female get same level of education and they are of same economic status, we can not say that both will have the same opportunity to prosper. This is the very point where u can see the role played by the social backwardness or any kind of backwardness.
Similar role of backwardness can be seen in terms of opportunity access between two people with same economic status but one from village and other from cities.

So we need to have some mechanism to catapult them. If one gets benefit out of it, others will get motivated and the vicious role of backwardness will get minimized. And in best cases that role can be eliminated. No doubt the benefit of reservation will go first to the best among that community,but gradual increase in successful people from that community will help in breaking the steel frame of backwardness of that community.

Same logic applies here too. People of having same economic status but from having different categories do not have equal opportunity. It is called access of opportunity. It is less available for the lower class people.
Why do you think that by giving reservation you are doing any charity to them. They are getting now what they are being deprived for last hundreds of year. I don’t understand why people take reservation as a negative thing. Is the mechanism of reservation available for only lower caste people. If you discard this systematic reservation policy from the scene then by careful observation you will find that everything is reserved in one way or other. This was the point which Dr. Verman sir tried to clarify. Like earlier we used to have political leaders from upper caste dominanatly whether their constituence have high proportion of lower caste people. This is the unofficial way of reservation for the upper caste. I don’t think we need to explain hoe this unofficial reservation was working and in some places it is still working. But now we have decent mix (though not proper ) of political leaders from whole spectra of caste and community of our society. and this is the result of varieties of support mechanism to empower them and to take them in main stream of decision making process. No people will doubt the success of this policy.

In the era of globalization we make sure that our agriculture and other small scale sector industry should get protection from huge multi national firms. Is it not reservation? But we don’t see them in that way the way we see a reserved class student or worker. Ma’m this is our attitude which made the conditions of the lower caste people still the same. And so we have to continue with it for some more time. In USA and other countries people do not take reservation in that way the way we take. Almost all the universities have some sits reserved for the black African. Even corporations take them as a part of affirmative action.

Shweta wrote:
When he talks about 'stopping such students at the gates', I can do nothing more than laugh because no reservation does not mean stopping these students from entering the elite institutes.

I feel very pity on you when you laugh on this. You must be aware of the kind of question papers are being set for the JEE or CAT. And if u still think that a student who has no access of good secondary level education, who does not have money for coaching and other costly related stuffs and have to compete with a student who got his secondary education in DPS, DAV and other such schools and after that he spend thousands of rupee on coaching, then really I feel sorry for u. It is the kind of examination that are being conducted on the name of maintaining so called meritocracy which has kept all these seats reserved for the higher class people or for that matter for the well off people.

Now people are opposing the reservation assuming that IITs are the centre of excellence. I don’t understand what kind of excellence it is promoting. The aim of establishing an IIT was not to provide jobs to their students of salary ranging from 2 lakhs to 45 lakhs. The Aim was to provide leadership in the field of science and technology and other spheres of the society. But till now how many leaders it has produced? Hell lot of tax payers’ money is being spent to their education. Are all those tax payers get their due? Some say that IITs to India are like MIT and Berkley universities of USA. But what MITs do for the USA, has any IIT did such things for India. We are spending our money to serve others.

We must have to look at what our society need? Do we really need such elite institutions? Doctors those are protesting, can they go to villages for 5 yrs to serve them? It has been done once in Madhya Pradesh. Then also they came to street to protest. When our bottom 50 % do not need and afford such meritorious doctors then what is point on manufacturing them who do not wish to serve our rural population which is nearly 72% of the total population. Effectively we are diverting our scarce resources from our real need.

We all agree that at secondary level we need to support them economically. But this will tackle our economic backwardness only. And it is being provided to all the poor people irrespective of their caste and community. So in my opinion, reservation is still necessary to tackle the social backwardness on account of caste and community. This is why reservation has to move parallel to
that economic support mechanism.

When u say that u welcome them only when they are competent enough to clear the examinations with sheer difficulty level then it is no different from the concept of Darwinism which is popularly called Survival of Fittest. For God’s shake do not apply Social Darwinism. It is the worst thing to apply in a rational human society. Every rational society supports its weakest faction. And among various support mechanisms, reservation is one of them.

If we do not take the responsibility to bring them in the main stream then they will themselves try to get it by some other means, that means may be violent. It will lead to class struggle. What people are arguing that reservation hampers the process of development? That clash will have more vicious effect.

In the end I wud like to emphasize that reservation is not the only way but it is one of the way to uplift the lower strata and this support mechanism should work in tandem with others. With this logic I do not find any reason to oppose reservation policy. Of course we have to address the existing loopholes of the implementation of this policy rather than questioning the very philosophy of providing reservation.

Thank You
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last few paragraphs of the above post made me think that the author is, knowingly or unknowingly, a socialist in nature. When he talks of 'Social Darwinism', he forgets that it was evolution that has led to the emergence of intelligent beings like us. Even today in the globalised world, what we talk of is the survival of the fittest in the sense that only that company will prosper and will be able to make profits and grow, which will provide the best services and/or products at the lowest possible price. This is the idea behind capitalism, which although is very much viled, but is single handedly responsible for the development of our country in the last one and a half decade. A rational human society works that way and should work that way if it wants to think about developing. Why is it that we have always been taught how to compete and improve our performance with respect to others? Remember, only those muscles become more powerful which are in a habit of doing hard work like lifting weights etc.

What I propose is that in order to provide the backward classes a level playing field, we give them ample opportunities at the school level. We provide them subsidised or free schooling. This will ensure that they are able to compete with the best brains in the country and when they get admissions in the elite institutes, they make the most of the opportunity and justify their admission.

They will be influential in the development of the brands IIT and IIM which have earned enough name and credebility to India. These institutes have lived upto the expectations that we had from them. They have produced such eminent people who have helped in the growth and development of our country. That they get high paycheques for their performance should not be an issue with anyone.

The issue is not the development or upliftment of the backward classes. Even I believe in an egalitarian society. Some of my best friends have been from such classes. The problem is the way in which the politicians of today are trying to create more fissures between the two sections of the society. They are making these classes more and more dependable on the reservations. This is going to harm no one but themselves in the long run. The competency of a person declines when he is provided easy access to things.

I would like to give an example from the real life. I hope that you all will understand my point. When Indian markets were being opened for foreign investments, Rahul Bajaj, the leader of what was then known as the 'Bombay Club', opposed this heavily and wanted to introduce import tax on vehicles, specially bikes. But, fortunately, his wish was not granted and Bajaj Auto was faced with stiff competition from global biggies like Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki etc. in the Indian market. The rest is, as they say, all history. We all know that how his two sons, Rajeev and Sanjeev, completely turned around the company and made it a force to reckon with, so that even Yamaha and Honda are not able to make any mark in the market. For the uninitiated, the bikes from the Bajaj stable, namely Pulsar nad Discover, are considered to be the best bikes in their segment and this is also reflected in their sales. This would not have been possible if the import tariffs had been applied and the local manufacturers had been given the so-called PROTECTION.

As a student of commerce and economics, I have studied that capitalism means that only the best survives and prospers. It also does not need to be retold how there was a competition between capitalism and socialism and which proved to be a better model for the development of a rational human society. Even India, a Soviet ally for decades, dumped socialist thoughts and embraced capitalism.

The above few lines might seem out of context, but I feel that this was the best way I could have explained how reservation is not in the best interest of the lower classes themselves.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When the Author of the above post correlates Darwinism with competition, then I doubt if she understands the concepts of survival of fittest. Survival of fittest doesn’t not say that the section which is powerful will survive in the society at the cost of others. Rather it is result of random mutation which equips part of a population genetically for better survival in new or changed environment. Better equipped part of population reproduces more hence their number in population increases while others become distinct gradually. It can not be applied to a rational human society. Wea re not fully dependent on environment, while we frequently try to change the conditions partly according to our need.

Since the author claims herself as a student of commerce and economics then she must be aware of the fact that the fruits of globalization never reaches to all the section of people in equitable proportion. When further she claims that the development what we saw in India during last one and half decade was due to capitalism, then I doubt if she really understands the meaning of development.

What is the aim of growth? And Growth for whom?

We have made our aim growth, our prime minister is always concerned about the numbers, 8% or 10 % growth rate. Dear ma’m if u want to live in a rational human society then our aim should be Human Happiness. Human welfare for all. We should work forward to achieve that. And of course capitalism does not serve this purpose.

When you support capitalism on account of efficiency and cost then we all know what cost we have paid for this in recent years. On the name of efficiency they brought heavy machines and threw out many people out of job. Is it justified? It is creating distress and resentment in the society. You are saying that only those companies will survive which will produce better products at lowest cost. Then you must find, first, those practices which these company follows to maximize their profit. Low wages to their workers, no social security net, no work satisfaction, routine based work, exploitive nature of work, fear of loosing the job, etc. These are the products of so called Globalization.

Yes, Globalization has helped in making our economy stronger, but we have to accept the fact that the fruits of the resulted growth has not benefited to the masses. It is concentrated to the top 10 % of the society. Bottom 40 % is still deprived off.

You again argued the same thing on the issue of reservation. I disagree with your views on tackling social backwardness. You are saying that we should provide scholarships at basic level. But it will tackle only problem of Economic Backwardness. I explained it in earlier post already that Reservation is one of the ways to address Social backwardness. I think you need to give more time and think over it.

When you talk about the competency, I don’t know what kind of competence you are seeking for. I have been studying in IIT Kanpur for last 4 years and I have experienced the sheer competition which all had to face. I also saw many reserved class people performing fairly well. Every year if some students are getting terminated on academic ground they are not only from reserved categories many are from general category also. And that also is not because of the incompetence but for some other reasons.

India is proud of its successful Nuclear program, it is proud of its successful Space Program, it is proud of it successful Missile program. But how many IITians have contributed in such programs. Being an insider I know what perceptions these people hold. If you are coming to IIT, it provides you lee way to move abroad. For your kind information most successful scientist of India, Dr. A.P.J Kalam, is not from IIT. How many IITians are working in such organizations which strengthen our country?

I don’t have any problem on the salary the students from these institutes get, I have problem with elitization of these institutes. When ever I go to home no one asks what I will return to the society. Most of the people are interested in knowing the salary I will get after the graduation. I want this mentality, which is mostly created by mass media, to change. I have seen many students who do not qualify JEE they are very depressed and they could not perform to their best ability else where. I want this to an end. If they are not coming to IITs or IIMs, it does not mean that they do not deserve it is because opportunity was less.

Examples like Bajaj are very few, but there are many which got distracted from it. Those company which are today strong enough to compete in free market, they themselves were protected at early stages. So on the name of globalization and free market we can not let our nascent company to compete with huge firms which became strong on due course of time.

It seems your study on capitalism is not thorough. You must be aware what these capitalist states did during East Asia Crisis to the affected countries. Those Asian countries still could not recover from the mistakes which they never made. Capitalist has no human values, they always work for their profit. East Asia crisis is not only example, but you may find many such examples in Mexico and South America.

Reason of failure of Russia is not socialism but something else. They were not concerned for the welfare of their people which is the sole of socialism. Europe is welfare state and the prosperity is higher than USA. Europeans have better standard of living, higher human development index, better satisfaction than Americans.

Thank You
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to ask just one question to Rajkishor:
Can you please elaborate how giving reservation in educational institutes like IITs and IIMs is a solution for Social Backwardness and also how providing subsidised education at school level becomes solution for Economic Backwardness?
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Posts: 26

PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi All..
Wow.. nice long mails.. I wish I had enogh time @ my
workplace to read throgh them .. I appreciate RajKishore
n Swetha.. efforts to prove their points...

Comin to topic..

Some one.. has said it right..
'India is only country where people fight to recognise
themselves as BACKWARD'

Its time to cut down on reservations not add more to it...
We need to teach people how to live without reservations...

How long can we keep giving reason for reservation as
socially/economically backword people..
Govt is providing free education till 12th.. & that is more than
just enough... for anybody who works hard to sail through his

Its not just people who are recognized as BACKWARD ...
who strugle to get thrgh an institution...like IIT/IIM..
Anybody who knows the story of Narayan Murthy/Ajith Premji/Dhirubhai..
will know how they started off from dust...
Its all HARDWORK... thats matters..

Reservation is nothing more than political drama..
Its so happening nowdays.. if U start searching
for root cause of any PROBLEM and most of time U end
up with ans as DIRTY POLITICs...
So called secular party Congress is well knwn for their habit of
impressing people whom they see as their biggest VOTE BANK...
They dont really deserve name SECULAR..

So buddies its time to ..
DREAM BEYOND reservations...
and to... WAKE up and work hard to realize UR DREAMS...

Im not reservd ...
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Posts: 87

PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Shweta.... I am sure, if you go through my previous posts carefully you will get those answers. But I would like to explain it bit more.

Everyone in the society gets motivated by some one or other. You also might have motivated by the success of your father, mother, brother or friend or any other around you.
I already said that reservation is a mechanism to catapult lower class people. Its effect is immediate if we compare the effect of other kind of support mechanism like providing subsidized studies at primary and secondary level. It immediately pulls them up and place among higher class people. If one person from the community gets benefit of it, others also get motivated. They realize the importance of reservation and try to get benefits out of it. Reservation leads to a ripple effect in that community which give others enough confidence of reaching at the top. In my pervious posts I argued how different kinds of Social Backwardness play their role in keeping these people backward and how the reservation in association with other support mechanisms can break the steel frame of social backwardness. I suggest you to go through my earlier posts again to get more clear picture on this specific view.

I don't understand why you people want to exclude IITs and IIM s from reservation policy. I also argued how many IITians are really meritorious enough to contribute to the society. When our society does not support that kind of merit, what is the point on manufacturing them? I will request you to get the data about these IITians and IIM people. What really they do after getting hell lot of subsidized studies. Please do not live in the virtual world of meritocracy and compitocracy created by these mass media which have made hero to these people.

Reservation ensures that every section gets well represented in proportion every where including so called elite institutions. It will help in making a better homogenous society.

In earlier post u said that reservation creates fissure in the society. Dear ma'm, society is already divided. Reservation is a means to homogenize them. When we give reservation, all section of people will come to higher positions which earlier were hold mostly by upper class people. Reservation provides a better mixing at every level. I also feel many times if reservation had not been there many lower class people who are working with us will not be able to reach there. I am pretty much sure about their ability and competence level. It is really need of the time that we should have the well mix representation of people from different casts and community in our decision making bodies. So that concerns of every section will be adequately accommodated.

I would like to emphasize once again that Social Backwardness and Economic Backwardness are different things but interlinked. And Reservation in association with other support mechanism tackles the issue of social backwardness. While the problem of Economic Backwardness can be tackled by giving the economic support on cast neutral basis to the needy people. Also our constitution (Article 46) directs state to devise policy to support socially and educationally backward people specifically. Please note that constitution does not mention such provision for economic backward people. But being a welfare government it takes care of economic backward people also. And this was the reason why Mandal Commission had given more emphasis on social and economic backwardness in comparison to economic backwardness in its criteria for deciding the beneficiary caste and community for reservation. The world beneficiary may seem a little bit discriminatory to non-beneficiary but we must realize the fact that with this kind of support mechanism which result in upliftment of weaker section of society and homogenization of every institutions of our society. This in result leads to enduring peace harmony and stability to our society which is needed for the growth and development of the society. That growth and development in turn help every member of the society.

Dear Shweta, I do not know how far I have succeeded in putting my point in logical way. But it was really an enlightening experience for me to have discussion with you.

And dear Giris, many people are protesting the issue of reservation without understanding it properly. I will suggest you to do some preparatory work before jumping to the conclusion. It will really help you. Earlier I also used to do so but now I feel that is not the right way.

Thank You

With Warm Regards
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:44 am    Post subject: Letter from an OBC Reply with quote

Hi Friends,

I hope you all have said what you feel is right, but request you all go through the following context and post your opinion.....

Letter from an OBC

I was the topper of my batch and got through to medical college through all India entrance exam, till then I was known as a topper by my classmates but then came VP singh and mandal and since then I’m known as an OBC who also happens to be a topper.

I understand that every party wants to win election and hence would like to implement reservations everywhere possible so as to win election. Some want to implement reservation for muslims where as others want to reserve 50 % jobs in private sector. This has and will create great social disharmony which is detrimental to India. I have been on both sides of reservation debate and have some ideas which may be an answer to end the reservation game .

There are some fundamental flaws in reservations in it’s current form which if changed will /can lead to upliftment of real poor and simultaneously make the elite from reserved category think twice before they ask for more reservations-

1] There is no criteria for creamy layer for SC/ST hence

A]People like Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan fights from the same reserved constituency again and again and yet again but the really poor dalit cannot fight election from the same constituency as Mr. Paswan is fighting from the reserved category constituency.

B] A grandfather followed by a father followed by the son benefit from reservation but the real dalit remains dalit because as long as the elite dalits keep on hogging the reserved seats the poor will remain poor.

And what do these elite dalits do- ask for reservation in private so as to show the real dalits that they are doing something for them instead of asking for creamy layer in SC/STs. They teach the poor dalits that they’ve been denied rights but conveniently forget to tell that they have been shamelessly hogging the benefits meant for the real downtrodden.

2] A person can get reservation to get into engineering then again into MBA and then again into civil services so one person has benefited from reservation thrice when 2 other people could have benefited from these reservations making upliftment of 2 more families possible, but this greedy person(who is also a great proponent of reservation in it’s current form for obvious reasons, and strongly advocates reservation in private sector) denies them the opportunity hence actually oppressing them.

3] It should be a crime to fill in false creamy layer and if found out later the person’s degree/job should be cancelled.

4]Income tax returns of parents[both mother and father] should be essential along with a certificate of creamy layer.

5] Children of certain professionals should be made creamy layer without consideration of income as false certificates are quite easy to obtain [these professions could be IAS/IPS/Doctor/engineer/MLA/MP etc.]

6] There should be another commission to reclassify the castes-

In last 50 yrs. of independence Bihar itself has had an OBC chief minister for more than 15 years, so some castes are definitely not so oppressed any more.

I post these points in hope that some one somewhere will propagate these thoughts and hence one day the politicians will be forced to implement some of these ideas, if not all and hence begin the empowerment of real oppressed and end the demand of further reservations.

Also there may be a day when the creamy layer OBCs/SC/STs themselves may ask to end reservation if they see that they are not getting benefit from reservations.

You can find above at: http://o3.indiatimes.com/Letter_from_an_OBC
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