Reviewing the Reservation

Written by Tejasvi Ashish Chauhan

Talking about the system of reservation never gets old. Every day, among friends and colleagues, we critique and support “reservation” – everyone has an opinion on it; everyone wants to raise their voice. Is it possible to think about it objectively: in the terms of GOOD and BAD? I have an answer – it is good, but only up to a level where it helps a needy person who is actually needy. This system has become a different picture from what it was devised for.

It started with bringing equality in participation in the parliament – which is the group of people taking decisions, and students – the group which holds the responsibility of the future. It was for people who didn’t get a chance to study and contribute to nation’s development though they had that potential only because they were poor or were discriminated against on the basis of caste.

But the poor of today are still devoid of chances, because people, who are resourceful even without reservation, are taking up seats in the reserved category. The government is not in the wrong either: reservation has brought many backward and minority communities to a status toward development. And we still need it, as at present, we are not fully developed; people are still helpless, hungry, poor, and live at inaccessible places. But the time for equalising the opportunities provide by reservation. Something needs to be done about those people who are economically efficient but still don’t want to work hard. And this won’t happen just by spreading awareness. Human psychology moves toward comfort, towards the easy way out.

Today, when most of the students are studying well, reservation represents their fear of the unequal competition. So why not make it equally difficult for all? Everyone has been bestowed with enormously talented brains. And everyone should be judged by a single eye. But isn’t this just going in circles?

Is there a viable solution?

The solution lies in basic understanding. Reservation has become a major part of the process of judgement: in exams, selections, jobs etc: mainly because of the Vote-bank it forms. This helps the unskilled in becoming the pillars of India’s development. And the help gets wasted. Instead of this if this help is provided at the level of preparation: in school, institution, home etc. to the students: free education, economic help in food and clothing, etc. and indiscriminate judgment is made at the time of exams and jobs, then only those will succeed who have actually learned something using the help provided and our country will be led by real talent.

For once, “making everything free” might seem funny and not viable. But, after the initial phase, the need for this help or free facilities will vanish gradually when children will use the equal opportunity to gain knowledge and work towards real development, which is not happening in the present reservation system.

For the long term, thinking about providing them direct facilities: food, clothing and shelter, is not going to work. Real development will be when we think about making them strong to be able to get all three by hard work and talent.