Wednesday, May 03, 2006

50% reservation is 100% Politics

Yesterday Medicos all over the country joined the protest initiated by the Medicos in New Delhi under the Youth for Equality platform against the proposed hike in reservations in higher educational institutions. It gladdens my heart to see such a pro-active role from Medicos after seeing five years of relative inactivity at Madurai Medical College.
Yet the politicians are not bothered and are doing what they're best at improving their vote banks... even it meant dividing the country with a not so invisible barrier.

Reservations not only makes the reserved people feel separate and special it also creates resentment on the meritorious who miss out because of the reservation system. Friends who didn't know who belonged to which caste will feel differently when they start getting treated differently. The simmering rage is a bomb waiting to explode, the government has now giving it a nuclear potential.

  • Scheduled castes constitute around 20% of the Indian Population and backward classes around 30%.
  • Only 3% of the scheduled caste students who enroll for class 1 complete their schooling.
  • Wouldn't a 22.5% reservation in higher educational institutions give an unfair advantage to the 3% and the even fewer who complete graduation?
  • Why can't the government improve the quality of schools and reduce school drop outs among those castes?
  • If those castes were subjugated for around 3 centuries what is the government doing to the meritorious now?
  • What is the need for this step backward fifty eight years after our independence?
I received around 20 emails through my Blog and Orkut asking me what I thought about the proposed hike in reservation. When I mailed back asking if they had voted hardly 2 or 3 had bothered to vote. Many didn't even have Voter IDs. Friends like Indhu asked "What difference does my one vote make?"!!!

My state of Tamil Nadu faces elections to the state legislative assembly on May 8th. I would win by a huge margin if I bet not even 10% of my batch of 160 at Madurai Medical College would bother to go out and vote!

India's intelligentsia considers itself too elite to even bother to vote. Even our Prime Minister didn't vote in the recent elections! India's politicians will satisfy and improve the conditions of only those who vote. No point in blaming the government and crying hoarse now!

It's nice to see youthful organizations like Lok Paritran, Bharat Uday Mission, Youth for Equality etc., getting involved in socio-political issues. But what the country needs is a revolutionary change in the mind-set of the non-voting intelligentsia.

It's not only our right, It's also our responsiblity!

If you don't vote you only get the Boot!
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