Saturday, May 20, 2006

Hypocrisy #08 - Who needs a reservation? (Updated)

As the Anti-reservation rage spreads across the country. Politicians have started exploiting students to 'engineer' pro-reservation rallies in some places too. Though it is dividing the nation they seem to be least bothered with anything but their vote bank agenda.

Is it not shameful that after 59 years of Independence, of which the congress party ruled for almost 50 years, the present congress government considers more than 70% of the population backward. What moral right do these people have to rule (RUIN) this country any further?

How can whole communities be considered backward? Aren't there rich people of the scheduled castes and poor people of the forward castes? Let us consider two real life families

Family 1: Scheduled Caste
Father: Government Employee
Mother: House wife
Eldest Son: Entered MBBS at a private College by paying a whopping 25 lakhs!
Second Son: Entered MBBS through caste quota, Entered MD through caste quota
The family owns at least one house and a car.

Family 2: Brahmin, Forward Caste
Father: Expired in a Road accident
Mother: Bank Money collector
Son : Holds a Bachelors degree in accounts. Same job as his mother.
Daughter: Holds a Bachelor degree in science. Married.
The family owns only a single room housing board flat.

I've known one family for 18 years and another for the last 7. Even though the daughter of Family 2 scored only marginally lesser that the second son of Family 1, he entered Medicine in a government college with subsidized fees and a scholarship, she had to study arts because her family couldn't afford the engineering college fees.

How can a system that grants reservation, subsidized fees and scholarship to a family from the scheduled caste that can afford a 25 lakh fee and nothing to a poor 'forward' caste family be considered fair?

Two social scientists have proposed an alternative model, which takes into account both academic merit and social disadvantage and not just caste.
This model proposes reservation based on group and individual disadvantages.
Group disadvantages include caste, community, gender, and region.
The individual focuses on parental occupation and type of schooling.
The final quantum of reservation computes merit and social disadvantages in a ratio of 80:20.

It appears to be sensible and seems to have found the right balance between merit and social justice. It brings everyone on an equal footing and if implemented could be a cure-all to this whole controversy. But the politicians cannot derive any mileage from it, for that single reason it will be ignored and forgotten!

To hell with these politicians!

Related Links:
Proposed alternative model by sociologists Prof. Satish Deshpande & Prof. Yogendra Yadav
Part 1: Meeting the challenge of Mandal II
Part 2: Reservation — an alternative proposal

2001 Census of India
More Hypocrisy
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