Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Reservations – Back in to lime light... Again…

After some political comments here and there reservation debate is back in to lime light. I think, it will stay there until another glamorous issue come forward. Anyway, we are not expecting to reach any solution through these non-stop debates. More or less news channels are filling 8.30 – 10.30 prime time with television debates which never had (will have) any conclusion. I often think, and to an extend I believe, we are not in the league for any meaningful debates. It’s easy for news channels to show these high decibel shouting matches as a replacement for otherwise costlier, on the site reporting and quality documentaries.

Well, let’s come back to the question. Is India’s SCs, STs are still backward? I can say a definite yes to this question If I exclude states like Kerala, which made fantastic progress in social indices.

Next question is does SCs, STs need government support? Again it’s a yes. They need strong affirmative action from government’s end, which should not be limited to grants and reservations but also to wipe out existing caste prejudices and to improve educational levels. They need support for many more years – not through words but through deeds.

Do I agree on reservations in government sector? As it is already there and it is a political suicide for any party to withdraw it, I can agree for its continuation to an extent. But certainly not in promotions.

Do I agree for reservation in private sector? Answer is a definite no. If seven decades of flawed reservation policies are not going to bring those groups forward, then it’s not going to happen if we are continuing the same policies for another two decades.

As a panellist pointed on a different topic in a regional news channel, I also believe that most of our social reforms happened during British era - no matter whether it’s the ban of Sati, laws against female infanticide, legalizing widow remarriage, age of consent against child marriage, Temple Entry Proclamations. How many such social reforms of such stature was executed by Independent India?

Leave private sector alone and focus on what we can actually do, to promote social indicators of those who were left behind due to their caste… By the way, most of new generation private sector companies hardly care to which caste you belong to.


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