We live in a free country, and this freedom is a gift of democracy to us. Our constitution promises us the right to liberty and to exercise this freedom in a fair manner. At the same time, it is the state’s responsibility to ensure that there is equality in all sections of the society.
However in today’s age, one of the major roadblocks to this equality is the Reservation System. With the existence of reservations in virtually all phases of life, there is absolutely little scope for development, competency, and unity. The reservation system originated from the age-old practice of dividing the occupation of persons based on the caste in which he was born. For example, Brahmins took up the profession of teaching and preaching; the Kshatriyas were the soldiers, vaishyas the business class and lastly, the shudras were the working class. Soon it became a reason for creating walls between the various sections based on castes. Now, in India, the term equality exists only in its constitution. Otherwise, we all stand divided as Muslims, as Christians, as OBCs, as SCs, as STs. The caste system has spread its roots deep into every phase of our lives. We must realize that Reservations, in one way may help some of the oppressed and economically backward classes to get some of the mandatory things such as education, but in general, it leads to discrimination and conflicts amongst various sections of the society.
Today 15% of government jobs and universities seats are reserved for scheduled castes, 7.5 % educational seats reserved for Scheduled Tribes. To add to it, the state governments add their reservation policies such that it boils down that about 50% of the seats are reserved. Deserving students from the unreserved category do not get through into government institutions, and the candidates who are admitted are not the best ones. A significant portion of them has been left out due to the system of reservation.
In 1979, the Mandal commission was established by then Prime Minister Moraji Desai for identifying the socially or educationally backward classes of India. The commission was to investigate the conditions of backward classes every ten years. It used eleven criteria’s which fell into broad categories of social, Economic and Educational factors to determine backwardness. But over the years these factors have been completely ignored for Vote bank politics and the benefits are being sneaked away by the creamy layers which are not only financially secure but also politically influenced. This is proving to hinder the country’s growth, we are a free and democratic nation as per the preamble of our constitution, but reservation system is locking all these aspects of freedom and equality into its claws. It is dividing and creating differences amongst its people. As per the constitution, every child has a right to education. There is no mention of special treatment of some children over other kids concerning the provision of education.
To remove this evil, the following is suggested:
- Reservation was put into effect to ensure competition among equals. Rather than forcibly making unequal equals by lowering cutoffs, we need a system that would make the disadvantaged community to compete with the more privileged section as equals on a level playing field. Subsidies in study resources, School fees, etc. should be implemented but under no condition should the criteria for admission be reduced.
- Generation control If one generation of has taken advantage of the reservations and have become economically self-sufficient then, the next generation must not be allowed to take advantage of the reservation again.
- Disclosure of SC/ST/OBC should be mandatory for Doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc. if their marks to get admission into the institution was less than the general cutoff. I have the right to know if my doctor/ lawyer or any other person whom I’m hiring or is treating me is qualified.