April 8, 2009

Quota System: Sanction of the Unreserved??

This is in continuation of the post I made on 'Saction of the Victim'. Regular readers might be aware of the fact that I quoted a section of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugs".

The quota system as implemented in India today is one such example when the good and the knowledgeable acquiesce whatever is shoved down their throat.

The purpose of India's reservation system was alleviation of the people of the scheduled castes and the scheduled tribes. There was a consensus that there were tribes of people that were oppressed under the infamous 'caste system' of India at the time of India's independence that was present in the Hindu society. As a result, the constitution of India granted 15% and 7.5% vacancies in educational institutions and jobs in the public sector. This was meant only for 5 years and the end of that period, the situation was to be reviewed. Not only have the succeeding governments extended this period, they have also failed to review the situation and have also extended the vacancies for other sections of the society.

So does this mean that the vacancies were not applied adequately? Or did the number of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes increased all of a sudden after independence when instead they should have fallen. Thankfully, the SC had imposed a limit on the quota sytem to 50% and so, it has generally not risen beyond that limit. But why was the limit imposed at 50% and why was it not kept at the initial 15% and 7.5% as mentioned above? Moreover the system has also passed into the private sector. Why is this so?

Without going into the details of the quota debate, some quick points that have to be made regarding the systems are as follows:
  1. Implementation of the quota system would perpetuate the caste system instead of abolishing it.
  2. Political vote bank imperatives will lead to the extention of the quota system to other sections of the society.
  3. Scams will float to register an upper caste as a lower caste. This is already happening in my caste.
  4. Would other religions also not ask for a reservation for its own poor and backward castes?
The last point of the above has already bore fruit as Syed Shahbuddin has made a demand of muslim reservations. Where will the buck stop?

Instead we the people of India should propose:
  1. That people be evaluated on the basis of their talent and potential for the post they aspire to and not on the basis of their birth.
  2. If at all the government wants to support the poor, they should support them with economic incentives, scholarships, etc. instead of affirmative action.
  3. If there are any reasons that this cannot be implemented (such as corruption, red tape, etc), we should attack those problems and not shy away from them and implement coward measures as these, since some of these have become general Indian problems.
The justice that is deserved by the people who toil hard irrespective of the status that has been conferred upon him by birth will not be imparted if the quota system sidesteps poverty and considers birth issues as important in decision making. Today's India lags behind many other countries in terms of science and technology. Besides, there would surely be many other fields which we will lag behind because of slacking in standards of quality. Who knows how many Charakas, Sushrutas, Aryabhattas, Bhaskaracharyas, Kalidases, Ramanujans, C.V. Ramans, Har Gobind Khoranas, Dhyan Chands, Pullela Gopichands, Vishwanathan Anands etc. we missed because of this system?

Once again we find that words written by Ayn Rand forty two years ago ring true. Time to uproot this system that is allowing the caste system to thrive and unite as one people, avoiding greedy government officials to pander to vote bank interests and minorityism. It is time we as concerned citizens of India raise this issue again in this year's election campaign and refuse to give sanction to our politicians as hapless victims.


  1. This is india....

    It would be complex to bring a change to this system....
    Noone politician would be able to bring a permanent change to this policy....

  2. I would say that the scheduled caste/tribes are more blessed today for they have it easy to crack the competitive exams and more.Ya Ayn Rand's philosophy is very true but i think what intention she coined in her book is slightly different.She said that there will always be people who will say that men should get equal rewards,and they will supress superior minds and preach equality in the name of humanity,they will tell you that brilliant people have no right to say earn more than not so brilliant people.why? because all men are equal. But the situation in India is more political i guess, as rightly stated in the post.And do politicians ever give a damn about who he is gifted or talented.Thats the way things are but they will change i hope :)

  3. Yes fellas.. let's hope things change..

    To Vitruvian Boy.. no that's not me.. it's a very popular pic easily available on google.. i thought would give the guy some privacy..


Comments are sexy.