For years, I have been hearing about this divisive caste based politics. Schemes launched or some reservations in the name of bettering people’s lives by separating them from other communities. Making them fight internally to be part of that reservation to such an extent that one community conducted full-fledged violent protests to be lowered to Scheduled tribe from OBC.
I understand when reservations were started; the country’s situation was very bad in terms of the way lower caste peoples were treated. They were not allowed to do a lot of normal things that they should be free to do as part of their birth right in the free & independent India. But the upper castes maintained their upper hand and deep rooted cultural biases prevented these lower castes from voicing their opinion or rebelling against these norms. When in few cases someone tried to do so, they were ‘put in their right place’ (their words not mine) by the upper class community. Khap has been infamous in taking the law in their own hands to teach these people who try to behave as a free human being.
It is also evident that politicians want to keep it as it is as it benefits them. They don’t sell or want to sell their governance or plans to improve this country to people rather they pry on community sensibilities. Some favor hindus, some muslims, some minorities, some upper caste, some lower caste etc.
But the correct question here is if it’s required in today’s scenario? Or with time, India needs to change its strategy if it at all want to improve the living conditions of its people?
So it was a nice surprise when I heard a sane voice from one of the political neta’s. See below link.
This person said that its time we leave caste aside and look at economic conditions. I heartily agree. This is what I have been saying and arguing since my days at college. College was the first time I started seeing that people are biased based on their caste and almost everyone has their opinion on people from other castes or religion. Before that I lived in complete oblivion of these nasty issues. And maybe because of my background I don’t understand why one hates/dislikes the person from other caste or more rightly lower caste. How can a person be responsible which caste he is a part of? It was decided at birth, which I am sure everyone understands no person can decide.
But now congress president had snubbed this single positive voice saying that’s not gonna happen.
May I ask why? Just because parties would lose their vote banks? And this is not just about ruling party. Every political institution has been playing the same game since decades. So much so that in some states the quota is about 87% and in most it reaches 50 % easily.
Various groups and people have been asking for quota based on economic condition and I feel its high time our politicians start understanding that its not just necessary but absolutely mandatory to reduce the disparity within its own citizens.
A few of the reasons for agreeing with economic criteria are:
– Wrong people claiming the benefits: in my experience I have seen well-off people from these communities taking advantage of these reservations and scholarships. Even when they splurge on other things they still do not let go of this claim (their right as they say) so that someone needier from their own community can benefit from it. If it was economic criteria, this would not happen.
– Actual needs not being addressed: Very few needy people belonging to these communities actually benefit from these schemes. This might be because of ignorance, not having enough knowledge on how to claim, misinformation etc.
– General caste woes: People from general caste or not belonging to this special group are not provided any benefit even when they deserve it more than the person from other caste. Why? Just because they are a part of upper caste? I have seen a few very good students from seemingly upper castes but from very poor background leaving the course in between as their parents could not afford to keep going after the first year. And here I am not even talking about people who could not even dream of joining these courses because of money issues.
– Caste is rewarded not ability: Why should be caste criteria for anything in life? What about ability? To this question many people would argue that SC/ST/OBCs dint had as good education as the general caste thus can’t compete directly with them. To an extent it is true but only in remote areas. To avoid this, instead of providing reservation, government needs to build a strong schooling system. A system which is common and available to all student irrespective of caste, creed whatever. Our RTE act also says that everyone has a right to education but what’s the use of this right till there are not enough schools to exercise this right. And improving the quality of these schools is equally important. Most of middle class parents would never even dream of putting their kids into these government/municipal schools. Why is that? And here we are not even mentioning upper middle class or rich. Because the education quality is very bad and since education is the only thing that has helped the rise of this middle and upper middle class so they know their kids need the best to do better than what they have done. So they strive hard to afford the fees of a private school.
Why don’t we have something like US district schools? US also have a string of private schools but that’s small in number with a much smaller proportion of students than district schools. In fact, since past few years the admissions to private schools have been decreasing as people don’t see much benefit when compared to the fees they have to pay for that. People are switching to public schools. What can be better than this that private and public schools are at par!!
In my city, I have been seeing so many new private schools getting built every month but hardly any government schools in the new areas. Does the government think that all those people staying in these areas can very well afford private schools or that these parents are not at all interested in their kids getting any education!!
P.S. this was an emotional post written in a hurry so please try to ignore the incoherence!!