Monday, July 21, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Quotas in private sector will ruin the economy

Apropos of your front-page report "Congress for quota in private sector" (July 9), the Congress is trying to capture power with false promises and misleading slogans. In its quest to be at the centrestage of power in Delhi, the party, during its Vichar Manthan Shivir at Shimla, has come out with a new resolve for reservation in the private sector too, if voted to power. Indira Gandhi did the same thing to woo voters with the 'Garibi hatao' slogan in 1971.

Job opportunities in the public sector have almost dried up. Reservation in public sector has already played havoc with the system of governance and social order. Merit and efficiency have been sacrificed for narrow political gains, giving rise to communal divide threatening the social order.

Undeserving persons are occupying top posts and thus, there is rampant corruption which has virtually ruined India. In fact, the Indian economy is governed by the private sector which is touching dizzy heights since there is no quota system in this sector. If reservation enters private sector too, it will also go the public sector way — heading for imminent collapse.

Karnail Singh, Ranjit Sagar Dam


Reservation is an electoral weapon in the hands of the political parties to woo the various castes in elections. It aptly suits the first-past-the post system of representative democracy. The political parties think of reservations only when elections are due for Parliament or State Assemblies.


Secondly, fissiparous tendencies are posing a challenge to the growth of an egalitarian society. Such tendencies, though passive, come to the forefront when any sensitive issue like caste inequality or reservation becomes alive and inflame the already existing ghettos as in Dulina, Talhan and Godhra.

Thirdly, instead of promoting and developing intellectual attributes among the deprived sections of society, reservation has perpetuated the culture of socio-political dependency, without emancipation and empowerment. If it continues unabated, there is no way of ending the age-old institutionalised prejudices and inequalities.

And finally, the criteria of selection and suitability on grounds of birth, caste and social ethos are blatant violation of the norms of reasonableness, objectivity and fairness. A comprehensive social audit is needed to find out whether reservations have accomplished the intended purpose. The success of inclusive and participative development initiatives also require social capital which hinges upon mutual trust, confidence and faith among different sections of society.

Dr Raj Kumar Siwach, Karnal


It is unfair to defend the present caste based reservation policy on the basis of number of Prime Ministers from upper castes. However, the issue in question is what these Prime Ministers have done for the upper castes during their respective tenures? They never thought about the millions of Brahmins who live far below the poverty line. They remained insensitive to frustration and pain a student feels when one is denied access to professional courses like MBBS/BDS despite securing such a high rank of 350, whereas the reserved category student makes it to the course with a far below rank of 4000.

This quota system at the cost of efficient and meritorious candidates will inevitably lead to incompetent and ineffective professionals, which, in turn, will adversely affect the growth of the nation. Recently, Infosys Chairman N.R. Narayana Murthy has rightly said that reservation in education and employment should be based on economic criteria and not caste. We should remember that there are poor people in every community and every one of them deserves the right of education and employment.

Rajesh Sharma, Jalandhar


Reservation makes upper caste, educated and unemployed youth to think very negatively about the present system. If the neglect of upper castes continues, time is not far when disappointed and disillusioned youth will raise their voice against this lopsided and pernicious system of social justice. It is time the Centre and all states put an end to this kind of political appeasement.

Suman Sharma, Palampur

Indiscriminate fee hike

I have passed my Plus 2 and aspire to become a doctor. But recent scams and scandals about paper leakage have shattered my hope. The unexpected free hike by various colleges comes as another rude shock. Guru Ram Das Medical College in Amritsar, run under the aegis of the SGPC, has also increased its fees by Rs 2.5 lakh. There was a time when the SGPC used to award scholarships to deserving students!

The so-called Sikh minority colleges should be renamed as ‘Upper Class Sikh minority colleges’. The SGPC is certainly fleecing hapless parents and children. Can this decision of fee hike be so sudden? It was not published in the prospectus. How many of us can pay Rs 1,000 just for prospectus and an additional Rs 700 for examination fee?

It seems that now for the middle class and even upper middle class, sending their children to medical colleges will be a distant dream. With this kind of fee hike and admission norms, how can we expect India to progress? It is time the authorities concerned overhauled the education system so that the nation can proudly boast of responsible and educated citizens.

Gurnoor Brar, Ludhiana

No aping the West

With reference to Urja Kumar's letter "Aping the West" (July 1), it would be grossly unfair to call the Panchtantra an equivalent of Harry Potter. With trees and stones giving us moral lessons, I regret to say that the former miserably fails to attract children above a particular age group. Moreover, the Panchtantra stories are conspicuously far-fetched and unbelievable.

In sharp contrast is Rowling’s plot. Her sense of imagination has made people spellbound all over the world. Her ability to awaken the child is noteworthy. Apparently, Urja Kumar has not read Rowlings’ works. Otherwise, she wouldn't have slighted the choice of diehard Pottermaniacs. With due respect, I would like to request her to read “Harry Potter” and then tell us all, whether being a part of her school of witchcraft and wizardry is Western influence or not.

Sukhmani Saini, Patiala


It is a matter of great concern that our new generation is very much crazy for the obnoxious features of the West. Our present-day movies, adapted, adopted and produced on the pattern of Western culture, are playing havoc with our adolescent youths, who are going the path of depravation.

Films like Chandini Bar, Jisam, Khwashish and many more are inextricably linked with inciting passion and sexuality, since these spell vulgarity, nudity, indecency and obscenity. It is not our culture to encourage such vices. It is nothing but tyranny of democracy. It demonstrates unrealistic fashion and abrasiveness of the political class.

Historians are distorting the facts of our ancient history which are against our civilisation and philosophy. Such sordid affairs must be checked to save humanity from the cult of this "changing culture".

D.R. Sharda, Chandigarh

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