Earlier in Forum






Q: Should admissions to specialised courses be on
the basis of caste or merit?

This is the eighth instalment of readers’ response

Leaders took a cue from the British

The British adopted the policy of divide and rule to stay in power. They had to quit as result of the undivided stand of the masses, but there remained a few stooges of the empire.

During the Raj, the country developed only in the areas that were of interest to the British. The educational institutions came up only a few places and villages and remote areas were overlooked. Education and employment opportunities remained confined to a few people and restricted to a geographical area.

The Independence should have ended our struggle against divide and rule, but the deprived lot under the Raj deserved extra support in terms of either bringing education and employment opportunities to them or bringing them to these opportunities. Development of institutions in villages and financial support to the weaker section to take up education at distant places could have resolved the situation and kept post-Independence society well bound.

Resource utilisation and pragmatism would have made the people from the weaker section more competent, but the leaders discovered the advantage in adopting the divisive tactics of the British. Caste, a thing confined to the interiors and villages and in the process of disappearing, got a national platform. Leaders thought caste would become irrelevant in a decade. Regretfully, it bred a new class within that class.

Nobody is against reservation. Till a generation had ago, there was no noise on the issue. Protests came when further increase was announced in 1990 and yet again now. The rift in society has started widening again; perhaps, it suits modern politicians. Few bright students emerge from the reserved category, as there is no focus on development.

On e-mail

Quota will kill private sector

“Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”

Friendship without self-interest is one of the rare and beautiful things of life. In this context, the reservation policy seems to be divergent because it hurts and deprives the general category of their rights. This is the why the doctors resorted to strike.

The agitation of doctors against increased reservation is right. All sections of society should support it, in spite of differences. The aim is to eliminate casteism. The private sector would never tolerate the quota system in this world of cutthroat competition. The root of this is reservation of constituencies in elections and reservation of posts in the state and central administration.

Political parties never sincerely desire to uplift anyone, always work off track and give false motivation to keep intact their vote bank. Only dominating and politically influential persons enjoy the benefits of reservation. Save the country from this conspiracy.

On e-mail

Doctor death, I presume?

In a leading medical college in Ludhiana, there are 64 seats in post-graduate course, out of which 19 are for candidates from the reserved category. The government says this is to uplift the economically weaker section, but students “from this section” in this college are able to pay lakhs of rupees in fees. The seats are filled even before the seat in colleges offering lower fee. Is it not against ethics of life that we give human life in the hands of doctors who have been selected not on the basis of their capability, but on the basis of their caste? Why’s the government still trying to uplift these already uplifted people?

YASH, Patiala

Medicos have my support

Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam is the only Indian person in power today whom students love, adore and admire. Any student who has ever written to him on anything has received a satisfactory reply. The President must have felt hurt at the medicos turning down his suggestion that they call off their strike against reservation, but the medicos, in this case, are right.

The President might have compulsions to suggest what he suggested, but the medicos know for sure that the future of India does not lie in reservation, but competition. Reservations for the undeserving have dragged India down in the world order of merit.

The time has come when reservations everywhere should end. Let there be open competition and only the meritorious get the reward. Let a low-caste man be the boss, if he has merit. The people of India should join and support this movement that medicos have begun.

On email

India chooses what her leaders say

When India has been spreading her wings, our politicians bring orthodox rules, like having reservations for merely their vote bank. There is no reason behind it, other than that we are forced to choose what politicians dictate. How else can one justify this “social balancing”?

Why should the people of the higher caste suffer for the deeds of their ancestors? Who deserves quota more, the son of an IAS officer or the son of a postman from the higher caste?

Would the government ever provide the poor with quality primary education and scholarship rather then quota?


Bright people should join politics

It’s clear that politicians have been playing this reservation game for their personal gain, but citizens should have seen it coming. We have intense competition for being engineers, doctors and administrators, but we leave our polity and the highest decision-making to the least capable.

The people should stop looking down on politics and improve their participation in it at every level. Leaving the field wide open to wolves would only lead to the incompetent occupying august posts.

On e-mail

Question of caste does not arise

Why should we raise the question of caste at all when even the Constitution provides that there should be no discrimination on the basis of caste or creed. The past has shown that reservation does not benefit any class. The politicians will always promote it for votes, but it will be difficult, later, for the institutions and industrial sectors to find talented workers, who can play a role in a developing economy.

Bhawarna (Palampur)

If you’re not sharp, you’re dead

Super-specialisation and research needs best brains. You cannot make a donkey and a horse run in the same race, although both can carry load.

Science has been developing at a fast pace; its intricacies and application are surely for the sharp minds. Students of average intelligence will not be able to keep pace with the curriculum and only waste a seat. You cannot crop merit to prop caste. The USA is today ahead of most countries because it has harnessed best brains from everywhere in the world.

The Prime Minister may have said that our brain drain is actually brain loan to the West, but we don’t look like we want that ever to be repaid.





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