Saturday, January 07, 2012

Reservations with Zero guilt

As far as I know, reservations discount merit only at the input side and never at output side. This is true in education and employment and as we know there are no reservations in enterprise. I am not aware of dalits being allowed to pass graduation/post-graduation exams with lower marks, being allowed to perform their jobs less diligently and markets are totally unforgiving of poor performing dalit entrepreneurs and professionals anyway. In this context, I we should not let the hypocritical slogans of reservations destroying merit and hence India's competitiveness and strategic capabilities to continue unchallenged.

I think it is time to confront the hypocrisy head on. We should insist that if reservations destroy merit...so be it. We must say that we don't care. We must begin to say that we are ready to take the risk that merit may get destroyed due to reservations. In fact we must explicitly say that we want reservations to be implemented in full by relaxing standards, even if it destroys India's competitiveness. The reason for this is that I am certain that this belief is a hoax...a myth designed for a political purpose...just like the hindu law of karma. The facts are different. Dr. Ambedkar himself was a a third class graduate, who shone in later life due to preferential treatment in early life, despite his low marks.Secondly data showcased by UGC chairman, Prof. Sukhdeo Thorat shows that SC/ST students improve their academic performance as they stay longer in the academic system, while the reverse is true for the general category. Clearly then the data is in against the hypocritical slogans that merit will destroy India. More importantly it is a principle of democracy that representative institutions in social life are better than efficient institutions and hence reservations - the only direct tool to dismantle the structural impediments to making government, public and private sector insititutions really representative - needs to be weilded with full force and without guilt and without even an iota of concern for efficiency.

Democracy does not force citizens to use sub-standard services and that freedom will protect the base quality of our institutions. Market forces enforce true viability on these institutions and expose the false perceptions and prejudices against people who have got educated on reserved seats. Manuvadi fools who do not use the services of such people are free under democracy to seek costlier services from their kith-and-kin, who will need to get educated/trained at cost of non-state-supported capital to serve them. I am sure that dalits (and non-manuvadi non-dalits) will buy/sell products/services from dalits who have struggled through and qualified on merit through rigorous education and training programmes from top-tier institutions, even if they were admitted to those programmes with discounted merit.So I think we should loudly, clearly and consistently say that we don't care about reservations destroying the efficiency of government, public and private sector products and services. We should no longer accept that excuse for non-implementation ofreservations, esp. in education, esp. at all leading institutions.If there are available dalit students, they should be admitted and given special coaching if required instead of being sent home. The seats should be filled. And as a community, those of us who graduate from these institutions and do well need to provide moral and financial support to helping more people like us to derive similar benefits WITHOUT GUILT. Getting angry with those who feel guilty due to the propaganda of the manuvadis is counter-productive. We need to engage and educate them and help them come out of their guilt and use the facilities and improve their lives like us.

We need to coin political slogans to express this viewpoint crisplyand shamelessly. Samples could be ...
1. Reservations pehle, baki sab baadme
2. Rakhiv jaga bharlyach pahije, dalitala jage kelech pahije,dalitanna jaga milalych pahije
3. Reservations chalao...manuvadi hataon
4. Manuvadi merit ... hai ! hai ! Dalit merit ... high ! high !(this should be accompanied with appropriate gestures to communicate the difference...e.g. reverse thumbs-up and thumbs-up et al)
5. Tarakki Karao...Merit Dikhao, YA Reservation Dilao...YA Joote Khao
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