The politics of reservation in India is quite complex. When the inherent idea behind this marvelous thing was long touted as a weapon for social equality, it is now in a position to engulf our great nation to dark ages, if not beyond. While all this happening for quite sometime, we citizens are feeling more helpless than ever and see the dirty politics played around the word reservation.
I would be little surprised if there is any other country in the map which has this phenomena called reservation and that too so big that it can become the foundation for a huge political bakery. I would equally be surprised if there would be politicians from other parts of the world who announce this reservation for one community or the other in their election manifesto. More disturbing it becomes when certain communities take this luxury as their birth rite and don't mind taking the nation to ransom if not permitted.
Take for example the idiocy flowing on the roads of Rajasthan – thanks to some Gujjar agitation. You guessed it right – the demand is a 5% increase in the reservation they already have. For last several weeks the Gujjars have taken hostage perhaps the most important railway cross-section of India – the Delhi – Mumbai route. Hundreds of trains are cancelled or diverted and thousand of commuters stranded in various stations along the route. God only knows in the process how many might have missed that all important job interview, to join their families either for joy or sorrow, one last chance to see a dyeing family member. This is what is unacceptable. More unacceptable is the display of helplessness of the state authority and sitting as mute spectators on the line while the agitation has already spilled over to the Highways. I am not debating on how legitimate the demands of the Gujjar's are, as it is the lookout of the state as well as the union government and the community heads to decide. But for me not even a single human should suffer because for the high head attitude of few rascals.
Look at what we have done to once prospering Hyderabad in the name of reservation. While communities like the Gujjars are fighting for an increase in reservation in government jobs, here a whole community is fighting to have their own identity in the form of a new state. The dirty politics of region based division didn't spare the students even. The chaps who should have been taught on high ethics and social responsibilities are seen carrying out violent protest all over Hyderabad. As obvious while the politicians enjoy all the comfort of their Air condition rooms, students are rounded up by cops with criminal cases crossing well beyond five hundred. While the state along with its capital was burning, the so called leaders were doing a farce in the form of fasting unto death. A certain Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi would have been delighted seeing his path of non-violence and fasting trick is so meticulously followed.
Now all this brings us to one fundamental question – why we need a reservation system to begin with? When the brain child behind the idea Mr.Ambedkar himself suggested this to be implemented only for 10 years, so that the social fabric gets some much needed balance, why we are we still continuing with it now? Just rewind back to the Mandal era and think - how violent the scenes were. Thanks to one master act Prime-Minister Mr.V.P.Sing – streets were burning with stones flying from all directions by agitated students. No education or classes going on for months all together. Students were self immolating in the middle of the streets. All this for what – some reservation for backward classes was introduced to safeguard a large chunk of vote bank. Among all these chaos for decades, one wonders – can't our Sarkar find a better way to help the backward caste than just having some quota, which in its face value looks like a clear cut injustice to eligible higher caste students? It is not only limited to educational institutions alone, but goes all the way up from there. From government jobs to the relaxation of minimum and maximum applicable age, from promotions to better posting – you have it everywhere in one's personal career front. Even political constitutions are now reserved for backward caste candidates. If one argues the entry of backward caste people to politics would improve our social fabric then one shouldn't look much beyond – Madhu Koda, Lalu Yadav, Mayawati, Mulayam Sing Yadav, Ramvilas Pashwan. I am not sure how far these guys have improved the social fabric but for sure have improved their respective bank balance beyond anybody's imaginations.
Honestly, the reservation system is not helping the people for whom it is primarily introduced. Look at the chaps who enjoy the reservation in the name of backwardness. The poor backward caste farmer's son is still seen working on the fields as a daily wage laborer, while the daughter of an IAS officer (thanks to the quota) enjoying a hefty 22% reservation against her name. In the name of social fabric only the fat bums are getting their bums fattier while the most deservings (of the reservations) are there where their forefathers were when this reservation system was introduced. Now let's get into the shoes of that poor Brahmin man's son who was deprived of all that he deserves only because he belongs to a higher caste. So why we should make a farce and talk big in our constitution and tout ourselves to be the biggest democracy - where equality to all is the dharma? If someone says this quota system is dividing our society in caste lines, more than what that wretched Babri Masque demolition did, I won't be surprised an ounce. Why can't we formulate rules to have reservations (if at all we can't abolish it) for all those who are economically backward, irrespective of cast, color, creed or religion?
On a second thought – why to have the quotas at all? Lets have financial support to all those who need so and bring in equality in opportunity and options. Why to have the quota and allow violent agitations every now and then for the increase in the pie or vice-a-versa? If the latest Gujjar stir is any parameter for conclusion then – lets abolish the menace which is snatching the reward from able and deserving candidates while pampering the already pampered and allowing less or non-deserving individuals to get into the system and make a mockery of our so called democracy.