Do We Need Reservation For General Category?

Posted on June 26, 2012 in Education

By Ashna Mishra:

While looking at the previous year’s cut-off lists of Delhi University just now, so as to get an idea of the rise in the percentage this year, I was nearly petrified. It is actually very disturbing for a student belonging to general category to see the lists. Not only are the cut-offs are witnessing a sharp rise with every passing year but also the preferential treatment given to other categories. The difference between the cut-offs of the general category and the OBC is as large as 10%. In today’s scenario, where even the measly difference of 0.1% can matter so much, I wonder how much this difference of 10% would make.

While on one hand, Student ‘A’ with 95.4% belonging to general category fails to get admission just because the cut-off is set at 95.5%, on the other hand Student ‘B’ belonging to any other category would get admission with just 86%. This seems okay if student ‘A’ hails from a financially strong background as against ‘B’ who belongs to a poor family. But what if the opposite is true? Will it still be okay? Well, it no longer seems so to me. Rather, it is something which disturbs me to the core.

Reservations popularly known as positive discrimination were brought about so as to bring equality of opportunity and status for the Indian citizens. But as the time grows, my mind begins to question the “positive” in this so-called positive discrimination system and “the equality of opportunity” it brags about. On the contrary, I see so much inequality against a category and that category is not the OBC or the SC/ST category, the category I’m talking about is the General category.

When on one hand we claim of equality and talk about dissolving the system of caste, then why do we propagate this system of reservation? Gone are the days when caste used to define one’s financial status! Then why are we still creating such practices? Why are we living with the old mindsets? Change is the order of the day and when it comes to this case, it’s actually high time to change! No, I’m not of the opinion that the system of reservation should never have been adopted. I very well understand the need due to which it was adopted but that need has now taken a different form altogether.

We all are mature enough to realize that there are families in the so-called ‘socially backward castes’ which share an equally high financial status as families belonging to the general category. Similarly, many families of the general category are much worse off than those belonging to the backward castes. Then what is the reservation all about? Whom is it helping?

Don’t you people think that these affirmative action policies should be instead applied as per the financial status of the people and in turn curb this entire system of caste policies prevailing? It is time we realize because what we just talked about constitutes a very small chunk but the problem is really deep rooted.

The time where “the people belonging to the general category would ask for reservations” is not too far.