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What Do The Youth Think: Does The Reservation Policy In India Need A Review? #StudentSpeak

Posted on October 1, 2015 in Campus Watch

By Campus Watch:

Debates on reservation have been polarizing and controversial ever since the establishment of Mandal Commission under the Moraji Desai led Janta Party government in 1969. Recently, in the wake of a growing agitation by the Patel community to demand reservation in Gujarat, RSS chief, Mohan Bhagwat, called for setting up a ‘non-political’ committee to review the reservation policy in the country.


We asked students what they thought about the comment and the reservation policy, and here’s what they had to say:

1. Anand Singh, Banaras Hindu University:

Positive affirmative action for the underprivileged is something the framers of our Constitution had envisaged. Any attempt to tamper with the existing system of reservation will run detrimental to the spirit of our constitution. Mohan Bhagwat’s pointed barbs against reservation must be seen as an exercise towards playing one caste group against the other lower castes. Coming as it is from the mouth of the Sarsanghchaalak, his comments are symptomatic of the deeper fractured ideology of the saffron outfit. Divisive tendencies must be fought head on, especially in troubled times like these.

2. Azra Qaisar, Delhi University:

Reservations were introduced as a temporary solution to the marginalisation of certain groups over centuries. It was a necessity, but its current use has made its existence questionable. Reservations should exist provided they cater to the ones that need them. Economic background must be considered if reservations are actually to help deserving people.

3. Sakshi Jain, Delhi University:

Accommodating multiplicity in a land without setting rigid boundaries has been the primary concern of our national policy makers. Reservation on the basis of caste has been a major step towards achieving the same. In effect, this has however been vexed. The conflict between merit and reservation, deprived and seemingly deprived makes this policy questionable. However, the statement of RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat to scrap this policy is not the ultimate resolution to the ambiguities of this system. The present system of reservation might not be beneficial to the underprivileged in its true sense because of the numerous impediments in the execution of this policy, owing to our country’s diversity, review of this policy doesn’t seem to be a faultless resolution either.

4. Navneet Arora, Delhi University:

We know something is going grossly wrong when people see a greater incentive in fighting to be categorised as ‘backward’ rather than uplifting themselves out of the vicious circle of caste and quotas. I believe the best way to end caste discrimination is to not recognise them at all. Although I do not agree with scrapping the system altogether. But it requires immense restructuring.
We need to set certain definitions straight all over again before we decide whether to give reservations to any particular group or may be, not give them at all. Moreover, the basis for providing reservations should be economical rather than based on caste or religion that is most likely to create and solidify distinctions in the society producing unnecessary rancour. Therefore, rather than lowering the standards of education for anyone, it is important to raise the standards of facilities provided to people so that they become self-reliant and are able to break through the vicious circle.

5. Shivani Chinmai, Mumbai University:

The fact that we base reservation on caste is the root of all problems, caste is subjective but economic status is pretty universal, this discrimination is also the cause of large scale disturbance in the country. If equality is the aim, people with low income are the ones should be the ones who should be granted this reservation, a poor person will be lagging behind in society irrespective of belonging to a particular caste or not. The reservation system is highly redundant (68 years is time enough to achieve equality, if that was the idea) and solely exists to bag votes, it’s due time to bid farewell to caste based reservations.

6. Annesha Ghosh, Calcutta University:

Reservation should not be looked at as the only tool for empowering the marginalized, backward communities of the society. In the present scenario, it won’t be incorrect to suggest that factions of the upper castes are being discriminated against. Despite scoring substantially high, they’re often unable to secure a job or admission in colleges and universities due to the existing quota system. And, as the tragedy posits itself, the politicians have been capitalizing on this to divide the country even further. Thus, to set the ball rolling, reservation policies (barring those for the differently-abled) should be scrapped entirely. Merit should take precedence above everything else

7. Bhanvi Satija, Delhi University:

I am definitely not in favour of completely scrapping off the reservation system in the country. However, I do feel that it should be reviewed. I think there is an urgent need to devise a system in order to identify the ‘creamy layer’ of the various communities and castes that have already reaped the benefits of reservation for two or three generations, and start moving them out of the purview of the system – so that the affirmative action can actually reach the ones who are really in need today.

8. Aditi Priya, Delhi University:

A girl studying in one of the best arts college of India came to me and said- “Because of you people a Brahmin family has to sit on the road and sell vegetables, this is such a shame for the Brahmins.” This was her reply when we were discussing reservation, and she got to know that I got admission in the college through ‘quota’. Why, unlike a group of people, others are not speaking against reservation? Maybe because they have seen that in government schools, upper caste teachers are reluctant to teach the children of lower caste or maybe they know how it feels when a ‘liberal’ friend comes and says that I don’t believe in reservation because I have always sympathized with ‘lower caste’ friends.

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