” In order to strengthen a chain, we should start with strengthening its weakest link…” – John Rawls
What is reservation? Simply put, reservation, especially for socially and educationally backward people, is a tool to help them get on par with others. In light of the above quote by John Rawls, it would seem that reservation is crucial for a country to develop.
India binds its people in chains – but, if India is to become a developed nation, there has to be a system which provides a way for the weakest section of its population to rise. Reservation was meant to remove the gap between the upper and lower classes of the society. And to understand how it’s associated to equality and justice, one needs to understand the meaning of the two terms in question.
The act of providing justice promotes happiness among all. It also implies the qualities of being just, right and reasonable. Equality is a means to provide equal and just opportunities for all. At first glance, the concept of reservation seems to be at odds with what equality stands for. After all, if equality also implies equality of opportunity, then why should there be a reservation policy, which creates a preference in the system?
The question seems to be wise, but actually, it’s not. For instance, let’s consider an example of a race where there are two players who have been given an ‘equal opportunity’ to participate. The stipulation is that whoever completes the race first will win. Now, let’s imagine a scenario where one of them is wearing expensive shoes and has trained well. On the other hand, the other player is barefooted. Is there really an ‘equality of opportunity’ here? Yes. Is there a just rule? Yes. Is there equality in its true sense? The answer is no – and the reason to this will probably make people aware of terms and concepts like social equality and social justice.
But, the reservation policy of India is as sinful as that of biased casteism. The policy is now going against the very tenets it was founded upon. The policy is very flawed – and it is now degrading the society’s value system. Today, the reservation policies (especially the ones meant to benefit lower castes) deprive the very target groups who are supposed to avail of them.
The solution to this lies in demolishing the sinful caste system which has always separated and divided the people of this land. The demolition of this sinful caste system will also provide and promote larger social equality where the concepts of higher and lower castes will no longer exist.
But the question stands: is India’s reservation policy of India good enough to provide education and employment to the impoverished people? No, there is a need to change this. For a developing nation like India, reservation is required but it should be regulated such that it does not undermine talent. I believe that the reservation policy of India should be replaced by a scheme where children from poor and impoverished backgrounds will get high-quality education for free – from the primary till the higher secondary level. For this, the government has to upgrade its education system with world-class faculties and facilities. Apart from this, there should be a scheme to provide full nutrition to people from backward communities. And the reservation policy, if needed, should be there to help people prepare for competitions, and should not be used in the competitions themselves.
Featured image used for representative purposes only.