The days have not faded in my memory, just a few years before, in last term of Congress led UPA government, and there was a huge debate over it. Yes, it was OBC (for those who don’t know, they are backward but not the backward classes in India, they are Other Backward Classes) Reservation Bill. In those days I was at National Institute of Technology Patna. Our college was one of the top bastions of pro-reservation activists. There was much argument about how the Bill is going to help the so called other backwards. As they are archaic in their practice, it is not new in India. The bigger debate starts when one asks has they served the purpose they were intended for? Even to answer this there is a debate.
The newest entry to the Big Debate on Reservation is Women’s Reservation Bill which proposes to reserve one-third of the seats in legislation for woman. The argument women constitute about 50% of our population so they should have representation in the same ratio. Alright I do not oppose that. But why do we need reservation?
One similarity that I find in the nature and the democracy is that, both take their own course over a period of time. Then why we want to impose a change, what is supposed to act as an accelerator. With all our previous experience with reservation, why are we blinding ourselves with the perception that things will change the way we want? Representation is OK, but has anyone thought about the quality. Daughters, wives, daughter in laws, sisters, etc….eligibility has never been a problem and question of merit doesn’t arise. Is that what we want? The bill is yet to come but we have already seen a lot of politics over it, someone even threatening to gulp down poison and commit suicide, others demanding provisions of reservations within this reservation.
But you see, we Indians are like that only….. benefit or no benefit we want something political enough to make our vote polarized and making it secure for our not so worthy vote bank politicians.
With all my experience, one thing I ask… reservations ok, but how you measure its impact and when this will end???