Fun-filled, traumatic, joyous, troublesome, boring, cruel, pleasing, satisfying, challenging, tempting, misleading - yes Life is full of 'em - that is why life is so very SPECIAL - and yet the thrill is in "living" life! And all the accompanying ordeals are the frills attached with the thrills.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The other side...

Almost all Indian bloggers have touched upon the reservation topic! So would I be far behind? ;-) As far as I know, I have always opposed reservation (hold on - this is NO anti-reservation post again) because I always felt the person with a better score is being deprieved of a chance over a person who has got a lesser score. But, can the score be the only criterion to entry? Okay, let me give a background story to substantiate this :

Sarasu, the lady doing our household chores has 3 daughters. She is a single parent as her husband, who was a bit mentally challenged, left them one day. Not that his presence helped things any better but it seemed they had no 'male support' (as the neighbourhood would put it). She took great pains to marry off her first daughter. The dowry thing was not much of a problem as Sarasu got her daughter married to Sarasu's own brother. The second daughter did her schooling (in a corporation school ofcourse) till 9th and then joined a fancy store as a sales girl and would also do house hold chores in the evenings. She also managed to go for typing classes in her spare time.

The third daughter - Ambika, was also quite inclined to studies. She too was in the same corporation school as her sister. She also worked in the houses in the day and evening times. Many considerate landladies did their little best to help the girl - like buying notebooks (books and school fees were waived off - being a Corpn. school). Seeing a little girl in her early teens, rush to school after the household chores in the day and then seen in the evenings sweeping the front yard in her green school uniform was definitely a heart-kindling sight. How many of us are really lucky and blessed - we never realise until we see people like Ambika.

With the meagre money that the whole family manages to earn, the girl could not think of any other luxuries like a study table, guides or even tuitions. So she would approach me or my mom for any doubts in Maths and English. Inspite of all this, she managed to score close to 70% in her 12th standard board exams this year!

Now would this 70% be comparable to 80% which I would score given the fact that I have access to all the luxuries that I can afford which the girl cannot. Above all there lies the simple fact that I can choose to just study study study whereas Ambika would first think of ensuring that her family gets atleast 2 meals a day and then comes studies, degree and whatever!

Okay - but should I be deprieved of a seat inspite of getting 80% and Ambika be given the seat inspite of getting just 70%. That definitely seems unfair but what is the repurcussion of me not getting the seat and Ambika getting it? A degree, a job, a better salary would do great wonders for Ambika - probably change their whole lifestyle whereas me not getting a seat is kind of okay, I can manage to get into a private college or a payment seat or worst case try for an improvement and get into the same college next year.

But one thing which I fail to agree is caste cannot be an assessment factor here because though many downtrodden families have made advancements, there are many many really worthy candidates who are left out. I remember, during my PG days, a candidate who got about 5000 Rs. as SC/ST scholarship, would be seen on a shopping spree every Sunday - so now you know how the scholarship money is spent? At the same time I have also known a boy belonging to SC/ST category not knowing about scholarship but still has a dream to study and also another who made good use of the scholarship and got a plump job and thereby uplifted his family to a better level. There is also the son of a poor temple priest I know who was left behind - just because he belonged to the forward community. He had to settle for something other than his desired course because he missed the bus by a narrow edge!

The main drawback in our country is that the government has failed miserably on the primary and secondary education front. A student studying in a corporation school is absolutely no match for a student in a private school that too with the same sylabi. Instead, the government is all bent to give reservation at top level education, which is definitely not a welcome decision. The credibility of instituitions and the candidates would go for a toss if merit is comprised at *that* level. Instead primary and secondary level education should be upgraded and improved to higher standards - at par with good private institutions. Reservations could be given to children of hapless families - their fees waived off, all amenities provided and enough encouragement given upto say school and under-grad level but beyond that it seems meaningless.

So my take? Reservation is definitely necessary but where, for whom, till when is something to be debated upon!


வேதா said...

very good points ravi.
//I remember, during my PG days, a candidate who got about 5000 Rs. as SC/ST scholarship//
i have experienced this during my college days, where scholarships given to students turned into treats in star hotels. it is unfortunate that it happens when really poor students from forward communities run from pillar to post for even college fee.

// Reservation is definitely necessary but where, for whom, till when is something to be debated upon! //
if this really happens(never going to happen in near future) then it would lead us into a good future.

Anonymous said...

I do agree ....It's pretty hard even for the government to assess who really are worthy or who are not worthy of the reservation seats......caste truly cannot be the
criteria .....however,corruption will be there even if the government where to revise it's entire plans and change it's policy......It's a bad bad world out here....
But I believe a person who wants to be successful will be successful whether reservations or no reservation...whether he studies in a private school or a government school...coz I know of a girl whose mother did household chores in my uncle's house a long time back and she secured 91% or 92% in her exams and had studied in one of the local public schools...she was the talk of not only our family but the entire area and for a long time I had this low feeling haunting me ...Moreover thanks for the MNC's which hire people not on the basis of reservations but skills...That way I beleive Bangalore's done a great Job by inviting MNC's dont u feel I make sense?

Ravi said...

Thanks! My point was there are deserving and unaffordable candidates in both backward and forward castes.

True that a person can be successful irrespective of reservations but how many? Would it be fair if you and I, who have better access to resources be judged at the same plane with a person who does not have similar access to the resources? So I do support reservation but on what basis is the question!

Balaji S Rajan said...


Good post. Well analysed and written. Governments are just making politics. There should be something drawn in between and given a fair conisderation.

Ravi said...

Thank you Balaji Sir and its been a while since you dropped by. Keep visiting.

Anonymous said...


New post please..........


Ravi said...

he he he, Soumya, u caught me again ;-)

Anonymous said...

yup!!!...dont get stuck waiting...

Anonymous said...

This time sum thin light and humorous please...
(forgot to mention this)