Deservation not Reservation

Reservation is a dirty word. It symbolises exclusion rather than what it purportedly strives to achieve – an inclusive egalitarian society. Of late I have been reading a lot of pro-reservation/quota literature and though there are many substantial arguments in them, the idea of forming watertight compartments for the betterment of the historically underprivileged doesn’t seem to be convincing enough. Instead of accepting that the present percentage-based straitjacketed formula is seriously flawed, the champions for the caste-based cause take refuge in the census and emerge out with percentages.

A 27 percent quota for a section that constitutes 52 percent of the Indian population. In other words, 17 percent of upper castes would still have access to over 50 percent of the seats.

The less-privileged should be given leverage, rather than made to sit in reserved compartments, while the others (more privileged by virtue of caste and caste alone) get involved in a fist fight for the seats in the general compartment, where again the more meritorious of the less-privileged wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) be denied a berth. There’s a lot wrong with the present system and instead of rectifying what’s wrong, the number game’s on. Statistics is a very helpful tool in analysing happenings and predicting trends, but a small seemingly innocent tweak here can cause a huge difference there.

The for-reservations lobby tends to view the non-beneficiaries of the reservation system as a homogenous urban, well-fed and deep-pocketed class. A look at the same set of statistics they quote from, will tell how far the realities are.

Let me do some crystal gazing. Reservations once in place are very difficult to roll back. In case the formula of quota leading to advancement works, the have-nots of today will become have-mores tomorrow. An improvement in the socio-economic and educational stature will ensure that they occupy a chunk of the 50 percent (if not lesser) open seats, coupled with multilevel benefits in exemptions, scholarships, jobs (both government and private), promotions. Where does it leave the progeny of the ‘privileged’ class of today? Without the necessary avenues, they’ve either become militants or have been sidelined in the margins of the society – the ‘neo-backwards.’ The righting of a 3000-year-old historic wrong. Social justice in its truest form.

My crystal’s developing cracks, so it’s back to the present to the lens of my camera. A peaceful anti-reservation rally of thousands – medicos, engineers, chartered accountants, lawyers, corporate executives, university students, teachers, parents, school students… under the banner of Youth for Equality marched from Maulana Azad Medical College (Dilli Gate) in the older Delhi to the vicinity of Jantar Mantar in Lutyen’s New Delhi. The sloganeering was saved for the last – it was silent throughout – with big-mouth Navjot Singh Siddhu (perhaps the only politician to come out so openly in support of the anti-quota movement) trying to build a youth-leader image for himself in his typical exaggerated style and management guru Shiv Kheda motivating the protesters.

A Standard Question
A Standard Question

Hear that Mr. Singh?
Hear that Mr. Singh?

Sacrificial Lamb
Sacrificial Lamb

This Also Happens Today
This Also Happens Today

From all Walks
From all Walks

These guys get their calculations right
These guys get their calculations right

Keep distance, don't use thinner
Keep distance, don’t use thinner

The divide widens
The divide widens

Docs for Equality
Docs for Equality

Do you does it
Do You Does It

Limpworth
Limpworth

That's the biggest bank out there
That’s the biggest bank out there

It's breeding like rabbits
It’s Breeding like Rabbits

We're Starving
We’re Starving

No reservation is also a caste
No reservation is also a caste

Deewar Redux
Deewar Redux

Right form the Heart
Right form the Heart

Shutterbug
Shutterbug

Past Tense about Future
Past Tense about Future

Up in Arms
Up in Arms

Blood, Sweat and Tears
Blood, Sweat and Tears

We Shall Overcome
We Shall Overcome

Another Voice
Another Voice

Think!
Think!

The Neta and the Guru
The Neta and the Guru

United We Stand
United We Stand

Clutter of Cameras
Clutter of Cameras

Clutter of Cameras of the Still Kind
Clutter of Cameras of the Still Kind

Keeping the Flag High
Keeping the Flag High

Gain Weight Now. Ask Siddhu How?
Gain Weight Now. Ask Siddhu How?

United for Secularity
United for Secularity

Say No
Say No

A Million Woes in Ink
A Million Woes in Ink

Update: Making Sense of Mr. Mehta – A rebuttal on Vinod Mehta’s contentions on the reservation issue [May 31, 2006]

Similar topic, older post

Linkin’
Gaizabonts: Stop the Motor
DesiPundit: Youth for Equality Protest Pictures
Global Voices Online: India – Reservation Photographs and Sarcasm
Look C Find.com: India – Reservation Photographs and Sarcasm

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About Soumyadip

Soumyadip Choudhury aka Somu aka Chaiwallah is an internet addict. His wife and family suspect that he is secretly married to his laptop. The electric shock that he got while trying to fix a neighbour's TV set as a kid, perhaps ignited his interest in everything tech. A do-it-yourself guy, he doesn't believe in hiring electricians, plumbers or carpenters. But often ends paying the professionals more to fix his botched jobs. Somu secretly wishes he knew how to code and also grumbles a lot.
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23 Responses to Deservation not Reservation

  1. dwaipayan says:

    god job!!! i just hope that some quota lover can’t ruin the system like this?? but see, how the proestants are being tortured???how can police attack the peaceful students????whre the nation is heading????what’s the solution??????

  2. totaramkiaaatma says:

    To quote a bystander, The Upper Csres will soon become the Jews of India. And to throw the cliche your way? RU partially portraying the protest? Where is the other side.

  3. totaramkiaaatma says:

    Sorry that was caste

  4. HungryandRestless says:

    < HREF="http://hungryandrestless.blogspot.com/2006/05/fitting-reply-to-reservation-and-quota.html" REL="nofollow"> A Fitting reply to reservationists <>v

  5. Akshay says:

    I’m sorry my last comment came out harsher than I wanted it to. All I wanted to say is that reservation or no reservation we must admit disparity exists. Protest Peacefully yes but don’t go on strike. The hunger strike on the other hand is pure hypocrisy.

  6. dwaipayan says:

    my share of thinking…http://www.heart.co.nr/

  7. Anonymous says:

    Check out this bloghttp://claimonnation.blogspot.com/Its a pro reservation blog and should be read

  8. Surbhi says:

    The second partition of India has started. I can feel what it would have been living in 1947. The seeds of rivalry have been born. In 1909 Morley Minto reforms were introduced by the British to make Muslims privileged class although it never benefited them. British never belonged to India and they adopted the policy of Divide and rule. Our politicians are a step ahead, there slogan is DIVIDE AND RUIN. I want to confess, that when I used to meet my friends the caste factor never bothered me. But yesterday I met my old friend, I was conscious that he belongs to the SC/ST class and the feeling was never the same. God please forgive me. Perhaps that’s how partition of India happened.

  9. Varun says:

    thats good! allast our generation awakens and we all are with u.We have to stop all this rubbish thing inplemented by Government.Government have to pay for this.We are a young generation as depicted in YUVA AND RANG DE BASANTI.WHY not there are just 300 people of us from all over the country of 100 crore people,who can join active politics and make our own party and dump all these nonsense politicians.

  10. Albert Krishna Ali says:

    Do you know that over 200 doctors protest n FAVOUR of reservatons every day between 1 and 2 pm (lunch tme – no strike)? Do you know? Why not take pictures of them as well?

  11. Anonymous says:

    If politicians want to give Reservations in Education system, then why dont they have OBC reservations in political system too. Why dont the politicians allocate seats for OBC’s in Parliament too.

  12. parimal says:

    how many of you are going to die of hunger and poverty if 27% reservation for OBCs is implemented? much more when government has declared that seats would be increased proportionately what the ‘general category ‘ is going to lose? not seats but the monoply. nonetheless, the elite and privileged have entered the agitational course of action is a good sign because after this they will think twice before speaking against right to strike and popular movements.

  13. Anonymous says:

    politians dont follow the divide and rule policy of british.this is our own nation.

  14. vashistr says:

    great pics. gives a good sense of what’s going on in the nation among the people.

  15. Anonymous says:

    v v good job.i am proud of you peopl fighting for everyone.we shoud not stop our movement.we will succed. in next election we have to prove that we can change who dont support youth. i am with you.best of luck to us DR surabhi agrawal. .

  16. Anonymous says:

    we have to fight for our rights.

  17. Anonymous says:

    we are majority and we can change government. prove this akash

  18. Domski says:

    Hey, I’ve designed this image at http://weedwanderer.blogspot.com/ in support of protestors against reservation….please do chk it out and feel free to post it on your blog. Thanks,KB

  19. Anonymous says:

    Hi,I am not at all againest to uplifting and empowering backward people. I am not even againest to reservations. But, I only hate the way they are being implemented. They should be implemented on the basis of income, not on the basis of caste. Nobody should be denied to get an admission just because of the reason that, they borned in upper caste (I am not using upper class). There are somany families of so called upper caste who are suffering for food. They have every right to survive in the society.Let us move to the empower the living standards of our country. All these reservations are due to the dirty politics. It is just to make sure that, their vote bank is safe. We should fight againest it. Let us hope a reservations free India. Let us keep the talent alive. Jai Hind.

  20. Ketan says:

    good collection of images … You have any from other parts of the nation too ? If not post links .. by all means. This should become a big photo archive of anti-quota protests.

  21. Chief Information Officer says:

    Calling all Indians and NRIs who are opposed to the reservations in educational institutions like IITs and IIMs…< HREF="http://www.voice4democracy.org" REL="nofollow">http://www.voice4democracy.org<>Please go to that site and sign the petition to oppose government’s proposal to introduce 27.5% quota in educaitonal institutions for OBCs.The link to sign the petition : < HREF="http://www.voice4democracy.org/sign.php" REL="nofollow">http://www.voice4democracy.org/sign.php<>

  22. Anonymous says:

    Youth For Equality has shown how a movement initiated by few can turn the tide for a nation as great as India

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