Nothing has caused greater harm to Hindu society than reservation policy pursued after partition of India. Although, constitution treated all Indians equal but certain segments pleaded for reservations in lower category of jobs till they could advance at their own to compete with others. Some anti- Hindu outfits had misguided those sections to proclaim themselves as ‘Dalits’. Thus they claim to be the victims at the hands of upper castes on account of Manu’s Varna system.
Legally no one in India had been denied opportunities of advancement on basis of caste, but everyone has to work hard for self advancement. On the contrary, by giving caste based reservations certain segments have got used to enjoying preferential treatment over others. This mind-set has motivated more classes to stake claim for benefits available through reservations.
Initially, some quota was reserved in educational institutions and employment for some categories from Hindu fold on the basis of their castes by birth. The reservations were for a period of ten years since 1950. Subsequently, not only the reservations were extended beyond ten years, but many more new categories were also added, and the quota was also increased. With passage of time, reservation policy was extended to promotions and higher-level jobs also, that used to be earlier filled on the basis of merit. As a result, a new privileged class of so-called oppressed categories emerged. Feeding upon such vote bank, selfish politicians have now devised ways and means to bring Muslims and Christians to have fruits of reservation at the cost of hardworking employees in general category.
Till yesterday non-Hindu faiths such as Muslims and Christians had been making tall claims to engineer conversions out of Hindus by stating that they did not have caste disparities. Taking their argument, those Hindus who converted to Islam or Christianity should not be given the benefits of caste based reservation.
There is absolutely no logic to give reservation to Christians and Muslims. If such Christians and Muslims were genuinely interested in the uplift of ‘oppressed people’ they should have tried to settle converts out of Hindu fold in Europe, USA, Australia and Middle East, the land that gave birth to Christianity and Islam. Christian and Muslim countries still have plenty of land available to settle fresh converts in their home lands. Their propaganda is nothing to carve niche for them on Indian soil to change demographic profile of India.
Non Discriminatory Environment
Constitutionally, there is no discrimination against any class in India. Everyone can aspire to seek entry in educational, as well as, vocational institutions on merits. If reservations were abolished once for all, all sections would join the main stream and compete with each other on equal footing. More educational institutions could be opened in backward areas to accommodate added strength of students. Everyone can have opportunity to come up without crèches of reservations.
Social differentials in every developed society are the result of knowledge; power and materials earned by individuals and have stayed to be passed down to next generation. Differentials motivated men to work hard to earn materials, power, satisfaction and higher status. Survival of the fittest is the mantra in competitive environment. It is only the animal world, where to some extent all species look-alike. Looking minutely, even two birds or animals of the same category shall also have variations. Children from same parentage have different blood groups, traits, aptitudes and achievements in life.
Hygienic and personal Reasons
Those who look unclean at face value are segregated for hygienic reasons in every society. Such segregation is irrespective of caste and faith. This practice is being followed in every society even today. Soul wise there is no difference between living beings but body wise they are different. Same way biological differences do exist on the basis of physical genes and traits among persons of common parentage. Such differences generate individual likes and dislikes also among persons. Religion has nothing to do with such practices.
Castes and family names are source of extended identity of a person beyond their immediate parentage and vicinity. However their use is not obligatory for any person. Those who do not prefer to retain the family or some particular caste tag with their names have the liberty to drop the same at will. There is no compulsion on any person to submit to the family name of other. The face value of an individual is enough for social interaction and acceptance.
Access to Higher Education
Restrictions upon higher learning were not only in India, but those were, and still are prevalent, all over the world even today. Aptitude test is nothing but a tool to segregate potential candidates, and to assess their suitability to absorb higher education. All those who do not score the minimum prescribed mark on the aptitude test scale, get barred from that realm of higher education everywhere.
Everyone is free to buy any book or scripture from the market and read it. Anyone can make use of any public place, as well as, places of worship and entertainment like any other Indian. Where is the discrimination? No one is compelling others to display caste tags with names, unless someone wanted to enjoy the benefits of reservation by producing a caste certificate.
Politics of Vote Bank
The stark fact behind Reservation politics is that after partition certain politicians proclaimed themselves as ‘Dalit’ Leaders and started nurturing vote banks for their own up-lift. They have been emotionally inciting illiterate masses to pressurize Hindu society for additional demands; else, they would lead their followers to convert to Islam, Christianity, or some other faith. This is nothing, but an out-right blackmail of Hindu society by certain individuals.
Reservations were counter productive
The Reservation policy has been thoroughly counter-productive. Reservation benefits have become hereditary like property rights. Since its inception, not a single person came forward to voluntarily surrender his benefits, to demonstrate his progress and development due to the reservation provided to him, even though some of the beneficiaries have been the descendants of former Presidents, ministers, and high officials. On the contrary, more and more categories are seeking their inclusion in backward classes, than being identified as learned classes. Everyone is desirous of being included in preferential class on the basis of caste; else holding threat to walk out of Hindu fold.
Economic criteria also unjust
Some people have come forward to suggest reservations based on economic conditions, but that proposition is also not desirable since:
- Merit, competency and efficacy would suffer.
- It will bring in all minorities into the fold of reservation, and completely contaminate the government machinery with corruption, inefficiency and subversion.
Moreover, poverty alone cannot be considered a license to obtain preferential treatment at the cost of others. One has to work hard for his progress.
Demoralizing Effect at large
Reservations have caused demoralization among hardworking and meritorious categories, since vacancies in educational institutions and vocational fields remain underutilized or blocked by reserved categories for want of aptitude and compatibility to meet prescribed standards. No one seems to be in position to break this vicious circle that is fragmenting Hindu society. Muslims and Christians are ever ready to add fuel to the fire through propaganda against caste based differentials, and have been instigating the oppressed to convert to their faiths to increase their ballot strength. Now they want a pound of flesh for themselves too.
Alternatives to Reservation Policy
We could have easily scrapped reservations long back by making education affordable to all. Instead of reservations, there should have been schemes to advance recoverable educational loans on the basis competitive merit list. All progressive countries have such schemes. There is no justification in alluring unwilling candidates from particular castes, to block reserved seats for years without making any progress. Instead of providing reservations, free education, clothing and food to certain categories might have been subsidized. People should have been encouraged to come up through efforts and not with the help of crèches in the shape of reservations.
More educational facilities and institutions to provide vocational training should have been opened in backward areas – but certainly not for backward people alone. Students deserve to be given hostels, books and stationary at subsidies, instead of subsidies being given to minorities for pilgrimage abroad.
Scrapping of reservations will foster ethnic unity and demolish vote banks.
Chand K Sharma
(Next: Splashes – 67/72 – Loss of Patronage to Hinduism)