The caste based reservation is a hot topic of news channel debate day to day since the honorable Supreme court of India has given some comments on it. As I have discussed before in my first blog, India is the country of diversity so there are lots of thought on a single topic and hence some people say reservation is for good, some people say that reservation should be removed, some people suggest different ways to give reservation and so on. It is very difficult to speak whether reservation should exist and if yes, who really deserve it. I will discuss the possible evolution of the reservation system and leave on readers to decide it’s necessity. If purpose of the reservation is to provide equal opportunity to socially backward people, then a quick question comes that how some people became socially backward? Let us first try to search the answer of this question in a logical way then it may be easy to make a stand on this hot topic.
The quest of social backwardness:
Big Bang theory, which is the most accepted scientific theory about origin and evolution of the universe, predicts that initially space-time was concentrated on a single point. Around 13.7 billion years ago, an explosion commonly known as “Big Bang” happened and our universe born.
The above figure shows the Geological timeline from the origin of Earth. Our species, Homo sapiens, evolved around 0.2 million years ago. So no human society and hence no social backwardness were present before 0.2 million years ago.
After evolution many changes happened and there are many theories explaining it in different ways. This will turn our goal to other direction so let us skip the timeline where human discovered fire, wheel, agriculture, language etc in different part of world and jump directly to ancient Indian society.
The ancient Indian society was classified in four Varna or group:
- Brahmin : priests, scholars and teachers.
- Kshatriya : rulers, warriors and administrators.
- Vaishya : agriculturalists and merchants.
- Shudra : laborers and service providers.
Jeaneane Fowler, a professor of philosophy and religious studies, states that it is impossible to determine how and why the jatis came in existence. Susan Bayly, on the other hand, states that jati system emerged because it offered a source of advantage in an era of pre-Independence poverty, lack of institutional human rights, volatile political environment, and economic insecurity.
The Vedic texts neither mention the concept of untouchable people nor any practice of untouchability. The rituals in the Vedas ask the noble or king to eat with the commoner from the same vessel. Later Vedic texts ridicule some professions, but the concept of untouchability is not found in them.
Well let us assume somehow purity-impurity ranking principle or concept of untouchable people came into existent. This means some people are untouchable/impure and they are not allowed to sit, eat, study etc with other people of society. Due to this, a large part of society couldn’t grow as much as the other did. This brought the concept of backward class whom were not allowed to participate in society and growth and general class on whom there were no ban of such kind. Obviously this social inequality brought economical inequality and backward class became harassed, poor and uneducated. This system remained even foreign invaders like Mughal, Britishers attacked, looted and colonized India for hundreds of years. In between many people tried to raise awareness about this social inequality but the main reform came after independence. After independence, India became a democratic country and it’s constitution gives right to equality to every Indian citizen. It was not enough to remove social inequality and makers of constitution knew it. They brought idea of reservation for backward class which means backward class people will get fixed quota in education and job. The reservation introduced was not for whole time but was limited to 10-15 years till then backward class people become as capable as general class people.
At that time, this was the best idea to provide equal opportunity to all but it was suppose to end after 10-15 years. After 70 years of independence when India is among the top 10 economies of the world, some people get reservation just because they belong to a SC/ST/OBC group. It doesn’t matter, someone is rich or poor, if he/she belongs to SC/ST/OBC group, he/she will get reservation. It is natural that due to this, many general people whom are more poor or have better merit than backward class people, don’t get opportunity. India is the second most populous countries and around more than 60% people are under 35 years age so for a single college seat or job vacancy, hundreds people apply. When meritorious or poor general class people don’t get job or admission, they start to ask that how the reservation is giving equal opportunity to all? Even sometimes the poor backward people don’t get advantage of reservation. The people whom take real advantage of reservation are mostly belongs to family of person whom had got some job or other advantage due to reservation and became aware of it. It is obvious that among two backward person, the advantage of reservation will be most likely taken by the one who belongs to rich family and have money, resources for preparation.
We have seen that there are many drawbacks in current reservation system like sometimes poor/meritorious general class people or poor backward class people who are real entitled, don’t get opportunity due to it. So what should be the fate of reservation system? Let us explore some possibilities :
- finish the caste based reservation system as there is no such system in any other country of world. Instead of it, reservation to handicaps, women could be given because they have equal level of intelligence
- give reservation based on economical background not on caste
- even if keep the current reservation system, there should be law that once a person got reservation, their future generation will not get it since the person is now able to take care
Either social inequality which is coming from hundred of years or reservation system which is coming from many decades can be removed within few years. But at this time when India is the 6th largest economy and also more than 60% of it’s population are youth, there should be at least discussions to remove or improve reservation. Well it doesn’t seem to be possible because it is a political weapon now. The political people promise like it you vote them, they will give reservation to your caste or increase the quota if already have reservation. The parliament can’t remove or improve rules of reservation because the government will fall in next election for sure. If courts try to make rule better, the backward people start riot and burn the public and private properties. I mean who will not want to keep the reservation which give them so many thing even if they are not eligible.