Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Supreme Court’s reservation verdict is out!

Reason enough to celebrate? Oh, please...
So the long awaited verdict on quota is out. But what amused me the most is the fact that how, for many of us, the Supreme Court’s verdict has been a reason for celebration. This amply indicates the fact that as a nation, we have been subjected to so much adversity that we have started celebrating mediocrity. I say so because the apex court’s verdict is just an interim order ;and that too it is just a stay order against the ‘quantum’ of quota and not a verdict against the very fundamental essence of quota. I don’t find any reason for celebration; more so because, interestingly, while giving the verdict, the Supreme Court has put forth an intriguing observation (perhaps not in these exact words) that ‘probably nowhere else in the world, there is a race among the people to prove themselves backward in their eagerness to get listed for quota accommodation’. This observation cruelly and blatantly states what policy makers have done to the people of this country.

Moreover, what followed as an aftermath of the verdict in Tamil Nadu puts forth a more fundamental question. And that is, whether we are a nation driven to destruction by ruthless and myopic politics, or a nation that is not yet fit enough for self rule? Probably both! This gets exemplified by the near total strike that paralysed the whole of Tamil Nadu, proving that as a nation we are far from being one. A verdict, which apparently brought celebration to a certain section of people, became a sore throat for some others. All this because political parties like DMK, Rashtriya Janata Dal, LJP, whose survival depend on the politics of exclusivity, have created such a mental divide among people that they are completely blinded towards the larger good. In fact, it is ridiculous that instead of accepting their hypocrisy, policy makers have resorted to a near 75-year-old census data (and that too of an undivided India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) to draft a course for the future of more caste-based systems in an already fragile society. It is no secret that even after sixty years of Independence, our policy makers have not been able to create an equitable society. And worse, that none of them have any intentions to create one. Instead of doing that, politicians have blatantly propagated and brainwashed ignorant and innocent people of this country that they have been kept outside the ambit of access to quality education solely because they belong to backward caste. A blatant lie! The truth is that political parties, over the last 60 years, have consciously kept masses illiterate ,so that neither could they understand the predicaments of Indian politics, nor could they question it. It is no secret that most of the 600,000 villages in our country have been purposefully kept deprived of every possible social and physical infrastructure, as is validated by our shameful performance in the UNDP Human Development Report.

The fact is that those 400 million below poverty line, who do not even make two square meals a day, have only one caste. And that is the caste of poverty and lack of purchasing power, which had always prevented them from giving their progeny a decent education. If India has to genuinely make its society equal, then there is only one solution – create purchasing power along with hundreds of additional and functional schools and colleges; and that too on a war footing, so that both affordability and scarcity of education is done away with. It is then and only then that we all would have a real reason to celebrate.

For Complete IIPM Article, Click on IIPM Article

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2007

An IIPM and Malaya Chaudhuri – Arindam Chaudhuri Initiative

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