Does the Reservation system need a revamp ?

Before you judge the article and jump into conclusions, we request you to please be open-minded. In this article, let us try to understand a few basic yet very important questions which has crossed our mind many times. All of us have different opinions and mostly the basement of these opinions is based on all the experiences we had in our lives which includes all the struggles and happiness that we have faced. Have you ever wondered why despite having fair facilities and opportunities in our own country, people are still striving hard so that they can go to another country and work as slaves again under someone who happens to be a weird foreigner? Few reasons include more opportunities, more salary packages, and maybe to understand how it is to live in a different environment. But does these reasons balance all the sacrifices which include leaving their loved ones in some different country which is 2000 or 3000 km far from where they live or even there happens to be few circumstances where they can’t attend any family get together or even the last ritual of their loved ones? At the end of the article, you will figure out one more important reason which people generally ignore or happen not to see.

Let me tell you a short story of a very lovely person who strived hard to contribute to the society and the country with much of what she had but happened to end her life. This is a story of a girl Mitra (Pls note that the name mentioned is not the true name, her parents were fine with her story to be shared but didn’t want her real name to be out for some personal reasons). She was called Mitra by the rest of the villagers for her very caring attitude towards all the people in the village. She belongs to a very poor family, her father used to sell vegetables in a small cart. She never went to any coaching centers or tuitions as she was not in a position to afford it. She worked hard for four complete years. She used to help her parents along with coping with her education side by side. She used to give free tuition for all the small children of the village regardless of gender, religion, caste, or creed as she didn’t want them to suffer the way she suffered. Their parents used to cry to her thanking her in helping their children for they were uneducated and had to suffer a lot. Her entire village collected money and saved it for her college fees. The money which was saved was built using the blood, sweat, and with lots of love buried in it. She gave entrance exams only for two to three colleges as she didn’t have sufficient money to spend for the rest of the colleges. The entire village was anxious to know her result. Her parents were searching for her on the result day. And guess where they found her, hanging in the room with the tongue out, the rope mark around her neck and the body which was half blue. She was not mentally prepared to see her entire village crying for she didn’t get any of the colleges she applied and for the college which she got, she knew her parents can’t afford the fees even if they sell everything they had.

It was not just her parents or the village which lost her, rather it is the entire nation that didn’t recognize an amazing talent who could have later been an IAS/Engineer or maybe a doctor. She didn’t lose her admission because she had a less score. She lost her college and her life only because she was poor and she was a general category student. If at all she wasn’t poor or a general category student, today we would have had Mitra with us, probably more successful than any of us who are reading this. This is one such issue that nobody is willing to speak. There are thousands of Mitras in our country whose mouth is being shut and who are trying very hard to become someone, to serve the nation, and to see every individual around them happy.

Yes, there was humiliation which was being done in the name of caste maybe a century back. But those who committed a crime are now no more and those who didn’t do any mistakes are paying their life for it. Ever wondered when did you first come across the word ‘CASTE’ in your life? Well, let me remind you. It should probably be when you were either in 10th or in 12th grade where your parents would have said “Beta, Don’t worry. You will get the college if you take this cutoff because our community has this much seats reserved” or for others, it will be “Beti, Remember that you have to work harder than others because they’ll get admission in the same college even if they are 10 or 15 marks lesser than you”. These were said by our parents not to spread hatred or enmity among anyone but because they wanted their children to not lose their dream at any cost. These were not said for comparison but for survival. Yes, even today there are few who are losing their life because of the caste disputes, but if these reservation systems are not there may be no one would have bothered much about the caste as they do now. The next generation of children might not even know that such a system even existed.

If you ask the general category students, most of them will say that they want to go abroad and live. This is not because they love their country less but because they don’t want their future generation to suffer all those which they had to. The life of a general category student is as important as the others. NO, I’m not saying there should not be any reservation system in India. But these reservations should not be based on caste moreover it should be based on the financial status of the student. There is a very common myth in our country that all general category students are rich. This is NOT true. Nor all General Category students are rich neither all the other category students are poor. I’m pretty sure all those who are reading will have at least one good friend from various categories and will know that not all the people belonging to any particular categories are bad or good. The government in recent years has put in some efforts such as a 10% reservation for the economically weaker section in higher education and government jobs. It is just a beginning and the government needs to revise a lot more in this system.

I do agree that giving away a special privilege that we have is the most difficult task and none of us would prefer to do that. But if that privilege is going to cost a future or life of some other individual, giving a thought about it is worth it. If at all anyone can save any other student like Mitra why not we think about it because all of us are humans with two eyes, two ears, one nose, and one brain with the same capability. It’s unto the individual to use it in the proper way. Why don’t we all fight with our talents in the same way and show our capabilities to the rest of the world? Let’s prove not to someone else but to our own self that We are here because we are deserved candidates rather than reserved candidates.

Thank you all for patiently reading the content. Let’s make this a discussion rather than an argument.

Article by

Shrinidhi Sudhir

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