(18-06-2010 12:38 PM)Recidivist Wrote: <snip>
The longevity of reservations that were supposed to last only 10 years after independence shows not only the level to which the idea has been abused for populist politics, but also it's inherent failure to produce any tangible macro-level results beyond stuffing the ranks of civil services with low performing representatives from the low caste creamy layer (those who have already broken out of the cycle).
Ten years? Really? Caste based discrimination has been rife in the Indian subcontinent for last two thousand years, probably more. Surely, it is enormously preposterous to think that 10 years of reservation will fix a consistently malevolent practice that is ages old? Though it is true that civil services is suffering under incompetence, I would argue that the problem is not reservation here. The problem is that a mechanism to assess performance of government employees is virtually non-existent. It is obvious from the mentality of government 'servants': "every few years we'll get a promotion, better pay, a better house, the power to refuse transfers, etc. It's the best job in the world!".
This is of course in severe contrast to the private sector where often performance is the key to holding the job and getting better compensation. Though there are Indian private companies that recruit with caste prejudices, even they are under pressure to change and focus on performance because other companies, notably MNCs, are trumping them!
Quote:This is not to say that it doesn't help any people at all, or that it hasn't managed to bring up certain caste groups from their earlier positions, but I think (And this is obviously a layman's perspective, depending on anecdotal evidence, so correct me if i'm wrong) if you took a cost/benefit analysis of the reservation system, it'd be obvious that it has done more harm than good, and is ineffective and a campaigning tool at best.
Cost/benefit analysis of the current system cannot be done accurately at this time. The data is quite poor. The various commissions (National Sample Survey, the Mandal commissions) disagree rather wildly on the OBC counts. Thus, the pressure to include caste in the current census.
Perhaps when that is done, a more accurate picture will emerge of the need and effectiveness of reservation.
Quote:The irony of 50% reservations when your school system at both the primary and secondary level is in ruins, is something that is lost on most people. It's obvious, to me at least, that any effort at helping the less fortunate should focus on the school system, so that we have the opportunity to produce students who are already well grounded in the basics of science as well as the arts. These students can take full advantage of the opportunities provided to them in college and beyond instead of depending on the results of caste politics and their last name to improve their lot.
There are a large number of first generation learners whose parents have simply no understanding of science. Even if the children are taught well in school, I cannot see how they will get into colleges, considering their poverty as well as the immensely opportune students from upper echelons of the caste system that they have to compete with. They are unlikely to make it to college. Their school education has not really saved them from their situation which arose because of the caste system. If they don't make it to college, they become peons, clerks or labourers if they are lucky. Others, especially women, are trafficked or suffer in some other way, often going back to the profession of their caste, like manual scavenging.
Quote:Some finance-based reservations, or financial help to the underprivileged (not on the basis of caste, but money) should be the only help they need after that point. Getting children into schools, keeping them in schools, and providing them with good quality education at that level (not just basic literacy and math to shore up the literacy numbers) is what will make any actual tangible difference. Also, the whole education system needs to be reformed and made more holistic, but that's another discussion altogether.
Finance based reservation would be a failure of moral standards IMO. Caste is not money based. It has lasted for over a 2000 years. You can understand how deeply ingrained it is in people's thoughts and lives by observing people. Many expletives in local languages (and they do appear in films) are caste coloured (chamar, bhangi, dharidram, etc). We need a consciousness movement for India to make people aware of the terms they use. Reservation must be caste based!
Quote:Till we can help the underprivileged get proper schooling and an education that is comparable with the better off in society, reservations will always remain a sad political joke.
It is a sad political joke because there is no complementary movement to wean people away from casteist parochial thinking. It is a sad joke because politicians are misinforming and exploiting the public.