A leader of a backward class and also a state introduces inapprehensible changes in promotional reservation; the supreme court of the nation which has already rebuked such a policy, decries it unconstitutional, yet again. The government of the day attempts to change the constitution on its head and unsurprisingly the upper house of parliament clears such striking bill with near unanimous political consent.
Reservation is important. Our constitution states its case well. But so is the Supreme Court. There is strong reason for its existence, not allowing politicians to abuse power for one. Astonishing the number of lawyers occupying prestigious positions in the house of parliament these days, ironic how nonchalantly they undermine the decisions of their very own mecca. I don’t believe we indulge in the right usage of ‘merit’ as a society at all, but does quota in ‘promotions’ to high government posts provide credible justification to counter the evident ‘pseudo-merit’ in society; will it promote equality, the kind that is really required? Is our sacred government even attempting to do that with this bill? Does it all sound implausible and absurd, just to me!?
As the State loses support from the awakening middle classes, the politicos rise to the challenge and delve deeper into the rot of vote-bank politics. Afraid to relinquish power, they know exactly how to garner the minimum number of votes and secure their future seats, but what of those who aren’t backed by power, don’t have the influence, don’t belong to a backward class? Our nation it seems is a lab, its people lab-rats, policies are experiments, the constitution a whimsical code, the apex court a flexible enforcement tool, and the experiment conductor we call Government – the only real benefactor. This is the only explanation I’m able to conjure up; such is the level of my confidence in our government’s policies, no less its intentions.
Why are we just bothered about the numbers; enrolment ratios; research papers submitted by Indians; SCs/STs in schools or governments? Are we monitoring / going to monitor the quality of the numerous schools the HRD ministry intends to setup in SC/ST regions? Allocating more funds and public-private partnerships for increasing the number of schools is a start, sure, but it doesn’t guarantee more success or representation to the backward or anyone, nor does quota in promotions; providing quality education however, does. Quantities are important but not if they’re devoid of quality and this I believe applies universally. Whatever happened to better education to the backward; more incentives for top educationists to bring quality education in backward regions, better teacher allocation to eliminate backwardness at the grassroots, greater salaries, dignity and respect in the teaching profession? (India is in dire need of teachers, quality notwithstanding) Shouldn’t we be addressing these challenges? More quality education in a region will automatically translate to greater empowerment and more representation. We do almost nothing to promote quality education where it is most required and we flood the suburbs of our urban centres with grand elite educational institutions to profit from the ‘business’ they generate (the HRD ministry deserves a whole another blog by itself). We then deplore the poor representation of certain classes and shout out for quotas even in promotions. Are we not concerned about the quality of our education and of our polity along with the immensely prized equality? I find puzzling contradictions between the policies enacted by and the rhetoric of our government.
Freed from Imperialism only to fall prey to Statism, despicable is the state of the world’s largest democracy. In need of some inspiration, we truly are.