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Reservations - Arvind Narayanan's journal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

Reservations [May. 26th, 2006|12:00 am]
Arvind Narayanan
[Current Mood |pessimisticpessimistic]

So what does everyone think about the reservation brouhaha that's been going on?

I mean, I'm sure almost everyone with a brain is opposed to the move, but just how bad do you think it's going to be?

I don't really have an opinion because I haven't been following it very closely. I'm curious to hear what people feel.

Plus, if you were looking for a place to vent, you got it.

[User Picture]From: sunson
2006-05-26 08:52 am (UTC)
My 'take' has been that reservation for 'head count' is bad. reservation for economical benefits is good.

What is the idea behind reservation, afterall? That socially backward people have a poor socio-economic status. If X wants to get an education, say, his father probably wouldn't:

a. know the importance of education because he was denied and was made-to-believe that he was supposed to be doing 'inferior work'.
b. have the money to fund his child's education.

'a' is a difficult problem to solve. How will reserving N head-counts for the backward classes help? It is utterly stupid to say that the backward class father will think 'since we have so many seats to fill, let me anyway send my child to fill a seat'. Infact, I would argue that if 'a' is the problem here, then the father is less likely to know about reservations and stuff in the first place! (remember, he doesn't even know what is the importance of education!).

'b' is totally understandable. X's father was denied of a good economic status. Assuming a small population of the overall backward classes 'somehow' decided to send their children to schools/colleges, then the only problem they will face is in funding the education. This segment of the backward classes, IMO, definitely needs help.

Coming back to the larger problem of 'a', there is one clear problem: communication. That the backward classes need to be told how important education is. The simplest strategy to follow is to 'reward' them when they educate their children. What the backward classes need is 1. Better social status 2. Better Economic status (these two points are in no specific order). '2' is the easiest thing to solve and wonderful schemes such as the mid-day meals are already helping here.

I strongly think, it would take a few 'generations' of the backward classes going down the loop (of random beings getting educated, the educated-individual tells a part of 'his community' about the importance of education (some might get convinced and send their children too) && he sends his own children to education -- the net effect: after a few iterations more percentage of the backward classes will be educated).

Of course, I'm giving very high priority to quality of the educated individual. I'm NOT generalizing that backward classes are intellectually lesser. I'm saying, by 'reserving' N seats to backward classes, you are going to end up filling the N seats with crappy people. I strongly think any given institution's 'cut off' for giving out a seat should be absolute. Let people compete and figure out where they stand.

(One individual's education, IMO, isn't going affect his view on the social status. His ability to give a friendly environment to his child for studying enables the child to 'get rid' of a small part of the castes/classes idea. I mean, it took a long time for _me_ to believe that being a Brahmin isn't a big deal. As far as I can see up the family tree, everybody was educated. Its all inter-linked as well (the teachers, their 'social' status, their culture, etc.,.) alters the education. But this is another topic).
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