I used to sit on the 21st floor. Now I am retired

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Facts on the reservation issue

Gaurav Sabnis asserts that "The OBCs, over the years, have had similar access to a livelihood as an average brahmin. They are miles and miles better than the Dalits who led a sub-human existence." If only he would have done some fact-checking first. I agree with his central thesis, that reservations allow the Government to hide behind a political move, and not do anything for the real backward classes. However, it's not because OBCs have already made it as big as compared to forward castes.

Incidentally, I will argue that reservations in IIT/ IIM/ AIIMS/ NIFT will bring marginal benefit, if any, to the backward classes and destroy immense value instead. However, I am also a proponent of affirmative action to create equality of opportunities (this is different from reservation). The fact remains that backward classes (this includes OBCs) in India do not have equality of opportunity even after many years of reservations and other proposed actions by the Government (which also points out the lack of impact of actions like reservations till now). In fact, OBCs are closer to Dalits than forward castes, unlike what Gaurav argues. For an informed point of view on this, please read the Economic & Political Weekly article. OBCs and SC/STs are clearly much much poorer than forward castes (this does not include only Brahmins, by the way) in the three states surveyed*.

"In UP...In the rural areas, the percentage in ’most poor’ category is 42 among pasis who are SCs, 22 among kumhars who belong to OBCs and 7 among brahmins..."

"In Bihar...For example, the percentage in the ’most poor’ category in the rural areas was 67.2 per cent among chamars (SC), 50 among kumhars (OBC) and 7.1 among kayasthas who belong to forward caste category..."

"In Tamil Nadu...For example, in the rural areas, 47.4 per cent of the pariahs are in the ’most poor’ category compared to 0 per cent among brahmins and 4.2 per cent among pillais, both of which belong to forward caste category..."

This clearly will translate into disparity in opportunities. Btw, for a non-factual stupid polemic go here. Can't expect any less from CPI-M!!

What both the articles ask for, by the way, is for an economic (instead of caste-based) criterion for affirmative action. Irrespective of the strong correlation between income and caste, this should be done right away. If the aim of reservations/ affirmative action is to remove backwardness, then it's the truly backward that it should identify and benefit.

Now, some people have suggested that the latest round of proposed reservations should be modified by including an economic criteria and all will be well. I do not agree. I can't see how giving away a scarce IIM seat to a non-deserving poor Brahmin is any way better than giving it away to a non-deserving rich Dalit. Both are fraught with issues that Falstaff mentions here. Issues in maintaining quality of class discussions, attracting good recruiters, forming teams etc. Issues which we currently face in IIMs because of existing reservations.

Having said that, since the point of this post is establishing facts, the current round of reservations are at least expected to be similar to the other OBC reservations (in Govt. jobs, PSUs etc.). Hence, while they do not obviously base reservations on economic criteria (thus restricting the poor Brahmin from getting his unjust share of pie), they at least theoretically exclude the moderately rich OBC from getting it. This is the 'creamy layer' issue, which is explained simply here. It says that:

"The following persons will be excluded from OBC's and they are considered as creamy layer.

1) Son(s)/daughter(s) of persons holding Constitutional positions (i.e., President, Vice-President, Judges of Supreme Court & High Courts, Chairman and Members of the Union and State Public Service Commissions, Chief Election Commissioner, Comptroller and Auditor General of India,
2) Persons whose parent(s) is(are) Class I Officer,
3) Persons whose parent(s) is(are) in the rank of Colonel and above in the Army and equivalent posts in the Navy and Air Force and the para-military forces,
4) Persons whose families own irrigated land, which is equal to or more than 85% of the ceiling limit in terms of irrigated land as per State land ceiling laws,
5) Persons having gross annual income of Rs.2.50 lakh (As of February 04, 2004) and above, or
6) Persons possessing wealth above the exemption limits prescribed in the wealth Tax Act for a period of three consecutive years (income for salaries or agricultural land shall not be clubbed)."

The fact remains that it is easy to procure fake income certificates, but then, so is the case with fake caste certificates. Tribune editorial on the creamy layer and raising of the income bar, here, raises more such issues.

To summarise, I will say two things. One, OBCS/ SCs/ STs clearly do not have as many opportunities as the forward castes. However, there are poor forward caste members who also do not have these opportunities. Clearly the criteria for affirmative action needs to more socio-economic rather than caste-based**. Two, the case for reservation in higher education can't be made even for the newly defined socio-economic criteria. They are too scarce a resource to be allocated in any way, other than the most efficient manner.

*Amongst OBCs, obviously, there will be some castes which don't deserve any help, like Urs in Karnataka, which were the erstwhile ruling classes (!) and others (some which Gaurav mentions), which come up because of the ambiguous way in which OBCs have been defined.
**I am for the moment ignoring the case for reservations for removing discrimanation, something I believe, can be solved through stricter performance management.

Update: Gaurav has clarified that he was talking from anecdotal evidence about the many OBCs he has encountered who are better off than Dalits. Also, he says that the creamy layer clause doesn't work and the benefits accrue to the rich.
I can imagine, as Gaurav says, that the creamy layer concept will fail in practice (or that the rules are not stringent enought). However, I disagree with the other.

If we believe that reservations, as it is now, for Dalits will help the truly backward then it should help the OBCs as well. Researched (and not anecdotal) evidence shows that OBCs are almost as poor as Dalits. Additionally, the amount of reservation is only 27% for 52% population, compared to almost 1:1 reservation ratio for SCs (15%). Having said this, I would also say that reservations will only help the unworthy and not go down to the poor (anecdotal evidence from the IIM I have been to).
I wonder if anybody is willing to conduct research on the economic status of people enjoying benefits of reservations in higher education. I would be willing to raise funds for it.


Blogger Backfromhell4u said...

We need in India a new system of education which will bring quality equally to every child in a locality. The solution must be neighbourhood schools, i.e. a businessman's son living in Sarita Vihar and his servant's son living in a nearby slum, should go to the same school, and sit in the same class. We must provide everyone an equal quality of education, if we want to abolish the reservations at college level. But today's India says, that the quality of schools would go down by this, but then won't it expose the majority of people suppressed because not gettin the same quality..? We need a social uplifment in the backward society too. We students of general category should move freely and talk freely with an SC\ST. If today, the dropout percentage of backward classes from schools is high, then we should blame ourselves for not treating them equally when they were supposed to. As an example, in USA , the afro-american community has the same share of admissions in schools as the general category, and students don't look down at the other one just because of his caste. We should clean our country first, take every child in our stride towards the future, even if it means stepping back for some time, and compromising on our higher education.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006 7:18:00 PM

Blogger dhoomketu said...

Backfrom, you are proposing neighbourhood schools where everyone sits in the same class. Why stop at schools? Why not make sure that everyone eats at the same table, everyone uses the same cars, everyone uses the same flights? For if in the same class, there are two different types of students, then we would not have stepped back in time enough, right?

Anyway, enough of my rhetoric. Here's the question? I am with you if you want a minimum standard of education for all. I am also with you if everyone is guaranteed school education regardless of spending power, and make sure that spending power doesn't come in the way of getting into a good school. But how will you ensure that everyone gets the same quality? Close down schools like Doon or whatever else that restrict access? Or make the government schools better, by bringing good faculty (volunteer teachers, maybe)? The answer is not easy. But worth a thought.

Incidentally, I am not sure I am ready to take the burden of guilt of not treating SC/ STs at par (you mention 'we' lots of times).

Tuesday, April 11, 2006 8:16:00 PM

Anonymous Mowgli said...

The argument of neighbourhood schools holds only if all the schools are identical in all respects to an extent that choosing one is 'tantamount' to choosing another .. which I don't think will be the case in the foreseeable future.

Student communities in atleast 2 engg colleges that I have seen (and 10 others that I have heard of) are even more conscious about castes BECAUSE of the restriction of competition ensuing from reservations .. which brings me to my point

Since media/govt/civil society seems quite convinced that all it takes to create an IIT are funds and renaming .. lets completely reserve the post 1990 IITs (Roorkee, Guwahati, Cochin, BE College Shibpur etc.) for SC/ST/OBCs and lets not have reservations in the original 5 .. this also is a way of acheiving 50% reservation (roughly .. modalities can be worked out .. seats can always be increased!) .. and anyone who argues that reservation would ensure ppl entering IITs are on par should have no problem with this arrangement.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006 10:41:00 PM

Blogger dhoomketu said...

Mowgli, great thought. Also, we should reserve 100% in certain B-schools we all love, as they induct 3000 students. So, then IIMs, XLRI, FMS, SP Jain, ISB etc. etc. can all run in piece. Dare to think?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006 11:47:00 PM

Anonymous Mowgli said...

Excellent idea!! and since in institutes where ppl 'dare to think', on graduating, they immediately start professing (and inspiring others to dare to count chickens...), this will mean de facto reservation in the private sector.

Arjun Singh, (the HRD minister and not some Delhi rickshaw driver hailing from the same place) would love this idea.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 1:12:00 AM

Blogger Gaurav said...

I don't believe that reservations for Dalits only help the truly backward, at least at a PG level. I mean come on, who are we kidding?

However at an under-grad level, where there are a lot more seats, literally lakhs, we do see a lot of needy dalits getting admissions. also, since their fees are exempt in most colleges, they can afford it as well. these are the guys I spoke about, who score 75% and get an admission. Now note, I say "get admission" and not "benefit" because I don't believe it is possible to really "benefit" from reservations.

I see where you come from when you say that if needy dalits get admissions, then needy OBCs can get them as well.

As I said, I drew from my anecdotal evidence which shows that most OBCs in my class were folks with economic backgrounds similar to mine, and frankly, with academic aptitude not much different from mine. Which is why i dont think OBC reservations will lead to a "massive drop in academic levels" or anything, at least at the UG level.

Maybe in many other parts of India, most OBCs who get admissions are significantly poorer and underprivileged as compared to their brahmin counterparts. If so, then, yes, Mandal might be rationalised in the government owned entities.

But I can think of reasons by which the research you refer to, i.e OBCs are as poor and underprivileged as Dalits, may not reflect equally in most anecdotal evidence.

the level of poverty is, after all an average. But the few outliers in OBC could be significant enough in numbers to not be very different from brahmins in terms of economic status. However the number of outliers in SC/STs may not be as high. The number of outliers in OBCs would be higher mainly because of inclusion of many undeserving castes for political reasons. But there aren't many(or any) such undeserving castes/tribes in SC/ST.

What say?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 2:30:00 AM

Blogger dhoomketu said...

Mowgli, :-)

Gaurav, with you on the kind of people who get benefits from reservation at a PG level. In fact, I would love it if some one can point out some research on the topic. Can fund part of it myself, so that we get some clarity. I am also with you on the hypothesis behind why anecdotal evidence doesn't show the backwardness of the OBCs. I have written what I know, from my batch of B-school, in another post here. Maybe people will add to that, and we can establish (with more data) whether this is true.

Btw, this kind of data/ anecdotes is exactly this reason why we should not have a class/ caste-based policy for reservation, but change it to economic-based. Otherwise, we will continue to 'benefit' the outliers.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 3:32:00 AM

Blogger indu said...

How can we relate merit/talent and caste?? Your caste can't judge your talent. The main issue here is that most of the students who get benifited from the reservations, actually don't need them. They are like the forward caste people. Their parents are in good positions, earning good sum of money.

There are so many in rural places who are not getting anything from these, unlike their urban and sophisticated counterparts.

Ok, let's look at it this way. Why only backward classes, there are many from even the forward caste who are leading inadequate lives. So, a solution for this can be to identify all those who are economically backward (any caste) and help them cope with their economic distress. The government relaxes the income limit for the backward classes to 2.5 lakhs. Earning around 2.5 lakhs/ annum doesn't come under or anywhere near poverty line. My father earns 2.5 lakhs per annum. Does this mean that we are closer to the poverty line? But, I am not getting any benifits in education just because I am a forward caste. Is this justice?? No, I don't want, infact, need any reservation. It's an insult to me, to my merit and my self-respect.

There's no justice in India. People just flow away with the caste and power politics. The vote-banks play with insensible people for their own benifit and, as a result we suffer, directly or indirectly. The OBCs constitute nearly 50% of the voting population. This itself says everything about the proposal and its postponement.

Let the government employ all those reservations and stuff for those who *need them* till their 12th standard and then ask them to continue with their merit along with everyone else, now facing the real competition. Let it provide them with good education till the 12th standard. And, then they should be left to fight the competition like everybody else. From then, need be, they should be given only financial support, not reservations.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 9:46:00 AM

Blogger dhoomketu said...

Indu, I agree with your solution.

As I have said before and a few other commentators are saying now, reservations in IIT/ IIM is a great way for the govt. to mislead everyone and claim that they have done enough for BCs (while actually, they have done nothing). Then, they don't need to feel the pressure to really make a difference.

However, I will not agree with two-three things you said. This is not about 'there's no justice in India'. There is actually. Lots of it. Also, for me, this is not about self-respect for anyone, for I do believe that affirmative action is good in certain areas (schools, as you point out). Also, I am sure that the vote banks are smart enough to recognise what this is. They have shown that multiple times. Reservations in IIT/ IIM will continue to be a non-issue for the real BCs.

Thursday, April 13, 2006 1:14:00 AM

Blogger Unknown Indian said...


Couple of points -

Firstly, OBCs are an extremely broad category - castes such as Nadars (think Shiv Nadar of HCL Tech) in TN, Banias in Bihar (but not in UP) and Jats in Rajasthan (but not in Haryana at present) are included. No doubt the examples you cite prove that there are certain OBC communities that are backward. So the impact of reservations for OBCs will depend on who is classified as backward. Include advanced communities (like Jats), and there will be no material impact on quality (but why give reservations for them, as Gaurav argued). Focus on the truly backward, and we will end up with half the guys dropping out of college (eg. 14 out of 15 SC/STs in my engineering batch and virtually all the reserved candidates in my IIM batch)

On backfromhell4u's comment - neighborhood schools is a typical statist reaction to a problem caused by the failure of the state. There are a number of very poor people struggling to give their kids a private English medium education in Bombay - we must empower them, for which school vouchers are probably the best solution. For more, please read this

Friday, April 14, 2006 10:41:00 AM

Blogger camelpost said...

I challenge the concerned jokers to go ahead with 50% Reservation for not only students but also for teaching staff. Its better that Government builds one more IIT and IIM and call them RIIT and RIIM (R stands for you know what) and let others live in peace and maintain their standards. RIIT and RIIM may be put under AICTE for added glory. It will be wiser for the government to offer the best of education from primary education and make them face the world rather than give them feel of artificial security by reservation.

Naam Arjun Raknewala sab Yudh nahi jeeet saktein
aur IIT IIM koi Kurushetra bi nahi hein
Na is Arjun ke paas koi Krishn bhi hai
Paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya Sathuskratham
Dharma samsdha banarthaya sambavami yuge yuge
Tora Tora Tora

Friday, April 14, 2006 8:40:00 PM

Blogger barbarindian said...

Great post but I disagree about your comments about affirmative action. Reservation by any other name is still reservation. Read more here: http://barbarindians.blogspot.com/2006/04/affirmative-action.html

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 9:29:00 PM

Anonymous Vijay Chauhan said...

Well its a nice blog with several posts coming out of independent thinking people.

Now for those opposing reservation, would they also oppose 100% resevation is there for Brahmins in temples. If yes fine else they are indulging in double speak.

Well I support reservation as even a poor Upper caste child will always fare better than a por Dalit child not because of genes but because of successful history, role models (in close relation as well), parental emphasis on education and Dalit child lacks all of these, so except for gifted and strong willed poor Dalit, its not easy for him to compete.

Another thing which people normally skip is job discrimination Muslims (poor as well as middle class) face and who normally gets rejected at resume short listing/interview level.

Pls start analyzing more on these issues.

Vijay Dinanath Chauhan (a Rajput)

Monday, April 24, 2006 10:08:00 PM

Blogger bumbledoor said...

I write in the capacity of a resident doctor at All India Institute of Medical sciences, considered to be the apex institute for medical care in the government sector. I would begin by posing a question. If there is such a need ,would any of the bloggers in this forum voluntarily entrust himself to the care of a less competent physician selected through the reserved category? A person who responds in the affirmative to the above would either be lying or deservedly be a fanatic supporter of social upliftment through reservations. Even patients belonging to the reserved category would hardly differ in the choice of doctor, I believe.
I was fortunate enough to have done my MBBS also from the same institute. AIIMS has 22% reservations for the " socially disadvantaged" like all other government institutions. Almost all of the students selected through these categories came from affluent families where the earning members were occupying reputed government posts. Large proportion of them were in the administrative services (also through reservation). They studied in the best possible schools and were denied none of the "luxuries" of coaching classes and special tutors that only the upper strata is assumed to have. But all of them fared pathetically in the entrance exams (mean score of 55% when the general category mean was 74% ,among the selected candidates). In spite of that they could enroll in the topmost medical college when more deserving were shown the door. Again, they enjoyed the same facilities as any other general category candidates during the course. It can be unequivocally concluded that they they faced no discrimination of any sort during their under graduation. Nobody snatched away their books, prevented them from attending classes, expelled them from hostel rooms or commit any similar form of "atrocity" that these category folks always seem to be alluding to in their tirade against the upper castes. In other words they weren't denied anything that the general category got. However who is responsible if they are not performing to the mark in pg entrance exams, due a lack of industry and intelligence( to put it plainly)? Once they have paased MBBS they are assumed to be on the same pedestal as a general category candidate. But, now on what basis do they demand further reservation in post graduation courses (which is in fact provided to them)? And then there is a talk of further diluting the quality by extending the obnoxious quota to the OBCs. These resident doctors pursuing post graduation courses are supposed to be directly involved with patient care. If this quota is implemented ,be prepared to look upon the caring hand with a sense of dread and mistrust.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006 1:46:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We must investigate the term "merit".Is "merit" just a score in entrance exams at age of 17?

Take the claim of "merit based" entrance to all IIMs and dozens of other institutes.

The CAT exam is based on the SAT exam in the USA . It has been proved beyond doubt that the SAT test is culturally biased . Blacks and hispanics do poorly at it year after year .

If a student who is eligible for admission to IIM on the basis of his CAT score, were to take the same CAT exam in which he/she cleared in a language that he/she did not understand then he/she would be at a disadvantage compared to someone who was schooled in that language . Not knowing that language does not mean you lack the capacity to clear that exam.

Approximately 25 % of CAT test is about English! Another 25 % is about English Comprehension!!!! There you are !!!! About 50 % so called aptitude test is a hoax for someone who is from a non-english speaking background .

This is how the CAT like the SAT is discriminatory .

See the full form of SAT …Scholastic Aptitude Test . The problem is aptitude testing is not so simple . There is no test on earth which can reliably tests aptitude .

Aptitude tests such as the SAT have a historical tie to the concept of innate mental abilities and the belief that such abilities can be defined and meaningfully measured. Neither notion has been supported by modern research. Few scientists who have considered these matters seriously would argue that aptitude tests such as the SAT provide a true measure of intellectual abilities.

It was found that people could be coached to better their scores at SAT . The name SAT …Scholastic Aptitude Test could not be correct . So under such valid criticism the name was changed to Scholastic Assessment Test, since a test that can be coached clearly did not measure inherent "scholastic aptitude", but was influenced largely by what the test subject had learned in school. Even the College Board which conducts the SAT has beaten a hasty retreat.This was a major theoretical retreat by the College Board conducting SAT, which had previously maintained that the test measured inherent aptitude and was free of bias.

About ten years back , however, even the redundancy of the term assessment test was recognized and the name was changed to the neutral, and non-descriptive, SAT. At the time, the College Board announced, "Please note that SAT is not an initialism. It does not stand for anything."

The framers of these SAT tests assumed that intelligence was a unitary inherited attribute, that it was not subject to change over a lifetime, and that it could be measured and individuals could be ranked and assigned their place in society accordingly. The SAT evolved from these questionable assumptions about human talent and potential.

More and more people are questioning the validity of SAT . In the past MENSA used to accept high SAT score individuals . For the past decade it has stopped accepting SAT scores .

The whole exercise of deciding merit based on CAT scores discriminates against those from lower socio-economic status.

Though many non-IIM institutes have started accepting CAT scores, the application fee of these institutes is still inexplicably high.

The CAT is primarily an exam of Math and English. Logical and Analytical Reasoning is nearly absent (except for some verbal reasoning which again depends on knowing English well!!!!).

CAT is a clever way to keep those from lower socio-economic strata away Institutes funded with tax payers money .

So claims of “Merit” based on CAT scores is hollow and discriminatory against those of lower socio-economic strata.

Dhirubhai Ambani had a poor command over English . He would not have made it through CAT. So what "merit" are we talking of?

Thursday, April 27, 2006 11:54:00 PM

Blogger Gaurav Shukla said...

I'm closely following news/views/articles/comments on 'Mandal-II' since april 6th.
intially I was 'anti-reservation'..but after reading articles regarding other side of 'Mandal-II', My stand changed..and now I support Reservation in ALL the fields.Why?
(A)because, nearly 90% of the 'Open category Seats' at IIT/IIM/AIIMS/NID/NIFT/IIHM are offered to those who can afford-
(1) >Rs. 1,00,000 for coaching(in case of IIT/AIIMS/NIT/Top-10 Med colleges).
(2)>Rs.1,00,000/4,00,000[in case of IIM's]('Fact:nearly 70-75% seats at IIM's are offered to Engg. graduates'.Now of these 70-75% nearly 15-25% are grabbed by graduates from 7 IIT's & 15-25% by graduates from NIT's/Other Govt-funded Colleges,So Rs.1,00,000 for 30-50% and most of the rest 25-40% by graduates from Pvt. engg. colleges where most of the students pay ~Rs. 4,00,000 for their 4-year-Education).
(3)>Rs.2,00,000 (in case of NID/NIFT/IIHM,for those with high-profile-Convent-Education perform better when it comes to Aptitude test/GD-PI for 'Govt-funded Design/Fashion/Hotel management' Institutes).
.....So it means that even 'Open-Category' ppl have 'Reservation in between them' in place..it also means that most of the 75% 'open-category-seats' in famous govt-established institutes are repeatedly used by the 'Rich Open Category'(5% of the Indians) and the 'Poor Open Category'(10~16% of indians) gets only a miniscule of these Seats.[This is my Counter-argument to "Children of Quota-beneficiary Govt-officers will repeatedly grab most of the Reserved Seats" raised by our Anti-Reservation activists.......comeon ppl!!when this practice prevails even in 'Open-Category'.why deprive 'Non-open category' ppl from this...and if want to eradicate this evil from our society then all of First eradicate the evils of 'NRI/Management quota' which I'm going to discuss in my next point].

(2)Nearly 15-25% seats in most of the famous Private Engg/Med/Management institutes are Reserved for the applicants whose Parents can either offer 5-50 LAKHS as Donation/Capitation fee or use their 'Political connections'...most of times these students thoroughly 'Njoy!' their Time at college and then join the Big Engg-firm/Hospital/Business of their Parents/Relatives...Now tell me,Why you anti-reservation supporters don't challenge merit of these Engineers/Doctors/Managers?

(3)Although Financial/Intellectual/Cultural WEALTH/Success of a person depends upon his/her own efforts but most of us will agree that this success can not be achieved without using 'Resources' of his/her 'Country'.
.....Now,as per Govt-approved-Reports nearly 79-85% population of India comprises of 'OBC+SC+ST'. whereas Only 15-21% of Indians come under 'Open-Category'.
....so we the 15-21% of the Indians are using most of the Country's Resources and when the Majority(79-85%) of Indians are asking for their 'Proportionate-Share' in the Country's resources ..we are protesting/yelling..why ppl why? haven't we heard of "Vasudhaiv Kutumbkam-all the world is but one" culture or are we chasing Jungle's Law-'Survival of fittest'?

Be Warned & allow 80% of the ppl to get 50% of the 'Resources'....otherwise they will no more tolerate us 20%-Kicking India at first opportunity-'Open-Category' ppl!!!

Thanking you for bearing my comment,

an 'Open Category' pre-final year undergraduate student @ IIT kharagpur

Saturday, May 06, 2006 4:05:00 PM

Blogger bumbledoor said...

Rebeliitian, I would like state that by arguing your point so nicely, you have indeed most severely condemned, although unconsciously, the present practice of doling reservations on the basis of caste. You have admitted that the advantage of reservations has been monopolized by the affluent and resourceful. The same is true for the general category too. Here also we have children of affluent families who can afford expensive tuitions having an advantage over others in the competitive examinations.
Hence, on the whole, reservations have been inconsequential in improving the representation of the genuinely underprivileged in the elite community. 59 years of reservations have only resulted in creation of a deprived class within the quota beneficiaries who are too crippled by socio-economic adversities to even take advantage of this constitutional provision.
The poor Dalit labourer is still tilling the land of the moneyed peasantry as he was doing 50 years back.
Most of the people in dire need of upliftment are too weak and ignorant to utilize quotas. Who can disagree that the children of SC/ST/OBC IAS officers and affluent businessmen are in no pressing need of upliftment, but it is precisely those who misuse these quotas. Moreover these people enjoy continuing reservations which protect and promote their mediocrity and deprive others of their legitimate chance. Moreover, the “defacto reservation for the affluent general category” does not allow compromise of merit by offering exemptions in qualifying age and marks as is offered to these category students.
I don’t think any general category student would disagree to quotas which ensure representation without affecting merit. Our inherent sense of fairness revolts when we see the undeserving grabbing precious seats in centers of excellence when the more meritorious have been deprived. The present system of admitting students from the weaker sections even with low qualifications takes away the incentive for hardwork and self improvement from them. Moreover they are forever stigmatized and ridiculed as being “category” students because of the mediocrity that has come to be associated with quota.
We cite the example of the American system of affirmative action when arguing in favour of quotas. But, we conveniently forget that the brutal American system offers no sops for those who don’t perform when promoted by affirmative action up to a certain level. It would not hand over a degree to a non-performing black American candidate just to ensure social equality. Converse of this is true for the Indian system. It is because of this that there is a genuine fear of the degrees from institutions of excellence being devalued if the reservations are increased.
As far as management quota and NRI students are concerned, my personal observations confirm that these students do not have a very bright future if they don’t perform because, mercifully, they are not protected by continuing quotas. Their high fees are also instrumental in funding the education of other students.
Merit is supreme and can’t be disrespected.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006 4:55:00 AM

Blogger Passion said...

Reservations are legislative response to historical social and economic injustices.
India(ns) do not need reservations if 85% of their marriages are inter-religious and inter-caste.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 9:15:00 AM

Blogger amalh said...

The reason for this reservation mess as well as other evils in our society is because professionals and honest educated people have not come forward to participate in the political process. Many Criminals, uneducated and corrupt persons have taken the place instead. They use educated or Nehru family persons on the top as a front only.

If professionals want to make a real difference they should immediately form a new party open only to, professionals (doctors, engineers, chartered accountants, lawyers, Ph. D. holding academics, professional students from leading colleges like IIT, IIM, I. Sc., Industrialists and NRI’s only). A few politicians who have openly opposed reservations like Kapil Sibal and Navjot Siddhu should be invited to guide in the political process. The agenda of the new party should be

1. Make all casteism illegal and abolish all proposed and existing reservations
2. Genuinely help backward communities by improving there living and financial conditions, providing good education right where they live from nursery up
3. Have zero tolerance for corruption
4. But all issues on back burner until basics like electricity, water, and timely justice in courts is established

The new party should then field candidates in all elections, by-elections at all levels in the country and shun games like seat adjustments. They will win surely because Indians are fed up with the mess.

Saturday, May 20, 2006 10:47:00 PM

Blogger amalh said...

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Saturday, May 20, 2006 10:48:00 PM

Blogger bhattathiri said...

Where is God? Where is God?

Your website is beautiful, informative and Excellent.

Article by M.P. Bhattathiri, Retired Chief Technical Examiner , to The Govt. of Kerala. Humble request that it may be published in your website and magazine after editing if necessary

Where is God? Where is God? Somebody's (especially youth) curious enquiry .How it can be explained The only answer is that "God is everywhere means in living and nonliving things yet localized, all-pervading yet aloof. He walks yet doesn't walk. He is far away yet very near as well. also like taste of water , ligt of sun " Such contradictory statements are not whimsical. Rather, they indicate God's inconceivable power.We can only feel and enjoy.

The Absolute Truth, God in all religions Christ, Krishna or Allah, can be realized in three phases: Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. These aspects of the Absolute Truth are comparable to the sunshine (Brahman), the sun's surface (Paramatma) and the sun planet (Bhagavan);three different features of the same reality.

The Brahman aspect of God is the beginningless, impersonal form of the Lord, the effulgence of God's transcendental body. Just as the root of a tree maintains the whole tree, God, the root of all things, maintains everything by His energies: He is the heat in fire, the taste of water, the light of the sun ;the underline principle or foundatio of everything. Although Krshna spread Himself throughout His creation, He retained His own personality. "Unintelligent men, who do not know Me perfectly, think that I was impersonal before and have now assumed this personality," God explains in Bhagavad-gita. "Due to their small knowledge, they do not know My higher nature, which is imperishable and supreme" (Bg. 7.24). Although impersonalists may eventually achieve the Lord, their path is fraught with difficulties, for it is unnatural for the embodied soul to conceive of the unembodied, which is only a partial aspect of the Absolute Truth.

Realization of God as "Paramatma," the Supersoul in the heart of every embodied soul, is compared to knowing the sun disc in the sky. The Paramatma is the supreme proprietor, witness and permitter, and He accompanies the wandering soul through its 8,400,000 embodiments. Acting as the soul's friend, He remains the soul's constant companion during his sojourn in the material world, no matter what type of body the soul inhabits;in pig, mosquito, philosopher, demigod. The Supersoul helps him fulfill his desires by supplying knowledge, remembrance, and forgetfulness.

Although the Supersoul appears to be divided among all beings, He is never divided. Rather, He is situated as one and all;like the sun reflected in millions of buckets of water. Paramatma can be perceived through total surrender, meditation, cultivation of knowledge, working without fruitive desires and finally devotion. A person in full knowledge of Paramatma understands that the Supersoul is the localized aspect of the Supreme Personality of Godhead within this material world and that the next step is to worship Him as Bhagavan.

The word "Bhagavan" refers to one who possesses in full all opulences that we possess in minute degree: riches, strength, fame, beauty, knowledge and renunciation. Although everyone can claim some degree of these opulences, only the Supreme Personality of Godhead can claim them all absolutely.

"Although I am unborn and My transcendental body never deteriorates," Krshna tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gita (4.6), "I still appear in every millennium in My original transcendental form." Krshna appears in this world "to deliver the pious, annihilate the miscreants, and to reestablish the principles of religion" (Bg. 4.8). He does not change His body when He appears, like a common living entity, who appears in body after another. Rather, He appears in His original eternal form, with two hands, holding a flute. Still, it appears that He takes birth like an ordinary child and grows to boyhood and youth. But He never ages beyond youth. At the time of the Battle of Kuruksetra, He was more than one hundred years old by material calculations, but He looked like a young man. He is the oldest person, but neither His body nor His intelligence ever deteriorates or changes.

"One can understand me as I am, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, only by devotional service. And when, by such devotion, one is fully conscious of Me, one can enter the kingdom of God" (Bg. 18.55).

The Vedic scriptures declare that Bhagavan Sri Krshna is the source of both the Supersoul and Brahman and the origin of all avataras. Avataras are scheduled incarnations who descend from the spiritual world to execute the Lord's mission of protecting the devotees and annihilating the miscreants. Their descent is foretold in the scriptures so that unscrupulous persons can be checked from claiming to be avataras. .

A common misconception of uninformed students of the Bhagavad-gita is that Krsna's universal form (described in the Eleventh Chapter) is the last word in God realization. The universal form is most impressive and spectacular: "If hundreds of thousands of suns were to rise at once into the sky, their radiance might resemble the effulgence of the Supreme Person in that universal form. Arjuna could see in the universal form of the Lord the unlimited expansions of the universe situated in one place although divided into many, many thousands" (Bg. 11.13). The universal form frightened Arjuna and boggled his mind, especially the kala-rupa, the form of time that was devouring and chewing up all the combatants on the battlefield of Kuruksetra. Arjuna therefore requested Krshna to withdraw His terrifying universal form and show him His four-armed Visnu form. Krshna agreed. Then, reverting back to the two-armed form that Arjuna was accustomed to see, the Lord declared, "This form of Mine you are now seeing is very difficult to behold. It cannot be understood simply by studying the Vedas, nor by undergoing serious penances, nor by charity, nor by worship. Only by undivided devotional service can I be understood as I am, standing before you, and can thus been seen directly" (Bg. 11.53-4).

The kingdom of God is called we say heaven, the place without anxiety, and it lies far beyond this world of matter. It is eternal, and every single one of its atoms is fully conscious and blissful. Shaped like a lotus flower whose petals are the countless spiritual planets where the God in the form of Chist, Krishna or Allah reside.

Ref. Various religious texts.


ARTICLE BY SRI.M.P.BHATTATHIRI in Bhaktapriya published from Guruvayur Devaswom, Trissur.

One answer I can give you is that the proof or foundation of the presence of Lord Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, etc., are all very similar. There are books or legends, and also landmarks where various activities have taken place. But if you should ever travel to the holy places of India, you will find numerous areas where the historical legends have taken place, or even where physical evidence remains that shows the reality of the historical accounts, especially of the past activities of Sri Krishna, or Buddha, Shiva, and others. The more you travel in India, the more you will see this sort of evidence and the basis of the traditions that people continue to hold.
I am presently working on a book that will help show the basis of these traditions and evidence that can be found in the numerous holy places of India, based on my own travels to most of these places.
Hari OM,
Stephen Knapp

Saturday, April 21, 2007 4:38:00 PM


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