There’s going to be a human chain on Marine Drive on Monday. I would advise you not to participate in it. Couple of reasons. You would be screwing up rush hour traffic on the first day of the week. The other reason is these protestors haven’t thought out things through to the end.
I would reiterate my support for removing reservations and putting in its place, a plan for affirmative action. That being stated, I continue.
What is it about reserved seats that riles up the anti-reservationists? Let me make a few statements.
- The candidates are not undeserving; they are just less deserving. They have cut-offs too, which are often only marginally lower than the “open” cut-off. This “less” is a relative measure. I have seen candidates from the “open” category who don’t deserve a seat at all. One of them is my project partner right now.
- After this “unequal entry”, all are treated equally. Look at me. If I don’t work hard on the acdemics (and I don’t) I get bad results. Once you are in, you are treated the same. If you work, you get through to the end. If not, you get stuck. In the end, its only merit and effort that is reflected in the final results.
I’m assuming the protestors have no complaint against the system, once everyone is in and the admission hoopla is over. They will agree that after the admission, it judges everyone impartially. How so ever faulty the methods may be, all agree that its the best possible under the circumstances. So their only complaint is about the unequal entry.
If that is the case, why is no one protesting about the NRI/management seats? These seats hardly come under the merit criteria. Why is not even one of the anti-reservationists (who are using MERIT as their main argument) protesting against these seats being literally sold away? Money power? Or does the lesser magnitude of evil justify condoning the act? After all, its better to befriend a bankrolled kid than an OBC from some unelectrified village 500 miles from the city, right?
And as for the idea of increasing seats, today’s newspapers carried an AICTE notification about some 27,000+ seats being reduced in various courses under its purview, for lack of certified faculty. Now thats a setback for the government.
As a side issue, I have seen many students (and I’m included in this) bemoan the quality of our teaching staff. We attribute it to the teachers coming from government quotas and being unqualified and so on. So, why aren’t the students, holding placards that say “disowned by my nation”, protesting the abandonment of the nation by the earlier guys who passed out? Reasons like low pay, lack of professionalism, etc., don’t absolve them of their crime. Sure we have reservations in the jobs, but what about the unfilled “open” categories? If 50% of the teaching jobs are filled compulsorily by “undeserving and useless” candidates, why are almost all the teachers so damn dry and dull? Why isn’t the “open” 50% of the faculty up to the task? Where are the “talented”, “meritorious” and “deserving” candidates? So much for the “disowned by my nation” thing.