Read on to know how this indoctrinated system of privilege makes us blind towards the condition of those who come under the reserved categories.
On entering your University of Delhi (DU) college, you will find people who belong to the reserved categories. Before you pass a quick, seemingly harmless judgement, here are several things you must consider.
- Equality vs Equity:
Reservation and equality are talked about simultaneously. While reservation is not synonymous to equality, it becomes imperative to know that the reserved and the unreserved categories do not have the same pedestal to start from. High-handed statements about reservation having been there for seven decades, and that there is no discrimination in the ‘India of today’ will instantly evaporate on reading a newspaper, with headlines screaming of caste-based discrimination and violence.
We must also understand that caste-based and economic discrimination are not very different from each other. In a society where we have certain jobs like manual scavenging, cleaning toilets, etc. ascribed to a particular section of society, we must not take education away from them because it is the only tool that they have to dream of an upward social mobility.
- They get it easier:
People who have access to convents and DPSs, with world-class education, and people who don’t even have funds for a decent basic education, write the same board exams, and are marked irrespective of their social background. For that student to score above 75%, with the limited amount of resources is, if anything, more difficult than their privileged counterparts.
22.5 per cent of the total numbers of seats is reserved in DU for candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes (15 per cent for Scheduled Caste and 7.5 per cent for Scheduled Tribes, interchangeable, if necessary), as per DU’s website. And although the numbers vary in different surveys, the amount of SC and ST inhabitants in the country is over 25%. Therefore, to say that every reservation candidate will get into DU is a rather poorly researched argument.
- It is time reservations should end:
“Discrimination is already illegal in India. In fact, so is murder. Yet court after court is acquitting self-confessed brutal mass murderers of Dalits,” Vidyut, Founder of the website Aam Janta, writes. People feel reservations are divisive, and they are. But they are the effect, and not the cause. People should take it upon themselves to end discrimination, and the need of reservation will end, thereof.
- The fault in our systems:
“If the general category students think they are losing out of seats then their fight should be for more colleges and universities,” says Niharika Dabral, an outgoing student of the Varsity. Rather than ending caste-based reservations, management quotas that reek of nepotism and networking is the real fault that exists in our system.
For a central educational institution like DU, it becomes a moral responsibility to make sure it has seats reserved for the underprivileged to safeguard their rights because they do not have the kind of money to pay the tuition for privately-funded institutions, let alone give donations to get admitted – as is not uncommon.
All being said, reservation isn’t the medicine that the society is meant to ingest to cure it of caste-based discrimination. Rather, it is a protective measure that is here to stay till the psychological cleansing has been done, and people recognise each other for what they are – humans.
Feature Image Credits: Aam Janta