Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Human Resource (Anything but) Development

Countless instances in history have shown the number 13 to be an unlucky number. Starting right from the Last Supper to even the Friday the 13th virus!!! But whoever thought that 13 would render such a mortal blow to India's future? And even more saddening is the fact that this monster is being bred by our very own HRD minister. Well, in this case, the 13 is a 13-letter anathema that has the potency of wiping away the very existence of meritocracy, a 13-letter word that has the power of sending a nation into frustration, a 13-letter word that has the strength to spread a cloak of darkness over the future of the Indian youth! This 13-letter curse goes by the name of 'Mandalization' - splitting the youth on the basis of caste! The name Mandal brings back gory images of protests and self-immolation. And today 16 years after having walked through the coal-bed, it looks like we are treading the hot bed again.

There was a time, close to the 'cave-man' era, it seems today, when people belonging to the higher castes enjoyed certain privileges in life. The very initial demarkation, came about on account of the occupation and way of life of the higher castes, on account of a cultured conduct that the higer castes used to adhere to. Situations did get out of hand after a time and the lower castes began to be treated worse than dirt. Fair enough! By the law of means, society needs to put a severly tipped balance back on plane. Granted! But has anyone ever thought that by pushing any measure too far, we are just tipping the scales the other way round? Reservations were initially brought in to instill a degree of confidence in the youth of the then-called 'lower castes' to be unafraid in seeking education, to try and send a message across that they too could boldly come forth and take a seat in the same class as a Brahmin boy and be assured of of the same treatment. Now, because a certain ABC's great great great grandfather was treated like an untouchable by Brahmin PQR's great great great grandfather, should PQR be refused a seat at AIIMS after scoring 95%? According to Mr. Arjun Singh, YES! they say that in the Kalyug, the controlling God - Kali, will exact atonement for a sin in the person's lifetime itself. He doesn't even wait for the same person's next birth. But our very own Human Resource Decimation minister wants to go a step further than Kali. He wants to make the 'higher classes' suffer through the ages, for generations to come, only making way for a similar movement say 30 years down the line, when a certain Suryanarayanan Sivramakrishnan will fight for the rights of OFCs - Other Forward Castes! Who are we kidding here?

The constitution of India, gives a human being freedom of speech. one can voice his protest and be assured of an ear at the other end. But i guess that is the definition of Freedom of Speech in a Utopia, not India, because here, our Government elected to address OUR issues and think of OUR development, can assure us of lathis, water cannons and tear gar over and above a deaf ear at the other end. And this kind of oppression was what we learned about in our history books about the kind of ill-treatment meted out to the Indians, by the British. But today, such atrocities are being dealt out on the youth, the rising sun of India. This is not only the asphyxiation of the future of the Indian youth, it is pure murder of democracy at a point where it is to be nurtured.

A question to be asked here is, do we need reservations at all? the answer is Yes, we do. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, we saw Blacks die, we saw Blacks fight within the Louisiana Superdome, we saw blacks, poor blacks, who were stuck in their homes , waiting for their welfare checks from the government, traumatized with nowhere to go. Reason, racial discrimination. By ensuring reservations at the primary level, we have ensured that the backward classes are not denied a chance to uplift themselves. We have taken one step towards ensuring a uniform social system. This is like adding salt to a dish to ensure a balance in the culinary requirements. If a dish lacks salt, we add a pinch to make it palatable. But that does not mean that salt is the only panacea, and therefore 10 cups of it will make any dish great to taste. It will not only ruin the dish, but also kill the eater. the current decision of the government to introduce higher level of reservation is a case in point. We are simply ensuring the annihilation of the Indian youth. So what if they want to introduce more number of general category seats? that is not goiong to palliate all the aspiring indian masses. The number of candidiates for the general category is far far more than the number of OBCs, and the distance between their cup and their lip is longer than that in the case of the OBCs. So a few more seats is not going to be the solution, instead it is like a slap on the face, wherein, the government wants to try and shut the protesting mouths with a gag, and the students are left vigorously trying to scream out, but are unable to do so!

Deprived of opportunities, the blacks in the west take to crime. Transpose that here; devoid of opportunity, a member of the higher class youth will soon be a petty thief, while his OBC doctor colleague will be busy cutting off a person's pancreas, because the patient had appendicitis. the fortunate few, will board the first flight out to the US, where Indians are still looked upon with respect, still considered over-achievers, where hailing from the same land as Lakshmi Mittal is something to be proud of.

Our beloved Human Resource Division minister has assured an increase in the number of general category seats. But will it assure Ramesh Trivedi from Benaras, a poor priest's sone, with do Jodi kapda and a torn shoe, a seat in AIIMS with 95.7% in Std 12? No, but Ramesh Kardak, a poor OBC with 55% in std 12 can definitely fly first class to Delhi from Mumbai, to pick up his admit letter. Incidentally he got dropped by his chauffer in his personal yellow Mercedes from his home at Peddar Road!

The most important question to be asked here is whether reservation was necessary to be picked up right now, when there are many more glaring issues at hand, and when there are myriad other ways to ensure social upliftment? This is so cleaarly a case wherein the Government wants to make a huge deposit into its OBC-rich vote-bank. Ironically, the Mandal Commission report also deals with many other issues other than reservation. Whether this particular move by the HRD minister will bring about an egalitarian society, is for all to see. but one thing it will surely augment is the firm faith in the minds of the youth that voting is most definitely not going to bring about a change, and so no matter what we can expect in the years to come, we can definitely expect a wave of disillusion in the young minds accompanied by a whole tsunami of brain drain!


Sandy said...

Editorial material for sure..
a nice and indulging account ,verbose yet quite intersting :)

One suggestion:
Its derogatory to use the term "Blacks"..always substitute it with "African Americans"

nissim nabar said...

well written...similar thoughts on my blog too.

Whizkid said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Whizkid said...

It is nice to see that you are actually putting ur GRE words to use..most of us(like me)..would forget Barron's in a couple of months..hehe..

On a serious note,this can be a nice editorial..try sending across to TOI..

Good Luck !!

whats the harm said...

Hi Sindy. An excellent writeup. It is an echo of everyone's feelings. Just too long. Can be abridged to get the point across and hold on to the attention span of the reader.