Reservation of Seats For Higher Studies in India

Sumitra Padmanabhan

G.S. Humanists’ Association, & Editor, The Freethinker

Any reservation or quota of seats for higher studies or
professional courses is against human rights and human dignity. This kind of
reservation reinforces the caste system already prevailing in the Indian
society and encourages discrimination among fellow countrymen. The quota
system not only degenerates the professional expertise available for the
public in various fields, it also deprives the meritorious and qualified
students from joining higher professional courses, as there are only limited
seats everywhere. Even increasing the number of seats does not justify
reservation in any way; as those additional seats also need to be filled up
on the basis of merit, and not on the students name or surname denoting
‘caste’. In no civilized country can we find such shameless game of politics
tampering with the standard of education and quality of professional

The Supreme Court in its recent verdict had categorically mentioned that the
‘creamy layer’ of the Other Backward Classes (OBC), in other words the
richer of the so-called backward classes should be kept outside the purview
of reservation. It may be added here that two thirds of the population of
India belong to the backward classes. Again, ironically the majority of the
landed property of India belongs to the rich Yadavs or Jats, who are
categorized as ‘other backward classes’. They are rich zamindars. Our Prime
Minister ignored the Steering Committee reports and went against the Supreme
Court verdict when he included the OBC among the underprivileged. If this
‘creamy Layer’ were included for the purpose of reservation, no one from the
really poor class would get any benefit. In view of the ensuing elections
the government has passed the reservation bill on December 14, 2006,
ignoring the views of millions of responsible citizens of India. It is a
shame that when our neighbor Pakistan is trying its best to rise above
religious rigidity and fanaticism, our ministers are trying to take India
backward. Those who play such dirty game in the name of politics and divide
our country further on the basis of caste and creed are enemies of the

To uplift the underprivileged, more schools, colleges and vocational
training centers may be made available to them. Depriving deserving
candidates and thus lowering the standards of the professionals is not the
answer. Those who cannot go for higher studies due to economic reasons may
be helped financially and not on the basis of ‘caste’. After 58 years of
independence the word ‘caste’ would have become obsolete had due importance
been given to merit and ability in all fields.

All the Rationalists and Humanists of India including the stalwart Mr.
Prabir Ghosh strongly support the view of Mr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta , erstwhile
member of the National Knowledge Commission who resigned in protest saying
that this measure (reservation) will forever keep our country entrapped in
the caste paradigm. Our government is shamelessly resorting to ‘tokenism’
rather than ‘social justice’.



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