Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Of calamitous laws and impending revolutions

I think it's hardly an issue of debate, the relevance of this bill. Almost the whole of educated India understands the utter stupidity of it. The most shocking aspect of the whole episode for me was the silence that the most refined and educated of our politicians maintained on the issue; cutting across political boundaries.

Manmohan Singh is a Phd and rose to the top of this country's governing body from a poor, rural background. He of all people should know the importance of merit. It is indeed disheartening so see someone like him bow his head to the pressures and games of politics. If this law goes ahead in its current form; his and Arjun Singh's names would be forever associated in the pages of history with this turgid blunder.

There are countless such names on either side of the political divide: AB Vajpayee, Arun Jaitley, Somnath Chatterjee and so many others. Not a single voice rose; not a single stance was taken. In that reference, I've discovered newfound respect for Kapil Sibal, India's Science and Technology Minister, for standing up and at least uttering a word, before party management shut him up.

This time in our history is one of dynamics and changes; we're like this complex-self governing system; something of an ant-hill. Our growth and success comes, unlike many other systems of the world; from the bottom up: The middle class. The tremendous faith and devotion Indian Middle class has towards education has played an instrumental role in propelling India as a knowledge powerhouse. India's success is not limited today to the billionaire businessman: Its visible in the vegetable vendor who sets up a logistics business; the paan-walah who invests in stocks; or the farmer who digs his own canal network. It's evident in the multi-digit pay packages of IIM and IIT grads and the multitude of Indian faculty at the Harvards and Stanfords of the world. It shines through in the annual results of Indian Entrepreneurial ventures, and stares you in the face in the form the thousands of young executives who go to work every day dreaming big. It is so powerful and so diverse that the occasional external disturbances in the form of staggeringly absurd decisions by the Government of the Nation hardly seem to stem the flow.

This law would not stem India's growth. The Government should not be worried about that. Yes, it will make things harder for the man with merit. But the hardy character of the middle rung population of this country is used to hardships. If any of us today thinks that this is the only such decision an Indian Government has ever made; we just have to look at the past, maybe talk the older generations; and we'd see decisions wrapped in the dark blanket of misery; laws that have promised to rip apart the fundamental fabric of our growth; laws so disastrously bad that they questioned the purpose of a Democracy itself. Yet none of them lived up to their promise, and the ever-flowing fluid of the Nation's success trickled through.

What the Government of India should really be worried about, is how they are going to enforce it after charging up the 75% of India's population on whose shoulders the country moves forward every day: The 75% which is more vocal, more aware and more successful than it was ever before, the 75% that is the Indian youth.

If Mandal-I was painful lesson in enforcement; it takes only a meek mind to fathom what Mandal-II might be.


Rakesh said...

very well written article.

shame on the politicians and the vote bank politics. The downside of the democracy, no one dares to talk against issues that cost them votes.

Anonymous said...

politicians are again dividing the people for selfish reasons.
Their kids dont require jobs, they can afford to go abroad for education. It is the middle class which will bear the brunt. But what is this middle class doing?
Even during this protest, only IMA has taken the initiative against government. What are the rest doing? All students across all streams of education need to start agitating. Working professionals need to join them. It for future of their kids that this issue is vital.

Anonymous said...

It is a pity that some medical student especially from the reserved category have not supported the protesting students. This is sad because these people themselves will testify that many of them have trouble getting access to education at the grassroot levels, that is, basic primary education.

If these students are not provided with those oppurtunities at that very basic level, then what the heck is the point of reserving 50% seats in institutions of higher learning, where you are only going to succeed and do well for yourself and the society in general if you have the ability to do so.

Nobody in the country is saying the student from the OBC/SC/ST category are not good enough or they cannot be successfull doctors or engineers, but if these people cannot manage to study beyond the 10th std...then what is the point of reserving these seats, not only will this deprive the meritious students (especially from the general category) but also result in large scale and rampant misuse of the system.

I do hope people irrespective of their caste, religion and background speak out against this, 'cos in the long run we are all going to pay for this ....BIG TIME...

Anomit said...

CNN-IBN today exposed who gets the jobs in quota system. The Dalits in Sultanpur, Bihar have never got jobs inspite of having seats reserved for them. Instead theso-called backward ppl in the cities continue to suck life out of this country. It also exposed a racket haning out SC/ST certificates for bribe in Amritsar.

What do these infirm, half- or non-educated politicians know about education? What IITs are today has been made by the hard work of students and the profs alike. The politicians have zero contribution in this respect. So what makes them eligible to interfere in such issues?

sainathkm said...

Yes, We “Voice Against Reservation” think that this is a cheap political move by the government to cash in on the huge OBC/SC/ST vote bank . The politicians are never concerned of the needs of the nation they only think of how to get an election victory. this reservations if implemented will seriously affect the intellectual standard of these institutions. There is already enough and more reservations, what the government needs to do is to make sure that it reaches the people who truly deserves it

Anonymous said...

India can no longer be called a democracy. The biggest political party (INC) is comprised of just a bunch of eunuchs (eunuchs would consider it as a slur on them), who just vie to get the attention of one family, who have misruled the country for most of its post-independence period. Politicians from other parties are just afraid, of their vote share, if they say anything regarding quota. It is in the interest of the ruling family, that those who are backward now, remain backward for ever, so as not be able to think coherently for their future, but only have some short-term gain and continue to vote for the ruling family.

situ648 said...

How can we call ourselves a democracy, when a minority self-centered politicians can ruin the future of this country inorder to enjoy power for a few years.