Friday, February 26, 2010

This Issue of Reservations – Teach Them How to Fish

I am against all reservation. In fact, I have great reservation against reservations. So the news of 33 per cent seats for women in parliament and legislatures comes as a sort of, what to say, a right step in the wrong direction. Before you brand me a misogynist, let me explain. When I say "right step" I mean women should be given more legislative powers, they should come into the mainstream, and all that tropes being regularly dished out by parties running out of genuine issues to champion. But why reserve a constituency for women. This move is like reserving seats for women in buses and trains. Give them a seat, give them an allocation, and forget about it. Go about abusing women in buses, in trains, and just because you gave them a seat in the bus, "aren't you happy?" that sort of thing, you know.

No. No. No. The right way of uplifting a weak section is giving them positive incentives to excel. Uplifting a weak section is giving them positive incentives to excel. Even after sixty years of independence reservation hasn't uplifted the lot of the scheduled caste and tribes. In fact discrimination is rife, the same perception and stereotype have been – quite unfortunately – reinforced and institutions are suffering because they don't have the requisite number of people to fill in the reserved seats. It's like reserving seats in buses for women and strictly enforcing it, not allowing men near the seats at all. That means if there aren't women to occupy the seats, the seats won't be used at all, it would rot and fall into disrepair and the agency running the buses would run into a loss.

In my native state of Kerala, many seats are reserved for women in the village panchayat and are actually managed by dummies (their husbands). So instead of empowering women, it is reinforcing the already existing stereotypes – that of women not being empowered. So if this legislation goes through it will expose another chink in the armour of an already bullet-ridden governance system. So I am not much impressed by the lobbying that is going on. Lallu and company are for reservations with a difference. He says actually 33 per cent seats should be reserved for OBCs.

What's better – giving them fish or teaching them how to fish?

Glad to say I am ranked number 3 on Indiblogger for the tag "Writer" and number 5 for the tag of "poetry." Feeling good about it.

1 comment:

Jai Joshi said...

I agree with you that reservations are not helpful and in fact harm Indian society by reinforcing those class or gender barriers. The government needs to get rid of them.