Thursday, May 25, 2006

I have my reservations! 

OK, so I had to write this. The few kind regular readers that I have, expect, what they kindly refer to as, funny material from this blog. But I am a human being too and I too have emotions, opinions and in rare cases like this one, rather emotional opinions. Hmmmm! Yes, after much deliberation, I've decided to touch upon the issue that's making every Indian squirm these days - RESERVATIONS! And if you care to read through this entire post, I think I might just have the solution to the problem.

Many years ago I innocently walked up to my dad and asked him what my caste was. My dad explained it to me brilliantly. "You are an ALMOST SC my son," he said with what I believe was an almost drop of tear in his eyes. "You are effectively screwed!", he had then added, though maybe not in those exact words. This was followed by a very long and probably boring explanation, the summary of which was the following - my dad's side of the family just missed being SCs. If you look around enough you'll even find a few Scs sharing my last name. Sadly, we were not SCs. Thus, as dad explained, we were the true downtrodden of the Indian caste system. Consider this. My mom's side of the family snickers that we are not from a high caste like them (my Mom is a very high class Brahmin). Actual SCs and STs laugh at us because we do not qualify for any reservations. The common man who is unaware of my predicament is unsure if I'm an actual SC/ST or not. He thus attributes all my successs to undeserving quotas that I apparently benefit from. So, as dad had suggested, we get screwed from every angle and by every one. How very entertaining.

And it is this lack of concern for the middle tier that worries me. People who are neither here nor there. The proud members of the middle zone of societal apathy. The ones that nobody care for. These people were born with an average bag of talents and somehow we assumed that they are happy being where they are. Everyday TV channels have a "brilliant kid" deriding the quota system and advocating a meritocracy. His interview is immediately followed by a heart wrenching tale of "Dinu from the village" who has never seen electricty but dreams to be an engineer. The camera then zooms into the anchors face who then says "Aap kis ke saath hai?" And then he adds that you can "call in and leave your opinion or SMS it at Re 2.5 and that the lucky vijeta ko milega humarey aur se ..." And who do you think is being fed all this media hyped baloney? Yes!!!! Our very own middle tier. Somehow our policy makers have assumed that the middle tier is happy being in the middle and hence all our policies are aimed at either keeping the rich rich or at making the poor rich.

So this is what I propose. A seemingly ludicrous idea, that I feel, if implemented, will make everyone happy. I say we continue with our entrance-exam-based-system for 50% of the students (as the current plan suggests) and for the remaining 50% seats - let's have a freakin LOTTERY!!! Seriously, that'll make EVERYBODY happy. Top tier, middle tier, bottom tier - every freakin one. Coz everybody will then have an equal chance of making it to these colleges. And let's not just make it any lottery - let's make it the flavour of the season - A freakin REALITY SHOW. Let India vote who it wants as an engineer. Let Indians SMS their opinions for "Agla Lawyer Kaun?" After all we are a democracy, right? What can be more democratic than choosing our very own doctors and engineers and lawyers and chartered accountants?

Seriously, you might think that I'm joking, but a lottery won't be much worse than the present system. Given that India has more poor people than rich ones, by simple probability more poor people will make it to the colleges using a lottery - so the govt will be happy as they'll serve their claimed purpose of improving things for the poor. And the remaining population will be happy too coz they'll know that they too stand an outside chance of making it. Thus, they can no longer raise a voice against anyone or accuse the system of being partial.

And these quotas should not just be applicable for academics. I think this way the quota system itself discriminates against several arenas of social life. We should have quotas for everything. Cricket, movies, affected Ms. India participants - everything. Seriously, I think it's high time we have an OBC quota for our beauty paegents. Why do we assume that the backward castes can have aspirations to study engineering but not one to be Ms. Indias. And look at the good that'll come out of this. If someone from Pachandapur village actually gets up on the stage and says that she'll do something for the poor and downtrodden when she wins - no one will even doubt her.

To sum it up - quotas aint bad. We need more quotas. We need quotas for everything. We need quotas for everyone. And we need Mandira Bedi conducting a lottery show based on quotas. It's all peace then.

lol! Great post!

If only the Indian politicians and the *brilliant* kids were as insightful as you! :P

Any plans of entering the politics? ;)

You my friend are a monkey typing Shakespeare.
Awesome idea dude! Love it.

So just before a major surgery, lets randomly choose a doctor to operate on. Just before a flight takes off, lets randomly choose the pilot.

It'll be fair to all I guess (except the guy being operated or people in the flight, but they are a tiny fraction anyways)
Confused Mind - great and hilarious post.....u were joking werent you? duh? but seriously, nobody is looking at the larger issue, the issue of caste!!! cant we make away with that and why does no one want to stand up against casteism?? check my blog dude, give me your two bits.....
You made light of a situation that is very dear to my heart. I have felt like an outcast, like I don't belong - only if I belonged to one of the reserved categories. Wait, does being a woman qualify?

One flaw in your logic - they might need to make reservations or provide cellphones in a subsidized quota to ensure free SMS...but that will still not solve the issue. I think we need real ballots with symbols. BTW, the lottery doctors must have degrees like MBBS MD IALDD (I'm a Lottery Doctor, Dude!). An Additional degree - how cool is that!!!

Funny post. Errr...were you serious about the money part? No, right? Tchhah...
@janani - thank you very much madam :)

@iksha - do you seriously want people lik eme in politics - i think it's because of such desires that India has so many quotas - some kind woman like you would have said - "hey. let's make this dude a minister" :D

@airbassplayerman - oh don't even mention the monkey and bard thing - i have looked at that problem from a mathematical perspective and it is quite the pain ...

@anonymous - "but they are a tiny fraction ..." LOL!!

@dhr - thank you :) yes, i was joking bu tI am sure that our policy makers are doing the same :D

@qs - thank you :) I never joke abt money :))
everyone...Sagnik For PM
Wow...so I did read your blog, where do I send you my routing number for you transfer funds???
lolz! good post...n shud say a different n probably the 'most useful' view of reservations;);)...
@anyesha - sorry can't be PM now - I have coding to do :)

@gemini - you really wanna give me your routing number??? muhahahahaha :D

@xyz - once again, people expect this from me madam. this blog has always been a source of serious meaningful social issues and i am just continuing that trend :D
yup! n i m totally with u in wat u said! but then if u r just continuing the trend of posting serious meaningful social issues in ur blog then y shud u announce in the beginning of ur post tat u r gonna write abt this stuff???;)...since its already a very well known fact tat u write only abt emotional, social, meningful n serious issues in ur blog i think tat big a intro to this post was not actually a needed one :D...so the next time u decide to write something light or funny(which will defn be a big big surprise to all of us)tat time mabbe u shud put up a note at the beginning of ur post tellin us u r gonna write abt something light or funny so tat we can be mentally prepared to read a post of a 'newbie' in those areas! :D:D
Take a bow. Super Hilarious post!
Politicians and their politics sucks!!!

I know one person who managed to get a SC certificate just to make sure that his kid doesn't miss out these advantages..
@xyz - ui amma! ar eyou a lawyer or what??? i duck and hide quickly before she finds some flaw in that statement too :D

@sd - thank you very much :)

@bindhu - oh i ued to study with a friend from a super affluent family who would still produce a certificate claiming that his dad earns very less (they had a family business) and get tuition discounts :(( seriously!
lolz! i aint a lawyer as of now!:D... but i guess ppl hv hidden talents n its some concerned ppl like u who bring those hidden talents into the limelight! :D...thanku kind sir for tat!;);)...n dont worry ur last staement is perfect and a flaw is declared 'not found'! :D...i just guess u r in good hands now...lol...wat say?:D
Nice one.Stick this post to Arjun Singh where the sun don shine.
@xyz - :) i feel honoured :)

@wwanderer - thanks.
Liked your blog.Here is mine http://emotionalzombie.blogspot.com/

"One Billion people.6 IIM’s, 7 IIT’s .Close to 200 seats in a typical IIM and 500 in a typical IIT.One group stands for senseless establishment of quotas. The other group senselessly opposes it. What is going on? Have we lost all our marbles? "
I truly enjoyed reading it. Great one!
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