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Hi! I am a normal, upper-middle-class person. I have access to water, a clean environment, a luxurious life, a big house, smartphones and a vehicle of my own. I have a scheduled-caste certificate too. It makes me remember that my ancestors were treated unequally 5000 years ago and because of that, I am getting privileges now. So, I will mark my category as ‘reserved’ in any form that I am filling. I am aware that I will avail reservation and expropriate the opportunities of meritorious, deserving and real-life poor people.
This short tale is a story of every person who comes within the ambit of the so-called ‘reserved category’ today. Now let us talk a little about the history of this system.
Historical Background of the Caste System
In earlier times, the caste system was cultivated depending upon the type of work and nature of the person. There was not much advancement in society. However, it became hereditary in the course of time, irrespective of a person’s nature and the type of work he undertook or wanted to undertake.
Articles 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21, all talk about public welfare and the interests of persons in the country. They take into consideration the social security and prosperity of citizens on an individual frame of reference.
We have the law of crimes and law of torts which basically pertain to Right in rem and Right to personem, respectively. All these regulations are customary in the country concluding which, the constitution vows to protect the rights of each and every individual. But, if we look into it deeply enough, the life of so many individuals is being affected because of reservations. I will tell you how.
A person’s whole life cardinally depends upon the teenage years and the 20s decade. And all a person does during that period of time is forthwith subservient to his future and career which basically decidedly does for his entire life.
Now imagine all of this being majorly dependent on something like – A reservation. “Oh! I want to go to the top college and I even cleared the cut-off. But who knows that five days later the poor soul would get an apology e-mail saying that his admission could not be carried out further as a ‘less-meritorious’ person comes under the category of reservation and he will get all the prospective opportunities that the meritorious one was supposed to get.”
SAD, isn’t it? The people who are less deserving, based upon the criteria of education they would be getting, are grabbing the fortunes. Losing are the people even after earning those breaks by hard work.
The reason it came into existence while framing the Constitution of the country is elaborated further.
“That the caste system must be abolished if the Hindu society is to be reconstructed on the basis of equality, goes without saying. Untouchability has its roots in the caste system. They cannot expect the Brahmins to rise in revolt against the caste system. Also, we cannot rely upon the non-Brahmins and ask them to fight our battle.”
These are the words of a person who played the most important role in the making of our constitution – Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, also known as the father of the Indian Constitution.
According to him, what we can infer from the above statement is pretty exegetic. When the constitution was being made, he made it very clear that the caste system is only there to bring about equality in society and not for any other significant purpose. We see that society is dynamic. Ambedkar stated that the society we are living in is supposed to be reconstructed on the changes brought about by the people and their new standards of living.
However, with the perks that came along with this system regarding reservation, we are still on the same tangent pertaining to our mindset. We apparently are not ready to acquiesce that the society we are living in today is different from what fraternity subsisted in that time. So the grounds on which or the conception on which this provision of reservation came into existence is no longer befitting.
Political influence in Reservations
There are so many political parties which have come into existence because of reservations. They are still surviving, not necessarily because of their ideologies, but how they have portrayed themselves to the masses so they could acquire a good vote bank. These parties are aware of the fact that if they want to stay in power, they will have to know the paining vein of people and catch hold of it. Therefore, these parties would never want reservations to flush out of the league.
Now the question is, how does all of this work?
These parties portray the reserved categories as the weaker sections. In these categories, most of the population is not actually unprivileged. But in order for them to be a part of the race, they have no other strategy.
Nobody imposes that reservations should be made on Economic Basis.
Income inequality, scarcity, and poverty are the stern truths of society. As long as a person is part of it, he can not come out of it and has to be the way it normally functions. So even if a person wants to survive as a part of the league, he has to abide by these practices and customs.
But if we go back and have a look at it, the idea of those particular aspects that are brought by the caste system is fit so perfectly in the society that everybody believes it to be true and the right thing. This is why no one is actually ready to bring about change or work towards improving it. Those folks made directives which suited their lifestyles and were apt for their daily quotidian affairs.
At that time, they made laws according to the need of people who were deprived of opportunities because of the caste system, but today, that is not the case. The section that really needs these reservations is the one that is not able to afford equal living. The section who is working hard and still not able to get admission into the desired-deserving college because they do not have enough money for the expenses. Some people manage to get scholarships but it is only for 2% of the population. And even those scholarships do not get through the whole procedure and the candidates are chucked out.
Nobody pays attention to what they go through after they have nowhere to go. For the colleges, it is just a student who could not afford to study in their prestigious institution. But for the student, it is his life he is putting at the stake.
Why Is Economic Reservations Not A Part Of The System Yet?
Over the years, we have gotten so used to the system of caste-based reservations. So the legislature, while formulating any new policies does not forget to take care of this system. They feel that it has become an inevitable part of the culture of our country. They do not realize how much it affects the ‘general category’ people to see that even after being well-off, the non-deserving ones are getting more privileges for no reason which seems like a kind of inequality. So the members of the parties who form the legislature take advantage of this situation and this helps them to give a voice to their parties’ ideology and secure their position.
But a heart-balm here is that in consonance with its temperament that it is developing. The world is changing today and people are accepting it. An eminent example of this is inter-caste marriages. This used to be one of those unconventional things that people were not very positive about. The bride and groom were victims of honour killing cases. The remarkable fact that the era when people who married inter-caste were considered delinquents is no longer persisting now.
This is a trivial example which actually leads to the conceptualization that the caste system is no longer required for the society at this point in time. The same system is fundamentally responsible for the concept of reservations. The main reasons for which it was civilized are now fading. Therefore, there is no need for such a structure that is causing more bad than good in society today.
The country should stay unified, but admissibility will be the binding factor always. Contrary to which, history has transpired and will be transpiring again.
Awareness is, indeed, the first step to be taken. And the next is supposed to be exertion towards the conclusion as to what is right.