Monday, September 1, 2008

RESERVATION AND POLITICS IN INDIA

I remember in my school days, we were asked to write
a passage justifying an adage or moral. One of them was “Public opinion is humbug”.
This still holds good, when we watch the political developments around the world based on public opinion thrives despite of being wrong. Like US and its cartel`s invasion on Iraq, on the plea of elimination of WMD (weapon of mass destruction) and its creator. After all democracy is “government of the people, by the people , for the people”, so all actions taken by government are supported by the majority . Now the term “majority” is critical. Different country adopted different terms for judging the opinion of major portion of mass. Even in most advanced democracy like France, till recent years women had not voting rights! Just think where they constituted no less than 50 per cent of total population, and during French revolution they took part along with their male counterparts. This gender bias plays its role elsewhere too. However, while justifying “Public opinion is humbug”, I remember quoting the story of ancient Israel. The king of Israel use to hold its court on its foundation day to seek public opinion on the fate of its convicts. Once it happened so, Jesus along with other convicts, on that occasion were presented before public for their disposal. His crime was propagating God`s gospel or Christianity, others with him were the convicts with theft charges. On the day the public could set two of the prisoners free irrespective of their gravity of crime. The King`s courtesan announced the reasons of individual conviction and finally asked who are to be set free and who are to crucified; the public unanimously shouted for the freedom of two young thieves and asked for Jesus’ crucifixion! So that is the public opinion; thus justifying how humbug it is. The same we find all over but in India it has taken a unique way outsmarting others.

Ever since India became independent, its rein remained in the hand of few leaders who were from elite class of people, had least touch with the mass. It was the ignorance of public and their charismatic image that worked. The few exceptions were there, like Mahatma Gandhi, who helped India earning independence but did not have place while India earning the same. Rest is the story, having been killed by some fundamentalist; he rests in peace on the wall of Government offices and of the face of currency notes. Ironically both are potent instruments of India`s thriving corruption industries. Those who followed his footsteps gradually step down or forced to step down having been failed to keep up with looting spirit of their successful political colleagues. Finally India became the largest democracy of the world. A democracy where public do not cast the votes but vote the castes. The maker of constitutions in spirit of uplifting India`s poor populace (mostly belonged to lower casts) provided reservations for all governmental organizations and institutions without an iota of its consequence in future. India`s present days politicians irrespective of their faith or parties, even after 60 years, vindicate the reservations at all levels of society. This is just wooing the beneficiaries to cast their vote for them, because they form the majority. Nowhere in the world this can be imagined that here in India merits have taken a back seat, by dint of belonging to few particular castes , irrespective of social, financial status and merit, people enjoy the benefits of government berths in educational institutions, jobs even in defense forces. Think of battalion marching to face enemy being led by one who is certified of having lesser merit than whom he commands, because he enjoys a quota! Does it sound like lamb leading a pride of lions? Would enemies be expected to fix their aim keeping India`s quota system in mind? Or the soldiers are expected to keep their moral high while being led by one who truly does not merit their leadership?

( to be concluded,..part –I)<<<<<<<

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