In the late 19th Century, rights of women were a hot topic in the western world. Married women of that era virtually had no property, income, employment, or even custody rights of their own children. According to International Commercial Law 1963, “By marriage, the personal identity of the woman is lost.
Her person is completely sunk in that of her husband, and he acquires an absolute mastery over her person and effects. Hence her complete disability to contract legal obligations; and except in the event of separation by divorce, or other causes, a married woman in the United Kingdom cannot engage in trade.”
In Britain, middle class women were frustrated in relation to their social and economic status. The congregation of such women started a revolution know as Suffragette Movement. The motto of the movement was “Equality for Women”. Ladies like Millicent Fawcett and Emmeline Prankhurst founded Women Unions to help women fight for their cause, which was the “Equality for Women”. From Radical Ideas to Constitutional Means, from issuing leaflets to bombing churches, every trick from the book was used.
Pictures of Black Friday of 1910 showed policemen assaulting unarmed women. In the end, women of Britain got their first right, “Right to Vote” in 1928. These women never wanted “Free Lunches” or “Reserved Seats”, they wanted equality. As a result, Western Women are now actually equal to men. They worked for this status; they sacrificed personal lives, worked twice as hard as men and made themselves equals, rather than demanding the idea.
In Independent India, women were given equal rights from the very start. The implementation of these rights had its problems. But the feminist movement in India was not ready to work hard to earn the “equality”. Instead, they chose an easier but derogatory option – Reservation. By default, when a person is asking for a special provision, he/she is actually accepting that they are not good enough to compete with others.
They are actually calling themselves handicapped. Just see the degree of awfulness in the idea of Quota. Now a few hundred villagers in Rajasthan will block National Highways, stop trains and they will get quota. Mayawati is now asking for Quota for Upper Castes and Congress is Bringing Reservation for Muslims.
Imagine, a Middle Class Hindu Upper Caste Male. He not poor, he is not Lower Caste or Backward Class. He just belongs to a family which earning enough living to afford a car. He belongs to “General” India. He has no Caste-based or Sex-based Quota. And when he sits an exam, he loses his seat to Reservation.
This 49% is not the actual extent of the problem. 49% is the minimum seats reserved, but in case a Backward Class does in an exam well he can grab those “General” seats as well. Moreover, this idea of Reservation breaks the fundamental right of a citizen, the Right to Equality. Article 14 of the Constitution of India states:
“The State cannot discriminate any of the Indian citizens on the basis of their caste, creed, colour, sex, gender, religion or place of birth.”
So, when a “General” Indian loses his seat in a college due to State’s action of Reservation, it is illegal and suppresses his Right to Equality. And Dualism of Indian Women could be seen during the agitation against OBC quotas! Female Medical Students facing the wrath of water-cannons was the face of the movement. They were against 27% caste based Quota for Backward Classes but when it came reserving 33% seats for women in Municipal Elections and some Law Colleges, women were nowhere to be seen.
Natural inference is that you are against discrimination until it’s biased towards you. There is no morality or judging the problems on its facts, they have been judged by its convenience. On one side, women call themselves equal to men, but when it comes to reserved seats even in bus, they are not hesitant. If something is wrong its wrong, it can’t be both!
Another side is the problems of jealousy. You can make laws, implement laws, give people “free lunches”, but you can’t change people’s minds. A man convinced against his will has the same opinion still. One can give 49% seats to backward classes students in IITs even when they are not of that calibre. They can enter college under Reservation, but will they be able to compete once inside it?
Same is the reason why quality of Civil Service in India has been on constant decline. If you have people who haven’t entered the service on their merit but only because of their caste, how can they create policies for the whole nation? After all, the IASs are the people who actually create laws and policy for Indian people.
Before moving forward, I must clarify my own ideas about Caste System. Every Indian should feel proud for the caste s/he is born in. So I am all for caste system, but not for the inequality it dictates. I am not saying all the people getting selected because of Reservation are talentless, but I am sure not all 49% are more talented than General people left behind. And when these 49% people get treated differently in their respective colleges and job places, it only increases the divide. It just makes matters worse.
The main reasoning behind Caste Reservation is that Lower Castes were backward due to selective biased towards Upper Castes. But by aren’t we doing the same thing, now through Reservation? This time around, we are making Upper Castes public feel oppressed and jealous towards Lower Castes. It’s leading to a vicious cycle. We are trying to solve an equation by just changing the variables, not the formulae.
What we are developing is a nation of disgruntled “General” people of India, who have lost faith in their own Nation. They are looking a way out to leave this country. Some afford it by spends Millions of Rupees on Foreign Education, others try and use illegal immigration as the way out. United States of America became a superpower and a developed nation by using talent of the people, not by wasting it through reservation. All in all, the “General” population of India is being “Reserved-out” due to policies of the Nation.