Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Yes, I walked!

On completing 2 years at the helm of affairs, PM Manmohan Singh said: "running a government is not difficult, building a nation certainly is. This is what our people expect of us. We must never fail them".

We have got a Prime Minister who is a first rate thinker, and whose words always create a sense of respect for him.

Yet, on the same day, he had to plead, at some other place, with the students agitating against quotas for OBCs: "I request all those who are agitating on the quota issue to call off their agitation and have faith in our government to protect the legitimate interests of all sections of our student community," - mark the words faith in our government . As a matter of fact, the students rejected the PM's appeal, since, apparently, they did not find the actions of the Government restoring their faith.

The issue that found the Government wanting: Reservations for the OBCs.

Do read Mr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta's (former Member-Convener of National Knowledge Commission) resignation open letter here.

To begin with, I wish to state that I took part in one of the protest walks held in Hyderabad (the first one in Hyderabad, till now). I belong to a community that supports a research-bent of mind among people. Here's my prime reason for going out to protest:

Reservations act as negative catalysts towards finding
creative solutions for the problem of social inequality.

Reservations as a policy is quite old and it stinks of
intellectual laziness from the policy makers.

I oppose intellectual laziness of any form.

But for the last one, the first two statements require explanation. I'll begin my views starting from the analysis based on the 93rd Amendment Act, which our good HRD Minister, always reminds us is an "enabling resolution" to the reservations.

Please read more about the 93rd Amendment Act and its implications here.

Any person who goes through the statement of 93rd Amendment Act would wonder if the Constitution restricts the scope of "...special provision, by law..." provided by the State to the backward classes only to "Reservations" - which is more or less what mos t of my friends who support Reservations think or more so, they are made to believe, when they say "Reservations is our Constitutional Right".

The Constitution makers always left enough scope for alternate arrangements. And it is sick that if at all we talk of "special provisions" - we talk of Reservations alone! May be we put a fullstop to our "imaginations" thanks to no public dialogue on what could be "other" creative ways of tackling the issue of social inequality. Reservations have effectively put a blanket on the scope of one's imaginations, which I despise.

Going by the traditional wisdom that I gained from the history as well as some of the elder people I met, I do not want to make the mistake of understanding the solution to reducing social inequality as lying with the Government or the society alone. It requires a collective action from both the Government and the Society to work together.

All the privileged sections of the society have a responsibility towards helping the socially backward classes.

Today, whatever the way the people have expressed their views on paper or through the memoranda they submitted to the President, Governor et al. - the creme de la creme of the country is protesting against a policy which is actually turning them "deaf and dumb" towards the responsibility that they are ready to own, if only given a proper direction.

I believe - Harnessing the best potentials of the youth of this country could be best done by an integrated plan that comes from the Government and Government alone. No NGO nor any other organisation has the reach that the Government can boast of.

If the Government and the leadership can give that direction, then I do believe that there are sufficient peer-motivating agents to keep the youth momentum towards uplifting the socially backward classes on.

Respected Prime Minister, the country's calling for your leadership.


Blogger agastyabhrata said...

Missed out on adding another link.

Here's the resignation letter of Mr. Andre Beteille. Click here.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 12:19:00 AM  

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