Protected: The Monster of Reservation —M.Y.Ganaie Nairang Retired IIS Officer: One of the greatest blunders, the Indian establishment did, soon after the independence, was the creation of the monster, called Reservation in Govt. Jobs.As it is, the reservation in jobs amounts to greater injustice than was done to the economically and socially backward sections of the Indian society in the slave owning era,feudal times and even during the 200 years of imperialist rule. The reservation in jobs is wholly untenable on two accounts: First,one wrong can not justify another wrong and one kind of injustice can not be undone by another kind of injustice. Second,If we want to build a technologically developed and economically vibrant modern nation,we need to have the best and most efficient human resource, whose only qualification should be personal capability,efficiency,dedication and integrity.The men and women who run our administration,plan for our harmonious development and implement the well thought out plans and programmes should be the best of the lot.In case we choose our teachers,doctors,engineers,administrators;planners,scientists, legislators, judges and other nation builders, applying the criteria of “forward” and “backward” groups, “upper castes” and “lower castes”,remote areas and capital territories’ we are definitely not going to give our best input and will in no case achieve the goal of over all development of the country .We can also not build a resourceful and hence an egalitarian society.Increasing the loaf rather than fighting over a small piece of bread is undoubtedly a better option. Job reservation is vengeance and not Justice At the time when there was predominance of exploitative socio-political feudal system,some groups,castes,tribes and people living in remote areas were not treated as equals and were not provided a level field in competitions and their talent was not allowed to grow.They were also ill treated,sometimes worse than animals.This is a fact’ nobdy could and should deny.But in free and democratic republic of India we had to provide them all the opportunities especially economic’ so that they would not be at a disadvantage while pursuing education,seeking employment,participating in elections ,joining administrative machinery ;exercising free will ,establishing marriage relationships of their choice,eating what they would like and over all be treated as equals in all walks of life.This could have been done by focusing on their economic development with special funding in the areas they reside in;opening of fully equipped model schools ,providing substantial scholarships,establishing special training centres and even providing financial assistance and social security to all these underprivileged classes.While doing this it was to be borne in mind that the entire class should not get the benefit’ as some individuals belonging to the identified backward classes may be and in fact have’ all along been better than some members and families belonging to the so called “forward classes”or “upper castes”. The reservation in jobs has two unsustainable flaws which no amout of politicking or perverted advocacy can justify: It amounts to sheer injustice and prefers the lesser over the better.In 1947 itself, the then govt.instead of adopting an unjust and unwise job resrvstion system, should have devised a comprehensive and foolproof programme for the upliftment of the genuine underprivileged and the exploited.Job reservation amounts to charity and “charity”as Bernard Shaw once remarked is “a cheap substitute for social justice”. How Reservation Amounts To Injustice For example, a candidate of the “upper caste”or the one who resides in the city (it may be a slum) may get 80 % marks or points in a particular exam but fails to figure in the list of selected candidates because the cut off point for open merit category goes up to 90 % ,while the candidate who wears the tag of “lower caste”or” backward class” gets selected on 42% marks or points because the cut off in his/her category goes down to 41 % .What could be more unjust than this rule and practice.We are punishing an individual for being born at a particular place, in a particular family or with a particular background . For God’s sake tell me what is his fault?Isn’t it a pagan way of meting out justice?Isn’t it vengeance? And isn’t it against all the norms of a civilized society ? Why is Reservation Anti National Extending the example given in previous column ; if the candidate selected at 42 points takes up the job of a teacher or a doctor,could he, by any account perform as good as the one who was dropped even when he was far far better than the selected fellow? Any sane person would give his answer in the negative.When we have 50 % stuff like the one we chose in the name of category,how can we expect great contribution from him as his very capacity is limited.Haven’t we robbed the nation of its better human resource. Serious Irregularities and Scandals in Reservation Reservstion I assert,is essentially unjust,unwise and harmful,however,at present it has attained monstrous proportions as it is being misconstrued,scandalised and implemented in utter violation of its own spirit and safeguard-s.Till date the reservation, even on national level has mainly benefitted the well to do sections of SC’s,ST’s and OBC’s.They have managed to hijack the very intention of the reservation policy,(which I aga- in repeat is in essence faulty) and taken the lion’s share.Coming to our state of J&K I have seen and I hope,most of the readers know that people whose children got medical,engineering,and other coveted seats in professional colleges and universities on the pretext of belonging to categories, grossly misused the provision of reservation.Those who possess the Remote and Backward Area certificates have never lived in their ancestral villages,leave alone attending the schools of those backward areas.Some of them have maintained a kotha or a hut in the villages where their forefathers lived’ while others have just managed to tamper the revenue records.Some have shown their daughters married in the remote areas and harvested the fruit of reservation. The remote and backward areas have been demarcated on political grounds.A village on the roadside just five or six kilometres from the district headquarter and having all the facilities including good private schools is included in RBA while a far flung hamlet with out even road connection and regular power and water supply is out side the RBA.Some SC’s and ST’s have changed even their caste names and first wives and never even visit their poor relatives or attend their funerals when they cease to be.However’when it comes to job reservation,they show their backward ancestry in the application forms and attach category certificates.To enumerate the details it needs a lot of time and space which I avoid for the time being. The Moderate Way Out All said and done, no political dispensation at this juncture can do away with job reservation abruptly and rather sternly.However,the union and the state governments could take some bold measures to reform the policy and practice of job reservation as it is at present.The messures could be: 01.Setting a cut of date for all sorts of reservations.Let the date be, 31st December 2038. 02.Strictly adhere to the supreme court ruling of not crossing the 50 % resrevation quota in any case. 03.Maintain the SC,ST quota as it is but apply the creamy layer rule to these categories also. 04.The govt.of J&K should either do away with the RBA,ALC and Social Caste categories and reserve 27 % for all of them. 05.The reservation for differently abled should be horizontal and should affect all the categories. 06.If the state govt.can not afford to merge he RBA,ALC and Social Caste etc,it should come out with a stringent rule that those who claim reservation on the basis of RBA or ALC should be actually residing in the idenfied areas and they must have studied in the schools and colleges running in those very areas.They should have studied from class 01 to the qualifying degree in the institutions nearest to their ancestral homes.Needless to mention that one fails to understand what disadvantage a candidate has undergone if his/her parents have good jobs,live in a city, study in first rate schools and enjoy all the modern facilities. 07.The RBA candidates should serve in their remote areas at least for 20 years or till they are promoted to a position which does not exist in their ancestral areas. 07.Only those candidates should be issued social caste certificates whose parents are still engaged in those trades which are the requisites for social and economic backwardness.A shoe maker with a modern technology based workshop and with a good turnover should not qualify for social caste category. Similarly an oil man with a latest power run oil press and turn over of lakhs should also be excluded from the social caste category. 08. The most unjust and irrational provision in the present reservation system is to grant reservation benefits even in promotions.What a pity and intellectual bankruptcy it is, that a candidate belonging to open category gets selected for a job, say with 70 points and his category colleague is selected on mere 41 points and both start their career simultaneously.For argument sake, let us say the performance of both the candidates is more or less the same and as such deserve equal treatment; but when it comes to promotion the category candidate (thanks to reservation) supersedes the open category candidate and sits on his head.To me it amounts, not only to encouragement of mediocrity and inefficiency but to the worst kind of psychological torture.I have suffered and gone in to depression when a category batchmate of mine got two promotions and I was rotting at the position where I had joined. 09.Again those category posts which are not filled for lack of eligible candidates should be notified for open merit category at the most after two years.Let not the administrstion suffer because a probable category candidate is still in the high school . 10.There should be a ressonable minimum standard fixed for selection of the category candidates.If the minimum standard for the open merit candidate is 50 % of the total points,let it be 45 % for the category candidate. 11.Any move to seek reservation in the private sector should be fought tooth and nail as such a move would divide the nation which’ despite a series of follies,blunders and political opportunism by the so called leaders has till now remained united. The creamy layer should apply to all the categories.In fact reservation should in effect be linked to financial status of an individual or family.Any family having an income of more than 07 lakhs (at present) should be kept out of the reservation purview.Similarly no ward of a gazetted officer should get category benefits.This would ensure benefit to those category candidates who really deserve it.They would be saved from exploitation at the hands of their own “benefactors”. I understand that the overwhelming majority of my category friends would impulsively react to my ideas on reservation and may even scold me.I solemnly affirm that I have no jobless sons and daughters and am a retired employee.My ideas are based on what I think and feel, is true and just.The reaction can be because we are not thinking honestly.I know and understand that even after 70 years of independence the condition of the majority of SC’s,ST’s and some OBC’s is very bad and this needs to be improved, but job reservation is not the way out.Let the govt.charge a cess of 01 % for all income tax payers and spend the amount on the upliftment of the poor dalits’tribals and other backward classes.Let the govt.award deterrent punishments to those who commit atrocities on the weaker sections and strictly implement laws against discrimination, but revise the unjust and shortsighted job reservation policy.If the job reservation is not reviewed and rationalised, this Frankensteins monster would finally catch hold of us and there would be no way to escape its jaws.