Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Update on Reservation Issue...

2 members of the Knowledge Commission recently gave their resignation to the PM, as they were not happy with the developments regarding the Reservation matter and the approach that the UPA government is taking to tackle it.

The Indian Express has published the full text of the resignation letter that Mr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta gave to Mr. Manmohan Singh. It is in the editorial section of Indian Express on 23rd May, 2006. I would suggest everyone to read it, if possible. It clearly shows that even the UPA is internally divided on this issue.

Update : You can read the letter here -

Dear Prime Minister ...

Saturday, May 20, 2006

One more blog on Anti - Reservation !

The real hot topic amongst the youth of India is the anti-reservation bill which is proposed by Arjun Singh , the HRD minister. I have read some blogs on this topic, and I think there are hundred more, stressing on the disadvantages of the bill, and the impact it might have in future on our youth. So I wont write anything about that. It is well understood that the proposal to bring 49% reservation in education seats is definitely not good , if you see the big picture. Already , we students have suffered because of the 22 – 25% reservation currently existing in all institutions and universities.

From past 2 weeks, lot of protest rallies and hunger strikes have been held all over the country, specially by Medical students. With help of lot of SMSes , orkut, forward mails , the whole drive has gained momentum and more and more students are coming together to voice their opinion. Good for them . But are the politicians listening ??

I am saying politicians and not the government. Its because its pretty clear that not a single politician has even raised his voice or given any comments on this topic in media. Ofcourse, no one wants to offend the OBCs or EBCs, be it in the State elections or the Central . Everyone wants a share of the cake.

I remember that Rahul Gandhi , the new face of Congress, had given his first speech in Lok Sabha just a few weeks before Arjun Singh had proposed the bill. Everyone applauded him and said that he totally resembled his father Rajiv Gandhi. You know the main agenda of his speech – it was on Education. It covered topics from school level education to premier institutes , and how we ( the government ) should work on this field to make India prosperous. But just few weeks back, he avoided any comments on this bill issue, when asked in Rae Barielly , and just said that he wished to have a conversation with the students.

The opposition party – BJP – boycotted Lok Sabha to condemn the killings in JnK recently. But , when the Reservation Bill was discussed last week, no one even raised an objection, forget walking out of the Parliament. It is all very obvious. Who will offend the backward classes. Its better to keep your mouth shut.

Don’t you see, the politicians are least interested in listening to our demands. The maximum that our PM did was to establish a committee ( as usual ) and included Arjun Singh also in it ! The committee is supposed to do a study on this matter, that’s it.No one did a study on the census and tried to find the actual percentage of OBCs in our country . The bill is passed based on 1931 census. Why will they listen to us ? The rallies and hunger strike has received so much media attention, still not a single party or a individual party member has come in open for support of Anti – reservation. Even the young politicians like Sachin Pilot and Milind Deora have said nothing. Obviously , due to High – Command pressure . So , I don’t think any concrete result will be seen in this matter.

I had the same opinion when there were protest rallies held for Jessica Lal murder case and Narmada Bachao Andolan. But in those cases, the government had nothing to lose. The former case laid doubts on Police Investigation, not on the government . But if the government gives a confirmation to the students that no such Reservation Bill will be passed in future, they will lose all the OBC’s votes. What government will do ( if things go out of hand ) , is to hold the bill for sometime and when some elections will come later, they will bring this topic again and sell it to the public.

Now, the question to be asked is - Why doesn’t the government give a damn about the youth. Only one answer – because we are a very very very small part of their vote bank, compared to other categories like OBC, EBC, etc.

I don’t understand why we ( the Youth ) don’t vote. That’s our right. I know there wont be any drastic change to this country if the young crowd starts voting – as all politicians are same. Its like picking the best from the worst , but alteast the politicians will know that we are a part of public whose needs have to be addressed. Politicians know very well that we will never go out in majority to vote, but the OBCs and backward classes will. OBCs and specially the EBCs go to vote because they believe that by voting, the particular party will do something for them. And its totally opposite in case of the youth. The youth thinks that voting is just a waste of time. Why to go and stand in a line just to vote for someone who in reality doesnt give a damn about us. This has been the mindset from past 25-30 years, and that’s the reason the government turned a deaf year during the Mandal commission in 1990 and even now.

I personally believe that all people who did not vote , specially the youth who had a chance to vote in the recent 2004 Lok Sabha elections , should not even speak on this whole Reservation issue. We are showing huge majority and unity now in these protest rallies . If only we would have shown the same unity for voting, maybe things might have been different now.

What I don’t understand is , why cant these political parties see the big picture ? Why do they see only small goals .As seen in the last Lok Sabha elections, reforms were the major issue in public minds. People are no more interested in the Ayodhya issue. They want to see reforms, some work done in the country or atleast in their neighbourhood. That was what drove their decision.

Also by 2009 , there will be abundant pool of just-turned -18 crowd, who , I hope, will vote. Shouldn’t the government or other political parties try to gain their confidence from right now. But, as I said, they have a reliable vote bank which they can cash on for years to come.

Anyways, my opinion to voice our concerns should be to do something like Civil Disobedience Movement. Stop working, stop studying, boycott institutions, universities. I am not talking about only Medical students, but each and every field , be it medical, engg., MBA or arts. Parents of Open category students who are working in Public sector should also go on strike. Bring the country to a standstill But, maybe this is too extreme. And practically , not possible. Till then, all we can do is just protest in front of deaf ears.