potpourri

I have been a silent spectator to all the debate going on about reservations.. I pretty much go with soothsayer on the issue, but let me add some small bits to it

When I was filling up my Kerala engineering entrance exam application form years before, I had declined to use my Malabar quota and my OBC quota and I put myself in the general category.. I don't shy away to openly say that I am proud of that decision of mine as a 17 year old - I guess the most crucial role in this whole debate can be played by those among the "reserved categories" who are well off. If only they can lead by example.. if only they can send across the message to all the Indian polity that they be no more seen as votebanks....

Yathaa praja, thathaa raaja.. Its civic duty and ethical values of the citizens that has to change first.. its the citizen who has to stop bribing and not the "system" that has to stop accepting bribe... and so on

Having said that, what are the political implications of this ? As I have realised over the years, it doesn't help to ignore or run away from politics because its "bad" or "corrupt" and so on... rather, take it heads on.. go issue based... keep your vote close to your chest.. it has immense power, believe me... I hope the big middle class of India, who were lazy enuf not to vote, and then once BJP lost unexectedly were lost for words, are now realising the need to be a little more "involved".. arrey yaar, after all its your country.. your leaders..

It looks like Congress perhaps used this as an trick to eat into BJPs traditional vote bank- the OBCs. But my own feeling is that it will backfire.. if only the BJP can play its cards well .. a situation similar to the Ayodhya case where by trying to appease everyone, Congress lost its Muslim votes to Janata Dal and Hindu votes to BJP. Anyways, I won't get into the nuances of how the party should eveolve a strategy out of this, especially as the population of young Indians is a huuuge number, and most of them won't give a damn to the thrishool holding , Valentines day beating variety .....

So here is an issue.. grab it, keeping India's interest on top of everything ...

Easy said than done, eh.. especially with the BJP's spinmaster struggling for his life .... my sympathies... I haven't cared much to study about him, and I don't know how good or bad he is as a person -and I don't know what really happened with the shoot out, but it looks like it may have been a case of "Biting the hands that fed" ...

One thing I have to admit is that he was surely the brain behind many "innovative ideas".. As the IE editorial pointed out, Vajpayee's "thousand moon" gala, many of the yatra's, India shining campaign.... good or bad, effective or non effective, he was bold enough to be innovative, not to be laid back and passive... and he could handle multiple things at a time- be the strategist, be the organisational man, and also be a Minister ....

That was perhaps the reason a few years before, a friend of mine once called me Pramod Mahajan jokingly as we used to work for the same cause .. I called her back Uma Bharti, and unfortunately a slight parallel with Uma Bharati seems to have happened in her case too... (eventhough not an exact parallel)

The IE editorial ends with a very interesting statement and I paraphrase... "We have a vested interest in seeing you back to normal, Mr Mahajan , for you are a newsmaker" .. Shall I say, I too have a vested interest in seeing him back, but for different reasons ??!!

Comments

Balaji said…
Good blog. But one point strikes me. I'm sure you would have done well in your board exams to forfeit any additional advantage of the quotas. But if you had indeed taken that quota seat, an equally hardworking student from the general category would have got your seat instead of a student (from the so called backward community) with lesser merit. Guess two hard working students getting through looks more justifiable than one.

You are right that the beneficiaries of this unwanted privileges should lead the protest but not sure whats the correct way.
drisyadrisya said…
As I wrote it, I thought about that point, but left it to see who catches it.. and so you are the one :-)

Yes, technically speaking, my act of declining to take the quota may have worked against the GC students by blocking one of them..

But it did not happen anyways because I finally got into IIT..

And at that point, to me it was more of a symbolic gesture than anything else

But then rethinking on it, this seems to be an important point. What if there were OBC quotas for IIT also at that time ? Should I decline it and go in GC, thereby potentially blocking one another GC student, or should I have taken the quota and be part of the system ?

Tough to say.. It looks like there is a trap in the way its set up..
kaushik said…
Cant help but laugh at the pramod - uma bharati duo. Can you see any govindacharya ?:)
Anonymous said…
kaushik, i think you are asking the wrong person
PM said…
http://pramodmahajan.blogspot.com
Nath said…
The fact that even those among the backward castes who want to not take the benefits, will only end up furthering the reservations shows that logically there is a big flaw in the system

True, goodwill of people is the most important, but the govt also need to change the education/reservation model and bring in ways by which people can execute that good will also in the right way
drisyadrisya said…
Yes I guess there needs to be a new education model, and that has to be done at the government level- but the way it has to come up will have to be (and will practically be) only through people's pressure - call it votebank or politics or whatever.

So in order that the policies that the people pressurises the government into , be good for the Nation, the civic responsibility of the general public has to be good