Education, A Privilege or A Right?

By the Editor: Siddharth Sehgal 

I will apologize beforehand before going any further if in case my editorial offends your sensibilities but offence is not the intention here, I am simply trying to point out an obvious flaw in our system that has left thousands of deserving students bereft of decent Education and access to it.

We already follow a system of reservation based on cast in education and jobs in government sector. Though need and scope of this policy has drastically changed from when it began but given the divisions of caste in our society and political mileage to be milked out of these fault lines, any attempts to review, discuss or scrutinize this policy will be met with utmost furor and resistance from political circles. It’s the bread and butter of lots of career politicians but assuming if you happen to watch DD News by any chance, you might have come across the ad from the ministry of minority affairs that proclaims different schemes implemented by govt of India for the welfare of students from minority communities. For example, any minority or if I may say generally any non-Hindu students who want to pursue Masters or Doctorate from foreign universities will receive financial aid by the govt. There is nothing wrong with the scheme, any student from minority community who aspires of a higher education should get an opportunity to fulfill it but here’s the question does government assumes that all Hindu students have access to good world class education or do we have a preference based on religion in our system that thinks poor students from majority community don’t need any aid for higher education?

I am not being biased here but these are some very hard moral and legal questions we must ask? Either we make things equal for everyone or do away with the age-old criteria that may not be applicable anymore. It’s not wrong if a Muslim, Sikh or Christian student get a scholarship if he deserves it but is it right that a Hindu student, whose parents or family have a hand to mouth existence, is denied any aid because of his background. Why say no to him? Why different rules? There are thousands of students who are not eligible for the benefit of reservation yet they pay the price of being poor when it comes to getting ahead in life. Does poverty ask a man’s faith? This is just one of many instances where we are stopping our own wheel of progress.

Coming back to the title of this article, a right is something that applies to everyone, liberty, freedom, freedom of speech and yes Education too are some of the things every Indian poor or rich, Hindu, Muslim or believer of any faith is entitled to. But privilege should be reserved for underprivileged who should be aided equally without any distinction of faith, cast or background. When there is uniformity in civil code, the rules are same for everyone, when citizens are treated fairly, peace, prosperity and progress follows.

One Comment

  1. Can relate well to this. Candid view presented, it’s high time merit cum means is looked at rather than caste cum merit…