A Democracy beyond Quota

By the Editor: Siddharth Sehgal

With recent enacting of law that grants 10% quota in education institutions and government jobs for economically weaker sections of the society or the poor from the general category, the debate that who should be helped and who should fend for themselves is reignited. The surprising part is that the heated topics of discussion are always limited to getting few pieces of pie which is getting smaller and staler by the day. We fight each other to become part of a system that has reduced our countrymen to mere files and paperwork. The push is on making things regressive rather than progressive.  We have to think of implementing processes and systems that are futuristic and forward looking into future but the misfortune of my motherland is that votes count more than vision.

An interesting part of democratic process is that possibility of change lies only in the upper echelons of power. The middle and the bottom – the most rotten part of the hierarchy – hardly ever see the change. For ex. government is spending billions of taxpayers money on making people aware as consumers, but I don’t think prime minster or minister of consumer affairs ever visited a consumer court or filed a complaint in consumer forum. Had they did, they would come to know like I did, the appalling and for the lack of a better word malignant, ground reality of the word “Jago Grahak Jago”. Just today I read that no new engineering schools are to be opened till 2020 but no enlightened individual at the top thought of revamping the curriculum that is taught in India. HRD ministry made internship mandatory but they forgot that internship in 99% of places consist of menial paperwork, Facebook and WhatsApp. These are just the few examples of the lack of common touch among the top bureaucrats and ministers who live in walled of compounds away from ordinary Indians. If the door is always open for these guys how would they know what it feels like to doors being shut at your face.

Similarly, we need to rethink of reservation and quota system in more egalitarian terms. The basis of caste as criteria for benefits of reservation must go away; there are unprivileged folks among all classes, castes, creeds and religion who desperately need the aid to come out of poverty. As we grow in development, education and population, out future generations will not accept the existing system. It will lead to popular discontentment or civil unrest. The policies should be fair and equal to all so that pillars of our democracy do not rest on weak foundations.

Our democracy is in need of a human touch, it lies beyond the files and red tape that our politicians have confined it to.

One Comment

  1. a well justified editorial
    thanks siddharthji for the analysis