Saturday, April 22, 2006

Voice of Merituous

(Premise: The Voice of Meritorious must rise. I ask you, each one of you, to write a blog about it, voice your opinions, in your strongest words, let the voices together tower to a proportion where the politicians and the voters can hear it.

I am writing this piece SATURDAY, APRIL 22, 2006. I hope you guys will pitch in your voices through your own blogs starting MONDAY APRIL 24.

In 1990, I saw thousands of people protest against the implementation of Mandal Commission recommendations. Hundreds in each state committed suicide, burnt themselves to death. The reservation quotas were increased. Protests died out. It was like a communist whim or a socialist myth triumphing over the intellectual common sense. In fifteen years since, we have seen people with shameful scores get through exams for their caste allows them special privilege. They get into the schools, where they don't deserve to be on pure intellectual merit, then they get all the scholarships too (mostly irrespective of how much money their family makes), and most of them manage to scrape through with just pass scores. But since the reservation regime is so biased in their favor, they get into jobs which they won't deserve if merit was the sole criterion, they are promoted faster than their "upper class counterparts" who by now are expected to understand that merit, good work is not the card to be played these days, and then these guys are in best position to have their own kids benifit from the reservation policy.

The politicians are shrewd enough to keep Parliament out of 33% Women Reservation Bill, and 50% OBC/SC/ST Reservation. They impose will wherever they can. The latest fear of raising the quota in IITs and IIMs is a simple example of how little some people comprehend the value of hard-working intellegesia. Social change cannot be brought out by killing the merit, by drowning the standards, by propping up mediocricity, by discrimination based on caste or tribe. I would have never known or figured for some people that they belonged to a certain caste, till I saw them get what they did not deserve based on just birth. The idea of reservation is a flawed idea, that allows the richest among those castes to benifit the most, and benefit generation after generation. It selects less than the best for psoitions where better people could really allow better cure as doctors, better product as engineers and better overall administration as bereaucrats. It leaves despair in the heart of deserving.

In our country, we are born unequals, for reservation allows certain castes, classes and tribes easier access to colleges and jobs.

In our country, we discriminate against our own people for discrimination carried out in previous centuries, we as kids are supposed to understand that our high birth means we need to strive harder than others to achieve something, because our forefathers were unwilling to allow some castes access to certain professions.

In our country, we think at by having 50% of people in a Medical College come from undeserving students, (based on intellect or merit), we will transform the society into a healthier one.

In our country, where we are striving towards a free market economy, where our GDP growth and industrial and social progress is going to depend on how well we attract foreign investors and compete on international scale, on international scale where they judge only the product, WE EXPECT to compete by using our convulated standards where half of the engineers and managers may be below par, but are there for they belong to classes that must be mollycoddled for mostly political reasons.

In our country, we don't get richer or poorer based on caste. The "UN-SCHEDULED" classes have their own share of economic and other disadvantages. Allow poorer students easier access to schooling, provide them free books or free lunches, but PRAY PLEASE DON"T GIVE SOMEONE GRACE POINTS FOR HE IS FROM A PARTICULAR CASTE. Give them opportunity to do well, training to do well, but please don't impose the undeserving on positions that they donot merit.

For kicks, if IITs and IIMs need to have more reservation quota just because it is ticket to high paying jobs, I strongly insist on a 50% quota in Indian Cricket Team, in Olympic Teams, in Parliament.

In our country, where we need to come through a killer competition at every stage of our life, where it is so easy to lose hope and disappear, where places like IITs and IIMs are places that keep the flame of toil and well-deserved returns alive, WE WISH TO CONDEMN ourselves to a lack of vision by allowing people graduate without their deserving to graduate, get the jobs they did not earn by meeting the scientific standards, take decisions about rest of us by sitting on chairs that are propped by a class contigency.


The Voice of Meritorious must rise. I ask you, each one of you, to write a blog about it, voice your opinions, in your strongest words, let the voices together tower to a proportion where the politicians and the voters can hear it.

I am writing this piece SATURDAY, APRIL 22, 2006. I hope you guys will pitch in your voices through your own blogs starting MONDAY APRIL 24. I will keep posting more stuff myself; but we all must pitch in our strongest opinions and post them on every wall, till the wise blind men we have elected see that the MERITORIOUS HAVE A VOICE.


Vivek said...

Comments from Sulekha (Monday Morning)

Vivek Sharma comments:
on Apr 24 2006 9:10AM delete this comment block this user
"The mediocrity can not rule the nation" Radhika

That is exactly what we need to emphasize. It is ridiculous for people to talk about reservations in private companies as well.

Black beak: I support free education upto say X grade for all poor sections of society, and no reservation.

Supriyad: I've seen various petitions and I hope we can make more outcry to have our voices heard.

Denice: All competent men can stand on their own. Reservation has turned out to be a magic key for mediocricity and for political mileage.


radhika_kr comments:
on Apr 23 2006 7:31AM delete this comment block this user

I completely endorse to your view. The mediocrity can not rule the nation. Everyone knows that reservation is not a solution. Our government needs to come out with more income generating programs and improve the quality of education so that the backward classes are well equipped to face the competition. By reserving more and more seats they are just showing an easy way out. The political gimmick can’t choke the voices of the masses and it’s time for people to speak loud and fight the demons together.



Black Beak comments:
on Apr 23 2006 2:44AM delete this comment block this user
denice is a christian convert. he is just trying to divide hindus. btw, i support reservations for all poor obcs and dalits.

supriyad comments:
on Apr 23 2006 2:07AM delete this comment block this user
Vivek, do read my comment posted on crazy Denice's Blog titled, 'To Naive Indian'. If you need more statistical info. I can post it in here. My friends and I signed an Online Petition against this really crazy, totally digusting move of the Government... its all hogwash! A terrible antic of a warped political governance for vote garnering... I wish Mr.Manmohan Singh, the man who once was himself and educationist, a visionist faces the facts and heeds to the call of a nation, fast going to the 'under-dogs'! (All the puns in the world intended!)

Vivek Sharma comments:
on Apr 22 2006 6:45PM delete this comment block this user
On Denice:

"I wish that you be born as a lower cast or a woman or an OBC in some remote village where there is no electricty and water .AMEN"
If I were so born, I would want ameneties, I would want education, but I must not expect to become a doctor just because my birth entitles me to an easy admission: don't you see that amounts to DISCRIMINATION against QUALITY!

denice _menace comments:
on Apr 22 2006 1:05PM delete this comment block this user

I wish that you be born as a lower cast or a woman or an OBC in some remote village where there is no electricty and water .


Vivek said...


April 22, 2006
06:21 PM

Most of the IIT and IIM students hail from large cities and are from wealthy or middle class families. Their parents have a good educational background and they have access and money to attend coaching classes for the exams that need to be taken. They also pay money to get coached and ace the IIM interviews .
The IIT and IIM exams are just basic memorization and practice test, every students memorizes the stuff takes the exam and then forgets what he learnt. There is no real intelligence in these kind of exams. The real study begins once you get into IIT and IIM.
People from scheduled caste and tribal backgrounds dont have access to these kind of coaching facilities and has a result they may not get into IIT and IIM if the quota is removed. In addition most of the parents of ST/SC tribes do not have an educational background as a result a ST/SC tribe student would lack mentoring unlike his peers.
By removing the quota's, the upper caste gets a upper hand once again becuase as mentioned they have access to all kinds of facilities to get their kids into IIT's and IIM's schools.
As everybody knows some ST/SC tribe students are wealthy people and have access to these coaching facilities and have been abusing the Quota system. The solution is not to get rid of the Quota sytem ,but try to see that none SC/ST families abuses this quota system Eg: check the financial status and educational background of SC/ST students parents. If this student comes from a wealthy family and with parents who are educated then do not give him admission but rather give to another SC/ST student who comes from a poor background.

April 22, 2006
10:29 PM

Mario, you raise a good point (targeting abuse of the quotas by wealthy SC/STs and OBCs), but I'm not so sure about retaining the quota system.

If the intention is to eliminate the divide between the haves and the have-nots, particularly when it comes to education, then the IITs and IIMs are not the place to do it. The playing level should be leveled at the primary education level. If politicians spent even a quarter of the energy fixing the primary education system that they do on coming up with these ill-thought out hare-brained reservation schemes, we wouldn't have the need for reservations in the first place. The apathy towards primary education is apalling.

Vivek Sharma
April 24, 2006
08:48 AM

Mario: Give the capability, not the product. At IIT most of us came from middle class families, where our parents had worked extremely hard to get us there. Even for tuitions, I know friends whose parents would send their land, knowing that the son who is smart will buy it back once he is done. The heroism of parents leads many of us into prospects that require true toil and talent.

Sujatha: Thats well said. The problem is that the reservation allows easy access to school first, then to a job and then at every stage of career: an already employed doctor should not become the Chief Medical Officer out of turn just because he is from SC/ST/OBC.

Vivek said...

more from

Vivek Sharma comments:
on Apr 25 2006 12:18AM

Maria and Denice,

I just posted another blog, addressing some of the questions you (and others) have raised here and on other blogsites.



Maria S comments:
on Apr 24 2006 12:42PM

"The idea of reservation is a flawed idea, that allows the richest among those castes to benifit the most, and benefit generation after generation. It selects less than the best for psoitions where better people could really allow better cure as doctors, better product as engineers and better overall administration as bereaucrats. It leaves despair in the heart of deserving."


Do you have any data to support your claim that...only the "richest" among "those castes" (which is condescending by itself), benefit the most? I am sure there will lots of competition between "those" people too!

And what is this "selection" of the best? Isn't "the best"...itself a relative term?

Anyone...who wants to get admission to a certain medical, engineering school and "has the scores", but still can't.. for whatever reason (even in "your caste(s)") is going to be in despair..and those who are considered as "mediocre"as students, may later their professions! And the students who are meritorious in college...may turn out to be "an average professional"...there are so many factors/variables.

I am sure there are plenty of frustrations, on all sides to go around...But, as Denice says....I see some type of "reservation system" (a fair representation sytem- to make sure students, from all segments of society are included) is still needed, atleast until 2020 or 2025 in India....we are not there, yet.


denice _menace comments:
on Apr 24 2006 11:57AM

Vivek, honestly, I used to think like you, but nomore, what quality of free education are you talking about?

do you really know the realities of studying in public schols I mean government schools, there is a whole gamut of issues here ,not only poor quality of education, the accessability of education.

haan, I owuld agree if all you IITans do something about it since you people are lauded as the cream of teh society, may be you sould open school sin rural India with the amount of salary acheivements behind you it wouldn't be so hard, and coach the kids after 10th or 11th grade to suceed in IIT and such competeive exams, may be then there wouldn't be a need for reservation. May be we need to do this to the entire population not only dalits or reserved casts, but to all the rural India.

Reservations came to existance because of the need to enlighten and encourage dalits and BC and OBc's and trbals to take to schools, mostly thses people herd cows in villages or do odd jobs, they could be considered as the poorest, I'll give you an instance how this has affected so many "Holeyara haadi"

In my grandma's town the backward and schedule and all other casts were living in houses like cowsheds,and I remeber this is long before all these reservations were in the process of coming in to existance, and slowly over the years, I saw nice decent houses propping up there, I also heard rumours that reservations had flourished this community, and many in those sheds were getting higher educations and good jobs and were getting good positions in the government , I saw these changes and I feel by observation, that the reservations have helped many Bc,Obc and tribals, it should continue for another 10 or 15 yeras untill our NGO's efforts to make all of them educated.

Perhaps instead of talking from your hat, you should study the psychology and dynamism of this caste system and how it hampers the growth of certain sects and groups. Unless you really work among the tribals and any other opressed factions of the society, you wouldn't be be able to notice the differences between the upper cast poor and lower cast poor as I said, uppercast men and women arn't subjugated to everyday humiliation in rural India, even at the end of this century we will still continue to hear the gruesome detailes of rape, beatings and other such treatments meted out to the backward class and other casts which are mentioned for reservations. The times have not changed much in rural India, we need to first eradicate the notion of cast system and thentalk about not having reservations.

Scientifically, Iobserve, uppercast always had acess to education, their memoriesd everything from mantras to vedas and stothras, which were not accessable to othercasts, since the uppercast held the communication between god and other casts in the temples and holy places no one botherd to get educated, hence the intelligentia in upper cast

is honed over the ages by memorising and learning scriptures, where as the others did not even begin to get educated, so it takes years for thses who have been left behnd to catch up with uppercast intelligentia.

I may be crude i presenting my argument but you can't denay the truth in what I am communicating here.

Vivek said...

More from

Vivek Sharma comments:
on Apr 26 2006 1:34PM delete this comment block this user
Yes Suresh,
We need to ensure that if the issue will be settled by numbers, we allow most people to appreciate that it is not reservation that will propel our country forward, but selection of capable people. We need to make more capable of doing well, improve primary education, allow for more scholarships for the poor. Train better, rather than celebrate mediocricity for whatever reason.

forindia comments:
on Apr 26 2006 9:56AM delete this comment block this user

forindia comments:
on Apr 26 2006 9:55AM delete this comment block this user

Suresh Wadhwani comments:
on Apr 26 2006 8:15AM delete this comment block this user


I fully agree and endorse your views.

We should not allow this to happen, 'Come What May...'.

The educated people of India will now pay the ultimate price for abstaining from Voting.

Running away to hillstations holidaying, instead of performing the most important duty of a citizen, leaving room for criminals to lure the poorer sections of society with country liquor, biryani, saris and other assorted gifts to bring them into power.

Can you believe here are the abysmal figures of voter turn-out in the Metros (generally speaking)

New Delhi - 52%

Mumbai - 46%

Chennai - 55%

Hyderabad - 58%

Bangalore - 56%

The signals are clear. The common man does not care who runs the show and indirectly controls his life.

Have we missed the bus here ?


Neel said...

Vivek... thumbs up for the article :) I will put a link to it on my blog.

There are lof of comments on your blog and I did not really get the time to go through all of them. So do excuse me if the my points has already been raised and discussed.

When the reservation quota was firstly introduced in the parliament 50-60 years ago, It was meant for only next 30 years. That time it really made lot of sense to have it because of the huge division in our society, some castes/religions really needed an uplift. Had it been not there at that time may be we would have seen a different india today, not the one we are proud of.

Now 50- 60 years after that, it does not make any sense to at all to have it. It is truly vote politics which never scraped it and keeping it alive. I never understand the double standards of the politician in my country. One hand we are working hard to reduce the divide in the society because of castism and religions and on the other hand these politicians are creating more divide just to keep their chair safe.

I am a true believer of meritocracy.. We really need a true meritocracy in india. However, I still feel that because of large economic divide between middle class and people below poverty line, we still need little reservation for the people who are below poverty line or we may be a support for them in some other way. I still remember the time when I used to travel to home from my college in train, I used to see lot of young kids selling tea / water on railway stations. It really pinches the heart when you see kids working who are suppose to studying at that age.

Neel said...

May be you should only keep link on sulekha.. since there are lot of interesting discussions going on and it is hard to follow them and participate in them if they are not at the same place :)

Neel said...

My Views on the problem of "People not casting their vote"

Most of the educated middle class people(I am not excluding myself here) don't care about the casting their vote. Some of them seems to have an apolitical opinions and some do have political preferences. In either case they don't go out and vote.

Affluent people do go casting their vote for their own reasons.

Really poor people also go out for voting and we also understand those reasons very well.

This is really a bigger problem which India is facing currently. It is bound to grow big unless some steps are taken to rectify it.

I was discussing this problem with my friend once and we managed to come out with a nice solution which is really going to fix it once for all :) I am not sure how do I tell it to Mr. Manmohan Sing :)

you know the way CREDIT HISTORY system works in US. let us assume we create very similar VOTING HISTORY system in india. So your tax is determined by your voting history. If you have good voting history, less will be your tax. If we have this system india, you will see all the middle class people running to caste their vote (me inclusive). :)

There are few challenges to implement this system but I am very sure we can implement this. Discussing other details to have this kind of systems will too off the discussion :)