Prejudiced Education

Standard

“History is created by those who are enlightened by the power of knowledge, not by arrogant nerds”

Niyati * and Nitin* were classmate’s and were in the commerce stream. Niyati on one hand was an introvert; shy yet a soft spoken girl whereas Nitin on the other hand was an ambivert yet a confident guy. When it came to studies Niyati was an average performer whereas Nitin on the other hand was a bright student who used to excel in academics, was clear about his goal and knew where he wanted to reach in his life. But there was one thing about Nitin, he described himself as a down to earth guy and it reflected in his personality. Never ever he boasted about his achievements, was rather helpful and was actually the apple of the eyes of his teachers. Niyati always teased Nitin for him being “so humble yet good at academics “and used to tell him again and again” next year you are either going to study in St Stephens College or Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC)”. But Nitin neither felt flattered nor uneasy because he knew he didn’t want to continue with commerce rather he wanted to make a niche for himself as a writer. Soon came the most dreaded period in the life of a class twelfth student. The “BOARD EXAMS”. The month of March was a stressful period for all the class XIIth students and Nitin and Niyati were no exception. And soon by the end of May the results were declared. Nitin scored 91% with a 95+ in all the four commerce subjects and on top of it he was the subject topper in his school for Business Studies. But the poor guy scored a mere 69 in English. On the other hand Niyati who was comparatively less focused than Nitin and who accepted things as they came scored 90% which was quite unbelievable for her. While on one hand Nitin surely had a reason to celebrate but he could not. He wanted to do English honors from St Stephens College (Delhi university) which is one of the premier institution of this country and has a long list of famous alumni like Shashi Tharoor (author, peace maker) Konkana Sen Sharma(actor),Montek Singh Ahluwalia(economist) to name a few. But the poor guy didn’t know that despite being a 90 per center he could not study in his dream college.

REASON: The cut off in St Stephens for English honors was 97% and a minimum of 90+ in English was needed which he didn’t have. In fact with a score of 69 in English he couldn’t even make it to the second rung colleges. The only way out was: he either be a Christian or belong to any of the minority community to get admission. On the other hand for Niyati it turned out to be a cake walk. She made it to Shri Ram College of Commerce through the reserved category quota, perhaps rather than mincing words she belonged to the Scheduled caste and for her the doors of all the top notch colleges were open.

What an irony it was. A simple guy who relied totally on hard work and had a dream in his eyes was today left stranded, with nowhere to go. Post result he was always seen teary eyed, full of grief and the reason was quite clear. Despite of all the year’s hard work, sacrifices he made just for a reason “once I get into a good college I can enjoy all aspects of life, I can fulfill all my suppressed desires” ………and he wasn’t asking for too much. Where as Niyati who didn’t have a goal clear in her mind was now a part of SRCC which meant she could enjoy all aspects of a college life and had a secure future altogether for a reason . And what clearly seems to be the root cause of the sufferings of many NITIN’S across the country was: RESERVATION IN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS.

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If we date back to the history, the proposal of reservation for the unprivileged class was introduced by late Dr. B.R Ambedkar.Today’s gen-x views him as a culprit for sowing the seeds of reservation in the society, the brunt of which has to be faced by the general category. But it is for a fact that his intentions were not wrong rather it was appropriate considering the era to which he belonged. Ambedkar was of this view that at the time of independence of the country there existed a lot of prejudice against marginalized community as they were considered down trodden and were stripped of their rights which was completely inhumane. Keeping this view in mind he introduced the system of reservation with a purpose of empowering the marginalized community, awarding them their basic human rights and making them independent so that the dream of a united and independent India could be fulfilled. On top of it, he was of the view that the reservation system need not become a regular feature of our country. It was meant to be continued till the time the glaring caste inequalities in our country didn’t vanish off completely in all fields, be it education, politics or any other field. But his noble view was taken for all the wrong reason by the successive government which included more of corrupt politicians and officials. Just to capture the vote banks of the marginalized communities which were by now financially, socially, economically independent, the successive government continued with the policy. The icing on the cake comes along with the fact that these marginalized communities are equally responsible for the carrying out of this policy till date. Threatening not to vote in the elections, resorting to violent measures if reservation policy is withdrawn or to put it down simply resorting to BLACK MAILING, the seeds of reservation could never be removed from India. After all which government would like to loose power by going against the people who form a large part of their vote bank. All sense of morality, equality and unity is lost. In the face of it, it’s the genuine talent which is lost retarding the progress of the country.

What was meant to be a boon for India is actually turning out as bane. And this is one reason for the brain drain theory. When the genuine talent is not being recognized by the country why would any sensible, intelligent youth waste his life in a country which is still so stereotype and continuing with old policies. In fact the harsh reality of reservation in educational institutions comes to surface at the time of the admission process when several application are rejected just because the student is from general category. A premier institution like St Stephens is loosing that elitism tag by resorting to 50% reservation for Christians, 10% for Scheduled Caste(SC), Scheduled Tribes(ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) and the remaining 40% for the general category for which the cut offs are year by year touching the sky line. For instance a student from Christian category scoring 85% will easily get admission in this college after clearing the interview(not to forget) while the other one from general category scoring 94% will still be doubtful of even making it to the interview stage. Why is this difference? Why are we killing the genuine talent at our own hands? When it comes to education it doesn’t matter whether you are Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh. Because at the end of the day the brains are same and the knowledge gained is same.

In the wake of reservation so many Nitin’s have to sacrifice their dreams , have to settle for something less than the best. While on the other hands so many Niyati’s are just taking up the place which belonged to someone more deserving then them.

Today Niyati is enjoying the campus life, uses a laptop in the college, studies in air conditioned class rooms, enjoys hearty meals at Kamla Nagar market (the best hangout joint for north campus students) and after passing out from SRCC she will definitely turn out into a snob flaunting her feathers of elitism in her professional life but she still doesn’t know what she actually wants to become in life, what is her goal , what is her LAKSHYA?

Whereas Nitin with a shattered dream goes to an off campus college , sits in a dingy ill lit classroom where there is no electricity ,forget air conditioner, the fans also don’t work, has no single friend with whom he could enjoy the college life , forget laptops there isn’t a proper seating place and does not even have the luxury of traveling by metro. He has to travel either in auto or in DTC bus where he has to fight it out everyday. But there is one thing about him which still rattles me ……while traveling in the auto he looks out of the window and sees a lady traveling in a big chauffeur driven car, and he knows one thing: when he will make a niche for himself as a writer he will also travel in an air conditioned car bigger than the one he saw and would look at the DTC bus with a simple thought: whatever happens it happens for the good.

Diclaimer : The following information is factual and does not mean to offend any caste, community or religion or any educational institution in general.

PS(*)– The story of Nitin and Niyati is not a cock and bull story which has been cooked up just for the sake of supporting the view, but is very much real , the only difference being that the names have been changed for reasons of anonymity.

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33 responses »

  1. I am very sure that when Dr. Ambedkar introduced this proposal, he had all good intentions. He must have never predicted how the Indian politicians will twist and turn his proposal to be on the chair.
    Any sane government which have just a tiny winy bit of brain will foresee the problems which may arise because of reservations, but that government is not ours.
    Instead of providing free education and monetary support to the families so that they are able to send their children to school, they are punishing those who are able to send their children to schools and colleges. Its as if they have done a crime!
    India is a great country. It chokes me sometimes.

  2. This is just the beginning, not the end. When I went to college, I never enjoyed the luxury of travelling in an auto. It costs good..hmm.

    And how does the interiors of a classroom affect the lectures. You can learn while sitting under a tree also. Grass always looks greener on the other side. It’s important to value what you have at this moment. That’s my thought… 🙂

    • i dont know what i would have done without you 🙂
      you always comfort me in the worst of situations. just wanted to say a big THANKS to you! 🙂
      arey i feel suffocated in bus ! all sweaty sweaty!
      i am getting used to it……………..i know and i value what i have right now. i think without that CATE thing happening i wouldnt have got english (H) even in those second rung colleges.
      so its alright now! at least i got the course of my choice.

  3. hey i am back… and arent those sufi dancers??? i had seen them once and i was so mesmerized and transfixed

    where have u been? (I am sure u will ask the same question to me :P)

    i have excessively busy with work… and u?

    • oh yes they are the famous sufi dancers (dervish) 😛
      look at the left hand sidebar ……….it states “i want to dance like a dervish” 🙂
      oh its a long tale which has been partially told through this post and read on the comments …….you will get to know.

      so are you finally relieved of your work??

  4. What a coincidence! I am bewildered at this topic – it is the center of me and my hubby’s discussion, all the time. Hubby is always reassuring me – things are changing in India 🙂 We can only hope for the best – which is equality of opportunity. Fairness and justified. Empowering post 🙂

  5. So I guess we read more DU stories now with you in DU! Great!

    Write in small paragraphs Arpit; it is easy on the eye!

    Good header!

    Life is also a lot of luck especially when you are born in country like India!

    • thanks for the header! 😛
      oh yes, a lot more happening on the front. the college is all loaded up with posters and banners for DUSU elections and the strike are just too bugging! 🙂

  6. Welcome back Arpit.. 🙂

    Me too sick of that reservation system… as you have mentioned Dr.Ambedhkar created this reservation policy for the equality in the Society…. but one thing we have to remember is, once an issue was brought into election manifesto there is no end for that… 😦

    our politicians are skilled in playing with people’s emotions and this is one such issue..

    very nicely written 🙂

    • i know kanagu but frankly speaking once i also got into this admission process i actually realized that what a big set back this reservation policy is!

      thanks for that welcome 🙂

  7. Hey Arpit, I know who is Nitin. And I understand his agony.

    Having said that when you grow up, make your living, no one will want to know what college or University you went . When I was your age, I too was unhappy about it. More than grades and colleges, concentrate on quality of learning. Laptops, AC and easy transport maybe comforting for duration of study but they have no bearing on the learning.

    World is still your oyster, you can be what you want to be. Keep out bitterness, I too hate reservations, I have written so much about it.

    No matter what, you are going to shine one day. Just dont lose your goals in bitterness and difficulties.

    Btw, who is Niyati 😉

    • Ohkk, I have taken cue from Poonam and think I also know about Nitin now!

      Poonam is right. Nitin can still shine in life. Big infrastructure and elite institutions and other modern paraphernalia has little connection which what you achieve in life.

      Big institutions do churn out idiots and small time institutes often throw up gems!

      In CBSE board exams those with real command of the language actually score less! Those getting scores in the 90s are actually poor with English!

      BTW, more and more low floor luxurious DTC buses are coming dude! Nitin will just rock! 😀

    • i know poonam that learning and knowledge is what matters and that has been my prime focus even when i was in school. never mind about the marks because they cant determine the ability of a person! and as withering says learning can take place even under the tree!
      i think i was able to ventilate all my pent up frustration through the blog! and i feel a lot better and relieved! 🙂
      i know , i have entered this college with one set goal . i am going to utilize these 3 yrs to the hilt and make a niche for myself of which i would be proud of! 🙂

      i guess i shouldnt be spilling all the beans on the blog ! 😛 😛

  8. hey.. good to see a post from you after such a long time…

    i totally agree with what you have said. sometimes in life things hapen which we have never even thought could happen…..

    but those must been seen as a begining.. from where we must start. 🙂

  9. and don’t miss out that I passed out after learning from the same off campus college, in a dingy ill-lit classroom with bouts of electricity… but I am proud of what and where I am today. If everything comes so easy, what’ the fun of achieving them. 😀

    take things with a pinch of salt…u may find nice people in different set of crowd too. You just need to come out of the mental block. Then, only u wud be able to see the pluses of this. and rest of the gap can be fulfilled by Alliance Francaise. So..wats the fuss dude. Just chill out!! have fun in Goa!! Swim, eat and drink..read lots of novels and books, babble in french..and so on.

    You college timings may enable you to do so many new things rather than sitting at home. Take membership of british council, enrol in dance classes…and blah blah!!

    • oh yeah ! yeah!
      i am taking it easily now! you see i have a very sweet tooth , so i guess a little space for salt is left. but never mind. i have got rid of that mental block and started afresh .
      hehe……………..you know she who should not be named wants to do para sailing in goa 😛

  10. The reservations …. one of the most debated topic in the last decade …. I mean almost 50% of reservations ….. If you want the weaker section to stand with everyone , strengthen their roots by providing them better primary and secondary education …..

    Its quite funny to see a guy who has scored very well sit in a second grade institute while another one , benefiting from quota and a much lower rank , getting a premier institute !!!

  11. haan, thats good if you use blog to vent and cleanse your system. I agree with withering willow, chill out and have fun. You too will end up in a proud position as her or better. 🙂

    And learn French, mon ami. Pass on few tidbits of language our way too.

  12. It is really the tragedy of our society that innocent people like Nitin are paying a price for the past. There is clearly something terribly wrong with the way the reservation system is structured. An overhaul is necessary. Revenge is never the answer, but an equitable system which helps genuine cases.

  13. very sad and very true…

    its true for usa also..even they have this..because of racism issue and only handful take use of it ( rest hiphop..lol!)..and are not too good ivy leaguers..

    • welcome to the blog! 🙂
      we need to together put an end to this so that at least our coming generations dont have to suffer this trauma called “reservation”

  14. Three rules that might be of help-
    1. Life is not fair… get used to it.
    2. Stop looking for excuses in life.
    3. You are part of the 0.3% of Indian population who have an opinion and the means to express it.

    In terms of your post, technically, there is a huge gulf to cover. But remember, it is only a start and a good one.

    • welcome to the blog 🙂
      thanks for the 3 rules.
      now i would also like to put forth my counter views :
      1. Life is not fair to those who dont give their best and those who do give their best need not accept the way life comes to them rather need to fight against it like warriors!
      2. Excuses are meant for weak and feeble.
      3. Being a part of the privileged 0.3% it becomes the moral duty to fight for justice.

      i know that its still a long way to go. But thanks a lot for your advice and appreciation of the post.

      • Very touchy on your post and views… typical of a writer 🙂

        Let life in. no holds bared. Its fun.

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