“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime” – Anonymous
India is the largest Democracy in the world. The Constitution of India provides for Equality for all its citizens irrespective of caste, creed, race, sex, etc. Our constitution gives us the right to freedom and most importantly to exercise this freedom in an equitable manner. At the same time, it is incumbent on the part of the state to ensure that equality prevails in all sections of the society.
But Equality in India is diluted and distorted due to the system of reservations. The scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and OBCs in India currently get 50% reservation in Government jobs and educational institutions. This has not only affected the General Category people, but has also hurt these backward sections of the society and the country as a whole. This is because when Mediocracy replaces Meritocracy due to reservations, work efficiency reduces which eventually reduces outcomes like productivity, development and growth.
India being a developing nation, is currently facing many challenges and the reservation system is one of them. Efforts need to be made to finish the Caste-based Reservation System. Caste-based reservation system has many demerits which is weakening and obstructing India’s progress.
Reservations perpetuate the system of caste in the Indian society. Our constitution makers wanted to improve the conditions of the backward sections by creating equality in the society, but the system of reservations have worked against this goal by segregating these sections from the mainstream. It has also contributed to hatred among people from different castes. It has promoted and strengthened caste-based loyalties instead of patriotism. Reservations can be considered as anti-national as it creates gaps in the society by creating difference of opinions and repeated incidences of violence like that in the recent case of Jats in Haryana and Patidars in Gujarat where loss of life, property and ethics were witnessed.
Reservations kill and hamper meritocracy. Highly skilled, efficient and intelligent people of the country today are being rendered unemployed, in which reservations in jobs contribute a great chunk according to national and international researches and studies, for example, the World Bank has acknowledged the role of reservations in Indian unemployment, which is hampering the harnessing of India’s demographic Dividend. It has also led to the problems of brain drain, suicides among meritorious students who are affected by reservations and dis-incentivising excellence, which has worked against the progress of the nation.
The system of reservations has been misused by the politicians in big way. Reservations have been widely accepted today as a means to secure votes by political parties. Reservations were introduced at the time of independence for an initial period of 10 years only, but it has been consistently stretched by successive governments as they fear loss of votes and eventual loss of power at respective Central and State positions. Also, the system of reservations has helped the perpetuation of caste-based considerations in the Central and State elections.
Reservations have also caused obstacles in the path of national integration. Many of the internal and external security issues in India emanate from the system of reservations. For example, Left Wing Extremism, Naxalism have their roots in unemployment, poverty and inequality which have been caused in a big way by the reservation. There are also nascent evidences of links and correlation between international terrorism and reservations. Currently terrorist organizations like the ISIS are trying to take advantage of internal issues of nations to strengthen their manpower base, which makes it imperative for India to sort out the issues of reservation. Reservations are based only on the caste considerations ignoring economic.