Friday, April 11, 2008

No Cream for the Creamy layer!

The Supreme court has finally spoken, ruling 27% reservation for OBCs in Central Higher Educational Institutions including the IITs and IIMs. The ruling however clearly states that the 'Creamy Layer' of the OBCs will not enjoy the benefit of the reservation. This may be viewed as a welcome move, in spite of a large number of protesters (especially from the medical fraternity) demanding that there be no kind of reservations at all and that admissions to such institutions be purely in the form of merit.
I want to invite these protesters to read this article "Do I have any Merit"by Swaminathan Ankleshwar Aiyyer in the Times of India. Just an excerpt from the article to set the ambience for my argument. Swamy representing the upper caste so called 'meritorius' clan speaks ".....The canteen boy who brings me tea may be more intelligent than me, and so too may be the man shining shoes on the roadside..... But they were born in the wrong family, and never had access to good education or economic opportunities. So they remain on the fringes of society. Meanwhile, lesser beings like me dominate society, on the spurious claim that we are the most meritorious. What gall! We got good marks because we had the most educated parents, the best books, and went to the best schools and colleges..... But others far more meritorious are rotting without education or opportunity in the slums and villages of India. In a fair and just society, the top two million or so positions would be occupied by people with an IQ of over 135. Lesser folk like me (and most striking doctors) would be just clerks or labourers. So, let no upper caste student claim that reservations are displacing merit. The most meritorious people of all are unable to even enter the race for good colleges or jobs...."
The article intends to just suggest the need for reservations, a small measure to bring admissions to something close to being fair. The reservations become unfair only when the OBCs are a part of the previliged society, the so called " creamy layer". The real people unfairly benefitting from reservations are a small section of OBCs who are well off, and actually not underpreviliged. In that sense the ruling of the Supreme court is actually very fair. It reserves seats for the really underpreviliged but keeps away the "Creamy layer of OBCs"
Two sets of people are unhappy though.
1. The protestors who dont want any form of reservations.
2. The populists who want to reserve even the creamy layer seats in colleges.
We shouldn't approve of either. The real good is actually in what the Supreme Court has ruled. "You can still have some cream. But no Cream for the Creamy!!"


Hari said...

Good post. I wish instead of reservation for seats in colleges, try to Educate necessary one to all.

Sita said...

Yes. I also go with the Supreme Court ruling.

However utmost care should be taken to see that the OBCs who are not so backward reap the benefit of this reserevation.

I personally know this because there have been cases wherein people who belong to the OBC category and who are much more forward than us in terms of monetary strength and academic strength make use of this opportunity just because their fore fathers and their forefathers belonged to OBCs,generations ago. This, I feel is not correct.

Reservations should actually go to the people who deserve it. Caste alone should not be the yardstick to measure that. Current economic income of family and educational qualification of the members of the family over generations should be considered.

I am for reservation, but, for the right and deserving candidates!