Monday, December 04, 2006

RESERVATION HASSLES

There is lot of talk about reservation for Muslims. The recent Sachar report on the overall condition of Muslims in India and how they are lacking behind the national GDP as well as that of other minorities is alarming, but at the same time cannot be used as a criterion for reservation. Doing so will only open up a Pandora’s Box and divide the nation along feudal religious lines.

We do know that other minorities or “disadvantaged” social groups have prospered in the same country, with the same facilities available to all. Parsis & Christians are a good reflection of how a minority can uplift itself. It is an open fact that ignorance & a regressive mentality are largely responsible for the plight of Muslims in India today. Otherwise, how can a community, who ruled the country for many centuries, be reduced to such a state of penury? A community becomes backward when it refuses to educate its young, restricts its women and cuts off contact with the rest of the world. Being a minority has nothing to do with it. Being a minority does not stop you from being successful, unless, of course, you are being discriminated against.

However, Muslims are not entirely responsible for their condition today. It is also an open fact that post-independence, there was a hint of resentment against the Muslims, for it was part of the community that asked for (and succeeded in getting) a separate nation. Open discrimination against Muslims was the order of the day. And they were pushed back 20-30 years in terms of sociological & economic progress.

Application & dedication is sorely needed. I do not know if discrimination against Muslims exists to this day or not, but I agree that their plight today could have been a little lesser. Nevertheless, reservation to a minor extent can help the backward classes, but granting reservations on ethnic & religious basis is going to be a strategic & a social disaster. Add to this, the recent proposal to grant reservation to those who’ve converted to Islam or Christianity (under consideration) and we are looking at a sure shot recipe for catastrophe. It’s a hornet’s nest. Try disturbing it & you have a million stings & billion new problems to tackle.

Thought before action is the key to success, and where there is a will; there is a HIGH-way

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