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Debating reservation, yet again

Few years back a British engineer asked me something extremely disturbing. He asked why well off persons in India disdainfully looked down upon the less fortunate, treating them as less than human? I had no answer. This is tragedy of the human condition in India is that even today, 50 years after reservations were first put in place things haven't changed much. I am certain reservations would not change this. But certainly, providing first class education to every child will.

india Updated: May 10, 2006 17:05 IST

Few years back a British engineer said something extremely disturbing to me. He had observed that the well off persons in India disdainfully looked down upon the less fortunate poor, treating them as less than human. He wanted to know why this was so.

Obviously I had no answer to this question. But this shows the tragedy of the human condition in India even today, 50 years after reservations were first put in place. I am certain any amount of reservations would not change this. But certainly, providing first class education to every child in every village in every district in every state would make it possible to have a generation of people who will behave like, and be treated like humans, because education is the one defining factor in bringing dignity to a person.

Therefore top priority should be given to primary education in our villages and provide all necessary resources, financial and human, to make this possible. It would perhaps mean putting hundreds of thousands of crores into rural education, diverted from other important national activities.