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Global India logs in, blogs

If the student movement against Mandal-I was played out on the roads, this time it is going to take place in cyberspace.

india Updated: Apr 10, 2006 01:43 IST

If the student movement against Mandal-I was played out on the roads, this time it is going to take place in cyberspace.

While the roads remain quiet, the traffic on the Internet against the quota proposal is building up every moment. Just log onto the Net and run a search titled "OBC reservation + Blogs" and you come up with a surfeit of angry comments, petitions (to the prime minister, president, HRD minister) and signature campaigns.

For today's tech-savvy generation, the logic seems to be simple: if you can reach a large number of people across continents, often simultaneously and at the speed of light, why sweat it out needlessly.

At petitiononline.com, over 20,000 signatures have been collected from Indians worldwide against Arjun Singh's proposal to introduce 27 per cent of reservation for OBCs in centrally-funded higher-education institutions. The petitions are addressed to the PM and the president.

Pranav Garg, member of a students' group floated recently by the NGO People's Action in reaction to the HRD minister's quota announcement, says: "Student today are practical and media savvy. We know what measures to adopt to make our voices heard.”  
"Students may stay away from a march but clicking a mouse to register one's opinion is easy."

One of the first things the group did was to float a blog for spreading the message of protest. "Students are hooked to the internet. It's an easy of way reaching minds," says another member.

The group is planning to petition the president and PM on the matter and network with students in other metros against the proposal.

Many students have expressed their anger at online forums like the one hosted by rediff.com.

Reactions range from the suggestion by one Shibaji to introduce "50 per cent reservation in the cabinet" to the observation by blogger Rashmi Bansal on youthcurry.blogspot.com that "there is no point in relaxing norms for entry to the extent that you create a new kind of caste system within an IIT or IIM".