I am not talking about those not found in Iraq. I am talking about the policies being designed by our politicians to shatter the spirits of ordinary citizens like me. I would like to call them PMDs (Policies of Mass Destruction). One of these PMDs is the bill on reservations under consideration.
Any well-wisher of the country knows how detrimental such a policy can be for the progress of a country, which is already moving at the slowest pace possible. A quota system would act like an insurmountable speed-breaker. It is the absolute antithesis of patriotism to take away the rights of deserving people and giving them to the less deserving ones. There are so many ways to help the backward classes. Free education, subsidised housing, free medical facilities…! But a quota in schools and colleges?
Knowledge is not something that can be reserved for a certain section of people. It is something we have to work for painstakingly year after year with dedication and diligence - the intricate principles of physics, the interaction of chemicals, the complexities of the human body, the marvelous phenomena of nature, etc - to master them takes years. Wealth can be earned in many ways but there is only one way to acquire knowledge and that is hard work. There are no short cuts. It cannot be served on a platter to anyone. Moreover, if a person is capable, he does not need reservation and if he is not, he does not deserve it.
It is not fair to take away opportunities from the deserving to the undeserving. Such PMDs compel talented people to migrate to countries where they will be readily absorbed by cultures that appreciate skills. At the same time, we would be crippling ourselves and further slowing down our pace of development. Sadly, this would force India to maintain its status of a developing nation and not allow it to achieve the status of a developed one.
On the one hand are terrorists who target common people like me who are not powerful enough to have personal security. The trains and planes used by me can be stopped interminably because of bomb threats, real or hoax. In order to convenience the movement of celebrities and politicians, I have to either take detours to reach my workplace or stand for hours to let the motorcade pass. One and all can waste my time.
Then there are politicians who keep conjuring up menacing policies to secure their vote banks. I cannot reason with the terrorists but I can make an appeal to the politicians - do employ the doctors who are products of the quota system as your personal staff. I do not want to put my health and those of my loved ones in the hands of people whose credibility is suspect. The same goes for any professional of any field who is a "reserved" one.
I am an ordinary person in every way and so cannot migrate abroad. I am not backward enough to demand special benefits in my own country. However, just because I am an average human being does not mean that I can be served as fodder by the politicians and terrorists to each other as and when they feel like it. Not that anyone is going to listen to my plight but that cannot stop me from trying to achieve a respectable status in my own country.
Jyoti Jadwani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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