Contesting Udit Raj's contentions

Our surfer 'checkmates' some of the points raised in favour of quota.

india Updated: Jun 11, 2006 16:39 IST

Udit Raj in his write up (in HT Platform article "Some merit to quotas" June 6, 2006) has argued that there is a danger that some rich people belonging to the upper castes would enjoy the benefits of reservations if the same were introduced on economic basis.

But he comfortably forgets that the super Dalits (the government employees, elected representatives and income tax assesses) have been usurping the caste-based quota meant for real Dalits.

He takes it for granted that being a Dalit (scheduled caste) means that one is malnourished, underprivileged and poor.

He was in the elitist Indian Revenue Service (IRS) and is by no means underprivileged or downtrodden. Why doesn't he claim it openly that he would not enjoy any kind of caste-based reservations as he has reached the top ladder of the socio-economic spheres?

He wants the caste-based quota to be continued indefinitely, for everybody, especially the super Dalits, but is strictly against the economy-based reservations.

The reason for the myopia Raj seems to be suffering from is not hard to find. He has understood the vote-bank politics and that the lower the polling percentage, the easier it becomes to win any election!

He claims that there is no merit in those enjoying NRI seats. Why does he forget that the NRI seats were introduced to fetch some funds for the fund-starved institutes?

He argues that a majority of the doctors from AIIMS go abroad, and again never accepts that it is frustrating to work with inefficient and incapable people who had been using caste-quotas to get equal, while they are, in fact, not equal. Had they been equal in merit or competence, they would have stopped using the caste-quota after getting a 'level playing field', which again is never defined.

The kin of MLAs, MPs, ministers, government employees continue to enjoy caste-based reservations, as if they lacked some inherent capabilities. Can Raj show any doctor, engineer, government employee or elected representative, who has stopped using the caste-quota after getting ahead in socio-economic life?

It is the other way round. Some people, like Raj have got ahead using the caste-quota and would never let the real Dalits use its benefits. They seek quotas in the name of helping the poor Dalits, but avail all the benefits of the quota as they themselves belong to the category. The word 'poor' is conspicuous in its absence when used for people like Raj.

It is high time people supporting the caste-based quotas were told that the poor would be given free education, schooling, books and coaching but the marks and quality would not be compromised at any cost.

Poverty is not confined to some castes. It is merciless and knows no religion, caste or creed. Just like our merciless politicians.

If the poor are to be helped, let poverty be the criteria. Otherwise there's no point of debating poverty. Some castes are to be promoted at the cost of national efficiency and for the profit of some manipulating politicians.

It was done. It's being done.

And there seems to be no stopping it.

Arguing against caste quota with people who won't listen and understand any logic is like wrestling with a pig in the mud. He enjoys it and you get dirty.

Pushpesh Kumar is our surfer from Bathinda, Punjab and can be reached

All views and opinions presented in this article are solely those of the surfer and do not necessarily represent those of

First Published: Jun 11, 2006 13:37 IST