Reservation doesn’t beget chances, it only mostly gives birth to mediocrity.
Once upon a time, there was this bright, young student who loved to study the human body. She was a keen observer of the sciences and developed a deep understanding of anatomy and medicine.
When she passed out from her college, naturally, she got fine grades in her subject, which she so loved. She was all set to be a student of medicine and surgery. Everyone knew that she would make a fine surgeon one day and that she would go on to save many lives.
When the time came for her to get into a fine medical institute, she got a shock. Her fine scores were not enough for her to get into the institute of her choice.
And the reason given to her was that the seats were filled. But there were a few seats left. Alas, these were reserved for certain ‘groups’. The bright girl begged and pleaded but to no avail. What really broke the camel’s back was when another student, someone who didn’t even have half her grades, she got a warm welcome…and a seat in the fine college of medicine.
Our bright student was completely heart broken and as her luck would have it, she couldn’t get a seat in any medical college. So she had to settle for graduating in science only. Her dreams were dashed and crushed beyond repair. Her parents did not have the capacity to buy her a seat. After all, her marks would be her currency, her father had remarked one day.
Anyway, time went on and the girl went on to pursue some other insipid profession, nothing much to do with medicine but something which would make her some fine money some day. She was at best, above average at it, her medical genius, now relegated to somewhere in the deep corner of her mind.
This other student, who had managed to get the coveted seat, she was struggling…flailing like a bird trapped inside a hunter’s net. She hadn’t mentally prepared for the difficult faculty of medicine and on the first day that she was introduced to a cadaver, she collapsed in fright. It had taken her a few days to get over it, which she did, but she could never ever regain her innocence again. Ultimately, she became a doctor, albeit after a great struggle.
Four years later, both the women graduated from their respective colleges.
One, an average marketing executive, and the other one, a seriously incompetent doctor who would now do no better than open a clinic in a small house and treat people for nothing more serious than severe cough and colds. No saving lives and making path-breaking medicinal discoveries for this one…And this is how most of the stories are ending in India, today.
Whether we like it or now, this is the real state of India. Talent is not encouraged and remains largely under credited and unrecognized. At the same time, certain groups do not want to work hard because they know that they will get employment or college seats on the basis of their background. So it is a lose lose situation for the nation, ultimately.
As a growing nation, we need to understand that if we are to shake this branding of a ‘third world country’ we need to drop this evil of caste and religion divide. We need to develop and nurture talent based on their skill and talent and not just because they belong to a certain ‘group.’
Even now, as I write this, there are people who are fighting for this reservation and that. Fight for your right, of course, but fight for the right things.
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The day that India does away with the reservation system, Indians will work that much harder to prove themselves and then, by default, there is no stopping a nation which consists of hardworking and talented people.