Post-Independence, Indians achieved the liberty to exercise their rights, and social, political, economic, justice and equality were promised to them, as dictated by the Preamble. It is the fundamental duty of the Government to safeguard the rights of citizens, to ensure equality in all spheres of life, and among all groups of people, etc. The Constitution clearly states that measures should be taken to minimize or eradicate any sort of inequality prevailing in society based on religion, caste, or region that may result in a group being propelled into an underdeveloped state. Thus, started the phenomenon of paying more attention to these classes to bring them out of that state.
It all started with only one aim— restoring equality in all spheres of life by providing the “backward classes” with provisions such as scholarships, school fees exemption, facilities of book grants, and other assistance to help students belonging to scheduled castes. Thus emerged the reservation policies, which meant that the Government would provide students coming from backward classes with other provisions to compensate for the injustice done towards them.
Reverse discrimination, as a term, emerged in recent times when people from the majority class started voicing their opinions regarding the discontent and injustice they felt they were being subjected to as a result of reservations. According to them, the idea of reservation was to give every person an equal platform and equal opportunities, but the current scenario has taken a turn for the worst.
They think that provisions should be made at the school, college, and university level to guarantee that every student is able to receive an equal level of education. They should be exempted from paying tuition fees, have better hostel facilities and even scholarships. That is how the Government should ensure equality and that it is being properly practiced.
But with this regressive reservation policy being incorporated into various jobs and civil services, unrest and discontent have taken birth. People without a proper track record have successfully landed jobs that other people have been perpetually persevering for just because of the reservation policy, which has destroyed the idea of equality that the reservation policy endeavored to install.
A person getting a certain privilege because of their caste and religion is a completely contrasting idea to that of equality. Many people belong to other privileged classes but are equally financially backward and struggle to make a living. They struggle to make ends meet and to get into good educational institutions. Sometimes even with proper track records, they fail to get into institutions of their choice just because they belong to an unreserved category and fail to make the cut due to the unavailability of seats. Whereas in the same place, a person with a sound financial background and access to proper education qualifies even with a poor track record, owing to the reservation policy.
If the wider goal is to create a developed country, we need to eradicate all sorts of policies that encourage ineligible people to acquire a post. Hence, those people who are dealing with financial struggles should be given more attention to and should be provided with provisions to have equal opportunities rather than focusing on caste, class, etc.
It is nearly impossible to dream of a world where there is equality and brotherhood when such regressive policies exist in India. It is the cause of much resentment and ill feelings and gives rise to all sorts of anti-peace movements and sentiments such as reverse discrimination.
Written by: Rituparna