Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Caste and reservation

Its easy to blame everything on the caste system in India. Especially now in the context of the new reservation policy which has been a political and social hot potato. I have been reading articles on both sides of the debate, and I think the upper caste are being unjustly blamed for their successes, in the same vein that successful businessmen around the world are painted as viscious profit seekers who feed on the unsuspecting common man to make money. I do not deny that there are many people who are denied(for whatever reason) the basic amenities to education in India . However, this is a debate that should be for primary and secondary school and not for college or higher education. More to the point, the emphasis should be on education from kindergarten to 10+2 right now, before we move on to higher education. After all, when students do not have access to primary schooling how do we expect them to succeed when they get to college even if there was special reservation for them. I am not suggesting that there should be quotas anywhere. I guess if schools could just be started without major hassles then the problem would be automatically solved. There is no dearth of NGOs and activists working with the poor in India. I would suggest that people who are for the reservation policy look closer at their communities and see how many children get to go to school first. Once the problem of primary education is solved we can talk about opportunities for higher education.

Here is an interesting story. Thanks to Prof.Cowen at Marginal Revolution. You can read his post here.

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