Reservation downgrades Meritocracy

Reservation downgrades Meritocracy

Lavleen kaur kapoor

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Published : Monday, 08 June, 2015 11:35 AM

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Reservation downgrades Meritocracy 

Time-30 minutes

Reservation is like a double edged sword. No matter which side you are on, it is bound to prick you. The Mandal Commission proposed reservation amidst wide protest, and since then, it has continued to arouse strong passion among the general public. 

A. Any person in his wisdom will support the idea of reservations to uplift those sections of the society which have remained bereft of the benefits of the economic advancement of the country. All of us want to live in a society which is based on equality and which does not discriminate. People, who have been denied opportunities available to others, must be given a helping hand. And that is what reservation intends to do.

B. By reserving nearly 50% for the backward categories such as, SC, ST, OBC and others in government colleges, universities, offices and so on, we are ensuring that we take along those people, who for no fault of theirs, have remained untouched by progress. 

C. The bitter truth is that there exists stark inequality and a definite hierarchy in the organisation of castes even after 68 years of independence in India. A person's birth in a particular caste has so far sealed the fate of his life and set limits to the goals towards which he is allowed to aspire. This has resulted in the neglect of people belonging to 'low castes', as they have no hope of improving their lot and cannot aspire for a better life. Given the ground reality, the need for reservation was felt so that some modicum of equality is achieved and a level playing field is provided to everyone. 

D. The biggest fear of reservation is that it seeks to provide an easy run to people from the backward classes and, literally, push them into colleges and offices, whether they deserve or are qualified to be there or not. On the other hand, people from the unreserved category compete and fight with each other for every single seat. This can be demotivating for a deserving candidate. This has, in turn, created a different sort of discrimination in the society. 

E. I believe that meritocracy should be the sole criterion of advancement. In universities, for instance, huge concessions are given to people from certain communities for the purpose of admissions. This can ruin the life of a more deserving candidate who lost out because he/ she belonged to the unreserved category. This also leads to the problem of having people who came up because of reservations but are not skilled or suitable enough to carry out a job, holding important positions. 

F. I do feel that reservation is and will be required until we provide the same starting point to everyone, irrespective of their caste, colour, and religion. In the present scenario, I feel that reservation should be there only till a certain point, so that it provides a level playing field to everyone. After this, I think, a person's merit should decide his/ her destiny.


Pros-Reservation is needed for a society like India, where discrimination and inequality are deep rooted. Only because of reservations, can a person, bereft of the resources only because of being born in a particular community, can hope to rise and change the life of his/ her lot.

Cons-Reservation is an evil which discriminates fosters inequality in the society. It downgrades meritocracy. The advantages of reservation are exploited by the creamy layer, who eats away the share of those who really need help.  Also, India has not upgraded its infrastructure to be able to cater to the underprivileged while ensuring that the meritorious people do not suffer.

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