I have my reservations about reservations!

I have two doctors in my family, my sister Dr. Tejal Mehta (a homoeopath) and my brother-in-law, Dr. Ashish Mehta (yes, even he is Ashish Mehta :)). He is a neurosurgeon, practising at Mumbai. They both have been toppers who got their admissions on merits and has deservedly become doctors. Now they are taking proper care of their patients. Patients are happy because they know that their doctors are capable of doing what they are doing.

I once asked my brother-in-law about his views on Quota System & SC/ST/OBC Reservations in education. He said most of those who get admitted without merit can’t cope up with the demands of courses and drop out within some time. Thus they don’t benefit by this and they also spoil the chances of someone who deserves to be there. Then he told me about one of his friends who lost admission to MBBS course by a single mark and lost his mental balance. That fellow is still not got back to normalcy and is the only son of a widow mother! All those people must be cursing V.P.Singh and now Arjun Singh from the fathom of their hearts! 🙁

In my opinion, quota system sucks big time, especially in higher education where the courses are difficult and admission is all the more difficult!

Since last 2 years, the central government is collecting 2% Education Cess on all taxes. What have they done with those thousands of crores of rupees?! Set up commissions to recommend quota in education? Or funding Arjun Singh’s ministry to come up with such disastrous ideas? Or have all those crores gone in some minister’s swiss accounts? 😡

Government (read Arjun Singh) is incapable of thinking anything better and has therefore come out with this really non-sense and impractical plans. If his plans are implemented, no one in the world will trust an Indian professional. All professional will look like a product of a quota rather than merit. If they want to give chance to SC/ST/OBC then they must give them an opportunity to have the best of basic education. From then on, it must be as per their calibre, intelligence and capacity.

If quota system is implemented, lets have one more rule alongwith it! Only those doctors who become doctors due to quota system (quota doctor ;)) will look after all the ministers and their families. Similarly all quota engineers should build only those bungalows and buildings that houses ministers! Is Arjun Singh ready for treatment under a quota doctor?

Before I end, here’s a forwarded mail that I received from my brother-in-law.

Subject: Mail from AIIMS student


Please spend some time to read this. U can make a difference.
As u all guys know that there have been lot of protests going on against the raise in reservations. All of us struggle for months and years to make our dreams come true; no body in the government is bothered about that. This new policy of govt. will be a major roadblock in the development of our nation and creation of a caste free society. I want to share some developments occurring here with respect to this issue.

About 2 weeks back the Students Union (SU) of AIIMS (UGs and Interns) started the protests. They held peaceful march. Their main demand was to meet Honbl. Arjun Singh and to express their concern regarding the hike in reservations. What they got in return? Water canons, tear gas shells and Lathis. Some of the interns who were beaten were my friends and I could see their injury marks. Worse, some were girls. Sad! Isn’t it ? Well, next few days due to their constant struggle they could get to meet Dr Arjun Singh. No positive response was obtained. He however promised that before sending the bill to cabinet, he would inform the SU. The students continued to boycott their classes. Other medical colleges of Delhi also joined. We Resident Doctors of AIIMS however were not actively participating. We wore black badges and attended a few rallies.

12th May saw a new beginning. Our medical students were brutally assaulted by Delhi police. Injured were brought to AIIMS. Fracture hand bone, head injury, blunt trauma abdomen with intra-abdominal bleed; >300 students were manhandled, including girls, stuffed in buses and taken to police station. I remember the dialogue from RDB. This incident will prove to be a final nail in coffin for our Congress Govt. At around 3 pm the Resident Doctors Association (RDA) of AIIMS announced an indefinite strike. All Junior Residents (Acad or Non-acad) & Senior Residents boycotted. Protest rally was organized that day.

13th may was the worst day in the history of our Indian Independence and the so-called Democracy. Medical Students of Mumbai were beaten like animals. In fact, animals also are never treated like this. Every body would have witnessed the brutality of the Mumbai Police. 17-18 year old medical students were beaten up mercilessly.

Future of our country treated like this? And these are the same Police Men who come to our OPD and ask for preferential treatment. Shame on them! And listen to what Bhujbal said on TV. I thought we need a real RDB now. This incident triggered the suppressed fire in each and every individual. We at AIIMS went on INDEFINITE HUNGER STRIKE from 14th morning joined by medical students from MAMC Delhi, Lady Harding, RML Hosp, Rohtak Medical College . Slowly the fire spread to different states of our country. You know what happened in B’lore. Calcutta, Orissa, Chattisgarh, Gujrat, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala boiled in protests. Students of Delhi University (BSc BCom…) also joined the strike.

The hunger strike in AIIMS continues. More than 100 students and residents are sitting in the heat since 14th morning just on plain water. Believe me we slept in the open last night empty stomach. Its only when rain started pouring we had go inside the audi and slept there.

The IMA has announced complete medical bandh today ( 15 th may ). Doctors from all over Delhi have come to AIIMS and are holding protests. IITs and IIMs have joined the strike. Even patients and their attendants were of full support towards this cause. One man said,” My father is admitted in NS department and is fighting for his life and death, but I declare that I have no objection with ur strike. I support ur movement and the cause for which u re fighting. Our country needs this. All of us know what is right and what is wrong. Having said that, I feel that each one of us should follow our conscience. I have written this message because I felt there are many of us who might not be aware of the exact situation. I request each one of u to please forward this to all ur friends, Medicos or Non-medicos. Every common man needs to be aware of the injustice and should be involved in this effort.

This Movement will be a revolution in our independent country and will be the most significant event after the British Rule. It will be the cause for the rewriting of Indian Constitution, where just and meritorious people are singled out and put to taste the adversities and someone else enjoys the benefit.

The government cannot hide its inadequacies in providing equal opportunities to the underprivileged in rural areas, by increasing the reservations. They have ruled the country for so many decades and if in this time they are not able to provide equality in primary and secondary education for Indian citizens, they cannot mask their failure by providing reservations at each and every level. It is ridiculous. The whole issue of reservations is a political gimmick of the present govt. designed to garner votes.

It’s time for everyone to realize that things cannot be taken for granted by any one. Let it be a senior minister, police or anyone else. Whole of our nation needs to get aware of the amount of hard work and sacrifice we put to achieve our dreams. We should not allow anyone to make a mockery of our struggle in future.

Thank U Friends.

Dr Kiran,
Junior Resident,
Internal Medicine,
All India Institute Of Medical Sciences,
New Delhi

Categorised as My India


  1. First, I don’t call this a “positive affirmation”!

    Second, you are assuming that all upper caste people are rich and have got admited only by paying capitation fees!

    There are plenty of them even below poverty line! What about them? Capitation fees must have been paid by 0.1% (or even less) of people and who knows their caste? They may be upper or lower caste people! Not all lower caste people are poor and not all upper caste people are rich!

    My one acquaintance is just one example. There are plenty of such students who have missed out even after working so hard. It is a grave injustice to them! Finances are not the only criteria for being able to perform better in exams! There are plenty of students who study at night in public places under street lights or government libraries where entry is free! Are all of them lower caste people because they don’t have resources?

    If lower caste can beat us I will be really happy! We should provide them with the facilities to learn the game and not declare them winners without competition just because they are born in a particular caste!

    If not caring about what other coutries do is selfish upper caste mentality, then trying to win, without deserving it, even at the cost of other more deserving people is the hallmark of lower caste mentality which is pampered by vote bank politics!!

  2. the whole point is that BC’s CAN’T sompete on merit right now as they are economically backward too. Hence the need for positive affirmation.

    upper castes who are economically well off have been taking advantage of reservations themselves for over a decade now, by payinng capitation fees. Suprising that your concern for stds hasnt extended there.

    who cares about your one insane acquainntance, when there are millions of deprived out there, who have been kept out of the mainstream by upper caste governements and neglect of the primary education system leading to lower castes not being able to compette on merit?

    upper castes like you and me dont have a reservation on ability and merit. The lower castes can beat us in our own game, if provided an opportunity.

    You might not care what other countries are doing. Obviously, choosing only what suits selfish interests is the hallmark of upper caste mentality.

  3. Very long comment. Pretty difficult to reply point by point due to time constraints. But which stats do you consider as reliable? All those stats that say ST/SC/OBC are backward and deprived?

    More than the so called forward casts, backward casts are trying to take undue advantage of their caste and birth. All that everyone wants is MERIT to be the criteria for admission to professional level courses! Is that being selfish? Do backward class people feel that they have no chance on merit? Is that why they want reservation based on their birth? In a way, reservations are not good even for the backward classes. Soon they will be at the receiving end of jokes.

    What happens when someone with 90% is sitting outside a college while someone with 50% is inside there simply because of his birth? Why play with someone’s life who has toiled so hard to earn those marks!!

    If backward classes are deprived, there are other means of providing for them. Why fool around with the quality of professionals? I agree backward class should not wait for any more time for government to improve their condition. They should start with it on their own! They should start making an attempt.

    And to hell with what other countries do! It doesn’t make reservation a good thing! In that sense Taliban did a lot things which we will never do! So there is no point in what other countries are doing.

    I am not alone in anti-reservation stands. There are many more and simply because I disagree with you and your pro-reservation stand does not mean I don’t know my facts. Forget about those statistics on papers. I have seen someone going insane because he lost admission in medicine just by 1 (one) mark!! And he was the only son of a widow mother!

  4. Ashish,

    I advise you to read up on any credible stats on economic inquities in our country. These are alligned to caste structure and the lower castes are much many times worse off than higher castes. No one is saying higher castes do not suffer from economic pressures, at all ( and so educational constraints..) , but only that statistically, lower castes are many many time worse off. This is all proven and there is no doubt about it (pl do visit any good library).

    I brought the question of marks , once people get in, because many people say that backward castes routinely get lower marks once they join a course…but thats digressing a bit.

    That the Govt. is collecting tax and doing nothing with it to improve the very real constraints faced by backward castes is true and i agree completely that this needs to be tackled with highest priority. But the backwards castes will NOT wait (SHOULD not wait) for another 50 yrs for the Govt. to improve their educational facilities for them to join the mainstream (if the Govt. does that in 50 yrs that is !).

    After all who was this Govt., for much of the last 50 years, who have not done anything to remove educational constraints for the majority? Again. PLL check up facts…predominanlty, in any state,or at the centre (except for the last decade when the so called social revolution came post VP singh), our Govts ( and far more so, the bureaucracy) have been dominated by Upper castes.

    Reservations for the socially backward is NOT a concept invented by Indian politicians. It is being practiced even in the USA-, affirmative action occurs in school admissions, job hiring, and government and corporate contracts. Its intended beneficiaries are ethnic minorities, women, people with disabilities and veterans (which economically better off upper castes in India are sooo intent on copying in every other sphere). USA universities have had resevrations-positive affirmation- for decades. How come their stds are still to aspire for? It is a recorded fact that resevration in USA universities are the single most biggest factor is reducing social inequity in the States ad had it not been for that, things would have been muchmuch worse no that front there. There would have been no Obama (possible presidental cadidate, or a Condy Rice) without this system.

    For your kind info, other countries who practice resevrations on one parameter or the other are Belgium, brazil, brunei,china, france,germany, greece, Indonesaia, japan,macedonia, malaysia, new zealand, nrway, phillipines, slovakia, s.africa, turkey and the U.K. Looks like hald educated Indian politicians know more about the world than our upper caste middle class who argue only from a self interest standpoint.

    And as for vote bank politics, let me remind you that we are a democracy. Middle classes and upper castes routinely praise democracy when it suits them. What you call as Vote bank politics is the will of the people. Why are politicians passing such laws? BECAUSE the socially backward are fed up wth their economic and social status after 50 yrs (you wont understand what these conditions are by staying in a metro, my friend). Let me also remind you that ALL parties and ALL MP’s have supported this reform. So if you have a problem with that, you will have to boycott Indian political process not just one party ( as some reader wants to do above) and probably emigrate! But pl dont go to the USA and countries listed above, since they have similar policies, in one respect or another : )

    One more thing. Your articles on tech., taxations are most helpful. Because you have doe your research. Sadly same cannnot be said of articles such as these on Social politics. You have no inkling as to what the realities are in the REAL india.

    Let me also clarify, that I myself an an upper caste and my family has been denied admissions by very close margins to prof. courses, due to reservations. Despite this, almost my entire family supports them- not because we are saints but because we recognize we are much more fortunate economically and we realize its not a race of equals in which we are competing.

    I pray that our selfish upper caste middle class think more than’ I, me, myself’ and appreciate what the real state of the country is rather than participate in drunken stupors on we marching towards Superpower, merit or the lack of it , competition, and such like.

  5. The question is not who gets high or low marks. Question is whether an entry to a student only on the basis of his caste at the cost of some more deserving person is justified. Do you think higher casts students got marks without putting in efforts?

    If there are not enough facilities for some people, then those facilities should be created. Government is collecting 2% education cess (i.e. at least 6,000 crores per year) since last two years. Let government provide those facilities from that fund.

    Additionally do you think facilities are missing only for backward class? What struggle and constraints are you talking about? Even so called higher castes are struggling for so many things. If reservation is justified due to economic reasons and facilities then the same should be provided even to higher casts who do not have them!!

    Reservations are nothing more than vote politics and many people from SC/ST/OBC are more than willing to be a part of it because it is in their favour!!

  6. – do only backward castes get low mrks in prof courses? millions of upper casrtes have also passed on the border and are doing ok professionally.S o why sinlge backward castes.

    – not all backward caste entrants drop out. some do,the rest pass or do well or better than others!

    – in any case, B.C’s predominantly have to struggle agsinst huge constraints to get good education. So its not a battle of equals.

    – USA universities have positive affimration since decades now for minorities. Nobody accuses them of having low stds and upper caste peop[le frm india still run to these universities to study! : )

    – what about economically strong sections (predominantly upper caste, of course) paying capitation fees (another form of reservation)? That doesnt downgrade stds? Strange logic!

  7. Whatever surveys say, quotas can never be good for the nation! It will reduce the quality of service and increase dissatisfaction. The main reason for introducing quota is to neutralise the bad treatment given to backward classes for centuries! But quota is not the answer. This is all for vote banks and not for the benefit of masses.

    There is an alternative which the government is conveniently ignoring. Since last 2-3 years, government is collecting 2% as education cess on all taxes. The collection of cess was over 6,000 crores and the worst part is that it remained unutilised!

    I think the government can utilise these funds and start making separate schools/colleges for SC/ST/OBC. Admission can be open only to them. So those who miss the bus on merit can still try their luck. At least there won’t be frustration among those who deserve sits on merits. Additionally, drop out rates will reduce.

  8. qoutas are just another game of vote bank politics. sc/st/obc’s demand of seats preceeds supply whilst the vice versa is true for the general category students. wonder why the politicians don’t realise that.

  9. Certainly india wont develop by 2020.. iam one of the guys whos directly affected by this.. 🙁
    I dont care reservation in anything else but education.. education should be equal to all..

  10. guys,

    i personally think that rather than making an RDB remake or killing a politician, the matter should be dealt in a different way.

    I think all the educated in india should form an alliance like these shameless ministers do, make an educated party alliance. EPA

    Ask for the vote and support for only the educated in India.

    Atleast the educated would vote you. we guys don’t go for voting, that’s the reason our demands are not been listened by anyone.

    the striking doctors should form a political alliance, you guys are only so much into media now, and you have got public sympathy. the educated, the doctors, middle class, and atleast the family and friends of poor general category would vote for you.

    say openly, we don’t need vote for uneducated and SC/BC. but all we need is vote of everyone in the country who thinks there is a need of change.

    ask them to caste vote to you, be popular, ask for other political parties to join you and tumble this UPA governement.

    If you need a support, if you need a person to stand up and speak in front of media and a politician, you can call me always.

    Let’s not shed blood, but make this country a world best country.

    let all the MBA’s, CA’s, Doctors, Journalist’s, Scientist’s and Biotechnologist’s combine and join their hands together. call everyone, call everyone, even the average Joe Scott working in a call center in Gurgaon.

    Imagine, a political party where everyone is educated, a country where all the politician is educated and motivated towards upliftment of society.

    this step would shake the politicians to their core and would make them go bending down to their knees, to save their scared asses.

    many industrialists and ministers too, would support and fund your cause, once you ask for funding crores from india would pour to support your cause, since everyone would see you as future ministers.

    wake up guys, do something.


    sagar dhingra

  11. Non of the above post still couldn’t provide enough good reason of why quota should not be applied.

    All I C is personal anger & frustration….non want to sacrifice for better future.

    Well its Ur Country & UR Future…

    49% of people are socially backward
    (Discrimination against India’s lowest Hindu castes is technically illegal. But try telling that to the 160 million Untouchables, who face violent reprisals if they forget their place.)

    Do U think U have better reason to be aggressive.
    The only thing is that the deprived people haven’t revolted violently.
    Probably they don’t know what social equality is.

    The Illusion of social equalities exists in cities….try walking through a rural village (Identifier UR self as lower-cast) & U know why reservation is a part of Indian Constitution.

    We have been on Summer Training in Indian Social System (One of our subject in management)…(Identified as Lower cast) as our lecture told us U need to walk in there shoe to understand.
    No one will give U water if Ur dying.

  12. Hi,

    I am with those who will kill these politicians who are doing bad things for India.

    Arjun Singh, merely for votes is putting bad name to India and the society.

    I am with those who want to kill Arjun Singh and politicians like him. He must be ****ed first by a horse or donkey and then killed by throwing from high cliff on the rocks.

    Casteism brings in efficiency to the industry and bad name to India. No foreign company will come to India if they have to follow these things. Even Indian companies will open branches in China, Srilanka. And they should, because business cannt be driven by greedy politicians and illerterate persons.

    Pls forgive me if I have hurt anybody, but I really want to kill those bad things in Indian society.


  13. very nice letter … everyone MUST read this … and those who say yes to quota .. they should be treated by quota doctors only … then they will understand the fact…

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