“I am a student who aspires to be an IITian. Coaching classes did take a toll on me, but it was worth the effort. I sailed through JEE Main, and was preparing for the Advanced examination. On the eve of the great examination, I felt confident, that my dream was about to come true. The exam went well, and on the day of my results being announced, I nervously opened my laptop, and typed my roll number. Then a 97 percentile flashed on the screen, and I was elated that my journey to IIT has been sealed. But just below, in big red letters, it flashed on the screen, “SORRY, YOU HAVE NOT BEEN SELECTED FOR IIT IN THIS ACADEMIC YEAR” .

“I was distraught, how can it be. 2 years of slogging gone down the drain. Maybe I did not try hard. Maybe some more effort is needed. As I accompanied my friend who had been selected, I stood at the gate. Just then, a student walked in and showed his results to the person standing at the gate. I took a peep and it was written 94 percentile! I ran to the person checking the results, and said that how did he get selected with 94 percentile while I with 97 didn’t. He whispered to me in Hindi, “Beta, this is the game of reservation, too complicated.”

Reservation is necessary in some ways, especially for economically backward and scheduled castes and tribes. It gives them an equal representation in educational institutions and government jobs. But nowadays, there are a ton of protests for reservation for different communities. If a Community X protests for reservation and is granted, wouldn’t other communities feel singled out and ask for reservation. Then Community A, B, C, Y and so on would be granted. Then the general category would be void, there would only be a reserved category.

The biggest problem, reservation gives you seats based on your creed, and caste, and not on merit, i.e. how well you have performed. People like the one in the aforementioned example, get 97 percentile, and miss out due to reservations, imagine his plight when a person, who has scored lesser gets in. The meritorious feel left out, and the less deserving get in. Why is this so? Excess Reservation doesn’t promote equality, it just divides people and creates envy and hatred.

Dr Ambedkar included reservations in the Constitution for a reason. He wished that the SC and ST, who weren’t provided equal opportunities over the years, should get equal representation, which is justified. However, you just can’t call India a democracy when about 10 communities have reservations, when will the common man get an opportunity? It’s not a free for all system where you can just walk up to the government office, protest and say that my community has been oppressed so please grant us reservation. For vote bank politics, many politicians, especially in Maharashtra, gave in and granted reservations to communities randomly.

Reservations should be used in the right way. It is mandatory for all private schools to keep 25% seats reserved for economically backward classes. Many schools, however, still do not reserve and just provide education for money.

The Indian Constitution doesn’t discriminate on any grounds. All are equal. Then if a person has worked hard, and performed well, then why shouldn’t he get in? Man should try to get in by merit and hard work, not by reservation.

If we have a reservation quota like this- 10% for SC, ST. 10% for economically backward classes, then we give equal representation to these groups and at the same time don’t deny the common man any opportunity. Let us use this in a correct way and not for vote bank politics. Let us give equal representation to everyone. Only then we can say that India is a democracy.

DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.