Petition agaisnt Reservations in Private Sector employment & Higher Education in India sign now

Petition to the President of India: Issue of reservations in IIT/IIM/Central Medical Colleges and Private Sector Employment

His Excellency President of the Republic of India Mr. Abdul Kalam ji,

Sir, this petition is addressed to you, to request you to advise the Government of India against their proposed move to bring in reservations in higher education institutions like the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Central government medical colleges and job reservations in private sector.

Sir, we were proud to be citizens of the nation of India, we are still proud and we will continue to remain proud of that fact. As children, we were taught and asked by our hardworking teachers to take oath that all Indians are brothers and sisters and that we are all equal. We were required to wear uniforms to school; the main purpose of which is to emphasize that there should be no inequality between children coming to study. As you might be very well aware of, this custom is unique to a few nations like India, unlike the country of my current residence, the United States of America, where children do not wear uniforms to schools.

Seeing inequality around us, with people living with no food, no shelter and no education, our responsible parents taught us the need to be compassionate, to the poor and the needy, and to help them in whatever way we can.

Things were very well your Excellency, until we stepped out of the schools. Once we did so, we found that we had to compete with each other to study in the best of the educational institutions in the country, to make a better living for ourselves in the future.

Then did we actually realize sir, that there were factors that were beyond our control, even beyond the control of our parents, and beyond the control of any one but the one who is responsible for the creation of life in this planet, which were actually influencing what we could do, and whom we could become.

All of us, who went to school together, who ate and watched movies and had fun and also studied together, suddenly found ourselves separated by something called as Caste, which decided that some of us were more-preferred by the colleges and universities. Worse, our parents, teachers, the leaders and every book which had said that our future was in our hands, and that we controlled our destiny entirely, suddenly went silent as to why this evil-thing called Caste started influencing our destinies.

Honorable President, as we grew older, we understood more about this thing called Caste, and how it has been a part of the lives of Indians for centuries. We also realized that some people had been discriminated against, and treated unequal, due to the same evil thing, which in turn is punishing lot of us now.

But the same education system, which is now discriminating against us, taught us enough rationality to question, as to whether reserving seats and jobs is the right solution and if it solves the problems created by this evil called Caste.

Grudgingly, we admitted the inability to do anything against this evil, and proceeded with our lives, pursuing the education and jobs that our Caste deserved repeat, not us, but what our caste deserved, and went on with our lives.

Even those of us, who were benefited by the reservations, knew that they were discriminatory in nature and were not really needed, but decided to take it, considering it more of a gift from God than from any government or rule of law.

Sir, but this practice of reservations is spreading its octopus tentacles and threatens to engulf our entire lives. It is threatening to totally determine, who we are, mentally and economically, what we do, what our neighborhood is, and what our lives are really worth.

It is trying to replace the universally accepted criteria of merit for admissions and jobs.

Why have examinations at all? Why grade students and why hold job interviews? For we know, whom we are going to admit and whom we are going to recruit, from the moment of their birth, since we know their castes?

Honestly sir, is this the attitude you desire to see in the faculty in colleges and among the recruiters for the companys?

Worse, the reservations have not solved any of the evil effects of the caste system. Fifty years down the lane, the SCs and STs continue to be as downtrodden as they were, and most backward caste people continue to remain backward. The reason: the creamy layer enjoys the reservation which is meant for the really oppressed.

Totally undeserving people have been the beneficiaries of reservations; people who are rich, whose parents are very educated and economically well to-do and who study in the best of the schools.

This happens because the whole definition of backwardness is false. The current definition of backwardness includes the wealthy and highly educated people of some castes, and excludes the extremely poor, uneducated illiterates of some other castes.

Does the son of a rich Industrialist deserve reservation just because he happens to be an SC/ST/OBC by birth?

Does the son of a poor OC caste worker deserve to be discriminated against because he happens to be an OC by birth?

Without addressing these questions, does bringing in reservation solve the purpose of uplifting the really backward people?

Sir, considering backwardness exists, and that we need to solve it, is reservations the right answer? What about merit sir?

Can someone safely abstain from studies if he/she is an SC/ST, because anyway he/she will get admission to the best of the colleges and can he/she stop making any efforts to obtain a job, since he/she would anyway be given one by virtue of being an SC/ST?

Can someone wisely not waste his/her time trying to obtain admissions in good colleges if he/she is an OC candidate, cause anyway he/she would be denied admission. And can he/she stop making efforts to land in a good-paying job, since he/she would anyway be not able to get one by virtue of being an SC/ST.

What is the government trying to convey to its people? Sir, with regret that we are mentioning here that the silence of the government headed by you is stoic.

Sir, will this help us succeed in our quest to provide the best infrastructure and health facilities to our citizens? Will we be creating engineers and doctors capable enough for the same?

Beloved President, are we alone in condemning this evil of reservations? No!

Sir, mentioned below are some of the comments from famous philanthrophists, industrialists and public figures:

Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata:

Severely criticizing the proposed move to introduce reservation in top educational institutions, on Friday warned the government that such a policy would divide the country.

Santrupt Misra, director, HRD, Aditya Birla group:

The government, instead of taking shortcuts to offer them paper degrees minus competence, should focus their attention to better the primary and secondary education in the country. I will always look to merit and never ask for the caste.

Narendra Jadhav, chief economist, Reserve Bank of India:

Caste does not define how intelligent a person is. Rather it is differences in resources and exposure.

Arun Maira, chairman, Boston Consulting Group:

It is not so much a matter of reservation as it is of affirmative action. It is about people who historically have not had a chance. Society needs to think deeper to do something to create equal opportunities. I do not think either the reservation system or the scholarships method as proposed by Narayana Murthy hold a solution.

P V Indresan, ex-director, Madras IIT:

The proposal for reservation in IITs and IIMs will be a disaster as it will be ineffective and wrong.

Ajay Piramal, chairman, Piramal Enterprises:

The proposal is an arbitrary one, as it was not consulted with the prime minister and hence there is a serious issue of misgovernance.

Your Excellency, the newspapers have been summing up the situation in the following words:

Every seat given to less deserving candidate because of the politics of reservation,

implies a deserving candidate from the general background is being penalized for being born in a particular caste- something which is out of his control!

The mood is grim. Students, across universities and schools, on Friday claimed that they felt unwanted in their own country and said that had little option now but to try and immigrate both for their education and employment.

With all political parties supporting caste-based reservation, these students feel they have nowhere to turn to. Some of them dont dispute the merit of affirmative action,

but feel this should not be done by denying others their right to a good education.

Your Highness, wont this lead to an increase in the phenomena called brain-drain that you have spoken about in many a platform?

How will this motivate an OC candidate guy to make his children study in India, where his child will be discriminated against for no fault of his/hers, when other countries around the globe are providing impartial opportunities?

Is the government headed by you encouraging the OC caste people to move out of India, your Excellency? Is this some sort of an ethnic cleansing of our nation?

Is it not partially, if not entirely, because of this brain-drain phenomena, your Excellency, that we missed out on the manufacturing sector revolution of the 50s and 60s? That we missed out on the Integrated Circuits revolution of the 70s and 80s?

Are we going to keep repeating our mistakes and keep missing out future technological revolutions like the nano-technology revolution, which various scientists in India have been talking about?

Brain-drain is the lesser evil of the possible side-effects of this action of increasing and extending reservations, Mr. President. For the people who cannot afford to move abroad, due to economical reasons, and who are also denied educational and job opportunities by virtue of caste, will naturally be drawn towards the world of crime and extremism.

Today we know that naxalites carry out deadly activities in almost 30-40\% of our nations land area. Do we want more civilians becoming naxalites, Mr. President? With vast resources at your command, you can consult psychiatrists and psychologists and verify whether these side-effects are possible. We are more than confident that they will agree with our apprehensions.

Mr. President, let us quote the Preamble of the Indian Constitution:

WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:

JUSTICE, social, economic and political;

LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;

EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;

and to promote among them all

FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;

Mr. President, as we understand the preamble, it does not allow discrimination. And reservations create discrimination. So can the preamble be abided to with companies being forced in to giving reservations?

Mr. President, all we ask for is for the government to respect and abide by the preamble of the constitution that our fore fathers wrote. Nothing more, nothing less. Let merit prevail over political considerations.

Moreover, Mr. President, in 10 about years from now, the Other Caste people will become as backward, if not more, as the SCs and STs are now, or were before independence, and will certainly be in need of reservations. And this will be the victim of current plan to keep increasing reservations. Sir, do we have a plan to avoid the OC people from becoming backward due to these reservations?

Mr. President, we the undersigned people giving this petition, are ordinary people with no extraordinary political power to stop this menace of reservations. We admire you for your achievements, rich background of education and work experience and we know that you have remained a president with a difference all throughout your term, possibly on the path to becoming the best president India has ever had.

We have full faith that whatever actions you will be taking as President of India will be in the benefit of the society in its entirety, without any discrimination against anyone.

Therefore we humbly request you Mr. President, to consider doing the following:

 Advise the government against changing the basic structure of the constitution to accommodate reservations.

 Advise the government not to bring in reservations in private-sector employment as the employment numbers of the different caste sections (OC/OBC/SC/ST) are commiserate with their proportions of the populations. Results of formal surveys will be out soon.

 Advise the government not to bring in reservations in higher educational institutions, as reservations have already been provided in the undergraduate level to bring all the students on par.

 Advise the government to keep record of the people benefited by reservations, and probably exclude their kin(second-generation) from again enjoying the benefits of reservation, which will be better used for the reservation-needy.

 Advise the government to exclude the rich creamy-layer of the OBC/SC/ST people from the purview of reservation and include the economically backward people of the OC section in the purview of reservations.

 Advise the government to undertake measures other than reservation, in collaboration with the private sector for the upliftment of the needy people.

 Above all Mr. President, if the people in the government do not heed to your advice, please do not preside over this injustice meted out to millions of people who form a substantial percent of our population (OCs).

Please do not sign any legislation to the effect, that it violates the principle of natural justice to all the citizens of our nation. Please let merit and equality prevail over narrow political considerations.

A weaker or less-ethical person who comes to your chair after you might after all end up signing it, but not you Mr. President, NOT you! Persons like you, Your Majesty, should not end up presiding over things because of constitutional limitations of the powers of a President.

Thank you Mr. President.

Jai Hind!

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