15 May 2006
It's appaling to see the fuss against reservations. Protests by students in many cities, the anti-reservation mails online and in print, and all those blah-blah shows on the idiot box focus on one point - "favour merit; disfavour economic status". Obviously, this is all an upshot of zero understanding of the concept of merit and zero insight into the correlation between groups and economic status. The neurotic fixation with opinion polls on various channels is making it all into a sort of propaganda. Add to it the mobile and online media, the message spreads in no time. So, it wasn't quite a surprise when a friend sent me the following message:
"send 'NO' to 6388 to vote against reservation SC/ST on NDTV. Please forward it to all concerned"
If one justifies all this by referring ignorance as the reason behind the unrest among students, it still leaves one confounded as to why no attempt has been made by government to explain the logic (too high an expectation of government!) behind the decision. There were, however, a few economists who, in a couple of talkshows, dealt with it in good detail. A couple of good articles also made it to print. But this proved to be too little to persuade those (the 'educated', 'meritorious' students, most of them) against reservations to question their stand.
The societal model and its code encourages the advantaged groups to have negative perception and attitude toward the disadvantaged. People associate traits and emotions based on economic status. The attributions for the poor are generally those that are looked down upon by society. This directly reflects in the strength of prejudice that is prevalent. The protests are a result of, besides superficial understanding of merit and economic status, this psychological wall. It's not without reason, then, that while there's so much noise against quotas for certain groups, there was hardly a single voice against the NRI quota!
All the same, it's interesting to see how this ends.
Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---