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culture series...

more issues cont'd.

Issue: Reservations in higher education like medicine, engineering and management

The Indian state is committed to improving the lives of the poor and underpriviliged. One of the methods is to increase educational opportunities for all, especially in the field of higher education, in prestigious IIT's, Medical Institutes, and top business schools like IIM's. Competition to get in is very fierce with very few being admitted relative to the numbers appearing for the entrance exams. Besides, the cost of studies here is pretty steep for an average middle class student. Goverment reservations here would be a boon, so the thinking goes, for a great many people who would otherwise not get a chance. The arguments for and against

.. Merit will suffer.

...You are rewarding casual undeserving candidates and punishing genuine deserving ones.
...No, poor and very deserving students will benefit.
... Whole of India will benefit immensely
... What is this merit? just your moneybags

...Why you are silent about capitation fee colleges?
... Reservations no problem elsewhere but not in medicine and top class hi tech
...Without reservation you are keeping out 75% of indians
....Actually just increase number of colleges and problem solved.
...I am very happy so many people want to study

...But why primary education is so bad?

Some responses in detail
(I've retained some cranky ones because they illustrate a point : will have to remove them as posts increase...)

(new) Reactions to recent supreme court ruling in favour of BC quotas

(new)"Oh my God, now I get it!! This meaningless controversy is a created thing with horrible motive. All those who have come up with reservation, they can be destroyed anytime with just a type of sideways look!"---annoyed viewer of television discussion

(new) that's all this is about. And absolutely no discussion is allowed anywhere about wealthy students purchasing seats!

(new) " If you feel reservation is a must, be fair and reserve seats according to population AND income. That will finish fake controversies and discussion. There are many more important things to be tackled, like prices"---successful SC origin manager who is getting exasperated.

(new) I recently realised I have a liking for OBC people they have human spirit. They don't have any complex. SC's and forward caste both suffer from a mental complex. SC's have human spirit, but I dont think SC's will come out this complex at all. Now regarding the forwards, I regret to say they are also having a complex and try to put down all other FC's also. It may be due to ego and ignorance and not with intention to oppress. Of course forwards have many complexes. Particularly forward caste who are not rich and influential as they would like to be. Yes, like me. Social Status? What is the use of caste status or any other status without money, or if nobody listens to you?
---(middle class guy who'd rather not be identified)

(ed.--I think by "complex" he meant "attitude" or "approach")


*See, first of all who exactly are these 'other backward classes'. Please see clearly it is classes not castes. Caste category is for scheduled castes only. Only to identify other people maybe caste was used but it is very clearly CLASSES not castes.

(ed. apparently the last "caste wise" classification was done in the 1930's . Now the supreme court has asked for criteria, so maybe there will be such a census done, but this is a tricky political thing. The mandal commission apparently asked for one but had to be content with sample surveys, etc.).

*All these years the merit-full great people were in charge of AIIMS.( All India Instt of Med.Sciences, Delhi) Dangerous mosquitos were breeding inside the hospital itself but meritorous forward caste people could not see. They could see only unmeritorous lower class persons struggling to better themselves. Even gems like doctors living in hostel inside campus died of the dengue epidemic. What is going on ! Too much politics.

* Reservations is equivalent for punishing merit and rewarding undeserving. Many SC/BC get in open category. If they can do it the rest can do it.

* Persons of average or no merit can do quite well for several jobs, but not in hi tech or medicine.(--)

* where is the "merit" for sons of businessman except inheriting?

* response to above : if they have no merit they will come on the road very soon, if they have any they will improve the business. Comparison with higher education is not correct.

* " haveli ka umar saaTh saal" ( mansion lasts sixty years, proverb meaning "only three generations of any prominent family really prosper, then it declines" ) --a financial controller

* I would like to know, why all you people who are so concerned about reservation, why are you silent about capitation fee colleges? Is it not just reservation for the rich? Friends you are being used for political gains.

* ---- I want to ask that poster who made a big dialogue about doctors being next to god. Mahashay, would _you_ undergo operation by reservation candidate surgeon or give preference to go for open category surgeon ? ...remember, good chance _you_ will go to meet god

* Dada, without modern western education there would not be a surgeon at all for your operation, open category or reserved. And medicine is mainly a matter of experience. Your idea of merit seems to be cramming for entrance exams !

* ....Mr mahashay you are avoiding the valid question.

* They are OK. I have taken treatment from doctors from SC background. I never knew or even thought about their background till someone told me. In fact they have better attitude and human spirit than most non sc doctors. Unfortunately in our times most doctors ARE becoming commercial minded. But that is also because doctors start earning at a late age. Do not blame them only.

* I have met excellent RMP's and ayurvedic doctors who are not even MBBS. Yes experience counts a great deal in medicine...half of the problem is psychological. My chronic ulcer problem, needing two operations earlier, simply disappeared a week after I retired from service. Good doctors are good doctors, that's all. I want to see more sc's and backward communities producing doctors and other professionals instead of blaming others. I will continue to maintain my culture and tradition, I am not oppressing anyone. And regarding your question of a solution, just an small increase of government medical colleges will solve this pointless non-issue debate. (--Iyer, retired rly. auditor)

*What we have done in IT and computers we should do in medicine. We can become doctors to the entire world. It is absurd that students should go to China of all places to study ordinary MBBS , of course, education is much cheaper there. But our problem is actually because the Medical council wallahs are maintaining restriction to ensure income for their members. But show me one MBBS in rural areas. They never go there unless forced. Better let the demand and supply sort itself out. If the standards are not there the colleges will simply close down.

(ed--the point is you can't treat public health simply like a market --the Council's job includes maintaining standards of medical education, etc. Why should they relax their requirements so that someone can make more money? Really, what stops the government from improving rural health care. It is not lack of funds or talent. Must be something else. )

(NEWS March 07): Some private medical colleges were recently started in Andhra Pradesh state in "remote" areas. The government reasoned, by insisting on a full fledged hospital attached to these colleges, at least people would benefit. ( Incentive for the management to set them up? They'd be allowed to charge stiff fees for a certain number of students). But allegedly some colleges have NOT employed staff at these hospitals, and to hoodwink the Medical Council inspectors, they would temporarily "hire" professors and teachers from other places for that day. Now, it gets even better----allegedly some colleges started hiring fake patients for the inspection days as well !! This is getting absurd. Reporters from a local TV channel claimed they were beaten up for daring to expose this at one location in Medak district. This isn't the first time-- I remember print reports on such hospitals last year, but the hospitals-colleges concerned explained it away by claiming they were expanding every year and merely brought some experienced professors as "guest" faculty for their students. But this hiring of fake patients is over the top.

The Indian Medical Council also is embarassed --the doctors who were supposedly "hired" are their members, after all-- and allegedly some were government doctors too. But they pass the buck to the Medical council of India. Who will probably blame the state government, Who will blame the central government. Who will blame global conditions, etc etc.

Primary education is where reservations must really be implemented.

* This diversionary tactic of bringing up primary education is not new. Every time some entrenched minority is about to be kicked out they will raise hue and cry about primary education. Of course primary education is important. All I want to ask is, you have been ruling last fifty years. What happened to primary education is clear to all. And don't get me started on primary health care, especially in rural areas.

* I would to like to add something in relation to the talk of primary education. All of us agree about need for primary education. But the suggestion and timing seems false, coming from these people. When mandal reservation was first implemented, these same people said why you want to reserve jobs better reserve in education. Now reserved seats in education is being implemented, immediately they talk of why this, better in primary education. (--D.R.)

( ed.---and when primary education is covered they'll probably suggest nutrition instead...and then what? Reduction in population, exploitation ....)

* the feudal elite, all politicians and bureaucrats have suppressed freedom literacy and primary education for fifty years and now they want to suppress higher education also. They are local partners of the imperialists with agenda to destroy all gains we have made. (---)

* I am a contract municipal sweeper. My husband works on a vegetable farm. We are scheduled caste. We don't have anything. We dont even own our hut. We are illiterate. Difficult to make ends meet. But my daughter says, Mother, don't marry me off. She wants to continue her studies, the government will help with the fees. Otherwise we can't afford. Now in intermediate. She wants to become a big officer or doctor. She says we all are cheated of government benefits we are rightfully entitled to. All her friends are brahmin know, slightly peculiar type people. My relatives laugh and say she is mad, reading books all the time and arguing on everything. But they are a bit afraid of her. We are all afraid of educated people. Educated people are not afraid of anything. --narsamma, malkajgiri.

"You _ _ _ _(fill in the blanks per your choice) people" are responsible for all this mess...

*The imperialists and their local collaborators are responsible for the problems. They dont want development at all. Not even literacy. Otherwise people will start questioning them. By local agents I mean the elite, not necessarily caste-wise but economic-wise. (--maoist supporter)

(reaction) From what I know, only RSS persons and some islamic institutions run schools in remote very poor backward areas. I don't think maoists run such schools for children of poor families. ---Bank employee

(reaction to above) Much before these people came into the picture it was christian missionaries who put up schools. Their intention may have been conversion but only to a point: they were service minded. How many persons have become "christians" or "westernised"? Hardly 8% after three hundred years. Neither we have become blind followers of west because of them. But we all have become "modern". You know who praised them? Swami Vivekanand, that's who. Better you appreciate anyone who does even little bit for education, even maoists or madrasas. Shameless idle talkers, always pointing fingers!!--Balvinder Singh

*Brahmins are responsible for the mess.

* the culprits for backwardness are all YOUR caste people not brahmins. How can 3% brahmins rule over such a vast population. All lies.

*I would like to add to this--rulers were british, mughals, sultans for last seven hundred years. brahmins were NEVER in the picture. Only maybe maharashtra in peshwa times. Even before also it was the rajahs and feudals not brahmins. Brahmins always were pro literacy.

* Very clever. Why are you talking about ancient rulers. Take an example. Brahmins---in fact all forward castes-- in Tamilnadu were the stooges of British and brahmins cornered all the administrative posts. Honourable exceptions like Bharati are no doubt there, they are not fakes like ....

*Brahmins don't matter at all, they never were important except that nowadays their craft occupation has become forced on everybody else in society, due to modern life needing education. YOU have entered their occupation not other way around. YOU have become brahminical out of your own choice not their wish.

*This argument keeps coming up. In our community we feel every person or group or community which listened to brahmins has invariably prospered. Lot of noise and fire is made by some educated SC-BC's. They do not really believe what they say. All these persons are secret admirers of brahmins and are one hundred percent convinced, that brahmins are superior. Christian Missionaries give these educated sc bc's money to criticise brahmins and hindu culture. These SC -BC's dont have the guts to criticise the actual exploiters, who will wipe them out without any feeling. Whatever the drawbacks in my culture I am a full supporter of brahmins. They are just a very small part of my culture. ( --R.P., hails from traditional cloth dyeing artisan community)

(adds further) They should stick to their job and we to ours. In fact everybody should develop their own duty and not look here and there. But how long this will continue I don't know.

(further clarification) I don't mean they are superior by birth or anything. It is their attitude towards study. Anybody can develop this, but it needs sacrifice of something else.

* All this is a game to break our unity. In olden days certain persons had no property and did not know where next meal was coming. If they get it, fine. If they go hungry, that's also fine. Such persons are not applying for seats or posts or loans anyway. Battlefield decides fate of kshatriyas, market decides fate of vaishyas. This tussle and competition for training, jobs and promotions is within our sudra varna only. Some skilled some less skilled thats all. Don't bring in all these upper/middle/lower/creamy/non creamy categories. It is a game to break our unity. Anyway it is our job to assist those who need. If we don't help our people who will help.

*I agree this new trend of casteism is not a good thing. But if we dont take note of the activity our people will fall behind. We are simple farmers only. Some have joined army, govt service and some went for business. But 90% are still farmers. Now, we have seen in front of our eyes, how some "backward" communities who are very cunning, came up in a very rapid way. We were never rich. They used to be very poor. I can sincerely say we have helped them. Now many are better off than us and are defying Jats even. We need to learn this also.--haryana person.

* I don't think reservation is totally so bad. I am happy so many students want to go for higher studies. All teachers encourage students to study. But only few students used to take interest. Now parents are encouraging their children. This is a good thing. (--murthy)

* Dont bother about self styled "brahmin" fellows they are only BC's like us, who picked up english education earlier than most. Look at them and learn from their example to be adaptable and flexible. Brahmins are smart BC's. The rest of the so called forward communities like _ _ _ and _ _ _(names removed) are also nothing more than promoted BC's. (--PCR )

* When economy improves there will be a sudden explosion of job opportunities-- in all fields. Then there will be an acute shortage. Where will the companies will get the persons for the work except SC-BC's. Wherever there is work only we are there ! The time has come for immediate increase in technical education, institutes and higher also. I want to add, this must be done by Government. I dont want private institutes of poor quality. Why government (and leaders of SC BC's) have not done anything about this all these years since independence?

* Just increase the seats. We have reservations for so many decades in south, there are no problems. (--eye doctor from BC community with a roaring practice)

* response--The scramble for engineering seats in Andhra Pradesh totally vanished with so many new colleges coming up. Now the college manangements have difficulty in filling the seats and only good colleges will survive. Only good students will get jobs. Let it happen in medicine and management too. Days of licence permit raj is over. No one will go near bad doctor. Ask people fom Tamilnadu. Even SC/BC students are preferring to study outside Tamilnadu because of low standards. That is the only problem, but it will be temporary.

* The number of "graduates" in Engineering from Andhra Pradesh is impressive but I have interviewed several for jobs. They are TOTALLY useless. These "engineers" are not even fit for call centre positions. I'm amazed, I simply don't know what they were being taught. They should have done BCom instead. My recruiter friends say Tamilnadu candidates are even worse. We should compare with world quality not rural. I'm sorry to say this but situation is bleak.

* I have two objections to the point mentioned here. What do you mean "not fit for call centre job" ? If it is so unskilled why they are paid well? It requires different skillset. Secondly majority of these so called engineers are forward caste. What happened to their great merit suddenly?

* SC doctors from Tamilnadu make good nurses, if not doctors. (---annoyed man pointing to growth of corporate hospitals )

* They, and all doctors are totally unfit for nursing. Nursing is very difficult. It is not given the importance it should.
(ed : --- please, no more nursing responses here. . separate page later. It is a very important issue.)

*Problem is government hospital posts (reservation) for such doctors where they will create havoc

*All they do is issue certificates what harm they can cause

* You also must remember rich capitation fee doctors are hundred times worse than reservation candidates. SC candidates generally have a care for downtrodden.

* please add this question for discussion : is expansion of education in society the "sanskritisation" of lower castes or "dalitising" of upper castes ?

* reply to above: (--) it is pucca brahminisation. Unless forward communities are ready to work with their hands (which they are deadly against) it is merely strengthening brahminical mentality.

* what is this 'mentality' ? why do you think mental brain work is any less to be cherished than visible physical labour? if toilers use brain power instead of arm power to do more things you have a problem? why don't you just ask a good student (who is a dalit) what he thinks. There are any number of stupid uneducated persons who think manual labour is the only labour. They know neither manual or brain labour. These are the undesirable types who came via reservations.

*The main undesirables are those who have been benefiting from reservation---upper caste reservation, I mean.

*Visit a large IT company offices, you will see how clean and smart their sweepers look, and how polished the entire premises are kept. They are also Indian. Most are from SC. Rest of sweepers also should use such battery operated vacuum cleaners instead of manual brooms. They should be paid more. Garbage-man job (safai wala) in New York is much sought after and competition is fierce. The janitor in my apartment was Korean-American and took great interest in his work. He was proud of his job. We really appreciated him.

* response to above-- Our cleaners and sweepers or housekeepers also can do as good a job. All they want is appreciation for a job well done. Instead they are looked down upon for a "menial work".

* They are looked down because anybody can do such a job. There is no skill involved. There are large number of people ready to do this job. They can't do any other work. They are low caste, therefore. Naturally sweeping cleaning scavenging is done only by such like.

* I am shocked at this mentality. Don't you clean your little child after toilet? ..probably you are so high status you don't even clean your ****.

*(laughs) I am so high status I don't even ___ so cleaning does not arise!! ( I am ordinary person doing middle level job only but will not tolerate useless persons giving gyaan.) ( ed.--"imparting wisdom")

* Now you understand why Mahatma Gandhi made all his followers clean public toilets.

* Good you please become his follower. I can give you a list of toilets to show your devotion.

NEW * Brahmins in UP have applied for municipal sweeper jobs, any comments?

* (response to above) This is a welcome development. We are thorough in whatever we take up. Brahmins are paranoid about cleanliness. We will show you. And what sweeping and maintaining cleanliness really means. We took up cooking also few centuries ago. Now we are preferred as cooks and called maharaj. We are experts in cooking and can teach this also. Soon we will show all of you what cleaning really means. Rest of you are welcome to become pujaris and panditjis. Please take bath daily. (--a brahmin who couldn't stop laughing.)

*(response to above) Your forwards are doing great job of cleaning toilets in england and other countries. Please keep laughing and continue the excellent work. We promise not to laugh at your stories of being computer professional NRI. Please don't ask for high dowry or harrass her. We have strict laws.

(note--I wanted to remove the the silly joke responses for space soon, but some people --gandhians and BJP also--said they are not jokes, retain them. )

** Solutions suggested by readers placed here...

Your views are welcome . ( keep it very short and decent, OK? Also pl. indicate on which point you are contributing. send it to vramrao@yahoo ( )

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