Vantage point

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Towards Dystopia

A lot of dust has been kicked up over the OBC reservations proposed in IITs and IIMs and rightly so. But in this supposedly high-profile controversy, a more ominous happening is being ignored.

The amendment to the constitution which made these reservations possible also makes reservations possible in any educational institution, aided or unaided by the government. This means any private educational institution can be forced to reserve half its seats. Even if it is not financially aided by the government.

And even more ominously, it can include schools. So any private school can now be made to have 49.5% seats reserved.

Reservations in government institutions and government jobs, inspite of having miniscule effectiveness and being counter-productive, can at least rationalised at some levels. The public owns these entities. So the governemnt, elected by the public, will do what it sees fit.

But forcing reservations on privately owned independent entities is barbaric. It is a massive attack on freedom and rights of individuals. And the fact that the amendment was passed 379-2 in the Lok Sabha shows the scant respect that our supposed representatives have for individual rights and freedom.

This is a small but sure step towards reservations in private sector jobs. Seems almost Dystopian, but is very very real.