Quota Raj

When you find yourself in a deep ditch, there are many ways you can try to get out of it. But digging a deeper ditch is not one of them. The same logic applies to society. You cannot uplift certain sections of society by targeting certain other sections – it has not worked; it does not work; it will not work. But that doesn’t stop bleeding hearts – people who don’t mind using force on others, as long as what they think should be done gets done – from following such strange ideas. Ironically, such perverted ideas come to be known as social justice measures. The bill that, when approved by both houses of parliament, will ensure that 1/3 of all seats in all legislatures go to women, is a striking example of the same.

The policy of quotas in higher education elicited a huge response from people, mostly students who could see their carefully constructed plans of higher education disappear before their very eyes. But the women’s reservation bill will have a near-zero impact as far as most people go because it is limited to the field of politics in general, and elections to parliament in particular. That is why there is a huge fight going on – not on the streets – but between various political formations. The SP has been demanding a quota within a quota for women from the backward classes and minorities. Laloo too is not exactly pleased with the situation. And the Congress and BJP are pretending that they support the measure while most MPs are fearful of losing their constituencies. Mayawati wants the backward classes quota outside the 1/3 ceiling, with a 50% ceiling on the entire quota.

Given such opposition to the bill, especially in the form of poison pills prescribed by the SP that are designed to derail the legislation, no one really expects it to pass, except the communists, who are the ones behind the phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes move. It seems that not one day goes by without them creating some kind of public nuisance. Uncle Ben was wrong, if they are anything to go by, for their motto is – with great power comes zero responsibility.

As the TOI article says, after having made the right noises, the bill will be put in deep freeze. With the general elections approaching, no one really has the time or inclination to tackle this bill. Thankfully, for once our political system has done the right thing by not doing anything. A cynical view, this. But the right one.

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  • K. M.  On May 10, 2008 at 2:00 am

    I would actually like to see this particular bill get passed. Which particular politicians grab the loot doesn’t concern me. And it will further expose reservations for what they are – completely ineffective and a perversion of justice.

  • aristotlethegeek  On May 10, 2008 at 4:49 am

    Everyone knows that nothing will change. The only problem is that it is the Left which is pushing for this move under their social justice program. If this bill is passed, the next target – reservation in private sector jobs – becomes that much easier.

    Given the current political situation, we are more than likely to see a UPA + Left government in power for the next five years, beginning summer 2009. And that is not a good sign for businesses.

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