09 January 2007

Year's first post....But the same old topic....

It has been quiet a long time since I said HI to you guys. Really out of time for anything apart from work. Now, after so many days, I want to share something good with you all.

By now, you all know that I am a staunch anti-reservationist ;). I can declare that I hate this concept out right.

Now, there are some people, no names taken, who will never come to terms with my stance. What do I do with them? I honestly try some stories to make them understand. If they are not budging, simple, I just disagree with them and go ahead. But no one has presented anything to me impressively for his or her love for reservation system. I assume that caste-based reservation system is in existence to make some politicians mass heros and for nothing else.

To all the reservation supporters and also to those who call themselves neutral after supporting the reservationists, here’s a story that spills correct beans as to why no-reservations doesn’t affect social set-up, and how does the set up is affected, by having reservation. Go ahead, read it completely. Its fun :), but unfortunately true too.

Disclaimer : I don’t claim the ownership of the story, as I don’t know who created it. I got it thru e-mail. Just thought of sharing it with my friends.



The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant's a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant's a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away. Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

NDTV, BBC, CNN show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. The World is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be that this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Arundhati Roy stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house. Medha Patkar goes on a fast along with other grasshoppers demanding that grasshoppers be relocated to warmer climates during winter. Amnesty International and Koffi Annan criticize the Indian Government for not upholding the fundamental rights of the grasshopper. The Internet is flooded with online petitions seeking support to the grasshopper (many promising Heaven and Everlasting Peace for prompt support as against the wrath of God for non-compliance). Opposition MP's stage a walkout. Left parties call for "Bharat Bandh" in West Bengal and Kerala demanding a Judicial Enquiry. CPM in Kerala immediately passes a law preventing Ants from working hard in the heat so as to bring about equality of poverty among ants and grasshoppers.

Lalu Prasad allocates one free coach to Grasshoppers on all Indian Railway Trains, aptly named as the 'Grasshopper Rath'.

Finally, the Judicial Committee drafts the Prevention of Terrorism Against Grasshoppers Act [POTAGA]", with effect from the beginning of the winter.

Arjun Singh makes Special Reservation for Grass Hopper in educational institutions & in Govt Services.

The ant is fined for failing to comply with POTAGA and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the Government and handed over to the grasshopper in a ceremony covered by NDTV.

Arundhati Roy calls it "a triumph of justice". Lalu calls it 'Socialistic Justice'. CPM calls it the 'revolutionary resurgence of the downtrodden' Koffi Annan invites the grasshopper to address the UN General Assembly.

Many years later...The ant has since migrated to the US and set up a multi billion dollar company in silicon valley.100s of grasshoppers still die of starvation despite reservation somewhere in India...


mouna said...

first things first, ants, grasshoppers cannot be compared to humans, or their behaviour, it's very different.

reservations, yes, because, age-old practises, have 'created' a lower section in the society, who for centuries, could not avail themselves of learning. if such is the case, and such practises are still followed, how can we expect everybody to be equal, with respect to almost everything. hence reservations, which was put forward to provide oppurtunities to the 'lower' section of the society. moreover, the idea of reservations is still applicable, as we've not been able to vanquish the disease of casteism and it's sister concerns.


Srik said...

I honour your views. Also, the fact that all downtrodden must be brought to mainstream. But, is there not any other way for it?

Should it be done the way we condemn it today, I mean, should we just follow what our fore-fathers did to the downtrodden?

I feel the caste based bias is a bane on our society for centuries. Carrying it further in the name of social justice would strengthen the same bane further. We need to find some way out of it. I strongly condemn the religion/caste based reservation policy. It should have some other guidelines to "reserve" people.

mouna said...

other ways... one way is to provide primary education, without bias. class-based-education does not sound pleasant to the ears, but how else can one solve this problem...

another thing that i'd like to mention is the weightage that is given to professional ourses. other professions is not viewed with much respect... hmmm. it's a tricky matter, this reservation. one thinks of this and that, and is finally lost.

Srik said...

Nice insights again.
If there's a proper thinking by our think tank, this will surely work out.
Caste based reservations you know, has unnecessarily created a bias in the society that has no end.
There are religious groups formed out of no where, caste based Govt formation, caste based voting system...which are the after effects of having reservations.
small problem to the downtrodden, even if within the community, they, instead of setting it right, come out to streets, ask the Govt to take care of them.
Ok. agreed. Reservations will be implemented, and the downtrodden are given good education. But what about jobs??!!!
Why should there be any bias for the jobs? OK..theres gonna be reservation in selecting people for jobs.
But how come its still there while considering people for promotions?
OK. These are downtrodden, they need to be supported. we'll give them promotions and increments so that they earn more and set their families in right spirits.
But why again their children are supported? Dont you think this system is flawd considering all these facts?

Do you think it will end somewhere?
Hope they wont reserve places in the cemetery. Before that is done, I guess other part of India must find its place there. Or else.....

mouna said...

Ya, i agree with u in this aspect. supporting children with reservation when the parents were provided the same, it sounds complicated.

how did it start, and when will it end, will we see light at the end of the tunnel?

btw, thanks for having this discussion :)

Srik said...


It was really a nice discussion. Thanks for the same.

Can I conclude that "the system, though it was started with good intension of providing social justice and empowerment to the down trodden at birth, it has its loop holes too, most of them visible and need immediate repairs."?

It was nice talking to you :)

praneshachar said...

very healthy discussion I adore both of you, yes what is the need of the day the country should prosper and progress so that all are benefitted. no body disupted the reservations when they were introudced once we got our independance yes truely it was needed then. but what happened subsequently the politicians used it for their political gains. thus dividing the whole society and created a total mess. Framers of the constitution were very clear that this should be only for a temporary period. they all must be feeling very bad because today some of their names are being used to gain momentum for this. it is very unfortunate and one must see this aspect.
story of ant and grasshopper is a just showing how things can take course and compared this with reservation.
now this issue was discussed earlier in two blogs i.e. sanjay's mukta blog & vijay's bangalore blues and here now
have good discussion and appreciate the others views and not convinced agree to disagree
and continue
srik thanks for a good post as your first post of 2007

Srik said...

Pranesh sir,
Thanks for your wonderful comment. You said it. System did not achieve the prime objective. Still so many people are downtrodden. There is no effort in bringing them up at all, but percentage of reservation has just gone up since then. Nothing substancial has happened.

Please read this post of mine where I've narrated my own experience of the reservation system when at school.

opinionated indian said...


I don't like reservation system as well. I think the better way would be to revamp the education system and make our public education system much better for people of all faiths.

opinionated indian said...

@ Srik

A little off topic, but what is your opinion of Manmohan Singh? Do you think he is also entrenched in the petty vote bank politics or does he come across a sincere soul?

Srik said...


you said it. Had independent India given more importance to the Primary education, I mean, in public schools, it would have been a different story by now.
As the grass hopper story tells us, we need to work hard to be cosy at wrong times. This simple rule applies to everyone. We should not differentiate people in terms of biases.
Of cource, when we are waging a war against an age old practice, we need some innovations and equal opprtunities against it. It doesnt mean that the beneficiary must be from lesser privileged always.

Well...lets wait for the magical 2020 and see what happens by then regarding all these reservation policies. Thanks for your comment.

About MM Singh, He is basically not a politician but an academician, a great thinker. I would call him a clever finance minister rather than a true leader. He is definitely not commanding his views in side the cabinet. Thats the reason everyone is pursuing with their own agenda.
As of now, it seems to me that had he the choice to bring private companies and professional colleges under the reservation belt, he would have said NO personally.
He is definitely not a good politician, nor a good leader. He would've made a better education minister or a great finance minister. Let me know your views about the same.

oi said...

Hmmm, I agree with your view of MMS not being a great leader. I sincerely think he is a good person who wants to do good things but the corrupt nature of our politics is a huge constraining factor. A leader would try and revamp this corrupt system but frankly it seems a bit beyond him.

Having said all that though, I would blindly choose him over idiots like Mulayam or Advani and the likes.

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