EditorialSanctorum

Ugly side of reverse racism

The continued suppression of general category candidates via

reservation and the infamous age/attempts apartheid exposes the ugly

side of reverse racism in India.  The death of a Rohith shook the

nation and exposed the nature of the Techno-Hindutva-Capitalist enterprise that the BJP is hoping to usher in. While one Rohith stirred the conscience, what about the hundreds and thousands of Rajivs who have literally and silently burned themselves, revolting against this unjust and unfair system. Reservation is still somewhat of a necessity but what about this utterly unfair age/attempts apartheid that continues to persecute and subject open merit category students to a silent genocide. If the state can allow a 37-year-old to become a civil servant then that person may belong to any caste or gender.

 

With so many changes occurring in the pattern, syllabi and the

weightage  given to the paper for final evaluation it is time the age

and attempts criterion were done away with altogether in exams like

UPSC and banking. The impact of this confounding exercise

takes its victims from the unreserved category as those who are most

affected by the collateral damage. At the outset, affirmative action

restricts their chances to a handful and their interests are

sacrificed at the altar of social justice and need for excellence. So

many miss out marginally and the need to work to pay off education

loans or for sustenance means they may not be effective initially.

.

While positive discrimination has lifted millions out of poverty and a life of indignation to bring them on parity post-independence, the ensuing

“deliberate discrimination” of the unreserved students is creating

another strata of dispossessed and utterly helpless citizenry. Inter-generational equity does not necessitate the carrying over of historical baggage to make posterity suffer.

This is thinly disguised vendetta and not one that befits civilized societies. This restriction on one’s chances of making it to the civil services harks back to the British Raj era when Indians had virtually no access to the ICS due to the impossible age limit for entry into the

services. The prevailing practice now also actively promotes this sort

of reverse apartheid.

 

There is a cultural and institutional lag between the public and

private models of delivery but this cannot be taken as an “alibi” for

many eager aspirants who are immensely grateful to land an

institutional job. Their performance will naturally be much better off

than their predecessors due to the current environment of awareness

and dynamic nature of governance.

 

In countries like the UK, US, the age limit criterion enables all to

access the public services even at a later stage of life and they

bring with them a plethora of life experiences that they can put to

use in their new jobs. The greatest good must accrue to all or keeping

in mind the demographic shifts and an expanding youth population the

age and attempts criterion must be done away with altogether or kept

to an all accommodating 36 years and say 9-10 attempts at the very

minimum for all concerned. The only deserving exception are the

physically handicapped section of society and rightfully so. This

would also mean the youth can really prove their mettle and the

examination being the master will weed out the incompetent

accordingly.

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