One thing common to almost all the front line pro-quota arguments is an image of one affluent, well educated, greedy boy and another of the most underprivileged, oppressed guy you can imagine and as you can very well guess, the first one carries the label upper cast and the other one OBC/SC/ST. Please note the second label, it is not SC/St or OBC. It is SC/ST/OBC.
This is an ad that has sold its product like no other. It sells you reservation. In oppressed, it manages to create anger, in well to do upper cast, it manges to create a sense of guilt and they all buy the idea of reservation that would help the underprivileged kid get his due share from the bad guy. And the the get busy, get along with life, bothering little to ask what happened to the poor kid. I don't need to tell you what happened, you already know if you care to think beyond your false sense of having done something.
It is the same story that is repeated any number of times everyday on every red light crossing of India, a poor little kid asking for money. We sitting in the AC cars, riding on expensive bikes give them money and we feel relieved. We think that finally we have done something and saved our soul. Only that none of that happens. What happens is that whatever you give him is snatched away by the adult goon who is standing just outside your sight. He gets nothing. What is even worse is that the child is compelled to live like that for he makes money for the goon. Not only him, many after him suffer the same fate and those who want to buy peace of heart by spending money contribute to that.
I never (lately I have become a little soft on my stand but still) give any money to these children. Not because I am heartless but because I don't want to buy that false sense of having done something. Someday when I will be able to, I will do much more for some of them, something that would actually change their life and not compel them to be a poster boy. Same is my logic with reservations.
The creamy layer that exist on the top of both OBCs and SC/STs lets very few advantages to trickle down to actual needy sections. In the beginning the benefits went to a larger section of the society that helped them move to the forward rungs but now the process is near saturation. And the creamy layer judgment given by the supreme court is still not implemented by a large majority of states citing reasons like the absence of creamy layer in their state, it being very difficult to skim out creamy layer etc etc. Tamilnadu that is cited as the prime example of the success of reservations, is the prime example of what can happen by implementing such blanket reservations without proper monitoring and proper accountability.
I would hope that the well educated friends of mine, even those who think that reservations should be there, should not just fall for the ad that is presented to them. When you decide to buy reservation make sure and demand solid proof of that it indeed helps those for whom it is intended. Please don't become like our dear FM whom "life tells" that reservations are working. I am sorry to tell him that life is exaggerating to say the least. Please stand up for a more well formed and nuanced reservation policy something that is actively monitored, is time bound and that helps those who need help.