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Thursday, June 1

Of democratic means and debates !

People are angry. Few thousand students in some major cities, most of them from forward castes, have hijacked the reservation issue and have denied space for a "all sided debate on this complex issue".

I appreciate these people. They atleast contend that the issue is complex and that it needs a debate unlike our government which is "bound by the constitution" and gaged by the pro-reservationists.

But I am not sure what debate these people are mourning about. Probably the one that happens in the TV Studios in late night shows or the one that is fought by experts through editorials in papers or may be on the blogs and its comments. But the debate is anyway on in all these places. I think they are talking about the debate that happens in parliament but a debate would need two sides. Right? How many politicians can you see on this side of the fence? And the debate that should have happened in the ministries of HRD and Education and Social Justice by involving the sociologists, educationists, administrators of the affected institutes? Yes that is one debate that is missing that could have happened. But it was supposed to have happened much before Arjun Singh decided to open his mouth and PM decided to keep his shut !! A policy decision that affects such large and prime parts of education sector done on the basis of a report written 26 years ago which used data from 75 years ago. I am sure a debate is missing.

And let me say that if a debate will happen, it will happen because these few thousand students are on roads today. If policy will change and become even a little bit more rational, it will be because these students, may be enthused by their own selfish interests, are on the roads today. But I am sure history will talk about them as misguided, selfish, detached from the reality youth. After all, freedom of the country was won by congress and Mahatma Gandhi and not by Bhagat Singh.

Let me end by registering a strong protest to the tag "anti-reservationists". Y4E is not anti-reservation. We fight for more rational, directed and monitored reservation/affirmative action policies. You can call us reservation-reformists.

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