Golu: Victim of Distorted Democracy

Golu was with me on Sunday. He has already entered IIT, Delhi. His story is good enough to start a rebellion. At least, it makes me a rebel at this age of 70. I read about the ill-effects of reservations particularly when Arjun Singh got the OBC (Other Backward Class) reservation in the institutes of excellence. However, I could only appreciate the dangerous consequences of the reservation better today after hearing the case of Golu.

Golu got 209 rank in IIT-JEE. Naturally he as well as his well-wishers thought that he would easily get the computer science (CS) in IIT Delhi, Bombay or Kanpur with that rank.
I was shocked when I heard that he couldn’t do that. Finally he opted for Electrical engineering in IIT, Delhi.

But surprisingly his friend Yadav who ranked 610 could get CS in IIT, Delhi itself. Yadav got the benefit of being in OBC category and so got promoted to the effective rank of 61. Golu knows another student who was at 6534, but got promoted to the effective rank 16 and got CS in IIT, Delhi as he came from SC category.

Interestingly the fathers of these two students from the reserved categories draw much higher salaries than what Golu’s father gets and are better off in every respect.

Golu, 17, had his schooling in a small place Ramnagar near Varanasi. He went for Central Hindu School, affiliated to BHU for Higher Secondary. He did attend a hardly known coaching institute JRS in Varanasi almost free partly because of his merit and more because of the kindness shown by the director. But Golu with all that couldn’t make to CS in IIT, Delhi, as he is from general category as defined by the political leaders of this country. Naturally it makes me angry and forces me to ask questions from the system and the countrymen including those who are getting benefitted.

Is the system doing a justice to young minds like Golu? Should Golus not feel punished for no reasons to his knowledge? Should Golus not become revengeful when they come to decision making positions? Why should Golus be denied the right that their merit deserved? Did Golus’ ancestors harm any way the ancestors of the other boys? The answer is just a BIG NO.

Is this system imposed by political leadership of the country aimed at vote bank in the name of the right of democracy not divisive? Will it not cause a question about the justice of the system that the constitution makers provided? Will Golu think great about this nation that couldn’t make him study what he wanted and what his merit deserved? Will he adore India as nation? Will not one day these Golus revolt and turn into difficult citizens for the country? Does the system integrates the citizens or divide them forever? Will the nation be benefited by pushing Golus behind and bringing less meritorious on the top? Will the system breed a future generation of innovators and entrepreneurs? Can the institute keep its brand high and compete with other global ranking institutes of excellence with this sort of birth based differentiation? Can the best of the scientific brains of India prove that the development of brains capability depend on the caste one is born and so the deprived ones be given reservations?

And this is the reasons that many who have left India for US or other countries, don’t want to return. This is also the reason that many who can afford leave the country even today and will keep on doing that?
I am with Narayana Murthy and Infosys who have proved with actual experiments that the boys and girls of so called deprived families are as good as the ones from the higher castes. Why can’t on the same line the government and the system provide all the resources at their disposal to such boys to gain the equal levels before the qualifying entrance examination without damaging the merit based final selection? Let the system not do injustice to these young minds as they were born in a particular caste?

I wonder one day even after getting all the top hundred ranks in the toughest entrance examination of the world, the boy from general categories will not get the departments of their choices.

Revelations about IITs are unfortunate and shocking. The government has totally failed in providing the class of infrastructure that IITs must have. Three students are to share a small room in IIT, Delhi, when in 1957 and then even in 1985 I myself and Rakesh respectively got single room accommodation. Narayana Murthy has narrated the story how IIT, Bombay had to answer awkward questions from HRD ministry when a modern hostel was constructed by a NRI alumni.

Mr. Sibal must correct these anomalies in these institutes of excellence and national importance. If government can’t fund the building of hostels and other student facilities, let it outsource it to private entrepreneurs or beg IIT alumni to help it.

It is unfortunate but with Golu’s story I am losing hope about this global power of tomorrow. How long one will have to live with these injustices? How long the merit will not get rewarded rightly? How long the politicians and the leaders with vested interests keep the Indians divided with so many identities?

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