Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Real Problem

The entire country is in an uproar over the plans to increase reservations. Protest marches, hunger strikes, lathi charges form the front page headlines everyday. What are the students worried about? Why are they protesting? Is it actually because they’re concerned about the quality of students passing out of India’s premiere institutes? Because they don’t believe in reservations? Because they think it’s highly unfair? Not really. Though all these reasons are extremely valid to argue against reservations and quotas, the real reason is simply that all of us can see chances of our bright future slowly slipping away from us.
But somehow, I don’t agree with the way people’s attitudes are changing. Everybody hates Arjun Singh and the government right now. The protests are obviously aimed at him. I receive at least five messages everyday making fun of arjun singh and his quota plans. Here are a couple of examples :

Why does Arjun Singh have sex only 3 days a week?
Because the rest 3 days his wife is reserved for OBC n for Sundays for SC/ST

Ok… that did make me laugh.

New rules of quota system in Indian Cricket:
1. boundary will be 15 yards shorter for SC/ST/OBC players
2. SC/ST/OBC can take one bounce catch of any batsman
3. SC/ST/OBC scoring 20 runs in a practice match will qualify for national team
4. SC/ST/OBC player scoring 60 will be counted as century
5. over for SC/ST/OBC bowler will consist of 3 balls
6. 50% players in cricket team will be from SC/ST/OBC.

Hmm… I did not find that funny.

These messages progressively seem to be becoming against OBCs rather than the government. Fine, people are angry that this section of the population is getting advantages that most of them don’t deserve. But they are not at fault! Is it their fault that they exist? Is it their fault that Arjun Singh is looking for votes? They did not choose to be OBCs, we gave them that classification.

I agree that it is unfair and that some SC/ST/OBCs use these reservations even if they are from higher classes who can afford their education and have the same opportunities as us, if not more. But seriously, if suppose, we were offered a reservation, which made it easier to get into the best institutes in the country, would we not use that reservation? Would we not campaign FOR that reservation and support the government?

My point is…. Protest against the government, not the OBCs.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Rose

Sumant looked at it. It was just perfect. It had just flowered properly and all the petals were spread out at just the right distance. It had taken him half an hour to find it in the garden and another fifteen minutes to clear it of thorns. But at last it was ready.
Priya was going to love it, he could feel it in his bones. Sumant couldn’t wait to see the delighted look on her face, when he handed it to her. So he put on his bag and carefully holding the rose in his right hand so that its shape didn’t get spoilt, headed out for college. But he had hardly taken ten steps when he felt something tugging at his shirt. He turned around to see a small girl with long curly hair, looking up at him with light brown sparkling eyes. “Please Mister, can I have that rose? I want to give it to my mother.”
Sumant shook his head and turned to leave, but then stopped. He looked at the tearful face of the girl, the glint in her eyes, her rosy red cheeks and smiled. Bending he handed her the rose, and patting her head, went off whistling.
Aanchal, clutched the bright red rose tightly and ran towards the grocery store in which her mother was shopping. Reaching her mother she held up the rose as high as she could and shouted, “Look at what I got for you Mommy!” the mother took the rose and hugging her daughter, kept it on the counter with her groceries. Then picking up the packets they left the store.
Pranay picked up his bag and started walking out of his parents store when he noticed a long stemmed rose lying on the cash counter. Picking it up, he headed off to school, absent mindedly playing with it all the way. Rushing though the school corridor, he banged into a surly looking girl who was taking out something from her locker. “Sorry Tanya! I’m kind of in a hurry!” he shouted as he paused just long enough to pick up her book and hand it to her, but it was long enough to see the expression on her face.
Tanya frowned and turned back to her locker. She toyed with the bottle of sleeping pills as she pretended to search for her books. Nobody cared about her, they wouldn’t even miss her once she was gone. Today, she would finally find the courage, and get it over with. It was only for the best.
She gloomily walked to her English class and took a seat in the back row. Just as the bell rang she saw Pranay walk in. He looked around and spotting her walked towards her.
“Hey, I’m really sorry about before, I must’ve really bashed you up.” Before she could say anything he placed something on her desk and said, “Here, this is for you.” Smiling, he walked off.
Tanya looked at the pretty rose on her desk and smiled, something she hadn’t done for a long time. It made her dark face light up, giving her a pixie like look. She happily clutched the rose throughout the day.
Sumant came home that night with a sinking feeling in his heart. After all, he hadn’t been able to give Priya the perfect rose. But as he got into bed, he couldn’t help but have the weird feeling that he had helped someone, somewhere. Smiling, he turned off the lamp and called out to his sister in the next room.
“Goodnight, Tanya!”