Response to P V Indiresan's “No quotas for higher studies, please”

by Thavaseelan G

[A former director of IIT Madras writes an essay which is featured in the Vision 2020 series of The Hindu Business Line. The title and the content reflects his racist, casteist and classist understanding of basic concepts of social justice, merit, testing, teaching and the responsibilities of a government funded teaching Institute. The Hindu Business line and its featured author are proudly advocating that IITs remain non-inclusive, genetically secluded Agraharams. -Thavaseelan responds with a few pithy questions for the retired 'educator'- Round Table India]


"Reservation at the university level is not the correct solution to the backwardness of communities. This is borne out by their poor performance. Instead, seats should be reserved at the primary school level. "says Prof. P. V. Indirasen.jnu_reservations_copy


Noble anti-reservation warrior with a sword of merit, hiding behind the shield of IIT, first tell me what's the unique contribution of IIT to this country?


Perhaps this assessment from your own organization can throw some light on this question:


"Assuming that the government has invested between Rs 20,000 crore and 40,000 crore into the IITs during the last 58 years, based on the findings of this survey we could say that every one rupee invested in the IIT has led to an economic impact of Rs 15,'' argued B Santhanam, chairman PanIIT 2008 and managing director, Saint Gobain. PanIIT is the umbrella organization of the seven IIT alumni foundations.


Impact of Rs 15!!


What milestones you have crossed that makes you (IIT) different from other state Universities? The NPTEL programme of MHRD has exposed your kind of teaching - no different from others. It is the same mediocre teaching quality found in any Indian Universities.

Forty years of reservation failed to produce a couple of SC/STs faculty members in IITs, two conclusions: First, the IIT systems favor the caste Hindus. The faculty members selectively decide the GPAs and break the self esteem of SC/ST students.

The brahmanical suppression and domination continues, it has succeeded in the repression of classes protected by the constitution. Second, the quality of instruction delivery is so mediocre: they failed to transform the lower rung of the society. IITs made the rich more rich, that too in foreign countries, while the students of the state universities served the country. The country needs IITs for its indigenous technological development and societal transformation. Your students will not do anything for Indigenous technology development, at least attempt to contribute something for the real Indian society.

"No quotas for higher studies, please", read between the lines: we (caste Hindus) have established a ghetto, we are a civilised looking academic mafia here. You (SC/STs) will not survive here, we will tag you, we will corner you, we will break your self esteem and make this place a hell for you and convince you, IIT is not for you. Do not dare to challenge us. Film producers, you can make a Aaarakshan-II or a Lagaan-II from the professor's article.

The righteous professor seeks reservation in primary schools, everyone in India knows how difficult it is to get a first standard seat in a Government school or is he talking of private schools were the fees are so moderate? The cruel intention is to repeat the IIT formula, either the poor guy can't afford it or end up as a dropout. Does the professor realise, when the community was allowed to sit in an educational institution? When it was offered a bench to sit in a class, and in, how many of them are first time graduates? 'Get a primary education but keep out of Higher education', how different is this view from the traditional Brahmin gurukulas: keep away from Vedas? It was the Vedas then and the IITs now. Why not make primary education compulsory, ban reservation in schools and implement them in higher education? May be the professor feels, 2020 is too early for it.

Why it never occurs to the old man's (with all due respect) mind that all men and women are created equal and everyone has talent on par with each other. His article is based on the premise of superiority of one class over the other, your GPA statistics is pure manipulation of your faculty members. Your faculty standards are no way up to the global standards and so is your biased valuation system. Does the author have any statistics to prove that all SC/STs look for Government jobs, even if it's true what's wrong if some of the tax payers money go to the benefit of Indian Government? Government jobs are mere compulsion, the private sector is in the hands of caste Hindus either as administrators or entrepreneurs. The private sector politely says "No Quotas for private jobs, please" and selectively avoids "tagged" SC/STs. Denial of entrepreneurial possibilities among the SC/STs and domination of the upper class has prevented the SC/STs from seeking private jobs.

However, times are changing so is the world for SC/STs. Benefits of globlisation is slowly reaching SC/STs. Foreign companies in their global wisdom do recruit impartially. Many of the youth with their private education are opting for private jobs. Globalization in industry shattered the hegemony and competency of the public sector. The myth/mystery of IIT education will meet the same fate with globalisation of education.

Why the learned professor blames reservation? Reservation is just a temporary medicine, a balm to relive the pain of caste. The professor knows the fact, year by year the balm would prove to be an ineffective one. The politicians would suck the juice of it and ultimately make it redundant. Caste was the creation of ancient India and sustained by the modern India, why not dream about abolition of Caste in 2020. Grow up, Grand pa, Grow Up.

PS: Here is an insightful speech by Lani Guinier, Harvard Law professor explaining merit and testing, what they mean and whom they actually represent.


Cartoon by Unnamati Syama Sundar


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