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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Merit Based Education & Emp

Merit based education & employment

India is going through raging controversy about quotas and reservation in education and employment market. Let’s understand all aspects of the conflict with an open mind; we will be less likely to make a mistake. This change is going to affect us. N
May 27 2006 8:11PM comments rss:

Mike Ghouse

India is going through raging controversy about quotas and reservation in education and employment market. The Doctors have gone on hunger strike for over a week in New Delhi now opposing reservations. The Scheduled castes, Tribes and backward classes have never had a chance to come up in life. They are stuck in the vicious cycle, while the ones with Merit are facing barriers in moving forward. All of them have the same potential, but harnessing at different levels. The debate is about upping the reservations to a 49% of Job and education opportunities to the down trodden.

Once we bring every one to the starting line on the track, before we say Ready, Set and Go, we want to ensure that the competitors are indeed competitive. That determination comes from earlier regional and local competitions that have brought them to this point.

Let's think through some of the following questions:
  1. What causes lava to erupt?
  2. What causes a Tsunami?
  3. What causes people to move away from flooding rivers?
  4. What causes people to move out of their current neighborhoods?
  5. What causes friction and feud in families and communities?

Now let's ask ourselves the following questions:

  1. What makes people stop driving their car if air pressure is low in one tire?
  2. What good comes out of filling the low pressure tire?
  3. What happens if there is utter poverty on your street and you are doing fine?
  4. What happens if you are enjoying eight varieties of food on your table, where others sitting
  5. at the same table have none?

And let's look at these possibilities:

Why should I fill the one tire that is low in pressure? - Is that tire a BC/SC/ST/MBC/OBC member?
Why should I share my delicious eight varieties of food with those at my table? Should they buy their own? What if there isn’t any left to be bought?
Why should I be responsible for others? How did I get to be where I am, why can't they do the same?

Pay a little attention to these truths:

Whether we are atheist, agnostic or religious, we understand that when there is imbalance in the tectonic plates, it causes a Tsunami, when there is tremendous pressure under the earth crust, lava is going to erupt.

Whenever there is moral decay in a society, Krishna says, "I will create a person amidst you to bring morality back". Allah promises “Wherever a society has gone astray, I have sent a messenger to each nation, each community and each people". Indeed, every religion on the earth has given hope to mankind not to despair, there is light at the end of the tunnel. It makes the misery less burdensome.

And now, let’s recap from decreasing items numbers from 5 through 2 items and come to 1.

To keep a steady, sustainable growth for India that will not be a volcanic eruption, that will not generate a Tsunami, that will not lend itself to forced equality (communism?), that will give peace, security and stability for every one in the long haul.

We have to look at fine tuning the balance, that will facilitate all-round development, safety and security for all. We have to make a little sacrifice. Remember Charity is a requirement in all religions for the purpose of keeping the equillibrium. As Indians, we should not drop our political leanings, neither appease one party or the other, nor appease the well do or disadvantaged ones, but we have to drive our community bus with a safe pressure in all tires.

I pulled the following words from the dictionary: balance, moderation, equalization, equanimity, poise, stability, steadfastness, counterbalance, equity, equivalence, even-steven*, evenness, harmony, parity, proportion, symmetry and tension. All words describing equilibrium.

The Quota (reservation) conflict has been frustrating to me, and a few thoughts came to mind that may be worth looking into:


To bring every one to the starting line, and then have them compete on their merits, we have to:
Develop a grading system, like SAT in the United States or some such program.
Establish, after giving appropriate weight, a minimum standard required, below which, every student would be required to attend special tuition and coaching classes to get them to the starting line.

This might encourage severe competition among the new equals, and every one would benefit from individual motivation to excel and be recognized.
This will not choke the motivated ones or retard their progress.
This can even be taken to the college level.
Keep enhancing the level of competency rather than non-incentived upliftment


We have a chaotic, disproportionate employment situation in India, with an unemployed force bigger than the populations of some countries. We do not absorb all the qualified candidates into the job market as we produce them.

For many, there is a time lag between being ready for the job and actually starting on the job.
To bring every one to the starting line, let’s provide low paying apprentice training for a year to those who do not meet the minimum merit standards and get them ready to compete with the upcoming fresh meritorious graduates… let merit win when all of them are trained to be equal.
It is our responsibility to bring every one to the starting line, if we want a successful, stable and sustainable India.

It is not charity, it is safety and protection of the entire population and an investment to prevent a lava eruption, a Tsunami or a forced equality, which will doom us.

Here are some more thoughts, I had penned a few days ago:
Every issue that comes up also brings conflict and subsequent divisions with it. Do we deal with them or ignore them?

Right from the earliest days when humans had to share resources, the animal in them warred and annihilated the competition. Then one day, when the suppressed woke up, they reversed it all.

Then humans learned the futility of annihilation. They figured, to be safe from future reversals, they better work towards a solution. They also realized that they could not delete the desires, wishes, hopes and spirit of the people.

Once the basic needs were met, and when we learned to produce food, the limitation of resources was gone and the need for conflict reduced.

Then a new conflict emerged: the wars of Moral conflict. There was no country concept at that time, so the clan was the nucleus, and the earliest recorded wars include the Babylonians, the Sumerians, Egyptians, Kauravas, Pandavas, Greeks, Romans and Han dynasties. Then came war between individual nations. A combination of several national interests produced the world wars.
Let’s jump to the war of Ideas, ideas that affect the future. They are fought through dialogue. As we recognized that annihilation is not the way to go. You cannot kill me and I cannot kill you to solve the problem.

Let’s understand all aspects of the conflict with an open mind; we will be less likely to make a mistake. This change is going to affect us. No Indian should have an undue advantage over the other, if it does, it is not going to last. It will not be sustainable; it will explode or at least will be reversed in mid-stream when the politicians change.

The decisions will not affect you and me directly, but will affect the next two generations. Let’s be the partners in examining the consequences of the decisions and open ourselves to debate with others and within ourselves, and make responsible decisions.

I sincerely hope, that we don't take sides and earnestly learn how it will impact all of us in the long haul. We blame our present for the decisions made in the past, at least, as responsible citizens let's not give the future generation a chance to tell that we xucked up.


Each community, each nation and each faith is like a beautiful bus; when you plan to go somewhere, you make sure all its tires have the same amount of air pressure for it to run effectively, to give better mileage, lasting tire wear..... all the mechanical parts must be greased, all the parts must be checked for a safe, stable and sure journey.

We need to work together to ensure that every one is on par to ride the road of progress, we need to fill the tire if the pressure is inadequate, instead of asking the tire to fill itself. Whose loss is it if the tire does not fill itself? We have to help the communities that are at a disadvantage. We need to bring them to a well balanced, smoothly functioning society. Ignoring one tire or a community is an irresponsible thing for the bus journey.

Each one of us needs to be the 'source' of goodwill to bring that equilibrium. You and I are not safe if the world around us isn't. All change begins with you and me. And I pledge that whatever I do, I will do it to bind people together, and will be a source of goodwill.

It is the responsibility of each person in the world to make a better world. Each day we need to ask ourselves, what have we done today to make the world a better place?

Mike Ghouse
www.WorldMuslimCongress.com - launch on 6/15
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