There is absolutely no reason to believe that if every class at the Institutions of Higher Education contained fifty percent Hindu students from the erstwhile disadvantaged sections of the society — who are admitted with little reference to other qualifications — the institutions’ standards and reputation would automatically improve. Similarly, there is absolutely no reason to believe that if every public and professional service in the country contained fifty percent public servants and professionals from the erstwhile disadvantaged sections of the society — who are taken on board without any reference to their calibre and capabilities — the standards of public and professional service would automatically improve.
Hindus should not, qua Hindus, ask for special privileges and concessions in educational institutions and job opportunities. I say so because I strongly believe that such demands will not solve the problems faced by the weaker elements among the Hindus, i.e. those who do not now possess essential educational, financial, and social resources. Experience tells us that “concessions” mostly benefit those who already are in better circumstances. We should also bear in mind that any institution readily giving “concessions” soon begins to decline in status and standards.
If the so called advantaged sections of the Hindu society were guilty of not letting the disadvantaged sections progress in the past, the disadvantaged sections cannot take away the opportunities from the so called advantaged sections in future through a constitutional arrangement. This is like making the future generations pay for the crimes of the previous by denying them their future. Such a system of social justice cannot reduce but only increase the social divide.
Bringing up the educational, financial, and social resources of the disadvantaged is both a national and a social imperative. But bringing them up by keeping the advantaged down is possibly not the right approach. Nor would it solve the economic problems faced by the disadvantaged Hindus. Blindly granting privileges to all the disadvantaged would only cast a shadow over the achievements of the worthier and more talented among them.
The ‘socially disadvantaged’ class should not be converted to a ‘constitutionally advantaged’ class in a way which creates a new class of ‘socially-advantaged-constitutionally disadvantaged.’
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