The Day Merit Died


The entire Alumni Community of IITs and IIMs

Is the new generation responsible for the atrocites laid upon a certain section of the society, on the basis of caste, several decades ago? Should the generations to come suffer from the same fate that the section of society called OBCs suffered then? If this is not “”Divide and Rule””, then I do not know what is.

I write this letter today because I feel deeply grieved that the country’s future is being held to ransom by corrupt politicians who can even kill to get their votes. CNN-IBN asked a very apt question yesterday. Can any politician in India afford to be anti-reservation? The Opposition in the Parliament, as an unwritten rule, is supposed to oppose anything and everything that is proposed by the party in power. And they do so religiously. But this time around, when it has come to reservations, they know that doing so will jeopardize their vote-banks. Not a single squeak has come from the Oposition.

I write this letter today not to elaborate more on the sorry state of affairs in the Indian Politics, but as an appeal to all the giants in the industry, to look at what is happening to their alma mater. IITs, IIMs and all the other major institutions in India are being held by the scruff of their neck and forced to go down the path that will surely lead to degradation of their value as an institution. When merit is killed, there is absolutely nothing that can save an IIT or an IIM or any other institute for that matter. And what has the government done? It has been succesful is making every Indian conscious of who they are working with. Today everyone who is not in a reserved category looks at the person sitting next to him and has only one question. Is he an OBC?

For several weeks now students have been on a hunger strike. Several students have been injured in the merciless police lathi charges. All the students have screamed their throats dry to make their voices heard. But what did we get in the end? The government has stabbed every student in the back by its decision to implement quotas by 2007 even after appealing to the protesting students to have faith in the government.

Several bright students are being denied admissions to prestigious institutions only to fill the votebanks of the politicians. Undeserving students who are fortunate enough to have troubled forefathers in the form of OBC/SC/ST laugh their way through these colleges. And what happens in the end? Either they drop out or they manage to scrape through, thus reducing the quality of the output from these colleges.

I am not against quota if it makes sense. I am not against any reservation carried out on the basis of some logic or some figures. But why should we all take the decisions meted out by the government as they come? Why shouldnt we all oppose illogical decisions which are politically motivated? Mr. Arjun Singh in an interview with Karan Thapar from CNN-IBN was clueless when he was asked basic questions on which the decision should have depended. Our honorable minister was not able to answer a single question.

Its an earnest appeal to the complete alumi community to come out in the front and help the students. You are ultimately helping save the future of the country and of your companies that recruit these bright minds. Let the government know that their decision has major repercussions and that they have hit the wrong chord. I am not appealing to you to take decisions based on emotions, but on the basis of facts and figures available in the public domain. The government is not helping the lower classes by giving them reservations, but on the contrary pushing them deeper into the abyss.

An ex-IIT KGP student.

Update #1: The quota row is reaching the doors of Rashtrapati Bhawan.

A 22-member delegation of striking medicos met President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam and appealed to him to not sign the Bill proposing to bring 27 percent reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) in elite educational institutions.

“”We have said that if this law is enacted we will commit suicide after seeking permission from the president,”” a student, Kapil Mishra said. (Source:

Technorati Tags: IIT :: IIM :: Alumni :: OBC :: Reservations :: Arjun Singh

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