Dilemma of a quota beneficiary

Updated: Mar 31 2007, 05:30am hrs
Close on the heels of proposed reservation in IITs and IIMs, pressure is mounting for reservation in private sector. We should be prepared to live in reservation era soon.

As I started to imagine the situation, I remembered my experience two decades back in our establishment hospital. Here, out of two doctors, one belonged to the reserved category. I always found him serious about his job. Hence, I had no doubt about his capability.

However, a remark about him by a patient, who also belonged to reserved category, came to me as a great surprise. As I went to hospital one day to consult the doctor, I found no one in front of the chamber of this reserved category doctor, whereas in front of the chamber of the other doctor, there was long queue. I was attended to with all seriousness by him, and I came out fully satisfied with the attention given.

As I came out, my subordinate who also belongs to the reserved category, came running to me and asked, Sir, why have you gone to see this doctor You should have seen the other doctor!

Surprised, I asked him, Why do you say so

His reply baffled me. He said, Sir, dont you know that he belongs to a reserved category

I replied, So what He is also a doctor.

In response, my subordinate said, Sir, I also belong to a reservation category. You know that we get concession in respect of standards at all stages both in education and employment. While it is alright in other areas, can we compromise in case of medical treatment

This reply coming from a reservation category employee about a doctor who belongs to the same category made me dumb. I wondered if he had some bad experience with him, and the difference in the numbers of patients made me see some reason in his argumentno one is willing to compromise on health. People look for the best.

But I do not share the dilemma of my subordinate. People cannot be branded bad just because of a concession they have availed of. The incident, looking back, only shows the lack of confidence of those who avail of quotas in their capabilities.

To avoid this, what is needed is educational support for SC, ST and other backward classes, and not quotas in employment.

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