Discrimination within discrimination

There are subtle ways of injustice that exist in our system and society

AZMAT ALAM KHAN

Ever since my article highlighting menace of reservation appeared in Greater Kashmir (Once upon a time....... GK 26-10-2012), I have been receiving regular feedback. Though many termed my story close to reality but some dissented. Few mails that I received branded my story against the spirit of constitutional safeguards for certain special sections of society. This prompted me to respond. 
Unlike the previous story where Sajjad belonged to a general category and Shabir to a special category, in the present story both the characters Shabir and Nazir are special because both belong to same special category; both enjoys reservation.
Shabir’s father was the first to get benefit of being special. He got admitted to an engineering college in spite of securing less marks in the entrance test, eventually became an Engineer. Again, he was able to secure a job and get elevated ahead of his colleagues, who unlike him were not so special. Soon after getting the job he purchased a plot in a posh colony of the city and by the time Shabir reached the schooling age his family had already shifted to a new house. As a consequence, Shabir was admitted to a good school in the city. Nazir’s father on the other hand could not complete his schooling. So, he took up farming as his profession. Since he had less land, he, like many of his neighbours kept some sheep and cattle to supplement his family income. Nazir’s father wanted to get his son educated, so he took great care to send him to a local school. While other people used to engage their children in tending cattle and sheep, Nazir’s father would do all the work himself to allow his son to dedicate all his time to studies. He even engaged a teacher working in Nazir’s school to give him home tuitions.
Since last three days teacher did not come to give tuitions. “What is the matter?” Nazir’s father asked his son. “Baba! The teacher has been transferred to nearby town,” informed Nazir. “How come! The teacher was appointed under special category and such teachers are not transferred.” Nazir’s father wondered. Little did he know that the teachers appointed under special quota eventually get confirmed posting, so had Nazir’s teacher. Nazir was very diligent. With no teacher in the school to teach mathematics and science, Nazir would sleep late in the night and wake up early in the morning to help himself in studies. Shabir on the other hand had all the facilities; good teachers at school, home tuitions and above all his father and mother were educated enough to help him in his studies. But he had many more worries in addition to his studies. He would, however, manage to pass.
Both Nazir and Shabir were to appear in the entrance test. Shabir was sent for specialized coaching. He also appeared in some mock tests to sharpen his answering skills. Nazir on the other hand studied all by himself. A week before examination, Nazir was nervous. He expressed his anxiety to his father.  Baba! How can I compete with the candidates from city. They have all the facilities like good schooling, qualified teachers, home tuitions and coaching centers.” “Don’t worry my son”, consoled his father. “Government has already listed our community as a special category group and granted us benefit of reservation. As we are at disadvantage, we have a quota in admissions and jobs. So you need not compete with general category candidates. This makes us somewhat special.” This acted as a consolation, and Nazir continued with his studies.
Shabir’s mother on the other hand was complaining to her husband; “Our son is not serious in his studies, exam is so near but he is roaming with his friends.” “Don’t worry his admission is guaranteed.  I have made some special arrangements”, assured Shabir’s father.
On the day of examination Nazir left early. It took him two hours to reach the nearest town and one hour more to travel to the city where examination centre was located. Shabir’s father took him by car and it took them just fifteen minutes to be at the examination centre.
Examination over, it was the time of results. Shabir was in while Nazir had missed it by a whisker. He had just one mark less than Shabir. Shabir’s father was wise enough to secure same special category certificate for his son by virtue of which he himself had been selected for a professional course, had got the job and secured out of turn promotion. Strangely Nazir for whom such a special safeguard known as  reservation existed, failed to get any benefit. Seeing his son in anguish for not getting selected for a professional course in spite of being ‘special’, Nazir’s father could do nothing to console his son, but to murmur himself “humko apno ne loota gairoo mein kahan dam tha”.

Note: Above story is mere imagination and characters do not represent anybody living or dead. Resemblance, if any, might be a sheer co-incidence. Message conveyed therein represent the views of the author and not that of the  institution he works for.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 21 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST




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