Time has come to overhaul the whole system and get in merit and passion as the sole criteria for education and employment.
Everybody has had their say on Rahul Gandhi’s now-infamous statement that India runs on dynasty rule. But if one would sit and contemplate on the statement, one would realize that he has said nothing out of the ordinary. For those who want to argue, I would like to just ask one thing – how many Indian films had the dialogue, “A doctor’s child will become a doctor, a lawyer’s child will become a lawyer and a criminal’s child will become a criminal”? When Kangana Ranaut spoke about nepotism in the film industry, how many liked it? Read on …
It is true that in this vast nation, people have always strived to overcome their circumstances and have succeeded too. The best example of this is PM Narendra Modi. But just for a minute do pause and honestly answer whether you have ever told your son/daughter/friend/family member, “Even though he was a chaiwala, he became a PM”. The statements of some of the members of the opposition party are a prime example of how our PM was taunted more than he was appreciated. It is as if his humble beginnings were more important than the efforts that he had put in to reach where he did. Even if you did not say it as a taunt, it is definitely a part of our thought process today that probably we do not have a choice, and that we have to accept the situation that we are in.
How did this happen? Bharat is a country where exceptional people rose from the situation they were in and became rishis, kings and great gurus. Some of the notable names are Narada Muni, Rishi Satyakam Jabala, ChandraGupt Maurya – all sons of maids (Narada in his previous life). In modern times too we’ve had APJ Abdul Kalam, Narendra Modi, Lata Mangeshkar, and so many more. Then why are we so scared to walk off the beaten path? I feel that somehow the reason for this is our Reservation System.
When we replaced meritocracy with reservation for not just Jobs, but also education and teaching, we set in a horrible system wherein the majority of the youngsters just had to scramble for a job, any job to be able to be financially secure. In this scramble, many of them lost the encouragement to look for a different avenue altogether. So in effect, we became a nation of those who just wanted to be servants (of varying degrees, but servants nonetheless) doing their work mindlessly, instead of following their heart & mind. Those who did not have the skill set to be a doctor, just became one because his/her parent(s) was a doctor and therefore had a readymade practise and space, which one could just take over. Those who did not have the skill set to become a CA still somehow managed to pass the exams after innumerable attempts, just because of the same reasons as above. Same is the case with lawyers, pharmacists, and even industrialists. Is it any wonder then that Business families which ruled the business world in the ‘50s, are not even known to today’s youth? And those who wanted to do something different, but could not beat the system, went abroad.
Yes, Rishi Kapoor was right in saying that it takes a lot of hard work to stay in the field, but that hard work would sustain only if one had any interest in it. Else, even with all the support systems, one would fail. That is why people from small towns and villages become greater successes, given a chance, as compared to those from large cities. They have the eagerness, the hunger to do the work they love and come up in that, as against those who are told on an everyday basis, “If you don’t get 90+% how will you get admission in XYZ College?”
Another note-worthy point is that those who have completed their education, also look for fancy sounding posts in jobs where their influential Parents can help them start much above those who are new entrants. Look at those who worked with NDTV for example. Almost all the news presenters had influential parents. “These early employees were collectively called the “Roys’ boys”—even the women. Most belonged to families long familiar with, if not enmeshed in, Delhi’s circles of power. Many of the two dozen former and current NDTV employees I spoke to for this piece told me the Roys used the term “people like us” to describe their team; some of my interviewees also used the term unselfconsciously themselves. Vikram Chandra is the son of Yogesh Chandra, a former director general of civil aviation, himself the son-in-law of Govind Narain, a former home and defence secretary and governor of Karnataka. One of the NDTV’s top business heads, KVL Narayana Rao, is the son of KV Krishna Rao, a former army general who also served as governor of Jammu and Kashmir and other states. Rajdeep Sardesai is the son of the cricketer Dilip Sardesai, and the son-in-law of Doordarshan’s Bhaskar Ghose. Barkha Dutt’s mother, Prabha Dutt, was a senior journalist. Arnab Goswami is the son of Manoranjan Goswami, an army officer and BJP member; Manoranjan’s brother Dinesh was a union law minister in the VP Singh government. Sreenivasan Jain is the son of the economist Devaki Jain, and LC Jain, a well-known activist, who served as a member of the Planning Commission and as India’s high commissioner to South Africa. Another early hire, Nidhi Razdan, is the daughter of MK Razdan, who has been the editor-in-chief of the Press Trust of India. Vishnu Som is the son of Himachal Som, a former senior diplomat. Chetan Bhattacharji, a managing editor, is the grandson of Nirmal Mukarji, a former cabinet secretary and a governor of Punjab.” (Source : http://www.caravanmagazine.in/reportage/the-tempest-prannoy-radhika-roy-ndtv).
Another prime example of this is the Lawyers cabal & Judges being appointed based on recommendations from their own kind – http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/at-heart-of-row-a-controversial-list/articleshow/56303962.cms . ALL political parties have children of politicians in important positions or atleast as MPs, MLAs, or other elected representatives. It is for sure that getting a ticket is definitely easier if your parent is a known politician. Even in the business world, getting a loan for setting up a new project becomes easier when the bank knows your parents.
So then is it really wrong if Rahul Gandhi says, “The whole country runs this way”?
The time has come to overhaul the whole system and get in merit and passion as the sole criteria for education and employment. Only then will we progress the way we want to, at a galloping speed.