Indian bloggers are consumed with a couple of social and political issues this week. These topics include reservation in education, state elections, and that age old institution called marriage.
Reservations or the quota system in the Indian education system has fired up the creative juices of many Indian bloggers across the world. Reservations also known as affirmative, action has been a hot topic in India for the past few weeks. The government announced a new quota policy, which was met with a lot of resistance by students, especially from medical colleges. The medical students from New Delhi were the first to protest, and now the protests have spread to other parts of the country including Bombay and Bangalore. Some students have gone on a hunger strike to create an awareness about this issue.
Beau Peep takes a look at how this whole reservation issue unraveled, and says that the India of yesteryears and the India of 2006 is as different as chalk and cheese.
K2 of ThisandThat's line of thinking on reservation is that it is not a feasible option at the college and graduate school levels. K2 says that it makes more sense to have some kind of reservation system at the primary and secondary level of education.
Amit says give reservations a chance. Reading his posting it sounds like he is proposing some kind of a common cause approach that will work for everybody. "We fight over who would get bigger share of 100 seats when we combined should be fighting to get our deserved 1000 seats. Politicians are screwing us, not by allotting us smaller share, but by making us think counting shares is what the real issue is about."
Brijesh introduces an interesting variable into this reservation debate: capitation fees in the Indian education system. He wonders if reservation and capitation fees are on the same side of the reservation coin. "A girl in a family I knew in Trivandrum got over 5000 rank in Kerala Medical Entrance exam. Her parents are working in Malaysia and now she is studying in one of the medical colleges in Central Kerala. Her parents gave 25 lakhs as capitation fees. People who get even 800th rank can’t get admission and this girl just because her parents are NRI’s got a medical seat. Isn’t it ridiculous? Won’t this divide the society?"
Atanu Dey has a slightly Utopian take with an economic theoretical underpinning to his argument. Read about it in his post titled, Imagine No Reservations. Here is what he says: "Imagine there is no reservation; no one cares what caste you are; no one denied a chance to study and learn because of lack of money. (Sung to the tune of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”)"
Moving away from reservations, we listen to what Indian bloggers take was on the recently concluded state elections.
It was election week last week in Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala and West Bengal. In Kerala and West Bengal the left party (communists) were voted into power. In the case of West Bengal the incumbent was voted back into power.
Here is Sriram Iyer's take on the return of Karunanidhi as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Chennai Today had a special blog up and running to cover the elections in Tamil Nadu and here is their analysis of why Karunanidhi and his party won the elections this time around.
Finally, we move from the education and politics to that another age-old institution: marriage. Marriages are made in heaven used to be the old adage. But, reading Deepak's post it sounds like marriages are negotiated in a market-like environment. Deepak Shenoy of TheUnknownIndian blog has an interesting post on arranged marriages. He calls this trend as marriagonomics and has a humorous take on this subject. Here is what Deepak has to say: "The arranged marriage market in India, and there's a reason it's a "market", is not the groom's domain anymore. Women, and more specifically women's families, routinely demand more of the "boy"; demands that are not only based on stability, but also on a deep understanding of economics and politics."