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'Reservation is driving us away'

April 17, 2007
The protests by the students resulted in the matter being taken to the Supreme Court, and on March 29, the court granted a stay on the government's 27 per cent reservation Bill for the Other Backward Classes.

There was jubilation on the campus, but Aman has taken the news with restrained happiness. He is happy that their agitation has borne fruit, that his hunger strike has contributed towards halting a government law, at least for now.

"Yes, it has given us some hope but we can't say things have gone our way. The court says it is a temporary status. I don't know how long the stay will remain, maybe for a year. I am rather pessimistic. I feel the government will think of a way to get past the court order."

As he had expected, the Centre moved the Supreme Court seeking vacation of its stay.

What Aman feels upset about is the government's disregard for merit and hard work.

"It's like they take you into the Institute and then tell you, you don't qualify (for higher exams). It's like stabbing you in the back."

If he doesn't get a seat for the Post Graduate course at AIIMS, Aman thinks he will be compelled to go abroad in the future. "It makes no sense in staying here then, it's not as if there's going to be a profusion of seats. Reservation is driving us away."

Image: Indian school children join the anti-reservation protest at AIIMS in May last year. At one point, there were 15,000 protestors on the campus each day.
Photograph: Manpreet Romana/AFP/Getty Images
Also see: The death of meritocracy
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