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What the country needs

Caste based reservations have been at the forefront of news in India again. First with the Patels agitating against the Modi government to have a percentage of reservations for their community. And now, Lalu Prasad Yadav making comments in Bihar about how those in poverty will be uplifted through reservations.

At the same time, we have tax concessions and the like being doled out to large corporations in an attempt to attract them to 'Make in India' with the hope that these investments they will make will have rewards that will trickle down to the lower rungs of the economic scale, primarily through the jobs that they will create.

In addition, the government is reconsidering laws and guidelines under which a company can go public through an IPO so that entrepreneurs will go for a public listing in India as opposed to outside the country, again, with the hope that the rewards gained by the entrepreneurs will trickle down to those in the lower rungs of the economic scale.

I think the best way to look at upliftment of the economy and the economically backward classes of people in the country is not by reservations and tax sops for the rich. Trickle down is not the best way to look at it.

Instead, if every child in the country is guaranteed free education until she graduates out of college and if every person is guaranteed a roof over their head and food on their plate, that's all that is needed for the country to become an economic stronghold. When the basic necessities are a given, then everyone is on the same platform to go create what they want.

This way, we don't need to have any reservations for ensuring people from economically backward classes get into the elite universities, as there will no longer be a need for elite universities. Going to a good university is only a boost to one's job prospects. With the basic necessities taken care of, even if one doesn't have great job prospects post her education, she still has everything she needs to go create and ship something on her own.

I cringe inside when I read about reservations or tax sops or trickle down effects because none of those have what I've described (and what I feel is how the country should be) as the end goal. If somebody has this in their election manifesto, they have my vote.

Here's Fred Wilson sharing a similar sentiment about the US.

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