What is really meant by the word ‘Backward’? Whom do we consider to be backward and why so?
An individual is thought to be backward and is termed so when, he/she is unable to fit into the mould of the times at any given time. Mostly we call those people backward who are illiterate, who do not know as to which way the world of the day is moving, or those who, in any way are unable to keep up with the pace of times. The basic cause of any backwardness is acute lack of education which in turn leads all other deficiencies in social etiquette and achievements.
At any given time prior to these days, it was considered to be a bane to be backward, and a very unhappy position to be in. However, in the Indian scenario today, I understand it is a bonus of sorts to be in the category of backward. This is because, if you are in the class of the backward, you get all sorts of advantages and privileges which even the most highly educated and forward people are unable to acquire. Above all, in India backwardness is a sort of leverage, people get for any advancement in life, whether it be education, profession or even politics. Here in India, the backward classes are getting reservations in the field of education in top schools and colleges and Institutes. They are getting reservations in jobs and job opportunities. They are getting preferential treatment even in promotions at jobs. What more luxury and advantage could backwardness provide and where could this ever be achieved except in India. Whereas being backward is a slur on an individual anywhere in the world, here, in India it is of great advantage.
With this attitude of magnanimity towards backwardness and the people who are backward, this community of the backward, instead of feeling left out are the recipients of all available privileges-aha! What a boon to be an individual who is backward. Can this happen anywhere else in the world – NO, the answer is an obvious NO.
It is important for us to note how and why this backwardness has persisted in -India through the last five decades of our independence. The answer is not far to seek. In the years just after our independence, it was notified by the constitution that the backward classes will enjoy the benefits of reservations for a period of ten years. At that point of time the move was perfectly adequate. Before this period these so-called backward people had no place in society and had been languishing behind the mainstream of the scheme of things. Now, that we had our own Government, it was thought necessary to provide facilities to the backward so that they become capable of entering the mainstream of growth. However, in place of ten years, fifty four years have gone by and the backward still remain backward only their number has increased, and privileges gone up manifold. Now, the next question that arises is, how did this happen to come about?
Here I daresay that, this is not a thing that has just happened unintentionally no, it is being quite intentionally maintained and even given impetus by successive Governments for fifty four years, for, simply their own interests. Just because the educated would not be easy to manage, the Governments hereby thought it fit that, the backward remain so. In reality, the backward people have not gained much in the bargain but in their name the eight Governments have come to position with their unconsidered votes, and have maintained power. Thus, backwardness at least in India is an intentionally maintained norm and it is of advantage to those concerned. Reservation percentage has increased to such a level that it appears that soon enough there may be no place for the educated and forward, all, yes all will be reserved for the backward. There will be no place for the majority of forward educated in the scheme of things. In fifty four years, if governance had been good and up to the mark the very name of backwardness could have been erased from India. However, the fact is that, instead of being erased, more and more communities are entering the bandwagon of the backward. This is simply because it is rewarding to be backward, and belonging to the backward classes.