Equality Over Merit


Mr Sandeep Dongre, VP of a Mobile Company writes how merit is fooled around. He also thinks let the only generation of Brahmins miss the education train and then see the ‘merit’ in the succeeding generations. Please read how does he tear out assumptions of merit.


A job or a seat in a college is to be obtained on the basis of Merit. There is a due process to be followed which screens people and the right ones go thru.

Merit puts people to test and ensures only the right or deserving candidates qualify for the particular position. It acts as a filter to weed out undeserving people, so as to say. It also puts a system in place wherein certain criteria can be fixed to select or reject people applying for a particular position/job.

Merit is good as it systematically takes into account the technical competence of human beings and definitely does a good job in finding out the level of grasping of various aspects by the Individual.

But does the technical competence of an Individual enough a criteria for selection/rejection? We Homo sapiens are really volatile and are a complex interplay of several factors much beyond the understanding of Science. Science can do a good job in studying and dissecting our bodily parts but science has a limited role in dissecting the human emotions. The social environment in which a person lives casts a heavy embossment on the individual’s mind much beyond anybody’s explanation.

Understanding the Social competence of an Individual is difficult but its manifestation in the form of technical competence is undeniable.  The Environment of upbringing is a major driving force behind the technical competence of an individual and you don’t need to be a Rocket Scientist to understand that.

There is basic flaw in the concept of Merit-   It highlights well the results but fails to get to the bottom of ingrained reasons. It does well in telling us who came first but very smoothly hides the Why part of it.While there is nothing wrong when Merit favors a person who has worked hard and shown qualities to be successful; it is wrong when it presumes all people had the same opportunity to succeed.

Thus MERIT as a concept is not equipped in solving the complex interplay of Social and Technical competencies in our society and hence fails as an Instrument

Equality on the other hand is all encompassing as a concept. It duly accounts for the barriers and social disadvantages people come across in their day to day lives and factors that in to give a more uniformed and equal result.  The following image from Google is self-explanatory.

Pic 01 Equality; conservative or liberal .

Pic 01 Equality; conservative or liberal .

The above image explains how by distributing resources in a judicious manner, one can achieve Equality. We should be obsessed to find out ways and means to distribute resources in an equitable manner as there cannot be anything more important than that. What’s the use of being so touchy about the growth rate and development index when the majority people of this county do not even feel equal??

Equality is not about giving equal to all. It is about giving in such a manner that all become Equal.

Achieving equality is most critical because the growing alienation of a particular section of a society will definitely hurt the rest. There is a feeling in the ‘Privileged’ of the country that it is not their concern if few sections remain alienated from the mainstream and are unable to reap the fruits of development.  This thinking of theirs and a feeling of indifference will soon hit them hard on their face, unawares.

Growing alienation will soon manifest in the form of revolt. Naxalism in far off areas is a form of it and soon there will be a phenomenon called ‘Urban Naxalism’. The urban poor of the country are far more disadvantaged than the rural poor and with limited means and no avenues, their and their family’s situation will further worsen. There is a limit for anybody’s tolerance. They will soon hit back.  Naxalism in far off areas does not pose enough threat to people living in metros and hence they neglect it all time. The urban poor will soon reach a stage of revolt and urban Naxalism will become the biggest threat to this country.  The life of a privileged will become really uneasy with the disadvantaged staring at them from close quarters with little inhibition left in them to attack the rich.

Urban Naxalism is not too far if we do not make a genuine attempt to bring the disadvantaged into the mainstream society by fulfilling their basic needs.

Pic 02 There is a limit for anybody's tolerance

Pic 02 There is a limit for anybody’s tolerance

In a society like ours which is full of inequalities and discrimination, overstretching the concept of Merit will always be fallible. We should surely follow Merit but should not be obsessed about it.A strong belief in the concept of Equality is the only propellant that will make India an equitable society.

One Response to “Equality Over Merit”

  1. 1 James

    no sir

    absolutely not

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