Let me start by asking you a question, will you vote for a Hijra in the candidate for PM elections ? Just give it a thought and see what you get. Now whatever you had in your head which came up due to your upbringing, neighborhood, location, religious beliefs, ethical beliefs etc, is the realm of equality and non-equality, that lies in the basic instinct of your thinking. This post is primarily applicable to India, where I come from. We have a mountain of issues related to Reservations and Equality. I might take it to a extreme case, but that necessarily not mean the situation is doomed, it is just for the purpose of explanation and giving a clear picture.
So why do we need Reservations ? The answer to it lies in the thought of how did originally the reservations came up. I am taking up the case of Disabled vs Able person. The point of reservation comes up when we have two unequal things. Unequal here not necessarily mean the physical, mental, psychological, financial or any quantifiable entities. Unequal here just means both are not same. Both are not the one thing. So a Man and Woman are not same. A rich and poor is not same. So two nearly different thing, when have to be compared, gives rise to the equality and non-equality thought.
Comparing what a disabled person can do and cannot do in a normal given condition, say at the age of 15 years. Disabled person cannot walk or may be cannot see. So if he cannot see, then how do we expect him to paint ? Something that can be done by a person with vision, given he gets the training and has some interest, becomes a totally challenging job for a person without vision. For a person without vision, cannot cross the road easily, he cannot see what is happening around him, he doesn’t know what are the colors in world. He doesn’t know anything that a person with vision knows.
Now there is a bus. A person wants to go from one place to other. If he is blind vs he is not blind. What do you think, a blind person needs some help to get into bus ? If yes, does he needs a seat allocated for him to sit ? If yes, does he need someone to help him get down when the destination has reached ? If yes, are we allocating some sort of extra care for that person. This is where the basic thought of unequal things being compared comes up.
It surely is a subjective topic, to what extent the comfort be provided to the disabled person and to what extent the options be provided freely. We sympathy the disabled and hence help them. We can see, hence we reflect. Now there are a lot of things we can’t see and possibly we don’t reflect because of that. Categorizing the person as a who needs ‘help’ because of certain things he is lacking, is the origin of reservations.
The original thought of reservations came up to comfort, one of the two unequal things, one which was consider to be lacking some of the resources/skills/qualities or lacking something in compared to the other person. Now do we apply reservations in all unequal things, to what extent do we need reservations and in which contexts is a matter of probing. I will let you dwell into the thoughts of your own and see what reflections you have now for all the people/things you see in life.