Solved GDs

A good discussion will try to arrive at a solution that shows balance. You need to demonstrate your understanding of the issue from more than one perspective alone. The conclusion at the end should indicate a filtration of the more relevant issues and recommendations for policies / changes that can be made in the current system. Given below are a few sample topics along with pointers towards what kind of conclusions can be drawn from the discussion.
Shiv Nadar University
Solved GD-1: Should we allow incurably diseased persons to live or not?

Points In Favour:

If we feel sad to kill even an animal or a bird, how can our conscience allow us to kill a fellow human being just because he is incurably ill? Moreover he has done no harm to society and his illness is not because of his fault.Therefore, we must provide him proper treatment and allow him to live as long as nature has willed it
God has gifted us life. So, he alone has the right to take it back. No human being has a right to interfere in His scheme of things.Once on this earth, every man has a right to live as long as God does not want him to die.Therefore,the reasoning that just because a man is suffering from an incurable disease, he should be put to death is untenable and beyond reason.
It is not always the case that incurably diseased persons spread contagious diseases as some might argue. Even in those rare cases where it may be true, these persons are not real health hazards because it is medically established now that all incurable diseases are not contagious. However, as a precautionary measure, we should open separate hospitals or isolation wards for persons suffering from incurable contagious diseases and thus quarantine them.
Killing an incurably diseased person will put an end to research work in medical science. Even otherwise, suffering people have been the subject of research work quite less. Now new vistas of progress have been opened in medical sciences and alternative medicine like Acupuncture, Acupressure, Reiki Pranik healing, Touch therapy, Herbal therapy, Diet therapy, etc. hold a ray of hope for the so called incurably diseased persons. So, why snatch life from them?
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Points against:

This world is governed by Darwin's survival of the fittest principle. An incurably diseased person is weak and has no value whatsoever to the society. Moreover, he has no means to live. Therefore, it would be in the fitness of things to kill him even against his wish.
An incurably diseased person is the cause of constant worry to his family, his demands are unending and notwithstanding the best possible attention, care and treatment given to him, he always remains dissatisfied and disgruntled. This adversely affects peace of mind and comfort of the family members. Therefore, the best way out of such a situation is to put an end to his life.
These days we are saddled with the responsibility of reducing our burgeoning population. The many diseased persons constitute a good part of it. Even otherwise their contribution to society being nil and burden great, it would be justified and reasonable not to allow them to drag on their agonizing life.


Defining gray areas is something which any amount of legislation can never achieve. Our policies need to ensure that the group of people taking a decision to terminate the life is doing so in the best interest of the patient and society.
Solved GD-2: Should Capital punishment be abolished?
In Favour Of Abolition:
Man is supposed to be a rational animal. But can a rational being kill a man for a man? No. Because it would be savage and barbarous. Besides, by killing a murderer the dead cannot be brought back to life, nor would he or his family be compensated. So, instead, we should reform the killer, make him realize his sin and follow a virtuous life.
If we kill the murderer, his troubles are over. But his family is made to suffer for no fault of theirs. We should instead give him some other punishment, say, for example, life imprisonment so that he has to face his own conscience and repent for what he has done. Alongside, he should be given psychological treatment and an opportunity to lead a normal citizen's life.
Instances are many where instead of being given capital punishment to even hardened criminals, they were just imprisoned or put in a reformatory with the result that they realized and regretted their wrong doings, their terms of sentences were reduced as a reward. Such acts enabled them to serve their innocent families and they even turned towards social work. This shows their capital punishment is not the only remedy to take care of criminals.
We observe today that in spite of capital punishment being very much there on the statute, heinous crimes are not decreasing. It goes to show that capital punishment is no deterrent for criminals. Therefore, we must think of changing the method of punishment.Over 30 countries in the world have abolished capital punishment but none has reported any increase in crime. Therefore, death punishment is not justified from any angle.
The reason capital punishment should be abolished is based on the fact that sometimes judgments go wrong,and,consequently, innocent people are hanged. This is because of the legalistic juggling of clever lawyers. Even otherwise instances are not rare when corrupt police officials are brought over through money and political power to file patently cooked up charge sheets in the court and magistrates in turn pass doubtful judgments. The only way to preclude the possibility of error is to abolish capital punishment itself. “Benefit of Doubt” is an important point of law and rightly so because law holds that 99 guilty can go unpunished but even one innocent should not be punished. In the same spirit our Supreme Court has held that death penalty should be awarded only in “rarest of the rare cases”.
We have no right to destroy what we cannot create. It is for God to give or take one's life. Mercy is higher in his eyes than punishment. It is barbarous to hold the doctrine of “tooth for tooth” and “limb for limb”. Great soul like Jesus Christ even say “If a man slaps you on one cheek, show him the other cheek also”. Our own Mahatma Gandhi forgave the person who stabbed him and would surely have pardoned Nathuram Godse who killed him.Nehru ignored the plea of several true Gandhians for Godse's life by saying, “The law will have its course.” But isn't it true, as Charles Dickens said, that “the law is an idiot?”

Against Abolition:

The time is not yet ripe to abolish capital punishment. There is no letup in crimes. Capital punishment is an effective deterrent for would be offenders and murderers. Those who argue that despite capital punishment being there on the statute book crime in on the increase fail to understand that it is because of our faulty justice delivery system where justice delayed is justice denied, and not the other way round.
There are certain kinds of hardened criminals who are beyond reform. It is futile to teach them sanity. Killing others has become their second nature and they have dozens of murder cases pending against them. It would only be for the good of society that they are sent to the gallows and thus their career in crime is stopped.
If a murderer is not put to death but instead allowed to live on, he is tempted to repeat the crime in future. It often happens that murderers set at large through police connivance or legal trickery of lawyers indulge in more heinous crimes for fun or contract killings until they are caught and killed.
In some Muslim countries like Pakistan, Iran, Dubai, etc. where laws are rigid and even petty criminals are awarded harsh punishments, crime is rare. Similarly in Fascist countries where death penalty is awarded for negligence of duty or other offences, efficiency and honesty are found in abundance. Jawaharlal Nehru once favored capital punishment for blackmarketeers as well. “I do not want to harm the meanest insect but it would give me the greatest pleasures of all blackmarketeers are hung up by the neck till death.”
Punishment must be proportional to the crime. One who takes a life, should pay for it with his own life. That alone can have a deterrent effect on the criminals. It is both ethically and practically wrong to show any leniency to hardboiled criminals. We would be excusing or placating criminals only at our own peril because then they would feel emboldened to commit further crime. Therefore, though 'an eye for an eye' and 'a tooth for a tooth' appears brutal but it is the demand of true justice.
A murderer not only kills a human being but also makes the life of his victim's dependents miserable, because in most such cases their breadwinner is snatched from them and in some extreme cases they might go after the blood of the murderer and might kill them. Therefore, it is advisable that a murderer is put to death by the arm of the law itself.
Crime is contagious. Hence quick dispensation of justice and award of capital punishment to hardened criminals,as they do it in Pakistan, Bangladesh and in some other countries, can surely nip this contagion in the bud and prove helpful in improving the law and order situation in our country.


What crimes are amongst the rarest of the rare? Definitions of crime are subjective. Human life is invaluable both the victim's and the murderer's. Society needs deterrents to crime. The best policy would be to deter crime with the lowest possible harm to members of society.
Solved GD-3: What is desirable - love marriage or arranged marriage?
In Favour Of Love Marriage:
Young people should be allowed to choose their own partners because nature has so made them that upon reaching the age of consent young boys and girls feel naturally attracted towards the member of opposite sex whom they find to be Mr. Right or Miss Right for themselves.
In arranged marriages, parents are not in a position to know the girl well enough; that is, they may not be aware of her personality traits. In arranged marriages, we generally get to know about the family background and outward appearance of the girl or the boy, their educational attainments, career plans, etc. and in the case of girls, their interest and proficiency in household affairs cooking, knitting, tailoring, etc. But success or failure of married life depends on the basic temperament, nature and compatibility or otherwise of the partner. Therefore, to make marriage a success, young men and women should be supported in selecting partners of their choice suiting each other's temperament.
The presumption that love is blind and hence a young girl or boy will just pick up for a husband or wife, the first boy or girl they come across when they are grown up is not justified. We cannot say with certainty that a young boy or girl will not take all aspects into consideration before embarking on a love affair. They are not Romeo and Juliet of our Bollywood variety who convert their first love affair into a marriage. Now we have the concept of dating gaining currency in which a young man gets engaged to his girl friend only when he has fully understood her and the same is the case with young girls who now feel more confident to speak their mind in matrimonial matters. During their courtship, they get enough opportunity to study each other and can easily break off the relationship if either side is not found to be as expected.
Love marriage may have its defects as well, but we must admit that it has come to stay. Today educational facilities have spread and are easily and equally available to girls, too. Besides, there are greater employment opportunities for girls than in the past. These together ensure that there is more intermingling of members of the opposite sex and the parental influence is diminishing. Therefore, boys and girls are getting more free in the choice of their spouses. In these circumstances, it would be better for the elders to take it easy and not to come in the way of their children's happiness. Yes, of course, they can still play the role of marriage counsellers than that of match-makers. Young people, on their part, would do well generally to respect the wishes of their elders while deciding to go steady with their boy or girl friend.
Love is the main factor that binds two individuals. Saints and poets alike have praised it. Therefore love marriages have more chances of success because there is pre-marital understanding between the would-be couples. More often, unpleasant consequences arise only when love is obstructed or the period of courtship is very short. If love is given way to and the latter is taken care of, love marriages succeed and nothing else.

In Favour Of Arranged Marriages:

The much talked of understanding in love marriages is not so easy to have when the two meet for the first time because love takes place at “first sight” and not after due deliberation. Moreover, love marriages mainly result in divorce or are the cause of quarrels with parents and thus unpleasantness in relationships. As against them, arranged marriages are based on more solid foundations. Here, experienced people have their way and they naturally choose a partner who is sure to prove more faithful, devoted, mature and with predictable.
Parents are more rational, mature and experienced to deal with such matters and they are always capable of selecting suitable life partners for their children. Loves being blind, young people usually do not give a thought to the suitability and compability of their love. They generally lack sound judgement and are carried away by passion.
In arranged marriages, boys and girls are weighed in their totality. Their family background, character, temperament, compability, all are taken into consideration, for marriage is supposed to be a union of two families and not just two individuals. Naturally, girls coming from families which cherish harmonious relationships are more likely to make better wives than those coming from broken homes. The latter may have their own psychological problems.
All this new-found love for love marriages is because of the influence of Western films and culture on our life. Whether love or arranged one, marriage is a gamble either way. Even much trumpeted love marriages have been seen to be foundering on the rock of reality. Hadn't our fathers, grandfathers and their forefathers all enjoyed arranged marriages? Is our culture or society any the worse for it? If we compare both love and arranged marriages we find that chances of success in the latter are much more for they are finalized after due consideration of various aspects of a happy and successful married life.
What is important in marriage is “love”, whether it develops before or after the marriage.
Solved GD-4: Is Science a curse or a boon?

Science Is a Curse:

Scientific inventions in the field of military technology and hardware have brought about mass destruction.Previously, only armies would fight on the front and even unarmed or sleeping soldiers were not killed, not to speak of civilians. But today, chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, as also missiles and aircrafts, have extended the area of conflict right into the heart of the opposing countries. The entire industrial civilization infrastructure can destroyed in a fraction of a second. Remember the savagery of World War II when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were completely wiped out, its citizens physically maimed and mentally deformed? Also remember what happened in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan?
Can we ever forget the avoidable destruction of human lives caused by leakage in the Chernobyl nuclear plant in the former USSR and by methyl iso cynate (MIC) gas leakage in Bhopal (India) a few years back? Aren't thousands of people dying in road, rail and air accidents today, mostly because of human failure in anticipating disasters or deliberate sabotage by terrorists?
Those who regard science as a boon would say the industrialization and automation have made production on a mass scale possible and less strenuous, but they fail to realize that it has created large-scale unemployment.Besides, the immigration of rural workers towards industrial centers in the cities has adversely affected our joint family system, not to speak of the psychological problems and diseases it has spawned in the city based village workers who are uprooted from their moorings.
Man in his quest for so-called science aided advancement and urbanization has destroyed huge jungle tracts thus causing harm to ecological balance. Toxic gases and biologically non degradable waste material from factories are causing air and water pollution, blaring loudspeakers create noise pollution so much so that even out Supreme Court have to step in to order closure / shifting of factories in and around Delhi and to fix permissible decibel limit for fire crackers during Dipawali celebrations.
Granted that science has enabled us to fight diseases more effectively and lead a more healthy life but more and more deadly diseases, unknown to our forefathers, are affecting us today. Moreover side-effects of several medicines are more dangerous than the cure, and wrong medication / diagnosis may render us permanently incapacitated. The recent report that Dolly, the artificially created sheep is suffering from T.B., is an eye opener for the defenders of science.
Today cheap, easy and mechanical transport, scooters, cars, buses, trains and aeroplanes, has reduced distances for us but the pollution it causes cannot be overlooked. Besides, our dependence on them has made us lame. Not only this, other luxuries and comforts of modern science have made us so soft that we do not want to do physical work and thus suffer from several ailments and posture diseases.
Science has taught us to conquer the moon and stars but failed to ennoble man himself. While machines have been humanized, man has been mechanized and dehumanized. Starford Wingfield has rightly said in his monumental book 'History of British Civilization', the trouble with science is that it has improved the circumstances of man but not the man himself. So what is the fun of improving the outer surroundings of man if he himself is not bettered?

Science Is a Boon:

Science is always a boon for mankind. Ever since man's appearance on the planet Earth he has endeavoured to conquer the forces of nature to lead a happy life. Science and civilization are one and the same. A civilized nation is one which has achieved scientific progress. We call the African nations uncivilized; they are not versed in the ways of science.
Fast means of transport like aeroplanes, and trains have made the world a global village. Telephone, TV and satellite communications, as also, Internet, have made it possible to get the latest information from anywhere in the world in no time. This has helped in the spread of education through satellites and TV networks. Satellite photography has enabled us to explore new areas of mineral deposits and early warnings from satellite pictures of an impending cyclone make it possible to take countermeasures.
Science has given us new medicines to fight diseases and increase the span of life. Radiological progress, ECG, CT Scan, MRI, etc. help us in detecting and diagnosing severe ailments. Transplant surgery and micro-surgery have shown hope for the hopeless. Now the human genome project has succeeded in mapping genes of the human body which holds the hope of identifying culprit genes for man's diseases and replacing them.
From cradle to grave man have tasted the fruits of science: a Caesarian operation brings him into the world, an electric crematorium disposes him off and in between his electric lights and fans, washing machines, fridges and other gadgets ensure that he lives a comfortable life.
While our forefathers had to live a life full of hardships, we, because of science lead a luxurious and comfortable life. Even the poor can avail of fast transport, bio-engineered food, a variety of modern entertainment and the like. Test tube babies have long become a dream come true for the issueless couples. Deadly diseases like cancer and AIDS are going to be completely controlled in the future. Different vaccines have already been developed for eradication of Hepatitis B, Small pox, Polio, etc.
Agriculture and farming have been revolutionized by science. Big dams to channelise water and distribute it to the desert have turned arid areas into greenery. Isotopes have helped improve the quality of seeds, which not only increased food production but also caused resistance to plant disease. Cross breeding of animals and poultry too has increased yield. Biotechnology has made us self sufficient, even surplus, in food production.
Our education system has been revolutionized with the help of science and technology. Gone are the days of yore when man could rest contented with learning of only humanities; teaching of science and technology has opened new vistas before him. He has more job opportunities. Not only this, he is more and more in command over the forces of nature and with the aid of science and technology he is using his resources for mankind. With great strides in paper and printing technology and the knowledge explosion in general, even an average person is able to get the needed information and can exercise his right of choice in our democratic polity.
Electronics and computers have changed our thinking and living radically, computerized machinery turns out products much faster and of better quality. Computers have replaced manual labour with better performance and electronics has made it possible for the handicapped to lead a normal life.
It might sound ironic but it is a fact that because of thermonuclear weapons with colossal destructive power in their armoury, the two superpowers, the US and the erstwhile USSR, could not go to war fearing MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) and lived with entente during the cold war era. Even today, post December 13 attack on our Parliament and not withstanding warning of using nuclear power, both India and Pakistan are desisting from carrying out their threat because of the nuclear pressure.


Sustainable development will allow us to benefit from science, yet help pass the planet to the next generation in the same shape that we inherited it in.
Solved GD-5: Seniority, Not Merit, Must Be The Criterion For Promotions

In Favour Of Seniority:

Entry in a job can be on merit, for that is an objective criterion for a start, but once a person joins an office, his actual experience alone must count in allowing his promotions. This experience enables him to gain true knowledge of the practical working of his office. We cannot deny the fact that seniority makes a man proportionately experienced while mere merit takes into consideration only bookish knowledge.
By merit we generally mean securing high marks in written examinations and intelligently convincing the examiner or the interviewer. But the fact is that even duffers can secure high marks by cramming a few important answers and get through the interview by chance or recommendation. On the contrary, only practical experience can give us the true knowledge of theory and practice of a particular line.
From our own experience in India we find that our old system of hereditary practice of a particular trade or profession enables young boys to gain much more experience than today's newly recruited young men who are given higher position, salary and status. An ordinary mistry working under an engineer knows more about the intricacies of a machine than the meritorious engineer. It would be in the fitness of things, for us, therefore, to give higher ranks and salaries to the humble mistries and make new recruits work under them as apprentices, so as to bring about quick industrial development.
There being no absolute and infallible test for computing one's merit on the basis of an objective criterion, the system of promotion by merit allows for subjective assessment by superiors and thus leads to favoritism and corruption. On the contrary, seniority being quite obvious, promotions based on it leaves no scope for corruption or favoritism.
We must see to it that even a peon after a number of years is made a junior officer, then a senior and eventually head of the department, provided, of course, he has gained sufficient knowledge through experience. This system operates in some advanced western countries quite successfully for it offers incentive to old hands.

In Favour Of  Merit:

Promotions in offices and factories should be based on merit alone, for, it seniority were to be given weightage in promoting one to higher posts , every Tom, Dick and Harry who has put in a specified years of service would start claiming promotions just because of his duration in service. Can we grant promotions to a peon who dusts books and carries files in a library without even caring to read their contents? Can his seniority make him more able or capable? The fact is that only time applied in useful purposes has educative value. In this respect, we have the shining example of Gangadhar Yadav, a gardener in his early 20's at IIM, Lucknow. He so involved himself in doing some extra work in the office there, that in the year 2000 a visiting Vice President of a reputed multinational got impressed with him and offered him the job of Sales Executive!
The greatest progress in nations of the world has been achieved where promotions and honours have gone to the meritorious alone. Here we have the most spectacular case of China and the former Soviet Union. In China, they followed Confucian teachings since ancient times and recruited their government officers accordingly on the basis of a competition. Today we know where China stands! In the case of the Soviet Union too, their greatest progress in science and technology was made possible by encouragement given to merit. That is why they could put first Sputnik in the orbit and build a huge military industrial complex. An ordinary factory worker could hope to become a manager one day.
Granted that people with seniority are sometimes more knowledgeable than new recruits who come on the basis of examinations and competitions but they are exceptions. Majority of them do not make any serious attempt to know or learn more and do better. However, the few who improve themselves do get an opportunity for promotions,on the basis of both merit and seniority.
The requirements of the present day make old people outdated, because of rapid technological advancement in factories and new work culture. Therefore, if merit alone is taken into consideration while promoting, the knowledge of the latest devices and design can be meaningfully tested in a candidate who keeps himself abreast of them.
We now witness worldwide skill upgrading, computerization, government downsizing, more mechanization and automation. What does it indicate? Only that we are moving towards meritocracy- a kind of government where all jobs is available on the basis of merit and academic qualifications alone. In such a situation, seniority is bound to be left irrelevant and only merit as proved through technical and practical knowledge will count.


Loyalty and Genius both need to be rewarded. Policy needs to ensure that there are exceptions for the career paths of exceptional people, without making so many exceptions that it gets converted into a “rule”.
Solved GD-6: Are Reservations In Jobs Justified?

No, They Aren't:

The very idea of providing reservations to any segment of the population is based on negatives. It allows for preferential treatment without a thought being given to the caliber or eligibility aspect. Just about any individual from the reserved castes scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and backward castes can get a Government job or admission in an educational institution on a much lower eligibility criterion for percentage of marks and a higher age. This lowering of standard breeds inefficiency, discourages the really meritorious and negates the very concept of quality of opportunity. 49.5 percent reservation means that half the administrative machinery has inbuilt inefficiency, while Article 335 of our Constitution lays down that reservation should be consistent with the maintenance of efficiency of administration.
By rejecting people of higher competence from general category and accepting the reserved category with lower competence, the reservation policy acts as a disincentive to the meritorious and more capable. Thus inhibits healthy growth or development of an individual. Such brilliant students, victims of unfair favouritism of our reservation policy, get frustrated and leave for foreign countries which favour merit alone. This brain-drain adversely affects the intellectual capability of our country. Not only this, the system of reservation, says Justice Chinnappa Reddy, has in many cases paradoxically generated “a spirit of self-denigration” - each community of caste competing to be more backward than others.
Private enterprises, being interested in efficiency alone, do not follow the retrograde policy of reservation. Their sole criterion of selecting people is merit and ability to deliver the goods. This is why they are doing extremely well.But, of late, demands for introducing reservations in private sector has been raised in some influential quarters.Should this come about, God save whatever efficiency we still have in at least a few segments of our administration and economy.
It is a shame that in this computer and space age we, by institutionalizing our reservation policy, admit that we are a decadent society based on caste. What image does it convey in the international field? Can casteism be done away with by having caste based reservations? Should we not follow economic criterion instead so that only a few families do not benefit perpetually by this unfair policy? The criterion of creamy layer is patently humbug, for it is so applied that even those with sufficient means and standing in society succeed in getting the benefit of reservation. All this breeds discontent and occasions social unrest. Therefore, the sooner we do away with reservations the better for the nation.
Reservations were supposed to be an interim arrangement for 10 years as per our constitution so that the low caste people could come up socially. But encouraged by our shortsighted politicians with their sights fixed on this sizeable vote-bank, its beneficiaries have formed it into a habit to claim reservation as a matter of right. Instead of striving hard to excel, they seek the shortcut of reservations and the vested political interests perpetuate it. This vicious circle can be broken by the Government by having a firm cutoff year for reservations and spreading education among the depressed classes on a priority basis. But can we do so by assigning low priority to education with a mere 4 percent budget allocation for it?
Instead of facilitating spatial growth of education and development among the depressed classes, reservations have spawned a new elitist group a mere 5 percent among them, which has cornered all the benefits meant for 22.5 per cent. The same is going to be the fate of the most backwards among backward classes.
A further reservation of 27 percent to the other backward classes has aggravated the employment problem and has formed caste animosities and hatred. This retrograde step is not going to do any good to the nation. In the name of social justice, an injustice of the worst type is being perpetrated because of the accident of birth in a higher caste. Moreover, the argument that since the new reserved categories have suffered injustice through centuries at the hands of upper caste people, the latter should atone for that, is beyond comprehension. How could a young boy or girl be held responsible and guilty for an alleged crime supposed to have been committed by his or her forefathers? Two wrongs do not make one right?
The only hope of the children of ordinary families for a better future is through education and open-to-all competitive examination. This has been shattered by the additional 27 per cent job quota for other Backward Class (BC) candidates following acceptance of the Mandal Commission Report. That is why they resorted to agitation and even self-immolation, but to no avail. It has further fractured our caste-ridden society. The author of the Mandal Commission Report himself admits that the system followed by the Commission in compiling the list is unscientific.
It is really damaging to the nation as a whole that instead of tackling our population problem largely due to the illiterate, backward and superstitious people of backward classes, we give them the lollipop of reservations! In spite of their wretchedness and poverty they produce more children and make the life of these innocents more miserable than theirs. Therefore, if at all reservations are to be given they must be linked with adoption of family-planning methods. This will prove to be an effective deterrent against population explosion and will also benefit these classes themselves.

Yes, They Are:

The obnoxious caste system might have served some purpose when it originated centuries ago but now it is a hindrance to our social progress. The claim of the apologists of caste system that caste was changeable according to merit and competence of the individual and was not strictly hereditary is disapproved by the story of Karna in the Mahabharat who inspite of being equal to or even more in valour, skill, warfare and charity than the Kshatriyas was made to suffer humiliation for being a Sut Putra (Son of a Shudra) till his death. Again we have the story of Eklavya, a low-born. Dronacharya, the teacher of Arjun, the great archer of the epic Mahabharat, demanded his thumb as Gurudakshina (Fee), even though he had refused to teach him archery fearing that he might surpass. Thus centuries of oppression and untouchability cannot be undone in just a few years of honest and sincere efforts. Therefore, the makers of our Constitution stipulated reservation for scheduled castes and tribes for a period of ten years but it had to be extended again and again because they could not come up in such a short time. It is only fair and just to reserve some seats for these deprived and oppressed people, who could not enter even temples and educational institutions. The question of any inefficiency creeping in or harm or injustice being done to others does not arise because one, these classes too must fulfill certain basic minimum educational or technical qualification, and, too, some states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have over 50 percent reservations yet their efficiency is second to none. Again, no hue and cry of lowering efficiency or standards is raised when a son of a rich father gets admission in a technical or professional course in spite of lower marks. Then why these double standards?
Our constitution lays down equality among equals and not among un equals. Through the policy of reservation, our depressed and backward class people are sought to be brought to the status of equality with others. It is really shameful for a modern civilized society like ours that even after 55 years of independence, a scheduled caste barat party is not allowed to go through a Rajput dominated village near Agra, young lovers belonging to higher lower caste are hanged in village panchayats in broad daylight without a whimper of protest! Hence, reservation is an affirmative action to bring about socio-economic betterment of these classes and must, therefore, continue.
Being a Welfare State, we owe it to the weaker sections to ensure their well-being through governmental action.Their economic backwardness, poor state of education and social deprivation are all due to our society which even at this late hour should not prevent their upliftment. It is because of this oppressive, humiliating and torturous caste system and resultant deprivation that has led thousands of scheduled castes people (From Dr. Ambedkar to Ramraj now Uditraj) to get converted en masse into other religions. Resort to such conversions as a means of escape from caste-based oppression is a shame on the entire society.
If the Brahmins can work as pujaris and act as agents of God for all auspicious occasions like births, marriages,deaths, etc. as a birthright, why should the Hindu society not view some reservation for backward class people with charity and generosity.
Even now the total reservation is only 49.5 percent for about 76.5 per cent of the population while over 50 per cent seats are available for about 23.5 per cent candidates of higher castes. Besides, true social justice can come with a price and reservations are the prices that are privileged classes should be willing to pay so that the accident of birth is no more used against their lowborn brethren.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Swaraj for me means freedom for the meanest for our countrymen. I am not interested in freeing India merely from the English yoke. I am bent upon freeing India from any yoke whatsoever.” It goes to prove that Father of the Nation would ensure individual freedom for one and all. But can such freedom be possible for the exploited and oppressed weaker sections?
The depressed and backward class people cannot fare well in an open competition because of centuries of suppression and deprivation, and, hence, they cannot develop themselves. In this modern age of knowledge explosion through mass media, they may get alienated from the main stream of our society. This can generate dangerous consequences for the nation as a whole. Therefore, to avoid such an eventuality, we should accept our downtrodden brethren with an open arm and give them a helping hand in realizing their potential. This way only we can achieve our common destiny, for didn't our ancient seers proclaimed “Sarve Bhawantu Sukhinah ma Kashchid duhkh bhag bhavet”. (Let all be happy, let no one be miserable).


Inequalities will always exist. Society will always try to set right these inequalities in some ways. Policy checks here should be to see if the solution is working in the long term or not.
Solved GD-7: What form of Democracy is better - parliamentary or presidential?


India adopted the Parliamentary form of democracy after getting Independence in 1947 because India had been familiar with its working during the days of the British rule. Since then 13 general elections have been held to the Lok Sabha on the basis of universal adult franchise, and barring a few violent incidents during the polls, there has been peaceful transition of authority from one political party to the other. Moreover, while in a parliamentary democracy, the Executive is responsible to the legislature and therefore, the opposition always keeps it alert. For it “always lives in the shadow of a coming defeat.” As Laski points out, in a Presidential democracy the President does not have to fear any opposition because he is not responsible to the legislature. It can make him autocratic. Hence Esmein calls the system “autocratic, irresponsible and dangerous.” So, would it be advisable for us to hand over the destiny of our vast country with abundant resources and population to the whims and caprices of a dictatorial President?
Since the majority party or a majority coalition of several parties comes to power in a Parliamentary democracy, there is bound to be co-operation and harmony between the Executive and the Legislature. It ensures easy implementation of plans and policies of the ruling party for it can have its own way, no matter what the opposition parties in the Lok Sabha say.In the Presidential form, on the contrary, the system of separation of powers between the Executive and Legislature often leads to conflict: more so, if these two wings of the government are controlled by different parties. This leads to delay, confusion and procrastination. Therefore, it is advisable for us to continue with the present system which has unity of responsibility, direction and power.
It is always possible to remove a failed Prime Minister and replace him with a new competent and acceptable individual as per the wishes of the people. This happened in the United Kingdom during World War II when Chamberlain proved to be a timid Prime Minister and Churchill replaced him without any commutation taking place. But a President cannot be thus removed before the expiry of his tenure except by an extremely difficult process of Impeachment. Thus this system being rigid does not mould itself easily to abusing circumstances. Therefore, there is no point in having a Presidential democracy where even a persona non grata has to be tolerated for the remaining tenure of his office.
Bryce maintains that the Parliamentary form of Government secures swiftness in decision and vigor in action because cabinet can easily get the measures it deems essential passed through the Legislature. In the Presidential form, inordinate delay is caused in arriving at decisions, for the Legislature is to be convinced of major policy decisions.
“Power corrupts, Absolute power corrupts absolutely” says Lord Acton. This applies to the position of a President vested with the entire administration and absolute power who might on his own take drastic action at home and in foreign policy and bring about great suffering to the people. We should therefore, maintain the status quo of Parliamentary Government, notwithstanding its shortcomings and faults, which has several heads to solve national problems in the form of the cabinet.
Parliamentary democracy suits us because here persons fit to be members of the Executive make known their sagacity, political acumen, grasp and common sense, and the Prime minister will always be one who has undergone a long and strenuous period of political apprenticeship. This state of affairs does not obtain in a Presidential democracy in the United States any person without adequate political experience can hope to become the President. He very often comes from obscurity and goes into obscurity again after his term of office is over and he is 'a leap in the dark.'
If the ruling party fails to deliver and carry the majority with it in a Parliamentary democracy, the opposition more than merely exposing its drawbacks, loopholes and blunders, tries to step into his shoes without necessarily having to force the ritual of a fresh election. A fixed tenure of office for a President does not make this possible in a Presidential democracy.
India has been the most stable nation of Afro Asia. The main factor contributing to our stability has been the holding of periodic general elections. Government seeks to correspond to the desires of the electorate. Members of the Legislature who represent prevailing tendencies and opinion of the nation apprise the cabinet of them.Cabinet or the ruling party can ignore or brush aside them only at its own peril. Presidential democracy, on the other hand, has nothing much to care for a shift in public opinion because the fixed term of office of the President makes him secure in office for the stipulated number of years. This may make him unresponsive to the wishes of the people and rule as a dictator.


The time has come for us to switch over to the government of experts, as the Presidential government is called instead of the government of amateurs or the Parliamentary democracy. The President is authorized to appoint the members of his cabinet irrespective of party affiliation. He can even obtain the services of nonparty experts. A Prime Minister, on the other hand, is bound to appoint only members of his party or of parties supporting him. And he has to take into consideration their caste, region, religion and their following, notwithstanding their otherwise unsuitability for the post. In India, we have had, in the past and have even today, several persons as ministers not because of their intrinsic quality but due to parochial considerations.
Presidential system ensures that the President has a national image. He does not belong to this or that group or faction in the Legislature. Since he is elected for a fixed term of office, stability is inbuilt in this form of government because he is not dependant on the vagaries of the Legislature. In Parliamentary Government, on the other hand, the Prime Minister has to please both his party men and the opposition to continue in office. The instability of this form of government becomes more obvious when a single party does not hold a majority in the Legislature and a coalition government is formed, as was the case in France prior to the inauguration of the 5th republic, and in India during the Janata Party rule (1977- 80), National Front Governments in 1989-91 and in 1996-98. The BJP led coalition government had to resign in just 13 days and 13 months respectively and the NDA Government had to put up with the tantrums of this or that coalition partner.
In a Presidential democracy, the Legislature is less likely to be dominated by party spirit and the individual members can vote independently on the issues presented to them, as the fate of the government does not depend on them. This phenomenon is so much in evidence in the classic case of United States that the two main parties the Republican and the Democratic are called 'same wine in different bottles'. Contrary to this the Parliamentary system “intensifies the spirit of party and keeps it always on the boil” says Lord Bryce. Even if there are no important issues of policy before the nation, there are always the offices to be fought, for one party holds them, the other desires them and the conflict is unending for immediately after defeat, the beaten party begins its campaign to dislodge the victors. While the opposition criticizes Government policy regardless of its merits, the ruling party avoids putting unpopular measure, however important they may be, and resorts to populism ignoring the need of the nation. Don't we witness this happening here in India? Should, then, we still continue with this irresponsible state of affairs?
The fusion of executive and legislative functions in a parliamentary democracy like ours has made the cabinet usurp the functions of parliament, for the Union Legislature is now in session for about 3 months in one year while during Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru's time it used to be in session for more than 4 months. Moreover, rule by ordinance tends to bypass the authority of Parliament. In the Presidential system, on the other hand, there is separation of the Executive and the Legislature. Hence, no wing can usurp the powers of the other. This ensures that no legislation is enacted in haste or without, in-depth deliberation.
In a presidential democracy, a continuous and consistent home and foreign policy can be followed because the chief executive enjoys security of tenure and cannot be easily removed. This fact is established by the Rooseveltian era in USA. Contrary to this, in a parliamentary democracy, there is no continuity or consistency of policies because of instability of Government. A new cabinet may even reverse the policy followed by its predecessor.
In a presidential system, bureaucratic appointments are made by the president, and in some cases, with the approval of the legislature. They are responsible for their acts of omission and commission. In the Parliamentary Government, on the other hand, there is a fixed tenure for bureaucrats who thrive under the cloak of ministerial responsibility. In India, we witness an over bureaucratization of the entire administration, which causes red-tape and avoidable delay. Bureaucracy even hijacks the well meant policies of the government.
With a multiplicity of political parties spawned due to personality clash of egoistic leaders and helplessness of even anti defection law, floor-crossing and horse-trading have become the norm in our parliamentary practices. The politician-bureaucrat-businessman-criminal nexus has debased the parliamentary institution, interfered with the judiciary, created law and order problems and encouraged terrorism and separation on a wider scale. Even violence inside the legislature has bought them into disrepute. Instead of being a government by discussion, parliamentary democracy has descended to the low level of pandemonium and bedlam in the houses of the legislature.
Low calibre, casteist and communal elements, able to exploit the illiterate and poor masses a considerable vote bank, get elected to the legislatures. Thus with their immense bargaining power they are able to get ministerial berths? The result? Jumbo cabinets unmanageable in States like U.P and Bihar where ministers have practically no work to do in some cases but are a burden on the Exchequer. Thus we are caught in a vicious circle of all-round deterioration. It is, therefore, high time that we abandon the Parliamentary system and adopt the Presidential democracy where ministerial posts need not be given to elected representatives, the candidate is more important than the party and, hence, corruption, inefficiency, vested interests and paralyzing interference from politicians can be easily removed.


The form of government is specific to a cultural and social context. Aspects that aid efficient government need to be reinforced, irrespective of the form of government.
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