Welcome to the official website of Youth For Equality, Pondicherry. We thank all those who have been supportive of our efforts to create a fair and equitable society.
This is a forum of equals to oppose the recent CHANGE in reservation policy proposed by the Government of India. We are a non-political, non-violent and united group of individuals.

YOU CAN BE A PART OF THIS MOVEMENT...
* Read up more on the issue to educate yourself: unless you are well informed, you cannot convince others
* Talk to people one-on-one to explain the cause to them
* Mobilize people within your college/company/colony to help us create a wider base
* Download, print and spread the signature campaign
* Help us in our research
* Inform us about potential sources of funding
* Write in to us with your queries, ideas and contact details to: yfepondicherry@gmail.com
* To view the photos www.yfepondicherryphotos.blogspot.com
Read our blog in detail to get better acquainted with the details of the campaign we have initiated since May 2006. LOOKING FORWARD TO YOUR ACTIVE SUPPORT!


Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Signature Campaign



The students and residents signed their names on a long cloth to show their support for the movement against reservation in colleges.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

100+ Volunteers donate blood !



As part of the peaceful protests against reservation being held in JIPMER, more than 100 students and residents donated blood today. Incidentally, this is the time of year when there is a severe dearth of blood stocks - a very good gesture indeed.

Monday, May 29, 2006

JIPMER 48 hour strike - The issues

JIPMER RESIDENT DOCTORS` ASSOCIATION
JAWAHARLAL INSTITUTE OF POST-GRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION AND RESEARCH
DHANVANTRI NAGAR, GORIMEDU,
PONDICHERRY - 605 006, INDIA


We the residents of the JRDA have decided to go on a 48 hour strike beginning from the 30th of May 2006 after a majority of members of the JRDA decided by secret ballot to do so in order to protest against the proposed increase in reservation in the central government institutes. There were many issues that have been considered and debated, following which this means of protest was decided upon.

Firstly, no organization, government or otherwise has accurate facts as to the population size likely to benefit or get adversely affected because of such a law. The details of the census done in 2001 is still not public knowledge. So the majority of us would like to know how the government decided that a particular percentage of the populace receive benefits of the reservation?

Secondly, although some state governments have similar sized quotas on lines of the proposed bill, there has been no such recent demands for implementing recommendations of the mandal commission in central government institutes. The government, 2 years ago, had increased the pool of all India medical post-graduate seats to give most students a level playing field at the national level, by taking away seats from state medical colleges to the tune of 50%. Through the logistics have not been worked out yet, this would negate the efforts to give students a better chance to vie for seats in prestigious institutes.

Thirdly, reservations have been enshrined in the constitution, and now we will have more quotas that will have us more divided. Presuming that our literacy levels have improved over the decades, and a small chunk of the literate populace is expected to compete for seats in premier institutes, would it be too much to ask for a public referendum on the issue? This is still assuming that, education in professional streams have helped us forget out narrow-mindedness regarding divisions based on community or religion.

Fourthly, can the government deny or accept that reservations have helped bring a sea social change among reserved categories? It is common knowledge that urban India constituting one third of the populace has benefited most from the reservation policy. The government appraises the public that reservations are required for social empowerment. If the government declares that the reservations have indeed benefited the needy, would it dare decrease quotas already covered in the constitution, that is reviewed every 10 years without a murmur? Or does the government accept that social empowerment has never happened and more reservation is justified to achieve this goal? Does that mean with the diamond jubilee of Indian independence approaching, the government has failed to ensure that reservations reached the most deserving? So how will a new set of quotas serve its purpose? Does social reform occur only by reservation in institutes of professional learning?

Fifthly, with voices from the government still undecided on the creamy layer of likely beneficiaries, it must be reminded that every group has creamy layer that would float above the rest, come what may! Alternatives like economic status or rural dwelling (with poor access to education) are possible criteria, which may be more need based and an acceptable solution to most people. Wouldn’t that stop the government’s own constituents and affected students from the constant squabbling over the blanket cover provided and being about an amicable solution at the negotiation table, instead of declarations that merit is diluted or demos that menial jobs are fits only for certain castes. Whatever the selection process, every student has the same pass% criteria at time of completion of the course.

Sixthly, it is not a well kept secret that atleast in central government medical institutes that, the majority of faculty belong to elite communities , while they are nearly invisible among the staff of group D. one might argue that they have joined service 15-20 years ago, but it doesn't change the facts. The government's idea to change this kind of social inequalities by reservations are commendable, but should come with a caveat. Individuals from these underprivileged classes should benefit from schooling , financial support and reservations to compete with the general stream. But it should be stressed to these individuals especially in professional arenas because of reservation, that subsequent generations stop claiming further benefits, thereby enhancing chances of their community brethren who still haven't tasted the fruits of a quota. But would educated men and women come forward to forgo their quotas?

Seventhly, it has been claimed that that reservation in states like Tamilnadu has caused improvement in health services. Constituting just over 5 % of the Indian population, is it possible to extrapolate this to the rest of the nation, where complex socio-economic dynamics exist? It must be remembered among students in HSS in Tamilnadu, the issues of quotas and its benefits are virtually ingrained, that they are mentally prepared for the available opportunities that they are eligible for. This may explain the relatively mute protests in these parts of the country, compared to vociferous voices of protests elsewhere that have erupted due to sudden imposition of quotas. Also a high percentage of seats in PG and super specialty courses, for service candidates in Tamilnadu ensures that they have a working health care system going, while other states languish without doctors in the primary health services and forces them to impose laws seeking bonds from undergraduate students like in the case of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. These are reservations of a different kind but extracts maximum benefit for the public whom we ultimately serve.

Eighthly, to borrow an idea, there is no gene theory in of merit or intelligence., in our country with so much socio-economic disparities, ones birth, family environment, schooling and kind of peer pressure decide whether you could make it to the top; reservations are a must for the people who have some or all the above going against them. We are not striking work to protest against reservations, but the mode of deciding beneficiaries and its continuation without any evaluation or assessment regarding the targets achieved.

Ninthly, none of students protesting in the country are fighting for seats in private medical colleges that could come under the preview of the same law. We protest for seats that are highly subsidized and virtually free, especially in the central institutes. On completion many of us embark on the next plane bound westward after throwing tantrums on the lack of adequate learning opportunities but spending a tidy sum to reach our destination. The government should not subsidies education or reserve seats based on community but only for the economically challenged or otherwise. Claims about reservation on an economic basis apart, will people wanting uniformity in selection process in central government institutes pay the actual cost to the exchequer and let the government help the needy through subsidies in the reserved category?

Finally, we are sad to notice the apathy with which no member of the union government has actually visited striking students to seek their grievances for more than a week especially after the police brutality, in person. The oft repeated request for the prime minister to make a definitive statement is still pending. We must reiterate that we are not against reservations but against the manner and selection of beneficiaries without any means or criteria to evaluate its effectiveness. We do support reservations that are truly economic or other criteria based that doesn’t fracture our secularity and unity that is still preserved in some institutes like ours. We decided to strike in order to demand that the government reviews the entire proposed hike, not by a group of ministers but by an expert panel that would ensure social equality through the upliftment of the suppressed as the government hopes to and not remain steadfast in the theory that it can do no wrong.

Strikingly Funny

And we thought it was a serious business. Well it is, but then there’s no harm in letting your hair down and lightening the burden on your souls. So here goes..

Once upon a literary time there was a man (and superman as G.B.S would put it) named John Galt who declared that he would stop the motor of the world. He, and the rest of the competent world with him, managed to do that by employing a means that is very relevant to us. He went on a STRIKE. And that, me hearties is precisely what we of the JRDA are embarking on over the next few (two) days. And if you’re wondering about the number 2 then you have no idea of baseball. For in this particularly insipid game, which has nevertheless captured the imagination of the West, you are allowed strike 1, strike 2, and strike 3 and then you are OUT.

That is not to say that our ‘benevolent’ administrators would ever conceive of relieving us of our duties but then we never know, do we?

That leaves us with 2 action packed and eventful days in which to vent out emotions and frustrations against the monstrous injustices being heaped upon us.But before that please accept some unsolicited advice from yours truly.

Firstly consider the media. You would all be well advised to come out dressed in your best attire, for you never know when the stray paparazzi camera would capture you, either gifting you a shot at short lived TV (in)famy, or bestowing upon you the immortality of a front page photo(said immortality subject to the durability of the paper.

Next, consider the weather. The fickle gods in the sky may decide to give full rain to their furies, leaving us running helter-shelter. Or the sun may become intolerable, making a few of us bare it and start streaking. It is best to come prepared for the worst.

Lastly, the hunger strike. For all you anorexics out there, this is your golden chance (bulemics can stay off their emetics for once). And for those of you normal folks out there who wish to join in, I wish you all “non appetit”

All said and done I sincerely hope that this strike ensures a JRDA (and a newsletter) that is here to stay. For we know not what travails yet await us as we journey through in this wonderful place.

As you all are well aware, only a complete and comprehensive participation on the part of all of us will ensure a successful strike. One that is better than apples anyway. For a strike a day keeps all doctors away.

INTERNAL SPIRIT

“Load up all guns, bring your friends, oh no I know a dirty word….”

Kurt used to do Demerol when he penned this down but he had a divine gift, apart from being the geniusest musical soul ever, apart from being the voice of a generation, apart from looking like a dream… he had the gift of divination. He knew that one day we here in JIPMER would face a crisis of ‘unreserved’ proportions. He also knew that teens here would take a month to realize that the day to cross the bridge has come and passed. That’s why he rocked so hard. That’s why he wrote that song… Now I’m not a teen. So I can be excused for not showing spirit. And teens are teens so they can be excused. So we’re good… teens. Final years, labourers in clr and slr, interns, residents, non residents,.. we’re all good. And Im just getting a whiff of that spirit. It smells good…(like chanel no 5 I think) And hey that dirty word is STRIKE.
So let’s start burning the bridge...

VENI, VIDI, DITTO

The writer has always been accused of coming up short, which may probably be because he is moderately bent. He rejoices in the fact that there are other moderately important people, who share his ideology.
The fire rages on in Delhi, as hospitals have remained frozen for the past 15 days and the heat of discussion continues as to whether just-ice will be done. The fire has been one that not even the water cannons have been able to douse, as the writer has himself been witness to. The talk of revolution has been doing the rounds as the masses have raised their volumes, adding weight to their arguments. And recent news that has trickled down from various conduits have informed us, that the situation had reached epic proportions, almost fittingly at the Ram Lila grounds two days ago. A certain doctor who a long time ago decided to cash into a different beat from that of the heart has been seen striking the right chords for his brothers in distress, apart from numerous others who have unreservedly jumped onto our merry bandwagon. STOP….
The reasons that most revolutions are pointless, is because they end up from where they started, with each asking the other what he’s fighting for. And this simpleton, who wields his pen in naivete, asks himself and you the same question.
Has the real issue been lost in a haze of propaganda?
For the way things are going we may be striking out before long.
Let us set aside the issue of reservation for a minute. The writer wishes for the people to deliberate about their actions, to look before they leap else they may fall off the edge of reason. We the practitioners of this supposedly noble tradition have seen to have degenerated to the level that we would put to shame our dear friend, the Greek fellow whose words we swear by. We are after all bound by the words of Hippocrates. As doctors, we should be the ones to have the moral high ground, let us use fruits of the education that have been so gratefully bestowed upon us and not let them go sour.
The cause we defend today is one of utmost importance, for we are all born equal, almost and we should live in a world where the opportunities we have are equal too, almost. Fight for what you believe in and do so with all fervour and ardour, but let it not be said of us:
VENI VIDI DITTO : I came, I saw, I concurred.
But instead let it be,
VENI VIDI VICI.


Points to Ponder

1. Since there are no accurate census figures available with regard to the distribution of categories it is impossible to determine who should be the beneficiaries.
2. By increasing the pool of reserved candidates in central examinations like AIPGEE, the number of seats that are competitively contested for by deserving students are reduced.
3. If the government accepts that the reservation policies have achieved their goals then there is no argument for sustaining the same. Whereas if the government has failed to implement the reservation policy appropriately there is no guarantee that it will do so now.
4. There is a creamy layer in every section of society and the only reservation policy that will work is one that is based on economic status.
5. People who have availed of the reservation policy and have successfully completed their education should stop claiming reserved status any further.
6. This strike is primarily not to protest against the policy of reservation but to protest against the manner of deciding the beneficiaries of this policy and also against the fact that there is no tool for evaluation and assessment of the achievements of this policy.
7. With the current strike in mind it is distressing that not even a single member of parliament had visited the striking doctors for quite a long time into it. Also shocking was the prolonged silence of the Prime Minister as regards this issue.


The reservation policy has been in vogue for the past 60 years. Isn’t it now time to examine its advantages and shortcomings? Isn’t it time to have a public referendum on the whole issue?

JIPMER joins the Anti Reservation Protest

This is to inform all of you that the JIPMER Resident Doctors Association [JRDA] along with the JIPMER Students Association [JSA] is going on a two day strike commencing on the 30th of this month. This involves suspension of all hospital services involving the residents, including those involved in the running of the ICUs and the EMS. This is in protest against the proposed hike in reservations for entry into higher education and also to condemn the police atrocities committed against our brethren.

For those who are still unaware of what exactly has happened elsewhere, here are a few eye – openers.

- Since the announcement of the proposed hike on April 26th protests have been going on in various forms throughout the nation.
- In a series of shocking incidents medicos from various institutes were brutalized by a seemingly callous police force. This happened on the 12th and 13th of May in Delhi and Mumbai and on the 19th of May in Patna.
- These incidents have acted as the initial sparks that have now mushroomed into a wildfire consuming many other states.
- Currently thousands of medicos in Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Bihar, Orissa, Karnataka and many other states are actively involved in voicing their grievances in one form or the other. This protest has now transcended the medical profession involving lawyers and in some instances the trade associations.
- The government has responded by proposing an increase in the number of seats in all the concerned institutes. Though logistically difficult, this reaction brings out an indisputable fact.

Clearly the agitation has managed to push the government to achieve what it has failed to do for years – invest more in medical education, this being a significant policy change.

“They use lathis and tear gas, they dare to threaten our future
What they forget: gloves and steths alone don’t comprise our armature.
Together in harmony we shall let our voices fly
So much so they’ll realize, it is best to let sleeping lions lie.”