No Reser­va­tions About Fam­ily Quota

The Economic Times - - Breaking Ideas -

Nepo­tism is a fact of life for most In­di­ans, what with every­one from politi­cians to mu­si­cians pro­mot­ing their kith and kin in pref­er­ence to new blood. A pedi­greed Bol­ly­wood ac­tor re­cently even tried to put a sci­en­tific spin on it by liken­ing the making of a film star to that of a Derby-win­ning race­horse: all a mat­ter of mat­ing mares of the right blood­stock to es­tab­lished cham­pi­ons. While it is painfully ap­par­ent that the prin­ci­ple has not panned out in the cine­matic arena as it has on race­tracks, nepo­tism seems to have had a greater strike rate in other spheres. Pol­i­tics in par­tic­u­lar sees the high­est vis­i­ble in­stances of suc­cess­ful nepo­tism — per­haps thanks to lower stan­dards or un­of­fi­cial reser­va­tion of cer­tain posts for fam­i­lies.

Dif­fer­ing def­i­ni­tions of suc­cess can, how­ever, skew per­cep­tions of this prin­ci­ple’s ef­fi­cacy. So, cred­u­lous of­fi­cials in Da­man can be for­given for try­ing to cre­ate nepo­tism where none ex­ists — by making sib­lings out of the en­tire gov­ern­ment staff in the Union ter­ri­tory with the de­cep­tively sim­ple de­vice of manda­tory rakhi-ty­ing. It must now be de­ter­mined whether the protest against this dik­tat — that led to its hur­ried re­trac­tion — stemmed from the po­ten­tial sib­lings’ ab­hor­rence of nepo­tism, re­luc­tance to sub­mit to sum­mary rel­a­tiv­ity or mere un­will­ing­ness to come to of­fice on a hol­i­day.

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