India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

Aarakshan: A balanced take on reservation


Aarakshan” gives a hurried yet comprehensive walkthrough of the educational system and sub-systems that currently exist in India.

It takes the issue of educational quotas as the basic plot and makes an attempt to comment on the premise of education as a means of politics, as an industry or as a higher end in itself.

The story revolves around the principal of an educational institution Prabhakar Anand (played by Amitabh Bachchan) who lives by certain rules and is willing to give up his job rather than be pushed around to accept a bribe or a student who does not have the required marks to gain admission.

Resentment begins to simmer with close friends turning against each other because they belong to different castes and therefore feel differently about the Supreme Court’s verdict on an increase in quotas for underprivileged sections in jobs and educational institutions.