Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Question of Reservation


The question of reservation for SC, ST and OBCs in India is an important issue which tends to remain in the news in one way or the other. The recent Patidar Anamat Andolan of Hardik Patel in Gujarat has brought the issue in focus once again. Many opponents of reservation are likely to come around and argue against reservation. The Jats of Haryana and UP, the Gujjars of Rajasthan, the Marathas of Maharashtra, Brahman World Federation and many more like the VHP, and may be RSS, also will jump onto the anti reservation bandwagon. If I may say so, as an early warning to dalits who are supposed to be the beneficiaries of reservations, that it is the beginning of an end of reservations but with definite repercussions both for the polity and also for the society. The polity, as envisaged and visualized by our founding fathers particularly Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, could not be transformed from political democracy to social and economic democracy. The society could not be reformed by abolishing the brahmanical social order and establishing a casteless society. The two basic conditions of fair social and economic order and availability of equal opportunities in education and business including land holdings could not be met even after 68 years of independence. These conditions were the major considerations for providing reservations to begin with.  The anti reservations lobby demands to abolish caste based reservations and the demand is likely to get shrill in the days to come. The likely scenario, in the wake of these developments, will be worrisome and may be termed as “Grammar of Anarchy” as warned by Dr. Ambedkar. I can see a political turmoil on the one side and endless social strife on the other. God forbid, it may not turn out to be bloody. I personally stand for reservation for SC and STs as originally provided in the constitution. Obviously, these temporary provisions are required to be phased out in due course. We should think and work towards that goal. One basic point which I may make in this regard is that these reservations and concessions to the depressed classes were not given voluntarily by the so called upper castes but were obtained by sheer struggle, led by Babasaheb Ambedkar and many others, in the face of endless and mindless opposition by the vested interests. Mahatma Gandhi’s life was at stake. In the wider national interest, Dr. Ambedkar signed Poona Pact in 1932 providing for reservations to dalits. Later, these provisions were formalized in the constitution of free India. These facts of history cannot be ignored.

 It will be in order, therefore, all political parties, all social
organizations, all economic and financial bigwigs should sit and think as to how we can bring about social and economic democracy in the country and also establish a casteless society. It is a must before we address the issue and think of doing away reservation for SC & STs as provided in the constitution.. We may ignore this ground reality at our own peril.

PS: I append here a photo from Facebook postings for information and consideration of my friends who oppose reservations. I will also be grateful if friends who stand for reservation for Sc & STs kindly send me a few points in support of their case for my own education.




9 comments:

  1. I agree. We need a full stop on reservations. Instead we need an excellent education, health, job and housing for each Indian. Reservation has created a class within the class and merit too has suffered.

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  4. Remove caste system. Work towards changing the psyche of the society, we won't need reservations then. As long as one caste claims to be superior to other, reservations must remain. Because that mentality is a cause of discrimination Satija Ji. And in today's world, caste based discrimination is not acceptable.

    The slogan should be "Jati bhagao, desh bachao".

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  5. And if so-called elite of India had learned from Ambedkar, we wouldn't have been having these discussions today. Reservations may not have been there at all if Mr. Gandhi, through his shenanigans of fast etc. not refused Dr.Ambedkar's demand of separate electorate. So now we see that selfish motives always lead to bad environments at the end. Gandhi was selfish because he wanted low castes to be still subservient and at mercy of high castes so he allowed special provisions but was not willing to "free" low castes from the grip of caste system so that low castes can decide on their own their future. He didn't want low castes to dictate their own future. He wanted them to be at mercy of high castes.

    Amebdkar again proved to be right.

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  6. thanks ashok kumar satijaji. of course, reservations are temporary measures to empower the weaker sections of the society and rectify the wrongs done to then over the centuries. there should be a political will on the part of the government and social will on the part of the society to do so. unfortunately that will is missing.

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  7. thanks sunil raju. you have many good ideas. to my mind the major proles is that the dalits, who have benefited from these reservations, both politicians and others, are not doing their part in the matter. most of them are so afraid or aloof, even hesitate from making a comment, that their own identity as SC will be known. it is a matter of shame. they would need to fight their own battle.

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  8. I feel a serious thought on issue of reservations policy, it has done more damage than helping those who really deserved this. Of course a political will and consensus by all political parties and stake holders can find out a solution to this ticklish issue.

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  9. I feel a serious thought on issue of reservations policy, it has done more damage than helping those who really deserved this. Of course a political will and consensus by all political parties and stake holders can find out a solution to this ticklish issue.

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