We all know history repeats itself but in different forms. The ghost of reservation has again raised its ugly head. In the past many political parties harvested its advantages for their own betterment and not for whom it was intended. In 1950 when the Indian constitution was adopted by the republic of India it was felt then that reservation should be given for those who were left out of society due to caste based discrimination. It was based on the principle enshrined in the constitution that there should be equal opportunity for all and hence no one shall face prejudice based on religion, caste, creed, gender or place of birth.
Initially the time frame was for 10 years however it was extended again and again either due to social reasons or political ones. Meanwhile there has been some improvement on the social front but not as much as expected. Now there are voices emanating from across the political lines that reservation based on caste should be replaced by reservations based on religion or perhaps on economic and social conditions.
Let we dive deeper to understand what is meant by reservation and how it can help and why the need to replace it. We all know India is diversified country both in social as well in economic terms. In some part one community is at the helm in social structure while in another part another community enjoys the higher status. Lets takes some examples of this phenomena.
Jat – a community mostly found in northern India is a dominant one in Haryana and Rajasthan but still included in OBC (Other Backward caste) list. While the community is prime holder of the land in these two states. This clearly indicates that reservation extended to them is purely political instead of social. Muslims which represent 20% of Indians population are dominating in Kashmir while in many parts they are at the lower strata of the society. They are left out of reservation. Nothing is so far from truth like the Minas who are included in the ST’s reservation category. We all know how many Minas there are in bureaucratic circles. Yadavs are ruling the roost in Bihar and UP and are also included in OBC category.
It is only politics of reservation because of which to this day casteism is still prevalent in most of India. The parties who do not want to let it go because they fear that by loosing this powerful policy frame-work they might lose their vote base. The agenda of casteism should be replaced by the agenda of development which is basically the requirement of the day.
The first and foremost requirement for India is to educate its people -the current efforts at which are lacking. Reservation benefits those who are above 18 yrs and hence can vote. That is the sole reason why there is more stress on reservation and not on education. There is no need for it for a person who is rightly educated because he can have the ability to create jobs for others also. Now the time has come to discard this policy and start a new India with new vision.
It is time to focus on education and reservations of a different nature , not caste-based.
By Hitesh Pundir