The latest to come out in reservation debate and it’s devil, is Gujarat. The state declared 10% quota for economically backward in General category. The move clearly seems to be an anti-reservation strategy rather than a pro-reservation move cause Reservation for all is Reservation for none. As is the norm that Reservation is not supposed to be an anti-poverty program. The first policy was introduced for those who were institutionally discriminated or historically persecuted.
In the wake of Patel reservation agitation, last week, the ruling government BJP in Gujarat, announced a 10% quota for people belonging to economically backward class in General category. According to the declaration, families with annual income below than Rs.6 lakh will be getting the benefits. The decision was taken in a meeting held by BJP’s core group in the state which was attended by BJP president Amit Shah. The BJP Chief in Gujarat, Vijay Rupani made the announcement with Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and minister Nitin Patel.
Patel community held the protests around 10 months ago demanding reservation under OBC category in educational and government jobs, which forced state government’s hand in the matter. This announcement has breached the Supreme court’s set limit of maximum 50% reservation. The state government said that its serious on the matter and will fight this battle legally. The state government has already managed as much as 80% reservation for OBC, SC and ST categories.
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar introduced the reservation program only for 10 years but now it has become the basis of vote bank and all that dirty politics that ultimately lead to protests, agitated communities and not to mention the loss of life. Although I believe that reservation shouldn’t even be in the first place because it suppresses the real talent, still if it’s given to, then give it to that entitled section of society who doesn’t have a place to live, clothes to wear, food to eat. And this section comes under ‘Dalit’ category and they belong to every religion, be it Hindu, Muslim, Christian, or Sikh. People living in luxurious houses and owning expensive cars aren’t Dalits. They’re just reaping the benefits of this so-called ‘reservation policy’.
To give reservation to near-half population of one religion and then not to give it to other religions only on the basis of ‘religion’, if it’s not biased decision, then I don’t know what it is.
The secularism in India is so, that even after dozens of reports stating Muslims as backward as other classes, it isn’t being included in the reservation policies but the strong communities such as Jats, Tyagis and Suvarna are.
By the way, we seldom question reservation where it really begins. Early in school, when kids whose parents have money or influence go to a different set of schools and kids from poor families go to our unfortunately dysfunctional ‘Sarkari’ schools. This is reservation for the privileged, it takes place at the most formative stage and has nothing to do with merit. In fact, differentiated access to schooling helps promote the myth of merit (real merit should mean difference in performance despite similar access to opportunities to excel). The only way to balance early systemic injustice is some sort of affirmative action/reservation later on! Upper caste and middle class kids are generally the first to access reservation on grounds of the accident of birth.