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Reservation for Upper Castes a political gimmick like 15 lakhs for all, 2 crore jobs

It is not a rational and politically right step of the government to increase reservation in favour of Upper Castes

Tuesday January 8, 2019 3:00 PM, Dr. SuwaLal Jang

Reservation for Upper Castes

A reservation of 10% for the Upper Castes people in government jobs and education is biggest ever gimmick of the Narendra Modi government after Rs.1.5 million to very citizen of India and 2 crore new jobs per year.

Today’s Union Cabinet decision of 10% reservation to Upper Castes people and tomorrow a bill-proposal will put up by the Minister in Parliament for bringing constitutional amendment in article 15 and 16 to make provision of economic backwardness for reservation.

Foremost, it is an unconstitutional step of the government, second it is not so easy to bring constitutional amendment (to pass this bill there will be a requirement of 2/3rd majority of both the houses along with approval of 50% states’ assemblies) the fundamental rights. Third, tomorrow is the last working day of the current winter session of Parliament. However the late night decision of extending one more day of winter session of Parliament to make way to pass this special reservation related Bill. Fourth, this is a biggest jumla (gimmick) of Prime Minister Modi before General Elections of 2019.

RSS has been demanding since long time either to abolish reservation or bring fundamental change in it as adding economic base or criteria in reservation as amendment in Article 15&16 of the Indian constitution. But earlier NDA government led by the BJP could not do it due to lack of majority in the Parliament. The current NDA government led by the BJP has majority in Parliament, so RSS is trying to do it now in the current BJP led majority government at the centre. Opposition is not so strong and united. Even many small and regional political parties are also in favour of giving reservation to Upper Castes to make happy and gain votes later in General Elections of 2019.

Reservation is not a program of poverty abolition but it is an instrument of giving more space and opportunity of participation and sharing to socially and educational backward castes in national mainstream. Its base is social or caste’s social and educational backwardness, not economic or criteria of urban amenities. Land holding, minimum income and living condition are not social criteria of reservation. But level, quantity and quality of participation and sharing of the social and educational backward castes in national mainstream.

Let us first demand from the government to disclose the socio-economic data of India Census of 2011. First time these data were collected on the basis of caste. Second we demand to fulfill 50% reservation quota in the existing public sectors. Third, we demand to fill the backlog quota and seats in public sectors. Fourth, we demand to give reservation in corporate and private sector. And fifth, If so called Upper Castes people are really poor and economically backward, there are many alternatives to reduce their poverty as giving financial incentives or economic relaxation.

What will be the Upper limit or cap of 50%, this 10% economic reservation will break to this cap. Why did this Cabinet decision come so late - just 80 days before the General Elections and on the last working day of Parliament? And, when even the Union government could not collect the official data of economic backwardness of upper castes.

On one hand, the government is cutting or closing jobs or employment in the public sector, and on the other, the government is trying to create 10% reservation for Upper Castes. It is not a rational and politically right step of the government to increase reservation in favour of Upper Castes and reducing government jobs against the existing 50% reservation of OBCs, SCs and STs.

[Dr. SuwaLal Jang: Assistant Professor of Political Science, Mizoram University, Aizawl, India.]

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