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Reservation should be based on economic criteria

India celebrated 68 years of Independence recently and entered its 69th year. India Inc. was poised to take a leap forward. Our military and Naval might seems to have grown. With the induction of INS KOCHI we are a proud nation because we know our forces give us the feeling of security. Bangalore and Hyderabad are IT hubs and America outsources much software developed by our nation. By the same token in one of the villages a man was murdered for eating beef. Although one does not promote cow slaughter states in India have not imposed a ban on buffalo meat (which is also beef).Various channels were airing this shocking story that a human being is less important than a cow due to some diktat issued by some extreme organisations which is really shameful.

In Gujarat English was not taught in several schools before and after Narendra Modi’s reign as Chief Minister. This parochial state has students who find it difficult to appear for board and college exams. When candidates appear for major interviews they are rejected due to poor communication skills. So you have one Hardik Patel getting up and stating he wants reservations for the Patels including those belonging from wealthy and the middle class families from the same community. Thousands had joined the agitation. Now he is demanding reservation for Rajasthan Gujjars too. So why didn’t they send their wards to English schools instead of studying in vernacular medium?

“Gujjar leaders want the state government to create a Special Backward Class (SBC) category within the OBC quota. It will reduce the OBC quota which accommodates 91 castes in Rajasthan. Their demand is unfair as the president of Rajasthan Gujjars have been demanding reservation since 2007. They were granted 5 per cent reservation under a separate quota. Since it exceeded the 50 per cent quota mandated by the Supreme Court, the matter is now caught in a legal tangle and is being heard in the Rajasthan High Court.

Amid the ongoing agitation by Patels for quota, an organisation of Brahmins in Gujarat has demanded reservation for community members in Government jobs and educational institutes in the State. All Gujarat Brahmin Samaj also wants the Government to pay monthly salary to Brahmin priests serving in temples across the State. According to one spokesperson” the BJP Government in Gujarat should follow the example of the Tamil Nadu Government and give monthly salary to all the temple priests in the State.”

He said the government should set up a Brahmin Vikas Board to look after 55 lakh economically weaker Brahmins, whose population in Gujarat he put at 62 lakhs. The only sensible thing the President of the Brahmins said was that the Samaj wants the State to grant reservations solely on the basis of economic criterion. “We want the Government to change this (current) system of reservation and introduce a system which is based on economic condition, not on castes. We believe anyone who is financially weak should get reservation, including Brahmins. Children are denied good education or jobs because of the current reservation system.”

The convener announced the formation of local level committees for launching a statewide agitation based on Gandhian principles. Therein lies the solution. It is difficult to identify communities. It is difficult to classify within these communities but if this task succeeds then reservation can be granted to the deserving people.

Allka V Aswani


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