The Supreme Court very recently expressed concern over the reservation policy and ruled that reservation should not be made applicable for promotions. To quote, the SC has done well so halt the quota juggernaut with the ruling that makes very logical sense: States are not bound to provide quotas in government jobs and there is no fundamental right to claim reservation in promotion.
Now, we are faced with the atrocious announcement of exclusive “5% reservation for Muslims” by the government of Maharashtra followed by Madhya Pradesh too.
The reservation system, on the whole, has today, taken a wider proportion and is more often “misused”-even after over 70 years of India’s independence. The system, as it stands today, prevents those students even with very high percentage of marks (especially belonging to those upper castes who are not covered under the reservation policy) from getting admission and employment as their right. This is because that in the field of education and employment seats and vacancies are “reserved” for SC/STs and other “beneficiaries” , anywhere between 70 and 80 per cent . This is atrocious since most deserving students and candidates even with percentages as high as above 90 and extremely brilliant academic records are deprived of their seats in the engineering, management and medical colleges and institutes and employment too. There still exists the provision that the SC/STs will get promotion under the quota policy. In other words, efficiency, merit, sincerity and performance will have no meaning and just by taking advantage of the quota policy, the SC/ST will get promoted to higher grades, even if one proves to be inefficient and an ‘under-performer’. Whereas, the truly meritorious and sincere performers will have to wait for his turn as per the policy of the government or the organization.
What is happening, therefore today is that every caste and tribe WANT to be treated as ST/SC or at least under the OBC – so that the benefits under the “reservations policy” can be availed of , irrespective of the economic and financial background – for generations in fact! In practice more “powerful castes” exert their influence to demand reservation as their might and right. Not long ago it was sad to see the JAT community had violently protested against reservation. And, then we witnessed the Maratha community in Maharashtra leading big rallies to demand reservation.
Today, it has become a “privilege matter” to be treated as an ST or SC, which was not so at least about a decade ago. The extreme extension of reservation by the Indian political leaders and the government, just to appease one community after the other, repeatedly, has now led to the “deprived caste or class” demanding “reservation” as a matter of right. At this rate, the day is not far off when the real upper caste strata (like Brahmins etc…) also take their turn to demand to treat them as “ST/SC”, because, today, they feel the heat and are the real ones who are deprived of admissions, jobs etc, due to “OVER patronage” of certain caste and communities. Moreover, in our country, it seems, there is no end to the longest list of tribes and caste – every year one caste or the tribe or the other keep rising up to demand reservation!
The solution lies in saying that “enough is enough” and we stopped these politicians from tinkering with the “reservation policy”, year after year and especially on the eve of elections. I don’t understand when our government will do away with this outdated “reservation policy” altogether and when will our politicians stop appeasing the certain sections of the community in the name of “reservation”.
Today ONLY MERIT should count. What is needed today is “reservation policy based on economic status”. Abolish caste or class or creed or community based reservation altogether.
Or BETTER STILL…..REMOVE RESERVATIONS ONCE FOR ALL.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)