Reservation A Boon or Bane Reservation is the hot topic of the day. There are endless debates going on at various platforms and levels. Some vehemently oppose it same die hardly support and some stay neutral. Before going on to support or oppose it, first of all we have to detach our emotions from the topic and look at the issue who us tically Background The issue of reservation cropped up soon after our independence and a committee under Mr. Keleekar was appointed the recommendations of the committee were rejected on the basis of their impracticality.
Again Mandal Commission was constituted which submitted it report in 1980. The report was gathering dust in the office for almost a decade until V. P. Singh govt. decided to implement it in 1992. As per the recommendations, 27% of the seats were to be reserved for OBC’S and 22. 5% of seats for SC and ST’s there by making a total reservation of 49. 5% and remaining 51. 5% for the general category in all government postings. Immediately the order was challenged in the supreme court. The court upheld the allotment with the order of excluding the ‘Creamy Layer’ among other Backward class (OBC’s)
The present government has decided to implement the 27% reservation for OBC’s in institutions of higher learning like IIT’s, IIM’s AIIMS etc. And this is what that has created a great stir among the students, medical doctors and public in general. Boon Or Bane Boon The system of reservation is a unique one which is definitely needed in a society like ours in which contain sections of the society have been depressed for ages. Such societies may not be in the same state of depression presently, but they cannot compete with other high classes who have had all privileges for countries.
Reservation has many advantages especially for those downtrodden societies. 1. It ensures equity i. e it provides equitable opportunities. By introducing competition among those who are equal in all aspects provides social justice and equity in all spheres. 2. By providing educational and employment opportunities to the backward classes it gives them a chance to uplift their condition. 3. Reservation in no way compromises merit as these who are selected are top candidates among their categories. 4. It is all the more important in a country where there is class struggle along with strong caste discrimination.
The backward classes needs to overcome this caste discrimination before they enter class struggle and for this Reservation is necessary. Bane: All this is just one side of the coin. There exists another dark face of the Reservation system. 1. The reservation system has now become a game of politics politicians use the issue to build up ‘vote banks’. They stir the reservation issue to win elections, to divert public attention or sometimes to even bring about the fall of the government (as it happened to VP Singh government in 1992). 2.
The general category public are punished for something which they have never done, but their ancestors did. And in no way are they compensated or shown any favour. 3. Those who utlise the reservation are also not accountable. They have enjoyed the privilege of reservation, but they never pay back in any way to the society. ‘They just take and Never Give’ 4. As a result of all this, there has started a war among all the castes, for being called as ‘Backward’ probably. India must be the only country where people fight to be called as ’Backward’ As they say Issues Involved
Caste system in India is multidimensional. It can never be broken down bey mere legal policies. One has to go down the society to understand it. The main problem of reservation system is that it empowers depressed sections of the society and snatches away the powers of the influential classes without adequately compensating them. This is what happened at Pappatti, Kiripatti Panchayat election, where no SC/ST Panchayat leader could be elected for the past 10 years inspite of being a reserved constituency. In another case students refused to eat the meal prepared by a SC Ayyah.
This shows the penetration of casteism in our Indian Society. It is social, economic and political problem. Solution There are many solutions to the present crisis relating to reservation 1. First and foremost you have make both the sections of society understand the basics of reservation To the section who are losing out you have to make them understand that they are giving up for the welfare of society and country. You have to also compensate in some other way. To the section who are enjoying the provision, you have to make them understand that ‘It is not their Right, but Privilege’ and they should value it 2.
An accountability mechanism has to be developed for those who enjoy the privilege 3. The reservation should be need based, rather than caste based. All agree on this, but the problem of determining who is really needy then crops up which is difficult to settle. So better go by salary, assets and wealth criteria. 4. The most important measure that can be taken is to develop the primary education infrastructure so that reservation in higher levels of education or employment is not necessary. 5.
Awareness among the people has to be spread, regarding the reservation policy, its merits, demerits etc, so that power hungry politicians do not use them as mere pawns to win the game by ‘Vote Bank Politics’. They should be encourage to look at the whole matter detaching emotions. Conclusion Reservation is an issue which most people even the most educated ones see through a veil of sentiments and feelings. However if we look at the issue without it we will understand its real gravity. We will understand how a noble policy can be meddled with to the extent that it becomes a bane.
When the Supreme Court cleared the Reservation Order in 1992, VP Singh said that ‘I can now die in peace’ commenting on this statement Nani Palkhiwala, famous writer wrote ‘Maybe Mr. VP Singh can die in peace, but Indians will not be able to live peacefully and harmoniously here after’. His properly has come true with the students burning themselves, clashing with police, masses agitating. A great divide has now been created between the loser and winner. The reservation for SC’s/ST’s that was given for 10 years initially, was extended for another 10 years, the extension continues.
As they say regarding reservation ‘Giving is Easy, Running is Difficult and Termination is Impossible’. The government should set a time limit for implementing and provision of such policies and above all it should ensure that it is used by the Targeted group. The policy of Reservation is undoubtedly needed in India and it is a noble scheme that is a must But as the saying goes. ‘Too much of Anything is bad’ so is the case with reservation also. People should work with the government and the government should act in the public interest to ensure that ‘Reservation which is a Boon does not become a Bane’