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Kudos To Ap High Court No Reservation To Any Religion

Updated: June 16, 2012 2:25 pm

The Andhra Pradesh High Court’s verdict, scrapping the 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities carved by the Centre out of the 27 per cent reservation for OBCs, must have delivered a nasty jolt to Congress-led UPA government at the Centre. A division bench comprising Chief Justice Madan Lokur and Justice PV Sanjay Kumar brushed aside the sub-quota, while maintaining that the government’s decision was based on the religious grounds and not any other consideration. It is worth mentioning that the UPA government had dangled the carrot of 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities in central admissions and jobs just before the Uttar Pradesh’s assembly elections in order to lure the minorities. But the minorities did not fall to the bait, as the election results corroborate. It is also noteworthy that the same court had quashed a similar decision of 4 per cent Muslim quota brought in by the Andhra Pradesh’s Congress government and it is now under the scrutiny of the Supreme Court. The High Court bench that struck down the 4.5 per cent sub-quota said that the very use of the words “belonging to minorities” or “for minorities” indicated that the sub-quota had been carved out only on religious lines and not on any other intelligible basis, and therefore the bench had no option but to set aside the carving out of a sub-quota of 4.5 per cent in favour of backward classed belonging to minorities out of the 27 per cent reservation for OBCs. The reason being: Basic goal of Indian Constitution, as envisaged by its framers, was to create an egalitarian society. The preamble of Constitution mentions equality of status and opportunity, and the Right to Equality is one of the Fundamental Rights granted to people of India. However, a need was felt and special temporary provisions were made for socially and educationally Backward Classes, by carrying out First Amendment of Constitution in 1951. The provisions were to last for ten years and they took the form of reservation in jobs and educational institutions. The experience of over six decades of reservation in government jobs and educational institutes clearly states that the present system has failed miserably in attaining its objectives. All that has been achieved is creation of a class unto itself which has blocked the benefits from trickling down to the categories concerned.

Against this backdrop, almost the whole country wants to break free of the shackles of reservation. But the Congress-led UPA government is leaving no stone unturned to devise ways so as to push the country into the abysmal depth of caste-based or religion-based reservation, forgetting that reservation means giving differential treatment to certain classes of persons owing to their backwardness. The object of granting reservation is welfare & uplift of backward and under-privileged classes of Indian citizens so as to enable them to live with dignity and honour in the country. But in reality, the people who actually need the benefit of reservation hardly get it because in India reservation is caste-based or religion-based rather than the economy-based due to which the rich people of a particular caste/religion manage to take advantage of reservation while depriving the poor people of the same caste/religion. This creamy layer is the biggest hurdle in proper implementation of reservation policy. And for the politicians reservation is nothing but a subject of vote-bank politics on which they can cook some of their political chapatis. Whenever issue of reservation is raised no political party has the courage to oppose it. In fact, reservation is the only topic on which all the political parties are always unanimously together. If the problem is viewed objectively, one would come to the inevitable conclusion that an economic problem of uplift and amelioration of a vast population, steeped in social, economic and educational backwardness for ages, has deliberately been soiled and stained in uncalled-for puerile polemics and futile fretting and fuming, simply to score points and for settling narrow class/caste interests. In more anguish than anger, one finds the leadership of all colours and combinations lost in the quagmire of petty politics, where every move of the opponent looks like a red rag to a bull. Real social justice can be ensured by vigorous economic programme for all the backward classes, with the same amount of courage, conviction and commitment with which the country had fought against the evil of foreign rule. Falling into the trap of convenience, compromise and even collusion for the sake of power, and its use for self-aggrandisement will lead to further tensions and turmoil. There are no short-cuts to social justice and it cannot be secured by reservation. So, there is hardly any point in persisting with reservation as it is doing no good to anyone except certain creamy layers. The temptation to use reservation for consolidation of vote-banks to gain political power is fraught with danger and disaster of no mean dimension. In fact, it has become the biggest menace engulfing our country. Therefore, It’s high time for the Indian government to take the brave decision of abolishing reservation throughout the country and devise other ways of affirmative actions.

Deepak Kumar Rath

Deepak Kumar Rath

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