In case you have never witnessed a payee of our reservation system, who exceeds many from the unreserved category in terms of economic prosperity as well as opportunity, my writing is of no use. When many justify the merits of our caste based reservation system, can anyone from them substantiate that the perks of reservation flow only to the needy? Since inception, our so-called progressive reservation system has been an area of controversy; however with a view to get hold of power none of the political groups seems to favor any constructive changes. With 15 percent for SCs, 7.5 for STs, and 27 for OBCs, the General category strives with just 50 percent.
The very inception of this futile caste based reservation system can be related with distinct representation provided for Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, and Dalits by Ramsay MacDonald in 1932. Known to all, this was a part of the ‘Divide and Rule’ policy, which was protested by Mahatma Gandhi; however gained support from the face of Dalits, Dr. B R Ambedkar. The subsequent development of this absurd proposition can be comprehended with the fact that the percentage of SC employees in the Central Government Class I category augmented from 1.18 percent in 1959 to 10.12 percent in 1995, while from 2.38 percent to 12.67 percent in Class II.
‘When is our nonsensical reservation system further enlarged’ is not that tough question to construe. The Maharashtra Government has recently announced 16 percent and 5 percent reservation for Marathas and Muslims, respectively enhancing the total reservation to 73 percent, which means mere 27 percent for the General category; despite of the fact that many from this category are far more underprivileged than members of reserved castes. ‘Vote Bank Politics’ is all that has never allowed the politicians and governments to look beyond castes and communities, and make available paybacks to real seekers, the truly underprivileged ones.
The Supreme Court of India has consistently laid down the principle that reservation for any category can only be permissible in case backed by relevant data and evidence that can justify the need for reservation. On the contrary, the state government of U.P. announced reservation in promotions in the year 2007, with a view to get hold of the votes of particular castes. Challenged in the court of law, the measure was declared unconstitutional. Same was the case when the Central Government’s vote-oriented announcement of sub-quota of 4.5 percent for minorities was stayed by the Election Commission for violation of the model code of conduct.
The very addition of the favors granted to particular castes in the constitution of India can be understood as the underlying basis of this grave concern. The makers, though were conscious of the then-prevailing backwardness and lack of opportunities for the backwards, did not pay proper heed to the milieu when members of these castes would unjustifiably profit from this setup, while the real underprivileged would rarely advance. For sure, the untenable caste based reservation system has to be replaced with reservation based on economic status of the family. Not few, comprehensive amendments to laws and procedures is the pressing need of the hour.