Politics of Reservation
This document brings about how the Indian reservation system functions and the consequences it brings.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Politics of Reservation
THE TAMIL NADU NATIONAL LAW SCHOOL
POLITICAL SCIENCE PROJECT
POLITICS OF RESERVATION
Prof. DR. SUBBA RAO
I do hereby declare that the project entitled “POLITICS OF
RESERVATION” submitted to Tamil Nadu National Law
School in partial fulfilment of the requirement of the award of
the degree of BA.,LLB is a record of original work done by
me under the supervision and guidance of Prof. Dr.SUBBA
RAO (mentor) Political Science department of Tamil Nadu
National Law School,Trichy and that has not formed the basis
for the award of any degree or diploma or fellowship or any
other title to any candidate of any university.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Meaning of Reservation ………………6
History of Reservation in India ……………….7
Mandal Commission ……………….8
Beneficiary groups of Reservation ……………….11
What the Constitution says ……………….14
Unfair, Unequal System ……………….15
Judicial Interpretation ……………….17
Vote Bank Politics ………………..19
Consequences of Reservation ………………..21
Can merit replace caste? ………………..23
I would like to sincerely thank my Political Science teacher
Dr.Subba Rao for giving me this topic and guiding me through out
the project. Through this research project I have learned a lot about
the aforesaid topic and this in turn has helped me grow as a student .
I also thank my parents and friends for their precious inputs which
have been very helpful in the completion of this project.
India is a huge country with a massive population of over 1.2 billion people
residing in it. It comprises of people from different ethnicity and religion. There is also a
rigid caste system prevailing in the country. We live in a free country and this freedom is
a gift of democracyto us. Our constitution gives us the right to freedom and most
importantly to exercise this freedom in an equitable manner. At the same time it is
incumbent on the part of the state to ensure that equality prevails in all sections of the
However in today’s time one of the major roadblocks to this equality is the Reservation
India being a developing nation is currently facing many challenges and the reservation
system being one of them. The biggest question that lies in front of us is whether
implementing this reservation system has really helped the downtrodden? The current
scenario clearly depicts that the ‘lower’ castes are still discriminated in their daily lives.
To uproot casteism it is important that we fight the reservation system which alone will
lead us to development, competency, equality and unity. Firstly we need to understand
that the reservation system only divides the society leading to discrimination and
conflicts between different sections. It is oppressiveand does not find its basis in
casteism. It is actually the antithesis of a communal living.
The main objective of the Indian reservation system is to increase the opportunities for
enhanced social and educational status (in the sense better than the previous—until it
becomes equal to that enjoyed by an average member of other communities) of the
underprivileged communities and, thus, enable them to take their rightful place in
the mainstream of Indian society.
MEANING OF RESERVATION
Reservation in India is a form of affirmative action designed to improve the well-being of
perceived backward and under-represented communities defined primarily by their 'caste'
(quota-system based on 'gender' or 'religion') is a phenomenon that commenced with the
coming into force of the Indian Constitution.
What is a “caste”?
"Caste" is the term used to describe the complex system of social divisions that pervades
life in India. Caste is an ancient hereditary system that developed alongside and became
intertwined with Hinduism. Caste determines whom a personcan marry, specifies what
kind of work he can do, and even controls what he can eat or touch.
Since the great majority of Indians are Hindu, the caste system has played an enormous
role in the history of India, and it continues to exert tremendous influence on modern
Indian culture and politics.
The reservation system finds its origin in the age-old caste system of India. The caste
system at its birth was meant to divide people on the basis of their occupation like
teaching and preaching (Brahmins), kingship and war (Kshatriya) and lastly
business(vaish) etc. but soonit became an instrument to divide the society on caste-basis,
creating various walls between different sections of the society. Today we stand divided
widely into Hindu, Muslim, SC, ST & OBCs with newer reservations coming up for
other different sections of the society like Christians, Kashmiris, Jats, Kashmiri Pandits,
HISTORY OF RESERVATION IN INDIA
The idea of caste based reservation system was envisioned by William Hunter
and Jyotirao Phule in various forms in 1882.The Hunter Commission was appointed.
Phule made a demand of free and compulsoryeducation for all along with proportionate
representation in government jobs.TheHunter Commission was implemented by the
Maharaja of Kolhapur in Maharashtra , Chatrapati Sahuji Maharaj in 1902.He
introduced reservation in supportof backward classes to wipe out poorquality of their
life by providing them opportunity in the state government.He was the first king in India
to implement Reservation Policy.
After India obtained Independence, Dr.Ambedkar was appointed chairman of the
drafting committee for Indian Constitution. The idea was that a vast majority of the poor
were from a very small caste group and they needed a social net so that they can be
accommodated into society as full fledged members. It is important to note that this part
of the reservation was for electoral rights first (to guarantee political representation -
PoonaAct ‘35) and a education/job rights issue second. Also note that education was
made free in these early attempts so that poverty does not hinder their education by these
early efforts. If not for Dr.Ambedkar's efforts, even this would not have come through
during Independence. Ambedkar remains an icon for minority causes even today and is
revered becauseof this.
In 1990 Mandal commission recommendations were implemented by
Vishwanath Pratap Singh that a fixed quota of all jobs in the public sectorbe reserved for
the historically disadvantaged classes of the society. It provoked nationwide public wrath
in 1990.At present we have a reservation system with a percentage distribution of
Scheduled Castes – 15%
Scheduled Tribes – 7.5%
Other Backward Classes (OBC) – 27%
Total reservation – 49.5%
General (Open to all including SC/ST and OBC) – 50.5%
The Mandal Commission was established in India in 1979 by the Janata Party
government under Prime Minister Morarji Desai with a mandate to "identify the socially
or educationally backward. It was headed by Indian parliamentarian B.P. Mandal to
consider the question of seat reservations and quotas for people to redress caste
discrimination, and used eleven social, economic, and educational indicators to determine
backwardness. In 1980, the commission's report affirmed the affirmative action practice
under Indian law whereby members of lower castes (known as Other Backward Classes
(OBC), Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST)) were given exclusive access
to a certain portion of government jobs and slots in public universities, and recommended
changes to these quotas, increasing them by 27% to 49.5%.
Setting up of Mandal Commission
The plan to set up another commission was taken by the Morarji Desai government in
1978 as per the mandate of the under article 340 for the purpose of Articles like 15 and
16. The decision was made official by the president on 1 January 1979. The commission
is popularly known as the Mandal Commission with its chairman being B.P. Mandal.
Observations and findings
The commission estimated that 54% of the total population (excluding SCs and STs),
belonging to 3,743 different castes and communities, were ‘backward’. Figures of caste-
wise population are not available beyond. So the commission used 1931 census data to
calculate the number of OBCs. The population of Hindu OBCs was derived by
subtracting from the total population of Hindus, the population of SC and ST and that of
forward Hindu castes and communities, and it worked out to be 52 per cent.Assuming
that roughly the proportionof OBCs amongst non-Hindus was of the same order as
amongst the Hindus, the population of non-Hindu OBCs was considered as 52 per cent.
Assuming that a child from an advanced class family and that of a backward class family
had the same intelligence at the time of their birth, it is obvious that owing to vast
differences in social, cultural and environmental factors, the former will beat the latter by
lengths in any competitive field. Even if an advanced class child's intelligence quotient
was much lower compared to the child of backward class, chances are that the former
will still beat the latter in any competition where selection is made on the basis of 'merit'.
In fact, what we call 'merit' in an elitist society is an amalgam of native endowments and
environmental privileges. A child from an advanced class family and that of a backward
class family are not 'equals' in any fair sense of the term and it will be unfair to judge
them by the same yard-stick. The conscienceof a civilised society and the dictates of
social justice demand that 'merit' and 'equality' are not turned into a fetish and the element
of privilege is duly recognised and discounted for when 'unequal' are made to run the
To place the amalgams of open caste conflicts in properhistorical context, the study done
by Tata institute of Social Sciences Bombay observes. “TheBritish rulers produced many
structural disturbances in the Hindu caste structure, and these were contradictory in
nature and impact …. Thus, the various impacts of the British rule on the Hindu caste
system, viz., near monopolisation of jobs, education and professions by the literati castes,
the Western concepts of equality and justice undermining the Hindu hierarchical
dispensation, the phenomenon of Sanskritization, gentle reform movement from above
and militant reform movements from below, emergence of the caste associations with a
new role set the stage for the caste conflicts in modern India. Two more ingredients
which were very weak in the British period, viz., politicisation of the masses and
universal adult franchise, became powerful moving forces after the Independence.
The report of the commission was submitted in December 1980. The following are the
recommendations as stated in the report:
“It may appear the upliftment of Other Backward Classes is part of the larger national
problem of the removal of mass poverty. This is only partially correct. The deprivation of
OBCs is a very special case of the larger national issue: here the basic question is that of
social and educational backwardness and poverty is only a direct consequenceof these
two crippling caste-based handicaps. As these handicaps are embedded in our social
structure, their removal will require far – reaching structural changes. No less important
will be changes in the perception of the problems of OBCs by the ruling classes of the
Protests against Mandal Commission
A decade after the commission gave its report, V.P. Singh, the Prime Minister at the time,
tried to implement its recommendations in 1989. The criticism was sharp and colleges
across the country held massive protests against it. Soonafter, Rajiv Goswami, student of
Delhi University(Deshbandhu College), committed self-immolation in protestof the
government's actions. His act further sparked a series of self-immolations by other
college students and led to a formidable movement against job reservations for Backward
Castes in India. He died at age 33 in a hospital in New Delhi on February 24, 2004. His
death was due to complications due to his self immolation 14 years earlier.
First student to die due to self-immolation was Surinder Singh Chauhan on 24 Sep 1990.
He left a suicide note stating that "The responsibility for my death lies with those people
who consider reservation a vote bank,people like V.P. Paswan, Yadav .…..”
BENEFICIARY GROUPS OF RESERVATION
Enrolment in educational institutions and job placements are reserved based on a
variety of criteria. The quota system sets aside a proportion of all possible positions for
members of a specific group. Thosenot belonging to the designated communities can
compete only for the remaining positions, while members of the designated communities
can compete for all positions (both reserved and open). For example, when 1 out of 10
clerical positions in railways are reserved for ex-servicemen, those who have served in
the Army can compete both in the "General Category" as well as in the specific quota.
Seats are reserved for people under the following criteria:
State of Domicile
We almost follow a reservation system based on caste primarily.The people belonging to
the castes of OBC,SC,STenjoy this facility.The percentage of reservation varies from
state to state in India. Caste is decided based on birth, and can never be changed.A person
can change his religion, and his economic status can fluctuate, the caste is permanent.
In India there is always a misperception of women’s abilities for many years. Recent
research on the quota system has revealed that it has changed perceptions of women’s
abilities, improved women’s electoral chances, and raised aspirations and educational
attainment for adolescent girls. There is a long-term plan to extend this reservation to
parliament and legislative assemblies. Forinstance, some law schools in India have a
30% reservation for females. Progressive political opinion in India is strongly in favour
of providing preferential treatment to women to create a level playing field for all of its
citizens.In 1993, a constitutional amendment in India called for a random one third of
village council leader, or pradhan, positions in gram panchayat to be reserved for women.
The Women's Reservation Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 9 March 2010 by a
majority vote of 186 members in favour and 1 against. As of March 2013, the Lok Sabha
has not voted on the bill. Critics say gender cannot be held as a basis for reservation alone
other factors should also be considered e.g. economic, social conditions of woman
candidate especially when applying reservation for educated women. There also is a
growing demand for women reservation in pre-existing reservations like OBC, SC/ST,
Physically handicapped etc. Some feminist groups still demand that reservation for
women should be at least 50% as they comprise 50% of the population.
Reservation has also been extended to religious minorities. Government says that this
sub-quotais based on the backwardness of the religious communities and not on the
State of Domicile
Most of jobs under state government are reserved to those who are domiciles under that
government. There are also some seats reserved for the Jammu and Kashmir 'migrants' in
every Government-aided educational institute.
It is a quota based on economic status irrespective of caste, race and religion; anybody
who has money can buy his/her seat.
Sons / Daughters / Grandsons / Granddaughters of Freedom Fighters.
Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) have a small fraction of reserved seats in educational
institutions. They have to pay more fees and pay in foreign currency.
Seat reservation for Senior citizens/ PH in Public Bus transport
Terrorist victims from Kashmir, e.g. in Punjab
Single Girl-Child (in Punjab)
Migrants from the state of Jammu and Kashmir
Candidates sponsoredbyvarious organisations
Thosewho have served in the armed forces ('ex-serviceman' quota—becausethe
age of superannuation in the Military Service is much shorter than that in the Civil
posts;more so, certain intakes are tenure-based, e.g. the contractfor Short-Service
Commission is merely 8 years)
Dependents of armed forces personnel killed-in-action
Reservation in special schools of Government Undertakings/ PSUs, for the
children of their own employees (e.g. Army schools, PSU schools, etc.)
Paid pathway reservations in places of worship (e.g., Tirumala Venkateswara
Temple, Tiruthani Murugan (Balaji) temple)
WHAT THE CONSTITUTION SAYS
India’s constitution guarantees “equal rights.”
Article 14 says that “The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or
the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.”
Article 15 prohibits discrimination against any citizen on grounds of religion, race,
caste, sex, place of birth, etc.
Article 16 guarantees equality of opportunity in matters of public employment, etc.
At the same time, the constitution provides for a “reservation system.”
Article 46 says “The state shall promote with special care the education and economic
interests of the weaker sections of the people, and, in particular of the scheduled castes
and the scheduled tribes, and shall protectthem from social injustice and all forms of
India’s reservation system contradicts it’s own constitution’s promise of “equal rights”
Since the introduction of reservation system in India, a lot of controversy
has been attached to it. There are people who are in favor or quota system and considerit
a positive step towards making education accessible among the masses without any
discrimination. The students of these castes and groups have always had difficulties in
attaining education with normal people in normal institutes which is why they lag behind.
They have an equal right for education and quota system is a medium which gives them a
fair chance to stand in the queue and prove their worth and talent against students of
upper castes and majority.Allocating quotas is a form of discrimination which is contrary
to the right to equality.
People who opposequotasystem state that they believe in merit and
reservation is killing merit and true deserving candidates. Because a certain percentage of
seats are already allotted to candidates who do not even meet the criteria, it creates a
disadvantage for the deserving candidates who have worked hard all year and scored
good marks but could not get admission because of shortage of seats. This has a ripple
effect in the entire education system and the economy. If the actually potential candidates
would not be given a fair chance to attain higher education, then quality graduates would
not be produced in the market that could compete on international level. A poolof
talented candidates may also leave the country and go to other countries for higher
The debate against or in favor of reservation or quota system is ongoing.
Each group has their own fears and reservations which derives them in favor or against
this system. It has also been politicize and sensationalized by the media and politicians.
Everyone has their vested interests in it. But the future of the youth and upcoming
generations is at stake. Exposing the students of underprivileged group to a highly
competitive higher education system is unfair to them. They should be provided a fair
chance for competing against normal students by setting up an educational infrastructure
which accommodates them. Schools and colleges should be established for them that
have regional accreditation. They should meet the criteria of quality education. This
would prepare them for a fair chance at higher education.
The only argument that momentarily arrests our attention is the equalisation concept.In
our opinion it violates the equal opportunity guarantee of the Constitution.In developing
country like India, backward areas or bad pockets are no monopoly of any State or even a
single region in a State.
The scientific solution to this problem is to impart special coaching to students from the
schoollevel and really lift them up to the expected standard.
In the Indian scenario, it resembles the story of “The Wolf and the Lamb” in Aesops
Fables.“If you were not born at that time”, said the Wolf, “it must have been your father”,
and proceeded to gobble up the Lamb.
The fundamental law is forgotten that … “none should be punished for the supposedor
actual sins of the ancestors.”
For how long the sins (i.e. the discrimination practised by them) of the generations of the
forefathers in the higher castes should be expiated by the future generations.
Whereas it is true that 60 years ago almost all the families of certain communities were
backward but presently backwardness and poverty are not restricted to communities.
Mandate provided by express words of Constitution through Article 16,46 and 335 has
been ignored.There were many suits filed because of this policy.Some of them were
1)M.R. Balaji v. State of Mysore, AIR 1963 SC 649.
2)T. Devdasan v. Union of India, AIR 1964 SC 179.
3)State of Kerala v. N.M. Thomas, AIR 1976 SC 490.
4)A.B.S.K. Sangh v. Union of India, AIR 1981 SC 298.
5)M.Nagaraj v. Union of India, (2006)8 SCC 212.
In a fee disparity case “D.P. JoshiVs State of Madhya Bharat” (AIR 1955 SC 334),
No capitation fee was collected for bonafide resident of M.B students and all other
students who were not having domicile of Madhya Bharat were charged capitation fees
which was Rs. 1300 for nominees and Rs. 1500 for other state students.This rule was
violative of Art. 14 and 15. S.C held that this rule was not discriminatory.
Article 15(4) of our constitution empowers the government to make special provisions for
advancement of backward classes. Similarly Article 16 provides for equality of
opportunity in matters of employment or appointment to any postunder the State.
“Clause 2 of article 16 lays down that no citizen on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex,
descent, place of birth, residence or any of them be discriminated in respect of any
employment or office under the State.”
However clause 4 of the same article provides for an exception by conferring a certain
kind of power on the government:
“it empowers the state to make special provision for the reservation of appointments of
posts in favour of any backward class of citizens which in the opinion of the state are not
adequately represented in the services”
Thus two conditions have to be satisfied:
The class of citizens is backward
The said class is not adequately represented.
In a case Balajiv/s State of Mysore (AIR 1963 SC649) it was held that ‘casteof a
personcannot be the sole criteria for ascertaining whether a particular caste is backward
or not. Determinants such as poverty, occupation, place of habitation may all be relevant
factors to be taken into consideration. The court further held that it does not mean that if
once a caste is considered to be backward it will continue to be backward for all other
times. The government should review the test and if a class reaches the state of progress
where reservation is not necessary it should delete that class from the list of backward
What is surprising is that our constitution clearly is a reservation-friendly constitution but
nowhere in the constitution is the term ‘backward classes defined. What actually
constitutes a backward class? What are the determinants of a backward class? These
questions remain unanswered and it is only with the help of judicial pronouncements that
they have been given some meaning. Question arises how can reservations be made for
something that has not been defined?
VOTE BANK POLITICS
According to Article 334 of the Constitution lays down that the provisions of the
Constitution relating to the reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes and the
Scheduled Tribes and the representation of the Anglo-Indian community by nomination
in the House of the People and the Legislative Assemblies of the States shall cease to
have effect on the expiration of the period of sixty years from the commencement of the
Constitution. In other words, these provisions will cease to have effect on the 25th
January 2010, if not extended further.
The Ninety-fifth Amendment of the Constitution of India, officially known as The
Constitution (Ninety-fifth Amendment) Act, 2009, extended the period of reservation of
seats for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and representation of the Anglo-
Indians in the Lok Sabha and the State Legislative Assemblies for another ten years, i.e.
up to 26 January 2020.Article 334 of the Constitution had originally required the
reservation of seats to cease in 1960, but this was extended to 1970 by the 8th
Amendment. The period of reservation was extended to 1980, 1990,2000 and 2010 by the
23rd, 45th, 62nd and 79th Amendments respectively. The 95th Amendment extended the
period of reservation to 2020.
The politicians are not ready to enforce this article strictly as it may result in a loss of
vote banks for them. The political laloos and babus think of the reservation policy mainly
because most of the upper-castes do not take real interest in the political process of
voting. In view of this either some-one else misuse their votes or the voting right is
simply wasted.Thus their votes depend on the middle and lower castes.No political party
is ready to stop this system. In simple words, this means that reservation is a bait to lure
the consolidated votes of backward classes whose numbers are too big to be ignored.
Our preamble of the Indian Constitution says that India is “sovereign,
socialist,secular,democratic,republic”,then how can the caste system prevail and
consequently reservations? Today,this evil system persists and plays a vital role in the
society as the major weapon for vote bank politics.The whole perspective of Mandal
Commission regarding reservations are gradually being extended and expanded to
sections of people,demanding reservations within reservations.The initial condition of
reservation was acceptable since at the time of Independence these SC/ST communities
were weaker and exploited,but after so many years of Independence the same criteria of
caste does not make sense.This has just been used as political puppet.Itis purely for
I am not against a low caste/tribe individual taking good professionbut as
professional education, only right candidate should move up. If one really evaluate the
requirements, the marks in exam reflects a student’s grit and determination in doing his
work/career. If admissions are to be done for lower marks, because of caste certificates,
will the system turn-out better dedicated doctors. Even in IITs, there are many candidates
who leave the curriculum in the middle since they could not withstand the arduous
learning process. Insuch a case why waste the opportunity of those who are really
eligible for professional studies.
No Indian youth, whatever be his caste, will be barred from entry on the basis of
merit, to any of our prestigious centers of learning if the Government seriously considers
a qualitative improvement right from the primary schoolstage. Let us go to the roots:
once you take care of the roots, the plant will be healthy and will have durable, intrinsic
worth. Let the Government take care of the child at the start and he or she can compete
on his own terms.
CONSEQUENCES OF RESERVATION
In the Higher Education institutes and Government Bodies reserved category
people are given the relaxations, which results in admission of people who have
lower aggregate percentage of marks bothin academics & competitive exams.
The Financial and social status of the reserved category people is increasing, and
well supported bythe government.
People mainly the students of various education institutes were started protesting
against the Mandal Commission in form of closed roads, highways, transportation
services, government services, schools, and businesses of India. About 150
students were attempted self-immolation throughout India.
The population of reserved category community has increased through the years
since 1990, though the government still has not made any policy and official
statistics of Indian population based on caste, which are still pending to be released
to the public. The combined population of Indians is increasing as always.
Several Unreserved or General category communities has started demanding
reservation for them, these communities which include (Gujars, Jats of State of
Haryana, Seers, etc.). Jats have got Backward status now despite being
economically and politically dominant in Haryana.
Some philosophers believe that Indian has lost its pacefor the development due to
the reservation in India, since more capable persons were not offered the places
which they deserved on the bases of acts done in past.
Some think that reservation in India is not good for society since the people were
still remain divided among themselves due to the increase and decrease of
Financial and Social status in the society.
Reservation policy which was designed to be a temporary supporthas turned out to
be permanent crutches and is the biggest obstacle in achieving the cherished goal
There are people from other communities who are deprived of jobs despite of the
merit and qualifications they possess. Theymight not be economically or socially
well off. In such a scenario, what is the fate of the Constitutional guarantees
provided to them. How long can they be deprived of their rights in order to
promote the interests of other communities.
Caste disparities which were forgotten in the struggle for Independence came back
with a bang due to reservation policy, judgments of the Supreme Court and the
reports of the various Commissions This policy has strengthened the caste system
instead of removing the inequalities prevalent in the society due to the caste
People strive to be declared as backward just to avail the benefits of the reservation
policies. So, instead of promoting equality it has started a new battle between
various communities to be declared as backward and to avail the endless benefits
Also the reservation system in India is creating a workforce which is not capable
enough to compete at the global level. India needs people for growth and
development but reservation is adding undeserving candidates as well. So I think
reservation system should be demolished and if the government really wants to
uplift the underprivileged sections of the society then a well-balanced policies
should be formulated.
People have started misusing it. There are many examples of people making false
documents just to get a seat in a college or a job. This leaves the more eligible
candidate to give their seat to a personbelonging to a reserve category.
CAN MERIT REPLACE CASTE?
When we think of a an alternative to the caste based reservation system, merit
pops up in our mind. Todaywhen a student applies for an admission in any university,
the admission forms are filled with questions like ‘Are you SC/ST or OBC or General
Category?’ How does it matter which category does he belong to, what matters is his
merit. A category cannot decide whether he is eligible for admission or not. There many
economically worse off children belonging to the forward classes but they cannot get the
fruits of such reservation merely by virtue of belonging to the ‘general’ category.
Sometimes these children belonging to the backward classes do not even deserve and still
possessthe necessary merit as against a child who studied very hard for months to get a
seat, thereby snatching away that seat just because he comes from a particular religion or
caste for which our government provides reservation. Many students don’tmake it to the
institutes because of the economic reasons and those who do not fall in the reservation
criteria donnot get a fair opportunity too.
But for a person to achieve merit he needs to be educated properly.But most of
the classes do not have the financial aid to get educated properly. The boys and girls who
reach the top have not becomebrilliant overnight; the foundation of the legend power of
these extraordinary brilliant students would have been laid right from the primary school
stage.Years of sustained effort could alone raise them to the pinnacles of excellence.
Can the government provide such kind of education right from below for every citizen —
the SCs, STs backward classes, other backward classes and bulk of the pooramong the so
called ‘forward communities’? Then there will be no need for any reservation.
Thus caste should be replaced by the financial status of the people and not by merit.
To remove this evil it suggested the following:
Make education mandatory and free for all till age of 15
Proposereservation based on economic status
Provide opportunity to students to earn while they study.
Instead of introducing reservations for these backward classes what is required
is to bring about revolutionary changes in our education system at the grass-rootlevel.
When proper education is not provided to children belonging to such categories during
the primary stage itself then on what basis are the reservations provided at a subsequent
Reservations on the basis of caste and not on the basis of condition are bad and
unacceptable. Fair and just reservations to uplift the people with poorconditions of life,
those who don’thave meals to eat, clothes to wear and no home to live in. They shall be
made on the basis of factors such as gender as women are more disadvantaged than men
since primitive times, domicile, family education, family employment, family property,
family income and if any disabilities and traumas. The process ofreservation should be
such that it filters the truly economically deprived individuals and bring them all to
We don’tneed reservations based on castes or religion but only to actually
provide aid to those who have minimal resources; and merit should be given equal and
due importance in admission procedures as well employment opportunities. This way we
would be successfulin removing caste discrimination and unite the economically rich
together in helping the economically poor, irrespective of their castes.
The Government can tie up with the coaching centers bearing part of the tuition
fees for the student’s frown weaker sections. Once they are empowered to compete along
with their peers from the socially upward class the social divide would become
meaningless. There is need for a national consensus on the burning issue of reservation as
it affects all sections of the people — castewise, classwise — and because of the
inescapable need for preserving merit at a time when India’s position in world economy
and science and technology is increasingly being recognized.
Avoidance of fragmentary approachwithin our country and focus on merit- based
selection constitutes definite advantage of this approachis also suggested.Emphasis
should be given to uniform primary and secondary education so that groups under-
represented in higher education institutes and workplaces become natural
competitors.Government should announce long term plan to phase out regional
Reservation is not a complete or even a real solution of the problems of Scheduled Castes
or the Backward Classes. What is more important is their economic and educational
upliftment which can be achieved only by increasing merit and not merely by providing
for reservations.Without merit which comes in the form of education they are not in a
position to utilize the opportunity being given to them under the scheme of affirmative
action. Reservation should be provided when even after equal merit they are unable to
enter into services due to some kind of discrimination or disability.Reservation as a
means of affirmative action has outlived its importance as the goals framed during the
debates in Constituent Assembly have still not been achieved even after 67 years of
There was a quota system in US as well, but it was abolished long ago. But it does not
mean that they are not working for the underprivileged in their society. Foradmission
and appointment purposes, nowthey have point systems in which people from backward
regions are given some extra points but, not a certain number of seats. So, though the
government is helping the needy, but it is not at all discriminating or snatching away the
rights of eligible candidates. Also from time to time such reforms or laws must be
evaluated by experts and their impact on the development of under privileged and overall
society must be assessed. Also, calculate the way these are changing the per capita
income, number of people below poverty line etc. Politicians should stop using
reservation system as a gimmick to have a permanent vote bank. Education should not be
a part of politics. Instead nurture the saplings right from childhood for their bright future
and then there won’t be any need of so called reservation system in India.
LET YOUR SKILLS BE THE VOICE OF
The Constitution of India