Jats have no role in the Haryana violence. The violence was an outcome of the attempts made to gain political mileage out of a simple agitation. We have organised similar agitations in the past also, but they never turned violent. We were attacked in the beginning itself when our agitation began this time. The elements, which attacked us, are basically involved in the arson and vandalising activities. Those who are involved in such activities and also their masters should be detected. It is being claimed that Haryana witnessed a loss worth Rs 20-30,000 crore. I want to ask what is the criterion for calculating such damage?
Both the ruling and Opposition dispensations tried to draw political mileage out of this agitation. Whenever there are demands for reservation by Jats, arguments are made that they are from well to do community. Fact is that the economic conditions of all Jats is not good. The reservation that we are asking is not like the reservation granted to SCs/Sts which is permanent. We are seeking reservation under OBC category, which has the provision of creamy layer. Anyone having annual income of more than Rs six lakh does not get the benefit of this reservation. If there is already such a condition, what is wrong in extending it to Jats also?
The Kelkar Committee report in 1956 mentioned about granting reservation to Jats also. Not only this, the Mandal Commission had also put Jats under backward category. But whenever it comes to actually implementing it, the situation was always politicised and it is still being done. When reservation was announced for OBCs in 1993, then too the Jats were kept out of it. When Jats were granted reservation in Haryana in 1994, Ch. Bhajanlal went to Supreme Court and finally the five castes, which were granted reservation by Devilal government, were denied the reservation benefits. The government needs to understand the fact that why Jats demand reservation. There is a provision of 27% reservation to OBCs, which includes 2,500 castes. If one more community is added in that list nothing much would change. Jats are seeking reservation since 1990. Many governments came and gone, but they were never granted centralised reservation. When they come to the streets, the government starts dialogue process, but actually nothing concrete comes out.
Yashpal Malik, President, Akhil Bharatiya Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti