The situation evolved or created on the issue of reservation is grave. On this issue, a repetitive question is asked, whether reservation policy need a critical review. The answer to this is yes and no, because originally reservation is meant for the SCs and STs based on the principle of social justice. For hundreds of years these categories were deprived of social justice and faced the evil of untouchability.
One can ask whether all sections from SC/ST communities could obtain equal benefit of the policy. Are these groups educated now? Has social and judicial security reached to them? Has society and government successfully brought them on the path of economic progress?
Answer to these questions does not lie in reviewing provision, but in scanning the model and method of execution of those provisions. The responsibility of implementing the reservation with true spirit is not limited to the goverment.
On the question of how long reservation should continue, the third Sarsanghachalak of RSS replied, “Until these sections feel the need, unless they (SCs/STs) themselves decide to negate such instrument, reservation should continue.”
During last few years, many groups in various states have raised agitations for reservation. They damaged national property andnegated the democratic process. Whether Jats of Haryana or Marathas in Maharashtra, or some other caste groups from other states, should peep into their own history. Socially, they have been considered as upper castes. These are the groups who have ruled the states through their representatives.
Despite this fact, if common masses from these castes are still backward then who is responsible for this? Elite of these groups enjoyed the benefits of power and they kept their caste brethren backward. Is it not their fault? Should not they ask this question to their own leaders? How far it is justified to instigate the caste sentiments for political benefits? Earlier also Jat agitation had become an instrument of political mobilisation for demand of OBC reservation, which was nullified by the Supreme Court as per the Constitutional provisions.
Is there no other way than reservation to uplift the society? There are other means and society itself can play a role in bringing that change. For instance, Kshtriyas never asked for reservation. Educationally and economically well to do sections of the same group run their own educational institutions, they financially assist youth who want to start their business or industry. This is the right way to uplift the society from the state of backwardness.
When the upper castes of society ask for reservation, it does mean there is some amount of backwardness within those groups. In such a situation, elite of those caste groups should give a helping hand to others. For the economically weaker sections, there are government schemes which can be availed.
As of now, there is no scope for Jat reservation in the present Constitutional structure. This agitation is considered as politically motivated by the experts. There is a need for calm and holistic thinking. Any damage to national property is ultimately our loss. Reservation is the issue of justice and not confrontation.
Suvarna Rawal (The writer is Chairman of Bhatke Vimukta Vikas Parishad, working for the welfare of nomadic tribes in Maharashtra)