Among many corroborative actions taken by the government for the depressed classes, reservation is the most powerful measure. Providing free housing and education is just another action, but talking about reservation, it is more extreme as it implies the separation of people for some posts to the certain caste which would have been secured by other people.
This article was submitted by Prathamesh Upadhyay
Reservation was envisaged as a step towards the empowerment of Dalits and backward classes in our country but this step has led to a greater inequality among them. Reservation in India is a supportive action that provides representation to currently and historically disadvantaged people in the field of education, employment, and politics. Mentioned under articles 15 and 16 of the constitution of India it allows the Indian government to fix the quotas for the socially and educationally backward classes. Reservation in India is primarily given to three groups-
- Scheduled castes,
- Scheduled tribes
- and other backward classes.
Before 1987 the reservation was given to only SC’s and ST’s but after that, it was extended to OBCs when Mandal commission recommended. There are income limits for EWS(economically weaker section) and OBCs but no income limits for SCs and STs. these groups at some time faced tremendous social and educational discrimination and they were underrepresented. For many years education and jobs were denied to the majority of the population. Backward classes were opposed in many ways, Reservation is like the support provided to the depressed people based on their caste which earlier they were denied.
Now, everyone would argue that we live in the 21st century and there is no caste discrimination and since in early days there was caste discrimination and that’s something called history and now SC and STs are completely favored and developed. I believe maybe those people are right but not completely right. We see every day there is some or other discrimination, even today many people are discriminated, lower-class people are still treated differently by the upper-class people, many are not allowed to enter temples, recently I remember the case of Jaipur where a Dalit boy tied with a rope and beaten when he tried to enter a temple in Rajasthan’s Pali district by the upper caste people.
Even today the manual scavenging is done by the lower caste people. Today, discrimination also exists in healthcare and nutrition. In a sample survey, it was represented that around 65% of Dalits were not allowed on health fields, even they were not allowed in ration shops. There have been many incidents where SC and ST professors have been harassed or being discriminated against by the authorities. they are inadequately represented in police services even in the judiciary and other public services. Now think over 70 years of our independence is caste-based discrimination wiped out of the society?.
The reservation is exploited by the rich class among the Dalits and doesn’t even reach the real beneficiary. Reservation was meant for 10 years from the commencement of the constitution but due to political interests, the reservation is extended by the constitutional amendment after every 10 years. In a recent report of an annual crime in India 2019 published by NCRB, there was a whopping 7% increase in the crimes against SC’s and st’s as compared to 2018. Total 45,935 cases were registered for committing crimes against SCs. so, the aim of the reservation has not been fulfilled yet.
The exploitation has not been stopped, feeling of alienation by the section of society, has only gone worse thus, reservation is the only silver lining in this dark sky. Yes, there is a section of people facing injustice and is under a shadow even today because they don’t have anyone to speak for them, the data should be rectified and we should check who needs the reservation. Today the reservation has been made as a political agenda and politicians are using this as a vote bank and after sitting on that powerful chair, they pay nothing as a return to the people.
To conclude, reservation is a promise that was made on the eve of independence. just like the PDS system was replaced by the TPDS, we need to replace reservations with TRS. Though a reservation is important we cannot ignore the law and order and physiological aspects. We need to strengthen our current law enforcement and spread awareness among citizens about the ideals of rule of law and what India has always stood up for VASUDEVA KUTUMBKAM- the whole world is our family so how can we discriminate against someone based on birth. Reservations cannot end caste prejudice but what they can do and prevent the denial of rights. Maybe the downtrodden people in the villages who don’t have any knowledge about the law need the help of reservation and to uplift their lives.
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