Reservation and still Inequality persists


The concept of Reservation is justified in India as positive discrimination to rectify historical injustices towards certain groups. We all know how reservation, a concept evolved to uplift the historically marginalized sections has deepened its roots in the Indian soil.Issues in our country are so easily politicized and sculpted into separate issue entities that the true essence of the original issue dissipates and fades away.Earlier, the caste groups granted the status of a reserved category considered themselves menial and subservient to other non-reserved groups and showed reluctance to tell publicly if they were enjoying the benefits of reservation but Modernity, Development and Globalization have led to a dignified encouragement that today people not only frankly tell which groups do they belong to but other “non-reserved” groups claim themselves to be socially and economically backward so as to be labelled as a “backward” group and benefited by reservation policy .

We have witnessed how OBC reservation has been demanded by  JAT community and others (because they agitated , brought loss to government property,etc.)so I will not go into the details of it. We need to think intensely as to why agitation for the grant of reservation status is considered so easily. Here comes the point to discuss Hardik Patel , a so-called pioneer for the rights of the Patel community in Gujarat. He is trying to bring together the so-called backward communities of the country under one umbrella and seeks for an OBC status henceforth. It is clearly evident that he is politicizing this struggle for Patel Reservation in order to  either become the political face for the people of Gujarat and garner for himself a major position in Indian Politics or to create a state of perturbation , distress and conflict in the much vulnerable Gujarat, excited by other major political parties of India.

I would like to raise a point how can the socially and economically well-off Patel community be given an OBC status? How can one individual raise such a vast agitative fracas and be successful at mobilizing people of a certain community and bring the whole state to a standstill? We need to ponder upon why people raising their voices against reservation are taken for granted and voices demanding reservation are given such a vast media coverage?

A concept developed to compensate for historical injustices and inequality meted out to the present reserved categories is  today sidelining and marginalizing other non-reserved communities due to the flawed implementation of the reservation policy.Due to such inequalities prevalent in the country we see that there has been a major setback in the living standards of people. Even the lower middle class family stands prone to reach the poverty line due to increasing inflation today. Further, we notice that there is a growing inequality among people with reference to opportunities and capabilities as there is a section of people who has access to not only the opportunity but also the means to achieve that opportunity whereas the other section is unable to access either of these.Policies to address inequality should…focus on ensuring equality of opportunity, improving upward mobility and providing adequate support to mitigate shocks for the poorest” (Urbanization key to offsetting inequality in India: World Bank Report, business-standard.com). If that is to be followed then the poorest class not only consists of SCs, STs and OBCs but the non reserved groups as well. Rural India still has a lack of opportunities and the limited opportunities are bagged by the reserved categories and the non reserved remain in poverty and ignorance. Why not treat all those equally backward people of a village(for instance) and uplift these people to a similar standard.

So, a country like India is today compensating for previous inequalities and then tomorrow’s India will compensate for inequalities meted out to the present “non-reserved” community/group. Will the Indian state forever feel sorry for its previous flawed mistakes and keep repenting and recompensing for its past mistakes? Is India always going to exercise reparation?

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3 thoughts on “Reservation and still Inequality persists

  1. Well written Meghna! However, place the argument from the both the sides. May be we can talk sometime about it. The idea of social justice, social democracy, welfarist model of development needs to be brought it. Good, keep it up and see both the sides of the road while crossing the road and writing 🙂

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  2. Pingback: Reservation and still Inequality persists | 28cavalcade

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