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Caste-based reservations in India

 

It is a humanitarian obligation of any civilized society to bring suitable changes to uplift and empower the submerged sections of society. But there is a big question – have the benefits of reservation reached up to really needy and desrving persons and helped them?

After the independence, overwhelming poverty of millions belonging to lower strata of society and their near absence in echelons of power has led the founding fathers to intervene and make provision for reservations as a temporary measure, but never intended it to continue in perpetuity as Reservation was not the solution to bring the masses into mainstream.

Growth of literacy and awareness, trend in consumerism, increasing consciousness of rights to detriment of duties or responsibilities attached with each right, paternalistic policies and tall promises by politicians have already aroused expectations of people. There is a wide gap between expectations and opportunities to fulfil them. Assertiveness of Dalits and intolerance of backward castes, especially after Mandalisation of politics, quite often led the nation to caste-wars.

First Backward class Commission’s Chairman Kaka Kalelkar had very wisely commented on caste based reservation practiced in India- “National solidarity in a democratic set up demands Government to recognize only two ends – the individual at one end and the nation as a whole at the other. Nothing should be encouraged to organize itself in between these two ends to the detriment of the freedom of the individual and solidarity of the nation. All communal and denominational organizations and groupings of lesser and narrower units have to be watched carefully, so that they do not jeopardize the national solidarity and do not weaken the efforts of the nation to serve the various elements in the body politic with equity. Mutual help, mutual respect and mutual trust are the touchstone, on which all communal and denominational activities will be tested and anything that undermines it, will be expected and brought to book.i

i BCC I, para IV.

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August 15, 2008 - Posted by | Reservation/Affirmative action program |

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