At present, In India there are reservations on caste basis. There is a particular percentage of seats reserved for Scheduled Tribes (ST), Scheduled Castes (SC) & Other Backward Classes (OBC) in Education and Employment. For Other Castes (OC), there is no reservation at all (Except in Maharastra, where Marathas got reservation recently). Many people find it discriminatory towards OCs and are demanding that reservation should be based on economic status rather than on caste.
In Favor :-
When the concept of caste reservations was brought in India, Dr. B R Ambedkar, the chief architect of Indian constitution added a rule that these reservations should exist only for 15 years, and can be renewed for another few years if the need is still there. But no government took the risk of ending reservations altogether with the fear of losing their vote banks. It’s been 67 years since the constitution came into force. So, it’s time for a relook into the caste reservation system.
If we analyse the statistics of below poverty line people, we can observe that there are poor people in all communities including communities that fall under OCs. Caste based reservations are discriminatory towards poor of OCs. For example, if 2 poor people with same score in the exam, one belongs to OBC and another belongs to OC applies to the last seat available in a college that allows reservations, person that belongs to OBC will get the admission, and the one that belongs to OC won’t. If a student who belongs to SC applies to the same seat, he will be chosen. Why should people be discriminated based on birth? If the reservation system is based on economic status, both students would have equal chances to grab that seat.
Only a few families are utilising reservations for many generations. There is no rule that if a person got job due to reservation, his/her child should not utilise reservation. Due to this, people who are already enjoying the benefits of reservation, using reservation again and again though they do not need it at all. And some other people are still not able to utilize reservation due to the wealthy in their communities. For example, if there are 10 seats reserved for STs in a college, children of poor, illiterate people have to compete with children of wealthy families in the same community. Those who already utilized reservations can afford to train their children in quality institutes and hence they can easily get the admission. Reservation on economic basis can solve this problem.
Indian constitution advocates equality, but is not upholding the principle in reservations, especially when considering the fact that rich and poor exists in all communities.
Caste divisions are hatred among communities is increasing due to reservations. Many communities in several states of India are fighting to give them reservations. And the consequence is people are increasingly associating with their caste. The interesting fact is that before the first caste census by British government (1881) in India, many people do not even know what their caste is. From then, the idea of caste is deeply ingrained in the Indian society. Now the reservations are making the situation even worse.
Many people term reservations as a consolation for facing discrimination some decades ago. But it’s not. Communities that belongs to SC & ST faced discrimination and abuse for many decades. They were denied of quality education and healthcare. Most of them were poor at the time of independence. At that time, not all schools were willing to teach these communities and not all employees were willing to hire them for jobs. And as a result poverty in the communities would have continued for many more generations. But reservations provided positive discrimination for them and uplifted many people. Now, there are rich and middle class in these communities and that is because of reservations. Even now, if we observe the statistics of below poverty line people, a high percentage of them belong to SC & ST. And high percentage of rich and middle classes belong to OBC & OC. Still people of some communities are facing abuse in the name of caste. One case study revealed that people of some communities find it difficult to get a home for rent, and a temporary job if they revealed their caste names. These things justify caste based reservation, because people belonging to Other Castes do not have to go through all this to move to a new city, to get education and to get a job.
For poor people of OC, there are poverty alleviation schemes and special quotas such as ‘Economically Backward Classes’ (EBC) quota etc.
Removing caste based reservation and replacing it with reservations based on economic status will face so much opposition and the legal fight may take decades. Instead if we slowly eliminate the system of caste, there will be a scope for the reservations based on economic status. If you too want to eliminate caste system, please sign this petition – Create ‘Humanity’ caste & allow everyone to migrate to it.
If there are reservations on economic basis, people who work hard for a financially stable life will feel discouraged. There will be no incentive for working hard. Some people may not work hard and just live on government benefits.
In India, it’s easy to hide some income resources and to get a false income certificate. Though the situations are changing for the better, it is not that difficult.
No one deserves to take the pain for greater good (reservations). It’s time to make changes in caste based reservation system. Reservations based on the economic status is not the right solution either.
Instead of adding new communities to the reservation quotas, continuously removing people that do not need reservation benefits will ensure that the reservation benefits will reach only for deserving ones. Efforts from people like voluntarily giving up reservation also helps a lot. This process can slowly eliminate the concept of reservation.
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