Persistent clamoring for reservations in government jobs has grown shriller in recent times leading to violent disruptions. Recent Jat stir readily showcases this unhealthy / worrying trend of well-to-do and dominant community hitting streets demanding reservations in OBC category. Patidars in Gujarat, Kapus in Andhra Pradesh, Marathas in Maharashtra and Ahoms in Assam too are similarly demanding reservations for their respective communities. Dominant upper castes are not averse anymore in demanding downward caste mobility and reservation benefits.
- Post Independence, what started as an initial experiment at offering succor to historically suppressed class of people has metamorphosed into most opportune tool for conniving political one-upmanship. Vicious cocktail of reservations and identity politics, solely aimed at consolidating vote-banks, has left the country vulnerable and open for related demands. Does the spiraling violence seeking reservation provide an opportunity to critically reevaluate / revisit on the direction trodden so far by the lawmakers? Has time come for course correction measures based on pragmatic & contemporary approach in line with the present day requirements?
- No sooner the lawmakers realize the folly of disastrous practice better it shall be for the future of the country. Whether the political fraternity cutting across party lines would be gladly amenable for change of tack that has served them so richly over the years? Moot point to ponder surely. Whatever the parties’ line of thinking, time is undeniably apt to contemplate as to why more and more communities are embracing the reservation route to further their collective cause. Hopefully some silver lining might be in the offing! Time shall reveal.
- Firstly, generation of jobs in the country is abysmally low in comparison to the emerging workforce i.e. roughly 10 lakh jobs a month. Unfortunately, our economy in its current form or for that matter in the foreseeable future is far from producing anywhere closer to this number. Bleak scenario indeed, as all talks about demographic advantages that the economists are so fond of espousing falls flat on the face as reality on the ground is completely appalling. Nothing short of instantaneous job generations in commensurate with the huge workforce would mitigate the challenges at hand.
- Secondly, dominant agricultural communities like Jats, Patidars, Kapus, Marathas & Ahoms, respectively are finding themselves lagging behind in terms of returns in farming and most importantly, are left far behind in education as well. Palpable reason could be urban calling and its accompanying paraphernalia that are too irresistible as against rural grinding which appears unattractive with negligible returns.
- Freebies in the form of reservations should make way for merit based opportunities, riding on quality of education leading to more and some more job creations. Therefore, obvious solution is to emphasize on creating further jobs fuelled by quality education. As such, concerted pressure should be built on the political class by all concerned like Civil Society Members, NGOs, Judiciary, Intellectuals, Businessmen / Entrepreneurs, Professionals, Academicians, Press, ordinary men / women from all walks of life, respectively. Reigning on these two critical issues of more jobs and quality education and ensuring their ascendancy holds effective key to tackle demands for reservations.