- Reservations on caste lines, specifically to the downtrodden and marginalized communities suppressed for ages, were introduced temporarily to correct the historical prejudices against the lower echelons of the society. Note that the quota and reservation policy was meant to bridge the humongous divide existing between certain castes considered lowly lacking social standing and voice to lay claim to opportunities available. The measure was to fight the strong holdings of the upper castes in literally every segment.
- Always on the lookout for consolidation of vote banks and to ensure perpetual allegiance from communities, political parties not only promised reservations and quotas in government jobs and educational institutions in their electoral manifestos but also provisioned the same by sticking on to reserving percentages for backward classes. As the percentage continued spiraling northwards, the Honourable Supreme Court set a limit of 50 % ceiling for reservations thirty years back.
- No wonder, many national parties, and regional parties are broadly identified based on caste lines which are proving to be detrimental for the overall unity of the nation itself for divisions wrought out by the reservations has severely dented one aspect that should have been the sole criteria for anything and everything, the merit. Yes, what should be the ultimate measure for gaining entrance or seeking opportunities everywhere else purely based on one’s worth sadly finds consigned to the backburner eternally waiting for resurrection.
- In an audacious move, the Maharashtra Government has approached the Supreme Court seeking a review of the 50 % ceiling fixed 30 years back by stating that the 70 to 80 % of the population presently is made up by backward classes. Needless to mention, the move is designed to facilitate pushing the 12 % quote reserved for the Marathas in state government jobs. Such regressive moves do not resonate with the ethos of modern India where equal opportunities should be made available for all.
- Irrespective of caste considerations, merit alone should form the basis for selection or admission as any further enhancement in the ceiling would merely mirror the futility of the reservation policy has failed to work in an intended manner. Therefore, it is apparent that further scaling up would not serve any palpable purpose other than creating some more division in the comity of society. What then should be the right approach to address this prickly issue making an intermittent presence in our midst?
- Ample generation of job opportunities to suit every skill set acquired should be the single most priority of the political masters as the aspirational youth of the country deserve economic upliftment rather than dependency on quota crutches to sail them through. Quota and reservations are anachronistic that cannot enjoy traction or encouragement in the altered scenario. Time to act indeed!