THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY PRANAV MUNDRA A STUDENT OF TAMIL NADU NATIONAL LAW SCHOOL
Discrimination against group of people on various grounds including race, religion, language, or national origin has long been a problem with which societies have faced in India. Religion, over time, has been a frequent issue, gave rise to reservation in India. Reservation: an act of reserving or keeping an arrangement for a particular group of society or something that is already there in advance for someone. Now presently reservation is inseparable part of our nation it is same as oxygen for a human body. In Indian society, because of caste system and racism being followed prior to independence and even after independence this caste system was followed so because of this our constitution framers decided to bring reservation in India and the negative effect of that decision is being seen now. Now reservation is a curse for our country because each and every person in our society wants reservation in any form. There is reservation for freedom fighters even for their son, reservation for minorities’ class, reservation for SC, ST, Other backward classes (OBC) and so on…
Everyone in this country is running behind the reservation because every community wants that their community should get a special status in constitution so that they can also get economic, social and educational benefits. Unlike other countries who thinks to move ahead without any reservations our country is running behind reservations only. Recently in 2014, the Government awarded the minority status to the Jain community in India, as per Section 2(c) of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992 which states that “Minority”, for the purposes of this Act, means a community notified as such by the Central Government. This made the Jain community the sixth community to be designated this status as a national minority, after Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis.
Followed by this, Gujjar community of Rajasthan also get the base to continue their protest to grant them the status of scheduled tribe. They are being classified by Indian government as Other Backward Classes. The Gujjar community wants the status of scheduled tribe because it feels it has been economically and educationally left behind. They demand scheduled tribe status so that they can qualify for government jobs and state college seats reserved solely for such groups.
Also currently the protest is going on by Hardik Patel, a political activist from Gujarat who wants the inclusion of Patidar caste in other backward classes.If these types of protest continues to be happen in India for reservation that India will always be a developing country, it will never be a developed country.
HISTORY OF RESERVATION: PRE INDEPENDENCE PERIOD
In India the reservation was mainly started by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. In our nation the reservation was given to the people even before the Britishers came to India. The history of reservation starts from the year 1882 when hunter commission was appointed in which mahatma Gandhi and Jyotiraophule made a demand of free and compulsory education for all with reservation in government jobs for backward class people. For the first time in the year 1902, the maharaja of Kolhapur (Maharashtra) introduced reservation for backward class people in order to exterminate poverty and also to give them opportunity to participate in government administration. He created 50% reservations in services for backward class people his state i.e.Kolhapur. In past, due to this caste system millions of families in India got ill treatment and presently more families are suffered by this. In 1908 reservations were introduced in favour of a number of castes and communities who participated in state administration. In 1921, Madras Presidency introduces Communal Group in which reservation of 44 per cent for non-Brahmins, 16 per cent for Brahmins, 16 per cent for Muslims, 16 per cent for Anglo-Indians/ Christians and eight per cent for Scheduled Castes. The main policy of reservation was brought in year 1933 by B.R Ambedkar In 1933, the Prime Minister of Britain, gave his ‘award’ known as the Communal Award. According to it, separate representation was to be provided for the Muslims, Sikhs, Indian Christians, Anglo-Indians, Europeans, Dalit. In which the backward classes will get a separate seats in their respective constituencies and only these people will vote for them. This Award was highly controversial and opposed by Gandhi,. Communal was supported by many among the communities, because it was is in favour of these minority groups, it was mainly supported by revolutionary Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. After lengthy negotiations, between Gandhi and Ambedkar it was decided to have a single Hindu electorate, with Dalits having seats reserved within it. This is called the Poona Pact. While other religion electorate remained separate.
HISTORY OF RESERVATION: POST INDEPENDENCE
In 1947 when India obtained Independence and Dr.Ambedkar was appointed the chairman of the drafting committee his main purpose was to bring reservations for dalits in government jobs, and also in educational institutions and he got the success to bring special status to different minority groups in Indian constitution in the form of fundamental rights.
In 1951, State of Madras v. Champakam Dorairajan is a landmark decision of the Supreme Court of India. It was the first major verdict regarding reservations in Republic of India. In its ruling the Supreme Court upheld the Madras High Court verdict, which in turn had struck down the Communal Government Order passed in 1927 in the madras presidency. The Supreme Court’s verdict held that providing such reservations was in violation of Article 16 (2) and also the article 15(1) of the Indian Constitution. After this the first constitutional amendment was passed in which article 15(4) of Indian constitution was inserted which is a form of affirmative action by the state. This was introduced by the legislation in order to make the judgement given in Dorairajan case invalid and also 77th Constitutional amendment was also introduced in the form of Art 16(4) (A) permitting reservation for the promotions of SC and ST.
Than different states in India started to give state reservations. For instance Tamil Nadu government gave 69% of reservations and also Rajasthan gave 68% of state reservations. The Court has put 50% cap on reservations in the case of M R Balaji v Mysore, but these states exceeded the limit. In 2005, Andhra Pradesh tried to exceed this limit but was stopped by high court. However in 1994 Supreme Court directed Tamil Nadu to bring down its reservation to 50%. Later in early 1980’s Mandal commission was appointed to access the situation of backward class people. The committee recommended the changes and as a result the quota for these educationally backward class people increased to 49.5% from 22%.But the increment of reservations does not stop here in 2006 this 49.5% increased to 60%.Also in 1991 the government introduced 10% reservation for poor among the general caste. In 2005 Hon’ble Supreme Court of India gave a landmark judgement in P.A. Inamdar&Ors. Vs. State of Maharashtra & Ors. Declaring that the state can’t impose its minority policies and frameworks on private owned colleges i.e. which are not aided or funded by states. This is the short history of evolution of reservation policy in India.
If reservation policy continues in India than India will never be a developed country. Everywhere there is reservation, reservation on the basis of caste, sub caste and religion. Now we people of India have to come together to protest, revolt against this reservation policy because now all are treated equally in our country, no discrimination no untouchability is being practised now. However in some parts of our country it is now also practised, but that does not mean that due to few all will be affected. Because of reservation the students, the employee who has better calibre, who has better mind, who has done something extraordinary in his/her field are not getting the opportunity. Instead of them the person who is not eligible for that position gets the chance. If the person who is worthy of such position then he will do comparatively better than that person who has come from reservation policies of state. Similarly is the situation of the students of our country, the students of general category who has scored higher marks, percentage than those of reserved candidates are not getting the admission in the colleges, school due to these policies.
Majority of Indians think that the reservation policy must be abolished from our country but it will only be possible when this majority will be converted into instinct. The main problem why this reservation policy is not going from our country is because of our political system. This reservation has become a manner to increase their vote banks. These political parties for their political gains will keep this wraith of reservation in existence forever. So, in my view the reservation policy prevailing in our country should be abrogated as soon as possible because all should get equal opportunities.