Let us for a moment forget the debate on reservation in the matter of promotions for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and look at the policy as a whole. Of late, more and more caste groups have demanded that they be included in the OBC category. Vote bank considerations compel the government to yield to such unreasonable demands. We have a situation in which even those caste groups which are economically and socially well off enjoy the benefits of reservation. On the other hand, there are poor people with a hand-to-mouth existence even among the so-called forward castes. The government should see that the economic and social status of persons/groups is taken into consideration before extending the benefits of reservation.
A. Michael Dhanaraj,
While the government is extremely concerned over the under-representation of the SCs, the STs, and the OBCs in education, jobs and elsewhere, it hardly seems to notice the same when it comes to women. Women too have faced discrimination for centuries and are still facing it. The Women’s Reservation Bill has been pending in Parliament for years.
One should understand that reservation is meant not just for the uplift of Dalits. It is also a catalyst to make India an egalitarian society. Reservation in promotion is an affirmative step. Dalits are often suppressed even if they are talented because of their caste. It is necessary to see the other side of the picture — the attitude of the ‘upper’ castes — too.
Have you ever heard anybody using the word ‘Brahmin’ or ‘Bhumihar’ as an abuse? But you must have heard the caste names of the SCs and the STs being used as abuse by not only the socially and educationally backward but also educated individuals. This is what reservation aims to change. It is only due to the policy of reservation that the SCs and the STs have seen development. Social equity is yet to be achieved. Reservation in promotion could be a fruitful step in that direction.