An amendment to the Constitution to ensure reservation for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in promotions will lead to divisions and enmity among government employees, vitiating the atmosphere at workplace. It will diminish their bargaining power. Trade unions with political affiliations come together in times of need but caste-based unions always side with the employers. Indira Gandhi skilfully played the caste card to dilute the 1974 Railway strike.
Eradication, not perpetuation, of caste was the objective of the reservation policy. Caste is an ignominy that deserves to be ignored in not only promotions but also marriages, temples and other aspects of daily life.
I don’t understand how reservation in promotion will help in the uplift of the SCs and the STs. Promotion should be based on merit and ability. The proposed amendment will only lead to the widening of the rift between the upper castes and lower castes.
Reservation was introduced to ensure that the historically underprivileged communities were given equal access to resources. The argument ‘irrespective of the economic progress we make, we continue to remain socially disadvantaged’ by those benefiting from it is unacceptable. Reservation destroys self-respect, so much so that competition is no longer on to determine the best but the most backward.
Is it fair to extend reservation to the children of professors, scientists, bureaucrats, MPs and MLAs belonging to the SC, the ST and the OBC? If, in the bygone days, the “manuvadis” deprived the backward sections of opportunities, today the educated and well-placed SCs, STs and OBCs are denying them to the lesser privileged among them.
Reservation in promotion is a natural and logical corollary of reservation at the entry level. Since a majority of reserved category candidates enter the services at a comparatively higher age, there are almost negligible chances of their being promoted to the top posts. One of the criteria for promotions is the number of years of service. Reservation limited to the entry level is thus incomplete and partial.
Those opposing the proposed amendment are only exposing their thinking that Dalits and other backward sections should remain subservient to the ‘upper’ castes and should never be allowed to participate in the decision-making process. As long as this attitude remains, reservation will continue.
The ruling elites do all that they can to prevent Dalits from gaining the benefits of reservation. Merit is not the monopoly of the ‘upper’ castes. Those who oppose reservation should realise that the backward sections constitute the majority and the majority is for reservation.