Need of the hour ‘employment’ not ‘reservation’


The Union Cabinet has approved a 10 per cent reservation in jobs and higher education for economically backward sections in the general category.  In political circles, there is a mixed response to this decision. Some term it as a landmark move ahead of the Lok Sabha elections while the other sections have commented that legality of total reservation including the instant one, crossing the fifty per cent reservations against the court order has not been kept in view.

Though the bill is tabled in Parliament on the last day of the Winter Session, the proposal reservation is over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation enjoyed by the other categories – Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes, taking the total reservation to 60 per cent. The reservation will be over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation and the government will amend Articles 15 and 16, which are on discrimination and equal opportunity of the Constitution to implement it.

Though late, the Modi government just at the end of its tenure has done the Surgical Strike like operation. But the question is, as to whether the unemployed youths will get the job opportunities, with the conditions put thereon.  The conditions are – those in the general category whose family income is below Rs.8 lakhs per annum and own less than 5 acres of land would be eligible.  In addition, the person’s residential house should be below 1000 sq ft and the residential plot should also be below 100 yards in a notified municipality area and below 200 yards in a non-notified municipality area.

 There is no doubt, the majority of the general category families are hand to mouth.  The employment problem is throughout the country and the general category was facing it too much against the 50 per cent existence reservation.
With the passing, the Bill with an amendment in the Constitution, the poor among the general castes and classes will get the reservation.

As to whether this reservation was required or not, is a subject to be discussed later but the first and foremost question is youths are in need of jobs, employment that too now and in case any of the government do on priority, should be welcomed and appreciated.

The major castes in the general category to be benefitted from the proposed law will be Brahmins, Rajputs – Thakurs, Jats, Marathas, Bhumihars, several trading castes, Kapus and Kammas among other upper castes.  Besides, it would also benefit the poor in other religions. When the common man in general category – I take it as rikshawala and labourer – would not be in a position to get their wards the minimum required professional qualification after the schooling, this 10 per cent reservation too will go to the upper class in this category.

Added here, the Manmohan Singh government too had played such like card over Jat reservation.  He knew that legally it is not possible to give reservation to Jats and even then he announced the Jat reservation well before the elections.  It happened in the same way when the Supreme Court dismissed the Jat reservation after the elections and the public rejected the Congress.  One concept is clear that this time, the amendment is being made in the Constitution and chances of rejection by the Supreme Court do not arise.

This time too it is happening like so as BJP is feeling the pulse of the elections not favourable to its existence.  It looks to be just to divert the attention of the public which is short-lived. Rather, both BJP and Congress playing their own political cards by not opposing it.

Frankly speaking, to overcome all obstacles, to truly enhance equality in society and to appease the unreserved candidates, new procedures have to be introduced.  Anyhow, the economic basis is the best way to judge the poor irrespective of any caste. However, the availing the reservation facility should be once in life at the initial level of joining the service and not for the subsequent posts.  The unemployment problem can also be solved if the reservation policy is also enforced in the private sector.

Some are of the view that reservation can end only if it is limited to one generation and from the next generation onwards, a cap is put on the economic status which will ensure a true social justice to all the disadvantaged castes and also the general category.

Under all stated facts and circumstances, as to what should be done? To conclude, I would say that reservation is not the solution as the ultimate way out is only employment.  In case there are no employment opportunities, then what is the fun of passing the reservation Bill.  Presently, more than 4 lakh posts are lying vacant with the Centre government and at the same time, around 20 lakh vacant posts with the State governments. The government is not filling up these posts to save the revenue while the existing staff is over-burdened. The chance of job opportunities in the private sector is also remote as compared to the last year. 

In case the Bharatiya Janata Party government – BJP – now being called as Bharitya Jumla Party – a party of slogans – is really serious on extending the jobs to the youths, it is not understood as to why the orders are not passed to fill up the vacant posts.  At the same time, in case the Congress is also serious, then why it is not implementing in the Congress-run States?


The writing on the wall is very clear – Need of the hour is ‘employment’ and not ‘reservation’, for which the opportunities have to be created besides filling up the existing vacant posts.
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