.: Opinions

Date: 31 Jan 2012

Cast based reservation policy needs amendment

Let us adopt BPL formula for reservation


Apart from other reasons responsible for unrest and hatred among different sections of the society in India, the major and prime reason responsible for communal hatred in the country is the cast based reservation policy adopted and introduced by government of India itself . The practice has been continue since the independence of the country from Britain rule, for which ,the pretext is given to up lift the economical weaker sections of the society. As per the records , about 40 percent of total population o f India is enjoying reservation facility on various names . For this , the criteria has been adopted either on cast base or area base or profession based . On cast base, entire of the schedule cast population of the country have been given the status of reserved category keeping in view their bad economical conditions in general . Similarly , some sections have been included in the list of schedule tribe categories and they have been also identified with their cast like Meena community of Rajisthan and Gujjar Bakerwalls of Jammu and Kashmir and etc .

Some communities have been identified with their professions like , Cobblers , Barbers , Carpenters and etc . And these sections have been given reserved category status in the name of social castes . Not only this, an other formula has been adopted in the name of areas. On the basis of their geographical placement and the hard conditions of the life they live in, the government calls them as resident of backward areas (RBA). But while including these communities in the list of reserved categories, no barrier has been put between millionaires and poor of the same cast which was given the status of reserved category . No difference has been made between the creamy layer and poor layer of the section included in the list of reserved category. Result , the poor of the community is still at the worst end, while the millionaire of the community is enjoying the status because he belongs to the caste which has been declared as reserved category . For instance , a son or daughter of a millinery or any 1st class officer or any business man belonging to schedule cast or schedule tribe community ,having all facilities available to excel sits in a competition with the candidate of same community having no source of income , how this candidate will compete with the person having all facilities? . This injustice is going with in the communities identified as reserved categories where the creamy layer of the community is getting all benefits of the caste based reservation while the poor is still at the level he / she was decades ago . But on the other hand , whole of the community is facing hatred from the people kept in open category because of jealousness . Same is the case in other categories like RBA and social caste categories.

In Jammu and Kashmir , the population of reserved categories is about 45 percent at present which includes the people identified as residents of backward areas . In back ward area category too, there has been no ban or barrier for those who are well to do but have an origin of the area they have lands and houses . We have seen the wards of ruling politicians , 1st class officers and big land lords and businessmen taking the benefit of the category because the revenue record shows their properties and residential houses in the area which has been identified as backward area . Similarly , we have hundreds of such examples where the wards of high ranking police and civil officers of schedule tribe community are snatching the right of those poor Gujjars and Bakerwalls who deserved to be given a special chance to excel . But unfortunately , the creamy layer of the community is only beneficiary of the caste based reservation policy.

Every body knows the poor is poor whether he belongs to any of the caste . This is evident from the BPL survey conducted by government itself . Despite conducting this survey , the government is still promising some more reservations in the name of caste or language . The latest on going demand is the including Pahari speaking people of the state in the list of schedule tribe categories .

The question arises , if we are concerned about the up liftmen of the poor people of the society then why not to adopt the BPL formula . All the BPL families of the state whether they belong to any community , area or linguistic group be declared as reserved category with out consideration of their caste or color . And this can be done in the state of Jammu and Kashmir enjoying the special status . And this all should be done after cancelling all the area and caste based categories . If our leaders are sincere to the poor of the society they should bring a resolution in the current session of the state assembly and propose BPL based reservation in the state of Jammu and Kashmir . This is the only way to come out from the communal hatred between different communities in the state of Jammu and Kashmir at least .

(The writer is a working journalist and can be contacted at mirshafiq@gmail.com )

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