Thursday, December 18, 2014

Quota benefit....

Quota benefit should be given to only 2 generations: Activist

Dhaval Kulkarni (DNA)

SC recently struck down state’s decision to grant 16% quotas to Marathas. Social activist and writer Sanjay Sonawani, who had opposed the move, said this could serve as a check on appeasement politics. Sonawani, who spoke to dna’s Dhaval Kulkarni, said reservation policy needed a drastic re-look.

 How would you react to the judgment?

 It was expected. HC too had pointed to how crossing the 50% ceiling on quotas would not be correct. Politicians were playing on youths’ emotions.

How do you eradicate backwardness among Marathas?

Reservation is not the panacea. Privatisation of education is on the rise even as quality is falling. Graduates do not know even the basics. It’s necessary to focus on professional courses. Government’s share in jobs is declining and it’s not possible for it to absorb all youngsters. It must give the poor fee concessions, fund agriculture and linked businesses. Youths must be encouraged to become entrepreneurs and take up farming. Reservations should only be for the helpless. The demand for quotas has led to rise in disputes between reserved and non-reserved categories. This vitiates the social environment.

How would SC decision affect state?

It will stop demand for reservations and the ability of rulers to give assurances on it. The decision on Maratha quota did not pass muster despite the overwhelming presence of Marathas in (previous) government. A fallout, however, could be anger mounting among Maratha youths. I won’t be surprised if Maratha leaders, who were willing to go a notch down in the caste hierarchy for quota benefits, turn a full circle and go back to their original stand of opposing all quotas.
Decision on quota had led to demands from other sections.
That decision had caused anger against Marathas, and amounted to Congress/NCP shooting itself in the foot. OBCs migrated to BJP because they (who fall in the creamy layer) would have had to compete in the open category, and the new quota had reduced their space.

Does reservation policy merit a re-look?

Yes. Only two generations of those in reserved categories must get its benefits; third generation must be asked to compete in open category. This will ensure the welfare of those who are really backward. Surveys on communities must be held afresh and should involve anthropology professors. The results of caste and economic census must be published.

Published Date: Dec 19, 2014