The cabinet’s approval of 10% quota for economically backward upper castes is both baffling and ill- timed. Personally speaking, I would be elated over any such approvals which would benefit the economically downtrodden. However, this move is nothing but a political gimmick played the government in view of the upcoming elections.
If the purpose of the central government was truly to support the economically weaker upper castes, why was it so that the announcement was made towards the end of the winter session leaving no room for discussions in either of the houses.
The cabinet’s decision is in direct contradiction of the 1992 ruling by the Supreme Court where it was stated that the mere economic backwardness is not enough to provide a community with the quotas. The court on other occasions also mentioned that along with economic backwardness, historic injustice in terms of educational opportunities must also be proven to gain the quotas.
This whole process brings us back to square one where it is obvious that even on cabinet’s approval, the decision might run into the courts and might never see the light of day. Now I am sure that many of the esteemed members of the cabinet, owing to their legal backgrounds must be aware of this fact. Despite having full knowledge of the same, the cabinet giving a nod to the proposal is nothing but a shout for political attention and appeasement politics.
In Andhra Pradesh, amidst the growing demand for reservation for Kapu community, the AP assembly unanimously passed the resolution supporting the 5% reservation for Kapus. By doing so we fulfilled one of our key electoral promises during 2014 elections. However, the centre is yet to act on that and make that into reality even one year past the resolution. A commission was established and a scientific study was conducted regarding various socio-economic indicators of the Kapu communities. This gives a clear indication that it’s not the welfare that the centre is interested in; neither in AP’s case, nor in the current 10% quota case.
I have always been in the favour of supporting the downtrodden across the communities. However, that should not come at the cost of disturbing the system and hurting the sentiments of other communities for mere electoral gains. There is a systematic method of providing social justice and this move by centre doesn’t appear to be achieving that.