-By G. Tallo
Gujjar intensified their movement for ST status. Bandhs and violence that ensued took toll of lives and properties. The economy of the country suffered huge loss. The stir hogged headlines for quite sometime.
Let us not blame Gujjar communities for what they demand and what they did. Let us also not blame Mrs. Vasundhara Raje, the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, for the promise she made to the Gujjar, during the 2003 assembly elections, to garnered their support. Spell of the ‘reservation’ is hard to resist- we know that. It is so enticing to common people, so effective a tool for the political parties and so very essential for the successive governments in New Delhi to remain in-action.
I am told that the provision for the ‘reservation’ for SCs and STs was made in the Indian Constitution to reduce disparities, in term of social, economic, political and educational status, which existed at the time of the independence among the various communities of the country. This provision was to be valid for ten years. In these ten years, it was supposed that the government would take such remedial measures as to bring the disadvantaged communities to an equal footing with their more advantageous counterpart.
Ten years elapsed, twenty years elapsed…it is sixty years now. The disparities that existed sixty years back have widen further. The provision of reservation has been extended since and is still there. Rather it has been made more accommodative. Various categories of OBCs have also been included under the provision of reservation. Now it is turn for the Gujjar under separate category of ST. (For the Justice Jasraj Chopra Committee was not much convinced about Gujjar communities having ‘tribal’ characteristics.)
I sympathise with the Gujjar and for that matter with the other communities who are struggling and making sacrifices to get ST status. However, the fact remains that the so called ‘quota reservation’ is an eyewash and a deceptive ploy of the New Delhi. It is more to show the outside world and the people concern that the Government cares for the welfare of less privileged communities and is doing the needful.
I belonged to a ST community. I do not see much how ST status helps. District headquarters in Arunachal Pradesh are yet to be connected with all-weather roads, not to speak of rail and air connectivity. We are groping for basic amenities of life. It is so when the states’ native inhabitants are all STs. In our work place, in government organizations and PSUs, we suffer humiliation, not for our inefficiency, not for our lack of capabilities, but just for being ST. I wonder if we need ‘reservation’ in this globalise world. I for one would go for all-round development to reservation.
P.S.: Find out about G. Tallo here. His profile has been updated.