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Why is Reservation Necessary? (Mohd. Salman)

It is quite reprehensible to observe learned and educated people in this modern era of ‘science and reason’ holding fast to the various shibboleth. A lion’s share of India’s populace is not familiar with the nitty-gritty of the purpose of the reservation policy. Time and again, perspective of reservation is being castigated and skewed to fulfill vested interest of some people thereby giving contemptuous reflex to the democracy.

With reservations, Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and minorities can never forge ahead merely to the economic soundness. Alternatively, reservation can never be an elixir to heal penury and indigence of downtrodden masses. Emphatically speaking, reservation is a panacea against ‘social injustice’. It can never be an instrument merely for poverty alleviation; rather it is stronghold on social injustice and hiatus between lower and upper castes which rhymes in toto with the Gandhi’s principle of Poorn Swaraj that observes: ‘……..I dream of an India in which all communities shall live in perfect harmony. There can be no room in such an India for the curse of untouchability’[1]. Reservation policy aims at bringing smile on the faces of downtrodden, obscured and neglected masses. It calls for a system where elite Brahmin and opressed Shudra (unfortunately contemplated as dregs of society) should dine in the same plate and after the dinner is over, both should wash the pots in unison.

Scavenging man’s excreta by other man is a relic of scornful and contemptuous mind-set of early Greeks who held that slavery is a law of nature and some persons, by nature, are destined to become slaves. This notion is evocative of non-egalitarian Greeks’ persona. On the score of Indian folklore, India is considered to be the first awarded with heavenly books like Vedas and Upanishads which entail that a human being is an amalgamation of four basic tenets of personality viz, Prudence, Defence, Business and Scavenging or Cleansing. Therefore, a single person is concomitantly a Brahmin, a Kshatriya, a Vaishya and a Shudra. We, ipso facto, manipulated this perception of Vedas in an intrusive and iniquitous way. We reduced the glorious philosophy of Vedas to Dalit-Brahmin discord and conflicts of uppers and lowers. In the last century, Dr. Bheem Rao Ambedkar raised his ante against such discriminations and polysemous philosophy. In India, he is revered as “Messiah of Dalits” but I call him “Messiah of Humanity”.

It is a piece of cake for elites to reduce the dregs to the lowest ebb and behave parsimoniously with them but a hard nut to crack to explain that where had the prudence, wisdom and expertise gone when Ambedkar alone was at the helm of cumbersome ransacking of almost all the constitutions of the world to give an amiable constitution to the Indian society, one of the most diverse and heterogeneous societies of the world. God does not discriminate in gracing a person with intelligence and wisdom on the basis of caste, then how can one be denied of ‘social justice’? Why does it necessary that an upper caste person is honoured with chairmanship of municipality while a lower caste man take the responsibility of cleansing roads in the same municipality? To bridge this gap between the two, instrument of reservation is applied.

In childhood, Ambedkar’s hair was trimmed by his elder sister. He was debarred in saloons on being a member of Achhoot (Untouchable) community. During miles long of journeys, his drinking pots were seized and he was not allowed to drink from public wells. He was denied of comestibles. This inhuman treatment of blindingly ‘intelligent’ person, de facto, seemed to be the most eerie and horrible. Nonetheless, he was never the despair of injustice.

Although, we have covered a long distance in pursuit of modernity, yet our mind-set still ails. Tradition of discrimination was an outcome of early Greeks and in due course of time we have emerged as the true successors of Greeks. In modern society, all the world and his wife has varying dimensions of discriminatory elements in mind that are expressed in form of casteism or communalism.

To establish equality in the society is ad infinitum a rationale of reservation. Article 21 of glorious Constitution calls for a ‘dignified’ life to every citizen of India. Life without dignity can never be instrumental in establishing a just democracy. In plethora of cases, Supreme Court held that dignified life is a fundamental right and the State can’t stand untenable if it does not protect the latter. In a case dealing with the plight of prostitutes, the Supreme Court placed emphasis on the need to provide to prostitutes opportunities for education and training so as to facilitate their rehabilitation.[2] Moreover, an under-trial or convicted prisoner cannot be subjected to a physical or mental restraint which is in excess of the requirements of prisoners discipline. [3][4][5] Also, handcuffing is permitted only in extra-ordinary circumstances.[6] There now arises a question that when our Constitution cares for dignity of criminals and prostitutes then who has given this right to traditional and modern elites that they deny dignified life to lower castes and exploit them in perpetuity. It is a rarest of rare experience in India that a Brahmin teacher gave his surname “Ambedkar” to child Bheeva and made him Bheem Rao Ambedkar.[7] He not only gave his surname but also used to give his daily lunch to the child Bheeva.[8] We, unfortunately, do not follow the idea and intellect of Ambedkar’s teacher, a suigeneris. Nonetheless, we toe the line of senseless and absurd crowd of sheeps and goats which today approximates to 50-60 crores. Today’s reservation policy enunciate the Doctrine of Equality in most pragmatic way and tinkering with irrelevant reservation debates is nothing but a wastage of time and resourse.

[1] M.K. Gandhi, India of My Dreams, p9-p10.
[2] Gaurav Jain Vs Union Bank of India, AIR, 1997 SC 3021(3035 ,3036): (1997) 8 SCC 114
[3] Sunil Batra Vs Delhi Administration, AIR 1978 SC 1675: (1978) 4 SCC 494: 1978 Cri LJ 1741
[4] Sitaram Vs State of Uttar Pradesh, AIR 1979 SC 745: (1979) 2 SCC 656: 1979 Cri LJ 659
[5] Javed Vs State of Maharashtra, AIR 1985 SC 231, paragraph 4: (1985) 1 SCC 275: 1984 SCC (Cri) 653
[6] Sunil Vs State of Madhya Pradesh, (1990) 3 SCC 119: 1990 SCC (Cri) 440.
[7] Vasant Moon, Baba Saheb Ambedkar, National Book Trust, New Delhi
[8] ibid.

*Authors is Urdu Editor of this magazine. He is pusuing M.A. Arabic in AMU.
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