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  Opinion   Edit  30 Jul 2018  Draw the line on quotas

Draw the line on quotas

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jul 30, 2018, 12:07 am IST
Updated : Jul 30, 2018, 1:49 am IST

The Maharashtra government seems ready to give in to the demand and will call a special Assembly session on it.

Marathas are now seeking a quota, much like Andhra Pradesh’s Kappus, Haryana’s Jats and Gujarat’s Patidars did. (Photo: PTI/Representational)
 Marathas are now seeking a quota, much like Andhra Pradesh’s Kappus, Haryana’s Jats and Gujarat’s Patidars did. (Photo: PTI/Representational)

An agitation to push another reservation claim has been raging. Marathas are now seeking a quota, much like Andhra Pradesh’s Kappus, Haryana’s Jats and Gujarat’s Patidars did. The Maharashtra government seems ready to give in to the demand and will call a special Assembly session on it. It’s debatable though if such communities are socially backward to qualify for reservations as originally envisaged in the Constitution. Many of them are known to be advanced socially but may face economic hardships due to poorer returns from agriculture these days. Politicians have learnt to bend over backwards to accommodate these demands lest their votes be affected. In the early days of Free India such privileges were primarily meant only for SC/ST upliftment, but demands have been growing, so too unrest and even violence in quota agitations.

If the economy grows at double digits and its benefits trickle down to the ground level, there would be more jobs created, plus self-employment opportunities. A burgeoning population and shrinking jobs means the clamour is getting louder as communities seek ways to get ahead. The Mandal Commission got its mandate in 1979 to “identify socially or educationally backward classes of India” and since implementation in the 1990s, the demand for quotas has only grown. If its 11 parameters were applied today to determine backwardness, many communities could still be considered eligible for quotas. While where to draw the line is the primary question on quotas, it appears how to draw the line may be more difficult to answer.

 

Tags: marathas, patidar community, sc/st