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10 per cent reservation to general category has no use except a sense of satisfaction that they too are obliged with quota
The Constitutional amendment for 10 per cent reservation to general category people in government jobs and education is being called as a Historical step towards social and economic equality. I am yet to understand what's the historical about it. I am equally doubtful if it can benefit to anybody. Before discussing those let me clear some falsehood stated by some politicians.

One thing is definitely interesting here. All opposition parties objected this, yet voted for this. Congress, TMC etc argued to send this bill to the select committee in Rajya Sabha and yet none voted in favour when division is called whether the bill to be sent to select committee or not. It appeared to me that opposition parties were clue less what to do and what not to do.

AIMIM member Owaisi said in Lok Sabha that this type of reservation is unconstitutional and can't stand in judicial scrutiny. But his party has passed 16% Muslim reservation in Telangana assembly. Owaisi has to answer whether Telangana assembly is governed by Indian Constitution or not. AIDMK too boycotted (because of their anti-upper caste ideology) citing that, beyond fifty percent reservation would be struck down by the Courts. Fact remains that Tamil Nadu has 69% reservation which is 19% beyond the fifty percent ceiling by SC.

Ram Gopal Yadav of SP as well as Tejasvi Yadav of RJD claimed that how 15% of Hindu upper caste people can get 10% of reservation while 54% of OBC get 27% of reservation. I don't know whether they know what it means quota for general category or knowingly they want to play politics. Fact is that general category consists of 15% unreserved castes from Hindu community and 100% community from Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Parsees etc and which is approximately forty percent of total population. Thus the general quota is just 25% of the UR category population whereas OBC quota is fifty percent of their population and SC/ST quota is nearly 100% of their population.

Now coming back to operating part of the bill. To avail the quota, the family income limit is Rs 8.0 lacs per year. Some MPs questioned why an income tax payer requires quota. But they have never questioned why family income limit of OBC quota is also Rs 8.0 lacs. This exposes their duality. However coming back to Rs 800000 income limit, I think this is considered on the basis of farmer's income. Farmer's income are exempted from income tax. An owner of five acre land or having a paternal house of 1000 square feet doesn't make one rich. That's why those conditions are made.

Does it really help people from general category? I don't think so. For example let's assume that there's fifty post for general category. Thus fifty people serially gets that fifty jobs as per merit. Now ten seats are reserved for poor general quota. As most of the general category people able to avail that quota, the same fifty people will get the job, 40 from unreserved quota and 10 from reserved quota. Because in quota too, merit among quota candidates is given priority.

Thus practically there's no difference. But then emotionally there's a significant difference. The general category people always felt alienated or say second class citizen because, privilege of quota wasn't with them. Many also have grievance that why they are to be punished for the alleged sins of their ancestors in supressing SCs. That's also reason of clash between upper caste and lower caste in many rural belts.

Thus this is emotionally gave some justice to general category. But there's an issue again. Muslims although part of this quota, I don't think they can enjoy it because all other communities are much ahead of them in regards to education. Thus I think among the general quota there could be two tier of income limit. One is up to Rs 200000 lac per years and another is up to 800000 lac per year. If there can be two tier caste reservation (SC and OBC) why not two tier of income based reservation? Muslim community is poorest among other communities. Thus they can avail the quota if income limit is reduced to Rs 200000 per annum.

However as I said before that this reservation give emotional sense of feeling that government also considered them for privilege of quota. Elections in India mostly won or lost on sentimental issues. None is ready to know what development you have done in your tenure. People votes as per emotional issues during most of elections. I don't think it will be any different in 2019.

That's why many called it master stroke as general community may be inclined to Modi government. But then there's a major issue of Ram temple. The way SC is taking up this matter, its verdict is not going to come before the election. Thus what would be Modi government's way out? Already posters are there in UP for temple & Yogi for PM. Modi already hinted that he's not ready to go for any ordinance on the temple before SC gives a verdict.

I think that like this 10% reservation, he would take some other daring decisions to which even opposition can't refuse. Let's wait for that time. But this 10% reservation is aimed only for a consolation prize for general category and it has nothing to do with uplifting of poor general category people.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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