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Jat quota unrest in Haryana- The resultant evil of caste based vote bank politics
It's always said that if you misuse something for your petty self interests, someday it will come back to haunt you. Reservation is such a demon, which was once a great political tool for rich dividends, but gradually it started becoming an uncontrollable phenomenon, difficult to handle and sure to put the nation at the cross roads.

The Jat agitation demanding reservation has completely held the state of Haryana at ransom. The violence, hooliganism and damage to properties is huge, forget about the difficulties of the common people of Haryana, who are practically imprisoned in their houses. As per latest news, Army has been called in and curfew declared in some districts. No one knows when this agitation will end. Haryana CM called an all party meeting to resolve this issue, although there is no way to solve this because of the apex court's stand on this issue.

The present Jat agitation is neither a first nor will be the last. Previously similar violent agitations were carried out by Gujjars in Rajasthan, Patels in Gujarat, Kapus in Andhra Pradesh, the list is expected to go on increasing in the coming days. The fact is that political parties use reservation to play vote bank politics for their self interests. Now the communities having the potential to become a vote bank start demanding privileges of reservation vociferously.

I will not be surprised if minority communities too come out in violent protests demanding reservation and why not? They too are Indian citizens and they are a very strong vote bank. You can argue that SC has struck down such reservation provisions for minorities. But then, the same SC too struck it down for Jats, Gujjars and when required for Patels too. Did that stop the Jats? No, then why others will accept? The time is not far that there will be a quota war in India, which would be beyond the control of anybody.

Just look in the present case. The Jat community destroyed public property. Has any political party condemned it? They just appealed not to indulge in violence and hooliganism, but didn't dare to condemn vandalism. Such is the power of a vote bank. This can be considered as reverse vote bank politics where the vote bank demands it's due from the obliged political class. That's the danger in this game of reservation.

By this, some would have started painting me as an anti-reservationist. Let me be clear that I am not anti-reservationist, rather I am for reservation for deserving people. Let me elaborate briefly. I support reservation of SCs and STs as stipulated under the Indian Constitution. Here one should note that the proposed reservation was not for poverty alleviation as poverty was rampant throughout India across all castes and communities. Reservation was intended to bring back oppressed communities like SCs who had been subjected to social discrimination.

Similarly in case of the ST community, because of their linguistic differences with main stream India and their remote living culture, reservation was required for them to brought back into the main stream. The makers of the Constitution provided this temporarily for ten years, hoping that both SC and ST communities will be up lifted at par with the rest of the country. This didn't happen till date and hence rightly this provision kept on being extended and it should remain in force till the last member of these communities feels himself as not discriminated, and I don't feel anyone has really any complaint on this.

Problems started with the Mandal Commission recommendations. Before VP Singh, every prime minister realized how these recommendations were a can of worms which would have serious consequences in the coming future. These apprehensions became true, if you see present day violent protests. But VP Singh and his colleagues saw potential vote bank in these recommendations and without proper deliberation implemented these recommendations.

I have no disagreement with Mandal Commissions' observations on backwardness of many communities, but I have disagreement on its recommendations. I truly believe that Other Backward Classes (OBC) need reservation for bringing a parity among other advanced class, but I reject that other backward class to be used as 'Other Backward Caste.' The simple reason is that there exists a caste based reservation in the name of SCs. If there is really some castes deserving reservation that remains excluded, then they can be very well included in the SC category and if required the quota for SCs can be increased. Why there is two-tier of caste system even in reservations? Was it not for grouping a particular caste, vote-bank taking care of their egos that while getting reservation facility they shouldn't be identified as SCs! SCs get reservation because they were discriminated as untouchables.

Why for other castes, who too discriminate SCs the same way? Why for so called Other Backward Castes that are in fact a dominating upper castes and never treated as untouchables? Lord Krishna born in Yadav family, but Yadavs are considered as OBCs now. Similarly how can you justify that Modi, Mohanty, Patel etc are discriminated castes? If you ask them to get included in SC category to get reservation facility, they will not agree because their social dignity will be hurt.

Does that mean there should be no more reservations apart from SC (caste based) and ST (communities living remotely in forests). I would say no, because poverty is a the reason for trailing of many communities, not being able to compete with the advanced classes. Poverty has no caste. Making OBCs as 'Other Backward Classes' purely on economic criteria, will put an end to all unrest. Nobody will complain because in every caste (other than SC community) and in every religion there are poor people deserving for a push by the state through reservation. Yes it has a disadvantage for politicians because by this vote bank politics will cease.

But is the politicians interest more important than national interest? Politicians will look for their interest, but who will look out for national interest? Will the Supreme Court consider this aspect? May be time will tell regarding this, till then brace yourself, ready to see more and more violent, hooligan and vandal attacks in the coming days, even with more intensities than the present Jat agitation in Haryana.

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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