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The politics of reservation in Maharashtra!
After the debacle in the 2014 LS polls, in July 2014 Congress-NCP in a desperate measure to brighten the prospect in the upcoming assembly elections had announced the reservations for Maratha and Muslim in the state.

In order to woo the alienating Maratha community and continuing in its policy of appeasing Muslims, this decision had been taken in the election year. Let us concentrate on the certain facts with regards to Maratha community in the state of Maharashtra.

1. Marathas constitute 32% of the total population in the state.

2. They have always considered themselves at par with the warrior caste "Kshatriyas".

3. Post 1960, there have been 17 CM in Maharashtra and of whom 10 have been Marathas including the current CM of the state.

4. Post 1960 in the assemblies, 50% or more elected members have been from Maratha community.

5. Almost 50 to 55 per cent of educational institutions undergraduate and postgraduate, medical and engineering across the state are controlled by leaders who represent the Maratha community.

6. Sugar factories are the base of the economy in the state and of the 200 odd sugar factories, 168 is being controlled by Marathas directly or indirectly.

7. Marathas in agriculture landholding is said to be well above 70 per cent.

8. Marathas have the potential to swing 200 out of 288 seats in the Maharashtra assembly.

9. Marathas have been the ruling class and they have no history of being oppressed by any means.

10. Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission led by Justice (retd) RM Bapat, had rejected the demand of Marathas to be classified as OBC in July 2008.

Now any logical person can conclude whether Marathas really need a reservation or not? It is hard to understand the rationale behind extending the benefits of the reservation to a community which has been and is so dominating. It is easy to understand that this is a political move rather than correcting any historical wrong doing.

Affirmative action in India, as elsewhere in the world, seeks to remove disabilities social groups have suffered on account of historical discrimination in nature. For instance, Dalits and sections of OBCs in India or Blacks in the United States can't compete on an equal footing with others because their perceived inadequacies were a consequence of the discriminatory social structures of the past- and which, to a degree, still endures.

They were and still are compelled to live in servility and denied access to certain occupations. If this reservation is implemented then Maharashtra will have 73% reservation which will definitely hit the merit in the state. There is growing resentment among the section of the society who believes that they are being sacrificed at the altar of vote bank politics.

The decision is being challenged in the courts and Youth for Equality (YFE), Mumbai has filed a PIL in Bombay High Court seeking stay on the decision and the group is working day in and out to ensure that the government which is fearing loss doesn't take the people for granted. The legality of such reservations must be proved by the government which will be an uphill task.

YFE appeals to the people who don't believe in this decision should help it in fighting the matter. It is responsibility of every citizen to come together and give a befitting reply to this "reservation game" by the government.

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 In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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