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The Hindu Daily Editorial Discussion 1st Feb, 2019 By Ashish Singh
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Is there a case for reservation for the forward classes? GS PAPER II Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes
.Social iustice is inclusive in nature. It means ensuring that no marker of backwardness is left untouched Poverty is one such marker of backwardness, and a very strong one, which denies certain basic rights and equality in society to individuals affected by it.
The Preamble, which is the soul of the Constitution, promises to all citizens social, economic and political justice. The economic status of citizens constitutes one of the three tests of backwardness. Hence, the ends of social justice cannot be truly met if we exclude the economically backward sections of society from availing the fruits of development in an equal manner.
When you allow reservation for the advanced classes, it changes the meaning of reservation Poverty denies equality of opportunity to individuals in education and employment. It denies them the opportunity of a decent and sustainable livelihood. Reservation, by the prevalent logic, ensures participation of the disadvantaged sections in employment through positive discrimination. Hence, there was a strong case for making a provision for reservation for the economically backward in the general category n education and employment to ensure that they also get reasonable opportunities to advance in life.
When you allow reservation for the advanced classes, it changes the meaning of reservation . The present provision of 10% reservation for the economically backward in the general category is being referred to as reservation for the 'savarnas', or upper castes. However, reservation under this category is not limited to upper caste Hindus; it is available to the poor in all general categories, who were not eligible for reservation under any other category hitherto. As for the upper caste Hindus, a significant proportion of the population live in the villages and in remote areas with limited economic opportunities. They face disadvantages in the matter of getting access to education and employment
To those who point to the Supreme Court's capping of reservation at 50% in the famous Indira Sawhney case, I wish to mention that this ceiling is applicable only for reservation for the socially and educationally backward category, i.e. to the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (SCs/STs) and the Other Backward Classes (OBC) categories under Articles 15(4) and 16(4) of the Constitution. It does not apply to the present case of reservation, which has been provided as a special provision through a Constitution amendment. arowed au a special
Nothing stopped the government from providing jobs or scholarships to the poor The 124th Constitution Amendment Bill, proposed and promulgated in just a few days, is a gross and wilful subversion of the principle of social justice, which the Supreme Court has held to be the part of the basic structure of the Constitution. It is hard to understand how the government, which has all the legal resources and counsel at its disposal, chose to characterise reservations mandated by the Constitution as a job guarantee or a poverty alleviation programme Reservations for students in public institutions of higher education and jobs in the public sector were envisioned to bring about adequate representation to those sections of society that are oppressed by caste discrimination.