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Reservations: Problems & Prospects

Republic Day is celebrated by officials, political parties and in schools and colleges. It is mostly celebrated as an official function and as a formality without going deep into the subject. That is why in most institutions the participants don’t understand why it is celebrated and what is the purpose. When it comes to students and staff of educational institutions, they simply take it as a holiday. In villages and towns ordinary people who are not connected with any government office, don’t even know that it was Republic Day. For them it is like any other day of their daily life of work and daily earnings. In this background, DSS takes the opportunity to educate its cadre and target people on what is Republic, Constitution, Democracy and various other concepts connected to Republic Day. Each year a theme is selected and resource persons are invited to enlighten the DSS cadre. Thus, each year, DSS takes the opportunity to enlighten thecadre. This year, a conference was organized on the eve of Republic Day on 26thJanuary 2019 at Press Club, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradeshon the theme “Reservations: Problems & Prospects”.

The theme on reservations was selected as it is relevant today.The constitution provided for protective discrimination with a view to achieve equality and equity among the people, and to achieve social justice.But in the recent days the dominant caste sections are questioning the very concept of social justice and protective discrimination.In the name of cow protection, reservations for EBCs and other pseudo demands Scheduled Castes people are being attacked.This growing anti-scheduled caste trend got a boost when the Supreme Court gave a judgment diluting the effect of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989.This judgment brought about a divide among the people and there were clashes when a bandh was called to protest against the judgment.The vehement protests by the Dalits against the judgement forced the government to amend the Act to nullify the effect of the judgment.In this background of chain of events recently, the government introduced 10 percent reservations for the economically backward sections.Thus, reservations instead of being an instrument to promote equality and equity has now become a political ploy for appeasing one section or the other.In the light of these development, DSS felt that it is necessary to enlighten its cadre, people in general about the idea of protective discrimination

and how the framers introduced various articles in the constitution to promote social justice. Hence DSS chose to conduct a conference on the topic, “Reservations: Problems & Prospects”.

Intellectuals from various walks of life, who have understanding on the subject were invited to give their opinions on the topic.Sri G Shankar, General Secretary, All India SC,ST Welfare Association, Sri A V Kiran, General Secretary, All India SC, ST Electricity Employees Welfare Association, Prof. A. Subrahmanyam, Rtd Dean of Law, Acharya Nagarjuna University, Sri Jagannadha Rao, Rtd, Finance Officer, ANU, Dr Siddoji Rao, Convener, SC, ST Officers Forum, Prof Samuel John and Jhansi Geddam, National Convener of DSS. The meeting commenced with the introduction of

of the objectives of the conference by Sri G. Daniel Prakash, National Program Manager of DSS.

Gist of the Opinions expressed by the Speakers:

  • There is lot of confusion about reservations and it is being used primarily for political gains.

  • There are no government jobs and the governments are implementing reforms in the direction of abolishing jobs in all sectors.

  • Dominant castes are demanding reservations as an expression of their antagonism against scheduled castes and tribes.

  • Dalits should be aware of the developments taking place against them.

  • Ambedkar fought against untouchability.

  • Women were treated on par with slaves till recently. They were treated as things and women could achieve recognition, dignity and equality only through struggles.

  • Reservation policy is not clear even today. Reservations are not properly implemented in Universities.

  • Reservations are implemented only for the menial jobs but all the higher posts in which decision makers are filled with dominant castes only.

  • Reservations are given for creating vote banks.

  • DrB.R. Ambedkar educated people to live with dignity and culture.

  • People and youth are getting deviated due to TV and Films and forgetting the way of understanding issues in Ambedkar’s way.

  • If we could get separate electorates we could have represented independently in the parliament.

  • Dr.Ambedkar was responsible for the constitution and the democracy that we have now.

  • Candidates from reserved constituencies are used by the dominant caste parties as their servants.

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