The government’s hasty decision to give 10 per cent quota in jobs and educational institutions for the economically backward upper castes at this point in time seems to be a pre-poll political gimmick. The move is perfectly understandable as upper castes form the Bharatiya Janata Party’s core support base.
The object of reservation is to correct the under-representation of the lower castes in education and employment. As for the poor among the upper castes, economic assistance can be extended to them. Reservation is primarily aimed at reversing centuries-old caste oppression and regaining dignity.
In this context, the creamy layer rule precludes the well-to-do among the lower castes from the benefit of reservation. It is significant that the upper castes already have jobs disproportionate to their numbers. Interestingly, the opponents of reservation now have no problem with reservation based on economic criterion and subordination of "merit" to upper-caste interests. Meanwhile, it is interesting to note that the government has not created any more jobs but gone ahead with reservation in jobs instead.
G David Milton Maruthancode
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