The framers of the constitution of free India felt the necessity of providing some special help to the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. Many leaders including Gandhi were not in favour of it. But the scheduled caste leader, Dr. Ambedkar insisted on it. In order to avoid another possible partition of the country, reservation had to be given for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes for a period of ten years. The constitution of India came into force in 1950, but the reservation still persist. If the current trends are any guide, reservation are likely to continue indefinitely.
The reservation were granted for the benefit of the backward sections of the Indian society. However the actual implementation has left much to be desired. The tragedy is three-fold. First, many undeserving people have derived subtantial benefits while the deserving have gone without them. Second, the politicians who long to enjoy political power have made backward classes their vote-bank by supporting reservations. Third, caste-passions are aroused by unprincipled politicians to serve their personal ends. In the context of political rivalry, the scope of reservation has been greatly widened.
The reservation were granted with the ultimate aim to have a casteless society in India. Unfortunately this formula has not worked. On the other hand it is proving extremely harmful for the integrity and unity of the country. More and more sections of the population demand reservations by labelling themselves as backward. Instead of shedding the caste label, craze to preserve caste identities is fast catching on. Thus neither reservations have been done away nor castes have been abolished. Today we find caste conflicts in all parts of the country. Things are happening quite contrary to the expectations of the framers of the constitution.
The policy of reservation is an injustice to lakhs of talented men and women who are denied their lawful rights to jobs because their names do not bear the tag of backwardness. This leads to anti-reservation riots and violence. Mandal Commission's report can be judged against this background. It supported the continuation of caste-based reservation. It identified over 140 backward classes which comprise 52% of the population. Individual states were to identify more such classes. The violence which followed was of such intensity that the government could not control it. There were cases of self-immolation in different parts of the country. There were clashes between pro-reservationists and anti-reservationists.
The truth of the matter is that the government should stop expanding the provision of reservations for more and more sections of the society before it is too late. The country must be saved from the caste-war. If there are enough seats in professional colleges, enough employment opportunities and more facilities to start their own business, there will be no need of reservation for admission and employment.
One time reservation policy should be introduced so that one person who already had the benefit of reservation in one family, his next generation should not get such benefit. Merit based recruitment in government jobs should be there. Reservation in education to backwards and poor people should be encouraged. But at the time of jobs merit should be the basis.
What happens is that the people who sincerely need reservation are not getting benefit and some people dominantly use this system and they already have become rich due to this system but continue to use it further and poor people who actually need it, can't avail benefit of reservation.
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