1. Dealing with Hardik Patel: Time to relook the entire reservation policy 

Dealing with Hardik Patel: Time to relook the entire reservation policy 

With the near universal reaction to the Hardik Patel agitation being that Patels are too well off to be included in the list of OBCs, attention has once again focused on the ‘creamy layer’, that the benefits of reservations can’t go to those who are well off.

By: | Updated: August 27, 2015 8:13 PM
hardik patel protest

Police post furniture a day after set ablaze by supporters of Hardik Patel, convener of ‘Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti after his arrest, in Surat. (PTI)

With the near universal reaction to the Hardik Patel agitation being that Patels are too well off to be included in the list of OBCs, attention has once again focused on the ‘creamy layer’, that the benefits of reservations can’t go to those who are well off. But, with several OBC groups also relatively well off and not facing any kind of social discrimination, the argument doesn’t necessarily hold water. Also, with several upper caste groups worse off than SCs, are they to be given reservations – according to the PRICE all-India survey, while 17% of SC households had at least one matriculate and earned Rs 1.7 lakh per annum in 2013-14, around the same proportion of upper caste households did not have even one matriculate and earned substantially less.

Indeed, given our founding fathers had not envisaged reservations in perpetuity, the government needs to examine whether the policy is working. Certainly, reservations have meant more SC/ST/OBC candidates are getting into colleges, but is this making them more employable? If not, greater attention has to be given to how to do this, just preferential entry into colleges may not do the trick – special classes at the school/college level, for instance, may be the solution; more so in tougher disciplines like medicine and engineering. Thought also needs to be paid to the longer-term consequences of reservations. The number of Indian universities among the best in the world, low to begin with, has fallen over the years – from 3 in the ARWU list of Top 500 universities in 2005, India has just one today while the number for China has risen from 18 to 44 in the same period. While few countries without top class universities have grown in any sustained fashion, how much does the reservations policy – for teachers as well as students – contribute to this, or is this just a larger problem related to most government institutions?

In the context of the Hardik Patel challenge, questions have to be asked on the impact of reservations on those who suffer because of them. If education is the surest passport to a better life, it is idealistic to expect that those losing out are not going to protest; more so since, as economic growth picks up, the benefits to be got from higher education are higher than ever in the past. So far, the argument of the political class has been that once there are more jobs and more universities, the upper castes will have other options – in other words, the problem is one of shortages, and GDP growth and time will take care of that. But, as the Patel agitation – and several others before it – shows, this has not happened, so the clamour to be included in the reservations list has only grown. It is ironic that, at a time when the political class has to be planning for phasing out reservations, it is faced with a demand for more – more ironic, of course, is the fact that while the Patel agitation was at its peak, the Cabinet agreed to add more groups to the list of OBCs.

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    Chitranjan Shetty
    Aug 28, 2015 at 12:42 pm
    It important that we must review the reservation policy. Current system is giving benefits to developed people of backward cl and not the people who actually needs it. This system has many flaws and need to correct. In first place there should be reservation only for handicapped and people who are economically backward in education system. No reservations in jobs and promotion is expected. Now entire motive of this policy is lost its just vain and wasting good talent of this country.
    Reply
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      Anup
      Aug 27, 2015 at 9:06 pm
      Reservations, like everything else in this rotten country, have only brought in a new kind of 'corruption' into our systems. Shortly we will pay the kind of price that will bring tears to the eyes of the most hardy, all because of this abominable folly.
      Reply
      1. K
        Kabir
        Aug 27, 2015 at 9:49 pm
        Many talking about reservation but no one talks of the root cause that resulted in the reservation (The 1000 year old reservation which still continues). when are you going to destroy the castes and the graded social, political and economical inequality created by it. To begin with why don't the dwijas stop upanayan ceremony to show their commitment towards casteless society?
        Reply
        1. H
          Hari
          Aug 27, 2015 at 9:46 pm
          THE COMMON MAN ARE WORST VICTIM OF M LOOTING, ARSON & VANDALISM INCITED BY HARDIK PATEL WHO MUST BE ARRESTED & PROSECUTED UNDER LAW OF ARSON, LOOT, DAMAGE TO PUBLIC PROPERTY ALL OVER GUJARAT, KILLING OF INNOCENT PEOPLE. THE GOVT SHOULD ACT FAST OTHERWISE THIS WILL MADE PRECEDENT BY ANTI-NATIONALS TO REPEAT SUCH INCIDENTS. THIS WILL TEST FOR CENTRAL & STATE GOVT. NO CRIMINAL SHOULD SPARED FOR THIS GHASTLY INCIDENTS.
          Reply
          1. H
            Hari
            Aug 27, 2015 at 8:36 pm
            The reservation has become core issue of this country which is fully exploited by corrupt & castiest politicians for political gain. This reservation system has totally failed its objective since poor of reserved castes have not got any benefit from this system in last 68 years. This reservation is grabbed by rich & affluent of that reserved castes which is illegal as they are rich & are not enled of any reservation. This reservation system has become major problem for this country & it become like PANDORA BOX which will create complete anarchy & turmoil in country in future. So govt should find out alternative method to help poor in uplifting their life & the present reservation system should be abolished without loss of time. The culprits responsible for mive loot & arson of Gujarat damaging public properties of several thousand crores should be severally punished under stiffest section of law provisioning for death sentence. The public is watching closely the action taken by state & Central govt in this regards. No laxity by govts will be acceptable to public of country who are paying heavy price for all such destruction when misdeeds of looter & corrupt politicians are imposed on common pay by imposing new taxes. This must be stopped forthwith so that no such incident is repeated in future which will derail all development plans of country & no investor will invest in this country in future.
            Reply
            1. Mukesh Pandey
              Sep 22, 2015 at 2:13 pm
              IN my opinion the reservation is based on economically backwards only. Whether it is from upper of lower cl...
              Reply
              1. Mukesh Pandey
                Sep 22, 2015 at 2:17 pm
                Reservation is for economically backward cl only irrespective of upper or lower caste. Bridging the gap will make India.
                Reply
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                  ramesh
                  Aug 27, 2015 at 8:06 pm
                  Add all caste to OBC and remove General category.. For the time being shoot Hardik Patel dead.
                  Reply
                  1. S
                    shaji
                    Aug 28, 2015 at 5:28 pm
                    An article in deceit. Instead of in a straight way saying that 83 (100-17) percent of SC and ST households do not have single matriculates and such households among upper castes is only 17 percent (a huge difference), the author tries to make it appear that the status of both social categories is the same by cunningly using the number 17 on both sides.
                    Reply
                    1. Mohan Mohan
                      Aug 27, 2015 at 8:26 pm
                      Yes, reservation policy need to be reviewed. To, start with, remove all obc from reservation while reducing SC/ST quota by 25% gradually to be phased out @ 5% per year .
                      Reply
                      1. B
                        Brahmin Slayer
                        Aug 28, 2015 at 1:31 am
                        1)I wonder how many upper castes are ready to replace their surnames ,which denote their caste heirarchy , with a caste neutral name? No matter which religion they converted to ,uppercastes always flaunted their names to show their social superiority. 2)Seeing Caste categorisation in Matrimonials, I wonder how many would allow their sons and daughters to marry a Shudra ,Dalit or Adivasi? 3)The writer goes to the extent of comparing Indian Society with the Indian Society ,failing to realise the lack of caste system in the former and presence of communism in China, an idealogy having a history of executing the clergy and nobility of a society. If communism was present in India,the subcontinent would have got rid of the Brahmins(clergy) and Kshatriyas(nobility) and thus reservations would not have been required. 4)It is amusing to see that know no one challenged for 2000 years the 100% reservations the MINORITY Brahmins and their fellow uppercastes enjo in society using religion and when we have a reservation system in place, which gives the socially backward castes their due rights,these upper castes get a seven years itch and condemn the injustice meted out to them. 5)I would like to bring forward the actual potion of the reserved category SC ST=25% (Census 2011) OBC=41% (NSSO 2001) Total=66% The upper castes are a minority in mumbers and ending the reservation system may not be fruitful to them .It may lead to civil war, a revolution or Expulssion of upper castes from India as it happened to Tamil Brahmins during British Raj.
                        Reply
                        1. B
                          Brahmin Slayer
                          Aug 28, 2015 at 1:32 am
                          1)I wonder how many upper castes are ready to replace their surnames ,which denote their caste heirarchy , with a caste neutral name? No matter which religion they converted to ,uppercastes always flaunted their names to show their social superiority. 2)Seeing Caste categorisation in Matrimonials, I wonder how many would allow their sons and daughters to marry a Shudra ,Dalit or Adivasi? 3)The writer goes to the extent of comparing Indian Society with the Indian Society ,failing to realise the lack of caste system in the former and presence of communism in China, an idealogy having a history of executing the clergy and nobility of a society. If communism was present in India,the subcontinent would have got rid of the Brahmins(clergy) and Kshatriyas(nobility) and thus reservations would not have been required. 4)It is amusing to see that know no one challenged for 2000 years the 100% reservations the MINORITY Brahmins and their fellow uppercastes enjo in society using religion and when we have a reservation system in place, which gives the socially backward castes their due rights,these upper castes get a seven years itch and condemn the injustice meted out to them. 5)I would like to bring forward the actual potion of the reserved category SC ST=25% (Census 2011) OBC=41% (NSSO 2001) Total=66% The upper castes are a minority in mumbers and ending the reservation system may not be fruitful to them .It may lead to civil war, a revolution or Expulssion of upper castes from India as it happened to Tamil Brahmins during British Raj.
                          Reply
                          1. B
                            Brahmin Slayer
                            Aug 28, 2015 at 1:35 am
                            1)I wonder how many upper castes are ready to replace their surnames ,which denote their caste heirarchy , with a caste neutral name? No matter which religion they converted to ,uppercastes always flaunted their names to show their social superiority. 2)Seeing Caste categorisation in Matrimonials, I wonder how many would allow their sons and daughters to marry a Shudra ,Dalit or Adivasi? 3)The writer goes to the extent of comparing Indian Society with the Indian Society ,failing to realise the lack of caste system in the former and presence of communism in China, an idealogy having a history of executing the clergy and nobility of a society. If communism was present in India,the subcontinent would have got rid of the Brahmins(clergy) and Kshatriyas(nobility) and thus reservations would not have been required. 4)It is amusing to see that know no one challenged for 2000 years the 100% reservations the MINORITY Brahmins and their fellow uppercastes enjo in society using religion and when we have a reservation system in place, which gives the socially backward castes their due rights,these upper castes get a seven years itch and condemn the injustice meted out to them. 5)I would like to bring forward the actual potion of the reserved category SC ST=25% (Census 2011) OBC=41% (NSSO 2001) Total=66% The upper castes are a minority in mumbers and ending the reservation system may not be fruitful to them .It may lead to civil war, a revolution or Expulssion of upper castes from India as it happened to Tamil Brahmins during British Raj.
                            Reply
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