RESERVATION BASED ON CASTES: IS IT NECESSARY?
Author: Archana Sathyan, V year of BBA.LLB(HONS) from School of Indian Legal Thought
Dr Ambedkar stated that the report of the minorities committee provided that all minorities should have two benefits or privileges, namely representations in the legislatures and representation in the services.
Reservation is one of the tools against social oppression and injustice against certain classes. Reservation is primarily given to all 3 groups. Scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, other backward classes abbreviated as SC, ST, OBC. It is affirmative action for the upliftment of backward classes. Reservation in our country is known as the QUOTA system.
Indian constitution allows the reservation for socially and educationally backward classes. However, in India, it becomes a caste-based reservation. In 1882, William Hunter and Jyotirao Phule originally conceived the idea of the caste-based reservation system. In 1902 Shahu, the maharaja of Kolhapur introduced reservation in favour of non- Brahmin and backward classes in education. After independence initially reservations were provided only for SCs and STs. OBC was included in the ambit of reservation in 1991 on the recommendation of the Mandal commission¹. In the case of Indra Sawhney ²case, the SC uphold the 27% quota for backward classes and struck down the notification reserving 10% govt jobs for economically backward classes among the higher castes and also upheld the principle that the combined reservation beneficiaries shouldn't exceed 50 percent of the Indian population. Article 15&16of the constitution deals with the reservation of SC and ST in central and state legislature. When the concept of reservation was brought in India, it was only for 15 years and can be renewed for another few years. But all the governments keep it following with the fear of losing their vote banks. The reservation policy has brought a climate of antagonism between people belonging to different castes. Regional political parties have sprung with an agenda to promote casteism for their partisan gains. Reservation has become an electoral tool nowadays. Reservation policy has also bluntly promoted caste over intellect and hard work.
Many think that people belonging to these categories are the luckiest, but the reality is much more different. An SC or ST can easily get a seat among the top colleges, if they need a private job, they are facing discrimination to a large extent and being rejected without asking the question as they belong to the reservation category. At the same time, reservations act as psychological crutches to the SCs and STs that weaken them. It will make an impression that they need not study and work hard because even without doing such things they will get a job or admissions. They should throw away these kinds of reservation and show by competing with the upper caste that they are not inferior to other castes.
Today, when a student applies for admission to any university, the admission forms are filled with questions like’ are u SC/ST/OBC/GENERAL category? When we reply as a reserved category some people treating as backward peoples. It indicates that casteism prevails in India irrespective of centuries. Reservation creating a disparity and differences amongst the people. Reserving one category against another creates a feeling of division which is now resulting in chaos with every small section of the society asking for it. According to the latest MARATHA RESERVATION VERDICTᵎ, the court held that reservations over 50% ceiling limit are unconstitutional. And struck down the Maharashtra state reservation for socially and economically backward classes(SEBC) act,2018 which extended reservation to the maratha community in public education and employment over the ceiling limit of 50% fixed by the supreme court. As there are no extraordinary circumstances to grant reservations to the Maratha community over and above 50% of the ceiling, as explained in Indra sawhney exceeding the ceiling limit above 50% without exceptional circumstances violates Article 14.
Instead of a caste-religion based reservation system, a fine turned financially or economically based system should be implemented. Reserved castes and unreserved castes should work together to end casteism, it breeds reservation. India is yet to see palmy days because of an inefficient reservation policy. In 2019, the Union Council of Ministers approved a 10& reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for the economically weaker section (EWS)in the general category. And this would be over and above the existing50% reservation for SC/ST/OBC categories. (5) .in 2020 Kerala government had amended the reservation rules in the state and subordinate services rules by reserving 10 %of government appointments for EWS who are not eligible for any kind of reservation.
The Maratha verdict says that there was no extraordinary situation in the case of Marathas to exceed the ceiling of 50% reservation. The court also said that the Maratha quota reservation violates the principles of equality mentioned in Articles 14 and 15 of the constitution. So the implementation of reservation for EWS in Kerala is invalid.
I think that reservation should be given to the needy people but at the same time, the people who belong to the reserved class but are financially strong enough should be stopped to enjoy the benefits of reservation because many people who belong to the general category are not financially strong enough to support the education of their children. Admissions at the university level there should be provisions for economically backward sections only. Exceptions should be made for women.
2. Indra Sawhney v. Union of India, (1992) Supp. (3) SCC 217  https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1363234
I am Archana Sathyan, Student of 9th semester BBA.LLB( Hons) in School of Indian Legal Thought. I am passionate to do something for the empowerment of women and social wellbeing to the so called " Backward Communities". I firmly believe that equality before law must be ensured beyond any political or religious biases