In India reservation is constant issue of debating with many controversies. Reservations create certain opportunities for historically downtrodden. Caste based reservations was introduced since, British era and got continued by Independent India.
As a citizen of modern world, it is important for us to know and understand how and why the reservation policy have put-forward and what are its boundaries.
India is democratic country known for its diversity, different religion, linguistic, caste and many other cultures stay together with different mindset and opinion. So, it is difficult for one to run administration without certain rules and regulations and to keep equality among all.
Years ago, various great mind came together to lay down the fundamental laws for the nation, these laws are tend to be enjoyed by every individual citizen of the country to the fullest. One of the fundamental rights is “Right to Equality”, and it is foundation among all other rights and it should be strong enough to carry other rights smoothly.
Framers of Constitution of India kept in mind that, due to marginalization certain sections or can say certain group of people are facing disadvantages they need kind of source to uplift themselves and can live happy like other fellow members, that can be achieved through reservation only.
Hub of social activists with Dr. B. R. Ambedkar worked for framing reservation policy and accomplished in constitutionalizing of system in India. It got amended many a times still it’s a dynamic one.
What is Reservation?
It is representation given to an individual of deprived or minor community and person is expected to use this opportunity for the upliftment and safeguard of him/her with family. Mainly these sectors are deployed by their civil and political rights.
First Amendment: Jawahar Lal Nehru with Ambedkar supported parliament to pass the very first amendment, which states that Article 15(4) allows the state to make special provisions for the betterment of economically, socially and educationally backward classes (SC and ST), none can be questioned with reference to Article 15 and 29(2).
Kalekar Commission: Kalekar is first commission of backward people, was appointed under Article 340 in 1953 that recognized 2399 backward groups based on various aspects. Because of vagueness of survey nothing got changed, it was left to states to develop their own standards for whom reservation was necessary.
Mandal Commission: This is second commission for backward class people, constituted by Prime Minister Moraji Desai in 1979 and headed by B. P. Mandal. Its aim was to determine the criteria for defining and advance research to upliftment of the backward classes. By using Population survey of 1971, commission outcome was that 27% reservation for OBC and 22.5% reservation for SC and ST. Applicable to central and state as well.
Sachar Commission: Under recommendation of Dr. Manmohan Singh in the year of 2005, by data analyzing of Muslim community resulted that backwardness of the community is far behind the SC and ST.
Reservation for Disabled people: The very first provision was the Person with Disability (PWD) Act, 1995 provides 3 percent of reservation of total seats in government employment and educational sector as well. The degree of disability varies from individual, so experts are appointed to keep check on it and 7 types of disability are known.
This Act got replaced by the Rights of Persons with Disability Bill, introduced and passed by Raja Sabha in 2016. Percentage of disability was increased by one percent and types of disability are divided into 4 groups.
Reservation for Women: Reservation stretches to women as well because of consequent restraint of opportunities and rights. Even for the basic right like “Right to Vote”, got by struggles. Constitution has mentioned the powers of state to make special rules for women under Article 15.
Legislative measure for women is, Protection of women from Domestic Violence Acct, 2005; Indecent Representation of women’s (Prohibition) Act, 1986 etc.
Non-legislative measures, such as in educational institutions and train compartments.
Very first amendment was done in the year 1993, at central level. A provision made for, one third reservation seats at all local self-governments.
Each state has different reservation pattern and they make sure that adequate number of women participations. Karnataka reserves 25% of seats in 1987 and Maharashtra reserves 30% of its seats, after amendment in 2011 it got increased to 50% of total seats.
Economic Reservation: On 14 January 2019, 103rd constitution amendment act was passed. Clause (6) was inserted to Article 15 and 16, that says economic reservation for education (Private and aided) and jobs (Under Article 16(6) state can make provision for reservation besides the existing one).
Reservation based on economic condition is tend to be unconstitutional, economic stability of person cannot be decided on the basis of caste and gender.
Religion based Reservation: Constitution of India ensures that no reservation should be made based on the religion. Religion based reservation only concentrate in uplifting Hindu minorities whereas, others left behind.
India has under gone quite long journey of reservation almost in all the sectors of society through different enactment and amendments, with the changing times. Crowd over there reacted differently to the changing rules and reservations. Some received it favorably while others retaliate.
When we talk about reservation most of us focuses on minorities, whereas all the sectors of the society are getting benefited in one or the other way, still people want to anti-discrimination laws and reservations.
Often raised or voiced question is that from general classes that, reservation made more difficult for them to get through all the sectors. But, when a person is getting reserved for something mean he/she is from minority or from economically weaker section or disabled, knowing and considering all these aspects a person cannot compete with general classes majority of them are much developed and economically stable. Reservation is for those who lack one or the other thing and for welfare and to uplift them reservation was introduced not for competing any other sector of society as such.