• Savarna reservation, Modi and a dampener for Ram Temple issue

    Pramod Ranjan (see profile)
    Caste--Social conditions, Indigenous peoples--Government relations, Affirmative action programs--Government policy, Dalits--Government policy, Media studies
    Item Type:
    reservation, Savarna, Upper caste, newspaper, Narendra Modi, Bahujans, socially and educationally backward classes, government jobs, heigher education
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    The government had announced that poor savarnas would get 10 per cent reservation. In fact, this provision for poor savarnas should not be called reservation. It should be called “priority scheme”, “incentive scheme”, etc. The poor are not a community which can be given reservations or representation. Narendra Modi’s decision is definitely a master stroke but it is unlikely to fetch him savarna votes. He has left the vocal and influential sections of the savarnas confused and dumbfounded. They can neither oppose reservations for the poor among them nor accept it happily. They will use all ifs and buts at their command to reject it. This master stroke has dealt a fatal blow to the protagonists of emotional Hindutva, which wanted to make the Ram Temple an issue in the upcoming elections. Modi has (in the words of Ramdas Athawale) hit a sixer, tossing the ball out of the field. Reservation for poor savarnas would, in the short run, break the unity of the savarnas but the possibility is that in the long run, it would turn into reservations for all savarnas, rather than for the poor among them. The first scenario would strengthen the Bahujans and would help build a more egalitarian society. The Bahujans may now demand representation in proportion to their population. But a greater danger is that the Congress and the BJP may join hands to kill the basic spirit of the Constitution, which seeks to give representation to the oppressed and exploited sections in centres of power.
    This editorial was published in Forward Press on 8 January 2018. Forward Press (फारवर्ड प्रेस) is an English-Hindi bilingual monthly magazine covering issues relevant to India's backward classes, Dalit and Adivasis. Pramod Ranjan was the Managing editor of this magazine during 2011-2019.
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    Last Updated:
    2 years ago


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