Nature Talk

    A welfare nation follows principle of development of life conditions for all categories of citizen. So the constitution makers of nascent democratic India kept provision to safeguard interest of many ethic groups, who lived away from the mainstream of life over centuries. These ethic groups are tribes and some identified communities of underprivileged nature. The policy of special benefits in job market is popularly known as ‘Reservation’ system. As per population proportion, these scheduled communities were earmarked certain percentage of job in public sector. A package of other facilities was also provided including representation in elected authoritative bodies.

    Although the reservation prescription was per some limited time with intention to achieve development, subsequent governments extended not only tenure but also its ambit for electoral gains. After more than fifty years of pursuing the policy, the scheduled communities live in the lap of illiteracy, malnutrition and object poverty. On the other hand, there are occasional protests about increasing quota of reservation by the general people who remain deprived in employment even though reserved jobs remain vacant due to lack of proper candidates from scheduled categories.

    Anti-reservation movements not only become serious about law and orders, but also create a rift on the line of ethnicity and castes. This is neither good for the beneficiary or the deprived. The social distinction is strengthened, weakening national solidarity. Sections of people, who are economically poor and live by indigenous methods, are branded as ‘Backward’ or ‘weaker’ section fit only for pity of the ‘advanced’ and ‘Affluent’. Such attitude lowers the self-esteem of the communities, who survived through generations on their own efforts. These hill forest people lived in autonomous society with own system of governance. As science based technology eluded these people, they immersed in poverty and became within ‘Dalit’ (down-trodden).

    The advanced people exploited them in various ways, like destroying natural resources, converting them into labours, displacing from ancestral home land and forcing commercial consumerism for their daily need. These are all happening under the full glare of governmental administration. In lieu of that members of these communities are eligible for job in reserve quota and various facilities.

    Half centuries of these packages of benefits have created a ‘Class’ among the scheduled communities, who only reap the harvest of such opportunities. Most of the enumerated ‘Below poverty line’ families are from these deprived communities .the other communities like Hindu castes, Muslims, Christians and other religious sects are also poor and require economic advantage. Poverty does not discriminate. The most unfortunate matter is these poor persons are not born in scheduled communities.

    In a time, when people are required to forget their caste/creed affiliation and irrational social hierarchy, the reservation policy is based on affiliation by birth. Poor of all communities need government help equally. Development plan should be designed in such ways that it does not affect self-prestige, elevate self-reliance and does not create disparity among the people. Unless the ignorant people are educated about their situation they will not come up with definite desire to adapt to the changing techno-economic scenario of contemporary world. Privileges are likely to generate a sense of dependency.

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