Reservation & its Misinterpretation

 

For the past few years there has been a growing public demand for the reservation for SC,ST,OBC should be abolished completely and replaced by reservation for economically weaker section. However, as the word “Dalit” has a completely diverse meaning from Indian understanding of the term & Western definition, there lies the biggest confusion.

If you search the internet, and Wikipedia being one of the most reliable source for understanding of the word ‘Dalit’, it will come as a shocking disbelief, that their definition of the word is completely different from that of Indian (Whether for administrative purposes or common use of the term)

To understand the word ‘ Dalit’ in Indian context, we have to understand the caste system prevalent in Indian subcontinent in the Colonial and Pre Colonial era.

Before the advent of Muslims into the subcontinent, the Hindu society was divided into 4 main classes of people, the Brahmins who were the teachers and performed religious rituals, they were also the advisers to the rulers, the next class were the rulers and the soldiers, who managed the state’s affairs, both internal and external. The next were the various professionals and traders, including the general farming communities. And finally the lowest class of people that is the sweepers, cobblers, caretakers for the crematorium, these people on account of handling waste and dead were considered untouchables (as they were often carrier of diseases etc due to the kind of profession they were in). With the passage of time, switching between professions (unlike today) stopped completely as it’s often the case that if a child gets into the same profession of their parents, they are better equipped as they are aware of the tricks of their trade better than someone who has no such guidance. With time the lower class of professions were treated poorly/oppressed by the people who were socially upward.

With the coming of the Mughal Empire into India, and forced conversions, these oppressed class of the people were the first ones to get influenced as they really had nothing to lose and the present religion didn’t treat them fairly. Also the religious taxes being imposed by the Muslim ruler meant that only the well off were able to afford to practice the religion other than Islam.

When the British came, this was the social structure they found in the Indian subcontinent, and being a populous country there were still quite a lot of oppressed subjects and another wave of conversions began. Thus the subcontinent now not only had Hindu religion along with Sikhism, Buddhist, Jains which has their roots closely associated with Hinduism but also Islam & Christianity.

Now lets come to the Wikipedia description of Dalits – “The term dalits was in use as a translation for the British Raj census classification of Depressed Classes prior to 1935. It was popularised by the economist and reformer B. R. Ambedkar (1891–1956), who included all depressed people irrespective of their caste into the definition of Dalits.”

It further goes on to say “India's National Commission for Scheduled Castes considers official use of dalit as a label to be "unconstitutional" because modern legislation prefers Scheduled Castes; however, some sources say that Dalit has encompassed more communities than the official term of Scheduled Castes and is sometimes used to refer to all of India's oppressed peoples.” “Scheduled Caste communities exist across India, although they are mostly concentrated in four states; they do not share a single language or religion. They comprise 16.6 per cent of India's population, according to the 2011 Census of India.”

Thus even though our own constitution defines Dalits as India’s oppressed people, and they do not share a single language or religion. But both Indian public & bureaucratic establishment’s understanding of this word is “that of people belonging to the untouchable community specifically of Hindu religion.” This the root cause of all the problem being faced currently by the public.

Whether it’s the lack of understanding or poor command over English as a language, successive Governments with the help of Indian bureaucracy, encouraged this interpretation of the word DALIT for vote bank politics, and reservation which was initially proposed as a temporary measure to  lift the oppressed class (poors) became a means of ensuring votes for Politicians, there by separate reservations for Muslims, ST, OBC came into force, which was both constitutionally illegal and had no practical purpose other than ensuring a vote bank for a said politician/political party.

If therefore we go by the true meaning of the word DALIT or Schedule Caste as per our very own constitution,, it means all marginalized and poor people of the country irrespective of their religious belief. In other words everyone who falls under the Poverty Line, they will have the benefit of reservation till such time they come above the Poverty line.

Therefore a scheduled caste member the moment he gets a job which pays him/her the minimum wage as prescribed by the Law NO LONGER CAN BE CALLED A SCHEDULED CASTE. Not only him/or her but their family members as well cannot claim any benefit meant for the SCHEDULED CASTE. If respective State & Central Government agencies respects the Constitution of this Country, they should with immediate effect implement the true interpretation both in letter and in spirit.

Mass agitation being pushed by various communities all over the country (for vote bank politics) will not only stop, but truly deserving class of poor people will get the benefit, whether they are Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Jains, Sikhs etc. Further this reservation has now even penetrated the bureaucracy in terms of getting preferential treatment meted out to people belonging to SC,ST,OBC etc at the time of getting internal promotions, which should be solely merit based, further a SC if he is already working in a government department means he is certainly not below the poverty line and thus cannot claim/be eligible for any further benefits.

Even Banks & financial institution have a policy of lending money under various schemes on the basis of this reservation system, which is a oxymoron because if a prospective borrower can fulfil the documentation requirements then it means, as per our constitution he doesn’t constitute the class of scheduled class. So Banks, distinguishing its borrower on base of SC,ST,OBC, MUSLIM is both illegal and unconstitutional.

The broader agitation to abolish the reservation system and have an reservation targeting the economically weaker section is nothing but the actual interpretation of the constitution as envisioned by Dr. B.R.Ambedkar. The Political establishment should have the grit and determination to implement the true interpretation of RESERVATION without delay & am surprised that our Judiciary which is an impartial autonomous body & custodian of our constitution  hasn’t taken a Suo moto action against successive State & Central Governments, as these illegal reservations first started decades earlier.     


Axomiya

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  • Re: Reservation & Its Misinterpretation

    by » 3 weeks ago


    It is an informative piece and there are few things which I am hearing for the first time. Thanks for this wonderful piece.

    Now just a bit of suggestion, it could have been a little shorter and you could have provided the link.

    Reservation though started as a good intention has become a curse on country.

    It is becoming a political goal scoring and has actually being a failure in its real cause due to poor implementation.


    I am open to experience what life's mystery bag holds for me

    www.arunimakunwar.blogspot.in


    Thank you said by: Ameet Barua

  • Re: Reservation & Its Misinterpretation

    by » 3 weeks ago


    @OP Welcome to Boddunan and I hope you will enjoy your stay here. I appreciate your informative posts but at the same time request you to please keep them brief and write them in a way that encourage other members to discuss about them. I would suggest you to please save your long articles for article section as and when it opens in future. By the way, our article section pays a good remuneration for articles like these. Thank you. 


    Thank you said by: Ameet Barua, usha manohar

  • Re: Reservation & Its Misinterpretation

    by » 3 weeks ago


    Yep, i actually wrote this article a few days back, and after joining here, thought to put it up here... In future posts here will be more sharper, crispier & shorter blush


    Axomiya


  • Re: Reservation & Its Misinterpretation

    by » 3 weeks ago


    Appreciate the feedback, and looking forward to the article section opening up in future.. Finally found a place where i can put things which are happening around me.


    Axomiya


  • Re: Reservation & Its Misinterpretation

    by » 3 weeks ago


    suni51 wrote:

    @OP Welcome to Boddunan and I hope you will enjoy your stay here. I appreciate your informative posts but at the same time request you to please keep them brief and write them in a way that encourage other members to discuss about them. I would suggest you to please save your long articles for article section as and when it opens in future. By the way, our article section pays a good remuneration for articles like these. Thank you. 

    yes it is very uncomfortable to read such long article at discussion section. It require enough time to read it.


  • Re: Reservation & Its Misinterpretation

    by » 3 weeks ago


    suni51 wrote:

    @OP Welcome to Boddunan and I hope you will enjoy your stay here. I appreciate your informative posts but at the same time request you to please keep them brief and write them in a way that encourage other members to discuss about them. I would suggest you to please save your long articles for article section as and when it opens in future. By the way, our article section pays a good remuneration for articles like these. Thank you. 

    Agree , there is no scope for discussion here ..however, as of now our article section is closed 


    Pay no mind to those who talk behind your back, it simply means that you are two steps ahead !!!


  • Re: Reservation & Its Misinterpretation

    by » 6 days ago


    An informative topic by the author. Even I was against reservation based on caste in current era. I am of the opinion that it was needed in the past and it was the right step taken by the authorised people. But now it seems like a caste discrimination for open category because not all general category people are earning well. Then why they are deprived of such benefits. Now after reading the topic I understand that only caste certificate does not work but people belonging to reserved categories should also come under poverty line. But is it really followed in a similar manner ?


    Thank you said by: suni51

  • Re: Reservation & Its Misinterpretation

    by » 4 days ago


    Kavya wrote:

    An informative topic by the author. Even I was against reservation based on caste in current era. I am of the opinion that it was needed in the past and it was the right step taken by the authorised people. But now it seems like a caste discrimination for open category because not all general category people are earning well. Then why they are deprived of such benefits. Now after reading the topic I understand that only caste certificate does not work but people belonging to reserved categories should also come under poverty line. But is it really followed in a similar manner ?

    I agree with you, the reservation was allowed for a fixed period to the most backward classes but now everyone is running after it as if they have no faith in their ability. And the politicians have made it a full time job. The so called backward leaders are living in golden palaces challenging the actual needy's right. 


  • Re: Reservation & Its Misinterpretation

    by » 4 days ago


    South Africa had reservation as it suffered a lot due to a long practice of Apartheid. They had it for a short period of time and with the proper implementation they could achieve the benefits. Now they have abolished it.

    Having reservation for a long period has only demerits. And in our country the benefits are reaped by the same set of people for generations and it has nto actually reached the real needy ones.


    I am open to experience what life's mystery bag holds for me

    www.arunimakunwar.blogspot.in


    Thank you said by: Kalyani Nandurkar, jabeen

  • Re: Reservation & Its Misinterpretation

    by » 3 days ago


    Arunima Singh wrote:

    South Africa had reservation as it suffered a lot due to a long practice of Apartheid. They had it for a short period of time and with the proper implementation they could achieve the benefits. Now they have abolished it.

    Having reservation for a long period has only demerits. And in our country the benefits are reaped by the same set of people for generations and it has nto actually reached the real needy ones.

    Yes here benefits of reservation is going to few peoples. In this way all deserving peoples can't take its benefits in more than thousand years. One time reservation is its solution. It is funny in this country that a person whose  earning is more than 2.5 lacs is rich and liable to pay income-tax but for reservation a person whose earning  is 8 lacs is poor.


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