Sunday, December 3, 2023

SC ruling on the reservation could set a dangerous precedent

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Mohammed Shariff P 

The Mukesh Kumar vs. Uttarakhand Government case in which Supreme Court ruled that reservation is not a fundamental right could spell well beyond normal logic and can have serious ramifications in the future, unless it is corrected at the highest court of justice. However, SC asserted that state government can promulgate an ordinance to make a reservation a fundamental right. 

Most of the upper caste people in India feel irritated when they hear the word ‘reservation’, they look at schedule caste and schedule tribe as if they are the only community availing these reservations. It is a well-known fact that the reservation is described and suggested based on social causes rather than economic reasons. It has its historical reasons and logic which has been discussed and debated time and again. 

Post-2014, when Narendra Modi lead government assured union government, their parent organization RSS has tried to tease reservation issue in many state elections. When it boomeranged in the 2015 Bihar assembly elections, they decided to maintain temporary silence on the complex issue that India has been discussing for decades. 

The reservation is enjoyed by many backward communities along with SC and ST communities. In a country like India where communities have been sidelined for their caste, creed, birth, and ethnicity by the upper caste people, reservation is essential to uplift them socially. This is the soul of reservation described in the Constitution of India. The argument that if poverty goes away, social inequality will also vanish has been fell flat in India. Social positioning of Dalits, Adivasis, and minorities has been questioned time and again and still continuing.

The Constitution of India promises equality to all citizens of the country. The Constitution of India states that all people of India should be given equal opportunity and representation. Article 14,15,16 of the Constitution states the same. Having said this, the social status of India has been in the form of a pyramid for thousands of years and thus the constitution has introduced a reservation for all Indians to have equal opportunities. The social position of India is still the same even today even after seven decades of independence. 

It is a well-known fact that the RSS, the parent organization of the BJP government in the centre, which is ruling Indian now, has been vocal critiques of the reservation system. Their well-known argument is that the reservation will result in a lack of quality. But they refuse to speak about the reason for the lack of quality and the social status of those affected communities in India.

The judiciary which has to ensure the rights of the citizens itself is hub imbalance and caste hegemony. it is a well-known fact that Supreme Court Is A brahmin bastion. Data maintained by the Union Ministry of Law and Justice shows that the Collegium, which is responsible for elevating judges to the Supreme Court, has not followed any clear pattern in making its decisions. Either by commission or omission, no SC/ST judge has been elevated to the Supreme Court in the last 7 years. “If the judiciary is not inclusive, their own social conditioning or thinking could get reflected in their judgments,” said Dr. Suraj Yengde, a research fellow at Harvard University who heads India For Diversity (IDF) initiative. “India’s judiciary is dominated by upper castes and out the 28 SC judges of the supreme court, 9 are relatives of judges or legal luminaries. This promotes favoritism and nepotism”.

He further argues that the issue of under-representation of lower castes in the judiciary has been raised in Parliament and the National Commission for Scheduled Castes has also stated in no uncertain terms that “a firm policy of reservation is the only remedy”. It also held that “there is nothing in the constitution to support the stand of the government withholding reservation from the judiciary. ”

If we go by the statistics,  reservation jobs are only two-third of our economy. The present government is going to privatize all its institutions, in this how many opportunities are there are for reserved communities. Governments are not building any new public institutions. As we fight against privatization today, we have to fight for reservations in the private sector. Reservations need to be asked on the basis of the population. 

Mohammed Shariff is a senior journalist who has earlier worked with Indian Express, Times of India, and Madhyamam.

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Mohammed Shariff
Mohammed Shariff
Mohammed Shariff is a senior journalist who has earlier worked with Indian Express, Times of India, and currently works at Madhyamam.


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