It’s the eighth day of violence across Haryana as Jats continue their agitation demanding reservation. After a brief lull on Sunday, the situation has again become tense as news of fresh death poured in. As the Centre and the state grappled to bring the situation under control and the death toll nears 20, the state Government has finally decided to bring a bill granting reservation to the Jats in the Legislative Assembly’s next session. Though no specifics have been shared, the popular belief is the state Government struggling with the rising violence might give in to the Jat demand for quota in totality.
However that’s exactly where my concern begins. Demand for quota and reservation of many communities have continued to trouble the Indian polity over the past few months. Be it the Patels in Gujarat, the Jats in Haryana or the Kapus in Andhra Pradesh, the question is would reservation solve the problem for any of them?
We often pride ourselves on the mind-numbing diversity across the length and breadth of our country, of how dialects change every 6 km and the range of communities and sub-communities who inhabit the length and breadth of this beautiful country. So realistically just how many of them can be accommodated under our reservation policy and how effectively can reservation help any of them is the big debate at this hour.
Earlier too on Clamorworld we have highlighted the futility of the reservation system as we have known it thus far. For example if we see the current agitation, the Jats wanted reservation. It goes without saying, the Jats are among the most successful farming communities across the country. They own large chunks of land, have mechanised the farming process to a large extent and also enjoy access to state of art irrigation facilities apart from being blessed by fertile soil. Not just that economically too they are one of the most advanced communities with most farming produce not even being taxed.
Just by virtue of being born in a community or area which was hitherto perceived backward is no longer reason enough to justify reservation. In granting reservation to them, the Government is no doubt working in a short-sighted ad hoc basis. Surely they have their eyes set on the next state election and reservation if it happens in any form would more be an appeasement policy than bringing forth any type of material long-term solution.
Time has come to weed out the scourge of reservation from its very roots as we see it today. If at all advantage needs to be given, something on the lines of DBT or direct benefit transfer to those genuinely in need would optimise the Govt’s fund outgo a lot more effectively.