‘Quota not just about poverty alleviation but representation too’
LUCKNOW : In view of the recent Supreme Court judgment on having department-wise quota for faculty posts in colleges and universities (13-point roster system), a debate was organised at the Kaifi Azmi Academy here on Sunday. Organised by the Forum for Critical & Progressive Thinking, the discussion saw participation from representatives of various political parties, social thinkers and activists.
Student leader Pooja Shukla opened the debate by pointing out how the society was fighting caste discrimination. Ajmal Khan, representative of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), made a case for reservation in higher constitutional posts, including the judiciary.
Mukesh Yada of Aam Aadmi Party, UP, said that his party was against the 13-point roster system. “The earlier 200-point system must be brought back. We also advocate representation of backwards and dalits in higher education,” he said.
Anoop Patel, spokesperson, UP Congress Committee, said that the 13-point system was “neither feasible nor justiciable”. Stressing that reservation was not just about poverty alleviation but also about representation, he said, “With this new system, the ST (scheduled tribe) and PH (physically handicapped) candidates will be left out completely.”
Sunil Singh Sajan, MLC, Samajwadi Party, said, “SP believes that the caste census should be brought out at the earliest and all representation should be made in accordance with it.” He clarified that his party was in “no way against the interests of the upper caste”.
“But 85% should not be left out from any walk of social and political life. If our party comes to power, we will ensure reservation in higher judiciary, higher education as well as the private sector,” he said.
Meanwhile, Naheed Aqueel, state president, All India Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz, expressed fear that the new system would adversely affect Pasmanda Muslims (backward and dalit Muslims). Ravi Kant, assistant professor, LU, stressed on having adequate reservation in higher academic posts such as that of registrar and vice-chancellor.
▪ Speakers at a discussion organised by the Forum for Critical and Progressive Thinking in Lucknow on Sunday.