Ap­pease­ment or Jus­tice?

India Today - - UPFRONT -

The gov­ern­ment has pro­posed that reser­va­tions be ex­panded to in­clude the eco­nom­i­cally de­prived in the ‘gen­eral’ cat­e­gory, in­clud­ing the up­per castes whose per­ceived re­sent­ment may have de­feated the BJP in the re­cent assem­bly polls. It is per­haps telling that while ob­servers have de­scribed the move as “cyn­i­cal”, an ob­vi­ous ex­am­ple of vote bank pol­i­tics, op­po­si­tion politi­cians have been more wary. They recog­nise the ap­peal such a prom­ise holds for peo­ple who be­lieve they are vic­tims of reser­va­tion poli­cies. While no clear path to­wards the gov­ern­ment’s ex­tra reser­va­tions has been drawn, it will have to amend Ar­ti­cles 15, 16, and pos­si­bly 340 of the Con­sti­tu­tion to make room for those it be­lieves are be­ing un­justly ex­cluded from gov­ern­ment jobs and ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Il­lus­tra­tion by TANMOY CHAKRABORTY

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