Appeasement or Justice?
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.