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Some pertinent questions on reservation policy

September 28, 2015

A recent statement by Mohan Bhagwat, chief of RSS, calling for review of reservation policy created strong ripples in political circles. BJP was hurried to clarify its stand on reservations fearing its adverse impact on the outcome of Bihar elections. Opposition parties on the other hand alleged that it is a RSS/BJP conspiracy to scrap the reservation policy altogether and tried to cash on it.

Whatever may be the intent, the central government needs to answer some pertinent questions in this regard:
• Has the policy been successful in realising its defined goals and objectives? If not, what changes should be made to it to make it more effective?
• Is there any mechanism to quantify the benefits of reservation? If not, how do we measure its impact? How do we assess the extent to which the policy has benefitted the targeted sections? Shouldn’t there be a mechanism to identify deserved candidates and exclude undeserved from scope of the policy based on their current social standing?
• Shouldn’t there be a specific timeframe within which the defined goals and objectives of the policy are to be achieved? Shouldn’t there be periodic assessment of the extent of its success?

It’s obvious that the reservation policy has become a tool in the hands of political parties to divide people on the basis of religion and caste and create their own vote banks. To prevent such misuse of the policy, it is imperative that an honest and impartial review of the policy needs to be done at least once, clearly redefining the policy goals and objectives with a stipulated time frame for accomplishing them. Also, a proper mechanism for assessing the current social status of targeted sections needs to be devised; based on this assessment alone, the socially downtrodden sections that really deserve to reap benefits of the reservation, should be identified; simultaneously excluding undeserved from the ambit of reservation.

If implemented sincerely, these measures will certainly help in fostering much needed social harmony and contribute for national growth.


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