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Monday Musings: Here are those who don’t want reservations

Milind Kamble, a founding member of Dalit India Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and a Padma Shri recipient, is keen that Dalits shun reservations.

pune Updated: Aug 27, 2018 16:52 IST
Abhay Vadya
Abhay Vadya
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Monday musings,reservations
An electorally significant community of shepherds from western Maharashtra, the Dhangars, who come under the NT (Nomadic Tribes) category have been demanding inclusion in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category which would entitle them to a reservation quota under the central government. Last week, two youths barged into the office of the tribal development and training institute at Bund Garden and indulged in vandalism. (HT Photo )

The most recent act of vandalism to demand job/education reservations in India was from the Dhangar community in Maharashtra.

An electorally significant community of shepherds from western Maharashtra, the Dhangars, who come under the NT (Nomadic Tribes) category have been demanding inclusion in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category which would entitle them to a reservation quota under the central government. Last week, two youths barged into the office of the tribal development and training institute at Bund Garden and indulged in vandalism.

Maharashtra has already been grappling with the Maratha reservations agitation which has also seen widespread violence, vandalism and destruction of public and private property. The matter is already pending in the courts and one ought to wait patiently and abide by the court verdict, whatever that may be.

However, with the general and state elections fast approaching, politically significant communities such as the Marathas take to violence to force the government in power to find a way to meet their demands. If the Marathas were genuinely qualified and entitled for reservations, one fails to understand how this demand has remained unfulfilled for all these seven decades since independence when tall Maratha leaders ranging from YB Chavan to Sharad Pawar were at the helm of affairs in the state.

On August 25, Azam Campus in Pune saw a round-table conference under the aegis of Muslim Mook Maha Morcha Co-ordination Committee. A demand was made at this conference that the reservations quota in Maharashtra should be raised from the current 52% to 70% and economically-backward sections from all communities and castes, including Brahmins, should be entitled.

Reservations were originally meant for the Dalits who had suffered extreme persecution at the hands of the upper castes for centuries together. Now, however, almost every section wants quick and easy access to educational and employment reservations.

In July 2015, the Patidar agitation in Gujarat for inclusion in the OBC (Other Backward Castes) took a violent turn and the Surat municipal corporation reported a loss of about Rs17 crore in destruction of public and private property.

A year later, the Jat reservation agitation broke out in Haryana and neighbouring states leading to widespread vandalism for inclusion of Jats in the OBC category. More than 30 people were killed and the losses due to vandalism estimated at more than Rs 20,000 crore. The Railways estimated its own losses due to cancellation of trains, etc, at Rs 55 crore.

Amidst all this clamour, there are those who are vocal that they don’t want reservations. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s great grandson Sujat, for example, told this newspaper in April that he did not want reservation as he was privileged. “In jobs and education, reservation should be continued although people who have achieved a certain economic condition should voluntarily give a chance to those in the community, who are still at the bottom of the pyramid,” said Sujat.

The eminent Dalit entrepreneur, Milind Kamble, a founding member of the Dalit India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI) and a Padma Shri recipient, is keen that Dalits shun reservations.

Kamble wants the Dalit youth to become entrepreneurs through grit and determination and not hanker after reservations. He wants the youth to become “job givers and not job seekers” and feels that the caste system can be defeated through capital.

He always cites the inspiring example of the iconic Babasaheb Ambedkar who rose to extraordinary heights without reservations of any kind.

abhay.vaidya@htlive.com

First Published: Aug 27, 2018 16:52 IST