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Reservation In Private Sector: A Legitimate Demand

By Rahul Kumar Balley

24 September, 2011

DrAmbedkar on reservation has categorically stated Reservation is neither a policy matter , a political gimmick nor a matter of charity .It is a constitutional obligation .

Every social history in the society has background .Reservation has its own background when people into High and Low on the basis of their birth and not on the basis of merit were divided by the law book of Brahmins i.e Manusmriti .

According to Manusmriti low caste people were not allowed to have access to the education, a primary step to rise in life .Having no access to the education majority of them remain uneducated as a result of which they could not participate in the legislature ,the executive and the judiciary .Non availability of educated people from these low caste people gave opportunity to the upper caste Brahmins to monopolise the 3 arms of the government and subsequently laid greedy paws at the treasure of the country after departure of the British government from the Indian soil.

Brahmin dominated political parties and religious bodies are harping on doling out reservation on the economic criteria to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes but forgotten that their own books and religious leaders prescribed such division of people on the basis of caste . It is a lethal strategy by the Hindu organisations throughout the country and prepare the mind of one & all to bring about changes in the constitution to maintain pathetic status quo of the so called Scheduled castes & Scheduled Tribes .

Britishers left the culture of inequality and suppression which the governing class after partition of the county adopted with hatred in hearts and untouchability in minds against the so called Scheduled castes & Scheduled Tribes .Common untouchability practises such as :segregation in housing ,schools & cremation grounds ;de facto prohibition of caste marriage ;limitation or prohibit of access to public places such as water taps ,health care & education ;restriction on occupation ;assignment of the most mental ,dirty & dangerous jobs as defined by the caste hierarchy ;de facto prohibition of access of land ;bloody & brutal killing ,parading naked Dalits women everyday particularly in rural areas of the country . Most of the law enforcing agencies in the states are controlled under the supervision of the upper caste officials who do not want to lend a sympathetic ears to the suffering Dalits . Nothing has stopped in India against SCs & STs even after independence despite of constitutional safeguards but terminology of atrocities changed like honour killing ,stone to death, house burning so & so on .

The respective governments at the centre have failed in upholding the constitutional obligation for the betterment of the weaker sections of the society in letter and spirit since most of the governments are financed and run by the majority of the upper caste Brahmins at the centre .

Congress is squarely answerable since they rule the states with maximum Dalit population for almost first 40 years of Indian democracy .The litany of the matter is that from M.K. Gandhi to Rahul Gandhi paid lip service to the Dalits without having done anything substantial to improve the worsening condition of the weaker section of the society .After the death of Dr Ambedkar in 1956 ,not a single government has made sincere and honest efforts to ameliorate the ever pathetic conditions of the Dalits . It shows that political parties run by the upper caste Brahmins at the centre are least concerned about the welfare of the Dalits .It is pity to know that most of the welfare schemes for SCs & STs floated by the central government are financially crunched or die its own death in the government files .

Similarly ,t he "National Agenda for Governance," the election manifesto for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which came to power in the February 1998 elections, outlines a program of action for the "upliftment" of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. It promises to take steps to establish "a civilised, humane and just civil order... which does not discriminate on the grounds of caste, religion, class, colour, race or sex"; ensures the "economic and educational development of the minorities"; safeguards the interests of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and backward classes by "appropriate legal, executive and societal efforts and by large scale education and empowerment"; provides "legal protection to existing percentages of reservation in educational institutions at the State level"; and removes "the last vestiges of untouchabilit y." However, to date, the state government ruled by BJP has done little to fulfill its promises to Dalits. Currently seven states ruled by BJP ,the atrocities on minority communities have been increasing day & night .

Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes commission report says that A large number of cases which deserve to be registered under Protection of Civil Rights Act or the SCs & STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act are not actually registered under these Acts, either due to ignorance of law or under pressure from the interested parties. Investigations in even those limited number of cases is often earned out in a slipshod manner and with considerable delay.

Source: National Human Rights Commission Report on the Prevention and Atrocities against Scheduled Castes

A large chunk of the key posts in the police department are held by the upper caste Brahmins in all states of the country . It is but natural that their tendency towards the Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes will remain repressive because of prevalence of negative mind set Corruption is a major issue that affects the lives of the Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes . Siphining of funds through the state agencies earmarked for the welfare of the so called SCs & STs is common affair .Illiteracy rate among SCs & STs is on the rise despite of several educational schemes at the district level launched by the respect states mainly because of deep rooted corruption .The central government has to bring about change in the existing system and should also ensure strict supervision & monitoring of the optimal uasage of funds earmarked for the welfare of the SCs & STs by state legislatures & their committees .

The political scenario in India has drastically changed subsequently the degree of insensitivity on the part of the upper caste Brahmins to the underprivileged class has increased manifold in the last few decades The powerful words like socialism or secularism are replaced by privatisation ,globalisation & liberalisation .Shrinking of government jobs and faster disinvestment policies of the government of India in ONGC,SAIL,HINDUSTAN COPPER(HCL)& NATIONAL BUILDING OF CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION has already hit hard the Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes .Skyrocketing privatisation with Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in major industry in India will further block the chances of getting jobs for the Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes subsequently more exploitation and segregation . On the educational front the situation is getting worse day by day . In the process of globalisation, many foreign universities are invading the educational spheres through hitherto unfamiliar strategic alliances with non-descript commercial agencies, of course at hefty dollar equivalent prices. Many elite institutions like IIMs, IITs, and suddenly facing fund crunch had to raise their fee structure and other prices many fold. They were already beyond the reach of Dalits.

On the hand the PSUs for global free market regime, the PSUs were allowed/encouraged to have strategic alliances with private companies from India and abroad. As such, over the last five years, many profit making PSUs have formed the joint venture companies (JVC). These JVCs are strategically structured as not to fall in the ambit of the PSU-framework. The typical equity stake for the PSU and private could be 49:51. There appears to be a great deal of receptivity for this scheme in the government circles. There are no policy barriers on the business to be pursued by these JVCs. Such joint venture companies will watch the interest of the rich people only.

During the brief government of BJP at the centre state owned enterprises were sold to the private business houses ( for an extremely low price ) which has no place for Dalits .Privatisation in india is a great challenge for the Dalits

Economic backwardness of the Dalits will make them helpless to acquire new skills to compete in the private sector .`Poverty is not just low GDP ;it is dying babies ,starving children and oppression of women & the downtrodden (Easterly William ,2001) English as a medium of language & e-learning techniques has become altogether a stumbling block for the Dalits particularly in the rural areas of the country .

In metro cities ,the hiring rate of the Scheduled castes & Scheduled Tribes by the Multi National Companies (MNCs) is almost negligible because of lack of technical skills and passable English . Above that educational coaching institutes funded by government of India for imparting free computer skill training to the SCs & STs are not upto the mark .It should be noted computers installed at such educational coaching institutions hardly work or upgraded as per the industry requirement subsequently making them unfit for the globalised market Survey revealed that in modern private enterprises (including IT) applicants with a typical Muslim or Dalits name had a lower chance of success than those with the same qualified & an upper caste Hindu name because of no access to intellectual technological & financial resources at their disposal.

Liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation have eroded opportunities for SC/ST and marginalised people to retain the gains already achieved, what to talk about pacing with time and space. The demand by All India confederation of SCs & STs organisations and National Justice party President Dr Udit Raj for reservation in private sector is a legitimate demand .The government of India should implement reservation in private sectors to open up job opportunities for the SCs/STs .All scheduled castes & Scheduled Tribes organisations should educate the poor Dalits about the harmful effects of privatisation on their daily life ;organise & mobilise the people throughout the country to raise voice and agitate for pressing the demand for reservation in private sectors before it becomes too late to mend the ways .

Rahul Kumar Balley, Director , Buddha Education Foundation, New Delhi





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