The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Sumeet Kumar Sharma, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
The protest and agitation by several caste groups and communities in India for the demand of OBC quota reservation has not been something new; but it has extensively increased over the past few years, where even the predominant caste within states are now trying desperate to get into OBC clan to enjoy reservation benefits, an easy way out to get into Government jobs and educational institutes.
The Jats in Haryana are politically influential and economically upward class and enjoys a high standard of living. It is extremely shocking to see the hostile attitude shown on streets protesting for something they don’t deserve. A community that dominates every sphere of a state’s life is crying for discrimination, it is an act of plain absurdity of this community to demand for OBC inclusion.
The Jat agitation for reservations has been a regular annual affair since 2012, but they have gone way too violent this time. The degree of aggression on display is highly contemptible. It is presumed to be the result of the incapability and an image of BJP, who are still believed to an outsider in Haryana’s traditional Jat politics.
It all started in 1991 when Gurnam Singh Commission report included Jats in the backward Classes category, but this notification was soon withdrawn by then existing state government. The commission is said to have made a colossal mistake, as it used 1931 Census figures to gauge backwardness of a community without factoring into account the green revolution – which led to rise of agricultural communities after the post-independence expansion of irrigation. In 2012, the commission recommended the inclusion of Jats and four other castes, Jat Sikhs, Ror, Tyagi and Bishnoi, in the category Special Backward Classes (SBC). 10 percent quota was granted by the Hooda government, but later was set aside by the Supreme Court.
The Jats have trashed a government offer to include those with annual income of less than Rs 6 lakh under an Economically Backward Persons (EBP) category with a 20% quota, to be shared with four other castes: Tyagis, Rors, Bishnois and Jat Sikhs. The government has now announced it will prepare a draft Bill for reservation, and try to bring it in the Assembly session beginning March 17. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has said the State government will not disturb the 27 per cent reservation for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs), rather will make a separate provision for their reservation.
This is just the start; many other communities will soon follow recklessly expanding the list of beneficiaries. A rational answer lies more in addressing the doldrums of rural India’s economy and removing weaknesses in reservations through consensus. The ultimate aim job reservation was to eradicate the caste system and cover up the economic gaps, but on the contrary it has ended up in nurturing the caste demon by rousing a hysterical politicisation of all caste groups.