Editorial

Nationwide Census needed to justify the continuation of 10% reservation to EWS

A day after the Supreme Court backed the Centre’s 10 per cent quota for the poor or EWS (Economically Weaker Sections) in jobs and education, nation demands for a nationwide caste and economic census.

Despite the quota is discriminatory and does alter the basic structure of the constitution. The verdict is a huge defeat for the subjects of the nation and it should not be termed as the victory for the ruling BJP at the Centre, which introduced the quota just before the 2019 general election, after losing three key northern states. The RSS and the BJP has cheated the nation by a conspiracy.

There is a necessity to file a review petition in the Supreme Court. The verdict hits at the heart of equality enshrined in the constitution and that the quota is against the social justice and equality and a setback for the century-old struggle for social justice. There is an urgent need to call for an all-party meet to discuss the way forward.

Indian White Paper strongly feels that the 50 per cent cap on reservations in the country should be removed. There has been no survey done by any agency before it became the law and the law has been passed without due discussion and revision by the standing committee of the Parliament.

What the Supreme Court ruled was fair enough. We were always in support of the quota. But it is high time that the limit of 50 per cent is raised. The cap is depriving OBCs (Other Backward Classes) and EBCs (Extremely Backward Classes) of opportunities in proportion to their population.

There is a need to call for a fresh estimate of the size of various social groups, and there also a need for a caste census.

The states could hold such headcounts. This needs to be done on the national level as well. There must be a rethink on the issue of caste census. The OBC underprivileged societies are obviously unhappy on what basis the poor upper castes getting quota, indeed the economic criterion.

The demand for a removal of the 50 per cent cap was first made by the then Janata Dal leaders including RJD’s Lalu Yadav, Nitish Kumar dumped the BJP and formed a new government with the RJD in August and then national secretary of Janata Dal MA Mujeeb who formed the Rastriya Jana Parishad and the verge of its registration. It is most unfortunate that the Congress party has backed the Supreme Court decision.

Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and OBC like professionals practicing among Muslims should get reservations on the basis of their population. The backward classes should get extended reservations including the similar professions practicing Muslims.

Or Muslims should be included in OBC or SC or ST reservation over and above the Mandal commission by making 100 per cent reservation since the cap of 50 per cent has been removed by the apex court.

There is a demand for removing the socio economic reservation and give reservation on par with the economic standing of all the subjects by fixing an yard stick of annual earning of income proportionally.