ByÂ Vivek Sugandh:
Melodrama on quota is the recent political turmoil that has created rift among political parties. The bill is all about making a constitutional amendment to provide reservations in promotion for the SC/ST and to ensure that it will not again be struck down by the courts. This issue has alarmed a nation-wide protest and the situation is much dilapidated in UP where around 18 lakh employees followed a mass strike against this. Although the tussle between SP and its arch-rival BSP is the biggest watch but the recent difference between Aunt Sonia Gandhi and Nephew Varun Gandhi on reservation in promotions for SC/ST has added a flavour to it.
Sonia Gandhi’s pursuit of the Samajwadi Party MP, who tore up the ‘promotion quota‘ bill in the Lok Sabha, shows her stand in the favour of the Quota Bill. Her attitude in the Lok Sabha makes it very pellucid that she wants a healthy discussion which could make things easy for this Constitutional amendment. She contended that it would strengthen the protection of minorities. The Bill was initially placed in Rajya Sabha for discussion and was passed with support from main opposition Party BJP and many other parties. However, BJP has been facing inner wrangling over the issue of reservation in promotion for SC/STs with party leaders in Uttar Pradesh terming it ‘unjust’ but still it voted in favour of the bill. Few days after the passing of bill in the Upper House, Varun Gandhi, the estranged scion of the Gandhian Family wrote a letter to the Bhartiya Janata Party supremo Mr. Nitin Gadkari showing his and other party MPs concerns upon this constitutional amendment bill. The BJP MP from Phillibhit justified his ground by saying it unfair and would be a compromise on merit and seniority in government promotions. He stated that the bill will create a wedge between sections of the society and will create discontent among people. His stand exposes the lack of consensus among BJP in this regard.
On a personal note, I feel that quotas should be restricted to a particular extent only and space for fair and genuine appointment should be given. You talk of building an egalitarian society but how unfair it sounds that a hard working youth cannot crack an A-grade government job because there are seats reserved for others. I am not against reservations but this should not be incorporated in top jobs. On a fair note, promotions should be completely on the basis of efficiency and dedication. If this bill comes into force it will only aggravate the condition of government jobs which are already blamed for lack of effectiveness. Here the young Gandhi wins over her veteran Aunt because his reasons are really demanding and logical and that is why BJP stood against the bill in Lower House. Varun Gandhi, who is considered as a BJP’s combatant against Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav, proved his mettle by acting as a voice of representation for the BJP MPs who are dissatisfied with the bill. He also brought in light the demotivating impact it will make upon the youth.
The battle is cantered upon the heinous caste politics which has been haunting our nation from the very inception of our independence. The problem with our political system is that no one will discuss on the actual merits and demerits and all eyes will be on poll elections where all the parties would like to capitalize on SC/ST votes without troubling their upper caste support. Observing the situation right now, I can only conclude that this will continue in the mainstream politics for an indefinite period.