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Economic Status, Not Caste, Should Be The Basis For Reservation

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By Mugdha Kiran:

The reservation system was conceptualized to provide the lower castes with a level playing field to compensate for years of neglect, for an initial epoch of a decade with an endeavor for the group’s induction into the mainstream society. There is a dire need for the political strata to appreciate that much water has flowed down since then.


The very criteria (the literacy rate, the prevalence of child marriage and other obscure benchmark like whether widows are allowed to remarry) for labeling a community backward are flawed. There is no denying the fact that in present India, social stature is conjectured on one’s financial might. By and large, these communities, by the virtue of having been continually benefited over the years have attained a echelon where the society, as a whole, can no more afford to heap bounties on them at the cost of gross injustice being done to the communities (e.g. the physically challenged & the economically weak forward castes) in crying need for these provisions.

What social parity has the government yet to pull off by preferring a rich SC/ST kid over a poor Brahmin or physically challenged one is yet to be enunciated. The inclusion of the Jat community (a large chunk are landowners courtesy the independent agricultural reforms and are better off than many forward castes) on grounds of rampant child marriage in their community is a quintessential instance that communities having political clout and maneuvering take undue advantage of the system. A vast multitude of BPLs still coming from Low castes is an often raised bogie by those clamoring for status quo.

On scrutinisation this reveals that they, in principle, agree with my stance of economic strength being a major gauging factor on a community’s need to rely upon such schemes. This also brings home the point that after all these years, this policy has not been able to reach out to all those in call for it. My question to them is then why not morph the benchmark from caste to a family’s annual income if our principle objective is to bridge the intensifying gap between the have & have not’s.

Even these people should get the benefit of the reservation only twice in a lifetime – once during admission to an educational institution and again when they foray into the competitive job market so as to provide a cushion against them slipping back into the vicious cycle of poverty. Being leveraged by the circumstances in which an individual was born, (when they have actually grown out of it) beyond this point will put a serious question mark over the competence of the people at the helm of government affairs, in my point of view.

It will be apt here to narrate a joke doing rounds in my college. India & USA were sending 100 persons each to Mars. President Obama picks them on grounds of merit whereas the Indian contingent included 56 SC/STs, 27 OBCs, 10 physically handicapped and 7 generals. Ridiculous, isn’t it? Until and unless we strive to completely refurbish the existing reservation system in India, a developed nation with numerous ‘bests’ & ‘firsts’ with concomitant enhanced standard of living for the masses will remain a pipe dream.

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  1. Nigamananda Tripathy


    1. Mugdha

      Thanks for reading:)

  2. Jignesh

    Caste based reservation is total wrong.There is a huge difference between the course fees of backward class and cource fess of General category students. This is litterly injustice to general category students. The era when backward class people were treated as untouchables has gone. Now everything should be based on financial condition or equal to all.

    1. Mugdha

      Im so happy to see that you share my viewpoint. maybe finally the youth of the country is awakening. time for change.:)


    First i would like to thanks Mudgha kiran for such a nice topic . Caste reservation was basically implemented by Dr. BHIM RAO AMBEDKAR for 10 yrs only bcoz at that time our country was rulled on caste system but after 10 year this was to have removed but sadly to say our politician started taking advantage of this reservation system . Reservation became there vote bank . reservation was basically implemented to expell caste system from our country . now our country has overcome from the problem of caste system . all type of reservation should be removed except SCHEDULE TRIBE AND PWD QUOTA bcoz in our country there our still some region which our undeveloped .

    1. Mugdha

      Giving help to those who really need it is not what the youth is against today. Thanks for reading the article Shubham

  4. sg02

    you are right. i have always had the same opinion.
    after all, in the rural areas, are there no poor Brahmans who cant afford expensive courses?

    1. Mugdha

      Thank you for all the ‘likes’, ‘comments’ & tweets. I am grateful to all those who took out tym to read my opinion. Maybe when so many of us feel this way, then perhaps we can actually pressurize the govt. to bring in amendments some day.

    2. Raj

      But why should there be reservations at all, even on economic grounds?

  5. Gajanan Mahajan

    Plz send me information about a reservation on economics base
    my Email ID

  6. saurabh

    don’t u think u r mixing caste with class. Both are different thing.

  7. deepak

    Hello ma’am. First I understand the viewpoint of making economic conditions as sole prerequisite to avail reservation because merit should not be compromised and help must be given to the needy which is true. Now how to implement this? And also I have few doubts as well.isn’t It easy to obtain an income certificate in our country? Aren’t people already trying hard to avoid income sources or declare low income for tax purposes and most importantly education! Its a basic right. Agree? Now its a well known fact that many educational institutions are run by politicians,community, religion and caste groups. Now according to the economic criteria there are poor people from all communities so economic based reservations right?
    Now lets say X number of vacancies and among that y% of seats to be reserved for poor people irrespective of caste right? Now Won’t the admission section in the above institutions be biased towards taking poor people from their own community and make sure that maximum number of reserved seats filled by students from their own community or caste? And also SC/ST students already hold dubious distinction of being labelled as lazy,underachievers,underperformers etc therefore the colleges won’t take them because they don’t want a bad repute to their institutions. Today if you look around in your classroom you will find students from all castes and communities why because its the law!!whether you like it or not.Now to the bigger question CASTE!! now will economic criteria eliminate caste discrimination and usher a new egalitarian society where caste is no longer relevant and will people drop using their caste name as surnames? and encourage inter caste or inter religious marriages? Will it finally result in only two social groups i.e rich and poor? And also for the joke that you cracked at the end. there is something called affirmative action in USA to protect the disadvantaged. And it took the merit based discrimination free USA which got independence in 1776 to elect its first black president in 2008 ie Barack Obama.

  8. Sunil kumar das

    Yeah,i also support for reservation on the basis of economic conditions!but for now,i support caste based reservation as at present time,there are more backwards in lower castes as compare to higher castes peoples(very few),i have seen myself. i will continue to support caste based reservation untill new set of rules are implemented which honestly provide true economic based reservation,coruption free.
    That's what i think!

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