Tuesday, February 23, 2016

OBC Quota Blackmail - TOI

Feb 24 2016 : The Times of India (Chennai)
Quota Blackmail


Roots of Jat agitation lie in lack of jobs which needs fixing, but giving in sets a bad precedent
Nine days into Haryana's Jat reservation stir 19 lives have already been lost, almost 200 have been injured and economic damage is estimated at a staggering Rs 20,000 crore. The government of chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who was heckled in the epicentre of the agitation in Rohtak, has unfortunately agreed to bring a bill for quotas to Jats in the state assembly's next session.The government's willingness to capitulate before agitators who used violent means sets a bad precedent. Not only did the rioters bring the state to a standstill, they also damaged Delhi's water supply network, which will take another two weeks to bring back on par.Giving in to such street tactics by those who are essentially pursuing a political demand can only harm the polity . Attempts to finalise the Jat quota will create further trouble.
The Supreme Court has set a 50% cap on quotas, exceeding this is illegal.
But to stay within the quota will have to be carved out of someone's else share. It will then be the turn of that community to agitate. The results will also be keenly watched by dominant castes elsewhere such as Patels in Gujarat, Kapus in Andhra Pradesh and Marathas in Maharashtra ­ all of whom want reservation. We could soon see eruptions elsewhere, if not in Haryana.
In the short term, governments need to hold their ground. They cannot sidestep this issue by conceding more quotas. And in the long term all political parties need to question some axioms of populist politics today . Firstly, caste quotas should not monopolise our notions of social justice. We need subtle rather than sledgehammer forms of affirmative action ­ for example, a points-based system that gives most weightage to economic deprivation.
Secondly, creation of jobs is falling radically short of India's demographic demand. Economic policy must be indexed to job growth rather than GDP growth, reforms that grow jobs must be pushed through. These include radical labour reforms which incentivise the creation of more jobs, facilitation of land acquisition by industry , as well as educational reforms which radically improve the quality of public sector institutions while uninhibitedly inviting the private sector to play a greater role. If we fail to undertake these and similar job-creating reforms the Jat stir will not be the last reservation agitation we will see, damaging though it might have been.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Pakistan Parliament discussions