Wednesday October 17, 2018
Home Opinion Quotas: RSS g...

Quotas: RSS got it right – for once

0
//
61
Republish
Reprint

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief, Mohan Bhagwat, deserves a mild round of applause for calling for a relook at the reservations policy.

RSSFollowing his suggestion, at least three Congress leaders have gathered enough courage to say that a review should consider making economic status rather than caste the basis of quotas.

Before last year’s general election, a senior Congress leader, Janardhan Dwivedi, had made a similar statement.

It is unlikely, however, that their bosses in the party, the mother-and-son duo of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, will back them considering that the Congress president had forced a reluctant Manmohan Singh to renew the inclusion of caste data in the census operations of 2011 after a gap of eight decades.

Her objective was no different from that of the Hindi belt leaders who use the bait of providing education and employment in government institutions to specific caste groups to build up their support bases.

It is this unabashed partisan purpose which has seemingly persuaded the RSS chief to seek an assessment of the quota system for those sections which “require reservation and for how long”.

However, the timing of Bhagwat’s suggestion was disadvantageous for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), for it enabled its opponents in the forthcoming Bihar elections to accuse the BJP of an upper caste bias which seeks to block the upward mobility of the lower castes by ending the quota system.

The BJP-led Rajasthan government’s decision to allot quotas to the economically weaker sections of the “forward” castes has also provided grist to the party’s opponents. A similar initiative has also been taken in BJP-ruled Gujarat.

Notwithstanding these steps, the BJP is trying to distance itself from its mentor’s counsel and the RSS, too, is now hemming and hawing about the issue because it has belatedly realised that it had wandered into an area where angels fear to tread.

It will be a mistake, however, to believe that Bhagwat’s observations have anything to do with the visions of Jawaharlal Nehru and other stalwarts of the freedom movement who wanted the caste system to wither away in an independent India with the growth of a meritocracy because of the spread of quality education and the cultivation of a scientific temper.

Instead, the RSS chief’s concerns cannot be unrelated to the angst of the Patel community in Gujarat, which has been disheartened by the lack of education and employment opportunities because of the inroads made into these fields by groups which flaunt their reservation rights even if they may be less qualified than those who are outside the ambit of the quota system.

hardik-patel-stir.jpg.image.784.410

Hence, the demand of the gun-toting and sword-wielding young leader of the generally well-off Patels or Patidars, as they are also known, Hardik Patel, that his community be included in the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.

Considering that he has called for either an inclusion in the quota system, or for dispensing with the reservations altogether, there is little doubt that he has touched a chord in the hearts of not only the upper castes, who have always been against the reservations, but also those who believe that this form of affirmative action has fostered vested interests who deliberately ignore the original idea of the quotas being offered for a limited period and that, too, for only the two most deprived groups – the Dalits and Adivasis.

Instead, the quotas have been extended to communities like the politically influential Yadavs even if they still experience some of the social stigma because of their ‘backwardness’.

What is more, the Supreme Court’s directive about denying what is called the ‘creamy layers’, or those who have benefitted from the reservations, any further access to quotas has been studiously circumvented by successive governments of various hues.

However, as is evident from the suggestions that the quota system be reoriented towards the poorer sections of all castes, the present virtual travesty of the original intent of the reservations is becoming increasingly obvious.

Yet, the political class is too focused on making immediate gains by playing the caste card to see how the unavoidable fallout of the denial of opportunity to the meritorious can breed social tension, as the agitation of the Patels show.

At present, only Narendra Modi has made an attempt to turn the spotlight on development even if his party, and especially its allies, are not averse to playing the caste game in Bihar.

Otherwise, all the other parties, including the supposedly progressive Left, have made no attempt to mobilise public opinion against quotas while the Aam Admi Party is too busy making space for itself in politics to spend much time on a contentious subject.

The murmurs in the Congress about a new approach show that the ingrained sycophancy of its members towards the Nehru-Gandhis hasn’t yet made the party totally brain dead. But, unfortunately, neither Sonia nor Rahul has the intellectual prowess to consider the matter with all its implications and chart a new course.

The Bihar elections are important in this context because there will be a direct contest between a pro-development and a pro-casteist outlook. Last year, the development model had received a thumbs-up signal from the voters. The results on November 8 will show their present mindset.

Amulya Ganguli, IANS

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 NewsGram

Next Story

World Hindu Congress: RSS Chief says that Hindus Don’t Aspire to be Dominant

"It is time the Hindu society showcased its oneness to the world and went back to its ancient wisdom and values," Bhagwat said.

0
World Hindu Congress
Hindus don't oppose anyone, don't aspire to dominate: RSS chief

Asserting that Hindus neither oppose anybody nor aspire to dominate, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Saturday said the community needs to unite to end its centuries of sufferings.

Speaking at the 2nd World Hindu Congress here, Bhagwat said the key to unite the world is to control ego and accepting the consensus.

“We do not have any aspects of dominance. Hindus do not live to oppose anybody. We even allow the pests to live. There are people who may oppose us. You have to tackle them without harming them,” said Bhagwat addressing delegates from across the globe.

World Hindu Congress
Hinduism, religion

“Why are we suffering for 1000 years? We had everything but we forgot to practise values. We also forgot to work together. Hindu society has largest number of meritorious people in many sectors. But they never come together, stay together.

“Coming together of Hindus itself was a difficult task. Earlier, when our Swayamsevaks would try to organise people, they would say ‘a lion never walks in a group’, but even that lion or a Royal Bengal tiger who is the king of the jungle… if he is alone, wild dogs together can invade and destroy him…,” he said calling upon Hindus to unite.

The 2nd World Hindu Congress is being held on the occasion of 125th Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s historic speech at the Parliament of World Religions in 1893.

World Hindu Congress
The Sangh Parivar, better known as the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) celebrated the 125th anniversary of the song in 2002. Wikimedia Commons

Talking about uniting the world, Bhagwat cited the example of Lord Krishna and Yudhishthir from the Mahabharata, who he said never contradicted each other.

“One of the key values to bring the whole world into a team is to have controlled ego and learn to accept the consensus.

“It is time the Hindu society showcased its oneness to the world and went back to its ancient wisdom and values,” Bhagwat said.

 

RSS support Hindus
RSS world’s largest organisation promote hindutva

 

He said that the negative influence of ego should always be avoided.

Also Read: Video- India Scraps Law Criminalizing Homosexuality

“Of all the main characters, Krishna never contradicted Yudhishthir and Yudhishthir never disobeyed Krishna because it is important to work unitedly, keeping your ego aside,” he added. (IANS)