The elected representatives have repeatedly disgraced our democracy; the occasional dignity which the judiciary attempts to inculcate is looked upon as an infringement on the terrain of the legislature and there is a flutter of political activity to put things back in their populist state. Appeasement and populism have a long history in our not-so-old democracy. We have seen free electricity lowering the water tables and driving boards bankrupt; a law promulgated to wrong a right which the court had ordered; free colour televisions and rice for Rs. 2. We have seen more of such shameless vote garnering gestures and our gullible hoi polloi manages to fall for such cheap poll tricks which have grave long run implications.
Thank the Constitution for a body like the Supreme Court, which from time to time ensures that all’s not wrong with the Indian state. And it angers a common man like me when those shameless conscienceless wretches (would have used a more vile term, but this is a public blog) attempt to again wrong a right. Our issue hungry ‘intelligentsia’ will go out of their way to support the ideas of the very people they would otherwise despise. Long arguments will take place on live television and newspaper columns. Similarities would be drawn between dissimilar systems and practices to prove an invalid point. Unverified and inauthentic statistics will be cited. Because expressing support for the ‘underprivileged’ is the in-thing, even though the very ideas might end up doing more harm than good to the very people whose causes they are supposedly voicing.
The same is happening with the Supreme Court’s directive on the creamy layer of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, which states that they shouldn’t be getting the benefits of reservation. The counter argument is that the Constitution speaks about only social and educational backwardness and does not mention economic backwardness and also alleges that the judiciary is encroaching on parliamentary functions. Some have even pointed fingers at the ‘upper caste composition’ of the courts.
My argument is simple, I will not again delve into the rights and wrongs of reservation, will just quote someone I heard on television, “If reservation has worked in the last five decades, then we should no longer need it; if it hasn’t, what’s the need?”
The issue of mixing or separating the cream and/from the milk. One question, “What’s exactly wrong in excluding the creamy layer of the backward classes?” Expecting some convincing answers in the comments (convincing on the part of commenter, not necessarily this blogger).
Now to what is right. The purpose of reservation was to uplift the people who have been historically discriminated against (who fits into the definition depends on politics not socio-economics). The creamy layer that the Supreme Court is talking about are the ones who have reaped the benefits of the practice of reservation and should therefore now make way for others. If this is not done, then it will be the creamy layer of the SCs, STs and OBCs who will continue to make the most of the practice, unfairly. The remainder of the backward classes will remain where they were or would go further deeper in the vicious cycle which six decades of lofty promises and multiple-amended constitution have failed to get them out of. And they said reservations will usher in social justice.
Then our lawmakers would come up with another brilliant idea (translates to 7.5 per cent more votes), further raise the reservation levels, so that the remainder can be easily accommodated and the cream doesn’t feel any discomfort. Milk to many, tastes better with cream in it. The scum, previously referred to as the General Category, will remain.