New Delhi: 26 December 2017 : Under the leadership of Dr. Udit Raj, National Chairman, the All India Confederation of SC/ST/OBC Organizations today organized a Save Reservation rally at Ramlila Maidan, New Delhi. Lacs of people from all over the country, including SCs/STs and OBCs from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Punjab, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh etc. participated in the rally.
While addressing the rally, Dr. Udit Raj, National Chairman of the Confederation said that continuous attempts are being made to finish reservation under the garb of Privatization. Dalits and backwards have been suffering from backwardness and slavery for more than thousands of years. Today, we are all citizens of an independent India, but still there has not been much change in the social life of SC/ST and OBC.It’s unfortunate that India is not only most unequal socially but economically also. A few are getting richer and richer and majority of people are either job less or working on contract basis. The government departments are mad to go for contract system in employment and outsourcing of jobs and works have become the order of the day. This has adverse impact more on SC/ST/OBC since they don’t have other avenues. Any democratic government postulates welfare activism and hence the most important job of any government is to provide maximum employment to its citizens.
Dr. Udit Raj further spoke that reservation is often considered to be bottle neck in the development of the nation but it is completely unfounded and mistaken. Mysore and Kerala got reservation in 1935, and the Justice Party secured reservation in Tamil Nadu in 1921. The estate of Kohlapur currently Maharashtra, was blessed with reservation upto 50% in 1902 and these above 4 states are better developed than Northern States in respect of many indices. The time has come for the so called upper caste brothers and sisters to introspect themselves that SC/ST and OBC are part of their society only. Inclusion of these people in various walks of life will strengthen the country in all ways and means. How can about 20% population only aggrandised to have buying power, help in production and purchases. By including these marginalised people through reservation, more number of people will have purchasing power which will resultantly increase the demand. Increasing the demand of various goods and services is to contribute to higher GDP and the businesses will be gainer. To dispel the myth of merit that through reservation inefficiency is promoted, a study by Prof. Ashwani Deshpande in coordination with Michigan University of America has found that higher participation of SC/ST employees like in railways has led to higher efficiencies. In this context it is not only in the interest of SC/ST/OBC to provide reservation but of whole nation. Dr. Udit Raj has introduced a Private Member Bill in the Parliament for Reservation in Private Sector and it has been urged in the rally that the government should convert it into Government Bill and amend the Constitution to fulfil the demand.
Ever since privatization began, mainly SCs and STs have started getting alienated not only from governance but also from economic activities. The Courts have been very ruthless towards these communities; the rights provided by legislatures are being continuously diluted by the judiciary. For instance, it was the Vajpayee Government which made 81st, 82nd and 85th Constitutional Amendments. The 85th Amendment pertains to reservation in promotion – this Amendment was litigated in the Supreme Court in 2006; the case is known as Nagaraj case. The 5 judges’ bench finally validated the 85th Amendment and placed certain conditions which were uncalled for, for example, reservation in promotion will be given only when backwardness of SCs and STs is tested again and again, there is inadequate representation and it does not hamper efficiency of administration. As far as testing the backwardness is concerned, the moment SCs and STs are included in Articles 341 and 342 of the Indian Constitution, it is done so only because they are backward. Their backwardness is tested by Registrar General of India, National Commission for Scheduled Castes and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes. In December 2012, a Bill was passed to give reservation in promotion in Rajya Sabha, doing away with the anomalies created by Courts, but it was unsuccessful in Lok Sabha. It was unequivocally passed in the rally today that the government should pass this bill in this winter session to remove all hinderances in reservation in promotion. There is already inadequate representation for example out of about 150 secretaries in government of India, not more than 3 or 4 would from SC/ST/OBC and hence this condition is also untenable.
Dr. Udit Raj lamented that the workers are heavily exploited under the contract system, whether they are teachers, employees, class IV employees or cleaners. In the private sector, wages are paid in cash – workers are never paid the full amount due to them. The Government must exercise a check on this practice and ensure that salaries are paid directly in bank accounts – the main beneficiaries of this will be Dalits and OBCs.
Main demands of the Confederation
1. Reservation in promotion and in private sector
2. Enact Reservation Act
3. Reservation in higher judiciary and armed forces
4. Ban recruitment in contract system
5. Special recruitment drives to fill backlog posts and vacant posts
6. Free and equal education, and land to the landless
7. Law for implementation of SCP and TSP
8. Caste certificate of one state made valid in all states
9. Increase in educational scholarships in line with price rise
10. All India Judicial Services to be created
11. Reservation in Jammu and Kashmir by removing Article 370
12. Ownership rights for land allotted under 20-point program in Delhi
13. Start a SC/ST bank with capital of Rs. 1 lac crore
14. Should be ensured that loan facility at each branch to SC/ST be given to make Stand Up India successful.
15. Procurement Policy it to be implemented in latter and spirit
16. SC/ST Hub Scheme to be made more effective and result oriented.
17. The space should be allotted to all Redi Patri vendors for livelihood.