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a divided decision

This decision has not answered the important question that if reservation is a kind of poverty removal programme, Even then, in the midst of the current economic policies, how much will the upper castes actually benefit from this?

Should the upper castes (of the poorer sections) also get reservation? Would it be in accordance with the constitutional spirit to do so? Although there were many other questions before the Supreme Court, but these were two basic questions. The issue came before the court because three-and-a-half years ago the Parliament had made a provision for this reservation. When this matter came up in Parliament, there was a divided opinion. Opinion is divided on this question in the society. Opinions of political parties are often determined by the calculation of electoral gains and losses, but the basis of differences in society is ideological. The gap in disagreement about this is so wide that the debate over it often reaches the point of intense outrage. The same disagreement has been seen in the five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court itself. While three judges justified this reservation, two judges were of the opinion that doing so was unconstitutional. Two judges almost went to the extent of saying that there is no need for reservation now.

Since the decision was taken by majority, the legal issues related to this issue may have been settled for the time being, but the opinion in the society will remain as divided as before. An issue was also raised that if there is a separate provision of 10 percent reservation for economically backward people, then should not the poor of all castes get its benefit? The Central Government had made a provision that this reservation will be available only to those castes, which have not got this benefit in the existing reservation – that is, this reservation is especially for the upper castes. The Supreme Court has also upheld this provision with a majority. But this decision has not answered the important question that reservation was adopted to give representation to the socio-educationally backward people, is this poverty removal programme? If this is a poverty removal program, then how much will the upper castes actually benefit from it in the midst of the existing economic policies?

Shubham Bangwal

Shubham Bangwal is a Senior Journalist at You can follow him on Twitter @sb_0fficial
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