Thursday, May 25, 2006

Reservation would increase efficiancy

IN-FOCUS: Reservations will add to efficiency: Medha Patkar
The People's Movements all over India demand that the Union
government must implement the constitutional amendment to reserve the
seats for the other backward communities without any delay and see
that all the earlier policies, decisions assurances regarding the
affirmative actions in favour of the backward castes are implemented

We condemn the deliberate lethargy on part of governments regarding
implementing already approved policies of Mandal Commision
recommendations. Even now, thousands of seats in educational and
professional arena are not filled - rather they are made 'open' for
want of 'suitable candidates' from the scheduled castes, scheduled
tribes or backward classes. We demand that all the unfilled seats
must be filed with the due representation of the concerned classes.
With this we make a strong plea for strengthening the common school
policy, common technical and higher education policy and equipping
them with quality education, resources and due attention. The newly
introduced elitist streak in the higher technical education should be
abolished. There should be common public institutions imparting
finest quality technical and professional education. The
privatization and coprporatization of education and highly technical
profession must stop. They are being educated and employed on the
basis of public spending. So they must follow the wishes of the
people of this country. Therefore there should also be reservations for the backward classes
in private enterprises.

For Efficiency and Creativity
The policy of reservations for the deprived classes in the higher
and technical education and professions is an opportunity to add to
the quality, creativity and efficiency in the educational and
professional fields. The reservations must be seen not as 'doling
out' something for the 'deprived classes', but it is mark of adding
to the experiences, creativity and knowledge bases of various
aspects in our public life. Over 70 percent of the workforce in the
country is not just manual laborers; they come with their own
intelligence, imaginativeness, innovations and resourcefulness. It
would make our productive processes and economy varied and richer.
Just look at U.S. and other countries where all sections of
populations are brought in the vortex of education, sports and other
professions. We have to be proud of the fact that we would be much
richer nation with the participation of such brains in our social-
economic activities in such a large and varied scale.
From all these angles, it is high time that the private institutions,
industries and service sector also must be made to accept the
reservation policy. These industries will have to be made aware that
they operate in India, and they will have to follow the Indian
Constitution and law. If they threaten to go outside India, let them
go and we shall see whether they get such subsidized water, land,
cheap labour, pliant state elsewhere in the world. These
industrialists are not making any favor for the people; rather they
exploit the people and resources of this country. In this connection,
we also disapprove and will oppose the policies of creating
'special economic zones' (SEZ), where no India laws would be

Though we quite understand the apprehensions in the minds of the
students and professionals from the general categories regarding the
narrowing space for competition, that alone cannot be reason for
opposing the reservations for the hitherto backward communities.
The Union and concerned state governments should initiate the steps
as to help the poor and deprived students and professionals in the
general category.

The unemployment and narrowing down the space for more employment
and educational opportunities is not due to the reservations of
seats, but due to the neo-liberal political economy that the ruling
class in India has adopted in collusion with the global capital. Even
without the reservations, the employment and education opportunities
in various jobs in India are being eroded and thousands of people are
thrown out of existing jobs. We demand that the Union and state
governments must end the embargo on the jobs in the public sector and
should start thinking of creating more jobs.

We appeal to the agitating students and professionals not to hold
reservations responsible for their anxiety and to understand the
deeper economic crisis we all have been thrown. We also expect the
supporters of the reservations to reason with the agitating students
and take them along, caring for their sensitivities and interests.
The young student and professional community must not be pitted
against each other, who otherwise are the harbinger of the future
changes and struggle in this country. We have to strengthen a united
struggle against the common adversary in form of national and
multinational corporate and imperialist vested interests.

Medha Patkar
National Convenor
Sanjay M.G. P. Chennaiah
National Co-Convenors