Reservations, Jat like that
By Cithara Paul | Published: 15th September 2013 08:03 AM |
Nobody needs to teach the UPA Government to fish in troubled waters. After taking a nonchalant position on the recent communal clashes in Uttar Pradesh where Muslims and Jats killed each other taking the death toll to 47, the political leadership of the UPA Government has decided to do what it is good at—appeasement. In principle, it decided to grant reservations to Jats in Central Government services and has asked the National Commission for Backward Castes (NCBC) to create a blue print for this.
It is learnt that the Government is planning to give blanket reservation to all Jats—Hindu, Muslim and Sikh Jats—in one go so that everyone is happy.
“No Government can afford the ill will of Jats in an election year as they are both monetarily and numerically powerful. The decision to give reservation to all is a good strategy as it could appease both Hindu and Muslim Jats,’’ said a government source.
Interestingly, the NCBC had earlier opposed such a move on the grounds that Jats are a landed class, which does not need external governmental support. Ruling out the requirement for reservation in Central Government services, the NCBC had pointed out that various state governments are already giving reservations to Jats where they are considered eligible for affirmative action. But the UPA feels that it is prudent to soothe Jat tempers at the earliest by applying the reservation balm, since it fears that Hindu Jats are steadily shifting their sympathy to the BJP. The Jats, who number around 10 crore, are electorally crucial in various states, especially in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan. This explains the urgency with which the Centre is pushing the matter.
“We have been told to have a ‘re-look’ at our stated position on Jats reservation even as a survey to assess the socio- economic status of Jats is on,’’ said an official with the NCBC.
According to him, the NCBC had already assigned the Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR) to study the socio-economic conditions of Jats in UP, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana.
The survey started in August, 2013 after the Jat Mahasabha in July, which was addressed by Ajit Singh.