Kerala's forward caste organisations hail Supreme Court’s EWS judgment

NSS calls it victory of social justice, Syro-Malabar Church says verdict relief for neglected lot
Image used for representational purpose. A view of the Supreme Court.  (Photo | EPS)
Image used for representational purpose. A view of the Supreme Court. (Photo | EPS)

KOTTAYAM/KOCHI: The Nair Service Society (NSS), the Syro-Malabar Church, and the Kerala Brahmana Sabha --- all coming under forward castes in Kerala -- have welcomed the Supreme Court order upholding the 103rd amendment to the Constitution introducing a 10% reservation for the economically weaker sections (EWS) in admissions to educational institutions and government jobs.

NSS general secretary G Sukumaran Nair said the demand raised by its founder-leader Mannath Padmanabhan more than six decades ago has finally fructified with the apex court endorsing the decision.
“This is the victory of social justice. The apex court order is a recognition for the stand taken by the NSS right from the period of Mannam that reservation should be given not on the basis of caste, but financial status,” he said.

Archbishop Andrews Thazath, chairman of the Syro-Malabar Public Affairs Commission, welcomed the apex court order. He said the decision will be a relief for people from the EWS who were neglected in the reservation process until now. He hoped several financially weaker families from the Syro-Malabar Church, who have not benefitted from reservations, will start enjoying the fruits of the new order. The Syro-Malabar Church also thanked the Kerala government which implemented a 10% reservation for the EWS in the state. Welcoming the SC verdict, Kerala Brahmana Sabha state president Karimpuzha Raman, however, said progressive nations around the world do not have any reservation system.

“The ultimate decider for the job is based on the skill and education which one possesses for the job. Therefore, the need of the country in due course is to lay emphasis on the qualification and the training which you have to receive for a particular job,” he said.

In due course, there was the need to create a society where caste-based reservations are put an end to, and education and skill become the yardstick so that the nation could move forward in development,” Raman said.

Sukumaran Nair said the SC order would ensure reservations for all deserved people. “NSS founder leader Mannath Padmanabhan had submitted a memorandum to the then chief minister in November 1958 demanding reservation on the basis of financial status. However, those who enjoy undue benefits in the name of reservation were trying to silence the organisation by making fake casteism allegations. Now the financially backward people in the backward communities would realise the truth and would oppose undeserved people claiming their benefits,” Nair said.

Kerala Region Latin Catholic Council (KRLCC), in a press release, termed the SC decision “disappointing” and said it was against the welfare of society. According to KRLCC, two judges including the chief justice in the five-member SC division bench taking a stand against EWS reservation is relevant. Though the 103rd constitution amendment suggests a 10% reservation for EWS, it may rise to 20% in Kerala as the reservation is accounted for on the basis of total vacancies in the government departments. “This would cause an imbalance in the reservation system in the state, said KRLCC president Joseph Jude and general secretary Thomas Tharayil.

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