HYDERABAD: Opposing the 124th Constitution amendment allowing implementation of 10 per cent reservation to upper castes for economically weaker sections (EWS), members of the civil society and activists have called for population-based reservation across different sectors. Speaking at the round table organised by Telangana Praja Front (TPF), there was a consensus among speakers on the need for increased representation for SCs, STs, OBCs, Muslims, and women across sectors.
“To boost equality and ensure social justice, reservation is needed but poverty based reservation is a blow to social justice and against the spirit of the Constitution. To remove equality, inequality has to be identified but when 95 per cent of the population hold less than 10 per cent positions of power in different sectors where is social justice? This additional 10 per cent quota will further shrink the share of the marginalised sections,” said N Krishna, president, Telangana Praja Front (TPF).
Prof PL Vishweswar Rao, former professor of Osmania University who also participated in the round table, said that there is a need for population-based reservation instead of one based on the poverty of a caste. Judiciary and central universities, for instance, have 92 per cent and 80 per cent upper castes.
“In 40 central universities across the country, there is not a single OBC lecturer. As per the BP Mandal Report despite constituting 50 per cent of the population, they are poorly represented in different sectors. And had recommended 52 per cent representation for the community,” said Prof Rao. Likewise, the Women’s Reservation Bill which was drafted 1990 has not even been discussed till now.
The demand for 50 per cent reservation for women in the legislature has also not found a place.
“SCs, STs, OBCs and minorities are fighting for reservation but these demands are not being focused. Only AIMIM and AIDMK didn’t support the bill. Others don’t realise that the Bill is not even going to benefit poor but will further strengthen the upper castes,” said R Krishnaiah from National BC Welfare Association.The TPF has decided to hold similar discussions across the State to raise awareness about the Bill, which will culminate in a bigger event in March.