Balancing Social Justice: SC/ST Creamy Layer

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Reservation needs a rethink for providing the needy the helping hand.

The Supreme Court is currently entertaining a petition on banishing the SC and ST candidates who fall in the creamy layer from availing the benefits of the reservation policy meant for the social upliftment of the castes falling in the schedules.

The move dates back to the birth of the new republic which believed in doling out social benefits to one and all in the society. The Mandal commission and VP Singh years are still remembered as there has been a wide debate on the basis and the need for reservations in all.

Today, the Indian society is going through the same ages of history where the issues of caste and reservations are debated rigorously on all the platforms of social discourse.

Need for Reservations:

The State tried to provide a level playing field to the downtrodden castes, and tribes by providing them support from the State, wherein they got the opportunity to pursue higher education at affordable prices, and also got employment under the State owing to their depressed background.

The reservations came as a blunt attack on the social ostracization that remained in place for so many years, because of which the communities that were subjected to it lived deplorable lives. The benefits were also doled out to people from the backward classes, that were dominant at one point in time, but due to lack of social opportunities failed in gaining education and employment.

All in all the move was aimed to create a better social and economic parity while at the same time it became a vote getter for the political parties.

Scenario Today:

Since almost two generations have had the opportunity to gain inclusion in modern education and employment, the communities that got the benefits of reservations may not have shown an upward trend altogether, but those who got the benefits, have outshone others. Their children today stand in a better position than their ancestors, and to everyone’s opinion do not deserve any favourable treatment from the State.

While those people belonging to the communities getting reservation, remain in the need of urgent help who have no means to even reach the platform to avail the benefits of the reservation policy because of their condition that could not change substantially.

Future:

With the Supreme Court dealing with the issue, and the creamy layer in the OBC already being barred from availing  any benefits from the reservation policy, the matter deserves a value judgement now for the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.

We saw the Patidars, and Jats agitating on the streets for reservations, therefore taking a cue from the recent events, we must focus on the larger section of the people who though under the umbrella, but are not available to reap the benefits of the social benefits granted to them .

Thus, the Supreme Court must consider that in the times when the government claims to have put in place a tax compliant and transparent regime, it will be easier to grant benefits to those who are in actual need of the benefits.

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