Skip to main content

Failure of reservation policy? 72% adults in UP, and 52% in Delhi, haven't heard the term "aarakshan", says survey

Awareness of reservation policy (%)
By Our Representative
A recent “social attitudes and perceptions” survey has surprisingly revealed that though reservation system in India is prevalent in the country ever since the Constitution came into existence in 1950, a whopping 52% of 1,270 adults in Delhi and 72% of 1,473 adults in UP have not heard of the word “reservations” or “aarakshan”.
Revealing this, a Research Institute for Compassionate Economics (RICE) scholar, Nidhi Khurana, says, “Only 38% of women in Delhi and 16% of women in UP had heard of it, compared to 56% of men in Delhi and 39% of men in UP”, adding, “The gender difference in the awareness about government programmes such as reservation policies is a matter of great concern.”
“These serious gender disparities are compounded by educational differences”, Khurana notes, adding, “Among educated (beyond class X) adult men and women, 74% in Delhi and 61% in UP have heard of reservations. Among those who studied (up to class X or less), 29% of adults in Delhi and 20% of adults in UP have heard of reservations.”
“However”, Khurana points out, “the situation becomes more complicated and challenging when the beneficiaries are unaware of the benefits they are entitled to. In Delhi, only 37% of adult Dalit men and women have heard of reservations. UP also presents quite an abysmal situation. Only 19% of adult Dalit men and women have heard of reservation before.”
Yet, interestingly, says Khurana, reservations are “highly criticised on the grounds of merit, with those who oppose it seeing it as unqualified Dalits replacing meritorious candidates in all fields, which is doing more harm than good to the country.”
Thus, according to her, “Of those who have heard of reservations, 71% of adults in Delhi and 40% of adults in UP oppose the policy. Among people who have heard of reservations and oppose it, 24% of adults in Delhi and 32% of adults in UP say they do so on account of merit.
The survey, says Khurana, further found that “among people who have heard of caste-based reservations, 29% of adult men and women in Delhi and 60% of adult men and women in UP support caste-based reservations. Among those who have heard of reservations and support it, 18% of adults in Delhi and 17% of adults in UP do so for the development and welfare of reserved castes.”
The survey comes amidst social activists and experts already taking the view (click HERE) that there is a need to “drastically reform the present entitlement-based reservation policy”, pointing towards how it has only “helped create a new middle class among the Dalits”, with large sections simply left out.
Taking part in an Ahmedabad workshop two years ago, Gagan Sethi – heading Ahmedabad-based rights organisation Javnikas – insisted that a “vulnerability index” should be worked out to “identify the most vulnerable individuals and sections suffering because of social and caste-based discrimination.”
Sethi said, “A poor Brahmin widow is definitely more vulnerable than a Dalit IAS bureaucrat”, Sethi asserted, adding, “As of today, the only category of Dalits whose life has not changed even little, and continues with its caste-based occupation, and suffers untouchability is the Valmiki community, involved in the despicable practice of manual scavenging.”
Supporting the idea, Prof Ghanshyam Shah, well-known sociologist, added in the workshop, “Only those who have received education up to 10th or 12th take advantage of reservation, as for the rest – who form 90 per cent of the population – are nowhere part of it.”
A 2006 book by Shah and co-authors “Untouchability in Rural India”, taking a similar view, said that while there may have been important improvements in recent decades because of reservation, equal treatment has certainly not been achieved. There is a critical need to revise, refine and improve reservation policy in India depending upon its dynamic needs.

Comments

TRENDING

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Gujarat link of controversial US doctor who 'forced' WHO quiz Trump's wonder drug

By Rajiv Shah
A top American doctor, Sapan Sharankishor Desai, born and raised in the “affluent” North Shore (Chicago) region of Illinois by Indian parents, at one point of time involved in NGO activity through  dedicated to “improving” the lives of the impoverished in Gujarat, is in the eyes of a major international storm following his paper (retracted) in a “Lancet” questioning Donald Trump-promoted drug hydroxychloroquine.

Border conflict? RBI nod India's 'brotherly' help to China internationalise its currency

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
In the middle of a global pandemic, China started an unprovoked border conflict with India. It unraveled trust deficit and ties between the two neighbours. As thousands of Chinese troops tried occupying Indian territory, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government directs the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow the Bank of China to start regular banking services in India. The Bank of China will now operate in India like any other commercial banks.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.