The ongoing clashes between two communities in Rajasathan has once again brought to the fore the contentious issue of caste-based reservation in our country. The clashes erupted between Gujjars (who are demanding to be included in Scheduled Tribes category) and Meenas (who already enjoy the benefits of reservation) deciding to take law into their own hands and getting into clashes with Gujjars so as to oppose their demands for reservation. This has literally paralysed eastern part of Rajasthan. So much so that 17 MLAs (belonging to the Meena community ) of the ruling BJP in Rajasthan have threatened to resign if Gujjars are given reservation! On the other hand, Gujjars from across the country are rallying up to support their Rajasthani brethern. The caste-based solidarity is a well known trait which we all Indians seem to have in our genes and we never shy short of exhibiting that! So much for the nationalism!
This is yet another illustration as to how divisive the reservation issue has become. It is causing incalculable damage to the the fabric of our unity and we must find a way to end it over several years with an alternative mechanism for social justice taking over. The politicians have failed to show us the vision, but clashes and choas is also not a solution. The social scientists, the intelligentia and the public at large must take the initiative and compel our law-makers to do something regarding this. Catse- based reservation is also a reflection of inhumane way of classifying people, and thus clearly discriminatory. I donot know what were the merits of a class- based society in ancient times, but it is totally out of sync with the realities of modern times! Whereas the world is rising to the tides of a “global village”, it is time to shun this practice. And an official way of doing this is to get rid of caste-based reservation.