People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 08, 2007
SFI Demands Govt to Take Steps to Nullify the Stay Order
R Arun Kumar, president and K K Ragesh, general secretary of Students Federation of India (SFI) has issued the following statement on March 30.
It is unfortunate that the Supreme Court has stayed the implementation of 27 percent of reservations for the OBCs in central educational institutions. We demand the government to immediately take all the necessary steps to ensure that the law providing 27 percent reservations in central government education institutions is implemented from the coming academic year onwards (2007-08).
It is surprising for a two-member bench to stay the implementation of reservations for OBCs when a bigger 9-member bench had in fact earlier allowed for the implementation of reservations for OBCs (excluding creamy layer) in employment on the basis of the Mandal Commissionís recommendations. Moreover, many states are already implementing reservations for the OBCs in their respective states on the basis of a comprehensive list of the OBCs. This can be the basis for the implementation of reservations in the central education institutions.
It is unfortunate that the arguments of the appellants that reservations divide campuses along the lines of caste find a mention in the Courtís order. The fact of the matter is that Indian society has strong lines drawn on the basis of caste. Reservations are not the cause for it nor will they be. To state the contrary is like saying that womenís reservation will be dividing the society on the basis of gender or stating that any action to wipe out racial discrimination will increase apartheid, which is not at all true. Reservations, even though to an extent only, will help in overcoming the social and educational backwardness of those sections that are pushed down the social ladder for centuries together.
Any popular law can be termed as catering to a section of the society and thus easily called as vote-bank politics. It might also be true that parties in power enact legislations to ensure that they return to power in the next elections. If such legislations are to the advantage of the unprivileged in the society there would be nothing wrong in them and this should not become a reason to stay them or annul them.
It is very unfortunate that the Supreme Court has stayed the implementation of reservations for OBCs in central government education institutions when there is a growing demand for the extension of reservations in private educational institutions and industries. The government should immediately take steps to nullify the stay order of the Supreme Court and ensure that the legislation passed unanimously by the parliament comes into force immediately. The government should pass a legislation providing for reservations even in private sector in the on going budget session itself-a power it derives from the constitution of our country through the 93rd amendment. (INN)