Monday, February 8, 2010

Reservations in haste responsible for HC verdict: Lok Satta

The Government itself has to blame if the High Court has struck down four percent reservations for Muslims in Government jobs and educational institutions.

Talking to the media, party leaders Katari Srinivasa Rao and Ishaq Khan commented that a Government, which acted in haste, would have to regret at leisure. In its eagerness to earn political mileage, the Government provided for Muslim reservations without doing its homework.

The Lok Satta leaders said that reservations to the backward among minorities would be in order so long as the total percentage did not exceed 50 percent, the ceiling fixed by the Supreme Court. A scientific study should have preceded reservations for the backward among Muslims.

The party leaders wanted the Government to ensure that the High Court verdict did not harm the interests of Muslims who had already availed themselves of reservations in education and Government jobs.

The Lok leaders pointed out that reservations are not a panacea for backwardness, since they benefited only a microscopic section. Backwardness goes only when every child irrespective of its accident of birth in a certain caste or religion gets equal opportunities to realize its potential. Every child should have access to quality education, health care, livelihood skills, and employment opportunities. By awarding ten percent grace marks in competitive examinations to rural as also urban poor students, the Government would enable them to compete with their urban counterparts.

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