ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Uttarakhand Agitation and Other Backward Classes

Uttarakhand Agitation and Other Backward Classes Emma Mawdsley IN July 1994, a mass movement began in the eight hill districts of Uttar Pradesh against the imposition of 27 per cent reservation for the other backward classes (OBCs), and for a separate hill state of Uttarakhand.1 I have been doing research on regionalism in the Uttarakhand since 1992, and was engaged in fieldwork in Garhwal and Kumaon from January 1994 to February 1995. This paper is not a substantive exposition of my research findings, but rather seeks to address one aspect of the agitation, namely, the claim from some quarters that these recent troubled events in Uttarakhand are anti-backward in nature, and have been fuelled by sentiments of 'anti-reservationism'. Although this is just one among the many issues and interests raised by the Uttarakhand agitation, it is not an arcane one for two reasons. First, there are significant practical implicationsof being labelled 'anti-rcscrvationist' for the people of the Uttarakhand region. Second, within the wider context of prescriptive analysis in both regionalist discourse and questions of reservation, these contested details are important.

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