ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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On the Maratha Reservations Judgment: Part II

Apart from holding the Maratha reservations unconstitutional, the Supreme Court also interpreted the 102nd amendment to take away the power of state governments to designate communities as “socially and educationally backward classes.” This particular aspect of the Court’s judgment is poorly reasoned, goes contrary to the express provisions of the Constitution and threatens to upset well-set principles and practices in relation to reservations in India.

On Maratha Reservations Judgment: Part-1

The Supreme Court’s constitution bench judgment striking down the Maharashtra government’s reservations for Marathas has affirmed and applied well-accepted tests laid down in the Indra Sawhney judgment. However, it has also missed an opportunity to re-examine the artificially imposed 50% limit on reservations in jobs and seats. The justification for retaining the same, however, could also affect reservations for the economically weaker sections.

New Reservation Policy

Is the reservation policy earmarking a 10% quota for the economically weaker sections of the “general category” empirically founded and justifiable? An analysis of 445 premier higher education institutions finds that this section of students already had about 28% of representation—that is, close to three times the proposed 10% quota—in these institutions in 2016–17. This finding raises questions as to the relevance and possible impact of the proposed policy.

The 'Silence' of the Marathas

The signals of the silent Maratha morchas are loud; the Maharashtra government must act.

The Gujarat Vote Share Trend Conundrum

The Bharatiya Janata Party may seem invincible in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat. However, the staggering numbers in terms of the party's vote share and seats in the state assembly tell a very different tale. Right from the first time it came to power on its own in 1995, till now, this article chronicles the BJP's eventful journey in Gujarat.

Addressing Caste Prejudice

“Oh...you will get a job, because you are an SC,” I used to hear this from my neighbours from the Other Backward Classes (OBC), Thiyya castes. Some used to treat us “lower” than them. “Oh you people get stipend, so you can study” is another sentence Dalits used to hear from anywhere in Kerala. OBC...

Fair Representation of SCs/STs

As we have progressed, various caste groups have agitated for their share in reserved quotas either as Other Backward Classes or Extremely Backward Classes. We have seen violent conflicts and social unrest over this issue. However, recent developments and statements by certain actors, and the...

Safai Karmis of Uttar Pradesh

A study of the operation of the Safai Karmi Scheme of the Uttar Pradesh government reveals the apparent weakening of the age-old link between caste and occupation, with Other Backward Classes and even upper castes competing with Scheduled Castes to secure the job of a sanitation worker in villages. Another significant fact which comes to the fore, is the struggle for power in the safai karmi unions between OBC and the numerically superior SC workers, with the former trying to establish their dominance, reflecting the nature of caste politics at play in the state.

'Representation' of OBCs in Higher Education

This article is a response to Jaya Goyal and D P Singh's "Academic Performance of OBC Students in Universities: Findings from Three States" (EPW, 1 February 2014). It challenges the claim that the Other Backward Classes are not under-represented in education and also the attempt to redefine representation as understood within the context of reservation policies. The author was also a part of the study on which Goyal and Singh based their article.

Caste in West Bengal Politics

It is difficult to agree with Praskanva Sinharay’s argument (“West Bengal’s Election Story: The Caste Question”,EPW, 26 April 2014) that “caste” is emerging as a “determinant” factor in West Bengal’s political scene. The association of some “Matua” leaders with dominant parties like the Trinamool...

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