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Is EWS actually beneficial to the Brahmins?

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Naganathan
Naganathan
I am a law student with a keen interest in social issues which stem towards the true Bharatian civilisation history. I wish to invoke discussions in public forums through my writings and am ready to accept constructive criticisms.

A background:

The present issue and tussle surrounding the upholding of the 103rd Amendment to the Constitution by the Supreme Court, which introduced the reservation policy under Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution for the economically weaker section other than those who are eligible for the reservation benefits deems it necessary to understand the nature of this policy and other ancillary outcomes.

The Economically Weaker Section (EWS) policy introduced via the 103rd Amendment to the Constitution in 2019 has amended the Constitution by including a new clause (6) under Article 15 and 16. Under the ambit of this amendment, special provision with respect to economically weaker sections of citizens who do not fall under the categories of citizens eligible for reservations, can be made with respect to educational institutions and posts and the maximum bar set on this special reservation is 10%. The following are the prescribed eligibility criteria for EWS of citizens:

  • Person is not covered under the scheme of reservation of SCs, STs and OBCs
  • Gross Annual Family Income does not exceed Rs. 8,00,000
  • Should not own agricultural land in excess of 5 acres
  • Residential flat should not be more than 1000 sq ft.

Before moving towards an analysis of the arguments, it is pertinent to look at the statement of objects and reasons behind the 103rd Amendment to the Constitution and the true legislative intent.

Statement of Object and Reasons:

As per the Parliament, the economically weaker sections of citizens have largely remained excluded from attending the higher educational institutions and public employment on account of their financial incapacity to compete with the persons who are economically more privileged. The benefits of existing reservations under clauses (4) and (5) of article 15 and clause (4) of article 16 are generally unavailable to them unless they meet the specific criteria of social and educational backwardness.

Moreover, the Government has adhered to the DPSP under Article 46 to provide for special care, the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and, in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation, through clause (5) of Article 15 and clause (4) of Article 16.

The Parliament is however of the opinion that it did not fully implement the mandate of Article 46 which was actually to provide for the benefit of economically weaker sections of the society and in nature of equality it has introduced the present 103rd Amendment.

Discussions:

The first argument against the EWS policy posed by media and other members of the society is that it is unreasonable, specific to only brahmins and provides benefits for the brahmins, who already hold a high position in society and through past experiences do not need any particular reservations. This argument fails at recognising that the EWS is posted specifically for those who are not covered by the reservation under SC, ST and OBC categories.

This does not only include the Brahmins but people coming under the General Category. The General Category includes the Kshatriyas, sub castes like the Rajputs, Vaishyas and sub castes like Marwaris, Jats, Khatris, Baniyas, Pathans, Patidars, Marathas, Kammanas, Reddys, Khandayats, Ahoms, Nairs, Indian Christians, Indian Muslims, etc. So, to make the argument against EWS specific to Brahmins is highly unjust and truly portrays their anti-Brahminical character, which frankly has been the nature of the society for time immemorial.

Another point which needs to be stressed upon is that these members are receiving this 10% reservation purely based on their economic status. The same has been given to the SCs, STs and OBCs much before and if the society which so opposes this EWS scheme is truly following the Constitution, it must compulsorily accept the socialist nature of this Constitution.

In addition, they must embrace this socialism in all spheres of their lives and must be unhesitant in accepting the position that irrespective of caste, category or position by birth, any person can come under the purview of being economically weak. There is no certainty that a person belonging to the General Category should always be economically well set and that a person belonging to the reserved category must be economically and financially unsound.

What will happen in a case where a person who is a Brahmin (considering with regard to relevance of argumentation in society), who is poor, not having the required resources, seeks education or employment and the State, in the name of protecting the rights of the reserved sections of citizens denies him this right, even after such an individual has passed the basic qualifications? Will it be right for a Socialist State to deny such an access? This is the essential and most important question which has been considered by the Parliament in providing such a reservation.

Another interesting argument arises from those opposing the EWS. In a situation where there is a person from the reserved category and a person from the EWS category, having similar qualifications for the job post, and due to the EWS, such a person is considered for that post, thereby, leading to the rejection of the person of the from the reserved category, will such a situation, not obliviate the constitutional mandate in providing reservation and protection of interests of the reserved sections?

To answer this, it is significant to understand that the post was given owing to the 10% of the seats which was allocated for the EWS category. Another quantum of close to 50% of the seats are freely available for the person from the reserved category, and additionally, he can even get the posting of the seat from the remaining general 40% of the seat, which is available for all. It is therefore, important to understand that person from the reserved section will not lose out on his reservation merely because of the EWS reservation.

Personal Comments:

The EWS may be beneficial for few who come within the 8 Lakhs per annum bracket. However, as a middle or an upper-middle class member from the General Category, who may be placed better economically will be put under greater duress. The already existing reservations vary from state to state and in some states, these reservations are upto 50% of all seats.

An additional 10% will lead to only 40% of the seats to be open for everyone, wherein, the reserved persons will also be able to fight for the seats. Hence, to answer the title of this blog in a crisp, the brahmins will not be benefitted as a group out of the EWS policy. It is high time for the reservation sequence to be eradicated in Bharat and move towards a Bharat, which gives preference to merit before class, to become the most developed country in the world.

The above points have been laid out in a broad approach and are not aimed at insulting anyone's sentiments. The author does not take any credit for the photo used in this article and the rights lie with the respective parties

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Naganathan
Naganathan
I am a law student with a keen interest in social issues which stem towards the true Bharatian civilisation history. I wish to invoke discussions in public forums through my writings and am ready to accept constructive criticisms.
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