The Bold Voice of J&K

‘Reservation of seats, special representation were to cease after ten years’

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By Daya Sagar

A Look Through The Mist

Article 334 of Constitution of India (1949) said “Reservation of seats and special representation to cease after ten years. Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this Part, the provisions of Constitution relating to – (a) the reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in the House of the People and in the Legislative Assemblies of the States; and (b) the representation of the Anglo-Indian community in the House of the People and in the Legislative Assemblies of the States by nomination, shall cease to have effect on the expiration of a period of ten years from the commencement of this Constitution:Provided that nothing in this article shall affect any representation in the House of the People or in the legislative Assembly of a State until the dissolution of the then existing House or Assembly, as the case may be.”But Reservation of seats and special representation are still there even after nearly 70 years, what does this indicate?
From the contents of Art-334 even an ‘infant’ mind can well read that intentions of the Constituent Assembly/ the elders who drafted the Constitution of India keeping their special provisions for the time being support to be provided to some socially & educationally (administratively) weaker sections of the Indian society in Independent India so as to free them from the shackles of social and educational backwardness ( particularly all forms of discrimination of caste and creed that the Hindu society had boldly accepted to be there in ). It will not be out of place to mention here that the final touches to the constitution as was drafted by the Constituent Assembly were given under the guidance of Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (B. N. Rau was appointed as the Constitutional Adviser to the Constituent Assembly in 1946 for structuring the Constitution and initial draft was prepared by February 1948, thereafter it was on29 August 1947 that a 7 member Drafting Committee was appointed with Dr B. R. Ambedkar – the then first Law Minister of Independent India – as the Chairman)..There could be no one better than Baba Saheb who could have the real feel and judgement of the quantum of support to be provided to some segments of our society so as to strengthen them socially and educationally.
In 1950 it was expected that the leadership in Independent India would be able to make India free of undue neglect meted to some castes / sects of Indian society who were suffering from social and educational backwardness.But the Indian leadership in democratic India failed to stand to the expectations of the “elders” and going by the amendments that have been made to the Constitution of India over 7 decades the social and educational backwardness that was targeted to go in ten years by Indian elders like Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar by 1960 has not gone and so far the constitution has been amended six times so as to extend the provisions upto 2020 (95th amendment act 2009, whereby the reservation will now cease after 70 years ).
It is worth taking note here that the special provisions like reservations in legislature / services / education have been extended beyond 10 years not only for those who were in 1950/1956 specified as the castes, races or tribes or parts of or groups within castes, races or tribes for the purposes of COI to be deemed as Scheduled Castes or who were specified as the tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within tribes or tribal communities for the purposes of COI to be deemed as Scheduled Tribes but instead many more castes / classes have been included as SC/ST and additionally as OBCs( other backward classes) for the purposes of reservations in government services/ government educational institutions. Going by these indicators the social and educational backwardness has instead grown after 1947 in Independent India. Not only that more sects / groups are coming every next day demanding OBCs status and hence the reservation support; even the communities who believed in Islam and Christianity are demanding now religion based reservations since they are still ‘shying’ from honestly accepting that was not only the Hindu society where social discriminations were faced by the weaker sections.
Had the Christians and Muslims accepted that the weaker sections there too faced social neglect, may be no one would have objected to including castes, races or tribes or parts of or groups within castes from amongst them also in SC for the purposes of COI there by increasing the percentage of reservations for the SC beyond 15 %. But instead they have been demanding reservations in services and education institutions on basis religious minorities ( Christian, Muslim ) well knowing that in the Constitution of India there is no provision / scope for such reservations and that too ignoring the fact that in the Constitution of India even for the SC/ST also under Article 334 of Constitution of India (1949) “Reservation of seats and special representation were kept to cease after ten years of 1950. On one hand the religious minorities talk of protections given to them by the Constitution of India and on the other hand they demand reservations on the basis of religion for which there is not even a bit of provision in the constitution.
( Daya Sagar is a Sr Journalist and a social activist can be reached at [email protected])

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