Youth for Equality, an association of Dwij youths, dismissed the news attributed to the association itself, suggesting that they were against reservation on economic basis. Clarifying its stand, the association said that the poor Savarnas should get reservation within the 50 per cent quota set aside for Dalits, OBCs and Adivasis. It is noteworthy that the association has been campaigning to do away with the OBC quota and for reservations to all sections of society based on their economic conditions.
Kaushal Kant Mishra, the head of Youth for Equality, told FORWARD Press, “We are in favour of reservation on the basis of economic condition but the news that spread appeared to convey that the media believed we were against it. We have been fighting for reservation on economic basis. How is it possible that we would oppose the first decision made to grant reservation on economic basis instead of considering it our success?”
On the basis of reports published by various media outlets, FORWARD Press too published the news that Youth for Equality had filed a petition in the Supreme Court against Savarna reservation. However, when FORWARD Press contacted Kaushal Kant Mishra, chief of Youth for Equality, on Friday for confirmation, he said that the media had got it wrong. He said he would be holding a press conference on Saturday (12 January 2019) to tell everyone the truth.
Kaushal Kant Mishra said: “We certainly object to the decision to increase the total reservation quota to 60 per cent from the 50 percent fixed by the Supreme Court. It should kept it at 50 per cent. In other words, poor Savarnas should be included among the existing beneficiaries of the 50 per cent quota.”
He claimed: “It is absolutely possible to replace the caste basis of reservation with economic basis and this would do away with the danger of contempt of court. At the same time, reservation will start benefiting those who really need it. We are hopeful that the judiciary will pay attention to our argument for economic basis instead of caste basis so that everyone gets an equal base to work from.”
He said: “Youth for Equality strongly opposes the clause in the 124th Amendment Bill to grant 10 per cent reservation to poor Savarnas that says the reservation will apply to private educational institutions. This is absolutely wrong and will cause talented students to leave the country. The number of talented students going abroad will increase substantially and there will be a lack of talented students in the country.”
With this clarification, it is now clear that the anti-OBC stand of Youth for Equality is intact. Its demand for reservation on economic basis has more to do with reducing the OBC quota than the interest of the poor Savarnas. It wants the 10 per cent quota for the so-called poor Savarnas to be carved out of the 27 per cent OBC quota. Now that the government had carved out 10 per cent seats for the poor Savarnas from those available to the General category, Youth for Equality fears that the OBCs will demand reservation in proportion to their population.
Translation: Anil Varghese
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