Can Reservations And India Bloom Together? Essay

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The subject of reservations is a vast one, in terms of a historical account. A great deal has been written against reservations policies since the acceptance of the Mandal Commission Report in 1991 in favour of reservations in higher education and government services for the other backward classes of India. To look on the position in the foreign states, Americans, were influenced by the Indian experiment and ‘affirmative action’ was introduced in the 1960s with a view to giving a share to the discrimination African- Americans, Native Americans and other ethnic minorities. Other countries of Europe and America including Great Britain are now thinking along the lines of some reservation or affirmative action for ethnic and other minorities who are victims of discrimination by the dominating groups.

In the Indian context, reservations were introduced during the last decades of the 19th century at a time when the subcontinent could be broadly divided according to two main forms of governance British India and the 600 princely states. Some of these princely states were progressive and eager to modernize through the promotion of education and industry; and by maintaining unity among their own people, like Mysore in south India and Baroda and Kolhapur in western India. Thus, the very first records of implementing reservations policies are from these princely states.

Though it was only with the arrival of Ambedkar that the minorities acquired a leader of stature and education who could also make a political difference. The question of reservations was also discussed in the round table conferences and provisions were made in the Communal Award of 1935 in spite of opposition by Mahatma Gandhi. Ambedkar was appointed member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council and he submitted a memorandum titled, ‘On the Grievances of the Scheduled Castes’. The scheduled castes were allowed 8.5 per cent reservation in central services and other facilities for the first time in the...

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