Topic– Salient features of Indian society
1) A normative shift has taken place in the idea of reservation from how it was envisaged by the constitution as a tool of social justice. Critically comment.(250 words)
Why this question
In recent years, the number of protests by communities for getting reservation has seen a marked upswing. Various scholars have commented on the changed nature of reservation and the present article wonderfully explains how reservation has changed in nature, form, objectives etc from how it was envisaged by our constitution. This being an important and recurring topic in mains needs to be prepared.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to present our view on whether the idea of reservation has taken a paradigm shift from the idea envisaged by our constitution – as a tool of social justice, temporary, and provided to socially and educationally backward. Also it expects us to compare the current idea vis a vis the ideas espoused by Indra Sawhney judgment which was critical in evolution of the constitutional debates surrounding reservation. Our view on this is to be provided in our answer
Critically comment – When you are asked to comment, you have to pick main points and give your ‘opinion’ on them based on evidences or arguments stemming from your wide reading. Critically comment is also forming opinion on main points but in the end you have to provide a fair judgement.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Mention in brief about the various incidents where protests have been carried out demanding reservations by communities like Jats, Marathas etc.
- Explain the constitutional provisions regarding reservation, the idea behind it, the fact that it was meant as a temporary measure to correct the social injustices faced by socially and economically backward communities
- Explain how the concept has evolved over time courtesy the Mandal commission, Indra Sawhney judgment etc
- Examine the reality in present day as discussed in the article and also highlighted by scholars like Christophe Jeffrelot who hold that the demand for reservation is mostly related to economic grievances. Discuss other changes as highlighted in the article
- Give your view on the idea of reservation and its practice in current day based on your reading
Conclusion – Briefly discuss what should be the way forward.