Why Marathas are Demanding Reservation?

Marathas like Jats and Patels are a dominant caste with a powerful political and social background. But with the transition of time, they lost self-esteem and scummed to the lack of Education. Now, they are demanding 50 per cent of Maratha Reservation to strengthen their position again.

Background (After the Independence(1960s)):

  • Agrarian Caste – They were majorly involved in Agriculture and currently, own up to 75 per cent of land in Maharashtra.
  • Position Consolidated – With the implementation of Land Reforms and Green Revolution, they continued to hold dominance irrespective of their status due to:

  1. Numeral Strength
  2. Land Ownership
  3. Political Power

  • They did not obtain the benefits of Educational Opportunities as they didn’t need them.
  • They were Socially, Economically and Politically Dominant.

Current Status – Tables have Turned now

  • Agriculture is in Danger
  • Lack of Alternative Employment Opportunity, since they have limited skill education. The Marathas account for 32 per cent of Maharashtra’s population. 
  • Fixation with City life and its Benefits – Industrialization Globalisation and Urbanisation.
  • Skewed Sex Ratio (Men-Women Ratio Difference is high).

They cannot compete with the Upper Class in private jobs due to lack of education and they cannot compete with the Lower Class in government jobs due to lack of reservation. The Dominant caste 

(Marathas) is feeling relatively deprived and hence, asked for Reservation.

Maharashtra Government and Bombay HC:

The Maharashtra assembly unanimously passed a bill in November 2018 giving the Maratha community a 16 per cent quota in jobs and education by granting them the status of Socially and Economically Backward Class (SEBC). 

The Bombay High court affirmed the quota in 2019 but recommended that it be reduced to 12 per cent in education and 13 per cent in jobs.

The Patels in Gujarat and Jats in Haryana got 10 per cent of the reservation. All of them are fighting for a 50 per cent reservation across the country as states like Tamil Nadu (69) and Andhra Pradesh (66) have huge reservation quota.

The following efforts should be made instead of playing the game of Politics for the votes:

  • Enhancing Education and skill development 
  • Investment in Agriculture to make it lucrative for the youth
  • Expanding manufacturing sector which has a huge capacity to absorb labour.

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