Caste-based reservations: Ambedkar backed rethink on quotas… We’ve done nothing, says Sumitra Mahajan

“Ambedkar himself sought a 10-year review, we haven’t achieved the society of his dreams,” says Speaker.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Updated: January 24, 2016 7:08 am
caste politics, sumitra mahajan, rohith vemula death, rohith vemula suicide, hyderabad dalit suicide, hyderabad student suicide, india news File photo of Sumitra Mahajan. (Source: Express)

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Saturday advocated a “rethink” on caste-based reservations in the country, saying even Babasaheb Ambedkar had supported the same.

Addressing officials and representatives of local bodies at an event on smart cities here, Mahajan said, “Ambedkarji had said, ‘Give reservations for 10 years and after 10 years, do a rethink. Bring them to that stage’. We have done nothing. Even I am guilty of this… We have not thought about it. We do not contemplate why this (a rethink) has not happened.”

Share This Article
Related Article

Later in the day, replying to questions on her speech in Ahmedabad, Mahajan sought to clarify that she wasn’t expressing an opinion for or against the reservation policy. “What I am saying is we should also find out the reasons why we have not achieved the society dreamt of by Dr Ambedkar. We should ponder over the reasons for that also,” Mahajan said.

A few months ago, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s comment seeking a review of the reservation policy was believed to have hurt the BJP in the Bihar Assembly elections, and had prompted a series of clarifications from the party.

In October 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made it clear that there was no possibility of scrapping the reservation system, at a foundation stone laying ceremony in Mumbai for a grand memorial for Ambedkar.

Mahajan’s remarks come in the midst of the BJP trying to do damage control over its leaders’ remarks on Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula’s suicide in Hyderabad, which is seen as linked to caste discrimination. In Gujarat, the party has been facing protests by the wealthy Patidar community, whose demand for a quota for itself is seen as largely an anti-reservation campaign.

In her Ahmedabad speech, while seeking a rethink on caste-based quotas, Mahajan had narrated her experiences of a visit to Vitenam, saying, “In the last 20-25 years, they (the Vietnamese) have progressed so much that it can leave us surprised. At least I was surprised. Even after 60-70 years of Independence, we have not been able to eliminate casteism. Please excuse me, and do not take this politically.”

In the context of smart cities, Mahajan said removing encroachments in cities was a big challenge for the political class. “I understand that… If I displace somebody, then tomorrow there will be no votes for me; and if there are no votes, then how will I remain a representative? So what will I do? I will do nothing. In politics, votes are a priority… But I also need to display strength in removing the encroachments, and at the same time, providing all the facilities…,” she said.

Watch video: Suspended Dalit Hyderabad Student Hangs Himself: What Transpired

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. A
    Anshu Deepak
    Feb 28, 2017 at 8:36 pm
    Any statute commission ( nationally or internationally) to study / revision of reservation provision for SC/ST will surely recommend for it's extension for another 25 - 30 years. lt;br/gt;Reason : We've huge potion still vulnerable on socioeconomic from. Almost 25 crore ppl living life in below poverty line as per Indian standard of earning (Rs. 40 around per day). And Almost 55 crore ppl in poverty line as per UN standard of 1 USD per;br/gt;lt;br/gt;By this time the fact should've understood by at least educated indians...that , funds earmarked for reservation purpose have continuously been diverted amount were no way adequate to bring any substantial change. However good intention that's been enshrined in our consution...but corruptions never let it happened. And if it continued for some more decade then...this social -economic disparity will be the reason alone for the unity and integrity of this nation. lt;br/gt;55 Crore ppl living below poverty line a result of continued ignorance. lt;br/gt;It's a matter of shame for us .lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Get the mandate and decide the country policy.
    1. S
      Jan 8, 2017 at 7:54 am
      Rohit Vemula's suicide? He is neither an SC nor ST, why mention his name?
      1. J
        Jai Kumar
        Jan 24, 2016 at 6:34 pm
        Does reservation get rid of caste system
      2. A
        Jan 24, 2016 at 2:04 pm
        Correctly said .now its time to think to overhaul the reservation system.the fruits should reach the needy but not the fake ones .
        1. I

          Jan 24, 2016 at 12:19 am
          1. K
            Jan 24, 2016 at 12:06 am
            Facts first: 90% of the IITians are brahmins. 95% of IIT faculty are brahmins. brahmins get IIT seats by their connections with King WHISPERERS in central agencies. Central brahmin agents knew very well that the IITians will be taken care of by 95% brahmin faculty in IIT. Because brahmin faculty knew the reason of their own employment as central brahmin agents. Brahmin central agents also knew very well that none of the brahmin IITians will stay back in India after their study. They also know that India will be deprived of knowledge if patriotic Hindus(note: brahmins are NOT Hindus), patriotic Muslims, patriotic Christians, patriotic Buddhists are not allowed to study in IITs. And the central brahmin agents want to make more of their own brahmins as foreign working caste image boosting heads of foreign corporations which will provide more employment for future brahmin IITians. This has been happening since independence irrespective of which party is in the center. It is happening right now too, more so. Raw(pure) brahmins are responsible for all ill in the society. This is not going to stop. For raw brahmins, their foreign image is more important than national interest. To mask that truth from Indian people, they use every opportunity to SHOW OFF that they are more patriotic. One example is that brahmins falsely projecting Muslims as enemies of India and show that only brahmins are the real patriots. We all know who were the collaborators of foreign occupation of Indian sub-continent- brahmins, for which they got ministerial positions in their courts. Example Birbal in Akbar's court. Now the same brahmins are showing that they are against Moguls. If you do some little research one will easily come to know the consution of a ministry in any foreign power that had occupied India, including the British. All these days brahmins were fooling around, using so called filthy state craft of bugger character Chanakya. There seems to be no end to their treachery and criminality, all against law. And that is why they don't allow any reform in judiciary, or politics. Such criminals survive better in a criminal world. So their motto is: develop Brahmins for foreign, destroy indigenous skill and creativity. And that is the same reason India was never allowed to develop any technology what so ever making India ever dependent on foreign powers that gave employment to their brahmins. All this development propaa are BS.
            1. M
              May 19, 2017 at 6:15 pm
              Proof? If I am a Brahmin can you ure me a seat or employment in IIT's? It all sounds like non-sense Mr. Kum n, who has surve the castes in IITs to say 90 of IITians are Brahminical? I just want to know.
            2. F
              Jan 24, 2016 at 7:00 pm
              Kutti is Animals name if you didn't go to school, i k ow u dobt like some words like Dalit etx.... May be timw to learn!!
              1. F
                Jan 24, 2016 at 5:39 pm
                Modi n RSS will remove all reservation!!! Wake up india, RSS wants to rule indirectly!
                1. Load More Comments