Ramachandra Guha not in favour of reservation for Jats, Marathas & Patels

"I firmly believe that reservation for Dalits and tribals must continue," the historian also said.

By: PTI | Ahmedabad | Published:October 18, 2016 5:09 pm
(Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal) (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

Famous historian and thinker Ramachandra Guha on Tuesday said Dalits and tribals deserve reservation but did not favour its benefits for Jats, Marathas and Patels, whom he dubbed as “prosperous” communities. In his brief interaction with media after his address at the 63rd Convocation at Gujarat Vidyapith today, Guha also denounced attempts to abolish the reservation system.

“I firmly believe that reservation for Dalits and tribals must continue,” he said when asked to share his views about the ongoing stirs by Jats, Marathas and Patel communities in various parts of the country pressing for reservation in educational institutes and government jobs.

“There is no need for any review in reservation policy, as Dalits and tribals deserve reservation. Their issue is different from Jats, Marathas or Patels, who are prosperous,” he said.

“The government can manage the reservation system by reviewing the creamy layer, but reservation should be there for Dalits and tribals,” he said.

He also raised concerns about the violent protests by Jats and Patels.

“You can hold agitations, but there must not be any violence, such as setting fire to buses and vandalising shops. The method adopted by Jats in Haryana and Patels in Gujarat was improper,” said Guha.

While addressing students at Gujarat Vidyapith, founded by Mahatma Gandhi, Guha said some section of people in India are trying to impose the Hindu ideology on the entire country and turn it into a “Hindu-Pakistan”, which is against the preachings of Gandhi.

The historian said the country would have been in shambles but for its all-embracing approach.

“Today, we live in a time of rising religious fundamentalism. India may have broken and may not have survived as a nation if we had gone the way of Pakistan, which is an Islamic country, where Hindus and Christians are treated as second class citizens,” Guha claimed.

“Some people in India would like us to be a Hindu-Pakistan. But as long as Gandhiji’s memory is alive, that will not happen. We will remain a country committed to pluralism of religions and languages,” he added.

The writer also raised the issue of unrest in Kashmir as well as Naxal-affected areas.

“India is not a perfect democracy. There is deep discontent in some parts of the country. People of Kashmir as well as tribals have been treated very badly by the government of India,” he alleged.

“Had Naxalites or Maoists practised non-violence, then they would have had more success. But once they picked up guns, the conflict escalated. Ordinary citizens are sandwiched in the armed conflict, which is true for Kashmir, Manipur or Bastar (in Chhattisgarh),” said Guha.

Voices for caste-based reservations across the country have been gaining momentum over the past few months. The agitation related to demand of reservation for Jats in the OBC category at Rohtak claimed 30 lives in February.

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  1. S
    Oct 19, 2016 at 4:30 am
    I do not agree with the views of Mr. Guha fact he is not aware of the ground reality about Jats.I ask whether Jats are socially and educationally at par with Brahamins,lt;br/gt;Khatriyas,Kayasths etc.If caste/communities of Ex-PM Mr.Devegoda,PM Modi Ji,lt;br/gt;CMs of UP,BIHAR,MP etc.can be included in the OBC list why cannot Jats ........?lt;br/gt;Mr.Guha must note that statutory bodies i.e. state backward cl commissions oflt;br/gt;8 state have already recommended OBC status to Jats.Even Mandal Commissionlt;br/gt;found that Jats fulfill parameters for inclusion in OBC cl. Kindly do not play prejuidce and bias for Jats ... a patriotic and hard working community.Please supportlt;br/gt;for inclusion of Jats in OBC list at CENTRE LEVEL.
  2. M
    Oct 18, 2016 at 1:19 pm
    Guha may be a thinker. While trying to say about current status on what is happening, Guha is not actually attempting to give any solution. How many more years, these heads wil continue to shine holding these opinions. In my suggestion, spot the most deserved ( may be 5% in Dalits, 3% in tribals, 7% in other communities) give full support to lift their lifestyles.Bring them out of BPL level. Go w hog in funding them including housing, compulsory job for one in each family and stop the entire support after 5 years.lt;br/gt;Second year add another 10% with same ratio, add similarly for 3rd,4th, 5th year.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Stop the w scheme after 15 years.
    1. V
      Oct 18, 2016 at 3:37 pm
      The very fact that Patels and Marathas agitate for reservation on caste basis is an evidence that caste system is the backbone of Hinduism.If really they are against caste system they should also strive caste based rituals,rightsand discrimination.But they agitate only against reservation in the organised labour sector which covers only one percent.The remaining jobs are in unorganized sector which is fast dwindling.