Dalit politicians across party lines will meet Saturday to protest “anti-reservation” observations made by a Gujarat High Court bench earlier this month when it refused to quash the sedition charge against Patidar quota stir leader Hardik Patel.
The political leaders are likely to pass a resolution seeking to expunge the remarks made by the judge.
The meeting is called by Congress MP from Rajya Sabha Pravin Rashtrapal. BJP MPs Kirit Solanki, Vinod Chavda, Shambhuprasad Tundiya, former Union minister Yogendra Makwana and member of National Scheduled Caste Commission Raju Parmar, also a senior state Congress leader, are likely to attend the meeting.
Several social leaders from the Dalit community are also likely to attend the meeting called under the aegis of Mook-Nayak Samta Sangthan, a voluntary group of the SC community.
On December 1, a single judge bench of Justice J B Pardiwala passed a judgment on Hardik’s petition and quashed certain charges levelled against him by Gujarat police.
In para 62 of the judgment which runs into 68 pages, Justice Pardiwala observed, “ If I am asked by anyone to name two things, which has destroyed this country or rather, has not allowed the country, to progress in the right direction, then the same is, (i) Reservation and (ii) Corruption. It is very shameful for any citizen of this country to ask for reservation after 65 years of independence. When our Constitution was framed, it was understood that the reservation would remain for a period of 10 years, but unfortunately, it has continued even after 65 years of independence.”
“The biggest threats today for the country is corruption. The countrymen should rise and fight against corruption at all levels, rather than shedding blood and indulging in violence for the reservation. The reservation has only played the role of an amoeboid monster sowing seeds of discord amongst the people. The importance of merit, in any society, cannot be understated. The merit stands for a positive goal and when looked at instrumentally, stands for ‘rewarding those actions that are considered good’. Then, this instrumental nature of merit that should be given importance — emphasizing on and rewarding merit is a means towards achieving what is regarded as good in the society. The parody of the situation is that India must be the only country wherein some of the citizens crave to be called backward, “ the judge further observed.
The meeting will be held at the hall of Ahmedabad Medical Association on Ashram Road.
Speaking with The Indian Express, Rashtrapal said, “It was a matter related to personal behaviour of Hardik Patel. And in that the judge said that the constitutional provision of reservation was only for 10 years and that it was shameful that it had continued even after 65 years of independence. According to me, and we all, the limit of 10 years was only for Lok Sabha and Assembly seats and not about (reservation in) government service and education.”
“That particular paragraph (para 62) is criticising the constitutional provision (reservation) and it is criticising the entire Dalit society… We will pass a resolution after the meeting,” Rashtrapal said. Asked if they would move the court to get the observations expunged, the Congress MP said, “Yes”.
BJP MP from Ahmedabad (West) Kirit Solanki, said, “Reservation is a constitutional provision and why the court said so, I do not know. I am really surprised and shocked…”