ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Art of Self-deception

The government’s decision to provide reservation to Marathas lacks sincerity of purpose.

The Maharashtra government’s decision to provide members of the Maratha caste with 16% reservation in education and state employment has led to two qualitatively different responses from, one, the potential beneficiaries, and two, the state government. The potential beneficiaries, arguably, are quite desperate to express their overt and covert disapproval to the efforts that seek to subject the decision to judicial endorsement. They are anxious to see the implementation of the decision working in their favour with immediate effect. However this desperation, even if understandable, cannot justify taking recourse to violence or illegal acts. The state government, on the other hand, appears to be quite enthusiastic to claim credit for the decision and its implementation. The government’s enthusiasm is evident in the steps that it has taken. These include the state governor’s almost instant signature on the bill, the start of the Mahabharati (the mighty recruitment drive) programme and issuing of caste certificates to members of the Maratha caste.

The Marathas’ keenness to ensure the implementation of the reservation must be seen in the context of the treatment of the subject by various preceding state governments. These include the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)–Shiv Sena coalition government which treated the issue of reservation with uncertainty and indecisiveness. In this regard, it has to be kept in mind that the series of mammoth morchas that the Maratha youth organised over the last three years, in fact, were aimed at the removal of this uncertainty and indetermination. This impatience has a moral significance inasmuch as the Maratha youth have paid the social costs involved in the process of this mobilisation. Arguably, some may view the sincerity of efforts ultimately leading to the realisation of their legitimate purpose. Those who either covertly or overtly do not favour the need for legal endorsement of such a division, are in a way giving the government the moral advantage of sincerity of purpose. This sense of generosity could be explained in terms of the need to find a respite from the acute problem of unemployment. It was dealt with by way of empty promises, which this government seems to have in surplus.

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Updated On : 17th Dec, 2018
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