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

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The ‘Ideal’ of Political Reservation

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The political reservation for Scheduled Castes (SCs) has been an issue of continuous affirmation and contestation, right from its conception and its subsequent inception in 1950. The contestation has either been about the efficacy of the system of political reservation or the authenticity of those who held a genuine SC certificate. The most recent dispute in regard to the authenticity of caste certificate involving two members of Parliament (MPs) representing reserved constituencies from Maharashtra is the recent example in the series of such disputations that have been taking place not just at the higher levels of representative bodies but at the local levels as well.

Disputes regarding the inauthenticity of caste certificates have always been subjected to a long-drawn litigation process causing damage to the sense of our social justice. “Faking” political reservation by using fraudulent documents, however, forms just one side of the problem; the other side is related to the poor performance of those representatives who seem to have failed the system despite holding authentic caste certificates. The performance of the SC MPs from these reserved constituencies, which are protected from open electoral competition, by and large, has fallen short of the social justice visions and egalitarian expectations. Although, political reservation at the local levels has been seen by some commentators as an opportunity to be converted into an asset like transferring material benefits to the SC population.

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Updated On : 17th Jul, 2021

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