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

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March for Backwardness

The Marathas’ Transition from Competition to Concession

Overviewing the historical trajectory of the demand for the reservations for Marathas, the background conditions for such demand are sought be explained. The nature of the agitation for reservations and the political response to the agitation are analysed.


Assertion, agitation and protest for and against reservation policy in India have a long history which began in the closing years of colonial rule1 but continue in a much more intensified form even after the independence (Bose 1981). In the most recent times, there have been many interconnected developments that occurred across the states in India as well as in Maharashtra. Across the states, several middle order social/caste groups like the Jats, Gujjars, Patel and Kapus have been agitating for reservation and demanding that they be included in the quota system that has been implemented in the country right from its independence. In such agitational politics, the Marathas2 from Maharashtra have been another intermediate, but dominant caste3 group to assert demand for reservation in public employment and educational institutions.

However, the recent Maratha assertion for reservation has been significant in historical sense and quite unique in its articulation and expression of the demand for reservation. It is unique on accounts of the silent mode that the leaders of the agitation adopted in order to push their demands. It has historical significance since at one point in time Marathas were against the very idea of reservation (Omvedt 1981). Now, in the most contemporary times, they have shifted their stance and are agitating for reservation for themselves. This shift in the Maratha position on reservation compels us to address the following questions.

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Updated On : 10th Jul, 2021
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