Flaws in Reservation Policy

After many years, India got Independence, and after the Constitution came in force, various Depressed caste of Hindu Religion got Independence from the  Upper Caste. The era of living with respect was brought to light when the Constitution provided equal opportunity in jobs and equal representation in all fields. It is also true that reservation led to a change in the social status of backward classes. Per contra, the poor and both socially and educationally backwards belonged to the general category but not get the equal opportunity, only because some upper-class people have ruled for centuries and exploited the lower casts.  When the Constitution was framed the reservation was limited because the Framers of our Constitution feared that it is not the reason for the breakdown of society in the future but, its limit exceeded from time to time. Now, this purpose is being fulfilled today due to lack of our far-reaching leadership. if the reservation should be, then it also includes those who are deprived, whether they are from any caste.those people should get incentives who deserve but who is capable why should be given unnecessary advantages. Its only a misfortune to be said that a section of the population is deprived of this right, while he is really backwards both economically and socially. That’s the reason behind the migration of creamy minds towards a foreign country.


“It is against the fundamental principles of humanity, it is against the dictates of reason that a man should, because of birth, be denied or given extra privileges.”

                                                                                               -Mahatma Gandhi[1]

Ancient India the Vedic Period(1500-1000B.C.) did not have social stratification based on socio-economic indicators. rather, citizens were classified according to Varna or caste. Varna defines the hereditary roots of a newborn, it indicates the colour, type, order or class of people.[2] 

The first mention of the word “varna” is found in Purusha Sutkam verse of the ancient Rigveda.  Aryans have described themselves as black and black to the slaves, and over time the word indicates profession and based on business in the Varna system was divided.  It was then rigidly developed and taken for granted the basis of birth in place of occupation, which resulted in the formation of Varna Jati.

As far as the Rajput age came, the traditional letters were divided into different sun-castes. The spirit of untouchability was fully developed, and the Hindu society is still struggling to get rid of it.

In the Mughal period, a variety of Hindus were developed, and Hindus all over India divided into thousand. The British who had come again proved a good advantage that the Hindu community was divided among many castes.  It was a major contribution of the principle of divide and rule which served as a fulfilment of British political Ambitions . while they were trying to divide the Hindus among Muslims and Hindus among Muslims and converted to the people to Christianity in south India and northeast India with Bengal through deportation, he ruled successfully for more than 200 years. But that is not the only truth. The truth is even more terrible. After the 1857 revolution, he had begun widening the gulf between the Hindus and Muslims


An arrangement in which something such as on an aircraft or a table at a restaurant is kept for you.”[3]

In simple terms, reservation acted as a boon for our country development and individual rights.

Dr Ambedkar highlights the inequality and injustice in our society “On the social plane, we have in India a society based on the privilege of graded inequality, which means elevation for some and the degradation of others. We must remove the contradiction at the earliest possible moment, else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of the political democracy which this assembly has laboriously built up”.[4]

Reservation is one of the tools against social oppression and injustice against certain classes. Otherwise known as affirmative action, reservation helps in uplifting backward classes.

Post Independence, the Constitution of India identified and listed the depressed class into Schedule tribe and Scheduled caste. Our framers of the Indian Constitution believed that due to this caste system various caste which we know SC and ST did not get equal rights and they were exploited. It was the prime reason the depressed class people got reservations or relaxation in Government jobs and educational institutions.

The first dispute related to reservation came out when Chamapakam Dorairajana filed a case against the state policy to a reserved seat on a communal basis by the government of Madras [5]

Pre Constitution Period

In the present time, the Caste system is like a  stigma on Hindu society.  

  जन्मना जायते शूद्र:, संस्काराद् द्विज उच्यते। -मनुस्मृति[6]

That means man comes in the form of Shudra(Chota) and from the rites itself he became a double born(second birth). Many people consider this dwija is to be a Bhramin community, but many of BhraminC are not dweejdhari. In the ancient Vedic period, any person belonging to any caste or community was free to become a Brahmin and is free to this day.

Varna system is an unbreakable bond in the Hindu religion from ancient times. Firstly the Book Manu Smriti told us about the Varna system.

  1.  Jyotirao Phule-  William Hunter and Jyotirao Phule in 1882 initially originate from the caste-based reservation.

  2. Communal Award- This is also a milestone decision in the way of reservation. British Prime minister Ramsay Macdonald16th Augusted this award on 16 August 1932 after the second round table conference. According to this award, the British Indian Government provides separate electoral college to Dalit, Muslim Sikhs, and others. Seats in the assembly are reserved for Dalit and other minority community.

    The Communal decision was another example of British police ‘Divide and Rule’. Congress and other Nationalists are against this decision. Mahatma Gandhi was greatly disappointed by this decision.

    Mahatma Gandhi saw the communal decision in the form of an attack on national unity and Indian nationalism. He believed that it was a danger to both the Hindus and the depressed classes. He said that no provision had been made to improve the social condition of the depressed classes. Once the status of a separate community was accorded to the backward and downtrodden, the issue of removing the disabilities would be backward, and the process of reforming Hindu society would be obstructed.
  3. 24th September Poona Pact – On 24 September 1932  B.R. Ambedkar negotiated the pact with  Mahatma Gandhi at  Yarvada central Jail Pune. British government permitted this agreement in the form of an amendment of the Communal Award. The separate electorates for the depressed class were abolished, and in the governing assembly, the untouchable were kept under Hindu Fold. The Poona pact made a Dalit as a political weapon.

Post Constitution Period

On 26th January 1950,  when the Constitution came to force all the social evil are abolished and provide equal rights to all even some more rights provide to the depressed class, provide reservation in the field of education and employment.

Right to Equality

” The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of laws within the territory of India Prohibition of Discrimination on the grounds of religion race caste or place of birth.”[7]

There are two principles of Article 14

  1. Equality before law- Equality before the law is an English common law concept and a negative approach which means all are equal, no one is king or clerk, anyone has done an act which is not legally justified are equally treated.

    According to this approach, any kind of discrimination is violated article 14. According to this principle, reservation is also a bais decision and violative of Article 14, reservation policy is discrimination on the base of caste.

  2. Equal protection of the law- It is an American concept and a positive approach that says that the laws enacted for unequal people are not the same. Differentiate the needs of different people who live in different conditions, for the betterment of society. The sub-clause said that we afford these types of law to give equal protection to those people who lived in unequal situation.it is for the betterment of society.

    Per contra, According to this approach, reservation is not the violation of Article 14 because parliament has the power to enact the different laws for people living in different conditions. The depressed class are lived in a different condition, in those circumstances they lived, and those situation which he faced are not normal, it is necessary to proper encouragement for that caste. It is the duty of a welfare state and a civilized society. Discrimination is based on reasonable and fair. There are the intelligence differentia and rational nexus between the desired end(State of Bombay v F.N. Balsara).[8]

Flaws Of Reservation Policy

The old-age caste system is responsible for the originated the reservation system in India.   Reservation in India is the most debated and controversial topic. The reservation came in effect in India when the Constitution came into force. The main motive behind the reservation is to empowered that society which is depressed for centuries. This decision taken by DR. Ambedkar and other authorities was a revolutionary change in the country.

Dr Ambedkar address to the constituent assembly is relevant in this context “[9]on the social plane, and we have in India a society based on the privilege of graded inequality which means elevation for some and degradation of others. On the economic plan, we have a society in which some have immense wealth as against many who are living in abject poverty. On 26th January 1950, we are going to enter into this life of contradictions. In the political sphere, we will have equality, and in the social and economic sphere, we will have inequality. We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which this assembly has so laboriously built up.”

Rights were given to the underprivileged so as to give new direction to himself and to his society.  The reservation was kept for a limited period, but it is being extended from time to time. From time to time the voice raises against the reservation because those deprived class who are now well educated and full of resources are now enjoying the benefit of reservation but those general class people who are poor, there is no grace upon him. In a recent judgment, the honourable court held that reservation is not a fundamental right.

Mandal Commission

On the 20th December 1978, Morarji government established a commission in the chairmanship of Bindeshwari Prasad Mandal. This was a fire that changed the map of Indian Politics. These movements had become a strong weapon of gaining power and changing power. The entire Hindu was divided in the name of racialism.  The Government did not implement the report of the commission, but when the Vishwanath Pratap Singh government came in power the implement the provision of the report, the reason behind the implementation was, there was a conflict arise between the Devi Lal and V.P. Singh, to save his political fortune V.P. Singh government announced 27% of the reservation.[10]

There are various drawbacks in the report of the Mandal Commission:-

  1. Mandal commission identified a total of 3743 backward class, and it was also admitted that surveys were carried out only in 0.06% of the village.
  2. Other than Gujarat, no other state had given any important information.
  3.  Mandal commission criticizes the Kaka Kalekar report, but various provisions of the report were adopted.
  4. There was no explanation why they adopted the 1961 census when the 1971 census was already available.[11]
  5. The Mandal commission also relied upon the 1931 census for computing the percentage of Backward class when the Burma and Pakistan was the part of India.[12]

The report was challenged in the Court

The Supreme Court fixed the upper limit for the combined reservation quota, should not exceed the 50% limit.[13]

The 77th Amendment Act

The 77th amendment Act was to provide the reservation in promotion to the deprived. After amendment Article 16(4)(a) was added in the Indian Constitution. The Constitutional validity of Article 16(4)(a) was challenged in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court held that for the validity of the reservation policy 3 requirements are to be satisfied:-

  1. The SC/ST are socially backward;
  2. Not an adequate representation in public policy;
  3. Shall not affect overall efficiency in the administration.[14]

Reservation in promotion is an injustice to those people who achieve the position with efforts and doing his job honestly if this kind of talent will be limited, this is a big loss of the country.

The 103 Amendment Act

The 103 Amendment Act, officially known as Constitution (one hundred third amendment) Act 2019, introduced 10% reservation for Economically weaker sections of society for admission to a Central government-run educational institution and private educational institution and for employment in a Central Government job. 10% reservation to General class those who are economically backward. After the declaration of this decision, then the limit exceeds the limit of 50%. Reservation is like a weapon that is used by the political parties from time to time. Overall more than 60% of the population enjoyed the benefit of reservation. Why should any government talk about the end of the reservation and make his vote bank angry?

According to Article 16 “ Equality of Opportunity in matters of public employment” there shall be equality of public opportunity for all citizens in the matter relating to employment to or appointment to ant office under the state. No citizen shall on the ground only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence and any of them be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect of, any employment or office under the state.

When the question arises before the Court, Who deserved the reservation under Article 16(4), the Court fixed two conditions:-

  1. Backward class both socially and educationally;
  2. Not Adequate Representation in service under the State.

If these conditions are fulfilled then reservation will provide.[15]

According to Article 16, No discrimination on any basis caste sex etc. but reservation is the best example of discrimination. In India, 1/3 of the population is below the poverty line, and all the people who are below the poverty line belong to all religions and caste not only the SC/ST.  over the 70 years, the right of reservation alive, its limit was fixed which escalated from time to time,  and other various people who do not belong to backward society but they are educationally and economically backward, what about their future.

The Government takes decision appropriately, and this should be based on the principle of equal protection of the law the person who is eligible for such grace should be on the same. According to the principle, if the situation is different the laws are different, it doesn’t mean that only the SC/ST are lived in that situation, any of the people of family are economically and educationally backwards, they also have a Right to encourage.

Migration of Talent

At present, India is facing the challenge of migration of talent. The CEO of various Multinational company is Indian. Satya Nadela and Sundar Pichai are the most common names. They are the chairperson of companies whose wealth is more than the GDP of various countries, they successfully running it.. It may seem to be yourself that there are how many opportunities in India that a 43-year-old youth can become a government-owned institution and chairperson in a company. One who truly deserves to be here is not getting enough job opportunity, better career option is making them migrate to foreign countries where they are offered a handsome amount for their skills. Many times you have worked under the unqualified senior because there is reservation in promotion also, at least this type of problem not faced abroad, there is only fair respect of talent.

Contradicting Secularism

This has increased the distances between the castes, the youth who was beyond discrimination today is disheartened for not getting the honour despite being a talent.


Reservation has been a disputed issue in our country. The issue of reservation has remained a cause of disagreement between the reserved and non-reserved section of society. The most disputed thing is, the creamy layer of the reserved segment is enjoying special privilege in the name of the reservation and the poor of General class are not entitled to any privilege like SC/ST. Reservation is a good thing it also helps to reduce the gap between the rich and poor.  Our constitution is based on the equality and social justice, all the people are equal and reservation is one of the parts of this equality, it is an essential part of equality in India because only equal right provide is not the fulfilment of equality but the equal partnership of depressed class, to achieve the goal is also equality. Reservation is a far method of positive discrimination for the benefit of downtrodden and economically weaker section of the society But it doesn’t mean under its guise we violate the right of another who is entitled.  When it tends to harm society and ensure privileges for some at the cost of others then a brawl takes birth. Politics made it quite patchy, and our representative doesn’t want to make any more worthwhile efforts, either there is an equal procedure for all or decide the economically or educationally backwardness, not based on caste-based on people who are entitled so that another Rajiv Goswami does not try to suicide.








State of Bombay V F.N. Balsara 1951 AIR 318,SCR 682

Ambedkar writing and speeches 184-87

Sixteen stormy days, Penguin2020, 45

Balaji v State of Mysore 1963

M Nagaraj v Union of India 2006.

Courtroom Genius,(first published 2012 Lexis Nexis 2019),192, 194-195

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a reservation?
  2. Have the existing reservation for the backward class is effective or not?
  3. What are the Constitution provisions related to the reservation?

[1] https://www.manupatrafast.inuulrc.remotex.in/pres/personalized.apsex

[2] https://www.ancient.eu/article/1152/caste-system-in-ancient-india/

[3] https://www.dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/reservation

[4] Ambedkar writings and speeches 184-87.

[5] Sixteen stormy days, Penguin2020, 45

[6] https://www.books.google.in/books

[7] https://www.indiankannon.org/doc/367586/

[8]  State of Bombay v F.N. Balsara 1951 AIR 318, SCR 682

[9] https://www.shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/166672/8/08/_chapter%204.pdf

[10] Courtroom genius,(first published 2012 Lexis Nexis 2019),192

[11] Courtroom genius,(first published 2012 Lexis Nexis 2019), 194-195

[12] Courtroom genius,(first published 2012 lexis Nexis 2019) 194-196

[13] Indira Sawhney v Union of India

[14] M. Nagraj V Union Of India 2006

[15] Balaji v State of Maysore 1963

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