Weaker sections oppose quota to Pahari people

JAMMU: The decision of the J&K Commission for Backward Classes (JKCBC) to recommend three per cent reservation for the Pahari-speaking people has opened a Pandora’s box as weaker sections have objected to quota on the basis of language.

editorial@tribune.com

Dinesh Manhotra

Tribune News Service

Jammu, November 14

The decision of the J&K Commission for Backward Classes (JKCBC) to recommend three per cent reservation for the Pahari-speaking people has opened a Pandora’s box as weaker sections have objected to quota on the basis of language.

“This is sheer violation of the Constitution because there is no provision of granting reservation on the basis of language or region,” said RK Kalsotra, chairman, confederation of SCs, STs, OBCs organisations. “By indulging in such tactics, the PDP-BJP government is trying to deprive the genuine weaker sections of their constitutional rights,” Kalsotra said.

Some days ago, the JKCBC had recommended quota for the Pahari-speaking people despite the weaker sections, including SCs, STs and OBCs, being against reservation on the basis of language.

“J&K is the only state in the country where successive ruling elites have brazenly misused the Reservation Act to provide quota to the undeserving people at the cost of the deserving weaker sections,” Kalsotra said and pointed out that giving reservation on the basis of backward area was already in violation of the Constitution.

Noted tribal scholar Javid Rahi, who has worked on reservation for years together, has questioned the mandate of the JKCBC to recommend reservation for a section of society on the basis of language.

“The job of this commission is inclusion or exclusion of castes as the OBCs. I am surprised how the JKCBC can recommend reservation for the Pahari-speaking people,” Rahi said, adding, “As of now, the commission is incomplete because of the total seven, only three members, including the Chairman, have been appointed.”

“The biggest question is who are Paharis? Even inhabitants of Jammu district are claiming that they are Paharis. How can the government deny them reservation?” Rahi asked.

“Appointing a retired bureaucrat as the Chairman of the commission is in violation of the apex court judgment on the Mandal Commission report in 1992, in which it was directed that only serving or retired judges would head the Backward Classes Commission in the states. The PDP-BJP government is hatching a conspiracy to deprive the OBCs of their basic rights,” said KD Verma, an OBC leader.

About the Bill

The Bill proposing five per cent reservation to the Pahari-speaking people was passed by the state legislature in August 2014. It was then sent to the Governor

On January 5, 2015, the Governor had returned the Bill for reconsideration of the legislature under proviso to Section 78 of the J&K constitution

The Bill was forwarded by the Assembly to the Law Department and then to the Social Welfare Department, which clarified the queries and then sent it further to the JKCBC for its observation

The JKCBC recommended 3 pc reservation for the Paharis 

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