Dispensation of Social Justice must be the prime agenda of the State Governance of our land, the population of which have been discriminated in the name of god and religion for so many centuries and remain segregated unequally with gradation in the social hierarchy. The founding principle of the independent Republic of India is to establish egalitarian society ensuring justice – social, political and economic to all its citizens. The dispensation of Social Justice is of manyfold and on many fronts. One of the tools to dispense Social Justice is the provision of reservation to the discriminated masses in education, employment and legislatures both in the States and at the Centre. The provisions of reservation is not mere a means of attaining economic remuneration and a decent living but it is aimed at the empowerment of the socially enslaved people during the past centuries.
Provision of reservation may look apparently discriminating the people which is unfair. Discrimination of the people who are equal in all respects is not fair; but discriminating the masses who are already discriminated is fair and right very much in all its perspectives.
Original discrimination still remains inhuman, whereas the compensatory discrimination, commenced less than 100 years back, is desirable very much and welcome to offset the already existing social discrimination in the society. It is akin to the approach of prescribing the poison as a mode of medical treatment to cure the worse disease. Yes; the human discrimination through reservation process is like the prescription to cure the social disease of inhuman discrimination and the resultant segregation. The theory behind the reservation policy in equitable.
When the theoretical and logical facts remain like this, the practice of the reservation process has been facing lot of resistance and distortions from the social monopolists who had been enjoying the privileges resulted out of the original discrimination and who continue to be more privileged in the politically independent environ of the country.
Again it is the struggling exercise, predominant by agitation path to make the rulers, both at the Centre and the States implement the provisions of the reservations in true letter and spirit. When the State executes the reservation policy, there are two aspects involved in it. One is implementing the existing executive orders and rules effectively and another is enabling or enacting newer provisions or executive orders to extend the operation of the reservation policy in the areas, so far not subjected to. Besides ‘reservation’ has to be ensured not only at the entry level of education and employment but also in the higher level education and the elevated levels of promotion after the employment. Higher judiciary is the vital area where the reservation policy is yet to see the light.
Reservation exercise has been made applicable both in education and employment only in Government and Public Sectors. The globalization of economic policies and reform processes initiated by the Government two and half decades back have narrowed down the scope of reservation due to shrinking in Government sector. Privatisation has become the progressing direction of the Government. So reservation policy would be meaningful only if reservation gets extended to private sector both in education and employment. Suitable legislations or executive orders have to be issued to ensure reservation in private sector too.
Besides, the executory exercise of the State, reservation policy has to be monitored by a special independent body with Constitutional sanction and with a provision of penalising the erring personnel in the implementation of reservation policy in its true dictum.
Democratic polity is for the people of the country and the more the discharge of responsibilities by the legislators (State & Central), elected by the people. For the implementation of enactments passed in the legislatures for the cause of social justice – reservation, some sort of immunity must be created to overcome the hurdles put against the speedier and effective implementation of the reservation policy. A separate schedule in the Constitution has to be created for Social Justice to place the enactments, related to reservation policy so that they cannot be scrutinised by the judiciary.
To carry out all these progressive deeds, the political will on the part of the rulers is required. Whatever the political will in the rulers prevails or not but it has be imparted in them by the reservation entitled masses of the country who are in majority. If the political rulers are not favourable to the cause of social justice, it has be engineered in them or in case of reluctance to carry out the task, they have to be replaced with the suitable alternative through the election mandate.
To focus on to the attention of the political rulers, to remind and consolidate the masses of beneficiaries, Dravidar Kazhagam, the guardian body of social justice, founded by the social revolutionary, Periyar EVR has convened a two day State Conference on Social Justice and Eradication of Caste & Untouchability on 19-20, March 2016 at Periyar World Thidal, Siruganur, Trichy, Tamil Nadu.
The current issue of ‘The Modern Rationalist’ – is being published as Special Issue – Social Justice which carries the advocacies of Periyar and Dr.B.R.Ambedkar, the contribution of the scholars, activists of social justice and from the representatives of the four pillars of democratic polity. We hope the special issue will remain a directing counselling and a document to tread further in the path of social justice to reach the under reached and unreached masses to accomplish equitable empowerment of all the enslaved people of this land!