In Indian politics, announcing reservation and quotas for different communities has always been an effective weapon utilized by political parties to lure their voter base. The “Quota Politics” has always taken the center stage in the Indian political scenario because it works wonders in the diverse, fragmented and occasionally polarized Indian society.
It was in 1990, when PM Vishwanath Pratap Singh announced reservation for members of lower castes in government jobs and educational institutions under the recommendations of Mandal Commissions. Reservation is proclaimed as the “affirmative action” upheld by Indian Constitution as well. It was the inception of quota politics in India, and the following 30 years have seen different political parties utilizing it to their own favour.
The recent announcement by BJP government of approving 10 percent reservation in jobs and higher education for “economically backward” sections in the general category only reaffirms the position of reservation politics in India.
It can also be called the “reverse Mandalization” of Indian politics because with this bill, BJP government has reversed the political narrative in the country. It also shows that this can be the desperate measure to lure its core voter base who is growing disillusioned with the BJP over Ayodhya fiasco.
Time would tell how much relevant this bill would be in influencing the 2019 Lok Sabha elections but there is skepticism whether this bill would really help those in need as it gives a reservation to any family earning less than 8 LPA, which is majority of Indian population.