Jat Reservation in Haryana
It refers to renewed agitation by Jats in Haryana on issue of reservation. With Supreme Court having quashed reservation for Jats, it is indeed a tricky situation to be handled. Vote-bank politics coupled with muscle-tactics in agitations demanding reservation makes Union and state governments usually succumbing for reservation of certain communities even though these communities might not deserve such inclusion in reserved categories. Complete policy of 'Reservation' is in itself a big failure when it could not homogeneously mix people of reserved-categories in the society in stipulated 15 years initially fixed by constitution-makers and now for about seven decades after independence! In present era, policy of reservation is itself responsible for alienating persons of reserved categories from normal society by making them identified separately.
If reservation is to be continued indefinitely, all reserved categories like SC, ST or OBC should be merged into one single category with an annual review of progress or benefits made by different castes/tribes by virtue of Reservation. Communities with maximum postings/admissions may be deleted from reserved categories by taking these as creamy layers, leaving opportunities for reservation for really deserving backward categories. Also since backwardness in reserved categories is due to their generally having large families, benefits of reservations may be reserved for persons/families with upto two children only. Present system makes professional politicians (and their family-members) from reserved categories enjoy fruits of reservation policy despite their being ultra rich and influential in politics and society.
Madhu Agrawal, Delhi
BJP President Amit Shah in a live TV-interview in Hindi to a leading English news-channel on 21.02.2017 has revealed that BJP is gearing to be totally cashless in terms of funding by June 2017. If being cashless is possible for country's largest political party, then it should be made a rule for all political parties, without waiting for a never-to-be achieved political consensus or expecting voluntary initiative by other political parties in this regard. But while BJP President whole-heartedly supported complete transparency in regard to political funding, Union finance minister acted reversely in the Union Budget for the year 2017-18 by announcing issue of electoral bonds by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) though only through banking transactions, but having complete secrecy about those having purchased these bonds or parties having been funded through such electoral funds. Since such opaqueness in political funding is likely to induce bribing ruling political parties either at centre or in states, central government should honour views of ruling party Chief for complete transparency in political funding by deleting secrecy clause in respect of electoral bonds both for contributor and for receiver.
It is time to withdraw exemptions under section 13 A, 80GGB and 80GGC under Income Tax Act regarding contributions made to or received by political parties, also giving rise to mushrooming registered political parties not even contesting elections just for whitening black money through such undesired exemptions. Revenue so earned will be available for national development and public welfare, which is far more important than such undesired tax-exemptions. Also Election Commission should be empowered to register non-serious political parties not having contested any election in last, say six years.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal, Delhi
Vol. 49, No.36, Mar 12 - 18, 2017