The Reservation Debate and the Hypocritical Misuse of Article 335

Devi Dayal

"Article 335 of our constitution states that the claims of the members of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes shall be taken into consideration, consistently with the maintenance of efficiency of administration, in the making of appointments to services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or of a State"

There is no doubt that it is necessary to maintain efficiency in administration to achieve the best performance in every aspect to give the necessary thrust for the progress of our country. Since its inception, the topic of reservation is highly debated and these debates have resulted in the general perception that performance of our country has been hampered only due to reservation. Further advancing the debate to the next level many 'intellectuals' have concluded that inefficiency in administration arises only due to reservation for S.C. & S.T. This version uses the support of Article 335.


Can this be really true? That the performance of our country is hampered by reservations for S.C. & S.T? After 65 years of independence, we have not managed to construct sufficient warehouses to preserve foodgrains or have cold storages to preserve fresh produce. We don't have sufficient "talented" M.P.s/M.L.A.s who would work with the parliament/legislative assembly to frame the best policies for the progress of our nation. We don't have sufficient 'talented' bureaucrats who effectively implement the policies of government so we can achieve the targets and we also do not have sufficient technocrats as required by Indian industries.

It is totally wrong and mostly hyped that inefficiency in administration arises due to reservation for S.C. & S.T. Reservations does not have any negative effects on the progress of our country. Here I would like to attempt to show the real picture. The progress of any nation is measured by its industrial and technological achievements. The real story is that after 65 years of independence our country is still running on foreign technical knowledge, equipment and machinery.

For now, I will focus only on the private sector, where reservation is not available. For example: the Reliance petrochemical refinery at Jamnagar uses Hydrodesulphurization plant, Catalytic Reforming Unit, Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit from U.O.P.(Honeywell) U.S.A., Delayed Coker Unit from Foster Wheeler Inc.(Switzerland)., Sulphur recovery unit from Black & Veatch Pritchard (U.S.A.) and many other imported technologies.

Next, Tata Motors: In 1954, it started with a technical collaboration with Daimler - Benz AG. Currently the CR4 & DICOR Engines have been developed by AVL Austria, which are fitted in the Tatas' passenger cars & SUVs. Their 'global' truck Tata Prima is equipped with a Cummins engine (U.S.A.), the cabin of the truck designed by the Italian company, the gear box is from USA/Germany, chassis from Mexico, sheet metal dies imported from Japan/ Korea -- so what is the role of Tatas in innovating / developing the Tata Prima truck? Tatas have imported so many technologies for the production of their vehicles and other products.

Next, Hero Honda, now Hero MotoCorp Ltd. It was started in 1983 in technical collaboration from Honda Motors, Japan, and the two split up in 2011. They are still using the technology of Honda on a royalty basis and will continue to do so until 2014. For the future, Hero MotoCorp has tied up with AVL Austria for developing the new engine for their motor cycle.

The Ashok Motors was founded in 1948 with the collaboration of Austin Motor Company, England, for assembling the Austin car. Later they collaborated with Leyland, U.K. to import, assemble and also manufacture the Leyland trucks. At present, Ashok Leyland have so many technical collaborations with foreign companies-- like Hino of Japan for engines, ZF of Germany for local manufacture of ZF 9S109 (9-speed synchromesh) gearbox, and John Deere for manufacturing the constructions equipments. Their newly 'invented' Neptune engine, fitted on their U- trucks, is also developed by AVL Austria.

We produce everything like steel, fertilizers, water purifiers etc by using the foreign technologies and equipments. Even the edible salt (for which Mr. Gandhi undertook the historical 'Dandi' March) is produced with foreign technology from Akjo Nobel of Netherland. The story of M & M, TVS Motor and Bajaj Auto follows the same pattern.

These few facts clearly show that the private sector is totally built up and run with foreign technical collaborations and equipments. The private sector without the barrier of reservation should have been an ocean of creative innovation! In spite of that they could not develop or innovate their own technologies & machineries and continuously waste money on purchasing foreign technologies & equipments. Do they have the ability to invent their own technologies? I will say: "They certainly do not." But still they pretend to be geniuses who are held back because of reservations. They deliberately quote the article 335 to undermine the credibility of S.Cs & S.Ts. No impact of reservation can be seen either on private sector or public sector, as they both are extensively running with foreign collaborations & equipments.

Please stop falsely proclaiming and boasting that only upper castes are bearing the sole burden of progress of our country, and the Scheduled castes & Scheduled Tribes have done nothing other than being a hindrance. It is totally wrong and most hyped misinformation. For them, I would, I would like to quote a Hindi proverb: 'Kabul main sirf ghode hi nahin hote, gadhey bhi hote hain'

Article 335 was promulgated in 1949. When persons of Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes were totally deprived of education, access to public utilities and forced to do slavery for the upper castes. After 65 years of independence nothing has changed, social hierarchies still prevail. Upper caste still wants to treat persons from S.C. & S.T. as only their slaves, so they never heartily accepted the Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes in employment.

They are always arguing about equality only in employment but not for equality in sharing of agricultural holdings which they have grabbed in majority, while the only option for people from the S.C. & S.T. communities is to work for them as agricultural labourers. Further, it is strange that incomes from agricultural holdings are neither taxed nor clubbed with the creamy layer limits.

It is a bitter truth that people from S.C.s & S.T.s are always deliberately discriminated against, discouraged and humiliated by scornful remarks in every sphere. Being in all kinds of tough situations and having limited resources they are trying to do their best. They need to be given proper recognition and the tendencies to undermine the credibility of S.C. & S.T. persons must be stopped.


Er. Devi Dayal, Shivajinagar, Jhansi (U.P.). 

Cartoon by Unnamati Syama Sundar

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