Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 13 April 2021 12.29 AM IST

Ploy against Reservation…


Reservation is not a government’s kindness. It is a right promised by the Constitution. Reservation is the atonement of democratic governance for having indulged in the economic, social and intellectual exploitation of those who for centuries have been excluded from any seat of power in the name of caste. It exists at the official level and in the electoral arena. How many Scheduled Castes would have seen the Assembly and Parliament if there was no reservation in the elections. How many backwards could have worked in the secretariat and so on.

The Devaswom Board, in which 90 per cent of the forward community members are currently working, had once clamoured against reservation, citing that it may affect the quality of service delivered. But they themselves later stood for reservation among the forward class.
Though the number of aristocrats who want a tea shop owner’s son always to be a tea shop owner and a toddy tapper’s son always to be a toddy tapper is declining, unfortunately they are still the steering the wheel of many departments. Even if the government decides for the welfare of the backward people, when it is implemented, they will undermine it.
Kerala has seen all this many times in various government departments and in the administration of the university. Kerala Kaumudi has always upheld the journalistic duty to raise its voice against such injustices.

Even at the time of the formation of the Kerala Administrative Service, the government had taken a stand that there should be no reservation in the two streams of this service. It may be that some high-ranking bureaucrats might have tried to mislead the government. But this attempt was foiled by reports constantly published by Kerala Kaumudi. The newspaper also got some inputs from some IAS officers from the backward community in preparing the report.

There are three ways to reach KAS. Those who have written and passed the examination directly, Second Stream for Officers below Gazetted Rank and Third Stream for Gazetted Officers. Of these, the government initially allowed reservation only for the first category. The government was of the view that those in categories two and three had already received reservation benefits and therefore reservation should be allowed for those category. Those who do not think much may find it fair.

Some organizations that go to court against reservation have made the same point. However, they conveniently concealed the fact that all the three categories came from the same written test and interview. We have pointed out in the reports that the different reservation system for those who are writing the same exam is unfair and will not exist in the courts. And so it happened.
The Kerala Administrative Tribunal and the Hon'ble High Court granted reservation in three streams. With that, the government issued an order legalising this. A community organization appealed to the Supreme Court against this. Kerala Kaumudi the other day published an important news, citing that the government is playing hide and seek without filing a counter affidavit despite the Supreme Court order in this case.

KAS Reservation: Attempt to sabotage it from top rung officers. This was a report written by Prasanna Kumar. Now we come to understand that the government, realizing the impact of this report, has directed the Senior Counsel in the Supreme Court to submit an affidavit immediately. That's very good. But a coup can happen at any moment if one does not keep his or her eyes and ears open. Especially if it’s a flawed affidavit. Jaideep Gupta, a lawyer, is appearing for the government in the case. The same lawyer is appearing in the Supreme Court on behalf of Shivshankar. The main finding in our report was that Jaideep Gupta did not appear online or object when the case was taken up on Feb 16. The court did not accept the petitioners' demand that the KAS reservation proceedings be stayed.
The court didn’t accept that plea only because of the strong intervention of senior advocate Indira Jayasinghe who appeared on behalf of the Social Justice Forum; Joshi is the co-ordinator of the forum.
Indira Jayasinghe usually do not attend without a fee of Rs 25 lakh. However, the advocate appeared for a nominal fee due to the intervention of a prominent person in the legal field in Kerala. It is a shame that even the sincerity shown by them was not seen in the government headed by CM Pinarayi Vijayan.
We can just hope that the government would submit an unfailing affidavit pointing out the inability to cancel the reservation. We can just hope as expectations are the impetus to move forward in life.

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