DO politicians really desire or plan to create a growth engine which can provide basic needs (jobs, shelter, clothing and bread) for generations to come, or do they plan to only distribute largesse to feed the greed of voters to keep themselves floating come what may. India has to debate how long political parties and its leaders will be allowed to dole out the State exchequer in lieu of votes? Do they want to make Indians indolent? The government is not an isolated institution; it’s the formation of a structure collectively decided by the people to be governed. If the very assertion of the government is destroyed by communities, groups, and institutions, then the governance of India is in peril. The issue of reservation in government jobs is again cropping up across the country and especially by a very powerful and influential community, the Jats.
gfiles cover story is focused on the clamour for reservation by the Jats. Our ace writers, Shubhabrata Bhattacharya, MK Shukla and Alam Srinivas have deliberated why such a powerful community needs a reservation of jobs in the government? Where are the jobs? The way the government is adopting the outsourcing model, government jobs are shrinking. About 2.15 crore people are currently on government rolls. This includes both central and State government employees, excluding defence personnel. Data available with the Union government, based on the 2011 Census, shows that the number of employees working under the central government is 30.87 lakh. Hence, the balance 1.85 crore employees are working under the State governments. India has 1,622.8 government servants for every 100,000 residents. This ratio is the lowest in the world. For running an efficient administration, the ratio advocated is around 3-4 per cent. If the ratio for good governance is sought to be maintained, the government alone can create two crore jobs. Many studies show that jobs filled by reservations don’t bring about the desired efficiency and results. Why are Indians not talking about better higher education and healthcare, so that a level playing field is created for all citizens? Agitating communities should ask themselves, have they been deprived and exploited in the society. Reservation is sought by those who are weaker, deprived and exploited; those who cannot stand on their own and need the crutches. Instead, maybe, these communities should make their children more tech savvy and competitive for ever expanding new vistas.
One has to look at the belly of the fire. Famous psychologist Abraham Maslow describes the hierarchy of needs viz physiological, safety, love/ belonging, esteem and self-actualisation and self-transcendence. If one observes the agitated communities across India, whether they are Jats, Patels, Kapus or Marathas, majority are just searching for one need of self-actualisation and self-transcendence. In Delhi and across India, a different set of political masters have emerged. It appears that agitated communities are not able to acclimatise with the changing colours of power. These communities appear to opine that they are not meant to be ruled, but to rule. Prominent Jat leader, Chaudhary Charan Singh, used to say that all reforms culminate through political power and strive for it. The paradox is that there is no credible face to guide, motivate and cajole the communities; there is a leader.