Mumbai To ensure that the benefits of reservation reach all the deprived communities who have to compete with the “better off” within themselves, the grandson of Dr BR Ambedkar and former MP Prakash Ambedkar has decided to launch a unique campaign to advocate rationing of quota.
“Let those families who have not received the benefits of reservation get preference over those who have already improved their lives because of reservation,” Prakash Ambedkar told The Indian Express. “Even if one member of a family has claimed reservation benefit, his claim should be kept aside till the first-timers get it,” he said.
Ambedkar has organised a meeting of academicians, bureaucrats, litterateurs and social activists at Dadar on Saturday to launch the campaign.
“There is a need to do this because we have noticed that while there are families in which several members have got education and employment using the quota system, there are many where even a single member is yet to get the benefits,” he said. “Those entitled but living in the rural areas and slums find it difficult to compete with their brethren who have hogged the benefits all these years,” he said.
His party, Bharatiya Republican Paksha Bahujan Mahasangh (BRPBM), would take up the issue in the interest of the extremely deprived sections, he said, adding, “We’ll begin by asking for one reservation benefit per family norm… once it is claimed by any member of the family, the family should lose its ‘first preference’ status and another family who has never claimed the benefit gets preference.”
He said that the BRPBM was already collecting data on how quota benefits were getting concentrated. “Let us start with SC reservation and then take up ST, nomadic tribes and OBCs,” he said, claiming that it would ultimately lead to equitable distribution of benefits among the oppressed communities.
When it was pointed out that it would vitiate the atmosphere as those enjoying the benefits would not like it, he said, “Let them get angry. They have become selfish and most of them don’t even feel that they owe something to the community Some even try to conceal their origins as they are ashamed of it.”
Ambedkar’s gesture comes at a time when his own community (the Mahars-turned-Buddhists) is being accused of grabbing the maximum benefits, thereby depriving the less privileged ones. The community, which considers Babasaheb Ambedkar its hero, is the most militant among the Dalits and is the most educated among the oppressed classes.
Sources said that Ambedkar is trying to forge a statewide front of Dalits, Muslims and OBCs on the eve of the assembly elections.