Bhopal: Samanya Pichda Alpsankhyak Kalyan Samaj (SAPAKS Samaj) this past Sunday showed its might and joined a huge protest rally against reservation in promotion in Ratlam, a district headquarter in the central Indian State of Madhya Pradesh.
The rally was organised by SAPAKS (Samanya Pichda Alpsankhyak Adhikari Karmchari Sanstha) – an association of government employees from the unreserved category.
SAPAKS is opposed to Reservation in Promotion and the existing caste-based quota system for jobs and higher education. SAPAKS is for reservation on economic basis and is now a State-wide movement that’s getting nation-wide support.
Ratlam district has Mandsaur District to the north, Jhalawar District of Rajasthan to the northwest, Ujjain District to the west, Dhar District to the south, Jhabua District to the southeast, and Chittorgarh District of Rajasthan to the east. Ratlam is a big industrial hub and has a place in history as one of the first commercial towns in Central India.
The message from Ratlam after Sunday’s rally is loud and clear – people are fed up of the reservation system and would settle for nothing less than “reservation on economic basis”.
The unity displayed by the people of Ratlam, cutting across caste and religious lines on Sunday, should force the politicians, who have continued to play vote bank politics through reservation, that the clock is ticking and their days are numbered if they refuse to see the writing on the wall and act in the right direction.
A new political party- The Ugta Suraj Party – formed recently in Madhya Pradesh by some leading members of society, is also opposed to vote bank politics and fully supports SAPAKS and its demands. People from all sections, including dalits, have started joining this new party as they are getting convinced that only about 1 to 2 per cent of the SCs and STs are cornering the entire benefit of the reservation system, whereas majority of the weaker sections continue to suffer the agony of poverty, backwardness, lack of education facilities and employment avenues, beside poor delivery of essential services.
People, especially the government employees belonging to the unreserved category and their family members, are completely disillusioned with the present Bharatiya Janata Party regime in Madhya Pradesh since it has refused to obey the Jabalpur High Court order declaring as null and void and unconstitutional the 2002 Madhya Pradesh Rules for Reservation in Promotion for the SCs and STs. Vast majority of State Government employees are angry and frustrated as they are being denied promotions while their juniors with poor service record have been promoted and placed above them. To make matters worse, the State Government has gone in appeal to the Supreme Court against the High Court order and has done everything under its command to delay the proceedings in this matter in the Supreme Court of India. Consequently thousands of employees, despite their seniority and merit, have retired from service without getting their promotion.