India is committing a suicide through a slow poison of reservation, especially the one on the basis of religion.
The supporters of this reservation theory always like to make the Indians forget the episode of partition and creation of Pakistan. Whereas, the fact is that there in lies the answer for why India doesn't need to pursue this self-destructing reservation policy.
Without getting into the exactness of the Muslim demand at the time of freedom struggle, it is a general knowledge that at different points in time various demands for political reservations specifically for Muslim community had been raised by Muslim league, almost as if they are a separate nation by themselves. Whether it was for reservation on the basis of population or later for reservation of Muslim dominated regions, Muslims have continuously endeavored for a sort of social exclusiveness from their Hindu, Christians, Sikh and countrymen from other religion.
It was this demand that was also the reason behind the Two-Nation Theory that finally led to creation of Pakistan.
Lets rewind a little now. Indian National Congress at the time had dealt with the Muslim League and their demands and had almost always come back frustrated. Read almost any note whether of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad or Nehru or any other writer who was a Congressman and was in someway part of those discussions, you will find a similarity of description in the complete outcome of meetings and interactions between INC and Muslim League. Adamant approach of Muslim League and frustration in INC due to obscene demands from Muslim League are evident everywhere.
Map of India Before the Partition
Come 1947, and after lengthy and characteristically frustrating discussions between The Viceroy, INC and Muslim League and agreeing to most of the formulae, INC still had to come to a conclusion to accept the partition that offered Muslim community in India their own country where they could live as they pleased.
The interesting thing here is that after a point the Congress leadership of the time that included eminent politicans like Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel and Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru was convinced that the demands from Muslims will never cease to end. They will continue in all spheres of life, from politics to personal laws to education and work. They had earned this experience primarily during the Interim Government and by the end of it all were clear that partition may indeed be the only solution. So we lost almost 10 lakh square kilometers of Indian territory to East and West Pakistan.
Map of India in 1947, after partition of Pakistan and Integration of Indian States
The sacrifice of this territory meant that India rejected:
1. The idea of reservation of jobs, educations, territory etc
2. India will treat all its citizens equally in a true nationalistic sense
Surprising thing is that the lessons learnt the hard way then, and the conclusions drawn and acted upon by the forefathers who were Congressmen have been forgotten by the existing members of the same Congress.
The policies that brought about the division of 25% of the Indian territory back in 1947, is being pursued again. We have not learnt to nip in the bud.
Is it not an almost similar demand for reservation for Muslim community in various spheres? Be it education, jobs and now parliamentary democracy.
In response to the passing of Women's Reservation Bill in Rajya Sabha, Asaduddin Owaisi quoted on NDTV 24x7 the figures of Muslim Women in parliament since independence etc. By mentioning this he was asking for specific quota to be mentioned for Muslim Women within the overall reservation of 33% for women.
I have no personal views on Women's Reservation Bill as I have not even read the first page of the said bill, but hearing Mr. Owaisi's comments I wondered if India is meant to be ruled in Silos. Muslims representing Muslims and Hindus representing Hindus and so on and so forth. Is this why India gave away Pakistan to those Muslims who held such a mentality? The Muslim community members that we let go from India into the land called Pakistan, which is, ironically, anything but that was because we never dreamt of Indian community being built on such principles.
If a religious community in India is today asking for political representation through reservations rather than facing an open general election, then it is not wrong to fear that tomorrow they will not shy away from asking for reservation of constituency with domination of Muslim communities. Is this why there are pockets in India that seem to house only Muslim members of the Indian community?
The other argument placed is that the weaker population of India should get a chance to make representation in the Indian parliament. What? There are ample opportunity for Muslims and other "weaker sections" of the society to become stronger because there are reservations in education, jobs etc. Since education is the training ground, one excepts, with certain objections, the idea of reservation in education. Let the weaker section become stronger through education, ideas and self-confidence. But Indian Parliament is no place for weaker sections to gain confidence.
Such confidence and capability should be considered the hygiene factor and, therefore, the minimum qualification for someone entering the Indian Parliament.
Women's Reservation Bill in that sense is a negative provision but if used wisely, smart, educated and energetic women with progressive ideas could be given opportunity to participate in legislature. The idea is to prove the existing talent and potential and not to train people or come and learn how ruling is done or to generate numbers of the people from same community.
In fact, the reservations, on the whole, are quite aimless. Reservations on the basis of Caste and Religious lines are almost completely out of line. A large number of people from certain castes and religious communities that enjoy reservation are neither poor nor uneducated nor lagging behind in social participation. It is time for the Indian Parliamentarians to move in favor of creating reservations on the basis of Socially and Economically challenged classes.
In doing that the govt. will not only create a welfare state, but also get rid of the structures that make India weaker in the long run.
As for Congressmen, I wish they will relook at the learning of our forefathers during the Partition of India, understand that reservation on community lines was rejected for good reasons and immediately put that into practice. They must also understand the fundamental difference between creation of Pakistan and continuation of India with a sizeable Muslim population. If they want to rule India, they must first ensure the existence of India.
For those who might imagine a smell of right wing extremism, I would like to assure that I am perfectly comfortable with secularism. I am comfortable with Sunday masses, Shabads in Gurudwara, five times of Namaz and Morning evening Aartis. I am only against specific appeasement policies of the govt that are aimed at specific communities on the basis of their religion, especially Muslims. Such a behavior gives Muslims a reason to be more Muslim than being Indian. If being more loyal to Islam brings me benefits then I would rather be that then being an Indian.
I will be more happy if govt reserved places for weaker sections of the society because they are socially and economically backward. It doesn't matter whether they are Hindus, Muslims, Christians or anything else.
Forever in favor of stronger India.