In early 2013 the people belonging to the Other Backward Classes took to the streets in a show of dissatisfaction with the state government's reservation policies. Tens of thousands marched from Charama to the capital, Raipur to demand an increased reservation quota in government jobs and educational institutions. Community Correspondent Khirendra Yadav was present at the site and brings us voices explaining these demands.
The Indian Government reserves 27% seats in government jobs and educational institutions for people who belong to the category Other Backward Classes. This percentage varies from state to state depending on the demographic make up of an area.
In Chhattisgarh despite the fact that Other Backward Classes make up around 50% of the population, they get only 14% reservations; Scheduled tribes who make up around 20% get 32% reservations.
"As someone who belongs to this category, I understand the problems faced by Backward Classes. We have no voice and get no benefits. For most of us life is a daily struggle and if there were reservations made for us we will be able to change our circumstances," says Khirendra Yadav.
The current demands of the OBCs has taken the government of Chhattisgarh deeper into murky depths of vote bank politics. The existing quotas were a result of a reshuffle in 2011 after the recommendations of the then Home Minister Nankiram Kanwar- a Tribal.
Kuldas Vaid, an activist present at the demonstrations stated his case eloquently:
"We don't have a voice, even in village council elections, they say that candidates are fielded based on demographics but we have no candidates. Our members aren't even given a chance to head a 2 hour meeting in the council."
Call to Action: Khirendra Yadav asks you to call the Sub-District Magistrate of Kondagaon, Chhattisgarh on 07786243868 and ask him to ensure that the OBCs get the reservations they demand.
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