TURA: In a significant development on Monday, the A.chik Holistic Awakening Movement (AHAM) voiced its strong opposition to the UGC's Draft Policy, which proposes reclassifying vacancies reserved for SC, ST, and OBC candidates as "unreserved" in the absence of sufficient candidates from these categories. Expressing their apprehensions, AHAM took a proactive step by sending a letter to Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, registering their resentment against the proposed policy.
The crux of AHAM's opposition revolves around the potential erosion of the existing quota system, raising fears that it could curtail opportunities for historically disadvantaged communities. To comprehend the gravity of this issue, delving into the historical context of reservation policies in India becomes imperative. Affirmative action measures were initially introduced to combat social injustices, discrimination, and disparities prevalent in the caste-ridden society. The reservation system aimed to uplift marginalized communities by providing educational and employment opportunities historically denied to them.
However, reservation policies have been under persistent scrutiny and debate regarding their effectiveness and fairness. Critics argue that while the initial intent of affirmative action was noble, unintended consequences have emerged over time, including the perpetuation of caste identities and allegations of tokenism.
According to AHAM, the UGC's proposal to de-reserve seats intensifies this ongoing debate, with concerns that it might dilute the essence of affirmative action, hindering opportunities for historically disadvantaged communities. One significant concern raised by the organization is the apparent lack of focus on addressing systemic issues that impede the proper representation of SC, ST, and OBC candidates. Instead of de-reserving seats, AHAM advocates for a more comprehensive approach to examine factors contributing to underrepresentation, such as inadequate primary education facilities, socio-economic disparities, and institutional biases hindering progress for marginalized individuals.
Expressing strong opposition to the move, AHAM warns that it could pose several challenges, including undermining social justice, perpetuating caste identities and discrimination, and potential political manipulation in the future. The organization urges Chief Minister Conrad Sangma to review the decision, emphasizing the need for a thoughtful and comprehensive approach to ensure fair representation and equal opportunities for all.