The Jaat quota agitation crippled Haryana as it turned out to be violent. The quota issue has its roots harboured in the 1990’s. Jaats have been demanding to be declared as OBC which would help them secure the 27% OBC reservation in jobs and educational institutions but the Supreme Court declined their petition and made it clear that caste alone cannot be a reason to approve reservation for a certain community.
While several parts of the city reeled under massive traffic snarls, several reports of unruly activities arrived from Rohtak. Several private and public properties were vandalised and vehicles were set on fire. All this led to road blockages which in turn caused the shortage of basic necessities. The heat of the agitation reached the Delhi University, North Campus on Saturday as several students from the community showed solidarity to the agitation in Haryana and took out a protest rally demanding quota in government educational institutions and jobs under OBC category.
The protest by students led to traffic jams. The infuriated students sat on the roads near the campus even as police were deployed to control the situation. Hundreds of Jaat students demonstrated their anger near Khalsa College and Mukherjee Nagar, North Campus, in support of their community members, who have been protesting in Haryana for reservation. The protestors continued their rally despite police using water cannons to push them back and blocked the road on both sides at the GTB Nagar intersection, which threw the traffic out of gear.
Meanwhile, students from Delhi University and nearby areas participated by holding placards and posters, protesting the deaths. All the shops near GTB Nagar Metro Station were forcibly closed by the protestors. The traffic was timely diverted on other routes. The mob was moved out of the university areas within two hours. Many people who were trying to pass through the blocked roads during the protest, complained that their keys were snatched by the protestors. A huge massacre was created all around.
The rampaging protest has led to catastrophic financial loses and destruction of public infrastructure. This also leads to collateral damages by creating a sense of fear and insecurity in the mind of general public. While the right to speak is enshrined in the constitution itself, the manner of exercising it should be in consonance with the constitution. In this case, whether or not the Jaats should called OBC or not, should only be decided based on the parameters laid down in the constitution as well as the various judgements by the Supreme Court. In hindsight this may be an opportunity to debate the concept of reservation in the Indian context and should be debated at the appropriate forums, the need and the basis on which the reservation should be granted.
It’s high time that we realise what is the need of the hour, reservation or development?
for Campus Drift