Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Aug 2018 10:06:04

Kolhapur, July 28 (PTI): Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar said, reservations for the Maratha community could be brought about with an amendment to the Constitution. The veteran leader added that he could hold a dialogue with the Opposition parties to seek support for the amendment if the Union Government showed its willingness ...

THIS shows how Mr. Sharad Pawar is willing to go any distance to ensure reservation for the Maratha community. He would not mind pushing for a constitutional amendment by garnering support of Opposition parties. And as he said that, Mr. Pawar tried to put the onus of the development -- positive or negative from any standpoint -- on the Union Government. If the Union Government says ‘yes’, then other communities will pounce upon the Centre. And if the Union Government says ‘no’, then also the Marathas would blame the Centre for stalling a feasible constitutional process.

In both the scenarios, Mr. Pawar stands to gain a political advantage, and Mr. Narendrea Modi stands to lose at least some of his political base. What a shrewdness, this! In order to drive home his advantage, Mr. Pawar also stated that when his party was in power, he had proposed reservation for the Maratha community, but the court had rejected the idea. Blinded by the idea of his political benefit, Mr. Pawar is not willing to acknowledge that Chief Minister Mr. Devendra Fadnavis, too, has taken a similar stance -- ‘Yes, we are willing, but the courts are rejecting our point’.

With the next elections not far away, such political games will be played by all parties to the issue. Obviously, everybody realises the political propensity of the issue of reservation to the Maratha community. Obviously, Mr. Pawar is blinded by the political motives far more than others have. What a suggestion has Mr. Pawar made! He would not mind amending the Constitution to get reservation for the Marathas. And naturally therefore, he would not mind a few other communities in the country -- like the Patels or the Gujjars followed the same process of seeking a constitutional amendment. He would not, thus, mind a silent subversion of the Constitution for the politically-motivated gains of certain communities.

Imagine this in today’s scenario when a growing number of people want to reject the idea of caste-based reservation!
But then, Mr. Sharad Pawar also has another idea to play with: He is quite likely to say that he is seeking reservation for the Maratha community not on the basis of caste but on the basis of backwardness. He is, thus, all geared up to reject the historical truth that the Marathas were the rulers of two-thirds of the whole -- that is undivided India --country at one point in time just before the British became a dominant power. Mr. Pawar is so blinded by his selfish politics that he wants to cast his caste as a backward community that is badly in need of reservation. And therefore his suggestion that an amendment to the Constitution could achieve that goal. And in order to further that goal, Mr. Pawar is all geared up to have a dialogue with Opposition parties for a constitutional amendment (provided the Union Government is willing).

He may be calling himself a liberal and forward-looking leader, but in actuality, Mr. Pawar is quite a narrow-minded and short-sighted leader who cannot see much beyond the tip of his nose. When the whole country is thinking about genuine advancement by rejecting the idea of caste-based reservation, Mr. Pawar is insisting upon that very idea, so much so that he does not mind obliterating the structure and the spirit of the Constitution to serve his political goal. In an election year, he may think that everything is fair in love and war.

The new India is refusing to accept such an idea. The residents of the new India, the people who have risen above considerations of caste and creed, have already rejected the idea of reservation on the basis of caste. If Mr. Pawar insists that the Marathas is a backward community, then will Mr. Pawar start asking for reservation for so many other communities? If he is so broad-minded, as he often claims about himself, will Mr. Pawar become the messiah of all the backward communities and ask for reservations for them by amending the Constitution?

Let us make no mistake to think that Mr. Sharad Pawar will rise above the consideration of caste -- the Marathas. Thus, he is only a community leader with no truly broader nationalist idea or ideals. Of course, Mr. Pawar would never appreciate such a thought. Habitually, he would insist that he is a truly secular person, turning a deaf ear to the derisive laughter of others on this count. In the light of this, others must redefine Mr. Pawar’s secularism as an idea of only one community -- for the so-called welfare of which he would not mind working for a constitutional amendment.
What a stoop!

Thirty-forty years ago, Mr. Pawar was a different leader who held dear lofty ideals. Over time, however, he has narrowed down his political thought-process only to his own Maratha community. Those who knew him to be a broad-minded person forty years ago now just fail to understand what is ailing ‘that’ young man who had the courage to rebel against his own party just because it was being led by an Italian woman!

But then, in an election year, such things are bound to happen. And that also explains how and why Mr. Pawar and his buddies are seeking reservations for the Marathas who were the rulers of the country and whose collective socio-economic status is better than that of many others!