January 30, 2007 ☼ Public Policy
This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.
It is not easy to get middle-class citizens to come out in force and protest against government policy on the streets. The costs of sustained political activism are too immediate, too real and if the agitation is prolonged, too daunting. The benefits, on the other hand, are too remote, too uncertain and too far down the road. So when the Supreme Court ordered the anti-reservation protestors to end their public protests, pro-reservation politicians (that is, almost all of them) must have heaved a sigh of relief. They knew very well that it will be extremely difficult for the middle class to interrupt their studies or jobs and get back on the streets again.
Youth For Equality, a movement that arose out of the UPA government’s most cynical attempt yet at vivisecting the country along communal socialist lines, describes itself as “non-violent, non-political and united”. Some of its supporters, including this blog, had deep misgivings on whether the Supreme Court’s order asking it to stand down will play into the hands of the UPA politicians. Parliament’s decision to pass the reservations bill, sans data or debate, strengthened those fears.
And then, on January 11th this year, the Supreme Court upheld the “rights test”, and opened up sneaky Ninth Schedule laws to legal review. This is perhaps the best news—in a very long time—not just for youth and equality, but for India’s future. YFE has mounted a legal challenge for this, and its petition comes up for hearing today. They are demanding the annulment of the 93rd Amendment. It is not hard to support them.
Highlighting the importance of young Indians in the path to progress, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on Saturday said the country needed a national movement of youth to ensure social development and equality. [The Hindu]
Nice words. Only, he’s not listening to what one national movement is saying to him.
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