Anti-EWS quota lobby queered; COP27: Discussion without action; Germany in Chinese shadow  

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Opinion Watch

Anti-EWS quota lobby queered

Reservation rides on the lofty idea of affirmative action, but has essentially been a political tool to carve out spaces for identity politics. With a creamy layer criteria being Rs eight lakh annual income, landholding not more than five acre and residential area not exceeding 1000 square feet, which in essence may not exclude even two per cent, politicians have made reservation redundant to address social deprivation.

Predictably, the dailies have seized the momentous decision of the Supreme Court to uphold the 10 per cent reservation for the economically weaker sections enshrined in the Constitution through 103rd Amendment. The Hindu, which has often been seen to be a cheerleader of the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu, has struck the whining note – lamenting ‘attack’ on equality of opportunity, creation of a ‘vertical reservation scheme’ and so on. The only unbiased opinion of the Chennai-based daily is its argument to pull down the creamy layer to Rs 2.5 lakh annual income, same as the income tax exemption ceiling.

The DMK pioneered in making reservation policy a joke in Tamil Nadu, which triggered the exodus of the excluded castes, and the state politics becoming rabidly casteist. Justice Bela Trivedi has rightly said that time has come to revisit the reservation policy. Only a coward political class could watch out the fragmentation of the society with quota politics, which strikes a discordant note with the aspirations of the nation for a knowledge-based economy.

Affirmative actions to address discriminations must be made in making the people stand on their feet, with all means at the disposal of the state, including education, mentoring, nutrition, and scholarship. But that is a hard path to walk, and easy way for the politicians is to play the reservation tune.

The Indian Express, The Pioneer, The Economic Times and The Times of India have rightly opined in their Editorials that the Supreme Court verdict would open a new dimension to the reservation policy and that would now be irreversible. Parliament must now exclude those who have already benefited from the scope of reservation.        

COP27: Discussion without action

Aims of COP26, Paris Agreement on Climate Action lie deeply buried, while COP27 at Sharm el-Sheikh seeks to make the developed world pay for their sins qith a $100 billion compensation fund to the developing countries. Climate change is not immediate, but already here has been evident this year, as besides melting of the glaciers rivers are drying up and cities are lashed by rains for days.

In 2010, said the Times of India in its Editorial, the developed countries committed to mobilise $100 billion annually for the developing countries for climate mitigation. By 2020, only $83.3 billion could be mobilized, and worse, only 58 per cent of this was spent on climate mitigation.

The goal of Paris Agreement to limit the global temperature to 1.5 degree centigrade with 2010 as the baseline would require cutting down the carbon emission by 45 per cent, noted the daily. While the developed and developing countries argue their cases, humanity surely is walking into the dark alleys which could be full of scary natural phenomena.    

Germany in Chinese shadow  

Olaf Scholz, the German Chancellor, has been ridiculed in his country, Europe and also by democratic countries for his extraordinary hurry to rush to Beijing to fete China’s President Xi Jinping. Scholz and Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif share the honours of running into Xi’s court.

The Indian Express in its Editorial has made strenuous efforts to find virtue in the Beijing visit of Scholz – German bid for multipolarity of the world order, mitigating revival of the Cold War and finding engagement with China when the West seeks to decouple their economies with Beijing.

Scholz like Sharif rushed to Beijing solely for their respective economic compulsions, and both the leaders surely have no appetite for virtues of world peace. While Pakistan is China’s satellite nation, Germany hounded by energy crisis wants Beijing to save its economy.

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