The Maratha reservation topic in Maharashtra has grown from whispers to loud demands over time. This issue is full of emotions, political ambitions, and legal challenges, making a big impact on the social scene in Maharashtra. The Maratha community, which is a big part of the state’s population, is seeking reservation benefits in education and jobs. This article will provide details of court battles, protests on the streets, and promises made during elections.
The Marathas have been known as warriors and landowners, with a strong influence in Maharashtra. But, as times changed, some Marathas started facing money problems and social challenges. This started the discussion on reservation, as a way to help them in education and getting jobs.
Main Demands of Maratha Reservation
The Maratha community believes that many of them are facing social and educational challenges, which is why they are asking for reservations. They want to be included in the Other Backward Class (OBC) category to have better chances in education and government jobs.
The journey of the Maratha reservation through the courts has been full of ups and downs. Initially, in 2014, the Maharashtra government agreed to a 16% reservation for Marathas. But, the Bombay High Court stopped this. In 2018, the state brought a new law to give Marathas 16% reservation again. However, in 2019, the court reduced this to 12% for education and 13% for jobs, talking about a 50% total reservation limit set by the Supreme Court.
On May 5, 2021, the Supreme Court said no to the Maharashtra law, cancelling the reservation for Marathas. The court said that Marathas are not socially and educationally backward to get reservations. It also talked about keeping the total reservation under 50%, as said in an old case called Indra Sawhney.
The topic of reservation has been used by political parties to get support from Marathas. They have made promises of reservation during elections. Sometimes, political parties have changed their opinions to match what people feel or what the court says, showing how politics can change with the situation.
The Maratha community has come together to ask for reservations by holding organized marches and rallies. A lot of people have shown up at these events, showing that many people in the community support the reservation demand.
Sometimes, people have called for bandhs (shutdowns) to draw attention to what the community wants. These shutdowns have received mixed reactions, but they show how urgent the community feels about their demands.
Not all protests have been calm. There have been times when violence broke out, showing a darker side to these protests. The anger from legal issues and feeling ignored have sometimes made the protests turn violent, which takes away from the peaceful message of the protests. In the recent protest, they even burned down the home of the NCP Leader.