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Modi’s Beti Bachao mission finds unlikely supporters: The Khaps

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ programme for girls have an unusual ally in Haryana and neighbouring states. Khaps, notorious for their anti-woman attitude, have decided to become protector of the girl child and support his ambitious initiative.

Around 100 Khap representatives from three states of Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh have decided to end female foeticide in their respective communities and make lives safer for the girl child. They would socially boycott people indulging in female foetecide and also honour those who provide information on it or help save lives of the girl child.

Representative image. ReutersRepresentative image. Reuters

Representative image. Reuters

“We are very serious about our work and the result will be for everyone to see soon,” Om Prakash Mann, president of All India Jat Mahasabha, member Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) and spokesman of the Khaps in Haryana, told Firstpost. The community organizations decided on this at Bhiwani on 18 April.

Mann said the meeting of the Jat Mahasabha was held to promote ‘Beti bachao Beti Padhao’ at Jat Dharamshala in Hisar last week in which representatives of various Khaps were presents. Discussions were held on the female alarming foetecide cases in Haryana, said Mann. Among the participants were youth president of the All India Jat Mahasabha, Ranbir Singh, first woman president of Satrol Khap-Sudesh Choudhary, president of Kajla Khap, Rajmal Kajla.

“The Khaps also plan to honour women who excel in any field. Khaps who have fought for the rights of the women will also be honoured during our programme to encourage others. Our mission will continue till we achieve a 50-50 ratio of boys and girls in our society,” said Sudesh Chaudhary, woman president of Satrol Khap. To highlight their work, the Khaps are also preparing a website of their own. Kajla Khap already has its website.

But while the Khaps are making a pledge to promote the Beti bachao, Beti Padhao programme, they are also demanding that the Jats must get back the reservation facility that the Supreme Court had denied recently. Mann said that a delegation of Khaps had recently met Prime Minister Narendra Modi over filing a review petition for Jat reservation to which he had readily agreed but asked for a favour in return of supporting awareness about the Beti Bachao programme.

Mann said the Jats do not support stance of Jat politicians like Kiran Coudhary of the Congress and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) MP from Hisar, Dushyant Chautala and others like them of implementing reservation on the economic criteria. “We are ready to support the government, but the government too should take care of us,” said another Khap leader Randip Singh. Sudesh Dahiya said Jats had become economically weaker and they needed reservation at all cost.

“Yes, PM Modi took a commitment from us to end female foetecide if we wanted the government to restore reservation facilities for Jats,” said Sudesh Chaudhary adding, “Haryana has one of the lowest rates of sex ratio in the country with just 877 females per 1000 males, which is truly alarming.”

Another senior woman Khap leader Dr Santosh Dahiya, president of the All India Mahila Shakti Manch, said her organization has been carrying on a signature campaign in the state to end female foetecide. “We plan to present a copy of one lakh signatures against female foetecide to the Prime Minister… We have already collected 35,000 signatures so far,” she told Firstpost.

Dahiya, who is also women’s wing president of the Sarv Jatiye Sarv Khap Mahapanchayat, said it was a wrong notion that the Jats have started opposing female foeticide only now. “Organisations like our All India Shakti Mahila Manch have been carrying out campaigns for several years. Khaps have been working for the welfare of society.

Welcoming the Khaps campaign against female foetcide, social activist, Khushwant Singh, said the Khaps never advocated honour killing, though they did strictly follow traditional social norms. “Over the years the Khaps have earned a bad reputation. Their save the girl child campaign will help them salvage their image in society,” he said.

Quota in medical, dental PG courses: SC rejects plea of Jat students

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea of Jat students seeking benefits of reservation under Other Backward Class (OBC) in the ongoing process of admission in post-graduate (PG) medical and dental courses.

The apex court, which on 17 March had set aside the erstwhile UPA government’s notification to include Jats in the central list of OBCs to accord quota benefits to them, said the issue has already been decided and there was no “vested” right in favour of Jat students.

Supreme Court of India. AFPSupreme Court of India. AFP

Supreme Court of India. AFP

“There is no vested right in favour of the applicants under the notification in question and the right have been subject to the result of the writ petition which had been decided by the impugned order of this court dated March 17, 2015,” a bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi and R F Nariman said, adding, “no relief can be granted”.

Senior advocate Jayant Bhushan, appearing for some Jat students, said at the time of all-India counselling for admission in PG courses, Jats were in the OBC list as the judgement of this court had not come then. And now, when state level counselling is going on, the students of the community fall under the general category.

The students, who did not opt for all-India counselling for better choice of colleges in the subsequent state-level counselling, are “neither here nor there”, he said, adding that these innocent students have been caught in this.

The bench said it had been made clear that such admissions would be subject to the outcome of the petition, which has been decided by it.

Earlier, while setting aside the 4 March, 2014 notification on the matter, the court had said that earlier “possible wrong inclusions” cannot be the basis of further inclusion and reservation should be given only to the “most distressed”.

Setting aside the inclusion of Jats in the central OBCs list, the bench had in its 17 March verdict said, “the perception of a self-proclaimed socially backward class of citizens or even the perception of the ‘advanced classes’ as to the social status of the ‘less fortunates’ cannot continue to be a constitutionally permissible yardstick for determination of backwardness, both in the context of Articles 15(4) and 16(4) of the Constitution.

“Neither can any longer backwardness be a matter of determination on the basis of mathematical formulae evolved by taking into account social, economic and educational indicators. Determination of backwardness must also cease to be relative; possible wrong inclusions cannot be the basis for further inclusions but the gates would be opened only to permit entry of the most distressed.

“Any other inclusion would be a serious abdication of the constitutional duty of the State. Judged by the aforesaid standards, we must hold that inclusion of the politically organised classes (such as Jats) in the list of backward classes mainly, if not solely, on the basis that on same parameters other groups who have fared better have been so included cannot be affirmed.”

The court had referred to various constitutional schemes and the report of National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) and said the finding of the OBC panel that Jats do not deserve to be given quota benefits was “supported by good and acceptable reasons”.

PTI

Centre likely to move SC seeking review of order on Jat reservation

New Delhi: The government is likely to move the Supreme Court seeking review of the order quashing Jat quota, which has prompted Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to put on hold the announcement of Civil Services (Mains) Examination results.

Top officials of the Ministries of Home, Personnel, Law, and Social Justice and Empowerment are deliberating to frame the government’s next course of action in the wake of the apex court’s order.

Representational image.Representational image.

Representational image.

The move came a day after a delegation of Jat leaders met Prime Minister Narendra Modi over quashing of OBC reservation for the community.

“A decision on filing the review petition will be taken next week,” a government official said

The Jat leaders are seeking a review of the Supreme Court decision of 17 March quashing a notification of the UPA government extending reservations to the community in nine states.

The BJP government in Haryana has openly come out in support of job quotas for Jats.

The civil services examination results, sources said, should have been out had it not been for the 17 March order.

It will now be declared only after the government answers UPSC’s queries on its implications for Jat candidates taking the mains exam.

Though the UPSC was ready with results, the apex court ruling scrapping reservation for Jats under the OBC category has forced it to seek a clarification from the government.

Setting aside the notification extending OBC status to Jats, the Supreme Court slammed the Centre’s decision to overlook the finding of an OBC panel that Jat was not a backward class.

“Caste, though a prominent factor, cannot be the sole factor of determining the backwardness of a class,” the court had said, while referring to the historic judgement rendered by a larger bench on the implementation of the Mandal Commission recommendations on OBC reservations.

PTI

Govt will try to find solution for Jat reservation issue within legal framework, says PM Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the government will try to find a solution within the legal framework on the issue of Supreme Court scrapping reservation for Jats.

He stated this to a 70-member delegation of Jats from various states which met him here to discuss issues related to the community, including the recent Supreme Court decision regarding reservation.

Narendra Modi. PTINarendra Modi. PTI

Narendra Modi. PTI

“The Prime Minister listened carefully to the issues raised by the delegation. He said the government is studying the Supreme Court decision and will try to find a solution to the issue within the legal framework,” a PMO statement said.

The top court on March 17 scrapped reservation for the Jat community given by the UPA government in nine states.

Setting aside the notification extending the OBC status to Jats, the apex court slammed the Centre’s decision to overlook the finding of an OBC panel that Jat is not a backward class.

“Caste, though a prominent factor, cannot be the sole factor of determining the backwardness of a class,” the bench had said, while referring to the historic judgement rendered by a larger bench on the implementation of the Mandal Commission recommendations on OBC reservations.

During the meeting with the Jat delegation, the Prime Minister urged them to take the lead in implementing his favourite campaign of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (save daughter, educated daughter).

PTI

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