By Prerna Bhatia
It is the fourth day and the protests at Rohtak have not subsided even after a meeting of the Chief Minister with the leaders, which has failed to meet the demands of the Jat Community demanding reservation in the Other Backward Classes (OBC) in educational institutions and government organisations.
The protesters are demanding reservation in government jobs and educational institutions under OBC category. Started on Monday, the protest has severely affected operations in Rohtak, Jhajjar and neighbouring areas, and has blocked road and rail routes.
The Jat and Khap leaders, with other prominent members, held a four-hour long meeting with Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who had come to the scene in order to persuade them to stop the protests, for they are causing chaos in the area. Other Cabinet ministers were also present for the discussion.
All India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti’s national president, Yashapal Malik, said the government has given its proposal, “but the people are not that happy. However, its result will be known in a day or two (whether the protests will continue or end).”
Today, the protest continued as the Jats rejected the proposal of doubling of the EBC (Economically Backward Section) quota from 10 percent to 20 percent, among other measures, which also included enhancing the annual income ceiling from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 6 lakh so that maximum people can get benefit under this category.
The protests have also spread to Sonipat, Bhiwani, Hisar, Fatehabad and Jind districts, with women joining them in large numbers.
A group of lawyers joined in the protests at Sonipat, and a large number of students held a protest in Rohtak.
Economically, politically and socially, the status of the Jat community of Haryana and Punjab has become better over the years. In fact, they were the ones to initiate the Green Revolution in Punjab- bringing about prosperity to the land owners in the state.
These protests are a sign of the deep-rooted reservation system in India , which has always been a point of debate. While the reservation quotas have improved the quality of life of the people, increasing their financial stability, one wonders whether they really need the system to support them. The protests have also raised questions about the effectiveness of the police and government in tackling these issues, as normal working of these areas has suffered drastically, and it is just a time of waiting till the government takes strict action about these protests.
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