Job quota policy has hurt, not helped, Garos: ACHIK
The state’s job reservation policy has hurt not helped the Garo community over the decades, the A’chik Conscious Holistically Integrated Krima (ACHIK) claimed today as it demanded that the roster system to administer the quotas be used to correct this.
Khasi-Jaintia-based political parties and pressure groups have recently been raking up the supposed unfairness of the quotas as they stand, which reserve 40 per cent of government jobs for Garos and another 40 per cent for Khasi-Jaintias even though the latter make up a significantly larger proportion of the state’s population.
Under the reservation policy, however, if no person from the community which should benefit from the job reservation is qualified to fill a government vacancy, then that slot is not carried forward after a period of time. The Voice of the People Party (which has four MLAs all of whom are in Khasi-Jaintia Hills) fears that the roster system will remove this expiry clause.
ACHIK said in a release today that the reservation policy as it stood before the roster system caused a backlog in the Garo quota to develop and which was “denied for more than 50 years of statehood.”
The introduction of a roster system “has brought to light the injustice being meted out to the A’chik people for 50 years and it is a due right of the Garos to make a stand for it,” it added.
ACHIK said that it would not compromise on this issue and also stated that it would not be willing to give up its demand for Tura to be made the winter capital of Meghalaya.
KSU for prospective roster system
The Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) today said that the roster system to administer the quotas should be implemented ‘‘prospectively”.
“The government should not implement the roster system right from 1972. If they implement the roster system retrospectively, this will affect our people in terms of job employment,” KSU President Lambokstar Marngar said.
He said the KSU is not keeping quiet on the issue as consultations with experts on the subject matter are on. “Moreover, this is not only the issue of the KSU that we take decision alone as it is a matter of life and death of our people. Therefore, we cannot take decision in haste,” he said.
The KSU felt that the elected legislators should perform and take the issue seriously for the best interest of the people.
Govt biased towards one community, says KHNAM
By not giving time in the recent Assembly session to discuss the job reservation policy and roster system, the state government is demonstrating its determination to ensure that only one of the major communities in Meghalaya benefits from it, the Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM).
In yet more divisive comments on the issue, KHNAM, a party which has absolutely no members in the Assembly, was clearly referring to supposed skewing of the policy, which sets aside 40 per cent of government jobs for the Garo and Khasi-Jaintia communities each, towards the Garos.
“Right from the induction of the reservation policy we have seen that there has been an injustice done to the Khasi and Jaintia communities,” KHNAM’s Thomas Passah said today. According to him, the policy when it was introduced in 1972 stated that quotas would be proportional to population but, from then to the present day, the Khasi-Jaintias have outnumbered the Garos to a large degree, which means that the equal allocation is “not justified and is a violation of the policy itself.”
When no community can fill a particular vacancy, the quota was carried over, first for one year but this was later changed to three, allegedly, according to KHNAM, to benefit the Garos.
The introduction of the roster system to administer the reservation policy was brought about due to a Meghalaya High Court order though the government was charged with arriving at the modalities. Khasi-Jaintia Hills-based parties and pressure groups are against the retrospective application of the roster system, as they fear that this will invariably benefit the Garos at the cost of the Khasi-Jaintias by bringing back all those quota slots that had lapsed in the past.
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