Sensitive Point: Patidars Demanding OBC
There is a state wide agitation in Gujarat launched by the economically and politically powerful Patidar community. It is very sensitive point that Patidars are demanding OBC. A prominent organisation of politically strong Patel community in Gujarat which has hogged the limelight recently for holding rally after rally to press its demand of inclusion of the community in Other Backward Class (OBC) category for reservation benefits. And this state wide agitation getting support from all over the state. Other Backward Class (OBC) is a collective term used by the Government of India to classify castes which are socially and educationally disadvantaged. It is one of several official classifications of the population of India, along with Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SCs and STs). The OBCs were found to comprise 52% of the country’s population by the Mandal Commission report of 1980, a figure which had shrunk to 41% by 2006.
After facing failure meeting in Gandhinagar with Health Minister Nitin Patel the leader of agitation talks with media. Now, the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti which is known as PASS led by 21 years old Mr. Hardik Patel. Till four years ago, Hardik, the son of BJP worker Bharatbhai Patel, headed the Sevadal, formed by him as a Patidar social group in Mehsana in 2004. He plans to organise rallies in million community members not only in single city but in all major city in Gujarat. And state already gave permission for the rallies. During this Mr. Hardik Patel told one sentence “Our demand is that the Patidars be recognised as an OBC community and must be given the benefits of reservation in education and government jobs”.
Rally in Surat & Ahmedabad
There are several rally occurred in whole Gujarat. Patidars came out with bikes, trucks, tractors and other vehicles and tried to reserve their quota in OBC. There are many small rally occurred in different areas. There is a big rally in Surat. At around 4.5 lakh Patidars on 18th of August 2015 took out vehicles rally in Surat. While several diamond and textile units owned by members of the Patel community (Patidars) remained shut, not only businessman but government officers like retired police personnel and former government officials participated in this agitation.
The first sacrifice in this agitation was given by Mr. Gordhanbhai Patel who was the x-vice president of Amul Dairy. In Petlad while he Addressing one conference he got a heart-attack. And after that Doctors declared he was dead.
There will be a gigantic rally in Ahmedabad. Meanwhile, sources say that the PAAS didn’t get official permission for the rally in Ahmedabad for 25th of August 2015. ‘A team of our five leaders met a senior police official today who told us that permission of a massive rally on the Sabarmati Riverfront, our proposed site, was not likely to be granted. However, we have made it clear that if we don’t get the permission then to control lakhs of people on the day would be administration’s responsibility alone, our volunteers won’t be a part of the crowd management in that case.’ the sources said.
If PASS didn’t get official permission for the rally, then who take responsibility of the rally. According to the report, approx 10 lakhs Patidar will gather at Riverfront, but the capacity of the Riverfront is about 1 lakh people. And who take responsibility for the medical emergency, parking, traffic and any other services. According to some news if they didn’t get permission for the rally in Riverfront so all Patidar will gather in GMDC University Ground.
Patidar & Parliament
In yet another development related to the reservation movement the state government has indicated that it might invite the community representatives for another round of talks before August 25 rally in an apparent bid to stop it. On the other hand the ruling BJP in its two day state parliamentary committee meet in Gandhinagar also devised ways to tackle the issue. The party leaders were reportedly advised not to issue statements regarding agitation without proper consultation at the party forum.
The Other Backward Class is for the people who can’t effort money and then Government help them. Government help them by providing some reserved seat in every field like education, jobs, etc. Here the real scenario is that some people who really need some help they couldn’t get benefits by governments because they are not in the OBC, ST or SC quota. We are not against this Patidar Agitation. We believe that all get good education and also benefits. Government have to took some action against it and they have to make their policies like that everyone could get benefits. And citizens also have to cooperate with government. This is not happening only in India. By organising rallies and strikes we maybe don’t get our benefits but by doing discussions with governments and showing real scenario we surely get our rights.
“Reservation is our right, First we follow the path shown by Gandhiji and Sardar Patel but, if required, we can become Bhagat Singh too.”