Kerala govt faces ire over forward communities quota

Resentment over reservation to forward communities may result in political repercussions for Kerala govt

Historically disadvantaged communities are against the decision as it may impact reservation allotted to them

Representative image. Credit: iStockPhoto

The decision to allow ten per cent reservation to forward communities has not gone down well with minority communities, especially the communities that fall in the Other Backward Classes like the prominent Hindu Ezhava, as they fear that it would affect the reservation benefits. The govt's decision may have political repercussions.

With Hindu Ezhava and Muslim community bodies standing against the Kerala government's decision, the left-front was also fearing if it would create cracks in minority vote banks, especially the Hindu Ezhava which were traditionally considered to be pro-left vote banks.

The decision to allow reservation to the economically weaker section of forward communities was considered as a move to appease the forward communities ahead of the polls. The left-front government's relationship with Hindu forward communities like the Nair community worsened owing to the stand of the left-front in favour of implementing the court order allowing women of all ages to Sabarimala Ayyappa temple.

Even as Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan reiterated that the ten per cent reservation would not affect any existing reservation, leaders of minority communities point out that once ten per cent seats from the general category are reserved for the forward community, the proportion of seats under the existing reservations would come down proportionately. He also said that the state was only implementing the mandatory obligation in view of amendment made by the centre in reservation.

Leaders of minority communities including Vellapally Natesan of the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam that represents the Ezhava community has already come out in the open against the government decision.

Meanwhile, the Nair Service Society that represents the Hindu-Nair community is demanding that the reservation to forward communities should be implemented with retrospective effect from January.