By increasing quotas the Congress is trying to buy votes in UP, a state that is firmly divided on caste lines, and one that goes to the polls next year. There is no “welfare” agenda. The anti-reservation protests have so far fallen on deaf ears, because:
1. The Congress party stands to gain from supporting the increase in quotas.
2. The Opposition parties risk losing the support of those reserved categories which stand to benefit.
It’s also important to note that next on their agenda is a proposal to implement reservations of jobs in the private sector. Kamal Nath has spoken about this.
Since most politicians believe that they stand to benefit if their party benefits, a strategy to counter this problem would be to divide the Indian polity:
If individual party members feel threatened because of a loss in their vote bank, they are likely to oppose the quotas within the party. This is particularly applicable in urban areas, where public memory isn’t short and the number of reserved category candidates and people is less.
So I suggest that those who oppose the quotas can individually mail their elected representatives and bluntly inform them that if the quotas aren’t scrapped, they will lose our votes. There is a possibility that individual voices of dissent might then be heard, and might influence the party.
How do we do it?
The email addresses of our Lok Sabha MP’s are here. I would suggest that you be polite, short and specific, and address your representative by name. Email addresses of Rajya Sabha MP’s are here(we can bulk mail them). Please CC a copy to email@example.com if you’re mailing a Congress MP, or firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re mailing a BJP MP.
You may also write to the President of India at email@example.com and the Prime Minister at
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com (address courtesy Slashh)
Please mail your representative, and spread the word. Also, maybe it’s time for a “Mail your Representative Blogathon”, where you e-mail your representative and put the mail up on your blog as a show of support.
Mails to some addresses are bouncing. Shreya informs me that a mail her friend sent to an MP from Karnataka bounced. My mail to firstname.lastname@example.org bounced.
Contact your MLA’s in:
Email Addresses | Right to Information (Update: Mails to Shiela Dixit and Prahlad Singh Sawhney bounced. Looks like Delhi email addresses don’t work)
(please mail in the addresses for other states and help compile a list)
1. The Center has given corporates two years for quota in private sector jobs. [link]