The Quota Within
Context: Against the Maharashtra government’s stand in Bombay High Court to grant transgender persons horizontal and/or vertical reservations because it would breach the 50 per cent ceiling, has staged a protest in Mumbai. Present scenario on reservation for Transgender:
- Unheard demands: Reservation for transgender is an important tool for ensuring the representation of underrepresented and structurally oppressed communities and have been advocating for reservation for transgender individuals for over 15 years.
- Reservation in Jobs and other sectors: The recent protests in Mumbai and Tamil Nadu highlight the significance of horizontal and vertical reservations in public job recruitment exams and other sectors, as they provide opportunities and access to education, employment, and social benefits.
- Significance: These reservations are crucial for promoting inclusivity, equality, and social justice for transgender persons, who face systemic barriers and prejudice.
- Absent measures: The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019, and the 2020 Rules notified by the Union government has absence of reservation and other affirmative measures in education and employment undermines the concept of equal opportunity.
- The lack of financial resources: It poses a significant challenge for transgender persons in accessing education and entrance exams.
- Non-inclusion in Horizontal reservation: Horizontal reservation has been extended to persons with disabilities and for women by certain state governments. So, this is not an unprecedented or unreasonable demand by any measure.
- For Equality and Justice: Transgender individuals require substantive equality, which acknowledges and addresses the differences in their starting points and the need for additional support.
- To foster their Rights: The efforts of B.R. Ambedkar and other founding fathers of the Constitution aimed to guarantee substantive equality as a fundamental right.
- Supporting resource and Structure: It is essential to address these systemic barriers by implementing reservation policies, providing fee concessions, age and physical requirement relaxations, scholarships, and other supportive measures.