Gujjar Agitations: State in Chaos

Rajasthan is facing the worst possible time ever since the Jaipur serial bombings occurred. There seems to be no end to the misery of the common people – as now the communal and reservation issue is reverberating across the state.

The Gujjar community does not appear to have any intentions of giving up the agitations for their ‘valid’ demands to get a scheduled tribe status. Thus, in the attempt to realize this dream, a week long agitation held by this community has crippled the state infrastructure and supply chain. The highways leaving the capital city of Jaipur are a picture of utter deterioration and Rajasthan presents a perfect example of a state in trouble. – And there are no signs of this agitation dying down any time soon.

Rajasthan faced this problem last year at same time. However, this time its more serious than last year. The agitation was somehow cut short by some the smart move of setting up Chopra committee which did enough to temporarily satisfy the sentiments of this community. They cleverly demarcated the incentives that the community is to receive upon becoming a minority, and they opened up job ventures looking at the plight of this community.

Looking at the condition of this community, it comprises of low wage and low skilled workers who are handy at cattle-rearing and in the construction sector. The people of this community are mostly illiterate and thus fail to have the bare minimum qualifications required for government jobs. The plight of this community seems to be despicable owing to their inadequacy in these areas. This community wants to enlist itself into the scheduled tribe so that they get relief despite their fainings in the qualification area. This would enable them to compete with other people but with increased chances of getting selected owing to their scheduled tribe status. The agitation has claimed 40 lives owing much to the stern response that the Rajashan government has taken. As the days pass, ,the tension is only growing as the dead bodies have not been cremated and this inhuman treatment is only intensifying the anger. Gujjar leader Col.KS. Bainsla has gone deaf to public demands and sentiments – the agitation has now turned into an ego-battle between the government and Bainsla. Reports say that even if Bainsla gets ready to talk – the other leaderswouldnt allow him the luxury to indulge in discussions. The reason behind this is that last year, these talks didn’t result in anything fruitful. The Gujjar community is taking no chances this time and this was evident when they turned down the letter sent to Prime Minister demanding a Denotified Tribe status for the community. The community does not want the status of scheduled cast because another strong community called “Meena” is already enlisted in this category; and they would not like share their benefits with any other group.

The agitation has turned into a sorry state of chaos as general people are losing sympathy for this community much because of the destruction and disruption they have created in the functioning of state. The blocked highways and rail tracks only help in showing how narrow minded and selfish communities can be..

The question that plagues the government is that as Rajasthan is going into Assembly elections next year, the steps that the government takes to resolve this burning problem will decide the fate of the government in next elections. Rajasthan government can pressurize the center for ST status and ensure a huge vote bank, but this will also ensure that in the future – all other communities will use this as an example to satisfy their selfish demands. Such a solution will only worsen things in long run. But on the other hand, if it denies to abide by Gujjar demands the conditions will further deteriorate as the problem has already become a national issue. Gujjar communities in Indore and NCR are joining hands to bring the law down. So the government is stuck in stone pelting issues and it might be pretty late for life to return to normalcy if nothing is done ensure long lasting peace for the people living hard life owing to this chaos.

Ajeet Singh Shekhawat