Article 334: Reservation of seats and special representation to cease after twenty years

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Another article of Indian constitution which I would like to bring forward is Article 334. When the constitution was first introduced on 26th November 1949, article 334 titled “Reservation of seats and special representation to cease after twenty years” stated

“Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this Part, the provisions of this Constitution relating to—

(a) the reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in the House of the People and in the Legislative Assemblies of the States; and

(b) the representation of the Anglo-Indian community in the House of the People and in the Legislative Assemblies of the States by nomination, shall cease to have effect on the expiration of a period of twenty years from the commencement of this Constitution:

Provided that nothing in this article shall affect any representation in the House of the People or in the Legislative Assembly of a State until the dissolution of the then existing House or Assembly, as the case may be.”

This meant that, reservation of SC/STs in House of the People and in Legislative Assemblies of the states should not be in effect post 1970. However, as per the 23rd Amendment which happened on 23th January 1970, article 334 of Indian constitution was amended to extend reservation for SC/ST and nomination of Anglo Indian members in Parliament and State Assemblies for another 10 years. This meant that reservations of SC/STs in the House of the People and in Legislative Assemblies of the States is extended till 1980. Basically, when constitution of India was written, the goal was set for twenty years to bring a reform among SC/STs. However, lack of accountability among politicians and creation of vote-bank politics resulted in further 10 year extension of the time-line. The worst was yet to come. On 25th Janurary 1980, article 334 of Indian constitution was again amended (45th Amendment) to extend reservation for SC/ST and nomination of Anglo Indian members in Parliament and State Assemblies for another ten years (up to 1990). 10 years later, on 20th December 1989, article 334 of Indian constitution was once again amended (62nd Amendment) to extend reservation for SC/ST and nomination of Anglo Indian members in Parliament and State Assemblies for another ten years (up to 2000). Ten years later, on 25th January 2000, article 334 of Indian constitution was amended (79th Amendment) for the 4th time to extend reservation for SC/ST and nomination of Anglo Indian members in Parliament and State Assemblies for another ten years (up to 2010).

So, basically, the concept of reservations of seats for SCs/STs in House of People and Legislative assemblies was meant for twenty years but incapable/unaccountable politicians extended it till sixty years. The most disheartening fact is, the situation of SCs/STs in India still remains as backward as it was during independence. Who is responsible for it? I would say, it’s the people belonging to SCs/STs, especially because they haven’t demanded their elected representatives to develop them. How long can the nation tolerate reservations in the name of caste when people itself want to stick to their backwardness? It appears that, by the end of 2010, the constitution will be once again amended to extend the reservations for SC/STs for another 10 years. This will continue to happen until SCs/STs wake up and demand progress and accountability from their elected representatives. Also, they need to start realizing that, their elected representative need not be from SCs/ST to understand their problems.

I hope sense prevails in India.

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8 thoughts on “Article 334: Reservation of seats and special representation to cease after twenty years

  1. Pynkhraw Marwein

    Sir,
    With respect to your article on reservations of ST/SC , I would like to make a brief statement on this issue.
    Since independence our community have been striving towards a better socio-economical status,but unfortunately we have been deprived from all aspects of opportunity.We elect our representatives to amend laws that could protect and built a platform for our prosperity and to make full use of our potential,but these are all in vain.Politician’s with their initial priciples drastically change their agenda towards a better motives of their own i.e businesstician.They have utilise the available human resource and brainwashed them in order to gain the maximum support from the intellectual.As in my case I am a BHMS doctor working under NRHM.I feel so fortunate that such a scheme was implemented by the central govt. For if it was’nt for this scheme I would have been umemployed since the state cannot create any state post for AYUSH Doctors due to shortage of budget.Meghalaya is a defecit state and depends on central funds for survival.As of age relaxation and reservations I Am very much obligated to the constitution for amending such articles,since I am almost 30 years old and the cut off is 32 for enrollment into state govt post.
    I would like to implore you and other intellects of our country,that instead of looking at the superficial layer ,you can do more by amending more strict and vigilant laws that could check the corruption that has infested in NoRth east.
    We have the skills and will but our rights have been killed.
    Thankyou

  2. Praveen

    Dear Sir ..

    Unfortunately I saw your precoccupied report on SC/ST reservation …2years later. I was dumbfounded and awestruck by reading your report. Iam going back to the ages old system to remind you how people lived in the soceity. Our Indian Varnashram has started much before one could imagine. The way in which Indians treated certain Indians was a brutal fact. Social discrimination, economical suppression and cultural isolation by so called superior people has made them live in ignorance and apprehension all the time. One should really introspect that no one is born as superior or inferior. It is rather a chance to born as a (good) human being and have no rights to descriminate others. One needs back up to stand on their own leg. It is not enough for deprived people to earn to meet their needs , it is also equally important for them to compete socially, economically and politically. Hence our forefathers could forsee the situation and laid the foundation in the form of provisions in the Constitution. Social stigma which traumatised people since thousands of years cannot be uprooted in 20years. It requires 100 plus more years of radical social reforms. I request you not to count the number of attempts of ammedments made but count how much progress SC/ST people have made inspite of the existing constitutional provisions. No one wants to live in the disgruntled state rather it is the deprived of oppurtunities making them.

    I hope sense prevails in India.

    Thanks you..
    BS

  3. Nandita

    I believe that people have accepted their despair and doesnot want to fight for their rights now. Yes, its true that SC’s and ST’s dont need a representative from their caste to understand their problems but is upper class or i should say the “privileged” ones really interested in addressing their problems. The basic problem of our country is Caste based politics and one just cannot blame the politicians for it. The people of India fall in their trap because they too belive in it. They are ready to lift the swords, damage public property , kill their own brothers and all this just in the name of the caste and religion. Little has been done to bring a poor out of his misery. When elected politicians only think of filling their pockets and bank accounts.

    Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high…my Father, let my country awake.

  4. Yes, It’s facts that the reservation for the promotion of “Social-Educational” Backwards Class was kept in the constitutional maker of ours constitution at at time for ten years after long discussion in the constituent Assembly, To day it has extended for six/seven time up to 2020. Now time has come to us for review the system if rotten and provision of “Excluding” from the list should be implemented under Art-341(2) & 342(2)., which is purely the duty of Central govt within the provision of the constitution. Similarly the case of Modern Language & Calendar issue also Art-210 & 120 should be implemented by Appointing the National language Commission under Article 344 of the constitution. As per the constitutional maker Hindi was accepted as national language of the “UNION”on the day of Sept-1949 by the constitutional drafting committee approved/enacted the same by the constituent Assembly. As per the Art 120& 210 the use of English Language should be “OMITTED” from India after 25 froms from the implementation of the constitution and all the Officials works should be started as per their regional language & union works should by Hindi, but perhaps the “So-Called” Moderate people forgetting their Language, Literature & Culture due to colonial influence modality of governance ,Only to conceal their weakness to day they R engage in arguing the constitutional behaviors & its interpretation as well as proper implementation. It’s twenty first century a Century of Knowledge, Idea & awareness instead of resenting ours morale compass today Doctor’s Engineers & scientist etc are diverted their attention towards the interpretation of the constitution and started thinking about the “Backwards Class ” people. The Aboriginals/Native Indians are much more aware Ideal & sincere from these So Called Modern people of modern Bharat/India/Hindustan. It the time to works together for achieving the height of the enacted constitution to full fill the dreams of ours founding fathers of this constitution instead of Accusing the Political system or Politicians as well as achieving the unity, integrity and prosperity of the country by 2020.

    Mrs Parbati Hembram

  5. Vishal W

    Dear Sir,
    We cannot blame the SC ST OBC and Minorities because they didn’t demand their rights to their leaders. Why is it so that these Backward class communities can only go to their leaders for development and opportunities? Why can’t leaders from so called upper caste come forward for the benefit of these backward classes. This is a sign of Casteism where the majority of the elected candidates who belong to upper caste are not bothered about this issues. Caste is the only reason for the backwardness of India. What happened to the dream of DR Ambedkar to de-caste India? Backward class people never said that they want to remain backward. It’s those people who started Caste discrimination in our country are not willing to eradicate Caste because they still want to rule. The day CASTE is abolished, India will not required Reservations in any field. Try to finish caste system instead of blaming people who were deprived of basic equality, social interference etc.

    Thanks And Regards
    Vishal W

  6. Ray Morris

    Anglo Indian community in different parts of India are still struggling in life so it is very necessary to have the representation in both the houses of parliment.

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