The newly elected Congress government in Rajasthan has abolished the criterion of a minimum educational qualification to contest local body elections introduced by the previous Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government.
In the run-up to the just concluded state assembly elections, the Congress in its Rajasthan poll manifesto had promised to do away with the condition of minimum educational qualification for contesting local body elections in the state at both urban and rural level.
An ordinance was introduced in 2015 by the then BJP government in Rajasthan, which barred candidates who are not at least ‘class X pass’ from contesting elections for the state’s municipal bodies.
In the panchayat elections, the candidates were required to have a minimum education qualification of class X for them to be eligible to contest the Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti elections. A minimum qualification upto class VIII was made mandatory for candidates planning to contest sarpanch and gram panchayat elections. For candidates of SC/ST background, however, the criterion was relaxed and the minimum qualification was kept lower to class V.
Though the Supreme court of India had declined to interfere with the principle of stipulating minimum criterion for fighting elections there were few expected loose canons from the Congress, which was then sitting in the opposition, who had claimed that the move was deeply discriminatory.
And today, after taking charge in Rajasthan, the Congress was quick to scrap the minimum education criteria for civic polls candidates.
As expected, few Congress loyalists soon jumped in appraisement for this decision
Education is a privilege in a country like India. It’s regressive to bar a bunch of people from contesting elections because they aren’t privileged enough to qualify. I am glad the Raj government has scrapped this discriminatory rule
— Rohini Singh (@rohini_sgh) December 31, 2018
Gehlot Govt is right step to remove the arrogant & elitist minimum qualification for panchayat etc elections. Every Indian can vote, and so has the right to contest too. SC judgement (Chelameswar et al), upholding that restriction was among its most shockingly retrograde
— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) December 31, 2018
What seems to be rather appalling is that the Congress jingoists in haste to display their unconditional support to their masters, most of the times deliver without investing too much mind into what they are saying or its implications.
Firstly, calling basic education a ‘privilege’, that too after 72 years of independence, speaks volumes about the ‘lack of knowledge’ of this so-called intellectual stratum.
Just to clear the misconception of people like Rohini Singh, few people on Twitter were quick in pointing out the fundamentals.
Education is not a privilege as of Now ( everywhere in India ).
Most state Govts. provide free education up to 10 Class ( along with Free Text-books, Free Uniform & Free lunch ) and Stipend to Economically weak students also. ?
— M.A. Pass Chowkidar (@Anti_Bhakti) December 31, 2018
Meanwhile few also pointed out how such comments coming from Congress loyalists epitomises Congress’ legacy and record of governance considering they are the ones who have dominated the country post-independence.
What kind of development do we talk about, if, in so many years, basic education is still considered a ‘privilege’ and the Congress is incapable to provide us with a group of administrators with basic education, many seem to ask these questions.
Education is still a “privilege” in a country, ruled by congress for 60 years, speaks volumes.
— Rudroham (@iamnewindian) December 31, 2018
Madam,he is not asking for a Master’s degree or Phd. Facility to avail Tenth class education is available even in villages.
— kumar (@kumar69781989) December 31, 2018
Than why to hold an educational qualification bar on:
and many more??
— Tarun Chopra (@chopratarun05) December 31, 2018
It is indeed ironic that a party which jumps to claim every little achievement of the country as a consequence of their benevolence is in such haste to take back a reformative step regarding something as basic as a school level qualification. It raises the issue that the Congress is maybe indirectly admitting that in the 60 years that they ruled over the country, they could not even ensure a minimum school-level education for people who are going to be elected representatives.