The Supreme Court has said the notion that liberalization and free-market economy in India would generate wealth which the government would use for providing higher education to deprived sections of the society has turned out to be “false and a mirage”.
“For the past two decades, this country has been in the throes of early ‘amor’ with the false but mesmerizing promises of laissez faire, free markets, liberalization, privatization and globalization,” said a bench of Justice B. Sudershan Reddy and Justice S.S. Nijjar.
The observation came in a recent judgment, made available on Tuesday, holding as “ultra vires” (beyond its powers) the Delhi government notification permitting the Army College of Medical Science in Delhi cantonment to enroll only the wards of serving and retired army personnel and that of war widows.
Speaking for the bench, Justice Reddy said, “The state, in the throes of that false passion, believed that it would lead to generation of such wealth, that it could then take on the task of providing access to higher education to hitherto excluded classes and groups.”
“However, that promise has turned out to be false and a mirage. It is now apparent to the state that denial of access to higher education, to socially and educationally backward classes, and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, would potentially be dangerous to the ship of our nation, the Constitution.”
The court held that there could not be any executive (government) order that is contrary to the statutory provisions and the mandate of the constitution of providing reservation to socially and economically weaker sections of the society.
“The disadvantaged (sections) are obviously brutalized and dehumanized, by the very structure in which they are compelled to live in,” the judgment read.
It further cautioned that, “If the (disadvantaged) masses of India were to start believing, which thankfully they do not, and hopefully will not in the future, that their dehumanized condition is immutable, then also the ship of our constitution would have lost its way.”
Apprehending a violent turn that this brutalized and dehumanized section of the society may take, the judgment said, “If they conclude that dehumanization is the only normal order based on what some keep propagating, and then further conclude that the only way out for them would be to violently revolt and oppress the oppressor, the (Indian) ship would sink.”