Maratha Quota


GS Paper 2: Governance, Constitution, Polity and Social Justice.


Historical Significance of Marathas, Evolution of Reservation Demand, Maharashtra’s Reservation Framework, Socio-economic analysis and Political perspective.

Why in the News?

The Maratha mobilization for reservation in higher education and public employment peaked with the protesters issuing a request to the government.

  • Prime Minister, mentioned the extension of reservations for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and allowing states to determine their OBC lists.
  • The Rising demand for a caste census.
  • Bombay High Court upholds Maratha reservation citing MSBCC findings on backwardness. The court recognizes a 50% cap on reservations but allows exceptions with quantifiable data.

Who Are Dominant Castes?

  • A caste may be said to be dominant when it preponderates numerically over other castes and when it also wields preponderant economic, and political power.
  • A large and powerful caste group can be more easily dominant if its position in the local caste hierarchy is not too low.
  • Dominant castes are the main power holders. They establish contacts with outside government officials, elected representatives, and political leaders. They influence the political process.

Why do Dominant Castes want to be included in the OBC list?

  • Dominant castes seek OBC status due to economic shifts. Historically agrarian and powerful, changes in agriculture’s profitability reduced their prosperity.
  • Facing economic challenges, they now pursue OBC status for access to reservations and government benefits.
  • This shift reflects a desire to adapt to evolving economic circumstances and retain social and political influence.
  1. Reservation Benefits: Provides access to affirmative action measures, including reservations in education, government jobs, and other welfare schemes. Dominant castes may seek these benefits to address perceived economic or educational backwardness within their communities.
  2. Political Empowerment: It opens avenues for political representation and influence. Dominant castes may pursue this route to enhance their political standing and address grievances related to representation.
  3. Social Status and Prestige: OBC classification can alter social perceptions and grant a sense of official recognition to a community’s backward status. This recognition might be sought for reasons related to social status and prestige within the larger societal framework.
  4. Competitive Dynamics: In regions where dominant castes face challenges from emerging political or social forces, seeking OBC status could be a strategic move. It allows them to stay relevant in the changing socio-political landscape and compete for resources and opportunities.
  5. Redressal of Grievances: Even dominant castes might experience socio-economic disparities within their communities. Seeking OBC status might be a means to address specific grievances or challenges faced by certain sections within these castes.
  6. Balancing Political Alliances: Dominant castes aligning with political parties that champion social justice may find it advantageous to seek OBC status. This move can be a way to balance their interests within broader political alliances.
  7. Changing Demographics: Over time, demographic shifts, economic changes, or social transformations may affect the relative status of dominant castes. Seeking OBC status might be a response to these shifts to secure benefits and safeguards for their communities.
Scroll to Top