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Supreme court stays OBC quotas

March 29, 2007

Well, the breaking news here in India is that the Supreme Court has stayed the 27 percent OBC (Backward classes) reservation quota which the government wanted to implement via the Central Educational Institution (Reservation in Admission) Act of 2006. The complete explanation of the quota system is given here.

The 2006 OBC quota system, if implemented, meant that almost 50 percent of seats in educational institutions would be not be based on merit, something unheard of anywhere in the world. This is because reservation already exists for the SC and ST (Scheduled Castes and Tribes).

However some states (Tamil Nadu) have had this 50 percent reservation system in place for years – but with the new law elite central government educational institutions like the IIT’s, IIM’s and AIIMS were to come under its purview.

The Supreme court’s objection? That the 1931 census “cannot be a determinative factor for identifying the OBCs for the purpose of providing quota.” Shockingly, according to The Bench of Justices (Arijit and Pasayat and L S Panta) who delivered the ruling, no data on OBC’s has been collected in the last 76 years!

To take such a momentus decision, with such far reaching consequences, and not even bother to provide proper documentation to back up their new reservation policies?

The Supreme Court has also said that caste based reservations will divide this country. Obviously the court is against caste based quotas on principle.

The government is apparently going to take ‘constitutional and legal’ measures to fix this problem. I wonder what measures they plan to take? Any rational man, even if he has sympathy for the poor cannot think of caste based quotas as a fair solution. The reservations apply to caste only, not poor disadvantaged people. If there is to be reservation in this country, why can’t it be for those who are poor and disadvantaged, be they Christians, Hindus or Muslims? Right now these so-called caste based reservations which include even rich people, are biased in favour of the Hindus. Even rich Hindus can take advantage of it. Totally senseless.

(Photo sourced from IBN)

Related Reading: Has caste based affirmative action worked?

15 Comments leave one →
  1. March 30, 2007 10:45 am

    Interestingly, I got a comment from someone which said something to the effect that I am blogging in English because my ancestors oppressed the backward classes (I am a Brahmin). Ofcourse I do not publish any comments which are against any community (even if the community in question is Brahmin) and therefore did not publish the comment. Also he said that blacks in America have 50 percent reservation, which I know is untrue. I do not publish such twisting of facts.
    This comment made me realise that there are people who want to take revenge on the upper castes and their weapon is – reservation. That is why they want the rich OBC’s to be part of the reservation system.
    Well, horrible things have happened in the name of caste, and some things still happen, but certainly I don’t hold myself responsible. I never see people in terms of their caste.
    Nor do I hold my great-grandfather resposible, a hard working sincere man who believed in womens rights, a poor school master who came up the hard way.
    Only sick twisted minds hate whole communities and frankly I know it is pointless to argue with them.
    I am absolutely against taking revenge for historical wrongs. If we go by that criteria, this whole world will become a madhouse.
    Today, let us focus on helping poor people – not rich kids who have access to the internet, and are greedy for reservations.

  2. March 30, 2007 4:01 pm

    This youngster abusing me for being ‘brahmin’ is back and says he never said that blacks have 50 percent reservation and I should have published his comment. Well, I am clarifying it – but sorry, no publishing of abusive comments.
    In any case, I too never said that there is no reservation in other places in the world. And nor have I said anywhere that I am anti-reservation. I am quite puzzled as to the guy’s reaction.
    I guess some people just want to fight. If you want to fight boy, do it somewhere else. I have blocked you now so if you send any comment now it will go to my blacklist which means spam. This means I won’t get to read your comment.

  3. praxist permalink
    March 30, 2007 4:38 pm

    In response to your article, (and without getting into the pros and faults of reservation) here is a little fact that I am pretty sure about. In Tamil Nadu, reservation is as high as 67%-69% . This being against the supreme court ruling (of reservation not exceeding 50%), had been placed under the 9th shedule. Needless to say, in light of the new hearing about reservation for OBC, Tamil Nadu has been one of the first states to react, and a full bandh has been declared on Saturday.

    The Battle Of Wills continues.

  4. Narasimha Gujja permalink
    April 4, 2007 1:52 am

    Reservation based on caste is immoral. Period.

    The SC’s decision has everything to do with logic and nothing to do with animosity towards a section of community. People should realise calling one-self as ‘backward’ is insulting.

    Since 1931 India has progressed enough to have lifted some percentage of ‘backward’ caste population out of poverty. This Iam afraid is not being acknowledged by present reservation policy.

    I infact think reservation was a remarkable social tool used in India for the upliftment of an entire society. Anyhow it’s significance was lost many years ago, when the ‘creamy layer’ started enjoying the benefits more and more.

    We should continue reservation! not based on caste’s but based on economic standard of the person claiming to be backward.

    Many know how a good friend among us, coming from same type of family backgroud, going to same school would eventually claim to be ‘SC/ST/OBC’ and secure a seat or job even though he/she got same or less score than you!! I would’nt hate that friend, instead look up the sky and ask “please justify this”

    Just my 2cents!!
    Narasimha Gujja

  5. April 4, 2007 1:47 pm

    “Well, horrible things have happened in the name of caste, and some things still happen” – Somethings still happen.. thats all? I dont think so…

    “Every hour two Dalits are assaulted; every day three Dalit women are raped, two Dalits are murdered, and two Dalit homes are torched.”

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/06/0602_030602_untouchables.html

    Somethings???

    “I am absolutely against taking revenge for historical wrongs” – I suppose Hindutva in its new package is all about it.. so what does that Imply?

  6. April 4, 2007 2:06 pm

    I believe that people of all castes and religions who are disadvantaged should get reservation. If the majority are of a certain caste, fine.
    Also, I am not disputing the atrocities against Dalits. I don’t see that anywhere in my post. Did you want me to give statistics on rapes and murders?

  7. April 4, 2007 3:19 pm

    Clash,

    Will the reservations help change the mentality of the upper class oppressors…NO??? and why somebody else has to suffer for doing no bad to others???? there has to be some logic somewhere….

  8. April 5, 2007 10:19 am

    There are some sections of the society that holds the view point that, these atrocities never happen anymore in shining India. Reservation for sure is a contentious issue and it should not be used for political gains but it should prevail in an utter prejudiced socitey of this kind but should be implemented scientifically.

    @Vicky Singh : I understand the upper caste mentality never changes but this is the only way to give the downtrodden of the society a chance to improve themseleves and move ahead. “equality” which was being ranted by the protesters against the reservation is just an illusions. Months after these protest a Dalit family in Khairalnji was butchered, I dint see any of the equality vouching Rang De Basanti crowd in the streets.
    The Media which seems to be the saviour of lot India also holds a prochial view point about this issue. A look at this article by Sainath – One of the Rare exceptions among the Indian jounrlaits “might” give you an insight in to this fact.
    http://www.indiatogether.org/2006/dec/psa-ambedkar.htm

    “why somebody else has to suffer for doing no bad to others????” – Who is this somebody? The majority are ingrained with these dogmatic caste principles, where they dont have the guts to still go against the status of the family and step out of your caste and religion to have a marriage. They dont try to break these dogmas working against it, but they want the easy method – Stub the privileges offered to the under dogs as they are eating up our pie. Now to make a note : South India, which constitutes the better performing states in India have reservations for different communities including Muslims and christains (Kerala). Mind you this dint degrade the quality of education doled out or did it take away the opportunities for others. It has helped only people from the backward areas to be part of a developement which is wholesome than peripheral. Tamilnadu has a rural quota and i know innumerable number of students who came to my college under that quota – they were from the lowest sections of the society but right now working and having a decent enough life. No wonder they are on of the fastest developing states in India.

    In a system where only personal interests previal, it is difficult to devor some truths . But that doesnt mean that it is not the truth.

  9. April 5, 2007 2:23 pm

    Clash,

    This “Somebody” is people who belong to upper caste by birth but not by their ideas/thinking. And do you really think is reservation the only cause to provide for the betterment of the poor, dont you think that even poor can consist these “Somebody” as well??

    At one hand you talk about rural quota and other hand about caste quota?? again here lies the contradiction… if you talk abt rural..here the well to do higher class can come under it and if you talk abt “caste”…again well to do lower caste can come under it…they why simply not provide better facilities to poor instead of this reservation?

    Have you ever thought what kids have to say with whom future we are playing…can we justify that??? just imagine…two good kids in a school competing with each other…hwever when it comes to IITs only the one in the reservation category can easily get thru …for??? no good or bad he has done…

    All i want to say two mistakes never make a right and likewise reservation is another mistake which we are going to do..and the politicians just want votes for that….

    Clash if i assume that you belong to the reservation class (no offence pls) then there is no reason for you not to vote for these politicians/party…and this is what they are playing for…your votes and nt your betterment…otherwise if they have invested the money for the poor..we would not be having this discussion at all…. What a Shrewd thinking politicians we have against we Innocent/Emotional Indian….Till when we will be playing to their tunes….pls stop it!

  10. January 25, 2008 7:58 am

    Nita,

    I was searching for this post because you mentioned somewhere you got offensive emails for this post (or some other related post).

    I decided to comment on this though it had been a while since you posted this article.

    I dunno the complete details of the government’s proposed policy but my overall understanding is it is going to benefit lower castes. (rich and poor)

    It is a total stupidity to use 1931 report to frame this policy and this clearly indicates how careless the government is. I was always concerned about reservations because once a policy is approved, that’s the end of the story. Future governments will not monitor the progress and revise the policy accordingly. So, all the future generations of upper caste will have to suffer for the past.

    I agree that reservations should be for the poor. I was under the same impression as you until I met a guy recently who benefited from the reservation policy.

    His points were:

    1. It is widely accepted that people of lower castes are not allowed to learn anything academic for the past 2000 years.
    2. It is scientifically proven that you can carry the genes of ancestor’s up to 7 generations.

    Taking these factors into consideration, the IQ level of level of lower castes who had done low profile jobs in the past will be much less than the upper caste people who for generations had been learning Vedas.

    So, the reservation will immensely benefit them. But, I agree that government is not taking these factors into consideration.

    So, from his argument government should at least do something to uplift the people who had been suppressed for generations. But, it should be in such a way they could use it only for one generation. That’s if a father had used the reservation policy then the children can’t use it. This way it will truly work for the upliftment if the low caste poor people.

    This sounds like a valid argument to me and would like to know your thoughts on this!

    Only if the lower caste people in our country are out of poverty, we will truly become a developed country.

    In TN, reservation is there for Christians and Muslims as well .It had immensely helped the MBC’s, but only to a least extent SC and ST’s.

  11. January 25, 2008 9:59 am

    Priya, I do not believe that IQ does not improve if the right exposure is given. In any case, one doesn’t need a very high academic IQ to succeed in life. There are umpteen instances of people with average intelligence suceeding. In fact there are stats to prove that brilliant people often fail and it’s the average lot which does good. Therefore I believe that reservation is a no-no for those who are well-to-do and have already got a good education.
    about IQ being inherited for 7 generations, I think that’s bullshit. genes are passed on but iq is also influenced by environment. You take a child from a poor class and give him to an adoptive parents and he will get a good education and will succeed in life. Just look around…it’s poor destitute kids who are being adopted. They do just fine in their adoptive families.
    in any case it is not only lower caste people who are poor. I know many cases where brahmins are poor too and also other castes who are not on the reservation list. all these people who are desperately poor should be helped, irrespective of their caste. I know familes who have fallen on desperately bad times after 7 generations of wealth! so what does this mean? why has their 7 generations of “high” IQ not helped them?
    I have written an article on Intelligence on this blog, here. .
    Yes, I do believe in reservation, but it should not be communal. and reservation polices have to be linked to scholarships for meritorious students.

  12. January 25, 2008 11:24 am

    If we have a correct data about financial status of every citizen, then would be much easier to allot reservations.

    But, I doubt such a step would be taken by the government to implement it.

    Even it is implemented, to what extent it would be corruption free is a big question? Especially business people and landlords will misuse it a lot.

    The reason they want to implement is more for bagging votes than for upliftment of ppl. Otherwise, they wouldn’t use data from 1931 . Still, I can’t get over that fact(1931)🙂

  13. February 19, 2008 7:39 pm

    I FULLY AGREE WITH PRIYA , BEING BORN TO A PARTICULAR CASTE GOVT SHOULD NOT GIVE ALL THE BENEFICTS WITHOUT CONSIDERING RICH AND EDUCATEDNESS.OF A PERSON.PLEASE APPLY THE CLAUSE IN RESERVATION TO OBC,MBC, AND SC, THAT INCOME CERTIFICATE OR SALARY SLIP OF HIS FATHER IS NECESSARY.MAN SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN BENEFICTS BASED ON THE CASTE, THEN IT IS NOT SOCIAL JUSTICS OR SOCIAL HARMONY.
    PLEASE ADVICE POLITICAL PARTIES NOT TO ADOPT CASTE AS THE CLAUSE.PLEASE DO NOT TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION OF TN POLITICS
    IT IS REGIONALITIC, SELFISH, ARROGANCE IN NATURE THAT 88% PEOPLE IN TN ARE BACKWARD,THEY ARE FOOLING SUPREME COURT THEY ARE SPLITTING HINDU SOCEITY INTO CASTE FOR THEIR POLITICAL MILAGE.TAMILNADU IS A STATE WHERE EACH AND EVERY SMALL THING POLITICS IS INTERFEARING, THIS YOU CAN FIND TAMILNADU CITIES POSTERS CULTURE, SUCH A PETTY SELFISH MINDED REGIONAL `POLITICS..
    PLEASE BE HUMAN.TO ALL.
    LET YOU LIVE AND ALLOW HIM TO LIVE.

  14. Marandhi permalink
    August 29, 2008 6:12 pm

    It is very much sad that so called forward classes (which mean by political parties) are really Schedule class status .
    Hence please mplement creamy layer that in OBC, and SC Whosever is govt officer, enggineer, doctors, lawyars their children should not get avail this benefict.This benefict is meaning for real poor people in OBC, SC.So called rich and educated is availing depriving poor to get beneficts.
    It is not social justics, and secularisams.
    I have also seen in the report a lot of malpractices going on in Tamilnadu, govt itself saying that 70% people are poor, in fact because of UPA Tamilnadu is getting full advantage from congress, though anti hindi anti north anti hindus programmes started in TN.
    Now UPA wants only minority votes, hence it is dividing soceity on caste lines, language wise, their final motive is to defeat BJP.
    But UPA has to pay heavy price for getting Hindu votes.
    Hence please adopt economical basis for reservation, do noy adopy TN Policy, that was racisams,In TN all the BC people are rich, and what a plight is they want to include their caste into MBC.
    CASTE WAR IS GOING ON TN BECAUSE OF RESERVATIONS.All the film stars are starting parties, backgound is only caste.
    I REQUEST SUPREME COURT TO LOOK INTO IT SERIOUSLY.

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  1. Some students have moderate views on OBC reservations « The Great Indian Mutiny

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