Reality Check India

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Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on April 12, 2006

The key to having a meaningful discussion of reservation is to dissociate SC/STs with OBCs.

There is very little government statistics on the actual state of OBC components. There are however some good studies by the government on the SC/STs , some of them include data on OBCs too.

Please read this paper by Dr Partho S. Ghosh , excellent reading.

Positive Discrimination in India – A political analysis

http://www.ices.lk/publications/esr/articles_jul97/Esr-Ghosh.PDF

The important quotes with respect to OBCs

A related question is whether the privileges are being cornered by the élites amongst the target groups. One common criticism against the reservation policy is that it has benefited only a small section of them. According to estimates only 6% of the SC families have benefited from the policy. It must, however, be admitted that even this small number has thrown up leadership for the community to bargain for the larger interests of the community at large.71 Moreover, it is a fact of life that in any community within a competitive polity the initial beneficiaries are invariably the élites.

This criticism, however, is largely valid in respect of the OBCs where some of the backward castes are way above others amongst them. As such, any reservation policy meant for the OBC community as a whole, is bound to end in ineffectiveness in the long run by this internal contradiction alone. As most of the underprivileged amongst the OBCs would ask for their rights there would be cleavages in the OBC identity as is now being seen in Bihar. There the Kurmis and the Koiris are opposing the Yadavs, both belonging to the OBC category. Moreover, with other demands being raised for quota allocations by women, professional groups, the poor from the upper caste Hindus, and so on, there is a possibility that the entire system of OBC reservation would collapse as a result of these divisions.

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