Reality Check India

Supreme Court : Increase in quota will divide nation

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on May 29, 2006

As expected, the last bastion of reason and freedom of India (the supreme court) has come down heavily on the government.


In a caustic remark the Supreme Court said that the proposed increase of OBC reservation would divide the great nation on the basis of caste.

A vacation bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice L S Panta ordered the Union of India to answer to three crucial questions:

1 What is the basis of the norms for fixing the OBC category?

2 What is the rational behind fixing it?

3 If the proposed reservation is implemented, what are the modalities and the basis for modalities? The apex bench gave an eight weeks time to file counter-affidavit on implementation of the policy.

The UPA government has really underestimated the people of this country. The anti-quota movement is gathering steam everywhere in India. It will become harder and harder for the UPA government to escape from the just demand of the medical students for a judical (or even a non-political) commission into the effects of quotas on OBCs for the past 60 – 85 years.

The students, as well the blogosphere have sharpened their demand to a laser sharp focus. They want the government to conduct a scientific study of the quota policyand they will not have anything else. They do not mind giving up their seats, but they want to make sure they give it up to the really oppressed and those with lack of opportunities. They have become more and more articulate and confident facing the media. Truth will always triumph, that is the motto of India, and that is what is driving the students and will ensure that the movement will gather momentum as the days go by.

Some positives :

  • The Congress (especially the PM) has finally woken up to realize that the quota policy should not be guided by the politicos from TN. It is like asking a cat to formulate a security policy for your catch of fish. If you remember that the previous GoM had P.Chidambaram and Anbumani Ramadoss in it. In the new commission headed by Veerappa Moily the TN ministers have been sidelined (the DMK, PMK, even P.Chidambaram has been ignored). The TN brand of quotas have nothing to do with social justice and targeted at a particular community. Now that obviously cannot be extended to the rest of India. All these Dravidian stalwarts can now hope for is that the "judicial review commission" which is coming will spare their state.
  • The BJP which has been quiet so far has supported the demand for a judicial study. This will ensure that the request for a judicial (or non-political study) will remain on the front burner. While no political party can be trusted with such an important issue, this is still a welcome sign.
  • Thanks to Arjun Singhs scintillating performance on CNN-IBN, almost everyone is convinced that the government has NO DATA whatsoever on OBCs. It is a foregone conclusion that the SC, sooner or later will ask the government to make public the data on which the new OBC quota is based. The total "adhocness" was reinforced by PC, who basically said that "there is no need for data, because his life tells him that the OBC quota is reaching the right people". There is no report or study that can be dusted off the presented in the near future. With great sheepishness, now the government has to admit that the OBC quota policy has not been monitored at all for the past 16 years (in the north) and the past 50+ years in the south.
  • One of the great sideeffects of this debate has been the widespread awareness it has created among people about the system. The people are amazed that TN does not exclude the creamy layer, even more amazed that communities they thought were dominant jamins actually are classified as backward, they are amazed that there are many families into their third of fourth generation quota benefits. Now, they want to rise above personal anecdotes and "PC style life-stories" and they want hard data. They want to know why a community X is classified as an OBC and why a community Y is not. The hunger for data has been created and will not be satiated without a thorough scientific study of the quota policy.
  • Even more encouraging is the active participation of a large number of Muslim and even OBC students. The current set of students from the poorer sections (not based on caste) have worked enormously hard to get admissions to these institutes. I usuall refrain from personal anecdotes but I know a student who wrote down an entire study guide because he could not afford to xerox it. Now, these type of motivated people are there is all communities and if the system does not factor them in, we have no system.

To wind up: here is the most important thing about this agitation.

This is going to be the last agitation on this issue.

From next year, if the government has its way you will have 27% less people participating in this type of protest. Today, OBCs who came in via the "merit" route support the agitation but next year OBCs who come in via the "quota" route will not support this type of protest.

The time is now !

51 Responses

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  1. Amit Samant said, on May 29, 2006 at 2:02 pm

    truly amazing analysis!!!!!!!
    keep it up

  2. Barbarindian said, on May 29, 2006 at 3:03 pm

    Excellent, linked to you instead of trying to do the analysis myself.

  3. Barbarindian said, on May 29, 2006 at 3:05 pm

    This article deserves more than one congratulatory comment. Such scathing sarcasm, man it’s gonna hurt some folks!

  4. barbarindian said, on May 30, 2006 at 2:08 pm


    Did you notice the brilliant ploy by the Government? SC has issued a contempt of court warning. The medicos will have no choice but to end the strike soon. Meanwhile all the ministers are away, leaving the details to officials. Docs end strike, quota gets implemented. Case closed.

    “We are not concerned at this stage about the Government policy. We are concerned at this stage about the plight of the people,” a vacation Bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice L S Panta said taking suo moto note of the developments.

    Of course!

  5. abhaga said, on May 30, 2006 at 2:28 pm


    You are doing an excellent job. Bravo man !

  6. realitycheck said, on May 30, 2006 at 5:37 pm


    Do not worry too much about the SC warning regarding contempt of court. As far as we know there has been no notice directed at the agitating students. I believe the legal opinion is that there cannot be a contempt of a court when there is no order.

    In any case, even if there is a court order like a show cause, the students plan to file a petition in the SC seeking to bring all their demands under the courts purview. Then they can call off their strike because all their demands will be under judicial scrutiny.

    Just saw a brilliant program on CNBC, where Karan Thapar interviewed two of the agitating students. The girl (I think Neha) was brilliant and what she said about the governments two-facedness shocked everyone. PC is supposed to have told these students, “your demand for a review will not happen, and you students should learn to live with the quota system”. Unbelievable, but then everyone who really knows PC and his dravidian compulsions will not be surprised.

    Things however have begun to look up, PC and his entire bunch of TN ministers have been sidelined and saner voices such as Oscar Fernandes and Veerappa Moily have taken over.

    So the chances look bright for a review.

  7. ankan said, on May 30, 2006 at 6:12 pm


    Is there a chance you could provide a link to the transcript of the CNBC program you mentioned, that will be great!

    I am fking pissed with all this.

  8. Confused said, on May 31, 2006 at 3:24 am


    Good job mate. Nice!

    Like you I believe that the time is now. Read D. Raja’s latest Op-Ed in IE where he claims anyone who demands judicial review is for abolishing reservations. Idiot!

    Hope SC asks the government for data. If the government can prove its case, fine.

  9. Sabarish Sasidharan said, on May 31, 2006 at 4:33 am

    I don’t think SC will be able to stop the government. The government will come up (somehow) with some facts that can push the SC into a tight corner. This move is bound to fail.

    What has to be questioned in the morality of using castes for reservations. SC can’t do it in the true sense of it.

  10. Nitin said, on May 31, 2006 at 4:37 am

    Good Analysis RC

    But i believe the Governement will still force in its scheme of things through amendments, remember amendments 81, 82 and 85 to the constitution.

    Lets just pray the sanity prevails this time.

  11. realitycheck said, on May 31, 2006 at 5:02 am

    Nitin , Sabarish –

    Take solace in the fact that this is 2006 not 1991. This is the age of information. It would not be possible for the government to manufacture facts out of nothing and still get away with it.

    That is not to say it wont try ! You bet they will try to twist NSSO data in many ways. We have to be alert.

    The 93rd amendment is being misused in this case, and it is a foregone conclusion that it will be struck down by the SC once it returns from summer vacation.

    Even then , if the SC asks the government to conduct a judicial enquiry into the effects of the quota system, it would be hard for the government to refuse. After all it has to at least appear to be fair.

    The real problem is that we are entering a downward spiral here. OBCs are a varied group, there is no way a Lodh potter from MP can compete with a wealthy and well educated Mudaliar or Pillai or Vokkaliga from the south. These communities are into their fourth generation of medical quotas (started in 1921 in TN). Is this a level playing field ?

    Soon, other OBCs will realize the huge disparity and will ask for sub groups (MBC, EBC, and so forth). There is no end to the demands.

    Get ready for a lot of Supreme Court action and a nation that will be increasingly divided thanks to a single moron of a minister.

  12. saravanan said, on June 4, 2006 at 6:52 am

    Atleast SC must uphold the interests of minority (other castes) else politicians will go any forward for the vote bank politics.

    Even the quota seats of RECs(NIT) are filled with the jugard(fraud) caste papers, this long list of OBC castes will allow this mass scale rigging, which no politician is bothered.

  13. Priyesh said, on August 25, 2006 at 6:22 am

    Is there an OBC quota in NIT’s

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