Reality Check India

The quest for data – I

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on June 2, 2006


Do you read that line "Satyameva Jayate" on the national emblem ? The government cannot deny us access to data because a policy built on falsehood and obfuscation is bound to fail. This is why an independent judical commission as demanded by the students is the only way to go for both sides. Will a new commission be appointed (or) will such a dramatic law be guided by rhetoric and personal feelings / life stories ? Only the Supreme Court can decide that.

In the meantime, here is something for concerned bloggers to read about in the interest of getting some data ourselves if the government wont show us.We really need to move the discussions beyond personal anecdotes and dronacharya stories. Luckily this is 2006, the age of information.


Where are the experts ?

It seems social scientists have abandoned their duty ? They are nowhere to be seen in the current controversy. Where are all the institutes, backward classes commissions, academicians, statisticians, social scholars, when you need them most ? Can we have a discussion in the USA about a new MARS mission without anyone from NASA being involved ? How interesting or relevant would that be ? That is exactly what is happening today.

Here is a starting point, a list of commission appointed over the years. Dig up details and conclusions of each of these reports and summarize them in your blogs.

1918 – 1990

Source Dr Ghosh

1918 – 1990

All India 
Years since last study = 26 !
Kaka Kalelkar Commission
B.P. Mandal Commission  1979-80

Special attention must be given to Tamilnadu, because it is being touted as a success story by various politicians. The two commissions however tell a totally different tale.

Tamil Nadu
Years since last study = 20 !
These two commissons came up with startling results, and strongly recommended removing the creamy layer. Ignored by the successive governments.
A.N Sattanathan Commission
J.M. Ambasankar Commission

  • Just 34 of the 222 OBCs cornered 75-80% of the seats. The key to remember is many communities come under various fragmented groups. If you combine the fragments, this figure would mean that just 3-4 OBC communities cornered 75-80% of the seats.
  • Recommended strong action to remove creamy layer and ignored.


The Havanur and Venkataswamy commissions created quite a bit of political storm. A lot of data can be collected from old newspapers.

Years since last study = 16 !
Justice L.C. Miller Committee (Mysore) – COLONIAL
Colonial commissions are supposed to be the best and most complete, even if they are 80-100 years old ! We need access to these reports !
Naganna Gowda Commission  1960-61
L.G. Havanur Commission  1972-75
T. Venkataswamy Commission  1983-86
Justice Chinappa Reddy Commission  1989-90

Kerala has a very good colonial era report.

Years since last study = 36 ! (second highest)
Justice C.D. Nokes Committee (Travancore-Cochin) – COLONIAL
Colonial commissions are supposed to be the best and most complete, even if they are 80-100 years old ! We need access to these reports !
V.K. Vioshvanathan Commission  1961-63
G. Kumar Pillai Commission  1964-66
N.P. Damodaran Commission  1967-70

AP's reports are quite good. Any experts ?

Andhra Pradesh 
Years since last study = 24 !
Manohar Pershad Committee 1968-69
Ananta Raman Commission 1970
Muralidhara Rao Commission 1982

North Indian States (included for completeness)Treat these states differently because OBC quotas for these states are in effect for only 16 years. That is another fundamental problem with the current proposal to extend OBC quotas to AIIMS/ IITs/ IIMs. The OBCs from the south especially TN and KA are into their third of fourth generation of benefits and they will easily outperform the OBCs from the north in any entrance exam. 

Years since last study = 30 !
Mungeri Lal Commission  1971-76
Years since last study = 19 !
A.R. Bakshi Commission 
Justice C.V. Rane Commission  1981-83
Justice R.C. Mankad Commission  1987
Years since last study = 16 ! 
Justice Gajendragadkar Commission  1967-68
Justice J.N. Wazir Commission  1969
Justice Adarsh Anand Commission  1976-77
Gurnam Singh Commission  1990
Years since last study = 42 ! <- We have a winner !
O.H.B. Starte Committee (Bombay Presidency)- COLONIAL 1928-30
B.D. Deshmukh Committee  1961-64
Years since last study = 40 !
Probably not relevant due to the majority Sikh religion
Brish Bhan Committee  1965-66
Uttar Pradesh
Years since last study = 29 !
Chhedi Lal Sathi Commission  1975-77

21 Responses

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  1. ravisrinivas said, on June 2, 2006 at 5:04 pm

    good work.see my blog for articles
    and notes on the reservation issue.
    I am putting up a blog in english
    on reservations issue.

  2. barbarindian said, on June 2, 2006 at 5:11 pm

    You are contradicting what P. Chidambaram’s life tells him. How dare you.

  3. rbug said, on June 3, 2006 at 12:16 am

    Good work.

  4. Indica said, on June 3, 2006 at 4:14 am

    it’s heartening to see my peers take up this cause.

    Ultimately, somebody has to stand up and fight for our basic rights.

  5. Apollo said, on June 4, 2006 at 1:16 pm

    Excellent work. let’s all join together to throw some light on the issue

  6. Barbarindian said, on June 5, 2006 at 2:42 am


    In this post Yogendra Yadav seems to suggest some OBCs are actually Shudras.

    Your comment on this?

  7. realitycheck said, on June 5, 2006 at 4:25 am


    Yes, I guess some OBCs actually are shudras (but not untouchables – because then they would be automatically SC). The real issue is that these OBCs get absolutely nothing from the system. Almost all benefits are cornered by the wealthy and privileged OBCs, leaving the others high and dry.

    What I am finding is that the OBC classification is so messed up – it is surreal ! The inter-OBC gap even within a state is so huge that a small number of privileged communities steamroller the really needy.

    A case in point : Consider the Yadava (Konar) community of TN. This community is classified as BC along with Mudaliars, Pillais, Gounders, and others. They are 80 Lakh in strength but due to being classified with the powerful and privileged OBCs they are not able to get anything out of this quota system. Their leader M. Gopalakrishnan claims that only 4 (thats right FOUR!!) students from this community entered professinal colleges in 2003!.

    The case is the same for Barbers, Washermen, Cooks, many Fishing communities, the list goes on.

    The Ambasankar commission found 16 years ago that only 22 of the 230+ OBC communities cornered 75-80% of seats. That number is probably worse today, only a new commission can find that out.

    Meanwhile the barbers still cut hair, the cowherds are still grazing, the quota system does NOTHING for them.

  8. Sweta Ram said, on June 5, 2006 at 10:42 am

    Cant believe this….

  9. realitycheck said, on June 5, 2006 at 11:37 am


    Yeah it is hard to believe, but there is some truth to it.

    Here is a link.

    There is no reason to believe that Mr Gopalakrishnan is lying. This alone would be sufficient grounds to ask for a detailed study about the system. Dont you think ?

    The state owes not only the open competition but the sidelined backward classes as well the data.

    Based on the study the government can formulate whatever policy it finds most suitable, and that includes the current quota system.

  10. barbarindian said, on June 5, 2006 at 5:13 pm

    Interesting news:

    Unless I am mistaken, it looks like the 27% is being considered as a given. So, what happened to the new surveys etc.?

  11. Barbarindian said, on June 6, 2006 at 12:30 am

    You may have read this:

  12. realitycheck said, on June 6, 2006 at 2:26 pm


    The first link (the new kerala website) doesnt make sense ?

    About the second story, yes I read that. The story has incorrect information. The DMK chief and his community (Isai Vellalars) are actually classified as MBC (not BC). So the report is wrong on that count !

  13. barbarindian said, on June 6, 2006 at 3:07 pm

    Well, the first link from the New Kerala website gives some political insight. Quite obviously Congress is trying to make sure it wins 2009 elections. But it can not gain true majority. To rope in the regional parties it has to give different concessions. For instance, no creamy layer guarantee to TN parties, reservation in private sector to Meira Kumar’s Samta party etc.

  14. s.murali said, on June 15, 2006 at 5:41 pm

    sir, i am a modern trishanku.i have no claim on any merit.i am one of those who deluded themselves by meaningless words like socialism.your blog exposes the casteism,opportunism,anti-indian feelings,cunning and wickedness of TN politicians.for obvious reasons,you have left out their motive.Which we all know springs from tamil nationalism and it not time people in other parts of india know about this.after all,THEY can accuse US of being anti is an extremely complex problem,that touches on our innermost selves.though this might seem extraneous to reservation,it is the root problem.i think the rest of india deserves to know this.we seem to be heading for a time similar to the pre-mauryan period.mauryan inscriptions are found everywhere except in TN.Thank you again for your wonderful work,meticulously exposing chid. and co

  15. realitycheck said, on June 15, 2006 at 6:09 pm


    The ultimate truth (hard data) is what we must get at. Everything else will fall in place.

    I am very optimistic about the Supreme Court, it will insist on data – even from TN, no matter how uncomfortable it may be.

    It is the UPAs fault for not having any control over these leaders from TN. The same DMK/PMK crowd was in the NDA government for 5 long years. They never stepped out of line.

  16. Robin said, on June 22, 2006 at 12:16 pm

    is there different classification among OBCs in Bihar? I am starting a study on OBC politics in Bihar for my PhD. I am French and I’d like to learn more about castes.
    thank you,

  17. realitycheck said, on June 22, 2006 at 3:21 pm


    I believe OBCs in Bihar are classified into BC and EBC (Extremely Backward Classes). Within each of these groups there are dominant castes.

    I think the quota system there is SC 14% ST 10% BC 10% EBC 14% Women 2% (Total = 50%)

  18. Abraham lincoln said, on June 28, 2006 at 5:27 pm

    The Report of Dr. chhedi Lal Sathi since kaka kalelkar on most Backward classes commission should be bublished on the web and is the Important document must be linked with the site.
    Highly recommended

  19. Dr.Garima Vashistha said, on February 19, 2007 at 6:45 am

    Dr chhedi lal Sathi has worked all his life for dalits and Backward classes and presented his extencive and detailed report on Most Backward Classes and advised for 27% reservation ,as a chairman of Most backward classes commision (1975-1977).What ever happenings we are seeing in this direction ,are the outcome of his lifelong hardwork in this direction.This is my advice to publish this very important report on web and should be linked to .Our shradhanjalli to people like Dr Chhedi lal Sathi ,who create revolution in the society at different times for the betterment of humanity

    Thanks & Regards
    Dr.Garima Vashistha,Chairman

  20. […] To fix this problem, you must seek data – which is the truth. Truth will always set you free. (Isnt that our national motto ? Satyameva Jayate) Any takers for that today ? […]

  21. Manish K Thakur said, on September 11, 2007 at 11:07 am

    I would like Robin to get in touch with me for his interest in OBC politics in Bihar as I share his interest as a practising political sociologist. Moreover, I know a smattering of French after having done my BA in French from JNU in 1993. So, it is a good deal: French lessons in exchange for insights into OBC politics.

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