Next up, Mr Pinch Hitter on CNN-IBN
Tomorrow night on the Devils Advocate, the smooth talking minister will attempt to undo some of the damage done by Mr Arjun Singh (airing Sunday Night 9PM IST on CNN-IBN).
Dont ask why the Union Finance Minister is taking such an exceptional interest in the OBC quota ?
He will play with words, finesse you, dance around the bush, flash his smiles, whatever it takes. This is a last ditch effort to thwart the demands for a statistical study of the quota system. A scientific study will immediately reveal that the so-called OBCs in his home state are not backward by any stretch of the imagination. The most dominant OBC (who back the DMK) are not backward today and were not backward even 100 years ago. They had titles of Rao Bahadur, Dewan Sir and the like. The same with his community and his spouses too.
The entire political system in his state is built on the edifice of quotas. A study of the quota system might appear to be a reasonable request to you, but to him the entire dravidian movement is hanging on a balance here.
A preview (look forward to this line of argument), that there is no need for data because his experience (and life) tells him it works !!
"Amongst all the instruments available to us for affirmative action the one that has proved most effective is reservations. Experience tells us that… Reservations have helped many, many, many members of the OBCs to rise in the southern states. I am totally convinced about that."
If experience tell you that, then data will also tell you that. So whats the issue ? We get a study – you get to confirm your experience. We all shake hands and go home.
This is so bizarre that we have to jump from pillar to post asking for even basic facts about the system. We have to make it known the world over about this unbelievable fact. There is no measurement whatsoever about how the program is working – who the beneficiaries are – who is getting left behind. Nothing, Nada. The last study (more like a pulse check) was conducted 23 years back in PCs home state (and it revealed shocking data I might add). If you are going to play the OBC card in more and more areas – you must have recent data.
"As I understand… There is no ground to review whether there should be reservations or not. There is no ground at all… If a review means questioning the justification of reservations I say no," he said.
Look how he answers a totally different question. He pretends as if people are questioning the very concept of quotas and is horrified by that prospect. What people are asking is "Who has benefited over the years by this policy ?" In other words, which communities (Mudaliars, Gounders, Chettiars) has benefited – how many beneficiaries are second , third or fourth generation beneficiaries ?
Our solemn promise:
If current data indeed tells us that the quotas are reaching the really needy and not cornered by wealthy and dominant OBC communities. We will tuck our tails – issue a public apology and shut down all our blogs, and whole heartedly accept 27% quota.