Reality Check India

Got a problem – just amend it !

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on June 27, 2006

Credits: Arun Shouries new book “Falling over Backwards” provided a summary of these amendments. I am just following the trails from that book and other internet resources.

The Indian constitution has been amended 93 times. The most significant ones have been related to the quota policy. This is because by nature numerical quotas fly in the face of the constitutional guarantees to right of equality. Led by powerful OBC politicians, any judgement by the supreme court in favour of justice and upholding of the law is instantly met with an amendment. Since OBCs are the largest votebank in India they had little by way of opposition. Let us take a closer look.

Amendment #76


We have seen that the very first amendment to the Indian constitution was due to the quota situation prevailing in the Madras state.

That was 1951.

Fast forward to 1993.

The Government of India had decided to implement Mandal commissions’ recommendations in 1990. Countrywide protests followed, and a spate of litigations were filed in the Supreme Court. These petitions were then grouped together under Indira Sawhney Vs Union of India. The Supreme Court then delivered a majority judgement in this landmark case in 1992. 

  • Validated the Mandal recommendations 
  • Emphatically states that the creamy layer must be removed
  • The total quota cannot exceed 50% under any circumstances

Now in the year 1993, Tamilnadu already had 69% quota for 13 years. So, Indira Sawhney created some problems. Following that the Madras HC ruled that.

  • While the 69% could stay for the year 1993, from 1994 session onwards the quota had to be cut down to 50% (like the rest of India)

The concerned TN government (then under Jayalalithaa) then filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the HC order. The SC upheld the Madras HC order and reiterated that quotas cannot exceed 50%. The constitution does not allow quotas to exceed 50%. Dr Ambedkar himself had said that, “quotas are an exception to the rule of equality, and that under no circumstances can the exception be allowed to swallow the rule“. So now we had a problem, if the government did not act within a few months, Tamilnadu would have to reduce its quota by 19%.

Immediately, the TN government called a special meeting of the TN assembly on 9th November 1993. The legislators then passed a bill, asking the central government to immediately amend the constitution of India to allow TN to continue with its 69% quota. Then the TN government passed a bill in the assembly continuing its 69% quota and forwarded it to the central government (then under PV Narasimha Rao of the Congress Party). This whole exercise took till July. Now time was running out because the admissions would start in just a few days.

The central government swung into action and urged the president (SD Sharma) to give assent to the constitutional amendment bill. The president gave the nod. Later Tamilnadu petitioned the government to include the amendment in the 9th Schedule, so that it could not be challenged in courts. That too was conceded without much fuss by the government.

The constitution was thus amended for the  76th time allowing the TN government to persist with its 69% quota. This cannot be challenged in court. I dont know if any other state has this luxury.

PS: Interesting tidbit, Did you know that Arjun Singh was suspended from the Congress Party by PV Narasimha Rao ?

Full Text of the amendment :

10 Responses

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  1. barbarindian said, on June 27, 2006 at 2:37 pm


    Why would you link a university site which appears to be a mirror copy of the official site?

    Just curious.

    In other words our country is officially a tyranny of the majority. Oh wait, amend my statement to read – our country is officially a tyranny of a minority masquerading as the majority.

  2. realitycheck said, on June 27, 2006 at 3:42 pm


    Fixed it !

    If you are interested read the 77th, 81st, 82nd, 85th, 93rd amendments. This stuff is unbelievable !!

    • padmanav said, on July 23, 2009 at 12:21 pm

      Kindly send the details of the 85th amendment of the Indian Constitution.

      Thanking You

      Yours Truly


  3. Bruno said, on June 27, 2006 at 4:54 pm

    the 69 percent reservation in Tamil Nadu DOES NOT DENY THE 50% legitimate seat of the forward castes.

    See here for the details.

  4. srinivas said, on June 27, 2006 at 7:23 pm

    No constitution can be a binding agreement unless the people and their elected representatives have some basic meeting ground on what are inviolable rights. Sadly, that is missing in India. In India, democracy legitimizes the brute force of majority rule (or as barbarindian puts it). Democracy itself is just a voting rule. It guarantees nothing. If you held elections in the Islamic world, Osama would be elected in a landslide. Unless people view some basic rights–such as speech, property, freedom of association, equality before law–as non-negotiable and inviolable, we will have more such acts of naked grab masquerading as social justice. As Churchill once said, the sheep may pass resolutions on vegetarianism but it wont have any effect if the wolves have a different view.

    A case in point is the esteemed Dr. Bruno. He has been going around saying that the upper castes have “no right in the reserved category” (vis-a-vis creamy layer discussion). Of course, he is also going around with his fuzzy math about how TN 69% is actually 50%. Yeah, right.

  5. sandeep said, on June 28, 2006 at 11:13 am

    Hey RC,

    I’ve read a few of Shourie’s books and don’t find anything “extreme” in them. That said, like you, I’m reading his latest “falling over…” which is like his other books, deeply researched and exposes the fundamentals of the problem.

  6. Bruno said, on June 29, 2006 at 2:59 am

    Well there are a whole lot of fanatic and racist media which give a biased view, what is wrong in me giving the correct view.

    I can’t understand what is fuzzy regarding that

    it is clear maths

  7. realitycheck said, on June 30, 2006 at 4:23 am

    //I can’t understand what is fuzzy regarding that//

    Just a guess. Maybe he is not able to understand how 50% + 69% = 100%.

  8. Bruno said, on July 1, 2006 at 4:35 am

    If you read the link given, you will understand that it is NOT 50 + 69

    It is 50 + 50 only

    Read and then comment

    Please don’t argue based on your delusions

  9. […] Can anyone guess what the 76th amendment is ? What the very 1st amendment is ? See here and here […]

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