Tehelka – SC creamy layer and Bengali grace marks
Saw this Tehelka article by PS Krishnan (a member of the Mandal Commission).
It seems he is advising the Arjun Singh led HRD ministry on the reservations issues.
First of all – I dont disagree with him per-se about SC creamy layer issue. If it can be proven or even measured that most, if not all SC communities get an fair share of the quota, then we can do away with the creamy layer criteria. If the SC quota is purely caste based, then you cannot have the Mahars, the Chamars, the Paraiars, and a few better off castes getting repeat benefits for multiple generations while others are left high and dry. Yes, the others include the shit-lifters, sweepers, nomadic gypsies, the brick breakers, the rag pickers, scavengers, the raw hide beaters, and every other caste. Since we have no qualms about using their heart breaking stories, we must be prepared to give them their due share – no ? If we do not carry everyone along in education and jobs, be prepared for either a Naxalite/Maoist wave or buy more film for your cameras.
Do we have data that the caste wise distribution of benefits is uniform ? No, that is politically sensitive. Fine, then the only check left against charges of abuse is to give preference to poor SCs or to first time beneficiaries.
- As far as I can see (I am no constitutional expert), the ruling does not preclude the government from coming up with a scheme that would use the creamy layer as a tie breaker.
- Another option is to only provide access to unfilled seats after application of the creamy layer filter to the non-creamy layer.
- Under no circumstances are creamy layer vacancies for SCs transferred to OBCs or to the open competition. Where is the scope for taking away of resources ?
- Between two SCs competing for a single position, does anyone actually oppose favoring the more deprived candidate ? Or is it open competition among unequals in a social justice system designed to prevent exactly that ?
Consider this statement by Mr Krishnan ,
Attracted by the prospect of employment under the British, the upper castes began to avail themselves of English education from the mid-19th Century. Their standards of education then were nowhere near their standards today. The first two Indian graduates, including Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, had to be given grace marks to enable them to pass.
. . .
Simultaneously, by collective force they prevented/delayed the entry of lower castes into even primary schools. The caste-based monopoly thus built up was dented when, from 1902 to 1935, reservations were introduced in the Presidencies and princely states for Backward Classes and SCs, and later on all-India basis in the Constitution in 1950.
This is a typical argument put forth by almost all Dravidian leaders. Quotas are interpreted as some kind of revenge for benefits enjoyed in the past by some selected castes. Unfortunately this time, Mr Krishnan has chosen to talk about a great Bengali (Mr Bankim Chandra Chatterjee). If the extra benefits (grace marks) enjoyed by the Chatterjees and Banerjees during the British rule is the reason for quotas in todays day and age, you have the following problem. You need to tell us why does West Bengal have 10 times fewer backward castes than Tamilnadu (which has had quotas for 85+ years) ?
Out of 100 Bengalis only 6 can access the OBC quota in AIIMS.
Out of 100 Tamils 65 will be able to access the new OBC quota.
Both NSSO and the Moily Committee Final report have pointed this out.
Anyone in India want to take a stab at answering this question ?