Quote of the year
Sorry for the lack of updates during the past week. I could not get even a few minutes of blog time.
Anyway – I present you with the quote of the year from our PM.
‘One cannot wish away differences merely by refusing to measure them’
PM Manmohan Singh
The context was the Sachar report. Manmohan Singh emphasised that the data given in the report was necessary for planning, formulating and implementing specific programmes to address issues relating to the socio-economic backwardness of any disadvantaged group. See link here
So, on one hand the government is pooh-poohing (is that right) the need to collect even rudimentary data about OBCs – on the other it insists on measurement for Muslims.
Does anyone remember, the single point demand of the agitating students back in May was to conduct a socio-economic study of OBCs ? We had PC and others insist that a study was not necessary because life stories are sufficient for quotas for OBCs.
Is this a change in attitude ? The government must realize it cant get away without data, because if you indulge the OBCs – there are plenty of others who will demand quota without data too ! Recently there have been bloggers who cite a sample survey with 135 (thats right !) respondents in a single city to suggest that IT companies discriminate against OBCs. Is this kind of rigor sufficient for national policy ? Is it unthinkable ? No ! When you push through a massive social program costing without any data, you have lowered the bar for everyone.
- What is the clear definition of Social and Educational Backwardness ? Is it relative to the national average or to the top most community (eg the Parsees) ?
- What is the caste distribution of benefits accrued until now via the quota system? Has any caste progressed at all in the past 80-100 years to even be a candidate for removal from the backward list ?
- Some one needs to explain the Bengal / TN anomaly. If you carry this policy forward without closing this question, it might lead to protests in WB and Assam – who will not be getting a fair share of AIIMS/IIT seats.
This blog has said it before, the time for the third backward classes commission has arrived. It is time to take a pulse check, remove forward castes from the list, and convince the country that benefits are reaching the really needy.