Reality Check India

MJ Akbar gets it right on Sachar

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on December 29, 2006

MJ Akbar has quite a refreshingly honest article on the Sachar report. This was published in the Pakistani newspaper Dawn

I agree with him on this one.  If rich wealthy OBC hindus can help themselves to the best institutes (AIIMS, IIT, IIMS) without having to establish any social or educational backwardness data, then the same cannot be denied to Muslims under any grounds. Atleast they went through the process of a commission and data collection.

The Lok Sabha recently approved a bill providing a 27 per cent reservation for “Other Backward Classes” in central educational institutions by a voice vote, which means that there was such unanimity that there was no need for a vote. These benefits have no economic conditionality: the rich among these castes will be the ones who will of course benefit far more than the poor.

The government, and parliament, did not need a special commission, and a report with 404 pages of statistics, charts and comments, to tell them to do this. They just went ahead and did it. Other Indian communities get jobs on command. Indian Muslims get commissions. The Rajinder Sachar Committee, appointed soon after Dr Manmohan Singh became prime minister, is the latest one.

The communities who benefit from job and educational reservations are better off than Muslims, financially, socially and psychologically. There are no riots against Other Backward Classes, for instance, that are aimed at terrorising the community and destroying entrepreneurs who may have set up a means of survival.

Yes, Mr Akbar we agree with you. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. At the very least, the OBC lists in many states should be redrawn to include muslim castes.

17 Responses

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  1. Barbarindian said, on December 29, 2006 at 3:13 pm

    All that is fine, but the danger lies in this (from the article):

    “Muslims have a special claim on the government led by Dr Manmohan Singh. Whatever the statistics might say, and I don’t think they will say anything particularly different, Muslims believe that it was their focused energy, and their anger against the Gujarat riots that helped create a decisive swing of 30 to 40 seats and brought the present dispensation into power.

    I am not specifically blaming Muslims here, but the idea of collective bargaining using votes is extremely dangerous.

  2. rc said, on December 29, 2006 at 5:12 pm

    >> the idea of collective bargaining using votes is extremely >>

    That is why the column is refreshingly honest. He gets right down to the point.

    The dravidians collectively bargained and got quotas in AIIMS/IIT/IIMs. Everyone knows how the bill passed. A 18000 crore expense for arguably the worlds most ambitious social justice program passed without discussion. It was passed with just a voice vote and no data to back anything up even after the Supreme Court specifically asked for data.

    What is a voice vote ?

    A voice vote is not recorded. The Chairman/Speaker just announces the bill is passed by saying “Ayes win” or “Nays win”. The number of ayes and nays are not recorded, nor is the vote of each MP. There was such unanimity that the bill passed both houses by a mere voice vote. MJ Akbar is rightfully asking, if those guys who are clearly not oppressed can have this kind of party why not us ? Has anyone ever heard of OBCs being the target of attacks ?

  3. xyz said, on December 30, 2006 at 3:49 pm

    how do muslims enter the picture?most of them have no loyalty to india.This is known to everyone and is dictated by the faith that was born in the deserts of arabia.

  4. Barbarindian said, on December 30, 2006 at 5:02 pm

    most of them have no loyalty to india

    That is a pretty sweeping statement. Muslims had plenty loyalty to India when it was ruled by the Mughals. During the Mongolian invasions when the caliphate was becoming weak, India was the Dur-ul-Islam.

    The Hindu faith, if the Aryan invasion (or migration) theory is to be believed, took birth in Iran or someplace beyond that.

    Now, I am not trying to be pro-Muslim here, I am as anti-Muslim as the next Hindu feels. It is just that I am reading some books and I know where the anger comes from. Statements like yours will serve no purpose. Unless you believe in and support the cause for dividing India into multiple nation states, just like it used to be.

    I am beginning to like the idea.

  5. xyz said, on December 31, 2006 at 10:55 am

    Dear barb,
    i agree on one point.making sweeping statements is pointless and divisive.but when know alls like m.j.akbar make simplistic statements to ‘Dawn’ ,it had me worked up.Life is complex.It is in the very nature of a believing hindu to recogonise the plurality of the world.There are no simple ‘solutions’ to the ‘problems’ of the ‘world’.You have said so in as many words.
    M.J.Akbar thinks he is the torch bearer of nehruvian secularism.He is not a prejudiced thinker.He atleast makes an effort to understand hinduism.But he can see it (or at least write about it )only through the prism of islam.(which like all semitic religions is based on dogma).The tradition of reflection,contemplation,inquiry is the very essence of vedanta.In many cases it might end ,for the aspirant,in the stillness of silence.
    But when one is conducting a debate,one must consider the context .MJ Akbar is better than most pseudo secularists.He is atleast a true believer of the nehruvian dogma.But shooting off on totally unrelated matters like gujarat and reservations to an ill-informed and biased audience,tests ones patience and exposes the limitations of the nehruvian dogma.

    Wish you,RC and all others a very happy new year.

  6. Goldstar said, on January 2, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    MJ Akbar need not have invoked Gujarat riots to make this rather good point about Hindu OBC’s getting the benefit without any data whereas Muslims not getting it even after conclusive proof of their backwardness. His argument is very very valid.

    Well done, RC to point us to a good article.

  7. xyz said, on January 3, 2007 at 12:17 pm

    what i was trying to point in a convoluted way is this-minorities,keep off this issue.You have no automatic claim on reservations.

  8. xyz said, on January 3, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    i have to admit mj akbar is far more reasonable than karu & co.

  9. rc said, on January 3, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    >>minorities ,keep off this issue >>

    Why ? They are indians too. We cant leave them out of our most lavish party and complain when they start getting attracted to extremists like SIMI.

    About automatic claims

    The SCs have an automatic claim to reservation due to evils like untouchability and access restrictions (no well water, no access to streets).

    The STs have an automatic claim to reservation due to spatial and cultural isolation (

  10. xyz said, on January 4, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    sc’s claim is based on the caste do muslims have an automatic claim?given their ‘contributions’ to the freedom movement.

  11. xyz said, on January 4, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    add to it other ‘strategic’ reasons like the huge muslim populations in pak,bangladesh,the mindset of pak army as successors of mughals,the very nature of islam,where there has been no renaissance like the western impact on hinduism.US and Britain and other western nations which are far more advanced,politically and technologically,have large homogenous white christian populations are paranoid about muslims.US,though a liberal society at home,tries to keep muslims as far away from home as possible.Their token affirmative action programs have come long after they were ensconced at the top and after hundreds of years of imperialism,free trade when they had maximum advantage,slavery and indentured labour.(even today top american universities admit students to science and engineering departments exclusively on merit.) what claims do muslims have?

  12. rc said, on January 4, 2007 at 5:45 pm

    >> sc’s claim is based on the caste do muslims have an automatic claim? >>

    My comment got truncated.

    SCs have an automatic claim as I said in my previous comment.
    STs have an automatic claim due to their spatial and cultural isolation. This is debatable for some STs, but that is besides the point.

    OBCs do not have an automatic claim. Every caste that is a member of the OBC group must have data to prove they are socially and educationally backward.

    Muslims do not have an automatic claim either. They must be accomodated within OBCs. Since, we just had a 18000 crore party for the OBCs with no questions asked – on what basis can we leave the muslims out ? This is what MJ Akbar points out.

    Wealthy OBCs with absolutely no data (even the parl standing committee pointed this out) just helped themselves to IIT/AIIMS/IIM seats at a stupendous cost to the nation . Muslims are just standing on the sidelines clutching the Sachar report which certainly proves that atleast in some states their condition is pathetic.

    If the really backward muslims are not accomodated in the quota – then we have no right to get worked up if some of them get a B.Tech in RDX technology.

    Please, lets not talk about contribution to freedom movement. Did the dravidians contribute ? Did they not beg the british to stay back ? Some of them till this day do not hoist the flag on independence day.

    Let us not paint muslims with that brush.

  13. […] Reality Check in the past : “MJ Akbar gets in right on Sachar“, “Sachar literacy rate puzzle“, “Muslims have an unequal share – […]

  14. […] MJ Akbar is one of the few columnists I look forward to reading every week. He is a true intellectual because he is not afraid of pointing out that the emperor has no clothes. See my earlier post on him MJ Akbar gets is right on Sachar  […]

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  16. pp_chn (@pp_chn) said, on July 8, 2013 at 3:42 am

    When Islam preaches/ advocates no division amongst their true believers, why would existence of castes among them be reasons for giving them a quota?

  17. pp_chn (@pp_chn) said, on July 8, 2013 at 4:13 am

    /*. If the really backward muslims are not accomodated in the quota – then we have no right to get worked up if some of them get a B.Tech in RDX technology.

    As 9/11 proved, Muslims don’t NEED to be really backward to get a in RDX technology. wasnt that the Hindu right wingers claim regarding Muslim terrorism? In which case, why should this blog advocate even further divisions in the quota system?

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