2006 – When our interests were narrowed
Future generations will look at the year 2006 as a turning point in the history of India. The OBC reservation policy, as Nani Palkhiwala points out, is the “paramount constitutional issue” today. Everything else, whether it is the economy or foreign policy or taxation, comes later. This was the year the interests of Indians were narrowed even further on the basis of caste.
Two bit politicians talked freely about amending the constitution as if it were just a procedural formality. The poor and really depressed were the target of bait-and-switch tactics by politicians and left wingers of all hues. They were used as poster-boys for creating policies that really had no impact on them. The “demo version” showed poor and oppressed people, but the actual law showed creamy layers.
The most important takeway from 2006 was the absolute disregard for social data while framing policies. Top rung ministers pooh-poohed even the basic requirement for a community to establish backwardness in a scientific way. When data came out of unexpected sources, the anomalies were striking. These anomalies would be sufficient to start a revolution in any other country, but we Indians are patient.
On that note, Happy New Year !!