Reality Check India

Two more weeks for data

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on February 20, 2007

The centre today got two more weeks to file its reply to petitions challenging the recent OBC quota. The last time a petition came up before the bench, the SC had granted two more weeks which would have expired a week back. See this post.

The petitioners said the law notified on January 4 was invalid, as it had not excluded the `creamy layer’ for purposes of reservation. People who were politically powerful were responsible for the enactment of the law without any scientific data to provide for 27 per cent quota for the OBCs. Some petitioners also challenged the validity of the 93rd Constitution Amendment, which enabled the Centre and the States to enact laws to provide for quotas. It abrogated and abridged the basic structure of the Constitution, transgressing the concept of equality embodied in Articles 14, 15 and 16. They sought quashing of the impugned law and an interim stay on its operation.

Source : The Hindu

How much more time does the centre need ? The parliamentary committee on OBC quota itself has said that there was no data about OBCs (See here).  What can come of extending these two week extensions ?

What data are we talking about ?

Some dravidian activists claim that even the worst estimates (the National Health Survey) peg the OBC count at 33%. That is 6% more than the 27% quota. Isnt this data enough ?

Answer is NO. The data we are talking about is not aggregate OBC counts.

The data is :

1. How does a given caste get to be classified as OBC and remain to be so ?

2. Where is the caste wise data for OBC beneficiaries ? Which OBC castes are benefiting the most from their classification ?

3. Even more fundamental : What is an OBC ? Yes, we know it is Socially and Educationally backward castes (SEBC). If that is the case, then what is an SEBC ? According to the definition, a caste must be socially AND educationally backward to get membership into the OBC group.  Is this being interpreted as socially OR educationally backward ? What is the definition of each one of those ?

A lot of folks might ask at this point. Shit, this kind of data is so messed up. It might enhance caste feelings and arouse jealousy among castes. Why measure each individual caste ? Why not just measure OBCs as a whole ? This way the OBC brotherhood remains intact.

The connecting thread  

This brings us to the most important question of all in the OBC quota issue. The issue of “connecting thread” between the individual OBC castes.

I will write a post about the “connecting thread” test for group affirmative action policy. In the meantime, ask yourself how strong is the connecting thread between a black american from Philly <-> black american from Chicago, between a Bhumiputera from Keluang <->  Bhumiputera from Penang, between various tribes of south africa.

Contrast with the connecting thread for OBCs. Will a real OBC (likely to be genuinely backward due to lack of political encroachment) say from Jammu, Bengal, Assam, be empowered if a dominant “OBC” from TN gets a medical seat in AIIMS ? Also , within a same state – will a gypsy (truly backward) feel empowered if a landlord OBC gets an IAS job ?

Only current social-educational profiles for each caste can ensure that the connecting thread remains strong. If the connecting thread is weak, then the entire rationale for group quota collapses.

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27 Responses

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  1. Reason said, on February 20, 2007 at 7:19 am

    I wonder why nobody from the dravida groups has discovered your blog yet :-)

  2. Shivam said, on February 26, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    http://ncbc.nic.in/html/guideline.htm

    Guidelines for Consideration of requests for Inclusion and complaints of under Inclusion in the central list of OBCs

    The commission, after studying the criteria/indicators framed by the Mandal commission and the commissions set up in the past by different state Governments and other relevant materials, formulated the following guidelines for considering requests for inclusion in the list of Other Backward Classes:-

    A. SOCIAL

    1. Castes and communities, generally considered as socially backward.

    2. (a) Castes and communities, which mainly depend on agricultural and/or other manual labour for their livelihood and are lacking any significant resource base.

    (b) Castes and communities, which, for their livelihood, mainly depend on agricultural and/or other manual labour for wage and are lacking any significant base.

    (c) Castes and communities, the women of which, as a general practice, are for their family’s livelihood, engaged in agricultural and/or other manual labour, for wage.

    (d) Castes and communities, the children of which, as a general practice, are, for family’s livelihood or for supplementing family’s low income, mainly engaged in agricultural and/or manual labour.

    (e) Castes and communities, which in terms of caste system, are identified with traditional crafts or traditional or hereditary occupations considered to be lowly or undignified.

    (f) Castes and communities, which in terms of the caste system, are identified with tradtional or hereditary occupations considered to be ‘unclean’ or stigmatised.

    (g) Nomadic and semi-nomadic castes and communities.

    (h) Denotified or Vimukta Jati castes and communities

    Explanation: The term refers to castes/communities which had been categorised as Criminal Tribes under the Criminal Tribes Act, 1924, Act No. VI of 1924, passed by the Indian Legislature and repealed by the Criminal Tribes (Repeal) Act, 1952, Act No. XXIV of 1952 and subsequently refered to as Denotified or Vimukta Jatis.

    3. Castes and communities, having no representation or poor representation in the State Legislative Assembly and/or district-level Panchayati Raj institutions during the ten years preceding the date of the application

    Explanation : This is only intended to measure, as an indicator, the presence of a caste or community these bodies.

    The term “poor representation” may be taken to refer to a caste or community whose presence in the body is less than 25% of its proportion in the population.
    B. EDUCATIONAL

    1. Castes and communities, whose literacy rate is at least 8% less than the State or district average.

    2. Castes and communities of which the proportion of matriculates is at least 20% less than the State or district average.

    3. Castes and communities, of which the proportion of graduates is at least 20% less than the State or district average.
    C. ECONOMIC

    1. Castes and communities, a significant proportion of whose members reside only in Kachha houses.

    2. Castes and communities, the share of whose members in number of cases and in extent of agricultural lands surrendered under the Agricultural Land Ceiling Act of the State, is nil or significantly low.

    3. Castes and communities, the share of whose members in State Government posts and services of Groups A & B/Classes I & II, is not equal to the population-equivalent proportion of the caste/community.
    D. ILLUSTRATION

    Population-equivalent proportion

    Population of a State 10,00,0000
    Population of the caste/community under
    consideration in the State 1,00,000

    Proportion of the population of the caste/
    community under consideration to the total
    population of the State 10%

    Number of posts in Class-I in the State 1,000

    Therefore, population equivalent proportion
    of Class-I posts in the State in respect of the
    caste/community under consideration 100

    Explanation-1: In the case illustrated above, if members belonging to the caste/community under consideration hold 100 Class-1 posts or more, its share is equal to or more than its population-equivalent proportion.

    In that case that caste/community will not be considered to have fulfilled this indicator of backwardness.

    In the case illustrated above, if the members of the caste/community under consideration have 99 Classes-1 posts or less, its share is less than its population-equivalent proportion and will, therefore, be considered to have fulfilled this criterion of backwardness.

    Explanation-2: This guideline is only an indicator to assess backwardness or its absence and has no relation to the condition of inadequacy under Article 16(4).

    Explanation-3: The population-equivalent proportion of posts may be composed of posts secured through merit only or through reservation only or through both – figures need to be furnished separately for posts secured through merit/posts secured through both – figures need to be furnished separately for posts secured through merit/posts secured through reservation.

    In addition to the above, arising from Article 16(4) the following conditions have also to be fulfilled:
    Castes and communities, which are not/are inadequately represented in the Central Government posts & services of
    Group A & B
    Each Group/Class should be taken separately.
    PROCEDURAL CLARIFICATION ON GUIDELINE

    1. The above social, educational and economic guidelines for consideration of requests for inclusion in the list of Other Backward Classes are intended to aid the Bench/Commission to identiFy castes and communities which deserve to be included in the list of OBC in terms of the National Commission for Backward Classes Act and not to fetter due exercise of discretion by it.

    2. The term ‘local’, wherever used, is intended to mean State level or intra-State regional level or district level, as appropriate, in the light of the demographic distribution of the caste/community concerned.

    However, wherever the Bench/Commission has adequate reasons, the sub-district level positions may be taken into account.

    In some guidelines State or local, or State or district have been given as alternatives. In such instances the appropriate alternative may be chosen depending on the circumstances such as demographic distribution, ready availability of data etc.

    3. Some of the guidelines are capable of quantification but data are not available in every State. In respect of States, where such data are readily available (e.g. specific percentage figures), the bench/Commission may examine the cases before it in terms of such quantifiable data and their own observations as well and other relevant materials that may be available to it. In respect of States where such quantifiable data are not available, the bench/Commission may consider castes/communities on the basis of their own observations and other relevant materials that may be available to it.

    4. Under each of the categories A, B & C, of guidelines, there are 3 or 4 guidelines. They are not necessarily cumulative. Cumulative data would no doubt be advantageous. But where data-base does not readily permit, each caste or community may be considered in terms of such of the guidelines under each of the categories A, B & C as are practicable.

    5. Regarding the condition at D, till information regarding the position of each caste in the Government of India’s services becomes readily available, it may be presumed that this factor is fulfilled by a caste/community/sub-caste/synonym/sub-entry, in case it is found that it fulfills the guideline in C 3.

    6. Wherever a caste or community fulfills the guidelines 2 (e) or (f) or (g) or (h), the Bench/Commission may take it as adequate evidence of backwardness. In such cases, the Bench shall take into account such other data/information that may be made available to it or comes to its notice, and it may make such further inquiry as it deem proper and necessary. Having done so and being satisfied that there are no sufficient grounds to take a contrary view regarding the backwardness of the caste or community making the request, the Bench may, after examining the matter inadequacy of representation as indicated in D, proceed to formulate its findings.

    7. Occupations mentioned at guideline 2(e) and 2(f) may include traditional artisanal crafts; fishing, hunting, bird-snaring; agricultural labour on the lands of others; earth work, stone-breaking, salt manufacturing, lime-burning; toddy-tapping; animal rearing; butchery; hair-cutting; washing of clothes; ferrying by boat; safai (i.e. “scavenging”); knife grinding, grain roasting; entertaining through song and dance, acrobatics jugglery, snake-charming, acting; begging or mendicancy.

    Explanation: This refers only to castes or communities which traditionally depended on begging or mendicancy in the past i.e. until it was prohibited by law.

    The Bench/Commission may take into account any other occupation which may be similar to these occupations.

    8. In respect of any case of request, found to be one of apparent “clerical” error, or factual mistakes at the stage of preparation of the common lists and if there is no contrary view expressed and data furnished before or otherwise available to/in the notice of the bench/Commission such castes/communities may be included and findings/advice formulated to that effect.

    9. In case of synonyms/sub-castes/different names of the same caste or community/local variants of the same caste or community, if and after it is established that, they are, in fact, such synonyms/sub-castes/different names of the same caste/local variants, etc. and if there are no contrary views expressed and data furnished before or otherwise available to/in the notice of the Bench/Commission and the Bench/Commission does not find any ground to take a contrary view, such synonyms/sub-castes/different names of the same caste/local variants of the same caste, such cases may be included, and findings/advice formulated to that effect.

    10. In all cases, publicity regarding the date and venue of the sitting of the Commission’s bench and the castes/communities etc. to which the sitting pertains may be made through mass media and all those who have any views to express or data to furnish to the bench may be invited to do so, in addition to addressing the State Governments and applicants to furnish all material and data in their possession.

    11. These guidelines of identification and procedure will be applicable to all categories of States/UTs and all categories of castes/communities whether included in the State list but in the Mandal list or included in the Mandal list but not in the State list, or included in neither.

  3. realitycheck said, on February 26, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    Shivam,

    I have been over the NCBC guidelines several times. Where is the rigour if the very first guideline is “Castes and communities, generally considered as socially backward.” ? By who ?

    Well, 75.4% of TN “feels a little blue and backward today” and “only 6% of Bengal feels a little backward”. Should we just “deal” with this anomaly ? Where is the deal for the really backward (lets say backward muslims in Bengal’s Midnapore dist or the roving nomadic Kuravas of TN).

    Even so, if these are the guidelines – it is fine. So now, let the government produce caste wise tables against these guidelines. Do we have that ?

  4. realitycheck said, on February 26, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    Oh yeah and Welcome Back :-)

  5. Reason said, on February 26, 2007 at 3:56 pm

    “3. Castes and communities, having no representation or poor representation in the State Legislative Assembly and/or district-level Panchayati Raj institutions during the ten years preceding the date of the application”

    Do you have data on number of brahmin MLAs in TN in the last two assemblies?

    ‘Generally considered as socially backward’ – that is in keeping with the doctrine of ‘maximum protection’. Like Kerala tried. Or ninth schedule tried – protect the constitution from the constitution itself.

  6. Shivam said, on February 27, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    That is the TN state list. These reservations are in central institutes according to the central list. Don’t confuse if you can’t convince. And my misfortune that your lies provoke me again

  7. realitycheck said, on February 27, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    >> lies provoke me again >>

    LOL, I am *so* over this type of rhetoric.

    Is there any major caste group in the state list that is not in the central list ?

    What is the effect of inclusion of powerful forward castes into the OBC group on the really backward ?

    Please people – dont hate facts, seek them.

    Show us a table of castes and their socio-educational profiles in each state – including how each caste has benefited from the quota system for the past 10,20,30 years. Based on that table, do your classification ! If you do not have that data – then collect it first before any quota is put in place. This basic stuff, even a schoolkid will agree is a prerequisite for a social justice program.

    Reality Check will be there to support such action to benefit the really backward (eg, stone breakers, nomadic wanderers, etc).

  8. realitycheck said, on February 27, 2007 at 6:24 pm

    >> Do you have data >>

    Current – 2 out of 236 (SV Shekhar and Jayalalithaa – both AIADMK )
    Previous – 2 out of 236 (H.Raja BJP and Jayalalithaa – AIADMK)

  9. Reason said, on February 28, 2007 at 3:42 am

    Facts that you do not agree with, facts that do not suit your needs, are a lie. Makes me proud.

  10. Shivam said, on February 28, 2007 at 11:33 am

    You just won’t admit that you are mixing the state and central lists. Ninth schedule has no role here. Its role is in the state reservations. Deliberate lies and obfuscation. Typically you. If you want such detailed data, go file RTI applications before the NCBC. But you won’t do that. It won’t help you peddle lies.

  11. bedi said, on February 28, 2007 at 11:52 am

    ‘Show us a table of castes and their socio-educational profiles in each state – including how each caste has benefited from the quota system for the past 10,20,30 years. Based on that table, do your classification ! If you do not have that data – then collect it first before any quota is put in place. This basic stuff, even a schoolkid will agree is a prerequisite for a social justice program.’

    Yes that is basic stuff even a school kid will agree with. So, why don’t we go the whole hog and collect data on all the castes that have benefitted from a) the systems of admission in educational institutions, especially those imparting professional education, and b) employment policies in govt and the public sector for the last fifty-sixty years….and formulate new policies on that basis?

  12. realitycheck said, on February 28, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    Who said anything about the Ninth Schedule ?

    What is the difference between the state and central list ? I asked you which caste group is in one and not in the other.

    RTI can only be filed for data that exists. Hopefully the courts will force the government to measure castes and scientifically classify them as OBC or not. Dont pick on Realitycheck, the Moily report, the NCBC itself, as well as the parliamentary standing committee pointed out the lack of social data.

    Are we done ? If you want to call me a liar – you need to point out exactly what is a lie in this post or any other post. Otherwise it is just cheap mudslinging.

  13. Reason said, on February 28, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    RC,
    >>Who said anything about the Ninth Schedule ?

    I did, in my comment, referring to ‘Castes and communities generally considered as socially backward’ in the ncbc recommendation quoted above –
    >> ‘Generally considered as socially backward’ – that is in keeping with the doctrine of ‘maximum protection’. Like Kerala tried. Or ninth schedule tried – protect the constitution from the constitution itself.

    ninth schedule verdict does have a role for the central reservation too – the judgment went beyond 9nth schedule and addressed amendments as well, and that opens the way for challenging 93rd amendment. And it closes the option for social justice champions with trying further tricks with the existing constitution – as demonstrated by the dravida assembly asking for a new constitution through the governor’s address within days of the 9nth schedule verdict.

    btw, is there a rule that we should not talk about tamil nadu reservation when talking about reservation in general? Or is the anger because the tamil nadu example is something that is way beyond defending so mentioning that is upsetting?

    Obfuscate it does.

  14. bedi said, on February 28, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    Reality check ,
    You haven’t answered my question.

  15. realitycheck said, on February 28, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    bedi-

    >> ….and formulate new policies on that basis? >>

    Of course, I agree absolutely !!

    1. All castes that seek inclusion in the list called Other Backward Classes must agree to the measurement. This is the only way to make this program work.

    2. All castes (even if they do not seek inclusion in the OBC group) may also be measured. Since they do not seek inclusion (ie are happy competing in open category) – the value of measuring them is not clear. At worst, if a forward group is found to be adequately represented – they will be thrown into the open competition group. Since, they already are in the open competition group and they do not seek to enter the OBC group – this data is not actionable. However, if there is demand for measuring *everyone* – then it is OK. The downside is that there is 30-40% extra work (or more because FCs do not report their exact caste – whereas OBCs do)

    3. The SC and ST can be left out of the backwardness measurement, because their claim to quota is qualitatively different from that of the OBCs. ST need not be backward at all (socially or educationally). With SC, measuring individual castes has some value because marginalized Dalits castes deserve to know that the quota system is working for them too (not just for the more dominant Dalit castes).

  16. bedi said, on February 28, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    ‘At worst, if a forward group is found to be adequately represented – they will be thrown into the open competition group. Since, they already are in the open competition group and they do not seek to enter the OBC group – this data is not actionable.’

    You want everything to be done your way RC? Eat your cake and your neighbour’s cake and have them too? You make the point that if the forward groups are ‘adequately represented’ they would remain in the open category… Then what’s the point in collecting data on all castes? You know quite well that all the forward groups are/were overrepresented both in admissions and in employment for the last sixty years at the centre and in the states… But their overrepresentation is not, what’s the word, ‘actionable’… but any overrepresentaion of a few OBCs, in very recent years, is ‘actionable’. You also know quite well that the representation of many of these ‘overrepresented’ castes would drop if the prop of reservations were removed.
    The purpose of my raising the issue of representation of all castes was to make you realize that no forward group in India has the moral right to complain about overrepresentation of any other group, much less on the kind of flimsy evidence you flaunt in every post of yours.

  17. realitycheck said, on February 28, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    bedi-

    I am getting into this discussion fully aware that you may be from the some northern state – where OBCs might indeed be legitimately classified. This means that if you removed the prop of reservations, the groups would be severely underrepresented.

    Would you agree with me that if a OBC is adequately (not necessarily proportionlately) represented in the open category – and it has been the case for a stretch of 5-10 years, it is time to make way for the really needy ?

    You and Shivam are coming from an angle of proportionate quota, which I am afraid is constitutionally invalid. See my post on the first amendment.
    Current Socio-Educational backwardness is a neccessary condition for access to quota.

    A strict proportionate system would mean saying goodbye to the OBC group, it has to be on a per-caste group basis. The unit for such proportional representation cannot be the entire OBC group (when it includes large landlords as well as nomadic tent dwellers).

    Forward groups are no angels. I never held that position. Still they have sacrificed (or accepted an abridged version) of their right to equality.They have a right to know basic facts and figures about the program into which they have submitted their rights.

    More importantly, the weak and really backward (nomadic wanderers, quarry workers, earth workers, etc, etc) need to know the basis on which the classification is done and the progress so far. A lot is being done in their name – and rightly so. If the quota can help them break a cycle of heriditary caste based trap, fine. So, the government owes them data too. Atleast the forward groups can blog, I doubt the folks laying tar even know what is going on.

    >> kind of flimsy evidence you flaunt in every post of yours. >>

    I agree my evidence (which is gleaned from news reports and social journals) is not much. The strongest evidence are facts, which only the government can provide.

  18. bedi said, on February 28, 2007 at 6:24 pm

    ‘Would you agree with me that if a OBC is adequately (not necessarily proportionlately) represented in the open category – and it has been the case for a stretch of 5-10 years, it is time to make way for the really needy ?’

    How adequately is ‘adequately’? Wasn’t it you who who had responded to my early proposal with :’Of course, I agree absolutely !! ‘

    Is your understanding of the term ‘absolute’ as relative as your usage of the term ‘adequate’? RC, what I suggested earlier was by itself fundamentally different from the traditional ways in which reservations have been viewed in India until now. Your acceptance was ‘absolute’, in your own words. My proposal engages with your own stand on over/underrepresentation – shouldn’t the ultimate purpose of any such study be to record and correct all kinds of over/underrepresentation? If the study is okay how can the corrective action be unacceptable? Wasn’t that to be the very purpose of the study?

  19. realitycheck said, on February 28, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    >> How adequately is ‘adequately’? Wasn’t it you who who had responded to my early proposal with :’Of course, I agree absolutely !! ‘ >>

    I still agree with your initial proposal (which I think was along the lines of “measure everyone”). So my agreement is absolute.

    If your intial proposal was for providing quota based purely on underrepresentation – without requirements of backwardness criteria then I read it wrong.

    Please explain your proposal in more detail.

  20. Rationalist said, on March 1, 2007 at 1:29 am

    I really do not understand the paradoxical policies followed by the State Governments or the Central Govt. On one hand they bemoan brain drain, and want to attract talented people back to India. On the other hand, they keep on increasing reservations everywhere so that caste or religion, rather than talent and qualifications, becomes the determining factor in getting admissions to colleges and govt posts. Seeing this, why would talented people want to come back to India. And also, isn’t this an insult to people still living in India? With a population of 1.1 billion (and rising), how come these few million people living outside of India make any difference? As we all know, everyone is equally talented, so India is full of talented people and it is an insult to imply otherwise.

    Similarly on one hand the Govt politicians talk about the need to control the population and ask all people belonging to different castes and religions to follow family planning. But on the other hand they want all jobs and admissions to be governed by the proportionate share of each religion or caste among the population. As these “proportionality” based rules are stressed, what is the motivation of people to follow family planning? The Govt should just shut down the family planning centres, because soon people will see other groups getting more resources because of their numbers and there will be a new population race. The country is already suffering from severe .overpopulation, where are these policies taking the country to?

  21. Shivam said, on March 2, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    What is the difference between the state and central list ? I asked you which caste group is in one and not in the other.

    The central list is online. The state lists in many states have many more castes. So when you say that 75% population in TN is OBC, you are talking about the state list. This may not be the case with the central list. These reservations are going to be implemented according to the central list. File an RTI before the NCBC to get your answers. But you won’t. cos you know you are peddling lies and aren’t really interested in knowing the truth.

  22. realitycheck said, on March 2, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    Shivam,

    The two lists are different sized due to the use of subcastes and synonyms. If you want to prove this wrong, then name caste groups that are not in the central list but in the state list. You are the one hurling accusations, so the burden of proof is on you. Do you think any caste will accept being backward in the state level but denied benefits at the centre ?

    >> But you won’t. cos you know you are peddling lies >>

    I am trying hard to be civil with you (really hard, I might add). If you want to continue this line of accusing without proof, I suggest you confine it to one of your blogs.

  23. [...] prominent blogger  (see last few comments) repeatedly accused me of peddling lies. Apparently, he was upset by me [...]

  24. Revathi said, on March 9, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    I dont understand this thing about central list and state list. So the center doesnt agree with data from the state and makes it own list. But who provides the data for this second list? The employees of the state govt or the central govt? Why can they not trust each other?

  25. Shivam said, on April 3, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    Even so, if these are the guidelines – it is fine. So now, let the government produce caste wise tables against these guidelines. Do we have that ?

    http://ncbc.nic.in/backward-classes/index.html

  26. Shivam said, on April 3, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    This is the Central List of OBCs in Tamil Nadu:
    http://ncbc.nic.in/backward-classes/tamilnadu.html

    It has entries like: “Eravallar (except Kanniyakumari district and Shencottah taluk of Tirunelveli district where the community is a Scheduled Tribe)”

    Which shows you how meticulous the results of the Mandal 11 point criteria of identifying the “socially and educationally backward” was and is.

    Now tell me, since you seem to know so much, which of the communities listed on that page are, accroding to you, NOT “really” “socially and educationally backward”.

    The onus is on you because you are making this allegation. If you have substantiated objections for any particular community, I promise to take it up with the NCBC myself.

    Similarly, please see the West Bengal list: http://ncbc.nic.in/backward-classes/westbengal.html

    There are 50+ communities there. Please tell me the name of the backward Muslim community in Midnapore you are talking about and the evidence that you have to prove that they are “socially and educationally backward”.

    Looking forward to a point-by-point reply from you.

  27. realitycheck said, on April 4, 2007 at 3:29 am

    >> Even so, if these are the guidelines – it is fine. So now, let the government produce caste wise tables against these guidelines. Do we have that ?

    http://ncbc.nic.in/backward-classes/index.html

    That is just a list of castes that have been accorded OBC status. What we want is how each caste fared on each of those guidelines.

    >> The onus is on you because you are making this allegation. If you have substantiated objections for any particular community, I promise to take it up with the NCBC myself. >>

    This is the whole point. The onus must be on the government to justify inclusion of castes in the OBC list. Do you really think a private individual can prove this ? You must be dreaming.

    >> There are 50+ communities there. Please tell me the name of the backward Muslim community in Midnapore you are talking about and the evidence that you have to prove that they are “socially and educationally backward”. >>

    Again, the entire flaw is the burden of proof. How the hell can a private individual or NGO selectively target a community and muster the resources to prove/disprove their backwardness ?

    However, for Bengal it is easy. You wont hear this from the communitsts. Almost all muslims in Bengal are treated as forward caste, whereas almost all muslims in TN and Kerala are backward. Even though this absurdity is obvious to everyone (go to Mallapuram to see their gulf mansions and luxury cars), it is impossible to prove.

    I know what information is needed to prove or disprove the backwardness of each caste. The catch is the task is not something a private person can take up without help from the government. If it were that easy, why bother with the Sachar commission. A private individual could have easily proved the backwardness of the Muslims. Think about it.

    It must be the governments responsbility to publish such data and include castes on the basis of that data. This is in the interests of the truly backward to make sure they are not placed in a group which also has forward (but backward due to political backing).

    I am questioning the entire premise on which the NCBC operates. Dont worry if I have the data I too can approach the NCBC. Thanks for the offer.


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