Reality Check India

SC verdict tomorrow

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on March 28, 2007

Update : SC stays OBC quota ( IBN, Indian Express )

This is a landmark judgement in the history of this country. It does not mark the end of affirmative action or social justice, it marks the beginning of it. It delivers social justice from the clutches of selfish politicians into the hands of truth and data.

This government has two options now. (1) Collect data and ensure social justice flows to the needy or (2) Blindly work up passions and engage in a massive exercise to prevent data collection.

—-

supreme-court.jpg 

Will it, wont it ? Life stories or data ?

Either way, tomorrow is going to be a milestone in the history of this country.

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25 Responses

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  1. Barbarindian said, on March 29, 2007 at 3:29 am

    Can’t wait to hear this verdict. I am somewhat curious, assuming the SC overturns the quota until the Government is able to establish solid criteria for backwardness, does this mean entire Mandal would have to be repealed too?

  2. Reason said, on March 29, 2007 at 3:48 am

    I doubt if the idea of ‘backward classes’ and a quota for them that does not exceed overall 50% can be questioned – that has been done before and ruled on.

    The ‘connecting thread of social and or economic backwardness’ among beneficiaries of the backward classes quota has been mentioned, but not enforced by governments. It would be good if this gets addressed now. Currently, the power to bestow backwardness on a chettiar in TN and Lingayat in KA and a Jat in UP rests with a backward classes commission.

  3. realitycheck said, on March 29, 2007 at 5:14 am

    Barb,

    No, it wont affect existing Mandal. The case in hand is only seeking a stay of the GOIs 2006 OBC law. Besides, the Mandal case was decided by a larger 9 judge bench.

    Reason,
    >> I doubt if the idea of ‘backward classes’ and a quota for them that does not exceed overall 50% can be questioned – that has been done before and ruled on. >>

    Yes, the idea of ‘backward classes’ cannot be questioned because it is part of the constitution. The court has no power to void that, only the legislature can, via an amendment. Even that unlikely event will be turned down because it is only an enabling provision and social justice can be defended as a basic structure.

    In my view, the core issues are.

    Have the governments acted in a “prudent” and “reasonable” manner in classifying groups into OBCs ? I cant help admire TTK for his vision when he asked, “Who is a prudent man and who is a reasonable man ?” The beneficiaries of quota as well as the creamy layer might consider this bill to be as prudent and reasonable as it gets !!

    The “class” nature of the OBC list. Inclusion of forward castes in the OBC list destroys the compactness of the OBC group. You have created two evils in place of one.

    (1) Discrimination : Equal treatment of unequals (powerful OBCs vs truly backward) and

    (2) Reverse discrimination – Unequal treatment of equals (forward castes in OBC group vs forward castes in open competition).

  4. Barbarindian said, on March 29, 2007 at 5:27 am

    RC,

    I understand the scope of the current lawsuit is limited. But I do not see why, if the court rules against the new quotas, this can not be used as precedence to appeal against Mandal in general as well. Only the institutes change, other conditions stay the same.

    If you disagree with the above, then I guess the converse applies in which case the SC is powerless to overturn the quota.

    In other words we are back to square one.

    I guess we will just have to wait.

  5. Gaurav said, on March 29, 2007 at 6:48 am

    RC, Barb,

    I think Government will hesitate bulldozing through the judgement, because it will benefit OBCs and annoy Forward castes which will have repurcussions in UP elections, considering OBCs were never a votebank for congress (atleast north of vindhayas), I think government should give a second thought.

    This ofcourse assumes that Sonia Gandhi has intellegence to understand this simple fact. Evidence for the assumption are underwhelming.

  6. Nitin said, on March 29, 2007 at 6:58 am

    It’s out. The verdict and the government’s case.

  7. realitycheck said, on March 29, 2007 at 7:05 am

    Interesting times.

    Just heard that VP Singh is calling for a plebiscite.

  8. Gaurav said, on March 29, 2007 at 7:05 am

    This IS delicious

  9. Revathi said, on March 29, 2007 at 7:15 am

    Good luck to all those who are forced to be “forward”..

  10. Reason said, on March 29, 2007 at 7:52 am

    V.P.singh wanted a referendum. I dont know if our constitution has provisions for a referendum. But if we are planning for one, it may be time already to float another referendum on Barb’s proposal – a small enclave for ‘forward’ castes that can stay out of this.

  11. realitycheck said, on March 29, 2007 at 8:04 am

    I dont think the constitution prohibits referendums. Anyway, what is the referendum about ?

    1) Do you support reservations for SEBCs ? (Yes/No)

    or

    2) Do you support reservations to the castes in the OBC lists ? (Yes/No)

  12. Barbarindian said, on March 29, 2007 at 11:59 am

    I dont think the constitution prohibits referendums.

    Depends. For instance a referendum like this will be unconstitutional:

    “Do you want Ram Vilas Paswan and Laloo Yadav to have the first night with every newly wed Brahman wife? (Braveheart type of arrangement basically).”

  13. Observer said, on March 29, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    I just read on the “Hindu” that there is going to be a strike tomorrow in TN:

    http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/000200703292201.htm

    Brahmins should be especially careful not to move out during this period. Passions are running high, and there could be attacks on Brahmins by party rowdies like those a few months ago, and also on North Indians who can be mistaken for Brahmins in TN.

    A choice quote illustrating the problem today:


    Indicting the Government for enacting such a law, the Bench said “nowhere in the world Castes queue to be branded as backward. Nowhere is there a competition to become backward. With this Act the subject of the equality is unduly put under strain.”

    Also, I heard that for MK Stalin’s 55th birthday on March 1, a few weeks ago, the CJI Mr. Balakrishnan was invited to be the Chief guest! Nice timing I must say, to get a chance to bend the CJI’s ear on the quota issue by these shameless politicians.

  14. albert said, on March 30, 2007 at 1:53 am

    I think on the basis of today’s interim order, the reservation given to OBCs in central govt. jobs and also admission in educational institutions in certain states can also be challenged. I mean, if there is no data then it should apply to all sectors where OBCs have been given reservation.

  15. Observer said, on March 30, 2007 at 2:51 am

    Mental Cowardice:
    ————————-

    I agree with some of the concerns voiced by posters like Jai about every group claiming some kind of victim-hood nowadays. The root cause, in my opinion, is the unnecessary shortages created in the system by politicians (of all castes, including upper castes). There is very little vision and probity at the top, and hence we have this attitude of each group claiming victim-hood to try and snatch as much of the limited share as possible.

    If only the politicians would see the monster they are creating in terms of the caste fissures developing in the next generation of Indians, they might actually go ahead and liberalize the education and employment market. Shortages of man-made abstractions like education and employment are abstract, and totally unnatural. Only land, water, food can hit up against hard enough limits to cause real shortages, but even here, a lot can be done to mitigate those. The current generation of politicians may be posthumously tried for high treason, if the population becomes wise later on.

  16. Reason said, on March 30, 2007 at 3:35 am

    I am not sure to what extent lack of resources fuels OBC politics’ reservation demand. I have seen this line of thinking – in today’s Indian express editorial for example.

    For the dravida OBCs, they have a 69% quota in TN – and many of them qualify on the open competition as well. So what is their obsession with a quota in central institutions as well? It can not be lack of resources. It is more likely their feudal sense of entitlement.

    Take an analogy from traffic system – even if you had a 10 lane on each way highway, if you allow bullock carts, centuries old TATA trucks, autos and unrestricted turns, you would still be stuck at 30 kmph peak speeds and congestions. Lack of resources would hardly be the cause.

  17. realitycheck said, on March 30, 2007 at 4:15 am

    albert,

    >> I mean, if there is no data then it should apply to all sectors where OBCs have been given reservation. >>

    Yes. I think that might require a larger bench.

    >> For the dravida OBCs, they have a 69% quota in TN >>

    It is unfair to criticize the common man who is classfied as OBC. There were no protests by OBC groups prior to Arjun Singhs announcement. This is a political issue and needs to be analyzed in that angle.

    If it were a social issue, then there would have been no hesitation in collecting data. If you read my previous posts (from last year) – preliminary data collection is not difficult at all. All universities can just submit applicant and admission records for the past 10 years. This can be a take-off point. The government can easily defend its policy if this data is used.

    Why isnt this happening ? Think about it !

  18. Reason said, on March 30, 2007 at 6:20 am

    >> Why isnt this happening ? Think about it !

    in TN, most OBC castes have associations. These associations indulge in politics by supporting either of the dravida parties or sundry actors of their castes. They take up issues – Mercantile bank issue or reliance retail issue for example – through their caste associations.
    Have any one of them expressed any opinion on excluding creamy layer in their communities from benefitting from reservation? Or has any of them expressed any opinion about more rationality in adding castes to BC list?

    Think about that too!

    My statement, that dravida OBCs have 69% quota, was merely stating a fact. I could have said TN OBCs, but Dravida is their chosen tag so why deny them that? 🙂

  19. albert said, on March 30, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    Realitycheck, we all know why it isn’t happening. And we (YFE) have been harping on the same point. I mean, our primary demand during the agitation was that govt. should go for a commission to look at every aspect of reservation… be it the data, be it where the descrpencies lie, or who are getting the benefits etc. But looks like Indian politicians don’t actually care what happens with the people; these bunch-of-idiots are satisfied as long as they have power to satiate their false and hollow ego.

    I’ve read your previous posts too, rather followed them closely after last year’s agitation. I think most of us in YFE and you are the same frequency when it comes to know what should be done. But then it really matters what people like you and me (us) think?!?!

  20. realitycheck said, on March 30, 2007 at 6:16 pm

    >> these bunch-of-idiots are satisfied as long as they have power to satiate their false and hollow ego. >>

    albert – there is more.

    These politicians are the spawn of “no data”, they are born and root in the absence of true social justice. Now, the court has cut off their oxygen supply. The court has delivered social justice from these guys into the hands of truth and data. Truly a moment to rejoice for the really backward. The forward communities’ joy is not that there will never be an OBC quota, it will just be targeted at the right groups.

    In reality, there is no such thing as a OBC. There are individual castes that gain membership into the group called “OBC”. These politicians are nothing but representatives of narrow electoral interests that have congealed around the OBC benefits. Almost every politician can be tracked down to a particular caste affilitation.

    Ever wonder why a Yadav votes for Laloo. There is no development story you can offer him that will make him vote for a Kurmi party. Under no circumstances will BJP or Congress retain its deposit in TN without aligning with a dravidian party. Why ?

    Now turn it around, What is the primary responsibility of Laloo towards the Yadav caste ? or Karunanidhi towards the Vellala castes, or Ramadoss towards the Vanniers.

    If data decides who is backward, then what is the relevance of Laloo/etc. People dont just vote for cute lookin rustic jokers. They vote for cute lookin jokers who can deliver concrete benefits. This is a widening of interests all these guys dread.

  21. Barbarindian said, on March 30, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    “OBC justice” can never be delivered at the level the quotas are designed. Think about it, the term Socially and educationally backward is an oxymoron. A person who is socially and educationally backward can hardly aspire to secure even cut off marks in a tough entrance examination. This becomes more absurd when after completing a 4 year degree, the person is socially and educationally backward and hence gets a free post-grad seat.

  22. Observer said, on March 31, 2007 at 12:34 am

    Caste-based quotas in the SC are not far off. In itself, that may not be bad. After all, even one SC judge will, in most likelihood, have more education than 10 “parliamentarians” put together. And also, most likely will actually be a law-abiding citizen, rather than having a long criminal history of murder, rape, extortion that many of our “parliamentarians” and especially state-level MLAs possess. Also, since an “OBC” judge would not be beholden to his “OBC” group to get elected every few years, there would at least be an opportunity for him or her to truly uphold the dignity of the court since its decisions live on in posterity.

  23. Observer said, on March 31, 2007 at 1:04 am

    Confused logic here, on one hand PMK is “shocked”, and on the other Ramadoss feels, “it is not surprising”. In all this, I wonder what the poor IIT-M profs must be going through, being in the heart of “social justice” land. I know a few of them personally, and they are now regretting coming back to India. One I know is quitting for sure this June, and one more is considering taking early retirement by the end of this year. If OBC students coming in through the quota find it hard to keep up with course work, there could be disputes if they fail their subjects. It could turn ugly, with a few of them claiming casteism as the reason etc, and the inevitable PMK/DMK/DK etc protests. I am sure other profs are also probably wondering about this issue also, and I would not be surprised if some of them are planning escape routes.

    From chennaionline.com


    Chennai, March 29: The PMK, a strong supporter of reservation for OBCs, today said the Supreme Court order, staying the 27 per cent reservation for OBCs, has come as a “shock”.

    PMK founder S Ramadoss, who spearheaded a protest in the late 1980s demanding exclusive reservation for the Vanniyar community, a dominant OBC in Tamil Nadu, said in a statement here that the order was along expected lines “as the Supreme Court never accepts any law for social justice”.

    “What is surprising is that the Supreme Court has stayed a law which was unanimously passed by both Houses of Parliament, comprising elected representatives. Besides staying the law, the apex court has opined that the law was passed with an eye on vote bank politics. It is a black day for Indian democracy and parliamentary democracy and a day of mourning for OBCs. The order against the oppressed classes should be amended,” he said.

    Ramadoss said PMK MPs would hold a demonstration in New Delhi tomorrow, while a rally of OBCs would be organised in Chennai the same day to highlight their “distress”.

    PMK President G K Mani appealed to the people to hoist black flags in all public buildings to condemn the judgment. (Our Correspondent)

  24. Barbarindian said, on March 31, 2007 at 2:53 am

    If OBC students coming in through the quota find it hard to keep up with course work, there could be disputes if they fail their subjects. It could turn ugly, with a few of them claiming casteism as the reason etc,

    Bingo. I have blogged about this before. OBC quota is bound to dilute qualities of the institutes. Even if the students getting in are pretty good, they will not like it until unless the top ranks are distributed too. There is no stopping the “representation” factor. The idea is not about equal opportunity, it is about equal outcome. Only communism can guarantee it.

  25. Reason said, on March 31, 2007 at 3:44 am

    RC,
    >> People dont just vote for cute lookin rustic jokers. They vote for cute lookin jokers who can deliver concrete benefits.

    Well said. But isn’t it a tad out-of-form/unfair to criticize the common man who votes for idiots on such narrow interests?
    But I am glad you said it 🙂

    Barb,
    >> A person who is socially and educationally backward can hardly aspire to secure even cut off marks in a tough entrance examination.

    There might be valid reasons to be cynical, and you did qualify that with ‘hardly’, but your own blog has examples that contradict this. I have seen several news items about really ‘Backward’ folks coming up on their own or with litlte dependence on quotas voicing anti-quota opinions. One such is here – of Sarathbabu who went to BITS Pilani from a slum in Madras – http://in.rediff.com/money/2006/aug/31spec.htm

    So if a truly backward from Madras went to Pilani, for whom is the Dravida 69% reservation working?


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