Reality Check India

Illogical to ask for OBC Data ?

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on April 4, 2007

Mr V. Venkatesan has a post up at Law and Other Things. He mentions a set of four points that leads him to conclude that the stay was unjustified. I am not sure if this is the same V. Venkatesan who is the legal correspondent for The Hindu and Frontline newspaper.

Some useful links first.

Let us see his points one by one.

The court prima facie assumes that inclusion of castes in the OBC list has been mechanical, and done without adequate relevant data. This is a wrong assumption. The inclusion of castes has been going on for many years in various States, on a variety of criteria. The Mandal Commission followed its own criteria, (not on the basis of 1931 census) including representation from the claimant castes, field visits by the Members, and the States’ lists.

The fact that the inclusion has been going on in various states for many years does not materially affect the contention that the inclusion of such castes is mechanical.  It is true that the Mandal list was accepted in Indira Sawhney, it does not follow that it will be the case for ever. Almost all judges in Indira Sawhney stressed the absolute requirement for data and that judicial challenge is available as a remedy. The court reposed faith in the government that a proper application of mind would take place with these lists.

the existence of circumstances relevant to the formation of opinions is a  sine qua non. If the opinion suffers from the vice of non-application of mind or formulation of collateral grounds or beyond the scope of statute, or irrelevant and extraneous material, then that opinion is challengeable

Jus. Pandian in Indira Sawhney

On behalf of himself and three others, Jeevan Reddy, J. pointed out (para 798 SCC) that opinion in regard to backwardness and
inadequate representation must be based on relevant material.

Why doesnt private citizen X approach the NCBC instead of the courts ?

Simple answer, the judicial review option is available. Complex answer, it is impossible for a private individual or group to collect such daunting social data that would result in a successful appeal against over-inclusion.

Mr Venkatasan asks,

Instead of asking the Government this question, the Court must have asked the petitioners, to show that specific inclusions of castes in the OBC list were without any data, and this was not seriously examined by the NCBC, when they complained to it. The petitioners are apparently lazy to carry out such an exercise themselves, and therefore, suggested a fresh survey.

Emp Added

So lets get this straight. Does anyone really think private citizens have the power to carry out a large scale sociological survey to establish social and educational backwardness ? Do you really think YFE can survey the literacy rate of targeted social groups (castes) , the graduation rate , land ownership, etc ? Do you think anyone is going to selectively target caste XYZ for such an examination ? 

Anyway, the NCBC was to review its list every 10 years. Come 2003 ..

The Court does not want to admit that such an acceptable mechanism already exists in the form of the NCBC, which is entrusted with the task of revision, if necessary. The NCBC only found this revision exercise premature in 2003.

I have heard this one before. While we may accept that revision of caste list is premature – but why not measure ? Measurement need not be followed by revision.  For the government measuring is as easy as counting successful job applicants caste certificates – and tabulating which castes are better poised to avail such benefits.

If the government comes up with fresh evidence, and the Court upholds the Act, will it then compensate the OBCs who lost one academic year, because of its faulty stay of S.6 of the Act?

Absolutely not. For the same reason 16 years of meritorious open category as well as economically poor OBC students will not be compensated if the Supreme Court strikes down the state of Tamilnadus creamy layer inclusion. The OBCs only have conditional admission today. It is conditional on the instrument that enabled such admission in the first place passing constitutional tests.

My point in raising the issue of governance coming to a standstill is to show how illogical the requirement of data collection is. Will anyone suggest data collection to show that the SCs and STs continue to be deprived or that the castes listed as SCs and STs still fulfil the criteria for their inclusion?

Emp added

Just search for SC on this blog to get about 10 answers to that question. It is not necessary to collect SC/ST data, it may be desirable but not necessary. SCs are not given benefits on the basis of their social and educational backwardness. Assuming you collected SC data, and found that some SC groups were doing really well. It would still mean nothing because that SC group’s benefits are not contingent on it being backward in any way. The constitution does not grant SEBCs parity with SCs.

The reservations were first introduced in 1902 and 1921 respectively in princely states of Kolhapur and Mysore, in response to the local movements against existing caste based monopoly. Those princely states did not go about collecting data, but responded immediately to the demands, in order to prevent social unrest.

I am not sure if you are correct.  See Justice L.C. Miller committee (1918-1920  Mysore) and O.H.B Starke Committee (1928 – Bombay).  See

The case will be heard on merits when the government submits data. Until then, this stay is welcome.

There must be a realization that such data cannot be hidden.  What happens the next time around ? The next time is going to be – OBC quota in private colleges. The United States makes available state/county wise breakup of African American/Hispanic/ Asian professionals, doctors, and students to monitor their affirmative action program. Why cant we atleast publish national level figures ? Is the working of our primary social justice program a national secret ?

33 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Observer said, on April 4, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    Very succinctly put. It is imperative to move beyond emotional arguments and obvious obfuscation of the issues in the Indian polity. It is quite distressing to note that even people like the FM, who should be wedded to data, dismiss it in favor of anecdotal life stories for deciding policy.

    In fact, measurement has to be an integral part of every policy, every endeavor, and every contract with society. One of the reasons American society is admired worldwide, and has been stable without internal insurgencies etc, is because of the clear policies and rules that they have endeavored to create in society over the last 40 years.

    I feel this blog is making a vital contribution toward this effort, and should be preserved and copyrighted for posterity.

  2. Goldstar said, on April 5, 2007 at 2:56 am

    A very relevant article in today’s (5-Apr-07) Deccan Herald. When I was reading this article, I felt a sense of deja vu, as it makes the exact points as Realitycheck.

    I am sure the response to this article also would be a resounding silence from the likes of Dr.Bruno or Shivam, but so what… Facts cannot be ignored forever.

    Realitycheck, keep up the good work !!


    There is an unseemly scramble among communities for inclusion in the OBC list. Reservation in Karnataka is completely flawed, though former CM Veerappa Moily has claimed it to be a model. It was during his period the present list of OBC was published and unfortunately continues even to this day. It has gone unchallenged so far, mainly because of lack of awareness of its implications among the backward communities due largely to their educational backwardness and poverty.


    Certain dominant communities though declared to be advanced communities by the successive Backward Class Commissions continue to enjoy the benefits of reservation for decades because of the political clout they enjoy. About 27 advanced communities have been added to the list of backward classes during Moily period notwithstanding the recommendation of the Backward Class Commission to the contrary.

    The Third Backward Class Commission, headed by Justice Chinnappa Reddy had made a recommendation to conduct a comprehensive socio-economic survey in its report submitted in 1990. This has not been carried out even after 15 years.


    In view of such highly convoluted reservation policy of the State government, the reservation in the advanced professional educational institutions without a creamy layer exclusion will work against the real backward classes, as the seats will be easily knocked off by the historically advanced communities who are now treated as backward in the State and therefore also by the Centre. A creamy layer with a higher cut off income would therefore be desirable.

    Some communities have been enjoying the reservation for nearly one and half centuries. Reservations began in Mysore State in 1851. As these communities advance consequent on reservation policy they need to be excluded. Political establishment is reluctant to do this and hence the judiciary has to intervene and lay down guidelines.


  3. Reason said, on April 5, 2007 at 6:36 am

    I need to point out to a discussion at a blog that showed that even with all flaws, the karnataka model is still better than tamil nadu model because it has finer stratifications for each caste based group into rural, kannada medium, women, displaced etc. I took the pains to google up the link so read it 🙂

    That does not mean that adding castes into bc list violating all norms of decency and all sensible norms is correct.

  4. Jai_Choorakkot said, on April 5, 2007 at 7:28 am


    1. One reason people could genuinely be apprehensive about any review/ recount is that the process could be flawed and could lead to ejection of deserving communities- say by uppercastes interested in trimming the list down.

    There should ideally be agreement on the criteria for the data (all of us, pro-reservation, anti-reservation, or somehere in btwn like me) and transparent and objective data collection. Looking at the way most govt processes run, I am not hopeful.

    2. There will undoubtedly be undeserving categories who will do their level best to skewer this since they know they will not qualify. I’m fairly sure I will not be very detached about reviewing a policy that has defined benefits for Jai_choorakkots.

    My point is the machinations of category 2 should not obscure legitimate concerns of category 1.

    3. It may be that some of the commenters are along for this only so far as the data will turn up in their favour. If valid data justifying reservations (beyond what they expected) is produced, maybe some of us will start picking holes in the data just like the ppl you referred to are going after the court verdict. Hope you have taken that into consideration.


  5. realitycheck said, on April 5, 2007 at 7:33 am


    I have said the same thing about Karnataka in August last year.

    I am running out of things to write about 🙂

  6. realitycheck said, on April 5, 2007 at 7:53 am

    Jai ,

    To allay the fears on all sides calls for true statesmanship. We are staring at a black hole on that count. For starters, all OBC politicians from TN taking centre stage today D.Raja, Jayanthi Natarajan, Subbulaxmi J, P. Chidambaram, Ramdoss, must be temporarily put on the back burner. Maybe even add bureaucrats like Krishnan to the list. There is a paradigm mismatch between their view of social justice and that prevailing in the rest of India and in the supreme court. Maybe Moily can be brought back to take control.

    I am sure you recognize the asymmetry of the two parties involved. Let us for a moment assume that a satisfactory outcome can be considered a victory.

    For upper caste X, a victory does not mean special benefits for his group X. If a study results in compaction of the OBC list, that would be a victory.

    For upper OBC Y, a victory means maintaining special benefits for group Y. Please note that here I do not individuals of group Y. I mean those who seek to represent the interests of group Y.

  7. Nitin said, on April 5, 2007 at 8:16 am


    Yes, it’s the same person who writes for Hindu/Frontline.

  8. Revathi said, on April 5, 2007 at 8:20 am

    Including more and more castes in the OBC list will be bad not for the FCs but for the real OBCs. My sister is married to an OBC and in her husband’s family, everyone has a certificate of some sort but it didnt help one bit since almost everyone has atleast one certificate. There are some who have even two certificates- I dont know, relatives of military personnel etc.. Most of them ended up starting their own businesses.

  9. Reason said, on April 5, 2007 at 9:24 am

    // For upper OBC Y, a victory means maintaining special benefits for group Y. Please note that here I do not individuals of group Y//

    why not? 🙂

    // I am running out of things to write about //

    Well… Why dont you write one summary post of all pro-caste-justice (as opposed to social justice) arguments, – ones from the likes of socialist bloggers and idiot media – and tear them to pieces? you might have them all scattered in different posts, but do one consolidated post that treats each of those arguments one by one, and then take a break?

  10. Reason said, on April 5, 2007 at 9:32 am

    and that comment went for moderation too… why me? 🙂

  11. realitycheck said, on April 5, 2007 at 9:56 am

    No idea ! I dont even see any pharmacy related words.

    Targeting OBC individuals will lead to no where. You have to assume that all humans will adapt their behavior to the ecosystem. In this case, you cannot expect OBC individuals to pull up the ladder after they have climbed the wall.

    I would start any analysis by assuming that given an ecosystem, individuals will behave in the most selfish way to maximise opportunities for themselves and their kids. I recommend the book The Selfish Gene by Dawkins to see what happens to mutant behaviour in an ecosystem that is not conducive. If a mutant OBC caste X voluntarily gives up its quota, it will be merely filled by a conformant OBC caste Y. What is the incentive for this behavior ? None. The reason is that data is not the key in our ecosystem.

    A similar scenario is when students appear for a student visa interview at the US consulate, would anyone truthfully answer the question, Do you intend to immigrate ? A mutant but truthful answer would be, “Absolutely, I want to first study then find a job and settle down in your country. Just help me get the hell outta here.” What is the incentive for such mutant behaviour.

    >> not for the FCs but for the real OBCs >>
    It will be psychologically crushing for the FCs to see their friends who are in verifiably similar or better circumstances given a 50% better chance at admissions. (A FC student has access to 31 seats with full competition, a OBC student has access to 60 seats (31 full competition, 30 competition only with other OBCs including really backward).

  12. Jai_Choorakkot said, on April 5, 2007 at 10:26 am

    Thanks for the links to Venkatesan’s blog. Fairly courteous discussion there. This may be the opponent_to_your_*views* that I was searching for (nothing personal there, I just try to get inputs from all across the spectrum).

    1. I can see some validity in the case that the recommendations were not based solely on 1931 census data. Dilip D’souza had made similar arguments a while ago. Now that is a blogger I respect and think you can have a sensible debate with. But he hasnt blogged on this in a long time.

    2. Dont know enough about the NCBC working but agree with you broadly about individual limitations in approaching it. But, to the extent you know, has it been tried? One cannot reject an available avenue without even trying it.

    3. Max divergence from RC position:

    Seriously confused about the poor students that have secured admission under the quota and who maybe in limbo now, for no fault of theirs. I don’t know how one injustice, if it is that, can be used to justify another.

    4. Max divergence from Venkatesan’s position:

    The part abt Mysore 1918-1921 “implemented immediately without data collection, for fear of social unrest”. Its very difficult to not read a threat of violence towards any review process. And to miss the push for setting non-collection as a precedent. Really jarred against the rest.


  13. Reason said, on April 5, 2007 at 10:55 am

    >> Fairly courteous discussion there

    It must be easy to be extra courteous when you know your arguments – whether or not they are legally or logically tenable – will anyway get pushed down the throats of your opponents.

  14. Jai_Choorakkot said, on April 5, 2007 at 10:58 am


    “…If a study results in compaction of the OBC list, that would be a victory for FC X….”

    doesnt necessarily follow? If the quantum stays at, or even close to 27%, the OBCs that remain (let us call them genuine OBC) will compete for that and that will be close to true social justice. The disqualified OBC are most likely sufficiently advanced to compete with FC in the open merit category.

    Thus strict implementation of what the FC seems to be asking for now actually makes things harder for them. It is unlikely any group will act so altruistically and this will lead to suspicion that its just a major delay tactic or an attempt to skew data wholesale.

    I must be missing something here.


  15. realitycheck said, on April 5, 2007 at 11:13 am


    Ever consider being a moderator in a panel discussion 🙂

    You raised a very complex topic. When advanced OBCs move to open competition, there is a fear that the entire dynamics of OBC reservation will change. This fear is justified among the genuine OBCs. For example : If Yadavs move out of OBC status, will Laloo still support the quota system ? If Karunanidhi support OBC quota if Vellala castes move out to open competition. You can even ask the question – will the dravidian parties survive if large groups are moved to open competition ? What would be the fallout of such an inevitable weakening of political backing ?

    In my view, what irks the students the most is that the potential beneficiaries are going to be just like them in circumstance except for their caste. I think most of them recognize that a 50% abridgement of their right to equality is inevitable. This is why there is almost no opposition to the 22.5% SC/ST quota – but such vehement opposition to the other 27% quota.

  16. Reason said, on April 5, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    >> The disqualified OBC are most likely sufficiently advanced to compete with FC in the open merit category. Thus strict implementation of what the FC seems to be asking for now actually makes things harder for them

    Nope. There is no rule now that those among OBC castes can not score the marks or ranks needed to secure an un-reserved (ie open competition) seat (what irony. you need more effort for an un-reserved seat). Their share is not restricted to the percentage reserved for them.
    GeneralCategory can compete only for the 50% seats. OBC can compete for 77.5% seats. that is the difference.
    It doesn’t really make a material dfiference to general category.

  17. xyz said, on April 5, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    you are concerned about the abridgement of seats to those who are getting them in the first place through quota and that to by dubious criteria for backwardness.he

    Then what about those who are in the general category.Unless you believe obcs are genetically inferior,why shouldn’t they compete in the open category when they are no longer backward.

    The so called forward castes (brahmanas being the principal target in south india)do not own any agricultural land now nor do they have the acumen and muscle power to do business in the current political clime.Yet many among them(not the majority though) are still setting the pace in certain areas of technology.

    The only reason for the demand for reservation in iits is to cut them down to size in the one remaining institution which is based on open competition.Any one who has a cursory knowledge of indian history knows that it is this much maligned community more than any one else,despite its limitations,has set the pace/standards in modern india.A remarkable social transformation has ushered in a momentum.Already reservations are a fact at the state level.At state level the jat sikhs,,reddys,marathas,kammas dominate.

    With or without reservations,caste is withering has little relevance today.The complexity of modern life,the access to information,democratic mobilisation,market forces make a return to the old order impossible.

    Even if reservations are implemented,it will not be bad in the short run.It will bring more to the national mainstream.Ironically,it might lead to the demise of caste based parties,for they will have nothing left to fight for.It will lead to democratisation,which is never bad in the indian context.

    But the problems will be in the long term.Because the principle of justice and equality would be given a burial,as the intended beneficiaries are numerically larger.The issue of fairness/brute force/greatest good for greatest number can never be solved theoretically.

    Alberuni pointed out in 1000 AD that indians were bereft of logic,sense of proportion and the capability to distinguish between precious stones/pebbles.May be it is our collective folly.

    If we still remain competitive,can maintain basic standards,bring more people to the mainstream all this would be worthwhile.The indian civilisation can survive inspite of the karus,maarans,paswans of the world.

    Or if as barb and some others believe( i am inclined to support them at times) this is just a licence for thugs to get at the one institution that is now beyond them,well this is the beginning of the …

    I repeat for the zillionth time,reservation in iits has nothing to do with backwardness.It is an all out attack on the “last frontier”.

    The backwards in TN have everything.They want cheap prestige.

  18. Jai_Choorakkot said, on April 5, 2007 at 1:16 pm


    The advantaged OBC currently may not try that hard since they are competing into 77%. Once (if?) they are removed, those of them that can compete into 50% will still get thru. They will have to shape up for that. The 27% opens up for “genuine OBCs”.

    Competition for the 50% open merit will hot up and in that sense the FC are working against their ‘selfish gene’ interests. The only losers are the academically mediocre among the “advanced OBCs” who have the capacity to compete in open merit but are found wanting at the 50% cut-off*.

    As I have framed it here, this is a very desirable outcome. I find it very difficult to come up with issues against that. It sounds like the students ARE actually working for equality and upset by bias to advantaged OBC.

    Actually have tried to set up discussions btwn differing bloggers that have ended up a fiasco 😦 . No depth to become anything close to a moderator.

    Very general:
    It is a little disturbing to see most blogs are congregations of ‘true believers’. The owner is the high priest at the pulpit preaching to the already converted. Dissent is minimal. On the rare occasions its displayed, its couched in flowery praise and reassuring references to past assent.

    Disciples join together to chase away the occasional heckler from the opposite camp. Many a time, the high priest need not even break his vow of silence, the disciples handle it for him.

    This atmosphere is not conducive to panel discussions 🙂

    * looking for alternative frames of reference that make sense from the pro-reservation POV.

  19. Barbarindian said, on April 5, 2007 at 2:40 pm


    It is difficult for me to talk to someone who respects Dilip D’Souza but I will try.

    You are basically trying to act holier than thou, as if you are the only one who understands anything about building consensus. You are painting us (the supposed anti-quota folks) in a very poor light by implying we are reacting against a minor concession.

    Yes, you got the part about it always being zero sum game right. Having said that, historically the successful civilizations have been able to negotiate a decent middle path. Now, let’s see what we have here:

    1. 50 – 69% caste based quotas in all graduate/post-grad/doctoral except in a handful of central institutes. Even private institutes are not exempt except those run by minorities.
    2. Caste based employment in Government jobs – a matter of time it is extended to private sector (at least to the SEZs).
    3. Automatic promotion for certain castes.
    4. Employment guarantee schemes for certain castes
    5. Loans, loan waivers, preferential government contract allocation for certain castes
    6. Huge subsidies that grossly favor certain castes

    Add to this – everyday politicians announce new quotas. Even today Karunanidhi announced exclusive quotas for religious minorities. This is basically his idea of getting back at the SC and upping the ante against the center.

    Despite all this India remains poor, 300 mils remain hungry. I am willing to concede more ground but will they stop knocking my religion and harping on supposed atrocities committed 2000 years ago? You can not attribute India’s failure to the forward castes not conceding ground.

    I believe there is no easy way out. Historically those civilizations also tended to have a homogeneous population.

    There are folks out there who want to hate me. I am not a Gandhian, so excuse me if I am unable to love them back.

  20. Reason said, on April 5, 2007 at 3:46 pm

    >> The advantaged OBC currently may not try that hard since they are competing into 77%. Once (if?) they are removed, those of them that can compete into 50% will still get thru. They will have to shape up for that. The 27% opens up for “genuine OBCs”.
    >> Competition for the 50% open merit will hot up and in that sense the FC are working against their ’selfish gene’ interests. The only losers are the academically mediocre among the “advanced OBCs” who have the capacity to compete in open merit but are found wanting at the 50% cut-off*.

    Before getting into the logic proper, it would be pretty hard to respect someone who wants quota despite being equal (or more) in social, economic indicators, just so he can work less harder and party more than the other poor losers, aint it?

    Getting into that question on ‘selfish gene’ – You are saying if some OBC castes are forced out of OBC list, then that will increase competition for FCs in the general category so it is a self-goal. Have you thought about what happens if they are not forced out?

    Not all of those OBC kids are likely to be low on work ethics just because there is quota, as you see it. Some of them (an unquantifiable number, but you can look up TN’s much publicised medical admission list for a sample number, if you feel like) will qualify in the general list. And a lot of them in the OBC list.

    There is a simple enough reason for them to try to excel – atleast those in the second generation or third generation of quota families – That difference would also mean getting a seat in Stanley in TN or a ABC medical college.

    The other OBC guys who are not really able to make it in competition with these dominant OBC kids are pretty soon going to be felling trees, blocking roads, burning busses etc demanding an additional quota – beyond 50% – as ‘most backward’ or ‘even most backward’ or ‘terribly backward’ for them. Yessir, they aren’t going to file PILs in courts, do a few hunger strikes and go home. It will get nasty. If you wont believe it, look at what happened in TN with PMK.

    Then minorities will join the party and soon it will be talk of ‘extra quota for them all minorities beyond 69% just as soon as we fix this supreme court mess’ – never mind some 93% of them already qualify as OBCs.

    Are we crossing 70%?.

    So, the FCs who might think it is for their good to shut their trap and let this game go on, because anyways they have their 50% and what’s the deal with trying to get more open competition, are going to wake up and find out, hey it is not 50, but 20%. So, fighting this now itself is not working against selfish gene interests.

    Now, there are some who see nothing wrong in this – they would like to restrict ‘FCs’ to their share in population (tending to zero if they can have it), and distribute the seats in nice proportion to the castes population strength. That might need a new constitution, but why not? And would you call that social justice?

    I thought when this scheme was started, eventually the idea was for everyone to compete equally for 100%. Looks like people aren’t even remembering this anymore.

    >> Disciples join together to chase away the occasional heckler from the opposite camp. Many a time, the high priest need not even break his vow of silence, the disciples handle it for him.

    could you be explicit? Is it anything concerning this blog or my replies?

  21. Observer said, on April 5, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    I can see the appeal of “proportionate” representation in all fields in society. Education, law enforcement, military forces, government, private employment, businesses, athletics etc come to mind readily. There are two ways to achieve the above objective.

    One, by addressing fundamental systemic issues that prevent people who desire to have representation in the above fields at all levels. It is not an easy process, since it would require consistent long-term policies spanning multiple election cycles at the central and state levels. This is of course the democratic approach, and how most matured democracies handle it. The emphasis is on making sure that the fundamental right to equality and liberty for all citizens is upheld.

    Two, by the current approach, usually favored by immature democracies like India, which are interventionist in nature. One of the cornerstones of interventionist democracies is the willful violation of the fundamental right to equality to a group of citizens. This is the most immediate (meaning within a typical election cycle) method of achieving “proportionate” representation in the aggregate. Essentially, if any group of citizens becomes overrepresented in any category, particularly at the top, then their right to equality must be removed, until and unless they become overrepresented at the bottom of each category, and so on.

    The Indian govt has botched both approaches, because it has exempted institutes of “national importance” from the quota rule. This sends a very confusing signal. Nor are quotas enforced in private sector employment, military forces, athletics etc. I for one would be very interested in seeing how India will look like if quotas are enforced in all spheres of public life.

  22. Barbarindian said, on April 5, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    You can enforce quotas on the giving side, not on the taking side.

    Naturally the demand for quotas will vary depending on the economic bounty. We will have private sector quotas soon, just wait till the SEZ process gains momentum. The institutes of national importance will not be far.

    I believe finding employees for lower Government jobs is extremely difficult. There are not enough graduates who can take those jobs. Yet we have 300 million hungry.

  23. realitycheck said, on April 5, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    Barb, for some reason I am not able to comment on your blog (software issue maybe ?)

    Good work with the charts. It tries to put what we know by commonsense into mathematical language. The urban / rural shapes are different ? Why ?

  24. Barbarindian said, on April 5, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    I didn’t make any changes. I can’t access blogger at work (ironical), will check if there is any problem from home.

    RC, they are for all and urban respectively. In the figures for rural, OBCs actually have more graduates per thousand than the whole population.

    The figures look different simply because for the overall (rural + urban), the difference is low (38/42) while for urban the difference is high (68/91). The chart is a measure of how many OBC castes out of 181 could qualify given the NCBC condition of a minimum 20% lag. This lag means for overall, an OBC caste qualifies if it has 33.6 grads or less per thousand. For Urban, the figure is 72.8 (assuming being backward in only urban area qualifies a caste).

    Quite obviously, if all OBC castes are homogeneously backward, all of them disqualifies at state level but all qualify at urban level. My chart attempts to vary the level of backwardness among the 181 castes and make a rough estimate of how many castes would qualify. It is even easier to understand using linear distribution.

  25. realitycheck said, on April 6, 2007 at 4:40 am

    >> Disciples join together to chase away the occasional heckler from the opposite camp. Many a time, the high priest need not even break his vow of silence, … >>

    Jai, any reference to this blog ?

    There is a real reason why I dont comment on sites like Blogbharti etc.

  26. Jai_Choorakkot said, on April 6, 2007 at 10:39 am

    you kind of guessed it.

    Barb, reason,
    Not specific to this blog.

    I realize your difficulty and appreciate the effort you are making. I dont know where the holier than thou came from, but trust me, I intended no such thing.

    Hope we can converse without imputing ulterior motives to the other.


    * I believe flat-out open competition between unequals is unjust.
    * I appreciate the sentiment on this blog and with many other discussions, that there are quite a few “pseudo-suppressed OBCs” that will unfairly get an advantage (ie. no unequality of condition 1)
    * I also believe there are genuine qualifiers under the OBC tag.
    * Proper data with objective collection can sort out the wheat from the chaff.
    * Agree that the list should be periodically reviewed as well, but think 10 yrs may be too short a period.
    * Dilip et al are proposing (I think) that Mandal data is good enough.
    * I wish to process their POV as transparently as I am processing RC’s.

    Ultimately this may just be a mental exercise 😦 since almost all political parties are determined to push it thru.

    Good response. I sure hope the day will not come to pass with “terribly backward” etc, claiming upwards of 70%.


  27. Barbarindian said, on April 6, 2007 at 11:51 am

    I sure hope so, but looks like you chose to ignore the substantive part of my comment.

    I believe flat-out open competition between unequals is unjust.


    Here is the issue. Assuming:
    – “merit” is normally distributed among all people and within all castes
    – wealth is normally distributed among all people and within all castes
    – the total entrants of the “money” institutes like IIT etc. less than 0.00001
    % (say 100,000 out of a billion)

    If you do the math factoring per capita GDP etc, you will find that there are enough reasonably well off people within most of the castes that fight for the seats. And these are the people who overwhelmingly make it.

    Your conjecture would be valid (assuming we accept economic well being vastly affects “merit”) if the competition was between a forward caste Doctor’s kid vs. a slum-dweller OBC kid. That does not happen. The slum-dweller kid never writes JEE. He sniffs glue when young and graduates to hooch when older, part-timing the Dharnas and Bandhs of politicians.

    Out of the 252,000 or so who take the JEE and compete for some 4600 seats, very very few, if any, are really depraved in that sense. The issue here is that there aren’t enough people from all classes in the 252,000 . A larger issue is that only 4600 will make it.


    What is the scope of discrimination in India’s entrance based system? None. Unless the forward caste candidates write a secret code word in their JEE paper etc. Now, you may believe that economic well being affects ability to compete. Fine. It is a competition between one individual against another. How is that unfair? It is only unfair if you believe OBCs are overwhelmingly poor, which may be true. It is unfair only if you see them not as individuals but as a group.

    But how do you make 520 million OBC better off by offering 2100 seats to the richest among them?


    The stereotype being propagated by Dilip D’Souza and company is that piss poor OBCs compete against stinking rich Brahmins. Furthermore there is strong discriminations and oppression of the OBCs by Brahmins in every walk of life. Quotas offer very depraved OBC kids who have no hope a otherwise a mere leg up.

    This is as far from reality as it gets.

  28. Barbarindian said, on April 6, 2007 at 12:27 pm


    “- wealth is normally distributed among all people and within all castes but with lower averages and higher standard deviations among the OBC castes

    “there are enough reasonably well off people within most of the castes that can potentially fight for the seats”

  29. xyz said, on April 6, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    Excellent analysis.But are the “others” even ready to listen?

  30. Reason said, on April 6, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    // Good response. I sure hope the day will not come to pass with “terribly backward” etc, claiming upwards of 70%.//

    Hope is a dangerous thing – The Shawshank redemption.
    It is already 69% and pushing in tamil nadu.
    and thanks 🙂

    Barb –
    // Out of the 252,000 or so who take the JEE and compete for some 4600 seats, very very few, if any, are really depraved in that sense //
    // Quotas offer very depraved OBC kids who have no hope a otherwise a mere leg up. //

    You probably wanted to say ‘deprived’, but after so many months of this, ‘depraved’ seems to make some sense too 🙂

    Personally, I give up and wait for the UP results.

  31. Reason said, on April 6, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    my comment went for moderation again… is there a conspiracy? 🙂

  32. […] be familiar with what I consider the foremost national secret of contemporary political forces and their supporters. I call this simply “data” or “truth”. What this really means is, data on […]

  33. Anon said, on April 12, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    The same supreme court wanted caste based data to give OBC reservation

    Now by denying this caste based census the brahmin judges are doing their best to deny OBC Quota

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: