OBC quota – UPA fails to make its case
The Supreme Court upheld the March 29th stay on the OBC quota today. See news here. Also see coverage on the Lex blog. The governments petition was very weak. Some parts were amusing such as the contention that the general quota would not be affected.
Meanwhile, the DMK has called for an immediate summoning of both houses of Parliament.
Handle with care
The UPA government should step back and assess the situation before approaching the CJI with a request for early hearing. This is critical because if you go in front of a constitution bench larger than Indira Sawhney without data then you might put the whole program in jeopardy.
The Congress led UPA government should realize that it is heading a government for all of India, not just Tamilnadu. Social justice in Tamilnadu has a truly different meaning, that simply cannot apply to the rest of India. Many aspects of Tamilnadu’s quota system including the 69% quantum as well as the non-exclusion of the creamy layer are subjudice. Given this scenario, you cannot have their politicians set the bottomline in the defence.
At this juncture, true statesmanship demands that every one in the union cabinet is made aware of the exact nature of the group called Socially and Educationally Backward Classes. There is an unsurmountable burden of measurement built into the OBC benefits. This is very much unlike SC (Dalit) benefits. Does this data exist ? Some bloggers claim it does, it seems a simple RTI can get this data out. If this measurement data exists then great – what are we waiting for? This is the moment to present it in the court.
If this does not exist, then it means that the time has come to constitute the Third Backward Classes commission in the true spirit of social justice.
This time around the commission will work in the age of the internet and free information.