Reality Check India

Identification of OBCs will take 30 years !

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on October 5, 2007

I was without internet access for a while since my last post here. In the interim period, we saw the bizarre case of the Tamilnadu bandh / hunger strike and the resultant jabs at the judiciary. We are now seeing the shameless greed for power by Mr Kumaraswamy and Mr Deve Gowda.

Still, these issues are not even remotely as important as the OBC quota case that is being heard by the Supreme Court.

It is rather dismaying that the government is unwilling to table the merits of the case. Instead it is resorting to repeated assertions that there is nothing wrong with this kind of quota. Isn’t that for the court to decide ? See the following reports.

Quota law not violative of basic structure of statute: Centre

Creamy layer not applicable for SC/ST

Amendment doesnt violate law

Take these two submissions of Mr Parasaran (former Attorney General),

On the petitioners’ contention that minorities had been excluded from the purview of the quota law, Mr. Parasaran said “minorities had to be excluded to protect the secular character of our country. Otherwise, it will become a theocratic state.”

Wait a minute ? What does secularism have to do with this ? Minority OBCs have no problems enjoying the benefits of the quota system – Is it then right to exclude their institutes from sharing the national burden ? Enjoying benefits is secular – but sharing the burden is theocratic.

Mr. Parasaran said one could not wait for the identification of the OBCs as in view of the complexity of the problem it might take at least 30 years for proper identification. He, however, maintained that the government had identified the OBCs and only the notification had not been issued in view of the interim stay order (on implementation of the quota law) passed by the apex court.

Source : Hindu

If caste based social and educational backwardness is so real in India, then why must it take 30 years to identify ?

As this blog has pointed out many times in the past.

  • It is dead easy to identify the real backward castes (just go to a stone quarry, garbage dump, traffic signals, construction workers, brick kilns, nomadic entertainers, and so forth – If someone is not already SC, they are the OBCs) Youth for Equality will never protest benefits to these groups, just like they have not protested benefits to SC/STs.
  • It is hard to come up with a filter to exclude advanced sections from dominating benefits which are clearly meant for people in the previous point. This is where the rub is.

Explore the governments’ argument

The dominant argument forwarded is something like this -“Backwardness is not something that can be measured. Quotas are a remedy for centuries of caste based oppression. No economic filter can be used because just having money does not remove backwardness.”

Lets explore this and see where the perils lie.

If backwardness is beyond rational measurement, then the efficiency of steps taken to alleviate it is also beyond measurement. In effect, this places the system itself beyond measurement. No measurement leads to no accountability. This is why a stone breaker cannot demand what Indias’ social justice programs have done for his community.

States with low numbers of “first class” citizens will lose out to states with high numbers of “first class” citizens. Since, we have placed the classification itself above rational study, there is no incentive for not pushing to increase the “first class” population. This will naturally result in pushback from established “first class” citizens. Result : Jealousy, Rage, Bandhs, Hatred, Votebanks.

5 Responses

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  1. ravi srinivas said, on October 7, 2007 at 7:19 am

    Parasaran’s argument is crude to say the least. If one goes by that logic then asking minorties to follow rules on labor laws, traffic, environment etc would amount to unsecular acts. The constitution establishes fundamental rules for all with some special rights for minorities to protect their interests in culture and education. The provisions for reservations come under fundamental rules. So his argument is all the more bizzare.
    In contrast see the written submission of Nariman and K.K,Venugopal (lawandotherthings blog). The govt. side is not presenting any new data or new line of argument. They are simply trying to sell stale juices in new bottles. They know that in terms of data they are not in a strong position.

  2. ravi srinivas said, on October 7, 2007 at 7:20 am

    In my response read fundamental rules as fundamental rights.

  3. realitycheck said, on October 7, 2007 at 10:05 am


    I did read the submissions linked from the lawandotherthings blog. There is nothing in it – just repeated assertions that everything is lawful and correct.

    Without data, the courts as well as the political class will climb atop a tiger they cannot alight.

    Take the AP Muslim quota case for example. The AP government is arguing that since Muslims in KA and KE have a separate quota. Why cant they have it ?

    I suspect they have a winning point. I would love to hear how the counsel for the petitioners in the AP case counter that argument.

    The same inductive logic can be extended everywhere. It is a sure winner.

    If something is not defined in measurable / observable terms, but only with respect to other unmeasurable entities, then you cant challenge it in court. Why cant “Unmeasurable A” have something that “Unmeasurable B” has ?

    I have a creative solution to this conundrum, that does not involve a full measurement. The government can validate the OBC classification by showing its impact on the most obviously backward groups (such as the stone breakers example in my post). Both parties can surely agree on 10 such groups which can be studied.

  4. AudildDiz said, on November 1, 2007 at 12:35 am


    VIAGRA, CIALIS, PHENTERMINE, SOMA… and other pills!

    Welcome please:


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  5. TamilInfoGoogle said, on June 16, 2008 at 8:46 am


    Pro reservationationists ironically favour Muslims who only speak Hindi at home or Nayudus and Reddys who speak only Telugu at home. At the same time they treat Tamil-speaking Brahmins and Chettiars as foreign invaders by excluding them . They also claim to fight for the Tamil cause….by dividing Tamil society!!? PMK, DMK, ADMK etc reject creamy layer, support the cruel 2-tumbler system of Southern Tamil Nadu and now demand extended reservation. PMK leader will go Delhi, Hyderabad and Bombay to promote reservation rather than setting up Tamil learning centers in those places. This shows that Tamil Nadu policitians don’t mind loosing their self respect and prefer to worship their Hindi masters than to work for an integrated Tamil society. Incidently the PMK health minister has made Hindi compulsory for medicine, the the DMK surface transport minister has made Hindi compulsory on national roads even in Tamil Nadu.

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