Reality Check India

Victims of data less social justice find a saviour

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on December 13, 2009

If any one is looking for a perfect case study of the effect of quota without data on the political system, look no further.

Recently, the Tamilnadu government partitioned the SC quota into two. SC-Arundathiyars were allocated 3% and the non-Arundathiyars the remaining.  There was a massive event in the city organized by various members of the community to thank the Chief Minister.

”We are a hundred times happier now than we would be at one of our weddings. Kalaignar Karunanidhi is responsible for this,” said AMK president Valasai Ravichandran.

Arundathi Makkal Katchi leaders renewed their vow to support Karunanidhi and the DMK in all upcoming elections. In the recent general election, the AMK had supported the DMK.

Source : Express Buzz (emphasis added)

This quota enabled students of their community to bag 59 medical seats and 1100+ engineering seats. We wish them well.  They have every right to these benefits under the social justice platform.

The real question is this :  Is this not a grave injustice to this community that it took 65 years to correct ?  A simple pulse check of the utilization of the quota would have revealed that this community was left behind decades ago. Three generations of Arundathiyars would have been Collectors, Government officials, Doctors, and Policemen. Instead, for six decades,  six % of Tamilnadu was forced to continue in their plight. Think about what lies at the root of this.

Why was a simple pulse check not performed on this all important socialist ration of education and jobs ?  In my view,  engineered exclusion is the worst kind of injustice. This is the kind of justice that Amartya Sen would never ever talk about. The ambiguity and the promise of something better is key to fake socialism.  They would never support measurement because it undermines the promise.  This is why exactly ZERO  social activists, NGOs, socially aware bloggers are talking about this.

In this light, Mr Karunanidhi needs to be applauded. Think about it.  The judicial system has excused itself from scrutiny leaving hundreds of millions waiting for social justice marooned. They are completely at the mercy of the politicians with no public domain data available to build up public consciousness about what needs to be done. The  media and social activists wont touch this either.  Therefore one has to conclude that in this case Mr Karunanidhi really has rescued this community from the tyranny of adhoc social justice.  Has he not ?  Easily distracted, the courts have let down the very people strict scrutiny will help most.  The most backward.

The real question remains.  How many other communities are there like this ? When will their turn come ? What if they are numerically small and found mainly at traffic signals and breaking stones ? What if they cannot offer a concentrated and stationery vote bank ? Who will speak for them ?

In a parallel India, imagine if marginalized groups were guaranteed a place on the platform.  There would be no need to beg for what is rightfully theirs. This would instantly release hundreds of millions into free agent hood and put big ticket issues back on the voting block.


Not a single ELM TV channel carried the story.

Nothing on blogs where the legal eagles nest.

16 Responses

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  1. AG said, on December 14, 2009 at 5:37 am

    Would it not be better if instead of further splintering indian society for identity based allocations, the government focused on facilitating the creation of even more job opportunities and educational capacity?

    the need for precise identification of groups would then wither away.

  2. K said, on December 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Let me get this right…… You are justifying the quota system and using it as a yardstick to praise Karunanidhi when he was simply being a political opportunist ?

    Do you understand that it is simply not possible to allocate 2-3% to various subgroups in the name of ‘equality’ ? You will easily have more than 50 such groups in a diverse society like India….what will you do then ? Distribute fractions ? Does it really help improve our healthcare system if doctors are manufactured through the quota system instead of merit ?

  3. Barbarindian said, on December 17, 2009 at 5:16 am

    “Let me get this right……”

    Actually, you got this pretty much as far wrong as possible.

    • K said, on December 19, 2009 at 9:31 pm

      Thanks … seem to own the ‘i dont have to explain myself’ pass on this blog !

  4. Shaan said, on December 18, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    It is common knowledge that this community is the lowest among SCs in TN. It is not known when they came to TN as they speak a dialect of Telugu. Karunanidhi has to be welcomed for this quota though he is motivated by the desire for votes.

    People who criticize quotas fail to acknowledge the fact that these people have been suppressed for a very long time. In TN the quota system has worked well as many people belonging to the lowest communities have been lifted through better education and jobs. But it is a matter of concern that in other states it is yet to work out well as it is not good to extend reservation indefinitely.

    I am from the forward community in TN but I support quotas for the unprivileged castes because I have seen the good effects of reservation in removing the caste barriers. But there is no justification in extending religion based quotas because the Muslims have enjoyed the fruits of Islamic rule for 800 years.

    • K said, on December 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm

      “People who criticize quotas fail to acknowledge the fact that these people have been suppressed for a very long time.”
      – The obvious counter-argument is that two wrongs dont make a right. Are these the only people who have been suppressed ? Why not other groups ? Where will the disintegration of citizens into subgroups stop ?

      “In TN the quota system has worked well as many people belonging to the lowest communities have been lifted through better education and jobs.”
      – And how many carreers of candidates who could have pursued a carreer of choice in the absence of quota have been destroyed ?

      • shaan said, on December 20, 2009 at 10:38 pm

        How do you lift the people who are downtrodden due to suppression by higher castes for a long time, without quotas? Is 95% marks meritorious and 80% marks not meritorious? Both are meritorious but we have only limited seats in our universities and so we should give preference to the students from lower castes who have got 80%, over students from higher castes who have got 90% marks (and failed to get 95%).

        Our society is a competitive society. But there are options. As somebody has pointed out, now we have private colleges to study and private companies to work. If you are good enough you can succeed.

      • K said, on December 22, 2009 at 3:43 am

        “How do you lift the people who are downtrodden due to suppression by higher castes for a long time, without quotas?”

        How about funding their education so they have a level-playing field and the same opportunity to score 95% ?

  5. a said, on December 19, 2009 at 5:57 am

    Nobody cares for quotas in TN anymore.There are 30 deemed universities and 330 engineering colleges there.And a further 100 engineering colleges and another 30 deemed universities are on the pipeline.About one-third of all engineering college seats are in TN.Thousands from Bihar,Jharkhand,Andhra,Kerala,NE and Bengal are studying in TN.Nothing wrong with that.It is a demand-supply problem in other states.

    That is the reason why the social justice thugs are generous in distributing seats to arundhatiyars.The race is for now acquiring land,STARTING engineering colleges,bribes/contracts in Central govt,plum postings in Centre,unprecedented corruption in entry jobs in Govt.The going rate for Junior engineer in TNEB is 13 lakhs six months back.I heard it from an applicant for the job.More corruption in transfers/promotions and postings.

    TN is far behind most states in Dalits getting the ‘alloted’ share in Gr I posts.Does karu have the gumption to release a white paper on Dalits in Gr I posts in TN.or reserve 3% for arundhatiyars in Gr I posts.There will be a bloody rebellion by BCs.

    The Dravidians will never accept this fancy ideas of constitutional provisions.This is one of the reasons why the Church is so active in TN harvesting dalit souls.We really have a tortuous past,but we need not have a tortuous future.

    If I am a thevar or gounder or vanniyar,why on earth should I care for the niceties of the Constitution.I have said this before and I repeat it.If we are going to have reservation for SCs,the creamy layer of SCs too should be excluded.

    And where is super moderator JaiC? These ‘impartial,fair,balanced’ types are never around when ‘lighting is unislamic’ type issues are discussed.

  6. shaan said, on December 22, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Thats a good idea. If special coaching and more study material is given for them free of cost, we should be able to get rid of quotas. I am always of the opinion that quotas are cannot be extended indefinitely, but it has been politicized so much that other creative alternatives are not being thought of by anyone.

    • rc said, on December 27, 2009 at 12:22 pm

      Shaan, you cant propose creative alternatives to a group while other groups have simple quotas.

      If you want to find out how many saw the movie Three Idiots in Ramu Theatre in Pune on Monday Night. You have two options.

      1. Ask everyone in Pune whether they saw the said movie.

      2. Just count the tickets at the theatre on Monday Night.

      A related question : Can a community that takes top honours in the open competition be given a quota ? Does such a creature exist and what impact would this have on the quota system ? Would the members of this community defect against their caste leaders at election time ?

      Think about these…

      • Shaan said, on December 27, 2009 at 5:41 pm

        Thats not related to one particular group, that is about the quota system in general.There are of course people from all communities who take top honours in the open competition (at least in TN), but it can’t be said of the community as a whole.

      • rc said, on December 28, 2009 at 2:48 am

        What you are referring to is that outliers should not impact policy. No one disagrees with that.

        The staging of the quota system is aggregates of individual groups into categories. You cant skim over this all important fact. A community that does very well in the open competition (not just a couple of outliers) will clobber the quota as well, thereby squeezing out the other groups who have not demonstrated similar ability. This post is about that. Arundathiyars have been squeezed. We have no idea how many others have been squeezed out – and how many others are unwitting beneficiaries of fruits that are not theirs.

        The disaggregated data is what can prevent the quota system from turning into a shear for the free agent population.

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  8. […] ? How many other communities are there like this ? See my earlier post on the Arunthatiyars (Victims of data less social justice find a saviour).  I personally know bands of people employed by various panchayats in TN specifically to handle […]

  9. […] only on falsifiable criteria so it benefits society. Even though I have never failed to point out the plight of the really backward. I dare them. The beauty is once the clamour for truth is out […]

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