Reality Check India

Jats ask “Why cant we have it too”, not so politely of course

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on September 15, 2010

Image Link Courtesy Hindu

Within a hundred kilometres of the national capital, almost an entire district was under curfew on Tuesday. It was so bad that the Army had to be called in.

ROHTAK/CHANDIGARH: A day after a protester was killed in police firing in Hisar on Jat community members demanding OBC quota in government jobs, Haryana was on the boil on Tuesday with angry mobs torching vehicles, business establishments and a police post.

Hisar bore the brunt, where curfew has been imposed in parts of the city and the Army called in. Traffic on the Hisar- Delhi National Highway 10 has been suspended.

Source : TOI

Some more detail from the same source:

Tuesday’s violence was sparked off when two protestors were killed while trying to stop a goods train at Uklana railway station in Jind district in the morning. The protestors tried to set the railway station on fire. Soon, the agitation spread to Rohtak, Jind, Bhiwani, Sirsa and Fatehabad with mobs blocking several roads connecting the affected towns.

Massive stone pelting, setting a police post on fire,  setting the SBI branch (Hisar Cantonment) on fire, setting part of a railway station on fire, setting police jeeps on fire, and usual rampaging followed.  So, who gets to pay ? The hapless cop.

Meanwhile, a police spokesman said here that several policemen including Hisar Superintendent of Police Subhash Yadav were injured in the clashes with the protesters who indulged in heavy stone pelting.

Meanwhile, the government shifted Hisar Superintendent of Police Subhash Yadav and has given his charge to Additional Superintendent of Police Pankaj Nain for the time being, an official spokesperson said.

He said two cases were registered – one against transferred SP Subhash Yadav and some other policemen under section 302 of the IPC (murder) and the other against unidentified persons in connection with the arson and violence.

Source : Outlook

I had to hunt hard online to locate the fact that the SP and others was booked under IPC 302 murder. This is outrageous as is the Haryana Congress Chief Minister Mr Hooda’s clean chit to the protestors.

In India, this protest is supposed to be a “good and vigorous social justice protest”.

Why is this happening ?

In social issues, you will find that the simplest questions are the most difficult to answer. Yet, the touchstone of justice is that you need to satisfy anyone who asks the following :

“Why cant I have what I just saw you give him”

Note that is this quite different from :

“Why cant I have what he has”

This is because people by nature accept that the life deals each of us a different deck of cards. But, we cant accept the state denying us something that it hands out to other people in plain sight. This emotion finds an outlet in this manner – If a show of strength followed by an orgy of violence is what is required, then so be it.

If you press the agitators enough, the trail will inevitably lead to Tamilnadu. More and more states and communities are asking, ” if they (TN) can have it why cant we ?”. The muddled court judgements lead others to believe that the court is not willing to perform its constitutional duty and therefore it is up to the group leaders to take up the violent route.

So what is unique about Tamilnadu:

  1. The fact that communities in the OBC category routinely top the Open Competition seats
  2. still able to maintain their OBC status
  3. no visibility into disaggregated utilization data
  4. creamy layer is not excluded (in state jobs and education)
  5. court wink-wink on 69%. The court observed in the Voice Consumer case as far back in 1996 that over 80% of open seats went to OBC castes and yet did not find anything wrong with that. Instead, it opted for some gymnastics by creating an illusion of ‘extra seats’

and the main attraction

  1. As it turns out, such adhoc powers to politicians to nix fundamental rights of equality and social justice have a great effect.
  2. These politicians gain a vice like grip over those constituents who adhoc rights it promotes.
  3. Any larger power will then have to enter into negotiations with these benefit protectors if it wants to reach out to its groups.

More about the judicial wink wink

The real issue is “Is evidence of being backward educationally or otherwise a precondition for inclusion in the OBC list?” If there were a high bar for data as evidence of backwardness, then it could have a dampening if not soothing impact on the Jat community.

To put it in a bluntly:

What is the rationale for continued reservation for a caste or community which is able to top or represent well in the open competition ?

As observed by the court in the 1996 case of Voice Consumer Care Vs State of Tamilnadu :

“It is significant to notice in this connection that according to the figures supplied by the Government of Tamil Nadu for the Academic Years 1993-94 and 1994-95, more than eighty percent of the seats in the general category are being taken away by the students belonging to Backward Classes on the basis of their own merit. As fully explained and illustrated in the Order dated August 18, 1794, the students belonging to Backward Classes are getting fifty percent of the total seats on the basis of reservation and more than 80 per cent of the seats in the general category [open competition category] on the basis of their own merit.” Link to judgment

So, Tamilnadu has demonstrated to the rest of India that it is quite possible to extend quota benefits to castes which together get about 80% of the open seats. This has been observed by the Supreme Court no less. It has also demonstrated that the court in unlikely to check such a blatant insult to social justice. Why is it an insult to social justice ?  Because communities that top the open lists will absolutely clobber the really backward in the reserved seats.

This grand anomaly which incidentally dates back to the First Constitutional Amendment , even before the First Lok Sabha convened, will lay this country to waste. A disinterested observer might even observe that as a country we never agreed on some fundamental “ground rules”.

All is not lost. We can build an alternative conventional wisdom that there is disaggregated utilization data that is hidden and that citizens must prise the data out.


5 Responses

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  1. Gaurav said, on September 15, 2010 at 6:17 am

    Great Post RCji, except for the fact I disagree with the conclusion 😉

    BTW is it fair to say nothing good comes from TamizhNadu, except for Thaliavar ofcourse. I KEED I KEED 😉

  2. VOXINDICA said, on September 15, 2010 at 7:21 am

    Reality Check India, This is an excellent analysis of the quota system that is plaguing the country. Affirmative action for the disadvantaged is an unexceptionable social policy but India seems to be alone in the world, where politically active groups vie with each other to acquire “official backwardness”! The policy as it exists in TN is a social and political oxymoron for its objective seems to be not affirmative action for the disadvantaged but to keep out some sections of the society permanently away form jobs and educational institutions.

  3. Gaurav said, on September 15, 2010 at 8:22 am

    India seems to be alone in the world, where politically active groups vie with each other to acquire “official backwardness”!

    Not true, off the top of my head we have Malaysia with its Bumiputera policy.

  4. HITESH KUMAR TIWARI said, on September 15, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    stop corruption stop reservation. reservation is unfair, unethical, injustice done at least in the present day scenario. maybe incentives in some other form could be acceptable(monetary etc.) but reservation of seats anyway needs to be abhorred by any “GOOD CITIZEN OF INDIA.”

  5. […] for falsification.  However, the Supreme Court shied away from addressing such a critical issue in 1996 Voice Consumer Care vs State of TN. In fact, the court itself observed that 80% of seats in the open category in Tamilnadu was being […]

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