A careful reading of the Indian Constitution will bring out the following patent facts of great public significance:
- Where CASTE was mentioned, it was only to prohibit discrimination ON GROUNDS OF CASTE
- Where 'Equality' was made specific in Article 16(1) in regard to employment under the State, for instance the expression that was used was 'equality of opportunity,' and this expression has been buried deep under the rhetorical flourishes and fulminations of 'progressives' among politicians and some politicking High Court and Supreme Court Judges interested only in pandering to the tastes of low level communal politicians.
- Only in respect of Adi-Dravidas or Harijans, the term Scheduled 'Caste' has been used in the Indian Constitution. It does so to lay down a negative; namely, that 'Caste' shall not be a ground for discrimination. Nowhere is there any reference to Backward Castes; there is only reference to Backward Classes.
Yet Mandal of the Mandal Commission treated these cardinal Constitutional provisions with supreme contempt and raised a super structure of fraudulent and fabricated Other Backward Classes (OBCs ) for the political purpose of creating a Quota Raj in the dubious name of a casteless society! What about our criminal politicians, many of whom are functioning as Chief Ministers today?
Arun Shourie summarizes the present disgusting situation of merit destroying Quota Raj brilliantly as follows:
- When their case is urged before duly constituted Commissions of Inquiry, it is argued that they be given reservation as Castes.
- When Government Commissions examine the case and eventually recommend that reservations be given, they too recommend that reservations be given to such and thus again on the basis of Castes.
- When the Government of India and the State governments decree reservations, they also take particular care to ensure that they are given to Castes.
- The reservations that the Courts of Law uphold in India are also reservations on the basis of Castes and to Castes alone.
The Mandal Commission criticized the Kalelkar Commission report by saying that it had mostly borrowed the lists of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) prepared by the Ministry of Education for the award of post-metric scholarships. The Mandal Commission in its own report criticized the recommendations made by eight (8) States and Union Territories and observed 'They have notified lists of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) without ordering a formal inquiry into their conditions.'
These States included Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Rajasthan and Orissa. The Mandal Commission sent out a Questionnaire to all the States and Union Territories seeking field data on OBCs. They too did not cooperate with the Mandal Commission which lamented as follows 'It was rather disappointing to see that hardly any State was able to give the desired information. Repeated reminders and contacts at personal level did not materially alter the situation.'
Several questions pertained to the representation of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in elected bodies, services etc. A couple of States have replied to these questions and even these replies are inadequate. Regarding the representation of OBCs in higher public services, only a couple of States have given some information. Even this information is too sketchy and scrappy for any meaningful inference which may be valid for the country as a whole.' So this was the self-estimate of the Mandal Commission which has been made much of by Karunanidhi and his government. In no other civilized country in the world, a duly elected government would use the strong arm of the Police for organizing a bandh and use that brutal power for closing shops and other commercial establishments in the tamasha name of a bandh. The same Chief Minister would talk about the moral responsibility of the Chief Minister of Karnataka to respect the verdict of the Supreme Court in respect of the Cauvery dispute in letter and spirit!
DK leader K Veeramani has recently accused the two Supreme Court Judges who gave an interim stay in respect of 27 per cent reservation issue, of lacking in judicial honesty and discipline. Veeramani's exemplary record of self-sacrifice, selfless service, high moral character and unsurpassed discipline should by themselves be adequate to persuade the government of Tamilnadu committed to such Dravidian values to recommend his name for the award of Bharat Ratna by the President of India.
Dr P Radhakrishnan, Fellow of the Madras Institute of Development Studies, has recorded that the list of Backward Classes in Tamilnadu grew from 11 in 1883 to 39 in 1893 to 46 in 1903 to 122 in 1913 to 131 in 1923 to 182 in 1933 to 238 in 1943 to 270 in 1953. The Mandal Commission listed 288 for Tamilnadu, a State from the Government Service of which and from several professions in it, those not fortunate enough to be Backward have been well nigh driven out.
Though the Mandal Commission Report is considered as a Bible by all the unscrupulous politicians of India, yet the Mandal Commission itself was very modest about its worth. To quote the words of Mandal: 'In the end it may be emphasized that this survey has no pretensions to being a piece of academic research. It has been conducted by the administrative machinery of the government and used as a rough and ready tool for evolving a set of simple criteria for identifying social and educational backwardness. Throughout the survey our approach has been conditioned by practical considerations, realities of field conditions, constraints of resources and trained manpower and paucity of time. All these factors obviously militate against the requirements of a technically sophisticated and academically satisfying operation.'
In the well known Indra Sawhney vs Union of India (Supreme Court 1992), Justice Kuldip Singh of the Supreme Court pointed out that the Mandal Commission did no work to establish either the 'backwardness' or the inadequate representation of the 3743 castes it proclaimed to be backward (based on 1931 census caste data alone) and thereby entitled to reservations. To quote his sharp words in this context 'The so called socio-educational field survey was an eye wash. Only two villages and one urban block in each district of the country were taken into consideration. Only 0.6 per cent of the villages in the country were surveyed by the Mandal Commission.' If the castes enlisted by Mandal are permitted to avail the benefits of job-reservations, thereby depriving half the country's population of its right to equality under Article 16 (1) of the Indian Constitution, the result would be nothing but a fraud on the Constitution. The Mandal Report virtually rewrites Article 16 (4) by substituting CASTE for CLASS. 'CASTE' has been made the sole and exclusive test for determining which group is backward and which is not.' The obsession of the Mandal Commission with Casteism is such that it invents CASTES even for non-Hindus. As a result, the entire approach of the Mandal Commission has been anti-secular and against the basic features of the Indian Constitution.' Theses relevant points raised by Justice Kuldeep Singh have weighed with the Supreme Court when they gave an interim stay to the operation of 27 per cent reservation last week.
I fully endorse the view of Arun Shourie that intellect marked by depth, disinterested public spirit and high moral courage has been driven out of all public discourse in India. Firstly it has been driven out by intimidation. Secondly, by superficiality ? any public debate seldom goes beyond the clattering and clanking slogan mongering. Thirdly by superciliousness. Fourthly by tepid and balanced journalism which is always neutral between the fire-brigade and the fire, between good and evil and hell bent on being adamant only for drift and solid only for fluidity. We require a strong, principled, virile and fearless free press to highlight public issues which plague our country. We also require a reasoned and informed free speech, buttressed by cogent argument and exceptional ability for gathering and delivering irrefutable evidence. Restoring solid and sacred substance to public discourse is the crying need of the hour in India today.
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