R. Venkataraman’s Explanations for Non-implementation
Shri R. Venkataraman, then a Cabinet Minister, said in the Parliament on 11.8.1982:
1. Acceptance by all States
“The problem that confronts the Government today is to arrive at a satisfactory definition of backward classes and bring about an acceptance of the same by all the states concerned”.
2. Identification of Classes
“The Mandal Commission has identified 3743 classes as backward classes. The Kalelkar Comittee identified somewhere about 2,000 and odd. Now, two or three inferences flow from this. Either the identification by the Kalelkar Committee was not correct or there has been a scramble afterwards for a large number of other communities to get themselves classified as backward classes in order to get benefit, and the other inference is that perhaps a number of communities have become backward after the Kalekar Committee Report. Therefore, sir, it is not an easy problem”.
(a) Kerala: For instance Kerala has identified 769 castes as backward classes. the Mandal Commission has recommended 208 as backward classes. How do we reconcile? Can the Government of India immediately issue an order saying that all the 208 castes or classes should be defined as backward classes? Then what should be the reaction of the Kerala Government on this?”
(b) Tamilnadu: Likewise, Tamilnadu has identified 213 as backward classes and the Mandal Commission has recommended 283 as backward classes”.
(c) Orissa: More important and striking is that Orissa has classified not one as backward class-Nil--and the Mandal commision has identified 224 as backward classes. I am giving a few samples of the magnitude of the task that concerns the Government”.
--They have made an exhaustive study and given the report, said Dr. V.Kulandavelu.
--That is your view. Should I not hear the State Government’s view?
Action taken Report
“You were saying that the Government has not taken any action on the Mandal Commission’s report. Is the consultation with the State Government not an action taken by the Government”.
‘I read what panditji has said in relation to the 5th Amendment which has moved by the opposition saying that the word “Socially” is a much wider term including many things and certainly including word “economically”. Therefore Panditji’s interpretation of the word “socially backward” includes “economically backward people” also. Therefore, you cannot say that the words “economicaly backward” were not contemplated at the time when our Constitution was framed. At the very first opportunity, when this has to be interpreted, the founder of the Constitution himself said that economic ackwardness is part of social backwardness...There is considerable validity in the arguments that the economic backwardness should be taken as one of the criteria.... in order to get over the rigidity of the caste, we must widen the definition of backwardness to include economically backward people .....Since we are at this very important issue now, since we are going to lay down the criteria for backwardness, socially and educationally backward people, it is just the time that we made it so comprehensive as to include the economically backward people also. But this is only a point of view. This is not the decision of the Government. We will take this into account. (emphasis added).
Identification of Classes
Then again in the identification of castes,number of difficulties arise. Take for example the concerted people. The backward class people get converted to Christianity, Islam etc. There is a wide variety of rules and regulations in respect to this in various states. In certain states the convert alone is treated as backward; in certain states, the convert is not treated as backward. It it not my duty to reconcile all these points of view and give one kind of direction or one kind of formula for acceptance by all the people in the country? If it were a report which concerned only the Government of India, you can charge me why I have not accepted it immediately. (emphasis added).
If the Government of India accepts the Mandal Commission’s report and identifies 3743 cases as backward classes, and the states want different kinds of castes to be treated as backward classes, there would be utter confusion.... There will always be applicatins to the Centre to modify the list and to the States to modify the list”.
Bhagwat Gita and Not Manu
“I want to tell Paswanji” (referring to Shri Ram Vilas Paswan who has turned Manu Smriti like some other politician, we feel having read their speeches delivered in the Parliament and other fora into an instrument of attack on caste-System) “that he should read Bhagawat Gita. In fact, Manu is not the quintessence of Hinduism; quintessence of Hinduism is Bhagwat Gita. It was Lord krishna Himself, who gave the whole essence of te Hindu religion from his words on the battlefied. Therfore, that is the correct one. Please, therefore, do not hereafter quote Manu; please quote only from Bhagwat Gita which is the quintessence of Hinduism?”
--Shri Ram Vilas paswan: “Why don’t you ban Manu?”
--Shri R. Venkatraman: “Manu was years ago. That is he was in primitive society. Historically, it applied to primitive society”.
APPENDIX TWO - INEVITABLE CONCLUSIONS
The inevitable conclusions we draw from our analysis is:
(a) Since Shri B.P.Mandal had spoken eight months before he became the Chairman that there had existed three thousand OBCs in India in a speech in the Lok Sabha, he had to prove it and his entire exercise was to “prove it”.
(b) To “prove it” he pre-determined the criteria in doing which other members may have helped him, we presume.
(c) Then to apply the “predetermined criteria he had to collect massive information. But could not do so. Therefore, he went round with other members of the Commission with huge baskets all over the country in 22 states and asked the people there, if they were non-Dwijas to put their names down on a paper, mentioning their castes and drop it in the basket.
(d) These were “computerized”, as it suited the members of Commission.
(e) In this entire exercise all the experts of the Commission were humiliated, as they were never consulted. Their names had been mentioned ornamentally in the preface to give to his entire “pre-determined” exercise, the cover of a scientific socio-educational survey, the like of which was never conducted before in the history of the country.
(f) Meanwhile, three of the experts, Shri M.N.Srinivas, Shri Roy Burman and Prof Yogendra Singh have spoken strongly against the findings of the Commission in the interviews to different newspapers, which only confirm our analysis that it was a totally fake report on the backward classes of India.
(g) In the evidences he got from the member of the Parliament, many of them had stressed the economic criteria and the stoutest and loudest champion of the Mandal Commission Report, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan himself has gone on record saying that an income ceiling of Rs 10,000 per annum should be placed.
(h) He has admitted here and there in the Report the limitations under which the Commission had to work. We will discuss them later in our concluding Chapter in Section IV.
(i) On the basis of material available before the Commission, Shri Mandal could never draw up a list of even genuine OBCs. But he had to draw up a list of 3000 or more OBCs, since he was determined to do that at cost. So a list of 3743 was prepared.
The greatest injustice ever done to the back ward classes of India was by Shri B.P. Mandal himself and the Members of the Commission, by including all and sundry backwards and the “fake backwards”, tribal, scheduled caste members. Without any verification, to produce a list that only a blind and headless government could implement.
The genuine backward classes, hovering around the poverty line will suffer as ever before, as the cake for reservations will be eaten up by the elitist layers of the backward classes. In fact, they should be de-classified at once and the benefits of reservations should be allowed to reach the neediest backward classes first, and then if the financially bankrupt government can afford it, the needier classes should be taken up and then, come to needy class.
In the year dedicated to that great Indian son, Shri Bhim Rao Ambedker and others like Pundit Nehru who discussed Articles 340, Articles 15(4) and 16(4), there can be no greater insult to his memory than to accept the Mandal Commission Report and implement it. Yet the policy of reservation for the backward classes must be implemented, not Mandal Commission
recommended, but on a much realistic scale, after making it a totally non-political issue, an issue of greatest public welfare for the neediest Indians.
On such genuine agenda, Indian patriots would jump into action with a sense of total dedication and commitment, beyond any political affiliation.
Police blunder or conspiracy? Why the handling of Patel protests has Narendra Modi worried - by Sanjay Singh Aug 27, 2015 12:00 IST
It was first of its kind broadcast message by Prime Minister Narendra Modi – an appeal for calm in his home state Gujarat. The message delivered in Gujarati with photo frames of two most famous Gujaratis, Mahatama Gandhi and Sardar Patel in the backdrop, is indicative of the magnitude of the social and administrative crisis that has set in the state. The sudden emergence of the phenomenon
Hardik Patel who is demanding Other Backward Caste (OBC) status and consequent quota benefits in government jobs and educational institutions for
economically prosperous, socially and politically dominant Patidar community has caught Gujarat and the nation by surprise.
But what has left many in the BJP unit in Gujarat and other communities puzzled is why the police arrested Hardik Patel, albeit only for a brief period on Tuesday evening. It happened after the public meeting was over and hundreds of thousands of participants from the Patel community were still on the streets trying to get back to their homes in different parts of the state. Volatile and guided by mob mentality rather than any rational thought, the arrest left an ugly trail of violence and arson.
Police and intelligence agencies could easily have expected this situation. It's the the most basic tenet of maintaining law and order, which even a novice officer would have known. If at all Hardik had to be arrested, the police could have waited for two to three days, let the situation stabilize and then take action. "But instead they chose to do just the opposite," a senior state BJP leader requesting anonymity said.
The retaliatory action by the police against Patels across the state has further complicated matters. The police are accused of having acted in a very handed manner against the protesting activists.
While the issue of quota issue has united the Patel community it has also pitted them against other communities. In Gujarat, 146 castes and communities are under the OBC category. These communities are conscious of the fact that the inclusion of Patels in the OBC list would effectively mean that the lion's share would be grabbed by the community and the needy ones would continue to be deprived.
The Patel, Leuva and Karva communities have substantive landholding, wide ranging business interests and interests in both trade and industry. Members of the community who were once taken to Africa as forced labour by the British have since earned a name for themselves in Europe, America and Africa.
Politically, Patels have been single most dominant community for past several decades. They constitute around one fifth of the 182 member Gujarat legislative assembly. Half of dozen MPs from the state are from the community. The Chief Minister, Anandiben Patel, is from the community. Saurav Patel, Nitin Patel and Rajni Patel are among most powerful ministers holding charge of most critical departments. Their total strength in the council of ministers is far more than any other
community. Seven members of the community have been chief ministers in the past. Chimanbhai Patel was the first one from the community to become chief minister way back in 1973 and held the post twice. Babubhai J Patel and Keshubhai Patel also held the Chief Minister’s post twice each. Anandiben Patel has been in charge of the state since Narendra Modi left to become Prime Minister. But ironically no Patel has served a full term in office and all of them have faced difficult situations, from within the ruling party or outside, after being in office for about a year. They all had to exit from office midway.
It is in this context that the two theories – one a conspiracy theory and the other, one of collateral damage – are being discussed in the state's power corridors. There is an argument that since the repercussions of Hardik Patel’s arrest could have been forseen even by a lay man, somebody outside of the state government’s structure with substantive control over police department gave nod for the young Patel leader’s arrest. "Anandiben Patel was left to hear the consequent music," a source said.
The second theory is that in the last few years there have been massive recruitments in the police force and since the appointments were done with reservation for OBCs, the newer recruits from the constable to Assistant Sub-Inspector level largely belong to the existing OBC communities. It is these recruits who have dealt with Patel activists and even their families, in some instances, rather heavily. The home department is under the Chief Minister with junior minister Rajnikant Patel managing the affairs of the department.
Incidentally, the Patels were opposed to OBC quota when VP Singh implemented the Mandal Commission recommendations. They
have obviously reversed that position. There is a feeling among the Patels that it is all right to be in commanding position in politics but that power is only temporary as elections have to be held in every five years. They now believe an entry into government services through reservation will give them permanent positions of influence. This feeling became more acute when Anjanas bearing the Chaudhary title were given OBC status.
In last few decades the Patels have virtually come to control 80 percent of private educational institutions in Gujarat and can very well accommodate young boys and girls from their community in the 25 percent management quota they have in their command, but they won't do so, a BJP leader said.
It’s anybody’s guess how the judiciary will deal with the Patel question if the government awards them OBC status and it comes for legal scrutiny. The quota policy for Jats in northern India has been struck down. The Congress’s hasty move to give Jats OBC status ahead of elections proved counter productive in Haryana where non-Jat communities united against Jats
and voted overwhelmingly for the BJP.
The Gujarat government has so far desisted from showing any inclination to award quota to Patels in Gujarat but it has erred in handling the agitation. Historically the state has shown a tendency o erupt suddenly over an issue – from Mahamta Gandhi’s Quit India movement to JP’s Navnirman movement, VP Singh’s Mandal commission and the 2002 communal riots. More than anyone else, PM Modi and BJP President Amit Shah know that the unfolding situations has the potential to rewrite the much-hyped Gujarat success story.