Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Category: India

Minority status

Jains are a minority. Recognising them as a minority by the Government of India is right. In India Hindus are a majority. Jains are not Hindus. Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis are recognized as minorities. Jains, Jews, Bahais and others who are not Hindus and are not recognized as minorities should be recognized as minorities.

Status of a community as majority or minority has nothing to do with citizenship.

The right to establish and administer educational institutions is given to religious and linguistic minorities.

Minorities are counted statewise. In six states Hindus are a minority.

Hindus who do not speak the majority language of a state are entitled to this right in that state.

Ramakrishna Mission claimed to a minority and won the case in High Court. It is not easy for any community which is considered to be Hindu to claim and prove that it is not Hindu and hence a minority. If they succeed they are on solid ground.

If all are able to establish and administer educational institutions there will not be clamour for minority status. Ramakrishna Mission was supposed to be Hindu Missionary Movement. For the benefit of establishing and administering educational institutions as per their choice they opted for minority status. Now with reservations in private educational institutions many may opt for minority status.

Abolish reservations

The Government of India wants to introduce reservations for OBCs (Other Backward Classes) in Central Universities, IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management), IITs Indian Institutes of Technology) and such other institutions. Together with 15% reservations for SCs (Scheduled Castes) and 7.5% reservations for STs (Scheduled Tribes) these 27% reservations will cover 49.5% of total seats.

Reservations for SCs, STs and OBCs in legislatures, government jobs and government educational institutions are wrong. They should not have been there in the first place. What began for 10 years and should have been over on 26/1/2006 has continued to the present millennium.

No political party has shown the courage to oppose reservations. Nobody wants to lose votes. They are mistaken. Not opposing wrong will not gain or retain votes.

Those who justify reservations give examples of people who have succeeded because of reservations and could not have done well without them. For every person who succeeded because of reservations there is another person who was unjustly deprived of this success because of reservations.

Supreme Court has held that seats of SC/ST/OBC candidates who quality on merit cannot be adjusted against reserved seats. If SC/ST/OBC candidates get 50.5% seats on merit they will get 49.5% seats on reservations and candidates of general category will have no seat.

Suppression in the past is no reason for reservations. The law gives equal rights to all.

When justice is diluted by calling it social justice it becomes injustice.

If SCs/STs/OBCs feel they are unable to secure enough seats on merit in government institutions they can have institutions for their communities which will have 100% reservations. Leaders like Vishwanath Pratap Singh and Arjun Singh can build institutions for OBCs, Ram Vilas Paswan for SCs and tribal leaders for STs.

Even the Supreme Court order that reservations should not exceed 50% has been violated by Tamil Nadu which has got 69% reservations. The Tamil Nadu Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and of appointments or posts in the Services under the State) Act, 1993 (Tamil Nadu Act 45 of 1994) was put in Ninth Schedule of the Constitution which was meant for laws regarding property and bars judicial review.

In some institutions seats are few and candidates are many. A general category candidate with 100% marks may not get a seat while an SC/ST/OBC candidate with 45% marks will get.

Over 3,00,000 students appeared for IIT-JEE for 4,935 seats on 9/4/2006. Reservations will drastically reduce the chances of general category candidates.

It is good that 400 OBC students from Poona who had to gain by reservations have opposed them and have started a signature campaign. Such spirit is rare and gives hope that fairness will prevail.

Comments from camelpost

The Choice is Clear: The terminology to refer handicapped persons have been changed to Physically challenged persons. Why cannot the SC ST BC OBC XYZ be called economically challenged persons. That will atleast give an apparent feeling of casteless society. The other suggestion is categorize society into BPL and APL meaning Below Poverty Line and Above Poverty Line and tax the APL to pay for BPL. There are thousand intelligent ways of addressing the problem and one idiotic way i.e. reservation based on caste lines.

IITs and IIMs will remain Institutions of the government by the government and for the government. One day MHRD may passa resolution stating that each MP is entitled for an IIT or IIM seat as the MPs are serving the nation. On the contrary take the case of BITS Pilani. In the year 2000, BITS Pilani put up a campus at DUBAI. In the year 2004, BITS Pilani commissioned a campus at Goa. In the year 2007 BITS Pilani is spearheading a campus at Hyderabad. Name one IITor IIM which broke the governmental shell and did something like BITS Pilani could do. Everyone knows the famous IIM and IIT wanting to set up a Singapore Campus. Well the song was over long back. We are left only with the National Anthem.

Test of justice

The conviction of Sunil More after eleven months and a few days of rape at Marine Drive has restored confidence in people that justice will be done. After Jessica Lall murder case when all the accused were aquitted there was cynicism about open and shut cases. The rich and the powerful got away. Sunil More was neither rich nor powerful. He was a constable. Though the judgment was delivered within one year the trial was not as fast as in Rajasthan courts where rapists were convicted within 20 days of the crime.

Rajasthan judicial system will be tested when the judgment in the case of rape of German tourist by the son of Orissa DGP is delivered. The criminal is using all means to prevent conviction. One witness has backed off. The victim was receiving SMSes and phone calls from criminal’s side. If the criminal is convicted Rajasthan and India will send the message that nobody can escape justice.

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