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EWS reservation subverts representation of unrepresented as sought by Babasaheb
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EWS reservation subverts representation of unrepresented as sought by Babasaheb

Pradeep Dhobley

Pradeep Dhobley

(Transcript of his speech at the ‘Discussion on the Constitutionality and Progressiveness of the EWS Quota for the so-called Upper Castes and the Repercussions for the SC/ST/OBC/Pasmanda Representation‘ held on 25th of Feb, 2019 at the Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh, Fort, Mumbai.)

Our esteemed speaker Dr.Suresh Mane has already given a lot of material on this subject. I would like to add on to it or if some cues come to my mind, I will raise that. Suresh Mane is in the legal field as well as the political field. So whatever I say, you can always keep his comments with you, him being an experienced person. But few of the things regarding the economically weaker sections(EWS), he has said that that class doesn’t exist. But they have defined in the Constitution, or in that amendment, that those economic weaker sections are also the caste. They are the non SC, non ST and non-OBC. India is a country where there is nobody without caste. So the 10% will not be given to the SC, it won’t be given to the ST, and not to the OBC. So it means remaining are also the Caste. So it is applicable to some caste. And that caste whose annual income is less than Eight Lakh Rupees.

Pradeep DhobleyAs Mr. Mane has said that Reservation is not a gimmick which can bring the votes in India. But if it would have been, then why would have they come up with a 10 percent Reservation? Because it brings the votes. Reservation may not bring the jobs, but reservation brings the votes, that I want to tell you. Now this Government (BJP govt) has failed in giving 2 crores of jobs to the youth. All are depressed. In Maharashtra, the Maratha community youth think that they have not got the jobs because they are not under Reservation. So they feel “If I go under Reservation, I will get a job”. This is a myth they have created. And under that myth only, lakhs of people (4-5 lakhs), around 32 morchas were there actually in Maharashtra. It is a Limca record for Reservation.

Even for the OBCs, they will be told that you don’t get the jobs because SC/ST get the job. So then they made OBCs the enemies of SC/ST. Because here the myth runs. There is a propagandist, strategist. They make the mind of the people, they make the groups and they make the people in the groups fight with each other. Now for the section below Brahmins and above SC/ST/OBC – they are getting satisfied with this myth. Arey aap logon ko reservation mil gaya na toh aap logon ko bhi job milenge (If you get Reservation benefits, you will also get the jobs). So again to form the groups and these groups help them to get the votes.

You take the example of the Dhangars of Maharashtra. They were earlier fooled by Congress. And today being fooled by the BJP. Are Dhangars not getting reservation? Dhangars are getting reservation but they are being told, they are not getting jobs because you are in OBC. So you go for ST and you will get a job.  So hundreds and thousands of youth of Dhangar community are having that myth. They think that “agar mujhe ST mein mil jayega toh mujhe job milega”( if I am classified as an ST, I will get a job). Jobs aren’t there but reservations will land you a job, this myth has been created and saying if you don’t get in OBC, you will get in ST. This has a lot of Politics. Last time, the Maharashtra CM had gone to the Dhangars saying that I will give you reservation under ST. And Dhangars have voted. Mahadev Jankar is the leader of that particular group.

They said, Marathas, we will give you reservation. They gave it to the Marathas. Now it is up to the court to say whether that is acceptable or not acceptable. Being a politician, I have played my role. I (the politician) will always say I have given you the reservation. If the court doesn’t pass it, then what am I supposed to do? I am helpless. But at the time of the election, they are going to bring the votes and that is why they are playing this type of games and tricks.

EWS Mumbai Banner

The basic purpose of reservation by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar was to give representation to the non-represented people. That is gone now actually. And this particular logic that “No, even in Brahmins or in Upper Castes, don’t they have poor people? Does only SC/ST/OBC have poor people? Shouldn’t we give them Reservation?” Except in Maharashtra, which is the land of Phule, Shahu, Ambedkar and Tamil Nadu (land of Periyar), when I visit other states I see that it is simply accepted by the SC/ST/OBCs also. They say “yes man, there are poor Brahmins also “. It has become the often repeated story that in a village there used to live a poor Brahmin. Only one Member of Parliament, from Rashtriya Janata Dal(RJD) who has said that “Since our childhood, we have been hearing this tale that in a village lived a poor Brahmin. Why is the poor only always a Brahmin? Because there need not be a story written about others, because SC/ST/OBC are anyways poor. Why write their “stories”?” They have already been called Daridra Narayan. Daridra (poor) as well as Narayan. But one Brahmin who is poor, that story they have run continuously. So they run this discourse that you (SC/ST/OBCs) are getting, so let’s give them (Brahmins) also. This is how they have made the 10% EWS acceptable. As Dr.Suresh Mane said, the Samajwadi Party which is supposed to represent the OBCs or Mayawati, who is an eminent Bahujan leader, particularly a Scheduled Caste Leader, is also forced to vote for that.

We know that they understand but leaders have to take decision seeing the election. And if they aren’t able to explain, many poor people may not vote for them. But there are some people like MIM leader Owaisi who said in the parliament that this is an insult of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Constitution. He was vocal in saying that. RJD MP also opposed, so did Tejaswi Yadav of RJD, who said: “Savarnon ko 10 percent, pichdey leke rahenge 90 percent( Savarnas can have 10%, we backwards will take 90%)”. So at least he said something on that. Now, not in the parliament but afterwards in the South, DMK has come out openly. Stalin had a Dharna against this EWS reservation. He said we oppose this 10% reservation. There are Petitions in the Supreme Court. I am the secretary of All India Federation of OBC Employees Welfare Associations. So from our Association also we have put a petition in the Supreme Court. Our General Secretary Karunanidhi has taken the initiative and the petition is there.

So their argument comes like, “Aren’t there poor among Brahmins?”. “Whether reservation is for stomach feeding?, Or is it for Social Representation?” that should be your question. Entire Constitution’s base is reservation. The entire freedom fight stands for reservation/representation. Britishers were better representing Indians than we Indian people. But then why the freedom? Because we, the Indian people have to represent our country. It is a matter of representation. Then what about after freedom, the representation of those people who because of thousand of years of disability could not come and sit on the chair, and hence the reservation. Reservation is equivalent to the freedom of the SC/ST/OBCs. We can’t take it as a political gimmick or something like that. We might be just a few people sitting here but we are the volunteers who carry forward Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s spirit which he has imbibed in the Constitution that reservation is representation and representation is freedom of these people. Otherwise, we will remain as slaves. So whatever are the odds, we must argue in society.

If they say it is for stomach feeding, our argument should be that there might be some poor ones and so they should have reservation in Class 4 jobs. There are jobs of sweeper, helper, cleaner, safai kaamgar. Give them (Upper castes) 10% reservation there. This will help achieve 2 objectives. First, those who don’t have a broom in their hands will have a broom in their hands and it will also answer their argument that this is being done to remove your poverty. We have to state in the Supreme Court that this particular reservation is not with the intent to get Safai Kaamgar jobs. They intend to become a collector and commissioner and get in educational institutions to become doctors and engineers.

EWS Mumbai event edited

Today’s figures tell that in spite of 50% Reservation for SC/ST/OBCs, 65-75% of Class 1 positions, IAS/IPS positions, are still with Brahmins and other Upper Castes. Now if they get this 10% “EWS” reservation it will become 75-80%.  That means for people who are already represented, their representation has been further increased. And in how many days? In just 3 days. Article 340 was written in Indian Constitution. How many years did it take to implement that? Almost 40 years from 1950 to 1990. Even after that creamy layer condition was put. For SC/ST reservation that was given due to Constitution, Babasaheb had to do a conference with Britishers in Round Table Conference. He had to tell about the struggles, pains of thousands of years, told about the slavery. To compensate for thousands of years of slavery, in 1950 in the Constitution it was added after a big battle was fought for that. If we were slaves of Britishers and if Gandhi was also a slave of Britishers, then the Act that would have been a British-Gandhi Act or British-Ambedkar Act.  But we got the Gandhi-Ambedkar pact. Because in this country leaders of two communities make a pact between themselves, before independence, saying this is our pact and we need representation. That it makes a joint electorate instead of a separate electorate is a different matter altogether and we won’t go into that, but that’s when representation started.

Nowadays the consumers of reservations are reducing. Why are they reducing? Because the area of reservations is decreasing. Because all the Government sectors are getting privatized. So the time has come where we should say there should be reservations in the private sector also. Roads, electricity, land- all these resources used by capitalists is from this country only. Even raw material. So there should be reservation there also. Last week, I was at Ranchi and the one demand of the people was that OBCs should be given 27% Reservation. I was to talk there that OBCs are 52%, so they should get 52% reservation. But they said that the masses have come. Around Fifty Thousand People had gathered in the Vidhan Sabha Ground. I was called to speak. Sudesh Kumar Mahto, the ex-Deputy CM of Jharkhand, had called me. R L Chandapuri, who is recognized as the Ambedkar of Bihar, his son had that rally. Everyone was wearing a cap that we should get 27% Reservation. But Why? People had come in thousands and they were on the street. They are coming for Reservation. They said 10% Reservation has been given to the Upper Caste, so we should be given 27% Reservation. Because 27% is an official figure as per the Mandal Commission. We’ll not go into the more logical end of 52% but this 27% is prevailing. But Sudesh Kumar Mahto told me there are some districts in Jharkhand where OBCs have Zero percent reservation. About 12-13 districts. You know how the 27% reservation is given to the OBC? Because as Dr. Mane has said there is a ceiling of 50%. So in India, as per population, SC is 15%, ST is 7.5%, and then fifty minus twenty two point five is 27% reservation to the OBCs. SC/ST should be given as per their population. Then whatever is remaining in fifty is being given to the OBCs. A similar case we have in Maharashtra in Nandurbar district. 6% to the OBCs there. Same is the case of Gadchiroli district.  

So in Jharkhand there are twelve or thirteen districts where SC+ST population exceeds fifty percent. So automatically if SC+ST consumes 50 percent nothing is left for the OBC. So if we see this 10 percent reservation, at least in such districts , because reservation is normally given at 3 levels – Central, State and District level (Zilla Parishad teachers, officials, etc. have reservation). So if 10% reservation is implemented  there, what it means is that on the top SC/ST will get as per their population, non SC/ST/OBC who are below eight lakhs per annum, they will also get 10 percent, but those OBCs who fall below eight lakhs will not get reservation. So tomorrow an OBC says that my income is below eight lakhs and give me the 10% EWS reservation, he won’t get that because his certificate would be of OBC. Since you have called me as an OBC Seva Sangh President, hence I am highlighting that point. Because this point you can take to the court.

So it means the OBCs have got NIL representation now with this arrangement. And what Dr.Mane said about the limit, that rupees eight lakh and below is defined as “poor” in the country whereas rupees five lakh and above are taxable people. So those who are taxed in India are those with annual income more than five lakhs but this EWS says those who have income less than eight lakhs are poor! So what is going on?
 

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Regarding the different commissions – the National Commission for Backward Classes, it was constituted due to the Mandal Commission and now they have given the Constitutional Status in the month of August 2018. But what about the appointment of the Chairman of this National Commission? They have not appointed a Chairman. So overall this Government strategy is that they are going against the spirit of the reservation which means against the spirit of the Constitution. So we are required to educate our people. Unless we educate the people, that they have played the role of endangering the Constitution, they have touched the spirit of the Constitution. If we don’t understand it at this point, it will be very late. Regarding the judicial culture also, Dr. Suresh Mane said that Judiciary may or may not accept. But they have made the Constitutional amendment, judiciary has not given the stay, which means judiciary wants to listen. So when he says that 50 percent ceiling can’t be overcome but that may be the 9 judge bench judgement. But if you weight the 9 judge bench and the amendment of the Constitution, the amendment of the Constitution weighs higher because it is from both houses that represent the voice of the Indian people. We are a sovereign country. So it is like 125 crores of people are saying that 10% reservation is ok and they have made the amendment in the Constitution. So I think unless something very special comes up, that it is endangering the spirit of the Constitution, it is very difficult to remove this. If it is removed it will be the first of its type in the Indian history that some amendment has been repealed. Let’s hope it will happen. Thank you very much.  

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Speech transcribed by Vinay Shende, who works in the corporate sector and is interested in anti-caste thoughts and ideas.                          

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Pradeep Dhobley is a senior engineering professional and the President of OBC Seva Sangh.

 

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