I am going to eschew verbosity and legalese here to present a ‘no bull’ raw view of the issues around the 103rd constitutional amendment. This amendment enabled states to provide reservation up to 10% for the ‘poor among the forward castes’. On Nov 7 2022 the Supreme Court of India ruled in a majority verdict 3-2 to uphold the constitutional amendment.
You can read longer pieces written by me on the matter at “The EWS Quota wrench in the Idea of India process” and “Is the EWS 103rd Amend a constitutional fraud”
Ok first – as promised let first cut the BS. This is not a quota for poor. It is a quota for castes that are not included in any of the reservation categories (SC / ST/ OBC) In other words , the ‘unreserved castes or the forward castes”. The income limit is merely shiny new creamy layer filter for the new quota.
Is a Quota for the hitherto unreserved castes desirable ?
I have been against economic reservation for a long time with the logic “Why should I give my medical seat to you because my dad owns a car ?” Life is about fighting odds. However, that is not the case here. We have a more fundamental problem – the intractability of bringing the OBC quota regime under monitoring. During debates of the First Amendment Ambedkar guaranteed that the Court would scrunitize runaway mischief in classification of castes as “backward”. However that has not happened. During the 2007 OBC quota case Thakur the court with great bombast said that there would a review of castes after “5 or 10 yrs”. That time has come and gone – there has been nothing.
The EWS reservation is nothing but a legislative response to a grand dereliction on the part of the Supreme Court.
Tamilnadu “Dravidian” model is the reason
First of all a capable Supreme Court bench would have started with the most fundamental of questions – What is the necessity to have an EWS quota – if castes X/Y/Z are left behind the automatic checks and balances in the primary OBC quota mechanism would kick in and ensure they are included in the OBC regime. Think hard. Think. This is the level at which Dravidian ideology operates.
Tamilnadu is the state that necessitated the EWS quota in the first place. and it is also the state that is leading the most vigorous opposition to this quota. Almost all states have notified the 10% quota as a matter of search for equilibrium – except Tamilnadu.
Vacuous yet loaded statements like “it is against the philosophy of social justice” should invite curious minds to inquire Tamilnadu. Is Dravidian Anti-Brahmin the philosophy of social justice ?
Tamilnadu specifically the DMK is the primary mover against the EWS reservation. Why is Dravidian movement so inconsolable?
Exclusion forms the basis of Tamilnadu reservation
Tamilnadu’s uniqueness is not merely that 69% of seats are reserved or that creamy layer is not excluded which allows multiple generation families to avail the quota. What is unique is that 97% of the population is classified as backward (See my post on NSSO Statistics Handbook showing Demographic data of Tamilnadu) . This is egregious and flies in the face of Supreme Court observations in Indira Sawhney that reservation for all is reservation for none.
But what is missed is the Anti-Brahmin imperative – reservation for all but Tamizh Brahmins is nothing but invidious discrimination against Tamizh Brahmins. This is running unchecked even in this case which resulting in defeat for Dravidians.
I know people would argue that other Tamilnadu castes like Nattukottai Chettiars (P Chidambaram) , Saiva Arcot Vellalas (PTR Palanivel Rajan), Balija Naidus are also impacted but the numbers do not support that. Perhaps they use a cognate caste, perhaps only Tamil Brahmins are face controlled. Regardless, the total absence of support from these community leaders who form the DMK/DK leadership such as Suba Veerapandian, Palanivel Thiagarajan betrays there is something more than meets the eye.
Idea of India jurisprudence accommodation of Dravidian ideology
Tamilnadu was able to get away for 17 years with flouting the basics of Indira Sawhney in both the depth 69% and the width 95% inclusion. Every year the Supreme Court pampered this violation with an extension as they deferred examining the Tamilnadu Reservation Act of 1994 from one year to the next with some spurious bandaid formula. In 2011, after 17 yrs the Supreme Court while disposing all challenges demanded the Tamilnadu Govt to collect quantifiable data to justify its case. For its part the Tamilnadu Govt constituted the Janarthanam Commission which essentially told the Supreme Court what amounts to mind its own business. See “Perpetuating the scourge of caste – P. Radhakrishnan of MIDS”
Why cant Dravidians just give the 3% and gain impenetrable armor?
This is an absolute cardinal question curious minds in New Delhi must ask the Dravidian-Tamil when they present objections.
Lets cut the BS, every caste gets included in Tamilnadu. In that case, Dravidians can give 3% – not 10% and set a limit of 5 Lakhs and be done with it. You would think this is the rational thing to do for a democratic party. Imagine this would seal the mouths of their detractors for good. They certainly are not averse to such quotas – DMK announced 3.5% for Christians (later withdrawn due to communities own rejection) and 3.5% for Muslims. Imagine the peace and unassailable armour it would give the Dravidian ideology. If you do not understand this – you will not be able to understand the deafening noise and why Tamilnadu wants to remove the EWS as a concept itself. Even from other states and centre.
Two reasons why Tamilnadu cannot give the EWS quota.
- Brahmins will come inside – in Tamil பாப்பான் உள்ள வந்துடுவான் – if TamizhBrahmins are given representation the the central weapon of Dravidian activism – the nonstop invective and hate propaganda has no meaning at all. The whole point is to keep a hostile environment alive and slowly remove the Tamil Brahmins from spheres of influence.
- Turns focus Inward. This is even more important than the first. Remember in Tamilnadu the OBC lists are completely opaque, data about individual communities who dominate the lists are kept as the highest level of state secret. Even the Supreme Court is unable or unwilling or cowardly to extract this most basic check (supra). The Dravidian ideology need the Tamil Brahmins to be outside. As long as the Dravidian movement has the “Oustide” to direct energy against they can keep the “Inside” list away from scrutiny. Imagine if Brahmin get their 3% – then there is hardly any point left to abusing them any longer. Hence the public attention will turn INSIDE and pressure for revealing data will instantly shoot up. This will end the “Non Brahmin” collective and transitively the Dravidian ‘movement itself.
As Prof E. Annamalai has explained beautifully the spectacular longevity and political success of the Dravidian movement depends on maintaining the “Non Brahmin” as a unit. The main tool to maintain the “Non Brahmin” is virulent Anti-Tamil-Brahmin saturation propaganda. Today this propaganda dominates Tamil social media like Twitter and YouTube.
Top 6 – spurious and petty arguments from Drav-Tamils on EWS
Here is a list of petty arguments put forth by Tamils (Dravidian bent) which have been swallowed by the less curious and less capable Congress party itself. It is a testament to the Supreme Court judges abilities that such petty stratagems have not been shredded and shown their place.
Reservation is not a poverty alleviation scheme
It isn’t an unjust enrichment scheme either.
Social justice is about representation
Awesome. Then the entire scheme has to be based on representation data. Lets start with Tamilnadu PG Medical data for instance. This is the high echelon goods. Lets see the breakup data by caste.
EWS is against the philosophy of social justice
What is the philosophy of social justice in concrete terms.
Philosophy of social justice is to help historically oppressed castes not Brahmins
How can 97% of Tamilnadu be historically oppressed ? See here it is quacking like a duck and walking like a duck. Hence it is merely a way to enforce an Tamil Brahmin exclusion based on anti-Semitic logic.
103 Amendment excludes poor among OBC
A contradictory claim from the likes of Karti Chidambaram (A Chettiar who is assumed to be in Forward caste list) this also forms the minority dissent of the two judges. Firstly, If reservation is not a poverty alleviation scheme why do you care about poor among OBC? Crocodile tears. Secondly, we are discussing a constitution amendment to enable unreserved castes there is nothing that prevents Tamilians from introducing a 10% sub-quota within the OBC 50% (BC+Muslim+MBC) for poor among the non Brahmins.
All judges are Brahmins
Then why do Tamil-Dravidians who claim to represent all Tamil Non-Brahmins even bother with the court arguments and judgement contents ? Is it to demonstrate that Dravidians are immune from contempt laws. Do you people want a reasonable debate with Anti-Semitic like outlook. How come you people welcomed the same Manuwadi Brahminical judiciary for releasing all of Rajiv Gandhi and 16 others assassins?
the same Brahmins judiciary
We have problem with 8 Lakhs income limit the “அரிய வகை ஏழைகள்” rare type of poor people ?
Hmm, in that case you Dravidian-Tamils would have litigated the income criteria. Hence this is a merely a Tequiyyah (an Evil lie) a stratagem. Kerala income limit is 4Lakhs – they are still alive.
These EWS cartoons made by Dravidian-Tamils prove the real nature of people like RCI
Sweet Chellam..!! See how you people have reduced the debate to its bare elements. That is how I like it. Bare faced.
The plan would be to activate the Idea of India ecosystem journalists and lawyer assets and build up a corpus of articles in mainstream media. Then follow up with a review petition. I notice they have already tied up with a constitutional level expert lawyer.
As shown above implementing EWS in Tamilnadu has the potential of ending the Dravidian movement. Hence the extreme noise. All other states have seen the moral argument “If every other caste has a share the judiciary isnt doing its job then I see nothing wrong in a safety net for unreserved?” This simple reasoning cannot be absorbed by Dravidian Tamils because it defeats one of the key imperatives of the Dravidian movement itself. An Anti-Semitic like urge to expel.
(The story was published on the author’s blog on November 24, 2022 and has been reproduced here.)