RESERVATIONS AND DEVELOPMENT
THE SCHEDULED CASTES AND SCHEDULED TRIBES
When you walk through the Corridors of the Central Secretariat, you find only the faces and names of a few Scheduled Tribes, Scheduled Castes, other than the dominant Sardars and other Ruling Classes. When I served India, during my time, there were a good number of Anglo-Indians, Other Christians, Muslims, Parsis etc, even though the presence of the SCs&STs were rare. But, today when there is some presence of the SCs&STs, there is no Anglo-Indian, hardly any Parsis, only a sprinkling of Muslims, a few Christians here and there, and some black people - perhaps the other Backward Classes. This appears to be the same story in various other Offices, Departments and Ministries in other Govt Buildings
- this was one of the important points made by an old English Man, a former ICS Officer who had served India well for long, while summing up his observations about a visit to the Central Secretariat, during a nostalgic trip to India. Yes, the Depressed Classes who were fighting for a foothold in the Society from time immemorial, were very active during the last days of British Rule. No British Civil Servant, who had served India during those times, could ever forget that easily. This retired British ICS Officer was no exception.
The Depressed Classes, as the SC&ST Dalits were known those days, during their long struggles were demanding not for a token foothold, but a formal Representation in the Administration, due Presence in the Bureaucracy, full Participation in the Govt, and for their Share in the Governance of the Country. They were ably led by the well learned indomitable Baba Saheb Dr Ambedkar. It is because of Dr Ambedkarís Struggles, even in the face of severe threats to his life and that of his followers, and in spite of the presence of strong oppositions to his demands and scheme of thinking for the good of the Country, wellbeing of the People including the Dalits, and better future of the Society including his own Dalit Sections that we find the SCs&STs present here and there, at times noticeably even if not prominently, in the visible segments of the Society, in the notable layers of the Bureaucracy, and in important places in the Govt, like the Central Secretariat of the Govt of India at Delhi.
The presence of some SCs&STs in Services, including the Central Secretariat at Delhi is a fact, even though the SC&ST Communities have not yet really got their Dues, or a real and true Share of Power or Responsible Part in the Governance of the Country. Even this small presence, has now become possible, only because of Dr Ambedkarís Statesmanship Vision Foresight, and his Insistence for Preserving and Continuing in Free India, if not more, at least the moth-eaten Reservations for the Depressed Classes, to which he was forced to agree by Gandhi in 1932, and entered into a formal Pact, a written and signed Solemn Agreement with the caste hindu leaders, on behalf of the Depressed Classes. It is this Agreement, the Poona Pact which formed the basis of the Govt of India Act 1935, and the Foundations of our Constitution. And it is these, and particularly because of Dr Ambedkar and his Reservations - that while the Anglo-Indians, Other Christians, Muslims, Parsis etc of the British India, have either faded or vanished from the Central Secretariat, the then rare SCs&STs have gained some presence in Free Independent India, the caste hindu dominated India, as many Minority and Backward Class Leaders of those days including Dr Ambedkar also, rightly predicted and feared. Even this small presence of SCs&STs in the Central Secretariat today, is not a small achievement. And this, in short, is what the Policy of Reservation has achieved.
Many poor Backward Castes with Social Conditions, Economic and Political Standards, comparable or at times at least in some ways bad if not worse than that of the SCs, who in the early days of Independence of the Country refused and fought bitterly against any proposal or suggestion or even an idea to include the names of their Castes into the list of SCs, when the Govts in the States were considering and enumerating various Castes to compile and declare the Lists of the Scheduled Castes for the States, have come around and made a complete about turn, clamouring for their respective individual Castes to be included in the List of Scheduled Castes. They were primarily interested in getting the advantages of Reservations and Special Development Programmes for the SCs&STs, particularly in the spheres of good Education, especially Professional and University Education, Employment and Promotions in Services, Financial Assistances for Education and Development, such as the Grant of Scholarships Fellowships Freeships Exemptions from Payment of tuition/hostel/mess/examination Fees and to start Business/ setup Shops/Factories/Industries etc, Grants for Studies Abroad, Admissions to General or Special Studentsí Hostels, allotments of Surplus Agricultural and even Fallow or Waste Lands, Building Sites, Houses or Flats and Industrial Plots/Sheds, Political Representations etc, through the Schemes of various Reservations and Development Programmes meant for the SCs&STs.
The demand by the Other Backward Classes and also many others, and their claim to be declared as a SC, or at times at least as a ST, even by hook or crook was going on silently almost all the times. This, even though they were all otherwise publicly opposed to the SCs&STs, and were running the SCs&STs down badly as if they were outsiders and their enemies. They were also denigrating the SCs&STs, calling them names and humiliating them openly. The others were opposing all forms of Reservations, specifically any assistance or help by the Govt to the SCs&STs. And they were the bitter critics of the whole Scheme of Reservations, particularly Caste based Reservations. They were arguing that the Reservations should not be on the basis of Castes, even though they were specifically asking for inclusion of their Castes in the List of SCs, only and in order to get the benefits of Reservations for themselves and their own Castes. In the public, they were always critical of Reservations, even when demanding Reservations for themselves. Such were and still are, the double standards of the hindu society. They were claiming that the Reservations were there, and in fact were conceived only to please the SC&ST Dalits, with an eye on the hustings. They were, as the caste hinds today still are, cribbing that the Politicians upheld Reservations only due to the compulsions of electoral necessities. They were all complaining that the Political Parties and the Govts in Power supported and sustained the Reservations, just for the sake of getting the votes of the SCs&STs, and to preserve them as their Partyís solid Vote Banks. Thus, they were and others are, so foolish even to criticise and blame Democracy, and the processes of choosing the Peoplesí Representatives for sending them to the Panchayats, Legislatives and the Parliament through Adult Franchise. In the end, finding the doors of entry and inclusion of their Castes into the List of the SCs closed, or at least closed tight, some of them came around to open a new front or line of similar Reservations in the name of Backward Classes.
Constitution facilitates the Govt to provide for, Reservations to Other Backward Classes, who are not Represented in Govt. But the dominant castes who appropriate everything and take all good things in life for themselves, have been effectively and systematically blocking the Reservations for the Backward Classes all these years. Many caste hindus, with a criminal bent of mind and crooked attitudes, also began to impersonate themselves as SCs/STs to mislead the authorities, just to take the benefits meant for the SCs&STs. Many of them had gone up in the offices and in their lives. Many others, with the connivance of the officials themselves, even today appropriate and continue to enjoy the benefits meant for the SCs&STs, with the help of bogus SC/ST Certificates they manage to obtain falsely, and or by falsification of facts, about their birth or that of their parents, or just by paying bribes to the caste hindu peons, clerks and the Caste Certificate Issuing Authorities in the States and UTs. This, only because of the all round realisations that Reservations really help, and help even the lowly placed, despised, marginalised, socially suppressed, culturally physically politically, educationally and economically oppressed weaker sections and communities like the SCs&STs. This also, in spite of all the negative steps taken against the SCs&STs as well as the Reservation Policy, and the severe oppositions and silent hurdles mounted in the way of implementation of the Reservations by almost most those who are in offices and positions of power and authority. Almost all the authorities and other officials are totally opposed and are against the SCs&STs and their Development, or are jealous and intolerant of the SCs&STs getting even an iota of Progress, little Liberation, inch of Freedom, or at least a bit of Justice.
Reservations are really and truly beneficial not only to the people concerned like the SCs&STs and OBCs, but also to the whole Nation and the Society for the overall and just Development. Also, the Countryís Economy gets benefited, and can achieve better and quicker results through all-round Growth and Progress. Whatever may be the shortcomings and oppositions, or behind the screen schemings that go against Reservations, the Reservations had served well, the Nation and the Indian Society. With the part acceptance in 1990, of Reservations for the Backward Classes recommended by the Mandal Commission, Reservations have come to stay, in spite of all the fury and all-round oppositions. Reservations now have become permanent. Nobody in the Country now has the courage or the guts to scrap them, however much they may dislike Reservations and or hate the SCs&STs and OBCs. Now, there is a flurry of rush by individuals and castes to include themselves and their castes as Backward Castes. This is an ample proof, for the reality that Reservations have at last come to stay in our Country also. Reservations have been accepted by all, as the sure means to develop even the badly disadvantaged despised and marginalised sections of the society. In fact, the Reservations for long have been recognised as a reliable mechanism to help the Weaker Sections of the Society anywhere in the World. And there is no better Model, to Uplift the Backward the Helpless the Marginalised and the Neglected Communities. It is only for this reason that, there is so much of fury and oppositions to Reservation Policy on the one hand, and the silent sabotage and subversions that we see on the other in the actual implementation. The specific details of Reservations, the mechanisms and processes of operating and enforcement of the Reservations, are silently and cunningly derailed by those who are jealous and intolerant of the Growth Development and Progress of the SCs&STs.
The Reservations for OBCs had multiple effects. They are yet to be felt or realised in full. But the immediate effects are that the dominant castes had lost their control over the OBCs, and thus an effective tool to oppress the SCs&STs, and focus their tirade against the Reservations for the SCs&STs. They had lost an effective excuse to keep the OBCs captive anymore. They could no more blame the Reservations for the SCs&STs and their growth, for all the Backwardness of the OBCs, and the lack of Opportunities for the OBCs, which they had deliberately not created or allowed to be made available. They could no more turn the attention of the OBCs away from the fact that, they have always been taking away the opportunities, shares and dues of others including the OBCs, and thus have all along deprived the growth development and progress of the OBCs. They could no more divert the anger of the OBCs against the SCs&STs, to escape from the same. Hence they could no more succeed in keeping the OBCs and the SCs&STs - the Deprived Sections of the Society - divided, and hold down the SCs&STs by using the OBCs to keep the SCs&STs suppressed.
The dominant castes till now had only contempt for the SCs&STs, and had only occasionally shown their intolerance and hatred for the Reservations They were only Jealous of the Development of some SCs&STs in spite of all the oppositions and hurdles for growth. They rarely had to deal directly with the SCs&STs, or oppose Reservations by themselves. That task, they had effectively managed to put on the OBCs. They were only operating from the back, by manipulating the Details and the Methodologies of Reservations, and the actual Processes of Implementation. Now, for the first time, they had to handle the SCs&STs directly, and not only that have to face the OBCs fully, that too almost on the side of the former. With the Reservations for the OBCs, their hatred had increased, and the targets of hatred had enlarged from the just hopeful expectant SCs&STs, to the restless and aggressive but at the same time unorganised OBCs also. Now they had to confront both, almost at the same time and on the same issues. At the same time, they had to also carry on by themselves on their shoulders the burden of opposing the Reservations, and also keep manipulating the Reservations, so that the Reservations donít actually benefit either the SCs&STs or the OBCs. They are thus actually playing with fire. What will happen when the OBCs fully wake up, organise themselves and get united? What will they do to face the fury of the organised OBCs? And what will happen if the SCs&STs also join them? The dominant castes apparently are not thinking beyond the immediate, and are making a great mistake. They should quickly and amicably settle themselves in a just manner, while they still hold the levers of power, without attempting to play one caste or tribe against the other, the SCs against the STs, the SCs&STs against the OBCs, or any such combination to buy time.
The significant is the fact that the caste hindus have developed in their minds a great fear about the grouping, coming together, possible unity, and combination of the OBCs and the SCs&STs, at least as the Beneficiaries of Reservations. But instead of finding a practical and lasting solution, they still want to play their games. They donít want change or mend their ways. They want to continue with their manipulations. That is the reason why they have Administratively and through the Courts, limited the Reservations for the OBCs, to only Appointments in Public Services by Direct Recruitments alone, and not in Promotions. Therefore, they want to avoid the OBCs and the SCs&STs joining hands, and prevent them from fully coming together. Hence, they want to preserve many areas of divergence between the OBCs and SCs&STs, and thus the disunity and conflict, particularly in Admissions to higher and professional education, at least in the Central Institutions and in Promotions in Services.
Today, the fear in the minds of the caste hindus had grown so intense that all the dominant castes, almost without any exception, feel threatened that their days are counted, and that their dominance now is really at stake. Therefore, even some of those well placed fellows, and happy satisfied comfortable and self contented individuals, who had in the past shown some sympathy for the poor bright or the helpless and needy or capable and promising individual SCs&STs, have no more empathy left in them for the later. Their fear is now so great, intense and total. They are no more willing to help even the most needy and deserving poor SC/ST. They are now totally opposed to the SC&ST Communities, the Reservations for the SCs&STs, and the whole Scheme of Reservations. As they are in power, and in full control of the Govt, Bureaucracy, and the Administration of Public Affairs, the heat is increasingly being felt now, by most of the SCs&STs.
WHAT HAVE THE RESERVATIONS FOR THE SCs&STs ACHIEVED?
Many things! And at the same time the Reservations had failed to achieve much more essential things! They have proved to be a great disappointment to the SC&ST Communities as a whole! They have failed the SCs&STs almost in all the fronts and every walks of the life! It is not that Reservations are bad, but those who have been called to work them have proved to be really bad! The learned officials, the Public Servants of the Country, in whose hands the responsibility of implementing the Reservations rest, have deliberately let down the still poor and helpless SCs&STs! They really have no heart, neither any compassion or concern for the poor helpless and the weak, nor any interest in the Welfare Growth and Development of the People, the Society, the Country and the Nation!
We have adequate and reasonably reliable data on the Reservations for SCs&STs, and there are lots of Reports and other Writings on their actual effects. But sadly, after five decades of operations of Reservations for SCs&STs in free Indian Republic - even if we neglect the period between 1935 Govt of India Act and 1950 when the Constitution with Special Provisions for the SCs&STs including various Reservations for the SCs&STs, in different and related spheres of Politics Education Employment and Economic Activities, like Development Growth Housing Welfare etc came into force - the achievements are not really worth recounting. For, the Reservations have never been seriously or sincerely enforced, except in Politics for Electing the Representatives of the People to the Lok Sabha in Parliament at the Center, and the Legislative Assemblies in the States. As a result, in the significant areas of Education and Employment, there is nothing we can talk of proudly, or the Govt can take credit of.
Today, fifty years after Independence of the Country, there are only two SC Secretaries to the Govt of India - one an IAS Officer, and the other the Law Secretary to the Govt of India. There is no ST who is a Secretary to the Govt of India. Not very long ago, there were about ten SC&ST Secretaries to the Govt of India - about six or seven SCs and two or three STs, and nearly half a dozen Additional Secretaries as well as more than a dozen Joint Secretaries in the Central Secretariat. This situation instead of showing an improvement to reflect the actual presence of the SCs&STs in Public Services all over the Country, and development of an unbiased tolerant Civil Society without any prejudices and biases or contempt against the poor and the weak, had rapidly detoriated to the present sad situation of hardly two Secretaries at the Center. And what is worse, there is no worthwhile effort to improve the situation. On the other hand, there is a strong animosity against SC&ST Officials, particularly against the intelligent hardworking honest capable and result oriented ones. Practically every one of them are suffering, have suffered and will suffer more and more problems in the days to come.
Why is this so?
The answers are not far difficult to find. One need not even search for them. They are readily available before us, and are clearly visible. They are obvious to everyone. Both the Bureaucracy and the Judiciary have been gunning for the SCs&STs, and the Reservations for them. They are aggressively intolerant, jealous and have been openly working against the Development Growth and Welfare of the SCs&STs. For reasons they can not clearly explain to themselves, or honestly speak out, or perhaps out of total ignorance, or shear stupidity and bull headedness, they are still opposing the Reservations for the SCs&STs and OBCs. And what is worse, there is no more empathy towards the SCs&STs.
Todayís Political Party Leaders donít have any concern, or even show any lip-sympathy towards the SCs&STs, even for public and political reasons. They feel that they need not bother at all, or show any concern for the weak and the helpless, like the SCs&STs, Backwards and Minorities. Hence they just donít care now for anyone. They are very sure that they can manage all of them with out really doing anything good or positive for them. They think that, with the help of a few captive leaders in their parties from these marginalised groups, or by some clever manipulations of the different leaders, weaker sections and their votes, and also by other devious methods and dubious means of managing the elections, they can win and capture power. Under these circumstances what else or what more can then we find?
REPRESENTATIONS OF SCs&STs IN PUBLIC SERVICES
SCs&STs taken together form nearly 26% of the Indian Population. In absolute numbers they are more than 260 million today. It is not only significant, but is a very large Population. Most of the Nations, barring China and India are not that big. But such a large People have no place or Representation in the Country even today. In fifty years of the Indian Republic, there was only one Vice President, and only just now we have a President from the SCs. There has never been anyone in these Offices from the STs. During the same period, there were hardly two or three Tribal Cabinet Ministers at the Center. There has never been a SC or ST Prime Minister. Able, capable, efficient, intelligent, honest, hardworking, sincere, very senior and prospective Ministers, and probable or sure SC/ST Candidates, who would have perhaps proved to be the best/ most successful and deserving Prime Ministers the Country could have ever produced, have been pipped or pulled down and sabotaged at the final moments of reckoning many a times. Hardly ever been there any SC/ST Chief Minister in the States and UTs, and the rare ones also were not allowed to stay in office even for one or two years. The only exceptions have been in the inevitable North Eastern States. There too, the SCs&STs of Manipur and Tripura have a very bad experience to narrate.
In thirteen Planning Commissions that we have seen so far, there never was a regular SC Member, and only one ST was a Member, twice with tenures of less than one year and five years, from 1990 to 1991, and again from 1991 to 1996. The Planning Commission of India at the Center, surprisingly does not yet have a Separate Department or even a small Cell for either the SCs&STs taken together, or for the larger group of the SCs, or for the special groups of STs, even though the conditions of the SCs&STs are pitiable all over the Country, and is going from bad to worse with each passing day, as the overall Planning and Development of the Country, Market Forces, as well as the growing numbers of greedy social elements are squeezing and forcing the SCs&STs out, even from their own traditional lands and homes. This may be surprising and strange, given their population of more than 260 million now, almost evenly spread all over the Country, save for the North Eastern States and the Tribal Concentrated Belts and Pockets here and there on the sub-continent, and their abject poverty of homelessness, landlessness, assetlessness, powerlessness, massive illiteracy, extensive superstition, systematic suppression and planned oppression. But this is not at all shocking, given the still prevailing prejudices and biases in the Indian Society, particularly in the hindu mind against the SCs&STs.
The Representations of the SCs&STs in the Judiciary are woefully poor, and that again shows the prevailing awful animosity against the SCs&STs in the minds of the so called learned Judges, and other highly placed Jurists Authorities and the Govt, who choose consider select recommend and make appointments of the Judges, especially to the High Courts in the States and also to the Supreme Court of India. Some of them are not only against the SCs&STs as Judges, but are openly and blatantly against the SC&ST Communities as a whole. With such animosities biases and prejudices, what type of Justice can they do or what sort of Judgements will they deliver? No one has yet made any study of the damages they have done to the creative hardworking SCs&STs, and thus to the Country. In fifty years, there were only three SC Judges in the Supreme Court at different points of time, and not even one ST. Now no one is there, and hardly anyone is likely to be allowed to come in there in the near future. Such is the opposition against them. Hence, it is no wonder that the Courts these days are openly intolerant towards SCs&STs, or to hear their pleas. They throw out their Cases, donít have patience or want to listen anything from the SC&ST Lawyers, even for the sake of appearing to be just and show off that they have heard the Case, and are doing and would do Justice, both to the Lawyers and the Parties they represent in the Case before the Court.
SCs&STs IN ACADEMICS AND EDUCATION
The Representations of the SCs&STs in Academics, either as Students or Employees in Schools, Colleges, Universities, other Autonomous Institutions or Centers of Higher Learning are still very poor. Thousands of qualified Job-Seekers are deliberately refused employment in the Schools Colleges Universities etc. Hundreds and hundreds of SC&ST Students aspiring for higher studies are turned out every year denied admissions, or even after admissions are thrown out or forced to get out under some pretext or the other from the Colleges, Universities, Autonomous Institutions and other Centers of Higher Education. The caste hindu Lecturers and Professors are both unwilling and are actually incapable of teaching the SC&ST Students, unlike the British who produced the likes of Dr Ambedkar during those days itself.
The Opportunities for Studies Abroad available to Indian Students are by and large still kept as a secret from the SCs&STs, even though hundreds of Indian Students are to be found in many Foreign Countries with various Scholarships and other Schemes that help them to pursue their studies abroad, without taxing their families. Even Dr Ambedkarís Dream of educating select SC&ST Students Abroad, accepted by the then British Indian Govt, has been badly twisted beyond recognition by the Welfare Ministry over the years. A similar Scheme of Dr Ambedkar Overseas Fellowships for Students to study abroad, through Dr Ambedkar Foundation has been in the cold storage for quite sometime, and many students already selected for the Award of the Fellowships have not been permitted to avail of the Fellowships. A silent effort is said to be in the offing, to turn it as a facility only for SC&ST University and College Teachers already in job. Thus, the Scheme meant for the Students is being distorted, and at the same time, the UGC and other authorities would be washing off their responsibilities in providing opportunities to Train Abroad, the SC&ST Lecturers and Professors working in the Colleges and Universities. Thus by one change, two opportunities available to SC&ST Students and the SC&ST Teachers are now being cleverly and silently closed.
The numbers of SC&ST Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, Readers, Assistant Professors, Associate Professors, Professors etc in the Colleges, Autonomous Colleges, Universities, Deemed Universities, Research Centers and other Institutions of Higher Learning in the Country are extremely poor. One can have a taste of this, when we find that in the whole of Delhi, the Nationís Capital, barring the Govt Engineering and Medical Colleges to which Recruitments are made by the Union Public Service Commission and the Appointments by the Govt, today there are only five Professors - One SC and One ST, a respectable total of Two SC&ST Professors in Delhi University, Two SC Professors in JNU, and one SC Professor in the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. This in spite of the fact that, Delhi attracts professionals scholars and teachers from allover the Country. Yet, the authorities have managed successfully so far to keep the SCs&STs at a very far distance away from Delhi. In this, the negative role being played by the University Grants Commission etc can not ever be discounted or forgotten.
The UGC is not even allowing or facilitating the SC&ST Students to acquire the requisite Higher Qualifications of M Phil and Ph D essential for Teaching in the Universities and Colleges. They do not provide them any Scholarships and Fellowships to pursue these long and costly studies. The Govt and the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is not helping the poor SC&ST Students wanting to go for such essential higher studies. The caste hindu Professors and Universities are also doing their best and contributing their shares in denying the SCs&STs admissions to these courses, and also in rating them deliberately lower so that they do not become eligible for teaching, even if the SC&ST Students manage to do these essential higher Courses. Such is the situation in the Country today.
Perhaps India is the only Nation in the World where the Teachers instead of teaching the poor are denying them education, instead of equipping them with knowledge are condemning them, turning them as unfits and deliberately rating them low. In fact this has been the history of India. One could not ever afford to forget Egalivya.
SCs&STs IN GOVERNMENT SERVICES
The Representations of the SCs&STs in Govt Services, even on the overall reckoning is extremely poor, in spite of operating the Reservation Systems for the last fifty years. And this, with so many brilliant and highly educated and qualified SCs&STs, duly examined and certified so, by all those caste hindu controlled Universities and Educational Institutions, always knocking at the doors of the Govt Offices and various Recruiting and Appointing Authorities for Jobs and Employment. The overall Representations of the SCs&STs in the Central Govt Services allover the Country, as on 1st January 1995 are -
10.15% SCs and 2.89% STs in Group A(Class I) Services and Posts
12.67% SCs and 2.68% STs in Group B(Class II) Services and Posts
16.15% SCs and 5.69% STs in Group C(Class III) Services and Posts
21.26% SCs and 6.48% STs in Group D(Class IV) Posts
Even in the Group C(Class III) Services and Posts, the Representations of the SCs and STs in the higher grades are very very poor. Even these small Representations of the SCs&STs in Services, most of the caste hindu authorities are unable to tolerate and digest. They therefore, go after the blood of even these small numbers of SCs&STs in Service.
All the observations and empirical data available today indicate that, on an average more than 90% of Vigilance Cases are against the Employees and Officers who are weak, susceptible and are vulnerable, such as those about to retire, due for promotions, and are SCs&STs. And what is more surprising is that, more than 60% of the Employees and Officers facing Vigilance Cases, or are under Suspension, caught up in Inquiries, suffering Punishments of loss of increments, reduction in pay or pay-scales, withheld increments, withheld promotions, denial of promotions, downgrading in rank or termination, are the helpless and godfatherless SCs&STs. Since these are Vigilance Cases, none is generally forthcoming or are in a position to extend any helping hand to them. The Departments and senior officials are also in a position to casually and carelessly brush aside their pleas and representations, without even taking a cursory look at them and their cases. But, the losses, being suffered by so many SC&ST Employees and Officers all around, and their Families in Physical, Psychological, Mental, Social and Financial Terms are immense and colossal. In fact it is a serious and major economic loss to the Country and a criminal wastage of well qualified highly trained productive responsible and useful manpower. And only this caste ridden Country can afford the luxury of wasting so much of scarce valuable assets and resources, that too deliberately.
Those who get poor Assessments, Reports, Gradings, and hence as a result miss their Promotions often times and repeatedly, are almost exclusively the SCs&STs. This, in spite of the fact that, many of them have been recruited through All India Competitive Examinations by the UPSC or other Commissions/Agencies. It is often an humiliating experience for them, which get further compounded, when they find that they have lost the race for promotions and seniority, to those who are far far juniors to them in service, and many times to those who are not even qualified and are from the ranks, but have managed the promotions only because they are caste hindus and hence are well connected having direct access to their seniors who matter, either directly by themselves or through their families or with the help of other relatives, friends, or the ever important caste circles.
In the sphere of Sweeping, a category of cleaning jobs as Sweepers, an area and occupation exclusively Reserved by the hindu society for the SCs, others are today making inroads edging out the poor SC Sweepers, even when they are unwilling to work as Sweepers. They are coming in as Sweepers, not to Sweep and work as Sweepers, but to take by hook or crook a well paid Govt Job in Govt Offices, where they can easily and safely avoid work, if they even otherwise choose not to work or donít want to work. These others, are coming in dubiously as Sweepers, to get into Govt Service with a clear intention and motive of quickly migrating into other areas or cadres of Service within the Office. For them, the job of a poor Sweeper is a convenient backdoor entry into Govt Offices, which they are otherwise unable to enter for want of requisite education, training, experience, intelligence, capabilities and such other qualifications required for direct recruitment to the jobs they desire to take. Hence their attempts to take jobs of Sweepers is farce, and is a fraud on the Sweepers and Govt. They therefore, always refuse to work as Sweepers even for a second, and avoid touching the broom ever, even though they had applied for and joined service as Sweepers, hold the job of Sweepers, mark attendance as Sweepers, take salaries as Sweepers, ask for special facilities as Sweepers and promotions as Sweepers. Once in the Govt Offices as Sweepers, these others with the open support help and connivance of their caste hindu superiors hold for namesake the job of Sweepers. They are never asked to do any work as Sweepers. Even when they are allotted or have to do the work of Sweepers, they become benami Sweepers. They get their work done through other Sweepers in the office, or act informally as Sweeping Contractors or Suppliers of Casual Manpower for Sweeping on their behalf the offices as also for keeping clean the premises and the areas allotted to them for cleaning, for a paltry token payment which they pay from out the full Govt Salaries they take as Sweepers.
In many offices, the system of exploiting and cheating both the Govt and the poor lowly paid Sweepers has been formalised, and the caste hindu Contractors are given regular Contracts to Supply Casual Sweepers regularly to the office, or get the sweeping done on a regular basis on Contract. These Contractors, employ a very small number of Sweepers, fully exploit and force the Sweepers to do the work of many, and pay them far less wages for carrying out the day to day job of sweeping and keeping the premises clean.
It is because of the ingenious dubious practices, cheating and exploitation of the helpless Sweepers, by the educated and well employed superior officials, and the realisation of the same by the regular Sweepers, the regular Sweepers are on an un-noticed continuous strike, and they are now adopting a non-cooperative go slow tactics, that they donít take their work anymore seriously. Thus, the quality of their work is poor. Hence the sweeping work suffers. It is because of these that, the maintenance of Cleanliness and Hygiene in Govt Offices and their surroundings are very poor, and the Corridors awfully stink even many paces away from the toilets and waste bins anywhere, that sensitive and conscious individuals cannot pass by them easily.
Unless the Govt makes peace with the Sweepers, genuinely and sincerely look into their grievances, end all forms of cheating and exploitations, and put a complete stop to the present dubious methods of employing others, the overall cleanliness and hygiene not only in the Govt Offices but in the Country will suffer very very seriously, particularly when we take into consideration the peoples lack of consciousness and attitudes of not maintaining general cleanliness in their places of work/living and surroundings. They require a separate class of people to work as Sweepers, and maintain their homes, work places and surroundings clean, on behalf of themselves and the whole society.
With acceptance of some Reservations for the OBCs, consolidation of the OBCs which was inevitable and taking place even before the Reservations for them was accepted, and the growing consciousness of the SCs&STs, the caste hindus are today a worried lot. Even then, they donít want to rest, or change and mend their ways. They donít want to adopt reasonable just and fair Civilised Methods of working, and managing the affairs of the society. Since the caste hindus are still in positions of power, and always speak for the Nation, on behalf of the Nation, as if they are the Nation, they adopt such policies and practices that it appears the Nation is hitting back at the SCs&STs, the OBCs and the Reservations. Yes, they are under attack, and the attacks though systematic severe and total, are meted out silently. They are being hit below the belt and in the back at unexpected times.
It is the considered opinion of the SCs&STs and the OBCs that, the Country had adopted the path of Liberalisation, Globalisation, opted for opening up the Economy, and had slowly begun the privatisation and selling of the Public Sector Govt Enterprises built up so laboriously over a long period, with the hard earned money and great savings of the people, only because they want to avoid Reservations at any cost, and are unwilling to part with the Jobs and Employment there, rightly due to the SCs&STs and OBCs. The caste hindus are palming off, as if on silver platter even the profit making PSUs. Thus the PSUs which have formed the core of the Nationís Economy, the base of the Countryís Self Reliance, the Pride of the People and the Foundations of National Development, are either being dismantled or passed off into private hands and to the Indian or Foreign Multi-National Corporations, only to reduce the Govtís Role and eliminate the PSUs, and hence the availability of the Jobs therein, which were till now available to the Public, and would therefore now be subjected to Reservations to the SCs&STs and OBCs. It is to avoid this, and still deny jobs with a decent salary and livelihood to the OBCs and the SCs&STs, that caste hindus are wanting to close, sell off, hand over the PSUs to the private sector, including foreign Multi National Companies.
As a result of the above, the SCs&STs and OBCs today are foxed. There are in principle, on paper, Reservations for them in Employment and Jobs, but in practice there is no Employment Opportunities and no Jobs! The Govt Offices and PSUs themselves are vanishing! Employment and Job Opportunities are shrinking sharply and abruptly for the Public. Private Sector Companies do not believe in Public Employment. They make recruitments silently and privately, with out any knowledge or information to the public. Even if there is any information, the claims of the public are crudely brushed off and set aside. For, they make appointments based on personal contacts and through their own private and secret arrangements.
STEPS TO INTEGRATE SCs&STs INTO THE MAIN STREAM?
The SCs&STs are now at the Cross Roads. Their hopes and aspirations are getting frustrated. Their sufferings and miseries are on the increase. They donít see any signs of change. And there is no such possibility in the near future. The atrocities against them, the crude criminal premeditated oppressions and offences in the Rural Areas and Urban Slums, the sophisticated silent planned white collar suppressions by the educated superiors in Educational Institutions, Govt Offices etc are rapidly on the increase. Their patience is already running out. They may now go in any direction, and take any path. One side, they want to stick to the Path of Peace and Constitutional Methods, shown to them by Baba Saheb Dr BR Ambedkar, and follow his ways. They clearly remember his exhortions -
If we wish to maintain Democracy, not merely in form but also in fact, what must we do? The first thing in my judgement we must do, is to hold fast to Constitutional Methods of achieving our Social and Economic Objectives. It means, we must abandon the bloody methods of Revolution. It means that, we must abandon the method of Civil Disobedience, non-Cooperation and Satyagraha. When there was no way left for Constitutional Methods for achieving Economic and Social Objectives, there was a great deal of justification for Unconstitutional Methods. But, when Constitutional Methods are open, there can be no justification for these unconstitutional methods. These methods are nothing but the Grammar of Anarchy, and the sooner they are abandoned the better for us.
On the other hand, will the SCs&STs stray away in future from the Constitutional Methods of achieving the Economic and Social Objectives of the People, the Aspirations of the Society, the Goals of the Nation and the Dreams of the Founding Fathers of the Constitution pointed out by their Messiah Dr Ambedkar, and opt out in frustration to Unconstitutional Methods of Change and bloody Revolutions warned by Dr Ambedkar himself many a times? The signs of these are already in air, in various pockets in almost different parts of the Country. Will SCs&STs radically choose to alter the Economic, Social and Cultural Orders of People in the Society, and the Political Structure of the Country, or go for balkanising and break away from the Nation, as we see many frustrated impatient Sections of various societies are already doing in different parts of World? Will there be Social Unrest endless Law and Order Problems, as we already experience, in our Cities and Metropolises? Will there be an avoidable Civil War? We donít know! The real answers to these unanswered potentially dangerous and virtually explosive questions, ultimately depend upon the choices the Society makes and the Govt Leaders now take, to establish a just fair and equitable Economic Order and build an Egalitarian Social Structure. And it needs to be thought as to what can We the People or the Govt, the Country, the Society and the SC&ST themselves do? We have to find an answer, and find it quickly. For, the time is really running out for all of us and the Country as a whole.
What we need more urgently now, is not Liberalisation of the Economy but Liberation of the People, the downtrodden the weak and the marginalised; not Globalisation of our Economy but Universalisation of Human Rights in favour of the poor and the helpless like the SCs&STs.
The SCs&STs are poor weak marginalised and powerless. They need Education and Employment. They want Development and Growth. They are still to get their Independence and Freedom. They are eagerly looking forward to the Day of their Deliverance. They are seeking Liberty and Equality. They have waited all these days with great hopes and patience. They are now demanding Justice and Human Rights. They want Human Rights and Life with Dignity. They are thirsting for Individual Recognitions and Equal Opportunities. They are asking for Self Respect and Fairness in Social Life. They need Good Jobs and Decent Salaries. They look for Helping Hands and Respectful Wages alright. But they may not wait for long. They cannot afford to pay bribes or bring in influences and recommendations in their favor. Hence, there is a need to implement the Reservations honestly fairly and in full. There is also a need to force the private sector companies and the Indian and Foreign Multi National Companies, to make their Recruitments and Appointments public and fair, through open advertisements and without any secrecy. They should be asked to give Representations to different Sections of the Society. After all, these are the ways of any Civilised Nation and all Civil Societies of the World. Secret Selections and Private Appointments based on personal contacts and private considerations are not the ways of a decent World.
If Reservations here in the Country are the due Rights and Shares of the SCs&STs and the OBCs in the Nation Building, Administration and Governance of the Country, even in the Mecca of the Free World and the fountainhead of all the new waves of Liberalisation and Globalisation sweeping the World now, there is Affirmative Action for the Blacks enforced by the Govt. This Affirmative Action has now been proudly accepted by the Private Sector there. The American Educational Institutions, Universities, Seats of Higher Learning and Centers of Research, and also the big powerful and rich MNCs there, are vying with each other to show to their Society and the World their achievements in this respect. Why should the caste hindus here then not honorably accept their own educated sisters and brothers from the SC&ST and OBC Communities? Why should they resent the SCs&STs and the OBCs even today, or feel jealous of the altersí progress or become envious of their development? And why should there be oppositions to the Reservations that only seek to provide the SCs&STs and the OBCs their proportionate share of Education, Jobs and other Opportunities in Life in the Country? Why should anyone, any reasonable or rational individual crib? One really does not know.
The caste hindus are now forcibly taking away, what they used to silently steal all these days. Now they are openly grabbing the shares and dues of the SCs&STs and also the OBCs, in the name of Excellence, National Interest, National Security, Defence, Science, Technology, Research, Higher Studies, Super Specialties, Development of Excellence to International Standards, rapid or accelerated Economic Development, Opening up the Economy, Privatisation, Liberalisation, Globalisation, Structural Adjustments, Financial Discipline, and the frauds of their Special Merits and Efficiencies. These are nothing but an open fraud to cheat the people, shield and cover up all their inefficiency, blatant nepotism, shameless favouritism, violation of rules and regulations as well as the norms and procedures/precedences, open corruption, lack of respect for fair open honest selections/recruitments/promotions and appointments. The repeated jokes they are trying to play on the Country is the Superiority and Respect to, as well as the need and compulsions of having to abide by the decisions of a pack of caste hindu individuals, who have reached their positions due to their closeness proximity and compromises with those they were and are in positions of power, with the right political authority to select appoint patronise backup and promote them all along the line.
The latest cruel joke of caste hindus is that, they are all now waking up after fifty long years, to talk about the need to produce and support the specialists in the making, comparable to International Standards, but only from the dominant castes. What were they doing all these five decades? What happened to all those meritorious sons and daughters of theirs, whom they freely selected all these years, saying that no suitable SC/ST was available, and without giving any Reservations to the OBCs? Why should they get this urge now, when the SCs&STs have already grown up to become Specialists, and are doing extremely well in Serving the Country with out fleeing to foreign shores, and as the OBCs are getting their Opportunities? Even now, why donít they produce such International Class Specialists from their top most meritorious scholars? Why do they need to grab or take so blatantly the Opportunities of the SCs&STs and OBCs? Why do they want to deny the poor SCs&STs and OBCs admissions to higher studies, professional courses and super specialties, and give these admissions to their third rate scholars who could not make their grade by themselves, competing with their own fellow colleagues freely and fairly, but come at the last, much behind their own caste individuals? Do they have no faith in their most meritorious fellows, who come at the top in the assessment of merits as per their own methods, standards of evaluations and the scheme of norms and scales? Do they want to play a game of choices, and gamble on those who miss out in the race, that they want to bring them in the places of the SCs&STs and OBCs? Would they then wait, hope, pray, or dream that at least one of their third-rate scholars, who had come in through the back doors, to the professional and super-specialty courses, in place of the poor SCs&STs and OBCs, to become an International Expert par-Excellence? Should we or can anyone believe them? Still, they try to fool the Country the SCs&STs and the OBCs? Have they gone crazy, or are they such big fools or so stupid to think that the SCs&STs and OBCs are such fools that they can buy their arguments and keep quiet?
Govt should now come out with a Comprehensive Reservation Policy for the whole Country covering Govt, Public Sector Enterprises, Banks, Financial Institutions, Colleges, Universities, Centers of Higher Learning and Research, other Educational Institutions, Autonomous Bodies, Non-Governmental Organisations, Voluntary Organisations, and Private Enterprises including Indian and Foreign Multi-National Companies in the Country.
LAW ON RESERVATIONS for the SCs&STs and OBCs
SCs&STs of the Country strongly feel that there is no point in believing and trusting that the caste hindus in the Govt, in Govt Offices, and the Courts would ever be honest to implement the Reservations in an honest and fair manner. Hence there is a need to bind them legally. The present Reservations are only Govt Orders, Departmental Rules and Regulations, and Office Memorandums. They are easily flouted, and also can be conveniently changed. Therefore, the Govt of India should bring in urgently, without any further delay a comprehensive Reservation Bill, and enact a Law on Reservations. This Reservation Law should, amongst other things provide for -
This Reservation Law should be placed in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution, and be beyond the purview of the Courts. The People are Sovereign in a Democracy. India is a Democracy, a Socialist and Secular Democratic Republic. Hence the People, their Representatives and the Parliament have the ultimate Power to make Laws. The Courts can legitimately interfere on behalf of the People when the Govt fails to act and Govern or Govern properly, but can not go against the People, the will of the People, and poke their nose into the Parliament. Otherwise it will be a sad day for the Country, the Society and the People. Of late, the Courts have been interfering too much and too frequently against the SCs&STs, their Development and with the Reservations for the SCs&STs, and the Govt Policies and Procedures in this regard.
WHAT SHOULD THE GOVTS AT THE CENTER AND THE STATES/UTs DO?
It is hightime that the Govts take some specific steps and positive action beyond Reservations. Fifty-three years of Independence had already passed. Fifty years after the establishment of the Republic, had also rolled by. We have wasted precious long time. We can not afford to sleep any further. Otherwise, the poor people would soon lynch us all alive. It is necessary to think what we need to do, and at the sametime act fast. Honestly speaking, we have not yet really started thinking of Development of the Weaker Sections. We have only been playing soft balls with them all these days. Let us get serious now, at least a bit. The Govt of India therefore, should bring in the learned SCs&STs and thinkers amongst them, to chalk out real Plans and Action Programmes for their Social, Economic and Cultural Development. It is only they, who can understand the needs and aspirations of the SCs&STs. As Baba Saheb Dr Ambedkar had long ago rightly said, it is only the servile class who can lead them. Definitely not their antagonists, nor the class room city products of just the Universities, or those with foreign education, or WB and IMF trainings and mandates. The Govts at the Center and the State/UTs should at least now establish -
The Govt at the Center should also Institute -
The Govt should also regularly Constitute an High Power Committee, at least every two years, to review the Allocation, Utilisation, Appropriation and Diversion of the Funds meant and Budgeted for the Education Welfare and Development of the SCs&STs both in the States/UTs and at the Center.
Similarly, in the STATES and UTs also, appropriate Committees should be constituted, to look into the Funds earmarked, actually made available, utilised, surrendered and or diverted by the STATE/UT Govts, Zilla Parishads and down at the Village Panchayats.
GOVT SHOULD REGULARLY REVIEW, ASSESS and CHANGE from time to time, both the LONG TERM and SHORT TERM SC&ST Schemes and Programmes to EVOLVE better Schemes and Programmes. There should also be Schemes and Programmes, evolved and structured to suit Specific Communities/ Castes/ Tribes, and also sub-Castes, sub-Tribes and Part of the Castes and Tribes living/ settled in different areas. This is absolutely necessary, in view of Large Scale Migrations due to Education, Employment, Search of Livelihood and for Survival; and also the Uprooting/Shifting/Relocation of whole Villages, Communities and the people of different Regions, particularly the STs and also the SCs of many small pockets, as a result of Development Programmes and Mega-Projects.
GOVT SHOULD CLASSIFY the SCHEMES and PROGRAMMES meant for the SCs&STs, into specific Categories. Adequate Funds have to be separately earmarked for POVERTY ALEVIATION, AMELIORATIVE, ASSETS CREATION, WELFARE, INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT, EDUCATION including grant of various Freeships Scholarships Fellowships and provision of Hostels and Messes, ENTREPRENEUR DEVELOPMENT, FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE for Purchase of Land/ House Building/ Starting Business, and for Establishing Cottage/ Mini/ Small-Scale/ Medium/ Big/ Large Industries, and such other identifiable SCHEMES and PROGRAMMES. Similarly, FUNDS SHOULD BE SEPARATELY BUDGETED, ALLOCATED AND RELEASED to NGOs run by others for the Welfare and Development of the SC&ST Dalits, to NGOs headed or patronised by SC&ST Leaders and Individuals, and to NGOs run and personally managed by the SC&ST Dalits themselves. Their utilities and effectiveness must be carefully assessed, separately in different Areas and Regions, and for different Schemes and Programmes, for taking up timely and appropriate corrective and remedial actions, and for a better utilisation of the funds and maximisation of the results. Only this could ensure a real help to SCs&STs, today at different stages of life, and in various levels of development and growth in different Regions and Parts of the Country. The present Practices of allocating Consolidated Funds, and leaving them in the hands of Govt Officials who are only interested in their jobs, perquisites and or the privileges of their offices and future/ promotions; or in supporting, helping and patronising their friends, relatives, colleagues, neighbors etc, are not going to deliver any results, or ever Develop and Liberate the SC&ST Dalits still living and believing in this Country and the Govts.