Welcome to the official website of Youth For Equality, Mumbai. We thank all those who have been supportive of our efforts to create a fair and equitable society.
This is a forum of equals to oppose the recent CHANGE in reservation policy proposed by the Government of India. We are a non-political, non-violent and united group of individuals.

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Monday, July 03, 2006

Mandal Bandal

In the past few weeks, the Mandal Commission has been put through a tight scrutiny by many experts. Unfortunately, the comments and criticisms have all been in many different articles; so unless one is an avid reader with an extremely sharp memory, not much is retained. Here is a composite picture.

The Mandal Commission is a 1980 report. In other words, it is 26 years old.

Its statistics are based on the 1931 census and 1891 cost indexing. Thus, its populations statistics are 75 years old and the economic criteria on based on which it has defined OBCs are 115 years old!!

It puts the total number of OBCs at 52%, while the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), a government body, puts it at 36%, which is the latest statistic available. A statistical fallacy of about 30%! If you extrapolate this to its other stats and the recommendations based on these, you will realize why a review is essential.

The only Dalit member of the Mandal Commission, L R Naik, did not sign it. He predicted that its benefits will be reaped only by the creamy layer (the Intermediate Backward Classes), who anyway does not need reservations, and will never reach those who actually need it (the Most Backward Classes), and this is exactly what has happened.

The three sociologists of the Mandal Commission - Professors Roy Burman, Srinivas and Jogendra Singh, specifically stated that ‘they were denied any real opportunity to participate in the findings’!!!

The report is based on the work of a research and planning team ‘which met only for 3 days’ and a second panel (Srinivas panel – who anyway stated that he hasn’t contributed) which met for 5 days. And both these meetings were to discuss how to obtain data. There was no meeting at all to evaluate the data gathered. Thus, no specialist was involved in the Commission for more than 8 days.

In order to obtain some current data, the Mandal Commission carried out a survey in 810 of the then 500000 villages (that’s about 0.001%)This was performed by junior Government officials without supervision or validation by any sociologist.

The Commission’s concluding paragraph on its own work states: ‘In the end, it may be emphasized that the survey has no pretensions to being a piece of academic research’!!!

Pandit Nehru opposed reservations. Rajiv Gandhi opposed Mandal. The Knowledge Commission, S S Gill (Mandal Commission secretary), Kapil Sibal, the honourable Supreme Court, lakhs of Indians have all questioned the Mandal Report based on these very facts. It is the duty of a democratically elected Government to pay heed to all these valid objections to the further implementation of the Mandal Commission recommendations without any review and proof of their effects.

The Government must follow what is the basis of good governance, that is, to make an informed decision. Any change in the reservation policy must be made based on today’s facts, today’s statistics and today’s scenario, and not on the basis of a 1980 Mandal Commission. Any decision regarding spending Rs. 8000 crores of tax-payers hard-earned money can be made only after careful consideration and objective review by an independent non-political commission.

--Akshay Baheti, Youth For Equality