Amongst Greats like Mahatma Jyotirao Phule, Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule, BabaSaheb Ambedakar , Periyar , OBCs should not forget the contribution of another Crusader of Backward classes V.P Singh who gave reservations to Backward classes by implementing the Mandal commission report. 1990 was a crucial time when even after 43 years of Indian independence OBCs did not get their due which babasaheb had envisaged when he gave reservation for Dalits and wanted it for OBCs too. The Congress govt which ruled for most of those 43 years didn’t have the political will to implement and give justice to OBCs since it was happy with an OBCs which was in inertia and it had its Dalit votebank intact.
Now when we introspect if VP Singh had not become the PM and instead if Devilal or Chandrashekhar had become PM. Did they have the political will like VP singh to implement the Mandal report. Chandrashekar infact didn’t want VP Singh as the PM inspite of knowing that it was because of the wave in favour of VP Singh that the National front govt came to power. Mr Chandrashekhar wanted Devilal as PM. But thanks to Kulpdeep nayyar who advised Devilal against it and convinced Devilal to propose VP singh’s name when Chandrashekar proposes Devilal’s name in the Parliamentary meet.
As we all know within few months differences arose between VP Singh and Devilal and Devilal was sacked as Dy PM. It was at this moment that VP Singh felt that his days were numbered and before that he needs to do justice to the OBCs through Mandal Report. While Devilal and Chandrashekar were busy trying to destabilse the VP Singh govt. VP Singh aided by JD-U sharad yadhav and LJP Paswan decided to implement the Mandal Repot to give justice to OBCs across India. In the cabinet meeting VP Singh said he has the political will to implement the mandal Report which no minister dared to speak against . Few savarna leaders within national front Like Biju Patnaik did oppose Mandal implementation But paswan says Biju didnt knew anything about Mandal and was opposing it because he didn’t want VP Singh to take all the credit.
On 13th August 1990 VP Singh implemented the Mandal Commission recommendation of providing 27% reservation for OBCs in Govt jobs and education. A political master stroke by Shri VP Singh gave OBCs the Voice that they never had since independence. The Savarna (Upper caste) leaders didn’t like it but they couldn’t oppose it either since OBCs forms more than 60% of India’s population. But all these leaders played their part in siding with the anti – Mandal agitation by adding fuel to fire. Rajiv Gandhi and Congress to played its game. Rajiv gandhi had a grouse against VP Singh too. Congress became a spoke in the wheel by demanding creamy layer cap for OBCs even if reservation was provided. This shows commitment of Congress and Rajiv Gandhi towards OBCs who voted for them for decades. If we analyse this is when OBCs slowly started moving away from Congress towards Regional parties and third front.
The anti-mandal agitation was a burning issue across the country. Inspite of all these problems VP Singh was a visionary, He never distracted himself from the cause and a Messiah of Backwards that he was he made sure Mandal report was implemented even at the cost of loosing power. He had the political will which the earlier PM didn’t have to give justice to OBCs who form 60% of India’s population.
Now overnight VP Singh had become a mass leader. The savarna leaders found it difficult to digest. While Devilal and Chandrashekar were plotting how to bring down the govt. The BJP and Advani ji were caught in a fix. Since with mandal their vote bank too will shrink if OBCs move the other way. Mandal paved way for Mandir. Rath yathra got started . Pramod mahajan and Govindacharya convinced Advani ji to make it a big event. Now all Upper caste anti-mandal protestors jumped into the Mandir bandwagon. VP Singh ji tried to get an Ordinance where in the disputed land will come into govt control and then they can be swapped if both VHP and the Babri masjid committee agreed. But Both of them went back on their words and hence president Venkataram returned the ordinance.
But VP singh didnot allow the Rath Yathra into UP and it was stopped in Bihar at the behest of VP Singh . Though laloo takes credit he did it on VP Singh instructions. BJP withdraws its support to VP Singh. The VP Singh Govt falls. But the National front govt led by VP Singh did give justice to OBCs what other govts for 50 odd years failed to give. The Supreme Court too gave the go ahead for the implementation of Mandal report albeit with the rider of creamy layer ( It is congress gift to OBCs).
It is post Mandal that Lot of OBCs leaders are able to assert themselves politically and lot of leaders from OBCs started ruling states. VP Singh became a crusader of Social Justice of Modern era and Changed the OBCs thought process from being a follower community to a ruler community.
VP Singh gave the wings for OBCs to fly in Indian Democracy. Hence we need to remember this great Messiah failing it will be grave injustice to the great leader.
11 Months of VP Singh’s Govt – Changed Lives of OBCs in India.
TATA.SIVAIAH is president, Mahatma Jyotirao Phule & Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule Educational Circle. MSc Mathematics student in Hyderabad Central University Email: email@example.com