Another major state election has come up in the Hindi heartland of the country. The last time we had one, namely in Bihar exactly one year back, we finally ended up happy because social consciousness prevailed in the minds of the people of Bihar rather then religious consciousness.
Issues of Ram Mandir, Love Jihad, Ghar wapasi, Beef ban, Pro-Pakistani accusations etc. were talked about to generate communal (religious) consciousness. At the same time, issues of caste discrimination, caste based atrocities, reservations, social justice etc. were also discussed which created caste (social) consciousness.
Some worked upon the creation of communal (religious) polarisation while others worked on caste (social) polarisation. The result is before us. It is again emphatically proved that religious/communal consciousness can be neutralised by social/caste consciousness.
We have time and again seen in these years of late that when backward castes come together for protecting and furthering their societal interests, they are labelled as casteist. While when forward castes come together for protecting and furthering their societal interests, they are decorated as nationalists.
The First Mandal movement, namely from 1990 to 1993 have given rise to the consciousness among OBC castes of their legitimate constitutional rights. A Second Mandal movement took place in 2007 when forward castes opposed reservations to OBC in higher educational institutions.
This article examines the extension of reservations to the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and the rationale of reservation in relation to the debate over the desirability and feasibility of reservations to them. The first part outlines the political context of the emergence of the backward-caste reservation issue in the 1970s and 1980s, culminating in the implementation of the Mandal Commission recommendations on OBC reservations from 1994 onwards. The second part discusses the government’s decision in 2006 to extend reservations to the OBCs in the field of higher education in the context of economic reforms and the growing importance of technical and professional education in the new economy. It explores the notions of disadvantage and backwardness and unravels the processes whereby caste and class issues have got entangled. It also examines the political, policy, and legal links between caste and class in the designation of backwardness and disadvantage.
Now this is the right time for a Third Mandal movement. In order to procore social Justice for Bahujans.
When it comes to giving Proportional reservations to OBC, the hypocrisy of all national parties – Congress, BJP, BSP, Communists, etc gets exposed, particularly Congress because its tenure was highest. All of them have ruled the country at Central level as well as in many states but none of them have even spoke of giving Proportional Reservations to OBC.
No political party in India can assume power without the votes of OBC.
One major regional party who claims to represent Bahujans is the BSP. Sadly enough, it only has the tag of Bahujan in its name, because, had it really bothered about becoming truly Bahujan, it would have provided proportional reservations to OBC when it was in power for a full tenure in UP. This time, leave alone deliverance, the BSP seems to be offering not even promises of any sort towards proprtional reservation to OBCs.
Another party which has enjoyed the patronage and support of OBCs for quite some time now is the Samajwadi Party (SP), mainly due to its legacy of former socialist stalwarts like Jayaprakash Narayan and V. P. Singh. However, it too has failed to deliver anything substantial to the cause of social justice in its full term of five years.
Same is the case with regional parties of Maharashtra. The Sangha Parivar one like SS and MNS need no mention. However, even the NCP, all of which bank upon OBC votes shut their mouths when it comes to providing legitimate rights to OBC.
It were the regional parties headed by genuine OBC leaders and strong social pressure groups of OBC which compelled Tamil Nadu and Karnataka states to give proportional reservations to OBC. Bahujans can be the kingmakers not only in States but also at the Centre, provided they come together with social consciousness in their minds and NOT out of political equations OR religious polarisation.
The Socialists (Janata parties) in Bihar are also led by strong OBC leaders, now they have to establish their SINCERITY and HONESTY by giving proportional reservations to OBC in Bihar. At this juncture when a full year is over, it is high time for the ruling coalition to seriously consider delivering social justice to Bahujans by giving them proportional representation. If they fail to do so then how would they be different from Sangha Parivar? And what would be the significance of the our broad allegiance against casteist and communalist forces?
We demand all Bahujan organisations to build up pressure on Central as well as State governments to enact serious steps to ensure proportional representation. Towards this end, the first step shall be to know the proportional population of each of our communities, which is apparently already available in the form of Socio-economic Caste Census 2011 but hidden from the public for unspecified reasons. Hence our immediate demand of the hour shall be to release the Caste Census to the public. This shall be the first step towards a Third Mandal Movement.
Our Dalit brethren in the legislatures of the country need to realise the truth and come forward to support our demand for proportional representation at all levels because, the absence of the same in legislatures now is the very reason why they are unable to make any serious difference in the respective legislatures. Right now, Dalits are represented upto their population both in Parliament and Assemblies by the Constitution (~20%) but they are unable to pass any strong measure by themselves even if they come forward together irrespective of their political affiliation, due to the sheer fact that they are not the majority. Once there is proportional representation for all communities, Bahujans – OBC, SC, ST, minorities – together shall make up 80-90 % and no force shall ever succeed in prolonging the deliverance of social justice to us.
On behalf of Mahatma Jothirao Phule & Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule Educational Circle we are demanding the Central Government to
• Release National Caste census Data Immediately.
• Implement Proportional representation to all castes in all fields including Parliament.
• Implement all recommendations in Mandal Commission Report literally.
• Give Constitutional status for the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).
• Implement reservation in recruitment of judges to higher judiciary, law and order enforcement agencies and armed forces.
• Implement OBC reservation at all levels of admission, recruitment and promotion in Higher Education Institutions.
• Stop the use of NFS (Not Found Suitable) against OBC candidates in admission and recruitment.
• Pass the pending Bill for Reservation in Promotion and give reservation in promotion for OBC as well.
• Increase the number of national fellowships for OBC candidates.
• Pass the Women’s Reservation Bill with 50% sub quota for SC/ST/OBC women.
• Allot budget at Centre and State level for OBC in proportion to population.
Without fulfilling this demands, no social jusctice can ever happen to the downtrodden communities of India, and any party or government which tries to claim so is clearly trying to mislead masses and shall not enjoy our support.
On behalf of Mahatma Jothirao Phule & Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule Educational Circle we request all Bahujan organisations (political and non-political, national and regional), activists and intellectuals to pressurise the Central Government as well as State Governments for the above demands and be ready for a third Mandal movement.
The Bahujan blood that doesn’t boil now is mere water!
Life devoid of our fair share is useless!
Our vote for your power shall not happen ever again!
TATA.SIVAIAH president, Mahatma Jyotirao Phule & Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule Educational Circle, Hyderabad Central University,