In the historic judgment, the Supreme Court pronounced its verdict today. While upholding the reservation in aided institutions, the Court asked for Creamy layer removal. Besides this, a person with a graduation has been declared as educationally forward. The Court also directed the Government to reserve some percentage of 27% for economically backward people. The Court also denied reservation in unaided institutions. At the same time Court asked to define the criteria for Creamy layer and for identification of OBCs. Merit has also been considered important. The Government has been directed not to dilute the Merit to unreasonable extent.
Read the Complete Judgment.
The Supreme Court on 17th of May 2006 referred the issue of 27% reservation for OBCs in central educational institutions to a larger Bench. Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan will now constitute the Bench, in which the controversial law will go through the apex court's scrutiny for the second time. A Bench of the court, consisting of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice Lokeswar Singh Penta, while referring the case to a larger Bench, said, "The larger Bench will examine whether the government has got the powers to evolve reservation policies without any restrictions." In a statement, that can further aggravate the judiciary-legislative conflict, the court in its direction said that the government is not supposed to take any "bullying attitude," which can damage the fundamental rights of people. "The issue involves considerable importance of constitutional law having an impact on the entire nation,"the Bench said. "The larger Bench will have to review the 93rd constitutional amendment by which Article 15(5) was inserted to provide reservation to the socially backward sections," the court said. The Bench also noted that the Government's reservation policy violates Articles 14, 15, 21 and 22, which guarantee fundamental right. "What was the yardstick being applied in perpetuating the policies," the Bench asked the government counsel. Worried over the "caste element" in the government's reservation policy, the Bench further said, "If the Government wanted to adopt a policy it should have focused on ensuring compulsory education for illiterate..." The Youth For Equality especially demanded a Higher Bench (desirably comprising 9 or more Judges) to decide the case as the previous OBC reservation verdict in the Indira Sawney case was decided by a 9 Judge bench.
Read the full Supreme Court Order
In a landmark Order the Hon'able Supreme Court on 29th of March 2007 stayed the OBC reservation act passed by the Parliament. The Bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and L S Panta delivered the verdict on the batch of petitions filed by Youth For Equality through various organizations and individuals challenging the decision as being ultra vires (unconstitutional). Keeping the petitions in mind, the Bench stated that Section 6 of the Reservation Act was not applicable since no data on OBCs has been collected in the last 76 years. The Centre has to determine who are the socially and economically backward people of India, before the Central Educational Institutions Act can be given effect, the Bench stated. The Bench said that the OBC quota was just vote back politics and said it was forced to take the decision against the Government as the Government did not implement the SC's last two orders. They said that a final decision would be taken only after proper documents related to OBCs were submitted. The Bench, reprimanding the Centre, also said that the Centre should stay away from dividing the society on caste basis and should behave in a more responsible way. It said the Government's decision to implement the quota system was full of flaws.
Read the full Stay Order delivered by the Supreme Court
Blocking Government plans to implement 27 per cent OBC reservation in higher education institutions from this year, the Supreme Court on 23rd of April declined to vacate the stay on quota it ordered on March 29. The Bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and L S Panta said that its earlier order staying the provision of OBC quota was "final" as far as the present academic session, starting 2007, was concerned. On Solicitor General G E Vahanvati's demand for referring the issue to a Constitution Bench, the court said it would examine it at a later date. "We had said keep the admissions process for OBCs on hold for this year. In that sense, it cannot be an interim order. It operates finally for this year so long as there is no variation that may say circumstances have changed... Therefore, we said it's final," the Bench said, asking the Government why it was in such a hurry to implement the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2007. "If you could wait for 57 years, then you can very well wait for another six months," the Bench said. "We do not want to play the game first and then frame the rules. We want rules to be framed first and then play the game," the Bench said, rejecting the Government argument that staying reservation for a particular class for this year could jeopardize the future of students.
Youth For Equality spearheaded widespread unrest across the country to oppose the illogical and unscientific OBC reservation policy. The Parliament and Political Parties were strangely apathetic towards the demands of Youth For Equality. It was this time that the YFE leadership decided to approach the Supreme Court through various petitions covering all the issues to challenge the political motives of the Parliament. YFE's Judicial Activism started just after the historic hunger strike at the AIIMS, New Delhi.
YFE representatives met nearly 700 dignitaries which includes members of Mandal Commission (2nd Backward Classes Commission) and Kaka Kalelkar Commission (1st Backward Classes Commission) to build up the cases against the OBC reservation policy of the Government. All the senior lawyers of legal profession were contacted by YFE representative to convince them to take our cases at the Supreme Court. YFE representatives are constantly tracking the developments and operating accordingly. YFE have filed five petitions through different organizations and individuals covering all aspects of Reservation at the Supreme Court.
- On 1st of December 2006 we have filed a petition no. 269/2006 in the name of RDA, AIIMS & RDA, MAMC Vs. Union of India challenging the caste based reservation through Adv. Sushil Kumar Jain
- On 11th of January 2007 we have filed the second petition no. 29/2007 in the name of Prof. P.V. Indiresan & Others (JNU, DU and NLSUI)Vs. Union of India challenging the 93rd constitutional amendment through Adv. Indu Malhotra
- On 12th of January 2007 we have filed another petition no. 35/2007 in the name of Youth for Equality Vs. Union of India challenging the OBC reservation through Adv. M.L. Lahoty.
- On February 20th a petition has been filed in the name of All India Equality Forum Vs. Union of India through Sushil Kumar Jain.
- On 25th of April another petition have been filed in the name of Citizen for Equality Vs. Union of India by Ad. Subramaniam Prasad challenging several aspects of present reservation policy.
The long and strenuous efforts of Youth For Equality paid off when all the Senior and learned advocates of India agreed to fight the case at the Supreme Court. Senior Advocates Mr Harish Salve ,Mr. Fali Nariman ,Mr Mukul Rahtogi, Mr P.P. Rao , Mr Ashok Desai, Mr Rajeev Dawn, and Mr Venugopal are pleading on behalf of Youth For Equality in the Supreme Court.
The idea of integrated India is now on an avoidable hijacking route as the present political genre is hell-bent to divide the nation on the basis of caste, creed and religion. The responsibility to save India is essentially on the shoulders of all Indians i.e. all of us. And there is urgency too. How to make changes in the political mindset is the challenge we must face it and what way we effect the changes is the question we must trace the answer. Youth For Equality, during the Delhi Municipal Corporation elections tried to prove the point that "participation not refrainment" is the answer. A conscious decision was taken to contest the DMC election and three candidates were filed from three different constituencies. Dr. Sanjay Rajput contested from Kasturba Nagar (South Delhi), Pradeep Jha from Mukherjee Nagar(North Delhi) and Dr. Joshi from East-Rohtas Nager (Shahdara). Students from JNU, DU and AIIMS along with others campaigned vigorously for all the three candidates. In all the three constituencies YFE candidates surprised the political pundits when they secured 3rd position only after the two national parties BJP and Congress. The message was clear that the common men of India striving for a political alternative. YFE can provide this!
The Parliament is not infallible. In the Emergency, it was clearly wrong in amending the constitution, as it had to reverse its own amendments. During the 19-month long Emergency period the government blandly took the chilling position that no fundamental right existed. When one of the judges asked whether a citizen had a remedy against a policeman wanting to shoot him, the then attorney-general, Niren Dey, replied, "My Lord, not so long as the Emergency lasts. It shocks my conscience and it may shock yours, but there is no remedy." The quality of the Constitution depends on the working of the Constitution. Earlier, the Constitution worked because of the quality of leaders in the Parliament. Subsequently power went into weak hands. Now, power is in weaker political hands with a very narrow and short-term purpose of holding the power only to serve themselves. It is time that good people should not remain idle and join the decision making process.
The Youth For Equality always believe in action. Sanjeet Shukla, a 23-year-old law student of Mithibai College and the sole candidate fielded by Youth For Equality (YFE) has become a hit with Sion voters for the BruhanMumbai Muncipal Election. About 250 students and faculty from several engineering and medical colleges across the city, including GS Medical and KJ Somaiya Engineering colleges, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Jawaharlal Nehru University from New Delhi, campaigned for the Sion resident for the YFE candidates. The government can not divide the student vote to increase its vote bank through reservation this is the message the YFE wanted to convey. YFE in Mumbai has been getting positive response from residents of Ward 167 with each passing day. The YFE's popularity has the Congress worried. The party has decided to sideline its incumbent councilor, Babubhai Bhawanji, by fielding Upendra Doshi, general secretary of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee, to take on YFE candidate Sanjeet Shukla. The outcome of the election was also impressive as the YFE secured 4th position and garnered good number of votes.
What kind of a nation disowns its own people? What kind of country decides that genius costs too much? That merit does not hold much water and that caste is the only and sole criteria to judge everything? We have made turbulent peace with the fact that Indian political class is ineffective in the goal of nation building as the political class is hell-bent on dividing the society to get more votes. The proposed 27% reservation in the higher education is the latest divisive policy of this present government. Now it is nightmarish to be a meritorious student, a general category student an Indian without an OBC or any other caste certificate!! The ambit of higher education is the same and it is not expanding but the infringement of political interest in education is increasing each passing year. The politicians are shying away from their responsibility. It is known to everyone that the reservation policy is based on wrong fundamentals. 1931 census has taken to arrive at 54% OBC population, the Mandal Commission was not less than a forgery. Added to this the government's own report National Sample Survey Organization (56th round) is saying OBC as 32%, National Family Health Survey is saying OBC as 29%. What is correct?? We must not stay cool at home and wait for the avoidable obvious to come!! Under this circumstance and to avoid any short sighted policy with long term impact; we must take a stand and stay firm not to let the political class hijack the newfound vibrancy of our country for their narrow political gain.
JNU is considered as the bastion of left politics. But the left also shunned the CLASS and adopted CASTE as their identity to save their vote bank. Now the questions arise, what the youth must do?? If we vote those who are supporting the reservation policy; it is a testimonial of our approval to the 27% reservation policy of the government. To avoid this dilemma, the Youth for Equality, JNU Chapter taken a brave step to fight all established parties at one go and to show the world the resilience of the youth. This fight is very symbolical as we have nothing to lose and lots to gain. Nothing to fear but there are lot many who may fear our power. Considering all the pros and cons we the Youth For Equality, JNU Chapter decided to contest the JNUSU election.
The JNU election offered many surprises. The YFE maintained lead in all the four Central Penal posts viz. President (Sonika Tyagi), Vice-President (Brundaban Mishra), General Secretary (Upasana Dhankar) and Joint Secretary (Babita Sharma) till the near end of the counting when the left parties snatched the victory from the mouth of YFE. The Youth For Equality is honored and overwhelmed with the massive support of the JNU student.
Read the full JNUSU election story
The struggle against the illogical and unscientific OBC reservation policy was on its height in May 2006 when the YFE leadership in consultation with persons of eminence of India decided to organize a huge rally at the Ram Leela ground in New Delhi on 27th of May. The AIIMS strike was at its height when the rally was being organized. The mantra of the rally was to show the strength of the youth of India to the political class and to stop the politicians from dividing the society on the basis of CASTE and RELIGION. Huge public support comes out for the rally. Nearly 40,000 people from across the country participated in this historic rally. Navjyot Singh Sidhu, Shiv Khera, Joginder Singh and Prof. P.V. Indiresan addressed the gathering and ignited the passion in youth present from every part of India. It is from the platform of this rally several institutions of India announced to organize hunger strike in their respective institute. JNU and IIT-Delhi were prominent among others.
A powerful tragedy unfolded in front of the naked eyes of millions of able young men and women of India, as the old stinking bug called quota again resurfaced with a more monstrous form. This time targeting the best of the institutions of India in various fields ranging from Nuclear Research, Space Research, Medicine, Engineering, Fashion Technology, Theatre to Studies of Social Sciences. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru created some institutions of excellence to make India a modern country taking it from the dogma of obscurantism, caste, creed and religion and to face the challenges of the coming centuries. Unknowingly, there was a powerful zeal to excel swept the scientific student community of India over the years and they converted these institutions into global hub for scientific study and research. It helped India changing its face from the land of the snake charmer to the land of a brainy scientific community. Suddenly a false notion erupted in the political mind of a stop gap Prime Minister of India and in search of a permanent voter he divided the student community and thereby the whole society of a vibrant India. An archaic report of a caste based commission was revived and put into practice. Within no time the student community got to know that they are no more equal in opportunity and a division among themselves was forced. Failing to digest the poison, the youth of India started falling prey to the political divide and converted them as a moving inferno to protest the political divide. The government refused to pay heed and out of frustration, bright students start migrating to foreign land where performance and merit count not one's lineage. A new mode of outlook created that only a foreign degree can give you greater accreditation and recognition. Again a large mass of educated people have to live with the paranoia of homegrown degrees. Time changed so was the perception. Once created by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru to cater the government's various projects and centre of excellence the AIIMS, IITs, IIMs and other medical and scientific institutions of repute in India starts getting world attention. Their degrees consider worth a king's ransom. As Indian starts taking pride in the indigenous degrees, politics never remained silent and hit where it hurt the country most. With the lack of political visionaries with a clear vision to uplift India like Pt. Nehru, Mrs. Indira Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri the space has been taken by powerless and short-sighted leaders like Arjun Singh and Monmohan Singh. It is no more a secret that both these leaders belong to the Rajya Sabha and irrespective of various survey, they lack the capacity to even mobilize a Panchayat to vote for them. Here they found a way to fame to push the reservation beyond the boundary of excellence and get the space to rule.
The physicians irrespective of their lineage performed the noble responsibility of taking the egg to embryo and finally to the detachment of umbilical cord of human being. Theirs' words are considered as final for both life and death. A simple and often used word in public place "sorry" from the mouth of a medico can lead to the catastrophe and end the life of powerful people. It is the most respected profession across the world for the simple reason that they possess the knowledge to sustain the life of others. The more knowledgeous they are the more beneficial it is for the common man or aam admi, although it is altogether a different matter that politician does not want the benefit other then their own. The medico does not categories their patient with regards to their caste or anything else. Now pushing some people masquerading as doctors, before terming them as backward and reducing their capacity to compete, the government is headstrong to destroy the very purpose of doctor profession itself.
The medical fraternity showed the world its resilience under the leadership of AIIMS and came to the street of Delhi. In New Delhi few meters away from the Rashtrapati Bhawan and a stone throwing distance from the Prime Minister's Office on 9th of May 2006 water cannon spread on the medical students with a speed prohibited by the United Nations Human Rights Commission and World Health Organization. It is the good fortune of the agitating doctors that it missed their throat in particular or neck in general, otherwise, it would have taken the very life of the medicos. In Mumbai, the city's medical students sitting on a protest march at the road heading towards the Governor's residence. On 12th of May 2006 they were beaten black and blue by policemen as if the medical students are dreaded criminal. The clear footage on the electronic media can make a country shame and can make one mistake that if they were watching the Tiananmen Square brutality live.
The powder was on the barrel. Only a flick was necessary to conflagrate the struggle against the illogical policy of the Government. A leadership was required during the month of May in 2006 to lead the struggle. This is when AIIMS in consultation with other medical colleges of Delhi started the struggle. After a series of face off with the state managed police AIIMS students decided to sit on hunger strike on 13th of May and then the rest was history.
To read the events of April-May 2006 in detail, click here.
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