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Creamy Layer Revision / Central-State Caste List Non-Revision – Contrasting Double Standards

 

Ever since the Supreme Court delivered the fateful judgment upholding the 27% quota minus the ‘Creamy Layer’ for the Self Proclaimed Backwards (SPB), worried caste-quota extremists comprising the DMK/PMK/RJD/LJP etc have been hankering for revision of the already sky-high Creamy Layer Income Limit of Rs.2.50 lakhs.

 

In 1992-93, when peoples annual incomes were in the measly (Rs.50,000-70,000) range, the Creamy Layer income limit was fixed at an astronomical Rupees One Lakh. In 2004, based on the recommendation of the Non-Backward Class Commission, the income limit was hiked to Rs.2.50 lakhs by the BJP Government, supposedly run by the brahmin/bania/kayastha politicians.

 

Shaken by the April 10, 2008 Supreme Court order to deny the reservation benefits to the wealthy super-citizens, suffering from delusions of ‘backwardness’ (as in TN, Andhra, Karnataka etc), the caste extremist lobbies backed by the newspapers, started a campaign to have the Creamy Layer income limit hiked. Once again the NCBC started the exercise to hike the CL limit from 2.50 lakhs and has reportedly recommended a hike to 4.50 lakhs. Sixth Central Pay Commission besides all India consumer price index, price rise, inflation rate, monthly per capita expenditure of the OBCs, economic conditions of the OBCs and per capita national product before arriving at a decision on the new ceiling.

 

The following reasons have been cited for hiking the CL income limit:

(i)       Price rise, the money value has gone down and inflation has gone up;

(ii)     The monthly per capita income of the OBCs and their economic condition;

      and

 (iii)   The income of the people will go up once the sixth-pay commission will be

       implemented;

 

All the conditions cited above affect all human beings and the reasons are justification enough to actually: (a) reduce the Creamy Layer income limit, (b) reduce the quota percentage and restrict reservation to the genuinely ‘backward’ and (c) provide reservation to the poor excluded Hindus. The proposal to hike the Creamy Layer income limit actually amounts to defining more people as backward, despite rising incomes and increased capacity to access education!

 

The above exercise to hike the Creamy Layer income limit has been undertaken in exercise of mere guidelines under VI. Income/Wealth Test, which reads (ii) The income criteria in terms of rupee will be modified taking into account the change in its value every three years. If the situation, however, so demands, the interregnum may be less." [Which means, “once a backward, always a backward" or “backwardness till eternity" since no matter what the level of income, they will continue to fall in the artificially inflated CL Limit.]

 

The alacrity with which questionable studies have been conducted and justifications invented to hike the creamy layer income contrasts starkly with the total inaction with respect to the more important and crucial provision of Section 11(1) of the NCBC Act which reads, “the Central Government may at any time, and shall, at the expiration of ten years from the coming into force of this Act and every succeeding period of ten years thereafter, undertake revision of the lists with a view to excluding from such lists those classes who have ceased to be backward classes or for including in such lists new backward classes."

 

Despite the existence of a specific direction in the NCBC Act, the exercise to exclude “pseudo-backward" castes (such as yadavs, keoris, kurmis, lodhs, gouders, nadars, vanniyars etc) as ordered by Justice Pandian has not been carried out at all. In 2003, the NCBC (instead of the Central Government) arranged a conference to thrash out steps to remove the pseudo-backwards from the NCBC list, which came a cropper. All kinds of dubious reasons were advanced by the State representatives to frustrate the above constitutional directive, some of which were:

  1. The issue is too sensitive and nobody can be removed, though ‘n’ number of castes can be inserted and the majority declared ‘backward’!
  2. No one has become ‘forward’!
  3. The states do not have the money to carry out the study!!!

 

All the above reasons are totally hollow for the following reasons: (a) The alleged ‘sensitivity’ of the matter should have no bearing on the constitutional requirement of a law passed by Parliament itself. Isn’t it an amazing contention that the 27% reservation must be implemented because the law passed by Parliament says so, but the revision of the list need not be carried out, though the same Parliament has passed the law? (b) If, despite becoming doctors, surgeons, engineers, lawyers, scientists etc and even after four generations of availing reservations, nobody has become forward, it means even a thousand years from now, nobody will become forward; (c) Doesn’t it also seem amazing that the Central Govt does not have a few crores to carry out the survey, but it is ready to spend Rs.25000 crs on hosting the Common Wealth games, Rs.400 crs each year to host religious yatras, which are not a priority at all. In any case, the NCBC Act requires the Central Govt to carry out the exercise and States have no role to play in it.

 

One has also to appreciate the real reason for the clamor to hike the CL income limit to the astronomical Rs.4.50 lakhs, when 75% of the population is known to subsist either below the poverty line or just above it. So far, no evidence has been presented to prove that ‘caste’ has any bearing on the capability to perform in an intellectual competition. How a person performs in an exam depends on various factors, such as – quality of schooling, place of residence, personal interest, quality and quantum of effort made, coaching obtained, parental education, parental income etc. This applies alike to all human beings and has no relevance to a person’s ‘caste’ (which is a personal matter and nobody’s business to know). Now when powerful people are put into the ‘eligible for quota’ category having access to all facilities, they enter through the minuscule merit seats, while the really disadvantaged ‘backwards’ enter through the fixed quota. Thus these powerful ‘pseudo-backward’ caste groups capture seats both in the ‘merit’ category and in the ‘reserved’ seats. Consequently the non-reserved Hindus get wiped out, as is happening in TN for the past eight decades. And that seems to be the objective to hike the CL limit to the astronomical Rs.4.50 lakhs. To make the situation clearer, a condition is being created whereby only one set of people will be able to live in India.

 

Now that the hike in the “Super-Creamy Layer" income limit (at the instigation of the caste extremists) is a foregone conclusion, it should be applied uniformly across the Nation and no State should be exempt. Nobody should be allowed to claim that while the so-called OBCs of their state will apply as CL / Non-CL candidate to the Central Govt jobs/seats, at the state level, the Creamy Layer will have no relevance (as in TN). If the Non-Creamy Layer Certificate can be issued for applying to the Central Government, surely the same can be issued for applying to the State Government too.

 

Lastly a word on Tamil Nadu, where as is well known a 69% anti-democratic supremacist quota is in operation for the past several decades. Since the TN pseudo-backwards are already enjoying an extra 19.50% quota at the State level, they should now be entitled to only 7.50% quota (27% - 19.50%) at the Central Level.

 

The Union Cabinet has on 03.10.08, as expected hiked the CL income limit to Rs.4.50 lakhs. The media instead of pointing out that the measure is a blatant action to once again frustrate and nullify the rights of the ‘unreserved’ class as per the SC order has mischievously called it a ‘sop’ for the OBCs.

 

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