The representatives of Struggle Committee for Social Justice M.Ilango, Ex. M.L.A., G.Sugumaran (Organiser), M.Muthukannu, R.Abimannan, A.Manjini, A.Jothipragasam submitted a memorandum to the National Commission for Economically Backward Classes (NCEBC) on 23-08-2008 at Puducherry.
We, on behalf of the ‘ STRUGGLE COMMITTEE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE’ and the MOST BACKWARD CLASSES of Puducherry, at the outset, welcome the visit of the Commission to this Territory.
We understand that the Commission constituted through a Resolution of the Government of India has before it the following terms of reference.
1. To elicit the view of the State Governments/ Union Territories and others on the subject;
2. To recommend the measures and quantum of reservation or suggest criteria for identification;
3. To present to the President of India a Report of their deliberations and
In the Union Territory of Puducherry, the Backward Class has been provided with 13% reservation and the Most Backward Class 20% ,respectively in Education and Employment consequent to the valiant struggles put up by the Weaker sections of society for decades drawing clue from the Mandal Commission dispensation.
Now, the deprived section has been demanding enhancement in the quantum of reservation provided in commensurate to their population, as the Honorable Members may aware that the overall ceiling of reservation is not to exceed 50%, as per the decision of the Supreme Court of India.
Since the Territory Administration comes under the direct control of the Government of India, almost all welfare schemes announced are carried out and implemented for the Welfare of the Backward Classes apart from innovative schemes suited to the local conditions.
At present the reservation benefits are being extended to the Backward Classes as per Constitutional Provisions under Articles 15(4) and 16(4) in the field of education and employment. The existing reservation is based on the cardinal values of social and educational backwardness suffered by weaker sections for ages.
The experiment now attempted at evolving a new concept of ‘economically backward’, to find a place in socially and educationally backwardness’, which has been a settled matter may question the mandate provided under the Constitution of India. Further, it may also put in jeopardy the Principle of Social Justice.
A separate identification of economic criteria for backward class, at this changed globalist scenario would drive the beleaguered backward class into disunity. In this context, it is our submission that the novel idea of economically backward class is not required. The suggestion given by the Government of Tamilnadu holds good for this State. The requirements and demands of the economically backward classes could be met by introduction of newer schemes catering to their needs.
Moreover, if the recommendation decides to segregate a section among the backward class and from other forward class as economically weaker will it not disrupt the continuing reservation quota and the percentage of reservation?
Now the reservation is on the cross roads as more and more institutions are being privatised the backward classes are not getting their right share in jobs and higher educational institutions and research centres.
Reservation provided now is based on Constitution provisions, Social backwardness and Education backwardness also have tinge of economics of weaker section of society. The proposed identification will derail the age old reservation and affect the entitlement of benefits apart from dividing the backward classes. Hence we are of considered view that the existing arrangement guaranteed by the Constitution and implemented by various States and Union Territories would not get affected in a new experiment.