Sunday, June 04, 2006

Five panels to submit report on quota by July 31

The chairman of the Oversight Committee on reservations, M Veerrappa Moily, on Saturday said five sub-committees constituted by him on the issue will submit their reports by July 31.
The sub-committees related to IITs, IIMs, agricultural institutes, central universities and health sciences have the country's "best brains" as members, Moily told reporters here. On the basis of reports submitted by them, the committee will frame a comprehensive roadmap for achieving "knowledge society based on inclusive policy" and put forward its recommendations to the government by August 31, he said.
The Oversight Committee had met twice and Moily will hold discussions with the members of the sub-committees on June 8. Strongly supporting the proposed 27 per cent reservations for OBCs in higher educational institutions, Moily said the government favoured increasing the number of seats so that general students are not impacted by reservations. The new reservation policy for OBCs will be introduced from 2007-08, he said.
Moily said the southern states had made the highest contribution to the country's GDP growth despite the reservation system, which clearly showed that quotas' had not affected talent.
He argued it was a completely wrong notion that the backward classes lacked talent and eligibility. Reservations have not affected the productivity in states like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, Moily said.
He said the Oversight Committee intended to initiate a dialogue with the best brains in the country and evolve innovative methods for excellence in higher education.

Centre ready for reservation on economic grounds: Jaiswal

Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal today said the Congress favoured providing reservation to economically weaker sections but all the parties have to come forward in this regard.
''The reservation for Other Backward Class (OBC) was passed in Parliament with the consent of all parties. However, some parties were distancing from it now,'' Mr Jaiswal told reporters here today.
He said the Congress believed that reservation must be granted on economic grounds for poorer sections but was constrained by the limit of maximum 50 per cent reservation.
Mr Jaiswal said the Congress was prepared to lead if all parties agreed to provide reservation on economic grounds.
Earlier, Mr Jaiswal, while addressing Congress backward class convention, strongly advocated reservation stating that family members had to support a brother if he was weak.
Admitting that this would hurt youths, he said one had to forget his pain for the family's sake. Everybody had to be empowered in order to fulfil the dream of placing India among the world' top 10 superpowers.
Guna MP Jyotiraditya Scindia said an environment of equality had to be created in society without referring to religion and caste.


It should be a non-political non-parliamentary commission with constitution, terms of reference and binding nature as described in the note attached.

1. Number of seats should be increased in each institute/college such that numbers of general category seats are not decreased at any point, in that particular institute, by the present policy or any other policy in the future.
2. Till such time the total numbers of seats are increased, the reservation policy shall not be implemented and the academic year 2007 is not sacrosanct.
3. The increase in seats should lead to a proportionate increase in number of general category merit seats in each institution.
4. Number of seats in open merit should always remain at least 50.5% exclusive of all the reservations and quotas including SC/ST, OBC, Defense personnel, physically handicapped etc.
5. Sequencing of the seats in each institution in each academic year should be done i.e. fill up of SC/ST first, then OBC, other reserved seats (if any) and thereafter general category seats.
6. Number of seats should not be increased until proper infrastructure is made in the colleges and adequate requirements met so that the quality does not suffer.
7. A technical committee comprising of members of the college itself should decide the possibility of increase in seats and if possible the amount of infrastructure and finances needed.
8. The reserved seats should be filled on the basis of "reasonable level of merit" which is defined as the students falling under the reserved seats should score at least 90 percent of marks scored by general category candidates in that particular entrance examination.

1. Socio economic criteria to be set up and applied universally without any caste basis, which effectively excludes the affluent and those already having access to jobs and higher education.
2. A separate allocation of seats to be included in the proposed 27% to students coming from weak and poorer background and who do not come in any other reservation categories.

NO ACTION OF ANY NATURE SHOULD BE TAKEN AGAINST STUDENTS, INTERNS, DOCTORS & OTHERS WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE AGITATION with regards to service break, termination, pay and leave deduction, legal action etc

Youth For Equality - GUJARAT CHAPTER


Those of you unaware, Gujarat Chapter has also added to the movement bringing in more fire in the jungle.



Friday, June 02, 2006


As the populism fire rages, Indian forests are under profound threat. Once again, to garner votes, and votes alone, political parties of all caste, creed and colour have come together in their selfish motivation to hand Indian national forests to individuals who happen to be tribals and other OBCs living on the fringes of forests. It is the most effective policy that will fulfil the dream of the desertification of India. It is also the most effective way of giving our poor and hitherto neglected tribals and other such exploited castes and classes, their first opportunity to make ‘big’ money.
Once the overarching bill goes through parliament, those who have strips of forest allocated to them will be able to sell their land to timber merchants and real estate developers. They will then be able to settle where they would be able to send their children to school, get their illnesses and ailments attended to, be able to buy their cell-phones and televisions, and move towards their aspirations. This ‘gift’ from a guilty, exploitative and failed state will help them get on with their lives!
Some who receive the land could set up ‘wildlife’ resorts within the forest itself, take their guests on small game shoots and fishing expeditions, set up boutiques selling forest produce and present themselves as ‘reserved’ tourism. A scary scenario. Within a decade, drinking water will be contaminated and scarce, forcing the Cola companies to supply the drinking needs of over a billion people. New diseases will erupt allowing for innovative international research using Indians as guinea pigs as they reel under new strains of ‘virus’. Sadly, the sane positions held by Jawarharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi on issues concerning the protection of the natural environment, particularly our forests and rivers, are being ridiculed by the present rulers in the UPA headed by the Congress. Acts are threatened and may well be repealed. An irreversible destruction of India seems to be underway in a very conscious and structured manner.
Call their bluff
Other oddities confront us as the summer heat soars.
The cabinet secretary has got a ‘one year’ extension. Why? Is the next rung completely incompetent? Are the ‘contenders’ useless? Or is it the soft and easy option to stay out of a possible bureaucratic controversy laced with hectic lobbying? No one seems to be able to take firm decisions. Everything seems to be in limbo. It appears as though the prime minister is waiting for some kind of signal that never comes his way when he needs it and therefore silence prevails. It is almost deafening. Is this governance? Can leaders with integrity not deliver the goods? Are honest people incapable of taking hard decisions and leading? Is this government at the Centre going to be at the mercy of the Left for its entire term?
Because the numbers are not enough for the Congress in parliament, the Left, supporting from outside, is making sure that this government destroys itself. It suits them to debilitate the Congress. Their antagonism towards the Congress is a political truth, a sad commentary on this unholy alliance. Rather than be crippled by this strange animal, the UPA should get on with their agenda, whatever it may be, and allow the Left to pull the rug if they are foolish enough to do so. If the Congress and their coalition colleagues have to sit in the opposition, so be it.
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee won the election in West Bengal, but Karat decides what is good for the state and its citizens. Their position on the international airport is laughable to say the least. Why doesn’t the politburo stick to building the rural infrastructure, making sure schools work and hospitals function competently, and leave the rest to their comrade in Calcutta?

‘No escape from quota in private sector’

Reaffirming the United Progressive Alliance government’s commitment to provide quota to weaker sections in private sector jobs, the Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, Ms Meira Kumar today refused to buy the industry’s argument that it need not introduce reservation as it was already employing a sizeable number of employees from these segments.
There are certain jobs like that of cleaning etc for which no castes other than scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and backward classes apply, so the moot point was whether these sections were adequately represented in higher jobs, Ms Kumar said in an interview with the CNBC TV to be telecast tonight.
The minister was asked as to why the government was insisting on reservation when a number of industrial houses had declared that they were already employing substantial number of people from these classes.
She said first of all representatives of the industry, whom she had met so far on the issue, had made no claims about the employment of weaker sections in their organisations, but if at all they were employing these people, it is to be examined what kind of jobs were being given to them.
Replying to a question, Ms Kumar said legislation to provide reservation to SCs/STs in the private sector was the last thing the government would do.
“We want the industry to introduce quota voluntarily, but if they do not do so, the government will have to take some action. There is no third way out,” she said.
This is a commitment included in the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) of the UPA government, Ms Kumar asserted.
She replied with a firm “yes” when asked if the CMP included affirmative action and reservation. When reminded of Jawaharlal Nehru’s opposition to quota and preference for affirmative action over it, Ms Kumar said the decision to introduce quota had unanimously been taken by the coalition government keeping in view the changed situation in the country.
She said she had all regard for the late prime minister Nehru for his leadership of the country, but he had made that statement in early 1960s and the situation had changed a lot since then with employment opportunities coming down because of downsizing of jobs in most of the sectors.
So affirmative action and quota both were required to improve the lot of weaker sections.
Replying to a question, she said she had herself told the industry representatives that they should look into the number of such people employed in their organisations.
If the industry was employing people from these sections on a quantitatively and qualitatively satisfactory manner and comes to them with the information, the government would not resort to legislation, said Ms Kumar.
“What our action would be then will have to be worked out jointly with the industry,” she said.

Govt asks industry to voluntarily opt for reservation

The issue of reservation in private sector could hot up in the days ahead with the government telling the business and industry to voluntarily opt for it and not to force on it the option of a legislation.
"You have to do it amicably. I am the last person to do it by legislation. Please don't force me to a situation where we have to think of legislation. I have great regard for captains of industry and they should do it. I think they understand their moral responsibility," Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Meira Kumar said.
Participating in Karan Thapar's "India Tonight" prgramme on CNN-IBN, she said that implementing reservation for the SC/ST in the private sector was a "commitment" of the Congress-led coalition.
"Commitment is to both affirmative action and reservation. Affirmative action includes reservation", she said emphasising that its implementation was "not just a possibility but it is a commitment".
Kumar made it plain that she saw no way other than voluntary action on the part of the industry or legislation. "I suppose there is no third way".The Social Justice Minister refuted suggestions that she was on a collision course with business and industry on the issue and emphasised that "we have to work with mutual cooperation".
She dismissed as "too hypothetical" a query whether government would drop the demand for reservation in private sector if the industry succeded in showing that it already employed enough number of people from the deprived sections.
She regretted that the industry and business was "all the time doubting the merit of SC/ST and said government has a "case" for the downtrodden in the country in the form of its proposal.
When confronted with the latest national Sample Survey (NSS) figures, which spoke of the SC/ST as also the OBC getting employment as per their share of the population, Kumar said that she was "not suspicious" about the figures but the deprived sections are generally considered for employment in lower categories.
To claims by certain industry organisations that several companies had already employed sizeable people from the weaker sections, the Minister said that the industry earlier was not even once ready to look into the composition of its workforce despite her pleadings.
"The need of the hour is that we should find job opportunities to SC/ST in the private sector," Kumar said adding that that the proposal in the NCMP was only related to SC/ST and not for OBC.

SC asks Centre situation report of states

day after medicos, protesting Government's controversial move to extend 27 per cent quota for OBCs in institutions of higher education, called off their strike, the Supreme Court today asked the Centre to apprise it about the situation prevailing in the rest of the country.
Taking on record the memorandum filed by the Centre regarding the situation in the capital, a vacation bench comprising Justice Arijit Pasyat and Justice L S Panta asked Additional Solicitor General to place before it report about compliance of its order in different states on June 12.
The ASG informed the court that pursuant to its order yesterday to call off the strike forthwith, the protesting doctors resumed work and medical services were restored in the capital as well as in PGI, Chandigarh and JIMPER, Pondicherry.
He said the apex court's order was conveyed to the Chief Secretaries of all the States.
During the hearing when an advovcate representing the students sought that the court should direct the Government that it should not implement the policy of 27 per cent reservations for OBCs, the Bench said it would mean rendering our verdict without being heard.
The Bench said since it had already issued notices to the Government and the ministry concerned, they will place their response before the court.

Electronic City joins anti-reservation stir

BANGALORE: Electronic City, Bangalore's IT hub, on Thursday joined the anti-reservation stir. Many people including IT professionals, engineering and medical students formed a human chain at the Electronic City.
Professionals from companies such as Infosys, Wipro, Timken, Siemens, Patni, Satyam, HP and Trilogy took part in the protest.
“This is the first time that a protest against reservation in the private sector, IITs and IIMs, is happening at Electronic City. We feel this is the best way to build public opinion since a protest like this in Electronic City can make an impact,” said Venkat, an employee of a leading IT services company and one of the co-coordinators of the movement.
He added that the protesters were not striking work, but would work around their office timings. This is a peaceful protest and more such protests are being planned over the next few months under the banner of a group called “Youth for Equality.”
The same group had taken out a rally here on May 28 protesting the central government proposal.
Bangalore's IT captains such as Azim Premji and NR Narayana Murthy were quite vocal in their views against the government's decision to increase 27 per cent reservation in premier educational institutions.

Resident doctors continue strike in Jaipur

Resident doctors in Rajasthan will continue their indefinite strike and claim that with Delhi doctors resuming their duty today, Jaipur has now emerged as the epicentre of agitation.
Dr Rashim Kataria, co-ordinator, Youth for Equality, Rajasthan, said ''We will continue our fight till our demands are met. Even though doctors in Delhi have resumed duty from today, we will refrain from doing so. With Delhi taking a backseat, the epicentre of agitation has shifted to Jaipur.'' The faculty members of SMS Medical College and Hospital have begun their relay hunger strike from today to show their solidarity with the striking doctors.
All doctors were seen sporting black badges to support the cause of strikers. Yesterday, the medical services at the SMS Hospital were virtually crippled as senior doctors went on a mass leave.
Dr Kataria also said most doctors in other cities of Rajasthan were aligning with them and were on strike against the quota system.
The parallel OPDs being run by the striking doctors are functional, where medicines are being distributed to the patients free of cost.
However, resident doctors of PBM Hospital in Bikaner resumed their duties today, ending their strike on the directive of Supreme Court.
Doctors sitting on relay hunger strike also went back to duty.
Senior doctor Dr S C Gautam said the agitation by medical students would continue and it would have the support of the resident doctors.
The students would celebrate Dusshera from June 4 at Bikaner's Medical College grounds where they will burn the effigies of Prime Minister and other leaders.

Non-medicos continue anti-quota stir

Non-medical students in New Delhi on Thursday continued their anti-reservation strike despite doctors calling off their agitation in the wake of Supreme Court ordering them to call of their stir and the government taking a tough stand on the issue.
Students of Jawaharlal Nehru, Delhi and Indraprastha universities and Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi decided to continue the anti-quota movement under the banners of Youth for Equality and Delhi University's United Students.
"The Supreme Court order was addressed to medicos. The IITs of Mumbai, Delhi and Kanpur will continue the agitation," Sanjeev Srivastava, a representative of Youth for Equality in IIT-Delhi, told PTI.
The medicos themselves had made it clear that they will resume duties but continue the movement, he said.
Students of JNU and IIT-Delhi were have been observing a relay hunger strike for the last four days.
"Medicos have certain social responsibilities. We don't want these responsibilities to hinder our movement. Our main focus is to rationalise the reservation policy," Shewta Gaur of JNU said.
In Delhi University, the anti-quota protestors will demonstrate at the North Campus to garner support for the agitation, which has suffered a major setback with medicos pulling out fearing contempt proceedings by the apex court.Students, meanwhile, are also seeking the advice of legal experts to know whether they were bound to abide by the court order.

More International Concern with Youth For Equality

The Anti-Reservation movement YOUTH FOR EQUALITY has now spread to many parts of US and Eupore. You can now visit to know whats going on there and experience the growth of the movement.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Rajasthan employees on mass leave to protest quotas

Most Rajasthan government offices reported thin attendance Monday as employees, especially those in the secretariat, abstained from work in support of medical students protesting fresh quotas in higher education institutions.
The employees of the secretariat took mass leave in response to a call by the Akhil Bharatiya Samanta Manch to stay away from duty.
"Work was affected to a great extent," said Shanker Singh Manohar, president of the Sachivalya Karamchari Sangh. He said there was widespread criticism of the union government's reservation policy.
The resident doctors of government-owned SMS Medical College and Hospital here organised a rally at their institute in which, besides medical students, students from other streams and organisations like Vaishya Aarakshan Manch, Swarn Aarakshan Manch and Chatriya Samaj also participated.
"Our movement is getting strengthened as more and more people are associating with us. The government would have to retract its decision," said Rashim Kataria, president of Youth for Equality, Jaipur chapter.
"We do not want patients to suffer so we distributed free medicines to outdoor patients today," he said.
The medicos are protesting 27 percent reservation for other backward classes in higher educational institutions.

Delhi govt hospitals badly hit as doctors go on mass casual leave

Basic health services in four major government-run hospitals of the capital were today thrown out of gear with senior doctors there going on mass casual leave protesting the OBC quota in elite central educational institutions.
OPD services were badly hit in Lok Nayak Jaiprakash, Guru Teghbahadur, Deendayal Upadhaya and Lal Bahadur Shastri hospitals, Delhi Health Secretary D S Negi said.
However, emergency and casualty services functioned normally, he said adding a section of the doctors, who are pro-reservation, continued with their duties.
In LNJP, only 670 patients could avail of OPD facilities as against the nearly 3,000 on normal days.
Negi said the proposal for Army doctors to pitch in could not fructify as they wanted to take over whole hospitals, which was not feasible.
Meanwhile, there has been no progress in the move towards termination notices issued to striking medicos to make them return to work.
The Delhi government has been recruiting doctors to bring its battered health services back on rail.
The administration had earlier come out with ads for recruiting junior and senior doctors to cope with the situation in the wake of an indefinite strike by resident doctors to protest Government's quota proposals.
There are 45 hospitals under Delhi Government, of which the three teaching hospitals LNJP, GTB and DDU are the worst affected by the strike.

Anti-quota groups welcome SC ruling; 'bike rally' tomorrow

Medicos protesting the 27 per cent OBC quota in institutes of higher education welcomed today's Supreme Court notice asking the Centre to explain the basis for determination of OBCs, but made it clear they are in no mood to end their agitation.
Medical services remained crippled at the Maulana Azad Medical College, the University College of Medical Sciences and the Safdarjung Hospital here as faculty members went on mass casual leave.
The protestors have called a ''complete'' medical bandh in the capital on Wednesday. ''Even private hospitals and clinics would remain closed on Wednesday,'' Dr Anirudh Lochan, a spokesman for Youth For Equality, a group spearheading the protest, said.
The students will take out a ''bike rally'' through the capital tomorrow. It will start from the University College of Medical Sciences at around 1600 hrs and pass through various Medical Colleges before culminating at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
Another rally is scheduled at the Deendayal Upadhyay Hospital in the morning.
Welcoming the Apex Court decision, Dr Lochan said this was the ''first concrete and positive statement from any pillar of State on our demands''. He said the very basis for selection of castes -- on a census of 1931 -- for reservation was wrong.
The Apex Court ruling came at a time when the Government had failed to address the demands of the protestors, he said, adding that the Youth for Equality had not received any official note giving details about the Oversight Committee formed under former Karnataka Chief Minister and Administrative Reforms Commission Chairman Veerappa Moily.
''We want the Government to give us its commitments on paper.
We don't want to hear just promises,'' he said.
Though the 13-member Committee and its three separate sub-groups for Technological/Engineering Institutions, Management and Central Universities had been asked to examine various aspects related to increasing the number of seats in these institutions, ''our core demand remains unaddressed'', he said.
In related development, separate groups of students began a relay hunger strike in support of the agitation at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and the Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Faculty at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences have decided to undertake 24-hour hunger strike tomorrow in support of the agitation.
Meanwhile, the AIIMS administration cancelled interviews for recruitment of doctors to ensure delivery of health services. The step followed an assurance from the Government that it would not take action against the striking doctors, the protestors said.

Meritorious students to return medals received for academic excellence

Medical and engineering students, who have rejected appeals from Prime Minister, to withdraw their fortnight-long agitation against caste-based quota in higher education institutes, threatened self-immolation, if the Central Government failed to withdraw the controversial move.
Some meritorious students also announced to return medals received for academic excellence to the President.
The striking medical students in New Delhi were joined by their counterparts from across the country.
Anand Rai, general secretary of Madhya Pradesh junior doctors association, who was in the city to express solidarity with medical students sitting on hunger strike, said their medals did not hold any value after the government proposed quota.
"By returning the medals, we just want to show that these medals, which are in fact given as an encouragement for meritorious students, are of no use for us. By introducing quota, they are closing our roads for progress, so what is the purpose of our keeping them?" said Rai.
In Bhopal, protesting medicos staged mock public hanging and threatened to turn it real if government went ahead with the move.
"This is only a symbolic hanging, but if the government goes ahead with its decision to implement the proposed move, we'll commit suicide," said Ashutosh Dikshit, a protesting medical student.
Students at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) also went on a hunger strike to protest the government's decision to go ahead with the reservation plans.
Students said reservation, if at all is implemented, should be along economic lines.
"First of all, we are against any kind of reservation that is done on the basis of caste. If any reservation has to be done that should not be on the basis of caste or religion but on economic inequalities. This bill should be taken back," said Chandrashekhar Sharma, a protesting engineering student.
On Sunday, the Cebtral Government had assured the students that adequate facilities would be made available to the educational institutions before implementing the new move but the medicos said that the government was presenting them the same recommendations that they had rejected earlier.
The Central Government has stood firm by its stand to implement the proposed reservation from the next academic year.
Thousand of students across the country are protesting the government move to hike the number of seats for the socially backward classes in higher educational institutions.
The latest government move plans to increase the quota for lower castes by 27 percentage points, which would mean nearly half the places in state-funded medical, engineering and management colleges and Central universities would be set aside for other backward castes or OBCs.
But the general category students complain that they will have to compete more fiercely for the unfairly low portion of remaining seats if the quota move is implemented as expected by June 2007. (ANI)

Junior doctors in Meerut sign protest banner in blood

Meerut, May 29: As part of their anti-quota protests, the junior doctors of the LLRM medical college here today signed in blood a banner displaying their demands.
A large number of junior doctors joined the protest, singing the 'Demand Charter' in blood. Meanwhile, the All India Kayastha Mahasabha also voiced their opposition to the proposal for OBC quotas, saying it was "not in the country's interest."
"The reservation policy is a big hindrance to the country's development," the Mahasabha's president Jeet Singh said here.

Why 27 percent OBC Quota? Asks Supreme Court

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the government to justify the criteria it uses for identifying particular categories as OBCs, as well as the quantum of 27% it has reserved for them in Central services and now proposes to introduce in the Centrally-funded educational institutions. "What is the basis for the determination as to who belongs to an OBC?" was the first of the crucial questions addressed to additional solicitor-general Gopal Subramaniam by a vacation bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and LS Panta. This was followed by a sharp query about the basis for the Centre to grant 27% reservations for OBCs in government services and, from 2007, in centrally-funded educational institutions. "What is the material/statistical data that laid the foundation of the policy" and "the modalities the government intended to adopt for implementation of the policy" asked the court while asking the students to call off their agitation. The searing posers can complicate matters for the already quota-troubled government; encourage the protesters; result in a push for a fresh caste-based census the first since 1931; and may even set the stage for a showdown with the political class for which questioning the caste-based quotas has been a taboo. The court, which was hearing a PIL filed by advocate Ashoka Kumar Thakur, seemed to appreciate the plea of the petitioner that the implementation of the quota would divide the country on caste lines. "This has serious social and political ramifications. If necessary, this aspect will be dealt with appropriately," said the court. Its query about the basis for the government to grant 27% reservations for OBCs in jobs and educational institutions may appear significant in view of the doubts about the legitimacy of the assertion the principal justification for the claim to 27% of the pie is that they make up 54% of the population.

Anti-quota stir to continue, apex court notice to government

The appointment of an oversight committee on the reservation issue Monday failed to convince unrelenting medicos to call off their strike even as the Supreme Court asked the government to explain the basis on which it would implement the additional quota plan.
The 13-member committee headed by senior Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily will look into ways to reserve 27 percent seats for other backward classes (OBCs) in higher educational institutions.
The committee - which has got a go-ahead from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh - includes secretaries of the ministries of health, agriculture, human resource development (HRD) and the department of expenditure. The committee has to submit its report by Aug 31.
According to an official statement from the HRD ministry, the committee will assess the need of "additional infrastructure and other requirements for increasing the overall availability of seats to a level so that the present level of seats available to general category students does not decline".
Meanwhile the Supreme Court, hearing a petition filed by advocate Ashok Thakur, asked the central government to explain the basis on which it would extend the proposed reservation to OBCs.
The petition referred to the confusion over the percentage of the population of OBCs in the country and contradictory figures that were floating around.
Issuing notice to the government, a two-judge bench comprising judges Arijit Pasayat and L.S. Panta also appealed to the protesting students to call off their stir against the caste-based reservation policy since the apex court had taken up the issue.
However, patients continued to have a harrowing time in the capital as senior doctors in three medical colleges here went on mass casual leave Monday, joining resident doctors in their anti-quota protests.
The majority of senior doctors at the Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC), University College of Medical Sciences (UCMS) and Safdarjung Hospital did not attend their duty Monday.
"The faculties of five medical colleges in Delhi are planning to write to President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on the matter," said N.P. Singh, general secretary of the MAMC faculty association.
On Day 18 of the strike Monday, outdoor patients' department (OPD) services were almost paralysed in the three hospitals where senior doctors went on leave.
"My wife is suffering from kidney complications but when I brought her to the Safdarjung Hospital, attendants in the OPD told me to come tomorrow as doctors were on strike," said Shankar Gupta, a resident.
The pro-quota doctors, on the other hand, organised a protest march at the AIIMS, MAMC, Bara Hindu Rao and Ram Manohar Lohia hospitals.
"Reservation is a present-day reality and looking at underprivileged section of our society, the government should implement the plan as soon as possible," said Vikas Vajpei, convenor of the Medicos Forum for Equal Opportunity, a pro-reservation doctors' forum.
The resident doctors, students and interns of five medical colleges in the capital have been on strike since May 12 to protest the fresh quotas in educational institutes.
Last week, both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam had appealed to protesters all over the country to call off their strike. Bowing to their demands, the government had constituted the oversight committee, hoping the protest would be called off.
The protesters, however, decided to intensify their agitation Monday.
A majority of the AIIMS faculties will observe fast Tuesday without abstaining from work. "Majority of our faculties will be on 24-hour fast Tuesday to express solidarity with the anti-reservation protestors and the OPD service will be shut Wednesday," K.K. Handa, general secretary of the AIIMS Faculty Association, told IANS.
Resident doctors at the AIIMS said that they would restart from Tuesday the parallel OPD service for the benefit of the patients.
The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came out in support for the additional reservation for OBCs. The party discussed the issue threadbare at its two-day national executive meet that began here Monday.
"The BJP wants a blend of social empowerment and excellence in the country. We also support reservation for economically backward sections from upper castes and backward castes among minorities," said party spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad. (IANS)

JNU, IIT students on hunger strike

After rejecting the government proposal, medicos on Monday stepped up their anti-reservation stir with faculty members of three premier hospitals going on mass casual leave and the medical fraternity gearing up for a total shutdown on Wednesday.
The striking medicos got a boost as students of the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University and Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, began a relay hunger strike at their campuses to express solidarity with them.
Faculty members of Maulana Azad Medical College, Safdarjung Hospital and University College of Medical Sciences went on leave en masse in support of the agitation while senior doctors of AIIMS have decided to observe a day-long hunger strike on Tuesday.
The medical fraternity is also gearing up for a bandh on Wednesday.
"Every private hospital to corporate health institute and small clinic to medical college will remain closed on Wednesday in support of the fortnight-long agitation," Dr Vinod Patro, president of AIIMS Resident Doctors' Association, told PTI.
Around 15 students each from IIT and JNU began a relay hunger strike in their respective campuses demanding review of the reservation policy and setting up of a judicial commission for the purpose, representatives of 'Youth for Equality' said.
"We are demanding the judicial review because we feel that reservation has not served its purpose for the last 50 years and it should be scrapped," said Sanjay Pandey, who is coordinating the hunger strike stir at both the institutes.

Caste-based quota is not the answer - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Art of Living Foundation head Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Sunday said caste-based reservations will not end disparities in the society.
The government is planning to reserve 27 per cent of seats in central educational institutions for the Other Backward Classes.
Expressing concern over the anti-reservation agitations raging across the country, Ravi Shankar said there should not be discrimination against anyone for being born in a particular caste.
"While being born in a particular caste should not be a curse, reverse discrimination is not the way for justice," Ravi Shankar said in a statement from Durban in South Africa.
Advocating economic support for the downtrodden, the spiritual leader said empowerment of all castes and communities was essential as there were poor people in every community.
"We need measures to unite the country and remove inequality at all levels. Reservation on the basis of caste will not only divide the country, but also hurt the self-esteem of our people," he said.

Quota: Govt announces 13-member committee headed by Moily

Moving quickly to bring an end to the quota imbroglio, the government on Monday announced a 13-member committee headed by senior Congress member of Parliament Veerappa Moily to look into the issue of implementation of 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in higher education institutions and requirements for increasing seats without reducing the number in the general category.
Approved by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Oversight Committee with secretaries from the ministries of Human Resources Development, Health and Family Welfare, Agriculture and Finance, has been asked to submit its report by August 31, 2006.
The committee includes B Mungekar, member, Planning Commission; R Mashelkar, director general, CSIR; S K Thorat, UGC chairman; R A Yadav, vice chairman, AICTE; N K Ganguly, director general, ICMR; G Mohan Gopal, former VC, National Law School and R V Vaidyanatha Ayyar, former secretary.
Simultaneously, the government also appointed three groups to go into specific details about universities and institutes regarding the course of action for giving effect to the OBC quota in a time-bound manner.
Under the terms of reference, the groups will identify the courses at undergraduate and post-graduate level in each of the institutions and universities and student intake for the academic session 2007-08.
The groups have also been asked to identify the total number of OBCs and consequently to other categories in each course.
The groups will identify for each course, the increase in the total number of seats so as to maintain the total availability of seats in the unreserved category and determine the requirement of faculty and other infrastructure for the enhanced intake and also determine the additional requirement of recurring and non-recurring expenditure.
Among other things, the groups will suggest measures, in short term, to be taken by each institute for the enhanced intake from the academic session 2007-08 and any other preparatory or consequential steps required to be taken in order to implement the policy of reservations.
The groups will submit their recommendations by July 31.
The Group for Technological/Engineering institutions will be headed by M Anandakrishnan, former vice chancellor of Anna University. It will have Sanjay Dhande, director, IIT, Kanpur; S K Dube, director, IIT, Kharagpur; Sanjeev Bhargava, director, IIT, Jabalpur; R P Dahiya, director, NIT, Jaipur; N Balakrishnan, IISc; Y V Rao, director, NIT Warangal; I M Mishra, IIT, Roorkee; and Indira Rajaraman, NIPFP as its members.
Headed by Samuel Paul, former director of IIM, Bangalore, the group for Management institutions will have Bakul Dholakia, director, IIM, Ahmedabad; Krishna Kumar, director, IIM, Kozhikode; Shekhar Chaudhury, director, IIM, Kolkata; S D Awale, director, NITIE, Mumbai; and Devi Singh, director, IIM, Lucknow as its members.

How far will the student revolt go? - by Subhash Kak

The marches by the Youth for Equality are a challenge to a similarly unjust government's monopoly on education, in which it controls schools and admissions. They are about much than the 23 per cent quota that affects barely a few tens of thousand students. At the heart of the student revolt is the 93rd Amendment, which disallows Indians (excepting minorities) from opening schools and colleges without onerous government regulation.
The 93rd Constitution Amendment Bill is dangerous.
The Amendment has already made vast majority of Indians second class citizens in their own country, without recourse to redress. The right of citizens to form association for many purposes, including teaching or business, has been curtailed. Someone named Ram Kannan cannot open a school even with his own money, even on his own property, but if he were to change his name to Rob Keenen or Rahim Khan, he would have no interference from the government.
To me this is intolerable intrusion of the government into individual human rights. If I open a school, why should I have to tell the government bureaucrat what my religion is? And if my personal faith changes in the course of time will the conditions under which I am allowed to operate my business or school will change? Who will do the policing of my personal faith?
There are no signs that the government is willing to revisit the quota decision. The agitation by the students is likely to fail. Very soon there will be final examinations for the medical students, and the pressure on them to quit will increase.
The charter of demands of the striking students is a reasonable document, and it asks for a non-political commission to explore all avenues for affirmative action. But even if this is done, the greater problem of the repeal of Amendment 93 will remain. The Boston Tea Party was held for a much lesser provocation!

The Next Partition of India - by Subhash Kak

The die is cast. Manmohan Singh's government has announced that the legislation to reserve additional 27 per cent seats in higher educational institutions will be introduced in the monsoon session of Parliament. This is the beginning of India's second partition, which follows the one that took place 59 years ago. That one was geographical; this one will go right through every town and city.
Some are surprised at this decision that appears to create problems for the government needlessly. But there is a logic to this that goes back to the 93rd Constitutional Amendment, which was passed last December. At that time the Opposition, with cynical calculation, chose not to oppose a law that effectively limits autonomy and free association in colleges and universities, even those that do not receive public funding.
Although citizens' taxes underwrite public colleges and universities, in the current dispensation the Indian government sits on top of the management like a colonial overlord. Teachers, students or the community are not consulted about the administration or future plans. The minister says, do this, have so many more students -- no matter what their preparation --- and the serfs, that is the professors, must deliver. It doesn't matter that the IITs are already short by 20 to 30 per cent in their teaching staff.
Indian liberals claim that such curtailment of freedom is necessary for social good. But liberal values contain elements that can endanger liberty and progress. Morality gets sacrificed at the altar of electoral politics.
The idea of partition is like the word 'divorce' in a marriage. Once it is out of the mouth, it can set forces in motion that make it unstoppable. One would expect that since the UPA government has now made an official statement about the quota legislation, it will come to pass sooner or later. Let Us remember that a year before the first partition, Gandhi announced that the 'partition will have to be over his dead body.' The government assumes that the opponents of the new partition will, like Gandhi, eventually learn to live with it.
Meanwhile, students who are agitating against the reservations and call themselves Youth for Equality have announced that their strike will continue. But the powers of the government are so vast that it is hard to see how the students who seek equality and autonomy will win.

Youth For Equality - INTERNTIONAL

The fire of youth for equality has spread so much that even our friends and well-wishers in Chicago, USA have built their our websie. Recently they also showed their protest and soon they are having a protest march inCalifornia also.

I welcome all of them far across the oceans and appreciate their efforts ands support for us.

You can Visit them at



Saturday, May 27, 2006

KOTA - Candle Light Protest March held on 26th May 06

The agitation among the student community was again seen this time with a lot of slogans and voices of student raised in air like anything. Student and residents of Medical College Kota arranged for a candle light march protest starting from Talwandi Chauraha to Jawahar Nagar main Road, in front of Modi College and keshawpura chauraha and back to talwandi chauraha. Almost 200 people including medicos, engineering students and students who are presently preparing for Entrance Exams participated.
Before the rally, about 800 pampletes were distributed by the medical students under the banner of Youth For Equality that asked the general public about what they think of the reservation polivy, the future and encouraged them to support the nation against reservation.
Protest started at 8pm with burning of candles at the Talwandi Chauraha and as the students marched their way, many others joined them. As the march took its way, voices of many students thundered the air.
At 9pm the march concluded with much success and without any voilence.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Picture Gallery - Anti-Reservation Rally & Strike in Kota - 25th May 06

Click the Images to enlarge and read the news.

Taken from the newspapers "Dainik Bhaskar" & "Rajasthan Patrika".

Aliens in our own country!

Most of us would have seen the Honourable Prime Minister saying that the reservation issue is settled. We think we need to remind the PM that we fail to see how it is settled. This country is supposed to be a democratic country and not a country ruled by a dictator. A person siting in his Air-Conditioned room on a leather-backed chair suddenly gets into his mind that he will give reservation to garner votes in the next election and at the same time keep his plush office to himself. And the PM says the issue is settled? Maybe the PM needs to get himself checked by an Ophthalmologist for he doesn't see so many of us protesting all over the country or maybe he doesn't trust the doctors in India! We all will like to remind you, Sir, that we are the people who deal with lives here. We do not get second chances like you do in elections. And we also fail to understand what you were laughing at! We think this as a very serious matter. Unfortunately, you seem to disagree. Are we supposed to believe that you laughed at your own inability to get things under control? Or was it a satirical laugh at us? Any which way we didn't like it.
With all due respect Sir, we think you could have done better. Infact you could have done something. We are feeling like aliens in this country. Have you suddenly decided that India is over-populated and you need to get rid of a part of the existing population? We can give you better ideas to control the Population Growth Rate.And where is the hyped up Opposition? We thought you were supposed to question the Govt. on such things. Maybe you are afraid of opposing the Govt. for fear of becoming un-popular with the backward castes! We'll grant you that. But maybe you forget that we are part of the electorate too. If none of you have the will to oppose this then why are you in Parliament? Maybe you forget that you draw salaries from the tax we pay.If the Govt. is so concerned about the upliftment of the under-priviliged, why don't they open up primary schools and middle schools in the bacward areas? For whom are we talking about higher education when the majority of the backward castes are still not literate. Would the people with power take the pain to explain this question?We are seeking answers from you. We are seeking justice from you. We are supposedly the cream of the society! Have you developed a sudden distaste for this cream? If yes, it explains your actions. If no, why the injustice towards us? We are waiting...

Appeal for Hunger Strike

This is an appeal to all colleges to initiate a hunger strike as early as possible as a show of unity with the New Delhi doctors and IIT-Bombay.
There is no minimum number of students that need to participate.
It can be on a continuous basis or a relay basis.
Please take care as we do not want anyone to jeopardise their health.

Corporate Protest in support of YFE

IT Professionals from various Corporate Houses will hold a protest at Mhape, Navi Mumbai on May 26, 2006 in support of YFE. 7 Information Technology corporate houses have initiated this protest; more are expected to join in. Also, 9 executives from IT companies have started their hunger strike from today. Their activities are updated at:


"DUSSHERA" being celebrated...all are cordially invited
Friday, May 26, 2006 : University College of Medical Sciences (UCMS) and GTB Hospital, Dilshad Garden, is organising Dusshera, on 26th MAY, in anticipation that someday, we shall overcome the devious designs of today's demon kings---our politicians....
30 feet tall effigies of 3 reservation demons - V.P. Singh , Arjun Singh, ManMohan Singh, will be lit.
The 5 medical colleges along with their RDAs are expected to come.
All are cordially invited for this peaceful event at GTB Hospital Complex grounds, on 26th May, 6.20 pm..

Wipro chairman Mr. Ajim prem ji's comment on reservation:

I think we should have job reservations in all the fields. I completely support the PM and all the politicians for promoting this.
Let's start the reservation with our cricket team. We should have 10 percent reservation for muslims. 30 percent for OBC, SC/ST like that. Cricket rules should be modified accordingly. The boundary circle should be reduced for an SC/ST player. The four hit by an OBC player should be considered as a six and a six hit by a OBC player should be counted as 8 runs. An OBC player scoring 60 runs should be declared as a century.
We should influence ICC and make rules so that the pace bowlers like Shoaib Akhtar should not bowl fast balls to our OBC player. Bowlers should bowl maximum speed of 80 kilometer per hour to an OBC player. Any delivery above this speed should be made illegal.
Also we should have reservation in Olympics. In the 100 meters race, an OBC player should be given a gold medal if he runs 80 meters.
There can be reservation in Government jobs also. Let's recruit SC/ST and OBC pilots for aircrafts which are carrying the ministers and politicians (that can really help the country.. ) Ensure that only SC/ST and OBC doctors do the operations for the ministers and other politicians. (Another way of saving the country..)
Let's be creative and think of ways and means to guide INDIA forward... Let's show the world that INDIA is a GREAT country. Let's be proud of being an INDIAN..May the good breed of politicans like ARJUN SINGH long live...

Quota: Just how many OBCs are there?

Around 36 per cent of the country's population is defined as belonging to the Other Backward Classes according to the National Sample Survey's 1999-2000 round, and not 52 per cent as defined by the Mandal Commission, a number that most politicians still use while asking for reservation.
If you exclude Muslim OBCs, the proportion falls to 32 per cent according to the NSS, 1999-2000. Indeed, Yogendra Yadav, professor at the Delhi-based Centre for the Study of Developing Studies, who is in favour of reservation for OBCs, agrees that there is no empirical basis to the Mandal figure: "It is a mythical construct based on reducing the number of SC/ST, Muslims and others and then arriving at a number."
One of the reasons for the much higher Mandal number is that it defined OBCs in socio-economic terms, and so included, for instance, "castes/classes considered as socially backward by others". If, to cite another of the 11 criteria used, the percentage of married women below 17 years is a fourth above the state's average in rural areas (and 10 per cent in urban areas), the community is considered to be OBC.
Similarly, if castes/classes where the proportion of working women is 25 per cent higher than the state's average, the castes/classes are considered OBC - today's double-income families, if living in areas where women do not work, would then be considered OBCs using the Mandal definition.
In the NSS case, respondents were asked to indicate their caste, and this was then tallied with the list of castes that each state defines as OBC.
The NSS data is also corroborated by the National Family Health Statistics, a survey conducted in 1998 by the DHS, which has conducted 200 such surveys in 75 countries.
The NFHS data show that the proportion of non-Muslim OBCs is 29.8 per cent, a figure quite close to the NSS' 32.1 per cent. For SC/ST, while the NSS shows this is 28.3 per cent of the population, the NFHS estimates this at 27.9 per cent. The 2001 Census estimated the SC/ST population at 24.4 per cent, though the Census did not canvass any information on OBCs.
The share of the Muslims (including OBC Muslims) in all three data sets is quite similar, ranging from 11 to 13 per cent.
So far, the Supreme Court ceiling of 50 per cent on all reservations has been justified by arguing this covers only the non-creamy layer OBCs, since 22.5 per cent of all reservations are for SC/ST, leaving 27.5 per cent for the OBCs - that is, only around half the OBCs would be entitled to reservations.
If, you use the NSS/NFHS figures, a 50 per cent reservation ceiling will cover three fourths of all OBCs, and if Muslim OBCs are to be kept out of reservations, then 86 per cent of the remaining will get covered by reservations.

Fighting for Principles

It seems such an unequal struggle: the cold apparatus of the government on the one hand, and the passion of the students on the other. The students appear to echo the words of the Hindi poet, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar:
Man ki bandhi umange asahaaya jal rahi hain
Armaan aarazoo ki laashen nikal rahi hain
inake liye kahin se nirbheek tej laa de
pighale hue anala kaa inako amrit pilaa de

(Our mental aspirations are burning
desires and wishes have become dead
let the light of fearlessness be brought
let us drink the nectar of molten fire).
The students are already in; they are obviously fighting for principles and for morality.
The thought of something higher than personal gain brings to mind the writings of the British essayist-doctor Theodore Dalrymple, who has chronicled the contemporary sense of hopelessness in British youth in spite of material comforts at home. He claims that drugs, gratuitous sex, and breakdown of family are a consequence of the liberal State's focus on just the material and the internalisation of this value by the citizens. Dalrymple insists that one needs the transcendent also for meaning, and morality is part of the sphere of the transcendent.

"PM, Sonia contrubuted significantly to reservations" says Arjun Singh

NEW DELHI: Union Human Resources Minister Arjun Singh on Thursday said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi contributed significantly to the Centre's decision to reserve seats for OBCs in central educational institutions.
"Both the Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi have contributed significantly to this issue," Singh told reporters on the sideline of a book release function when asked which of the two leaders he would attribute the Centre's move on the OBC quotas to.
The HRD Minister said anti-reservation protests should end. "The protest should end. There is a limit to everything."
In his address earlier at the launch of a book titled 'The Aligarh Movement' authored by journalist Tariq Hasan, the HRD Minister spoke about the row over the AMU's minority status and said the institution would be able to maintain its minority character.

"Inspite of all vissicitudes that confront us, the minority character of the AMU will be maintained," Singh said. Singh compared his moves aimed at "protecting " AMUs minority charector to Muslim movements in Aligarh that followed the 1857 uprising.
"To define an approach that concerns society issues and educational policies is of course a daunting task. We are actively involved in a struggle to maintain the AMU's minority status," he said.

Doctors at BHU ill...

Varanasi: Two junior doctors of Sir Senderlal Hospital in the Benaras Hindu University were taken ill on Thursday while sitting on the relay hunger strike to protest Centre's move to give 27 per cent reservation to OBCs in the higher education institutions.
Dr Neha and Baldeep were suffering from low sugar level and were being treated by the doctors at the dharna venue, a Resident Doctors Association leader Dr Shashi Kumar Mishra said.
The university administration and the district administration authorities have been infomed about the illness of the two protesting doctors, Mishra said, adding the duo were kept under observation at the dharna venue itself for the time being.
Meanwhile, the agitating resident and junior doctors took out a maha rally on the streets of the city to protest against the proposed reservation for the OBCs in the higher educational institutions.
Displaying banners and posters condemning government's reservation policy and demanding the rollback of the decision to provide reservation, the agitating medicos and hundreds of anti-reservationists comprising doctors lawyers, students and workers of social organisations walked through the streets shouting slogans against the UPA government and the union HRD Minister Arjun Singh, deprecating the proposed reservation in the higher education institutions.


The report of the Mandal Commission has generated a furious controversy. A peculiar feature is that the controversy is not being fought between the right and the left; on both sides of the divide are ranged both right and the left.
Those who are vigorously demanding its implementation believe that it will lead to a reduction of social and educational backwardness and give a chance to live to the backwardness and give a chance to live to the backward classes who constitute 52f% of the population of India. Those who are opposing it, with equal vigour, believe that the implementation of the Mandal recommendations will intensify casteism. Some like the Maharashtra Maha Mandal also predict a civil war if the Mandal recommendations are implemented. S. Y. Kolhatkar, writing in Jeevan Marg, while endorsing the recommendations, warns against organizing any movement to demand its enforcement, on the ground that this would increase casteism. The only panacea according to him is the development of a Left Democratic Front to initiate people's struggles against price increases and unemployment !
Both these elements attack the Mandal Commission for adopting caste as the criteria for determining social and educational backwardness. This charge is ill-founded. In fact, the Commission, after a very thorough scientific investigation has with the help of experts from various disciplines worked out 11 indicators to determine social backwardness. These indicators are social, educational and economic, and as the major controversy resolves around the caste criteria allegedly adopted by the commission, it would be relevant to reproduce the actual criteria used by the Commission.
The 11 indicators formulated by the commission are:
Castes/classes considered as socially backward by others.:
Castes/classes which mainly depend on manual labour for their livelihood.
Castes/classes where the percentage of married women below 17 is 25% above the state average in rural areas and 10% in urban areas; and that of married men is 10% and 5% above the state average in rural and urban areas respectively.
Castes/classes where participation of females in work is at least 25% above the state average.

Castes/classes where the number of children in the age group of 5 to 15 years who never attended school is at least 25% above the state average.
Castes/classes where the rate of student drop-out in the age group of 5-15 years is at least 25% above the state average.
Castes/classes amongst whom the proportion of matriculates is at least 25% below the state average.

Castes/classes where the average value of family assets is at least 25% below the state average. Castes/classes where the number of families living in kachcha houses is at least 25 % above the state average.
Castes/classes where the source of drinking water is beyond half a kilometer for more than 50% of the households.
Castes/classes where the number of the house-holds having taken a consumption loan is at least 25% above the state average.

Can these 11 indicators be regarded as constituting a purely casteist criteria? It would be mollified on the part of those who use that term to condemn the Mandal Commission. Again, the controversy over the Commission's recommendations is very deliberately, I believe, being centred exclusively on the scheme of reservations in jobs and seats in educational institutions for the OBCs. The commission, following the Supreme Court injunction that overall reservation should not exceed 50%, has in fact proposed only 27% reservation - 27% for people who constitute 52% of the population. After the Mandal scheme is accepted would this be 49.5%, within the limits drawn by the Supreme Court. It is well worth noting that the OBC and SC/ST together constitute 74.5% of the population.
When 5% reservation of jobs and educational seats is given for people constituting nearly 75% of the population, is it condemned as casteist. But Those who constitute less than 25% grab 75% of power - and that is supposed to be in the national interest, etc. Brahminst who are 5% of the population enjoy 50% representation in the Union Cabinet, in Secretariat positions, in Governors' and Vice-Chancellors' and ambassadorial jobs, that does not raise even an eyebrow of the so-called casteless society wallahas! 'Caste' cannot be used to deny social justice to a vast majority of the people; neither can caste be allowed to be sued to maintain privileges and positions grabbed and retained by a microscopic minority for thousands of years. The double standards by which the not-so-concealed casteism of the high caste is considered acceptable and respectable, while, 'caste', which has condemned the lower castes, the backwards, the dalits, the adivasis to a life of poverty, exploitation, injustice and humiliation is not be reckoned with, is a thoroughly discreditable posture and can deceive nobody. The struggle against caste cannot be side-tracked to perpetuate the domination of the higher caste. The struggle against caste is the most intense from of class-struggle in the Indian situation.
But the main thing is that besides reservations, the Mandal Commission has recommended certain structural changes. The Commission has sharply focussed on the fact that a large majority of the OBCs live in villages, that they are poor farmers, or farm labourers or village artisans whose 'business' has been completely destroyed by the Batas and Garwares. These rural poor are today completely under the control of the rich farmers and traders who have reduced them to a state of slavery. Their conditions cannot be change takes place in the relations of production. The Commission wants a change in the private ownership of the means of production both in industry and agriculture. The Commission wants a change in the private ownership of the means of production both in industry and agriculture, it should not be delayed. Even if the existing laws in the statute books are enforced ruthlessly and impartially, it would give considerable relief to the poor. At least, the strange hold of rich farmers will be loosened, if not broken. The Commission recommends that the Ceiling Act and other land reform statutes should be vigorously enforced.
Currently, whatever land is acquired by the enforcement of the Ceiling Act is distributed amongst SC/ST only. The commission feels that some of this land should also be given to the OBC. It is very heartening to note that the dalits who are likely to lose something under this measure are coming forward to support the Mandal Commission. It is a measure of the maturity of dalit movement that they are willingly and voluntarily accepting some sacrifice to promote the cause of the other oppressed section, the OBC. The dalit and the OBC solidarity, let it be understood, unites 75% of the people, suppressed, exploited and condemned to a life of degradation and humiliation. The Mandal Commission has opened the visa of such powerful consolidation of the exploited people.
The struggle for land which in effect would also become the struggle for the liberation of the poor from the dominant rich in rural areas, is also linked up with the struggle for survival of rural artisans. They have no land, or very little of it, and their traditional occupations have been ruined by the invasion of big companies. The Commission has recommended that separate financial institutions should be set up to help them organize their occupation on a cooperative basis. These cooperatives must be controlled only by the rural artisans. Furthermore, these rural artisans must be given training in the use of modern instruments, modern methods and style. A comprehensive charter of demands for the entire rural OBCs, those in farming and rural artisans, based on these recommendations of the Mandal Commission, could galvanize the rural masses into a concerted action.
There is yet another dimension to the prospects opened by the Commission. The Commission has broken fresh grounds and has carried out its investigations into the conditions of the backward sections among Muslims and Christians, thus transgressing religious divisions. So far, only Hindu dalits or OBC commanded attention, but the oppressed and the backward among non-Hindus were not given consideration. The Commission has shown, with substantive evidence, how backwardness-social and educational-prevails even among religious communities which avowedly do not believe in caste. They believe in the equality of man. Yet there exist divisions of 'high' and 'low'. These 'low-castes' among Muslims and Christians are derived from their Hindu origins, but perpetuated after conversions, though a long time ago, and are parallel to similar Hindu castes.
The Mandal Commission recommendations for Hindu OBCs are applicable to non-Hindu OBCs also, thus the struggle for the recommendations of the Mandal Commission can unite all the exploited and oppressed masses irrespective of religious divisions. Their struggle against high caste domination and exploitation can become the struggle against capitalist-landlord exploitation and therefore a struggle for equality and social justice.


In accordance with All India Doctor’s Strike, on 25th May 2006, a complete suspension of Medical services was successfully conducted in Kota. Along with the Strike, an anti-reservation rally took the memorandum from IMA Hall, MBS Hospital to Collectorate to present to the Collector. It was a complete Silence and peaceful rally conducted under the association of IMA, Hadoti Private Doctors Society, RMCTA, Resident Doctors Association , In-service Doctors association and Medical Student Union.

About 600 people marched the rally which included well known doctors of Kota Distt., medical students, residents and faculty of Medical College, Kota. People from other professions also attended the same.



Wednesday, May 24, 2006


They announce quotas for OBCs despite ongoing negotiations
Tuesday, May 23, 2006 : The youth of today feels that they have been abandoned by their own country. Despite the intensity of the protests and the ongoing negotiations, the UPA government has decided to push through with its proposed 27% quota for OBCs.ARE WE LIVING IN A DEMOCRACY OR DO WE HAVE TO BOW DOWN TO THIS AUTOCRATIC REGIME???WE WILL NOT GIVE UP OUR STRUGGLE-WE WILL NOT STOP OUR PROTEST-THE STRIKE WILL CONTINUE. WE HAVE BEEN BETRAYED!
Students have been on an indefinite hunger strike for 11 days and have been starving themselves to death, but this shameless government ruled by senile fools shows the audacity to have a party to celebrate 2 years in governance!!!
We will fight this unjust,baseless and populist policy till we get justice
"Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamare dil mein hai,dekhna hai zor kitna bazuein katil mein hai!"

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The entire system of quotas must be redefined - Dr. BK Goyal

There were noble intentions behind the policy of reservations and quotas that was proposed by some of our past social and political leaders.
For a backward country teeming with millions of poor and underprivileged, quotas were needed and deserved full support.
The unfortunate part is that it became a weapon in the hands of the political parties who tried to outshine each other in doling out quotas, often with disastrous results.However, in the present context, I feel the entire system of reservations/quotas needs to be re-defined.
It should take into account the socioeconomic background of the people and their requirements. It should include even those who are at the very bottom of the socio-economic ladder. People in this country are deprived of the five basics of life - food, clothing, shelter, education and health. For instance, it might surprise many that, in our country, nearly three-fourths of the population have no access to adequate and proper health care. Even in a city like Mumbai, a similar situation exists for nearly 70% of the population.
I advocate re-defining the system in a scientific manner. One of the ways this can be done is: instead of blanket quotas, the government should make it need-based. Ascertain whether the benefits of reservations for a particular section has actually accrued to them in terms of education, job opportunities and wealth creation for two generations. If yes, then do not give the same quota to persons from that section in the third generation. This will help others who are deprived get the benefits.
My observation is that quotas in the education system, specifically medical education, are by and large utilised. The same cannot be said of the employment avenues in the public health system where quotas are in place. They remain vacant, not because qualified candidates from the backward communities are unavailable, but purely due to economic reasons. The main reason is public health services are not considered very lucrative.
So, qualified persons who may have the benefit of reservations prefer to keep away and do not utilise the available quota in employment though they might have used it in getting trained. They go for better pay/perks/facilities available in private sector health services.
My suggestion is that this whole matter (of reservations/quotas) must be kept outside the purview of the political parties or their agenda and should involve social-academic leaders.(As told to Quaid Najmi. Dr BK Goyal is honorary dean, Bombay Hospital Institute of Medical Sciences, Mumbai)

The prime minister must act

Even while the nation was debating the contentious issue of whether there ought to be seats reserved for the Other Backward Castes (OBCs) in central institutions of higher learning such as IITs and IIMs, the government has sprung a surprise by going ahead with the proposal.
Surprise, because the Group of Ministers had only last week given its report to the prime minister and there were suggestions that one of the ideas doing the rounds was deferring any implementation for another three years while the proposal was examined in its entirety.
Now, by announcing a fait accompli—and in a surreptitious way—that legislation will be introduced in the forthcoming monsoon session of Parliament and the quotas will kick in from June, 2007, it appears that the government’s mind had already been made up.
With this announcement, much of the speculation surrounding the issue ever since HRD Minister sprung his plan onto an unsuspecting populace, is over. It was said, for example, that this was Arjun Singh’s plan to project himself as a saviour of the disadvantaged OBCs while at the same time undermining the prime minister politically.
The prime minister, a votary of merit over quotas, was apparently against the idea from the start. It was also unclear where Congress president Sonia Gandhi stood over it. All this now redundant.
It is evident that there was a strong lobby within the UPA—and without too, since the Left parties were all for it—that wanted the quotas to be implemented as early as possible, never mind the socially divisive consequences.
This paper has always championed the cause of the underprivileged and disadvantaged, but done in the proper manner. We have stood for affirmative action—selecting meritorious but disadvantaged candidates and giving them all possible support, including scholarships.
Trying to fill in seats with candidates simply because they belong to a particular caste, is an anti-republican idea that has the potential to bring down the standards of our world-class, elite institutions.
The government is sure to face even more high-pitched opposition from those against reservations. Increasing seats is all very well, but have the practical problems such as creating the infrastructure and getting more teachers been thought through? Having got its way, the government will now have to answer these questions to a divided nation.

Jaipur Mega Rally - 23rd May 2006

click the image to read the full news about the Jaipur Mega rally held on 23rd May 2006

Split in IMA, medicos continue strike

NEW DELHI: Despite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's appeal, medicos continued their strike for the 12th day on Tuesday even as cracks appeared in the doctors' apex body with those belonging to backward classes setting up a separate organisation backing the government's quota proposal.
Doctors of the backward classes walked out of the Indian Medical Association to float the Indian National Medical Association, claiming it to be an "apolitical" group and dealing a blow to striking doctors.
After two days of hectic parleys with government representatives and an equal number of appeals from the Prime Minister failed to end the strike, the agitating doctors held a meeting among themselves on the developments.
The doctors have softened their stand from a complete rollback of the 27 per cent quota proposals to putting the plans on hold till a committee of experts reviews the existing reservation policy.
Government has not given any indication of accepting the demand but has sounded the students about increasing the number of seats for the general category in proportion to the hike in OBC quotas.
In Delhi, Resident Doctors, faculty members and support staff of the Hindu Rao Hospital observed a 24-hour strike from Tuesday in support of the anti-quota agitation. They also took out a rally to Raj Niwas and submitted a memorandum to Lt Governor.
In Mumbai, two rival student groups of Indian Institute of Technology are on indefinite hunger strike in favour of and against the Centre's proposed 27 per cent quota for OBCs in institutes of higher learning.
In Rajkot, medical services at various hospitals were affected after anti-reservation doctors started a two-day strike.
Doctors at Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay (PDU) Medical College Hospital, Civil Hospital and other municipal corporation-run hospitals proceeded on a two-day strike, sources from the Junior Doctors Associations said.
In Ahmedabad, medical students and doctors decided to step-up their anti-reservation agitation by going on an indefinite hunger strike from Wednesday.
In Chennai, students announced they would hold peaceful demonstration all over the country on May 25.
In Kolkata, the fast by anti-quota students entered the fifth day on Tuesday with more participation from non-technical institutions.
Pro-quota demonstrations were held in Chennai and Delhi with CPI forming a human chain in the Tamil Nadu capital demanding an oridnance to implement 27 per cent quota proposal.
In Delhi, Pattali Makkal Katchi MPs took out a rally at Jantar Mantar demanded the government immediately bring an ordinance to implement the proposal for OBC quota in elite educational institutions.
Delhi government also issued termination notices to striking doctors.

Quota row: Termination notices issued to 700 striking docs

NEW DELHI: Termination notices were issued to striking medicos in state-run hospitals in the capital on Tuesday even as Delhi Government came out with ads for recruiting junior and senior doctors to cope with the situation. "The Medical Superintendents in Delhi Government hospitals have started issuing notices to the striking doctors this morning," Health Secretary D S Negi said. Notices were issued to the more than 700 doctors who are on strike to resume duties within 24 hours or face termination of service. The government also came out with ads in the newspapers on Tuesday for recruiting junior and senior doctors, Negi said adding interviews for hiring new doctors will be held on May 24. As for the government's request to Defence Ministry for doctors to man the strike-affected hospitals in Delhi, the Health Secretary said the Army has said it can give doctors for one hospital at a time. "The Army has asked us to give a concrete proposal on lending its doctors for the Delhi Government hospitals. It has said the Army doctors can be deployed in only one hospital at a time. We are examining it," Negi said. There are 45 hospitals under Delhi Government, of which the three teaching hospitals LNJP, GTB and DDU are the worst affected by the strike.

'No need of reservation as opportunities available'

NEW DELHI: A day after two members of the Knowledge Commission resigned citing Centre's inaction over the OBC quotas, its Chairman Sam Pitroda said there was no need to have reservation as opportunities were available. "You don't have to have reservation. There are opportunities available," he said. Pitroda said there was a need to expand opportunities to ensure inclusive growth. "We need to expand opportunities, and if you do not expand then you worry about all these issues (reservations). The key is really expansion" he told BBC News. Emphasising on the importance of inclusive growth, Pitroda said "you cannot have growth which alienates large parts of your society".

He said in India, irrespective of talent, the growth has been inclusive and the future has to be even more inclusive in terms if caste and in terms if background.
Noting that he himself came from a lower caste in tribal Orissa, Pitroda, who heads WorldTel, said he did not follow on reservations. "There is a path that one can take in the democratic system." He said it was wrong to say that the Knowledge Commission had voted for or voted against reservations. "What we have said basically is that we recognise and subscribe to the basic principle of including everybody as part of the expansion plan and growth plan. How we do it is something we need to debate," he said.

UPA goes ahead with reservations for OBCs from June 2007

NEW DELHI: Undaunted by the anti-reservation strike by medicos and other students, the United Progressive Alliance at the Centre on Tuesday night decided to go ahead with implementing reservations for OBCs in central educational institutions from June 2007 and in a balancing act agreed to raise the number of seats in them for the general category. The ruling alliance's reaffirmation came after the Left parties backed the government's move at a meeting with the UPA Coordination Committee here earlier in the day.

"The percentage of reservation for OBCs will be fixed at 27 per cent. Legislation for this purpose will be brought in Parliament in the monsoon session." Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said after a joint resolution was passed at a three-hour meeting of the UPA Coordination Committee and Left parties.

He said that after the law is passed by Parliament, reservations for OBCs will be implemented in central education institutions from the academic session commencing from June 2007. Mukherjee said that keeping in view the interests of all sections of the student community and to meet their aspirations for opportunities in higher education, the number of seats in general category educational institutions under the purview of the central government will be increased. The resolution to implement the 93rd Amendment to the Constitution providing for reservation was adopted after Human Resources Development Minister Arjun Singh made a presentation at the meeting in the evening.

An Oversight Committee will be constituted to draw up a time-bound roadmap for implementing these decisions, the defence minister said, adding that smaller groups consisting of deans, directors and vice chancellors of the institutions will be set up to work out details of reservation and increase in the number of seats for each class of institutions.

The committee will put together the recommendations of the groups and submit a comprehensive report by August 31 this year.

Mukherjee said the UPA Coordination Committee and Left parties resolved that the 93rd Amendment to the Constitution, providing for reservations in educational institutions, will be implemented by the central government in letter and spirit.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, cabinet ministers belonging to all UPA constituents and Left leaders, including CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat, were present at the meeting of UPA Coordination Committee and Left parties. Despite the prime minister's appeal, medicos continued their strike for the 12th day even as cracks appeared in the doctors' apex body with those belonging to backward classes setting up a separate organisation backing the government's quota proposal.

Doctors of the backward classes walked out of the Indian Medical Association to float the Indian National Medical Association, claiming it to be an "apolitical" group and dealing a blow to striking doctors.

Why medicos have good reason to lead the stir?

New Delhi: For once, the medical students are smiling for having beaten the government in its own game. Eliciting a commitment from the government to hike seats if it introduces reservations, the protesting doctors feel, is a minor victory.
“It will take 10 years for the government to increase the required 54 per cent seats maintaining the current level of infrastructure. None of the top medical institutions have the infrastructure or the faculty to handle the seat increase,” said Dr Murli Abhishek, a post graduate student of Delhi’s Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC).
Medical students have been the worst affected with the current quota plans as the number of seats is very few in the top medical institutes of the country. It is further reduced at the post graduation level.
“The fight for seats is tougher in medical as compared to IITs and IIMs. In engineering, there are 5000 seats in the centres for excellence like IIT. While in medicine, it’s just about 2000,” said Dr Aniruddh of University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi.
Unlike the IITs and IIMs, in medicine MBBS is just the first stop. A post-graduate degree is a necessity to make any headway in the profession.
According to Dr Vinay Aggarwal, secretary general, Indian Medical Association (IMA), reservation in medical seats is different from reservation in engineering or business schools. “In AIIMS there are two seats for cardio surgery and one for cancer radiology. How would you reserve them?” Aggarwal said.
Medical institutions of ‘IIT quality’ are only a handful. Institutions in Andhra, J&K and NE are not open for outsiders. States have reservation for their own students and leave only 15% open. Out of this 15 per cent, SC/ST get their share, making the competition for remaining seats tougher.
“There are very limited seats in post graduation. A simple MBBS gets you nowhere and to have reservation in post graduation is like quota on top of quota,” said Dr Anshul Gupta, President, Resident Doctors’ Association, Gangaram Hospital.
For instance, in Delhi’s medical colleges, there are 410 seats for MBBS but at the PG level they get reduced to 150 for clinical degrees.
In streams like surgery and gynaecology, the seats are as few as nine and if OBC reservation comes into place, they will further get reduced to six. In radio-diagnosis there are just three seats and in radiotherapy just one.
Also in PG, there are courses like radiology, neurology, endocrinology, cardiology, oncology and a host of others which have only one or two seats per year. This means that seats are allotted on a rotation basis wherein a general category student will get a chance once every three years.
If quotas come in, then a general student will get a chance after more than four-five years.“After spending almost five years and having used the same hostel, same books, same faculty, same campus and same infrastructure, why do you still need reservation? At the PG level it should be on competence,” said Dr Abhishek.
(with inputs from Ginnie Mahajan)