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OBC Aarakshan Samiti
YUVA Office, 52/3 Narepark Municipal School, opp. Narepark Municipal Ground Parel (E) Mumbai 400012. Phone 24143498, 24116393

Letter to the Backward Class Commission making suggestions regarding the Creamy Layer.

(A template (MS Word) for you to create a similar letter from your organization. )


To,

Mr. P.S.Ranga, Director,

National Commission for Backward Classes,

Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment,

Government of India,`

Trikoot-1, Bhikaiji Cama Place,

New Delhi-110 066.

Fax: +91-11-26183227


Respected Sir,


Ref.: Public Notice Published in the Times of India, Mumbai, Monday, May 5, 2008 inviting suggestions on appropriate income or wealth limit to determine the 'Creamy Layer” amongst OBCs.


   We are member of OBC Aarakshan Samiti, an umbrella organization of socio-political-cultural institutions, backward castes organizations, sociological research institutions, individuals, youth groups, intellectuals, student and academicians from higher educational institutions having common objective of seeking justice for the backwards and disadvantaged sections of the society, who unfortunately constitute almost 80% of the Indian population.


With ostentatious objectives of ensuring opportunities for the poorest amongst the OBCs, a directive to exclude the “Creamy Layer” from amongst the OBCs was given by the Supreme Court in its Judgment of November 16, 1992. We express strong objections against it as this has created tremendous difficulties for OBC masses squarely defeating the very purpose of the policy.


  1. This is unconstitutional since the “Reservation” as mentioned in the constitution of India Article 15 (4) is for socially and educationally backward classes and no economic criterion is intended for excluding from such actions. The Article 340 vests the responsibility of identifying such backward classes in the Backward Classes Commission to be appointed by the President. Accordingly, 2nd Backward Class (Mandal) Commission was appointed on January 1, 1979. The commission with the active participation of eminent social scientists and premier academic institutions such as Delhi University, Tata Institute of Social Sciences carried out a scientific socio-cultural-educational survey covering 100% population of two rural and one urban block from each of the more than 500 districts. In order to identify backward classes, it devised 11 stringent tests, which also included 4 economic criteria. Considering the size and complexity, it was a globally unprecedented social survey. The huge data so collected was processed on the computer by National Informatics Centre (NIC) of GoI for identifying the backwards as per 11 stringent tests. Commission submitted its report on December 31, 1980 identifying 3743 castes as backward classes. Therefore, applying any other criterion such as “creamy layer” is unconstitutional.

    Only Backward Class Commission can be directed by the GoI under specific terms of reference to carry out such investigation following due diligence. Any such directive or principle is in the jurisdiction of these types of commissions only and judiciary neither has locus standee nor competence in such matters.

    The 8th report of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel headed by Dr. E.M. Sudarasana Natchiappan, submitted to the Parliament on 26th July 2005, had also recommended removing the “creamy layer” concept.

    We earnestly appeal
    to National Commission for Backward Classes to take up this unconstitutional encroachment on its rights & responsibilities towards Indian people to the Parliament so that this sinister mechanism (e.g. 50% limit, creamy layer etc.) of undoing the democratically instituted people oriented policies in the favour of 15% upper castes & classes is corrected once and for ever.

  2. A Fraudulent Process of Determining Creamy Layer was used by Upper Caste State Machinery.

    1. Central Govt. constituted a committee headed by Justice R.N. Prasad on 22-02-1993. The committee assumed charge on 23-02-1993. Only four members including the Chairman prepared the report at astonishingly fast speed within 15 days and submitted to the Govt. on 10-03-1993. No statistical data / survey, experts’ views, views from social organizations or public opinions were sought in preparation of this report. Opinion / views of the States in which the concept of reservation policy was in existence for decades were not sought. The report was not made public.
    2. In the Mandal reservation case judgment, Supreme Court itself clearly established that only social and educational backwardness can be the determinants of backwardness and not the economic criteria and struck down the OM No: 36012/31/90/Estt. (SCT) dt. 25-09-1991 that had provided 10% reservations to the poor among the forward castes. The constitutional requirement is whether backward classes are adequately represented or not. Eliminating the prospective group in the name of creamy layer defeats the constitutional provision. However, by excluding the creamy layer, the SC once again brought in the economic criteria indirectly


  3. It is antisocial as it adversely affects the interests of the OBCs who constitute more than 52% of the population favouring so called general category actually consisting of less than 18% upper castes. The following facts establish this glaringly. 
      • Representation of SCs, STs and OBCs in the Central Government Services.

      1. As on 1979-80 (See Mandal Commission Report I & II, 9.48, Page 41, 42).
        (30 Central Ministries, 31 Attached Offices and PSUs under 14 Ministries)

      2. Category of Employment

        Total Number of Employees

        SC/ST %

        OBC %

        Upper Caste % (Derived)

        Population %


        22.56

        52.00

        17.58

        Class I

        1,74,043

        5.68

        4.69

        89.63

        Class II

        9,12,786

        18.18

        10.63

        71.19

        Class III & IV

        4,84,646

        24.40

        24.40

        51.20

        All Classes

        15,71,475

        18.71

        12.55

        68.74


      3. As on January 1, 2004
        (See Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions)

      Group

      Total Number of Employees

      SC %

      ST %

      OBC %

      Upper Caste % (Derived)

      Population %


      15.05

      7.51

      52.00

      17.58

      A

      80,011

      12.2

      4.1

      3.9

      79.80

      B

      1,35,409

      14.5

      4.6

      2.3

      78.60

      C

      20,40,970

      16.9

      6.7

      5.2

      71.20

      D

      8,02,116

      18.4

      6.7

      3.3

      71.60

      Sweepers

      91,601

      64.76

      5.86

      3.65

      25.73

      Total

      31,50,107

      18.44

      6.52

      4.51

      70.53

      Government services were the easiest option as compared to others such as private sector or education (student or employment). Reservations in the government employment were one of the demands of backwards. As it is evident from SC/ST data, it does show some positive difference. The OBCs’ representation in 79/80 was dismal, even worse than SC/ST. It was because the Constitution had provided reservations for them since 1949. This prompted Mandal Commission to recommend 27% reservations for OBCs. However, over the period of 25 years OBCs’ representation is drastically reduced from 12.55 to 4.51% i.e. to mere 33% of the original. This seems to be the impact of “Creamy Layer”, as eligible OBCs are eliminated. During the same period, upper caste representation, which was already excessively dominant, has further improved.

      • Gujjar Agitation in Rajasthan for ST Status.
        Let everyone understand that this deliberate denial of justice to OBCs has resulted into such an explosive situation. In this context, the following news item from Hindustan Times, Mumbai, Tuesday, May 26, 2008 is revealing.

        1. In this year’s Rajasthan’s PSC civil Service examination, the general category cut-off at 193.14, was 13 marks below the OBC cut-off at 206.90. In the PMT examinations of 2006, the OBC cut-off at 770 marks was 33 marks above the general cut-off of 737.

        2. This has following interpretations:

          1. Sinister administration deliberately separate OBC candidates a priory, denying open category positions to meritorious OBC candidates.

          2. OBCs being more than three times the upper castes, it is but natural to get more meritorious candidates from OBCs which have been buried under social injustice.

          3. OBC reservation does not affect the merit.

          4. Continuing such injustice might lead to explosive social unrest.

  4. It blatantly ignores the fact that income of a person does not obliterate social exclusion, discrimination, social disabilities which are imposed because of despotic brahminical order of more than 2500 years.

    Let us bring out the most important dimension of reservation/affirmative action that it is a social reengineering exercise in the empowerment of the castes/communities and not to be viewed as assistance at the individual level. This point was emphasized in the SC judgment of November 16, 1992 as “The main objective of these recommendations is not the reduction/removal of the poverty of OBCs but to ensure adequate representation in the power structure (Hon’ble Mr. Justice P.B. Sawant).”

  5. Ironical Situation. Even for argument sake assuming that creamy layer concept has some merit, in order to exclude 5% of the creamy layer, 95% of the people who are poor, predominantly illiterate and are from unorganized sector are forced to undergo the tedious process of obtaining non-creamy layer certificate. Insensitive bureaucratic machineries dominated by upper castes create insurmountable difficulties. Large number of deserving OBCs gets frustrated in this process and do not avail the reservation; and in the process, majority of them is denied the rightful opportunity.

  6. Blissfully ignorant about sociological facts.
    Insistence on creamy layer demonstrates criminal indifference to the following Indian social reality.

  1. Women from all classes are underrepresented in higher education. Excluding the creamy layer also excludes women from access to higher education because such candidates are far more likely from such well to do OBC families.
  2. Students from SC/ST/OBC background still face prejudices and biases in higher education institutions which affect their self esteem and academic performance. Inclusion of creamy layer will bring in a group which has the capacity to fight against such injustices and discrimination. Excluding the creamy layer perpetuates upper caste domination in all spheres in educational institutions.
  3. Family and caste play a very important role in recruitment in private sector as shown by several studies. Studies also show that OBCs along with SCs and STs are underrepresented in private sector jobs. In some public sector jobs, OBC representation is even less than that of SCs/STs. In this constrained environment where opportunities are very less for OBCs, exclusion of creamy layer will fully marginalize them. Studies indicate that despite higher incomes, OBC individuals still do not get access to educational and job opportunities as they are not part of existing (upper) caste based social networks.
  4. Due to centuries of lack of access to education, it is found that most OBCs are first or second generation entrants into higher education. Excluding the creamy layer creates an additional advantage for the upper castes and prevents a level playing field in admission into higher education.
  5. Cost of higher education has gone up in addition to incremental costs of coaching for entrance examinations. Hence even middle and senior level professionals and public and private sector officials are finding it difficult to afford higher education for their children. The creamy layer is meaningless in this context.
  6. It is a social reality that comparatively well to do people only can make use of the reservations in the higher education. The creamy layer criterion prevents such people from taking benefits of reservation. Other important principle behind the reservation is proportionate representation & empowerment of the backward caste or community. Even the creamy layer OBC candidate is more likely to ensure the OBC’s interests than any other person. The concept of creamy layer may stifle the process of creating potential OBC leadership, which is very essential for the progress of backward castes.

 

According to the aforesaid (DOP&T) O.M.No. 36012/2293-Esst.(SCT) dated 08/09/1993 the “income criteria” are to be reviewed and modified every three years or less.


Even though there were clear directions for such review, there was only one review after 11 years in 2004 revising the original limit of Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 2.5 lakh, in the similar style, without involving public, social organizations or States. Because of this gross deliberate neglect many OBC youths are deprived of their constitutional right of reservation. SC did not bother about this while giving a stay order on reservation in the first instance.


Such kind of lethargy is prevalent in all fields of affirmative actions and at all levels of government bureaucracy and political power due to the dominance of upper castes.

We therefore hereby demand that such review should be conducted every alternate year and if the Government is unable to conduct such studies the income criteria in terms of rupees should be raised by 50% every three years by default.


Considering these facts and realizing that abolition of creamy layer criteria would need larger political decision, as a response to your public notice we suggest that,


Families having gross annual income of Rs. 20 lakh or below should be outside the creamy layer and therefore, eligible to avail the reservation.


We demand this limit to be raised to Rs. 20 lakh as,

 

Average expenditure for higher education of one child is Rs. 1.5 lakh per annum and therefore expenditure of two children from a family will be Rs. 3 lakh per annum. If a family has to bear this expenditure as 15% of total income, the lower limit turns out to be, Rs. 20,00,000 per anum.




Thanks and regards,



Your's Sincerely,
Rekha Thakur,
Convener, OBC Arakshan Samiti, Mumbai.
Mobile: +91-9819584554
E-mail:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


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  16. India Center for Human Rights and Law
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  17. National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights
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  19. Shubha Ranganathan, IIT-Bombay

  20. Arati Ware, IIT Bombay

  21. Sai Thakur, Tata Institute of Social Sciences

  22. D. Parthasarathi, HSS Dept- IIT-Bombay

  23. Supratik Chakraborthy, CSE Dept, IIT-Bombay