Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Quota for the poor

In today's Hindu, Tarunabh and I have underlined the three major infirmities in the Rajasthan Government's compromise with the Gujjars who ended their agitation recently. The larger question, which needs to be examined, and which does not get sufficient treatment in the article, is the legal implications of reservations for the poor among the forward castes. Although we have said that the Indra Sawhney judgment is clearly against the quota for the poor, I have been curious about the basis of the Government of India's decision to set up a Commission for identifying the poor who require reservation and who have been left out of the existing categories of reservations. The reports here and here point to the setting up of the National Commission. But we know little about what the Commission has been doing all these months, the basis of its formation, etc. The Rajasthan decision was also based on the interim report of a State Commission set up following the setting up of the National Commission. As the Rajasthan assembly begins its session from July 14, we may expect these issues examined in the media.
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