If we want to bring equality in our country, want to reduce the huge gap between the rich and poor people, then it is necessary to take special efforts to increase and improve the standard of living of people belonging to other backward classes and people belonging to extremely backward communities in Other Backward Classes, because the population of OBCs (Other Backward Classes) in India is 65 crores. The Government of India has given only 27% reservation in jobs and education to OBCs through Mandal Commission. However, only few of the elite communities in OBCs could take the benefits of this reservation. The DNTs, twelve balutedars, and extremely backward classes like Teli, Mali, Koli (fisherman) govari, dhangars (shepherds) Barbars, ironsmith, carpenter, potter, vadi khati, and tailor have remained deprived of the benefits of the reservation. The promoter of reservation Chatrapati Shahu Maharaj and the author of constitution Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar have given an example about reservation. If two horses (one strong & other weak) are given peas to eat in one basket, the strong horse will elbow out the weak & shall eat all peas and the weak will remain weak. The same thing is happening with reservation of OBC, very few castes of the OBC are taking away the benefits of 27% reservation granted to OBC. This is obvious from the recruitment through UPSC, MPSC, Bank recruitments, Railway recruitments, recruitments in Income Tax and other Public Sector recruitments at Central and State level. Hence it has become necessary to divide the Central reservation as per the recommendation of National Commission for Backward Classes ( Justice Eshwaraia Commission)

In respect of the reservation for castes and communities, very peculiar and funny situation has arisen. Same caste is classified in different categories in different states. In one state, the caste is classified as Scheduled Caste, in other state it is classified as Scheduled Tribe, in third state it is DNT. For example, the castes like Banjars, Dhangars (Shephards) Koli, (fisherman) vadar (people breaking stones), washermen, govari, gavali, (milkman), nishad, pal, gadaria, bhagel etc have been given reservation in some states as SC, in some states as ST in some states as DNTs. The people, leaders and workers in these castes naturally feel that all of them should be in same category all over India. However, the constitution provides that in case a caste is to be classified as SC or ST, the concerned state should make such recommendation to the Central Government; the Central government should get the recommendation examined by the SC ST commission, submit the bill for such inclusion in the list and classification to the parliament and the parliament should pass the bill. However, our experience is that the MPs of these classes/communities do not allow the passing of such bills in the parliament. Hence it is felt that the only way available to the Government is to examine the policy of the reservation thoroughly and divide the reservation for OBC.

Shri Gopinath Mude, leader of OBCs, Shri Promod Mahajan, the then Prime Minister Hon. Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji, the then Home minister Shri Lal Krishna Advaniji, the then BJP president Venkayya Naidu, Nitin Gadkari leader of BJP and Shri Dada Idate, leader of Rastriya Sawayamsevak Sangh and present Chairman of National Commission for DNTs had agreed to this concept of division of reservation of OBCs and hence at the convention of Dhangar samaj (Shephards) castes, held at Pandharpur on 20/1/2004, the then Prime Minister Hon. Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji announced the constitution of National Commission for DNTs. However, by my good luck I won the elections to the parliament in 2004, but unfortunately, the BJP lost the elections and the Congress government was formed at the center. I raised this issue in the parliament hundred times. I also tabled a private bill for achieving this division of reservation of OBCs and making necessary amendment to the constitution for this purpose. In the meanwhile, this matter was included in the agenda of the BJP. This issue was discussed at Rambhau Mhalagi Prabhodhini. (Study circle). This was possible due to efforts by Hon. Gopinathji Munde and clever maneuvers and vision of Shri Promod Mahajan. A seminar was organized on the topic “Social engrossment and DNTs”. I was given opportunity to speak for an hour in this seminar. The attendees included social justice ministers of six state and two chief ministers, one was Shri Shivrajsingh Chavan, CM of Madhya Pradesh and Shri Narendra Modi, the then Chief Minister of Gujrat, and present Prime Minister of India. They were sitting in front of me and I explained this topic to them.

I have been fighting for this issue of division of OBC since last 20 years. In the beginning, I was fighting only for Banjara community, then I started to fight for DNTs and now I am fighting for twelve balutedars and extremely backward classes. Justice Esharaiia, Chairman of National Backward class commission gave this opportunity to me.

In the decade of 1990, shri L. R. Naik, a member of Mandal commission had stated in his dissent note to annex to the Mandal commission report that 52% OBCs should not be given overall 27% reservation. He opined that the OBCs should be divided in two categories 1) Backward classes and 2) Extremely backward classes. At the time of implementing Mandal commission, the then Prime minister Shri V.P. Singh had announced that the economically backward classes shall be given 10% reservation. However, Indra Sahani and others filed a petition against this announcement stating that such reservation cannot be granted. The nine judge’s bench heard the petition and cancelled the 10% reservation granted to economically backward classes. The judges stated that if the 27% reservation granted to the OBCs is divided in two or three parts, all castes and communities of OBCs shall get justice and it will be valid legally and constitutionally. However, the government and the people totally ignored this issue. When I was studying this complicated and problematic issue of reservation for the purpose of solving it, I observed that if the Central Government grants reservation to DNTs and implements the welfare schemes for them in the same manner in which the Government of Maharashtra and Government of Andhra Pradesh have granted reservation to DNTs and have implemented welfare schemes for them, the issues and problems of the castes and communities which are fighting for inclusion in SC and ST lists for the purpose of Central reservations, can certainly be sorted out. They can be given social justice. Hence the Central government should divide the 27% reservation granted to OBCs as done by Government of Maharashtra and Government of Andhra Pradesh, and as suggested by Shri L. R. Naik in his dissent note, and as suggested by the Hon. Supreme Court, and as per recent suggestions made by the National Commission of backward classes, The division should be as follows a) DNTs b) Twelve Balutedars and extremely backward classes c) other backward castes in the Central list. If this is done, the social justice and equality shall be achieved. The main purpose of reservation shall be served. The clause no 15(4) and 16(4) of the constitution shall also be complied with. This will enable commencement of new era of social justice. This is my view. In the beginning I explained my view to Shri Gpinath Mumde and Shri Promod Mahajan. These two great leaders explained this view to the leaders and office bearers of Bharatiya Janata Party and also of Rashtriya Swayamsevek Sangh. There was unanimous agreement at the party level as well as on organization on this point and the process of division of OBCs started in real meaning.

These castes and communities are in deep slumber today. I am sure that if they awake from their sleep, this fight for social justice shall be successful. Otherwise, if they do not awake this elite class shall never allow this depressed class to come forward, progress and develop as told by Shri L. R. Naik, in his dissent note. This “High level social corruption” shall still continue further. The social equality as envisaged in the constitution shall never be achieved, the huge gap between the rich and poor will never be reduced, because these issues of 40 crore people belonging to extremely backward class in India shall still remain neglected.

Haribhau Rathod
Ex- MP and Member of Legislative council, Maharashtra
A-201, Banjara Hills, Nahur Village Road,
Mulund (W), Mumbai-400 080,
Mobile No 9920716999, Phone No (022) 25686699


Govind Rathod

Tag: DNT, OBC, Vimukt Bhatke Reservation