Feb 26, 2010, IPF Seminar Hall
At the 3rd brainstorming session on Ranganath Misra Commission report, former Lok Sabha MP Sanjay Paswan expressed the view that there was no resentment among Dalits on the issue as they were not aware of the impact of Muslim reservation from the SC quota. After the BJP raised the issue, the matter sunk into their minds that it is an effort to deprive them of their right. Calling it a political conspiracy, Vijay Sonakar Shastri said after 1935 this is the first instance that suggestions are being made to include converted Muslims and Christians under the SC category. The Ranganath Misra Commission is a government-sponsored campaign to weaken the reservation policy.
Taking the debate further, Vivek Kumar of Jawaharlal Nehru University suggested that there is need to understand untouchability in India before talking about SC reservation. There is an economic, political and social concern associated with it. A Dalit cannot open a tea stall in his village but similar is not the case with Muslims and Christians and they will get customers as well. We must demand a white paper on reservation as the Verma committee suggests that all reservations should end. Prof Devraj of Delhi University said that certain people convert to other religions to obtain economic and social benefit and some of them do it for political benefits also.
Pravesh Kumar came out with some data suggesting that as per 1989 data Brahmins are 5 percent of the total population of the country. However, they number 41 per cent in politics and 50 per cent in business. Kshatriyas are 6 per cent of the total population but 16 per cent in politics, 26 per cent in education and 89 per cent in business. Dalits have 22 per cent share in education, 4 per cent in business and 6 per cent landholding. They are not being employed by multinational companies as their level of education is not commensurate with the demands of these companies. Manoj Kumar presented his view by saying that the government wants to use Muslims and they have always been used as a vote bank by politicians. Dhani Ram said that there is need to understand the root cause of backwardness that necessitates reservation. People who are poor among the Muslims are those who had converted to Islam from Dalits. Shantanu Das of Dayal Singh College said that Dalits have been subject to social discrimination for centuries.
The Panel Members of the programme were: Shri Vijay Sonakar Shastri, Shri Amardeep, Shri Dhaniram, Shri Jugal Kishore Kanaujia, Shri Manoj Kumar, Shri Netram Thagela, Prof. Vivek Kumar, Shri Shantanu Das, Prof. Suman, Shri Amardeep Kashyap, Shri Sangwang. Shri Pravesh