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Saturday, 6 February 2016

Kapu Reservation - Analysis; a Way out.

Kapu Community reservation - to be included in the Backward Community list, has been on cards for long - since independence. Let us have some detailed analysis as to the historical background, current position, and a way out of the demand for the reservation.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

How Kapu community evolved over a period of time
  • Kapu/Balija/Telaga/Munnuru Kapu communities have the title Setty in their Surnames who served as Traders during the Kakateeya and Viajayanagar Empires (Indicating their Ancestors established Powerful Trading Guilds Surnames like Bandreddy, Ramiesetty, Polisetty, KaliSetty, Muthamsetty, Kamisetty, Tirumalasetty, Rangisetty, Singamasetty, Chennamsetty etc)
  • Telaga/Kapu Community also has the title Reddy in their Surnames in Coastal Andhra Region (Indicating some of their ancestors were village heads. Maddireddy, Muthareddy, Kunapareddy, Katreddy, kasireddy, rayapureddy, Siddireddy, dharapureddy, peddireddy etc.)
  • Some Kapu/Telaga Surnames end with the title Neni which is a derivation of Senani (Indicating the Ancestors of these families served as Commanders under the Kakateeya Dynasity. Samineni, Lakkineni, Padalaneni, Vallabhaneni, Chitikineni, Kasineni etc)
  • During times of war they also served as Soldiers, Governors (Nayaks), Commanders in many of the Andhra Dynasties.Hence the term Nayaka/Naidu became synonymous with the community
  • Kapu and Telaga communities have the title Rayudu in Coastal and Rayalseema Regions which is a legacy of the communities association with the Vijayanagar Empire.
  • Kapu Community primarily served as Protectors of villages from Bandits in the Medieval Ages who later took to other Professions like Village heads and Farmers. People responsible for protecting,
    • farms from bandits and those protecting livestock were - Panta Kapu.
    • Village defense committees (Kapu)
    • Responsible for village Administration - Pedda Kapu
  • Modern day Kapu Community is predominantly are an Agrarian community diversified into Business, Industry, Films, Academia, and IT etc.

Developments surrounding around reservations of Kapu Community



1915
British Government identified Telaga (Telaga,Kapu, Ontari,Balija) community as Backward Caste, under Notification No.67,Port St.George Gazete. (Education, pg.no.67)


1953
 A list of Backward Classes as existed in the Composite Madras State was adopted with slight modifications (from 1915 notification).


1953
Backward Classes Commission (Kaka Khelkar Commission) was appointed, to determine the criteria and draw up list of Backward Classes. the Central Government found certain tests applied by the Commission to be vague, and therefore directed different State Governments to choose their own criteria for defining backwardness.


1956
In the wake of formation of the State of Andhra Pradesh, two lists were maintained -- One for Andhra and the other for Telangana.


1956
Telaga (Telaga,Kapu, Ontari,Balija) community was taken out of the Backward Community list by N.Sanjeev Reddy Govt


1961 
GO .No -  3250, Education Social Welfare Department,  14-10-1961, (Damodaram Sanjeevaiah) : Regrouped the  Telaga, Kosta Kapu, Balija, Ontari from hither to OC group into BC


1963
G.O.Ms. No. 1886 specifying a list of certain persons as belonging to Backward Classes for the purpose of selecting candidates s in the medical colleges and provided 25% of the seats to be reserved.

1963
The High Court struck down the said G.O.NO.1886 holding that the State has placed no material before the Court to determine the backwardness of these communities.


1964
The State Government (Kasu Brahmananda Reddy)  issued G.O.Ms. No. 301, Education, dated 3-2-1964 scrapping the then existing list of Backward Classes and directed financial assistance to be given to the economically poorer sections of the population, whose family income was below Rs. 1500/- per annum.


1966
G.O.Ms. No. 1880, Education, dated 29-7-1966 was issued (based on the report of Cabinet Sub Committee & Director of Social Welfare) showing 112 communities as backward being eligible for scholarships and reservation of seats to Professional Colleges and Government Services.


High Court in P. Sagar v. State of A. P., quashed G.O.Ms. No. 1880 also. It was held by the High Court that the list was drawn up by the Director of Social Welfare and the Law Secretary, who cannot be considered to be experts and that they had made no investigation nor collected any material data for classifying the persons mentioned in the G.O. as backward.


The State carried the matter to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court in State of A. P. v. P. Sagar, upheld the decision of the High Court.


1970
Anantharam Commission –The Commission drew up a list consisting of 93 classes to be included in the Backward Classes. The Government accepted and issued G.O.Ms. No. 1793 of 1970 making 25% reservation for them.  Point to note here is this list doesn’t include the caste of Kapu


1982
Muralidhar Rao Commission - The Commission did not recommend for inclusion of Kapus, Ontaris, Balijas and Telegas in the list of Backward Classes.


1992
the Supreme Court in Indra Sawhney v. Union of India; , directed the State Governments to constitute a permanent body at State and Central levels within four months from the date of its judgment, in the nature of commission or tribunal to decide the complaints of wrong inclusion and non-inclusion of groups, classes in the list of other Backward


1993
 In pursuance of this direction of the Supreme Court, the Andhra Pradesh Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 was passed and by virtue of the powers vested under the Act, Backward Classes Commission headed by Justice Puttu-swamy was appointed.

When the agitation in the districts mostly covered by population of Kapus growing wild, the Government issued G.O.Ms. No. 18 dated 6-7-1994 providing certain non-statutory educational benefits and economic schemes to poor persons and also issued G.O.Ms. No. 19 dated 10-7-1994 providing non-statutory educational and economic support schemes to poor among Kapus, Telegas whose annual income is less than Rs. 12,000/-. Even then as the agitation was not stopped, G.O.Ms. No. 30 dated 25-8-1994, was issued declaring 14 classes/communities as other Backward Classes.

1994
GO 30: Telaga (it’s catagories- Kapu,Baliga, Ontari) are again regrouped into BC


1994
GO.30 was struck down by High Court of Andhra Pradesh by 2-1 majority and asked to survey of these groups to ascertain their status.


2002
National Commission For Backward Classes rejected a plea to include Kapu, Reddy/I, Gajula Kap,  into National list of backward classes (even though it is included in the state list of Orissa)


2003
National Commission For Backward Classes – Rejected the plea to include ‘Turpu Kapu’ into central list of OBCs.  Opined Kapu is not to be considered as OBC.


2006
Justice Dalwa Subrahmanyam Commission,
1.      has been in force since 2006. The commission has been asked to probe into 17 communities to include in the OBC category. The commission has so far recommended 13 out of 17 communities as OBCs, the only left over communities are Kapu, Telaga, Balija, and Ontari.
2.      The Commission came to the conclusion that TurpuKapus who are recognized as Backward Class people are to be given benefits residing throughout the state of Andhra Pradesh and therefore it is just and necessary to remove the District restrictions and extend the benefits throughout the State of Andhra Pradesh. Consequently, the G.O1793 (under Group-D) has to be amended suitably. for deleting the words of “Srikakulam, Vizianagaramand Vishakapatnam Districts.



MY ANALYSIS
There are various High Court Judgments, mentioned here under, which has time and again struck down the GOs issued in regard to providing reservations for Kapu and other communities.
  • State Of Andhra Pradesh And Ors vs U.S.V. Balram Etc, 1972
  • P. Sagar v. State of A. P.,, 1966 quashed G.O.Ms. No. 1880 also
  • A.P. State Backward Class Welfare ... vs The State Of A.P, 1994

Also the three Commissions out of four, set up by the government of Andhra Pradesh have not included Kapu and related Communities into the Backward Classes,
  • Anantharam Commission –list consisting of 93 classes to be included in the Backward Classes doesn’t include the caste of Kapu.
  • Muralidhar Rao Commission, 1982  - did not recommend for inclusion of Kapus, Ontaris, Balijas (only Surya Balija, Krishna Balija are included in BC) and Telegas in the list of Backward Classes.
  • Justice Dalwa Subrahmanyam Commission, 2006,  has recommended 13 out of 17 communities as OBCs, the only left over communities are Kapu, Telaga, Balija, and Ontari

The National Commission for Backward Classes has twice rejected to include these castes into the central list of Backward Classes,
  • 2002 - rejected a plea to include Kapu, Reddy/I, Gajula Kapu,  into National list of backward classes (even though it is included in the state list of Orissa)
  • 2003 – Rejected the plea to include ‘Turpu Kapu’ into central list of OBCs.  Opined Kapu is not to be considered as OBC.
The reason cited for non inclusion of the Kapu in the BC category by above commissions is - given their traditional occupations, the Community, neither economically nor socially are so backward to be included in the list.

CONCLUSION
The necessity of reservation for a community erupts from its backwardness – Social, economic, educational and political. Now if there is a demand for reservation for Kapu, then this community should satisfy, if not all, social and educational parameters which are the fundamental ingredients as specifically required under Art. 15 (4) to qualify as backward classes.
If we study the historical background of these communities, it is evident that by virtue of being warriors, agrarians, traders, they held a decent position socially and economically by holding large chunk of fixed assets like Land. 
Economic and Educational backwardness is a consequence of social backwardness. With reference to “Profession" or "Habitation" or "Custom", it is difficult to say that the Kapus are Socially Backward.
It would be relevant to mention the observations of National Commission For Backward Classes in 2002, 
  1. Historically they appear to have started as warrior class with all the privileges attached to such a class including ownership of land in the form of inam etc. granted by the erstwhile local rulers, and later they evolved in to cultivators. 
  2. They were also a trading class.
  3. There is no evidence to suggest that this group of communities has ever suffered from any social backwardness 
  4. Their social position in the post-independence period seems to have only improved as; many of those among them who were tenant cultivators also got the ownership of land with the help of the agrarian legislations.
What is the way out from this current turbulent situation? 
The solution lies in the crux of the various judgments of High court of AP, which logically make sense,  that is to collect complete data of the community - social, educational, economic and political conditions,  by the authenticated institutions (BC Commission in this case) following scientific methods. Based on this data we can come to a logical conclusion as to whether to provide reservations for this community or not. This applies to any community which comes up with a demand of inclusion or exclusion of their community into backward classes or Castes.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

RISE, FALL AND RISE OF AAP - A Ground Zero Analysis


The concept of political revolution in the form of alternate politics is not new to India. Evolution of Jan Sangh, which went on to become BJP, Janata Dal and its offshoots like RJD, JD (U), can be considered as a natural process of change. But the emergence of Aam Aadmi Party has its own distinct feature.
Hitherto parties have either had a unique ideologies like Jan Sangh(BJP) or with a purpose- become an alternate to the established party, Congress. Of course coalitions of V.P singh government in late 80’s and Deve gowda, I.K.Gujaral governments in mid 90s, though tried to be an alternate, was short lived for the self explanatory reasons of not having any commonality, in either ideology or understanding of policies between the coalition  partners.
Aam Aadmi Party came in to existence with an ambit of ‘Clean Politics’ which includes anti corruption, decriminalization of politics, making muscle and money (liquor) power irrelevant. This was the unheard voice of millions of people of this country. The ignorant attitude of major political parties gave AAP a ready acceptance amongst the people, in the form of positive results in 2013 elections of Delhi state

After the infamous resignation of Arvind Kejriwal as Chief Minister and perceived under performance in 2014 general elections, AAP was reduced to ashes. As in next Delhi sate elections, chances of AAP seemed to be far from bright, next question in minds of many was, what next? And the answer from AAP was in the form of strategies which went on very well in favor of the party.

What were the strategies of AAP to recoup?

  1. Arvind Kejriwal, after the debacle, started afresh with a ‘Sorry’ and a request of forgiveness for resigning from the government. People didn't feel so angry right after Kejriwal’s resignation but only when, that same old corrupt and inefficient governance came back after a brief relieved period of 49 days. All anger of the people went down with this one sorry.
  2. Right after 2014 general elections, AAP concentrated in building the ‘Booth Centric’ organization.
  3. To design the manifesto, AAP came up with a very successful concept of Delhi Dialogue, in which all sections of the society – women, youth, juggi jopidi habitats and so on were involved, consulted, interacted in designing the manifesto. People said “arey koi tho hain hamari sunne wala” (at least there is someone who is listening to us)
  4. The next strategy which went in favor of AAP was breaking the image of Narendra Modi to be the face of BJP in Delhi elections, forcing the party to look out for a CM candidate, unlike the elections of Maharashtra, Haryana and Kashmir.”Modi tho Pradhan manthri hai, Delhi ke CM tho nahi banenge na” (Modi is PM and will not become CM of Delhi).
  5. As and when BJP was considering Satish Upadhyaya for the CM candidature, AAP has brought out the expose of his having monetary stakes in the alleged faulty electricity meters running in Delhi.
  6. Having a first hand experience of elections, I was very much apprehensive about the influence of money and liquor particularly in the last two days. To beat this, AAP has come up with two strategies,

  •  Arvind Kejriwal has appealed to the people to accept money from all but vote for AAP. With this he could break that possible emotional obligation of the voter towards the person who distributed the money. This, I could sense when I asked people as to what, if you are given money? To which their reply was, “paise tho hum sabse lenge per vote tho Jhadu ko hi denge” (we will take money from all but vote only for AAP)
  • Spy Cameras - The volunteers were equipped with around 5000 spy cameras to capture anyone who distributes money and liquor. This has proved to be double advantageous. One, it induced a  lot of confidence in the volunteers that they can handle and curtail the distribution of money and liquor thereby protecting their vote base. Two, it will put the opponents in defensive and fearful mode.

  Apart from these strategies AAP has been doing exceptional ground work in many areas,       which went in favor of it.


Thursday, 5 June 2014

If I were the PM of India, what would I do?

IF I WERE TO BE MODI, THE PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA, WHAT WOULD I DO?




This is what probably every one of us will be having in our minds 'if I were in his position.....'. Today I am going to do the same. Being in politics for many years I had an idea of my own as to what should be done being at the helm of the governement. If I were to be the Prime Minister of India I would work on the following
  1. Corruption
  2. Quality and Free Education
  3. Quality and Free Health Services
  4. Infrastructure Development
  5. Reforms - Electoral, Police, Judicial
  6. Economy
  7. Defense

1. Corruption

  • Will not induce any Member of Parliament in to the Cabinet, who is facing grievous corruption charges
  • Strengthen Anti Corruption Law
  • Amend the Lokpal Law  to make it more stronger and Implement to its letter and spirit
  • Strong directives tagged with incentives and disincentives regarding strengthening   Lokayukta in line with the amended Lokpal Law
  • Will make sure that the investigative agencies viz. CBI, CID, CVC, ACB (through directives reg Lokayukta) remains autonomous and independent of political influence.
By taking the above measures to curtail corruption it will increase the functioning and efficiency of all the sectors to be mentioned below.

2. Quality and Free Education

Increase the number of primary schools (LKG to 5th class) to the ratio of 5000 population. From there on, shall be boarding school concept like Navodaya, a very successful model which follows all best in class standards and have been continuously giving good results.

Higher secondary and Higher education shall be skill and research oriented. Shall make universities a hub for experiments and self learning. For that universities shall be established in line with Oxford, Cambridge and increase the number of IITs, IIITs, IIMs, National Law Schools, JNU and so on such that every state has at least any three of such kind. 


3. Quality and Free Health Services


Getting a health service, from a normal head ache or fever to maternal delivery to heart and other complicated surgeries, should be very easy and with nil monitory efforts. This we can achieve by,
 · Strengthening already existing Hospitals by equipping with all infrastructures like Doctors  and other related staff in proportionate to the population; put in place the required medical equipment and so on.
· Increase the number hospitals so as to a Sub Centre (pre-primary unit) for every 3000 population, one Primary Health Care Centre (PHC) for every 20,000 population; 'Area Hospital' for every 1 lac population; Multi and super specialty hospital (like Gandhi and Osmania) coupled with Medical College for every district.
· Make available of the generic drugs in all government dispensaries. And also encourage private and public pharmaceutical companies to get into the track of generic drugs.

4. Infrastructure Development

It is elementary sense that infrastructure is one sector if taken care of, will influence many others viz industries, employment and economy as a whole.


· Electricity

Ø  Increase the production of electricity by diversifying the sources of production. viz. unconventional sources of energy (Solar, Wind, Nuclear, Wave etc.)

Ø  Bringing down the Transmission and Distribution (T&D) losses as these losses are at 30-40% of the total production. So half the job is done if we concentrate on curtailing T&D losses

· Development of Roads 

National Highways; State Highways; District, Mandal, Village Roads.

· Railways
Ø  Bringing in fool-proof safety measure so that no single accident happens
Ø  Increase the number of trains to connect the nook and corner of the country and meet the huge demand
Ø  Introduction of High Speed Trains (300Kms/hr) connecting all the major cities across the country

· Airports 
International Airports in all Capital cities and near to world class airports in all 2 tier cities and district head quarters.

  All modes of transportation viz. Roadways, Railways, Airports will be interconnected and well integrated 


5. Reforms -


Electoral

  • Replace 'Proportional Representation' (preferably with Preferential Voting System) in place of existing 'First Past the Post'
  • Debar the people from contesting any elections who are chargesheeted with heinous crimes, until cleared by the courts. And if convicted should be permanently debarred for contesting any political office.
  • State Funding of political parties
  • Institutionalization of political parties
  • Full time dedicated staff to the Election Commission at all levels - streamlining all election related procedure including enrolling and deletions of voter ids
  • A law to bring in - Inner party Democracy; Strict Auditing & Accounting; making distribution of money and liquor a cognizable offence by conferring Statutory status to the 'Model Code of Conduct'. 

Judicial Reforms 

Reforms in judiciary can be seen from three fronts Pending Cases, Corruption and inefficiency. And to address that we shall have to go with the following measures
    video
  • Increase the number of courts proportionate to the pending cases and future demand
  • Increase number of judges
  • Computerization of all courts
  • The above three measures should be materialized in such way that any case should not take more than 6 months to 2 years to be finally cleared
  • Create National Judicial Commission, to protect the independence, impartiality, integrity and competence of the judiciary. It will oversee the appointments and removal of judges and other related staff of judiciary
  • Create All India Judicial Council, to increase the competence and quality of judges in line with IAS and IPS.


Police Reforms 

Shall send strong directives coupled with incentives and disincentives to the states to bring in reforms in police department such as,
Pictorial presentation of Police Reforms
  • Recruit adequate police personnel in proportionate to the population i,e. 1:270 (1 police for every 270 people) or increasing police force to 6% of the total population
  • Allocate adequate Financial resources to - create Technical infrastructure; increase salaries; increase expenditure of operational officers
  • Separation of responsibilities of the police viz. Law & Order, Crime Investigation and VIP protection
  • Do away with undue political influence or interference in matters of day to day functions and transfers and promotions
  • Set 'Police Complaints Authority' to look in to complaints on police personnel
  • As suggested by 'Soli Sorabjee committee on Police Reforms', 100 years old acts on which police system is based should be replaced with the new acts

6. Economy

Encourage Public Private Partnership in huge projects viz. Intercity High Speed Trains, Roads, Airports etc.

·To reduce Fiscal Deficit (FD)
There will be spurt in expenditure keeping in view of the introduction of huge projects; increase in payment of salaries (as the government work force will be increased to the proportion of the work load). This may in turn cause FD to increase. However it can be reduced with following measures
ü  With reduction in corruption, the hitherto un accounted drained money can be used efficiently. As our PMs time and again been saying that only 25% of the allocated money is being actually spent on the projects and the rest is swindled.
ü  One,Stream lining the composition of Taxes and  two, increase in the collection of the taxes. Both these are inter connected and interdependent.

· To reduce Current Account Deficit
ü  With a friendly and economic oriented Foreign Policy there will be scope of increase in exports.
ü  Focusing on our strengths like Software services , Tourism and so on
ü  Encourage Domestic Savings

· Creation of Employment
ü  Along with Administrative reforms (Police, Judicial) one important demand erupts is recruiting staff in proportionate to the work load. 
ü  Regularizing lakhs of contract Labors as it includes sheer exploitation. 
ü  How so ever we increase Government jobs it would be only a fraction of the demand. Thus we shlould encourage Self employment by strengthening the related schemes and streamlining the process like providing loans and so on
ü  Manufacturing sector plays a key role in terms of employment generation. And the performance of this sector is dependent on many infrastructural sectors like electricity, roads, monitory market etc. 

· Farming
Ø  Develop Cold Storages
Ø  Encourage usage of Technology in farming right from which crop to plant to tilling to sowing to reaping. By doing so we can reduce the cost of production and improve the productivity in the available limited land
Ø  There is a huge disparity in land holding. The scarce limited natural resource- cultivable land has to be redistributed to the marginalized farmers
Ø  Irrigation – make sure that every hectare is supplied with water
Ø  Making the 'producer - whole seller - retailer - consumer' chain fool-proof by removing all unnecessary middle men

7. Foreign Policy


Renew and maintain friendly relations’ shall be made to be as a policy. ‘You can choose your friends but not neighbors’. Thus we shall have two approaches when it comes to the relationship with our neighbors.
One with Pakistan and China where we shall have regular communication in regard to commerce, defense, intelligence; increase economic and sports activities; being assertive on matters like defense
Two, with Bangladesh, Srilanka, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Miyanmar and Maldives. Opening up and granting MFN (Most Favored Nation) to all South Asian Countries; sharing border related and intelligence information; make monitory transactions more regulated with particular reference to Maldives from where most of the Indian black money reenters India.
Other far away neighbors like US, E.U, Russia, Brazil, and Israel etc shall be dealt with economic and strategic angles.

8. Defense

Defense as the name and it's functions goes, misses a humane approach. so my defense strategy would be to bring in welfare and developmental measures in the lives of soldiers (low cadre), like increasing the salaries into two folds and so on.
Increase allocations for Intelligence so that they have all infrastructure in place to identify internal and external issues like terrorist threats and so on.
Unlike any conventional thought process there shall be Decrease the budgetary allocation of arms and ammunition (not to confuse with arms and ammunition of the police force which shall be increased). Divert the decreased fund to Health and Education sectors.
Encourage R&D in space which would have direct impact on the well being of the people of the country.


Devil is in Detail, so to keep crisp and short, I have mentioned only a broad framework of the vision or to call it a mini 'Manifesto' which in my view, would suffice to eradicate poverty, bring up the Human Development Index parameters (education, Health etc). If we go by this, calling our country, India is a developed nation is not a far cry.