What do hard numbers of minorities say about reservations?

This is a trip down memory lane, of circa 2009 yet it remains as relevant…

This is a trip down memory lane, of circa 2009 yet it remains as relevant today as it was then, if not more relevant and more urgent.I was present at the Judicial Academy in 2009 to depose before Justice Srikrishna who was appointed to look into events leading to February 19 in the Madras High Court. My friends and I were intimidated by a menacing group of lawyers who demanded that we be evicted from the premises and that we should not be allowed to depose.

It is beside the matter that we refused to be intimidated but I had been carefully observing the hordes of lawyers who had thronged the venue; the bulk comprised Christians and anti-Hindu Dravidian Tamil chauvinists (as distinct from Tamil Hindus). This triggered the question ‘why’? Why were RC Paul Kanagaraj and a Dravidian supremacist Tamil S Prabhakaran heading the Madras High Court Advocates’ Association and the Tamil Nadu Advocates Association? How did they become Presidents of these organizations?

This question demanded an urgent response because these two individuals are credited with the dubious distinction of getting the Madras and Tamil Nadu Bar to espouse a foreign policy issue (which is not the domain of the judiciary), besides celebrating a notified Christian Tamil terrorist’s birthday in the High Court premises; they are singularly responsible for paralyzing the Tamil Nadu judiciary which worked for only ten days in 2009.


The answer to the ‘why and how’ the state’s advocates’ associations slipped into their control is rooted in the peculiar reservations policy of successive Dravidian Tamil Nadu governments, both DMK and AIADMK. Reservations which stand at 69%, is way above the national policy of 50% reservation quota for the socially and economic non-forward castes. So far, attempts to challenge this abnormality in the courts and bring it on par with the national numbers have met with ferocious opposition from all Dravidian Tamil parties.

The Brahmins and other non-Brahmin forward castes, even if the families live in penury, are kept out of the reservation quota in higher education and government jobs. Children of economically backward temple pujaris who earn a pittance, children of socially and economically backward Brahmins who carry the dead in their community to the cremation ground, children of poverty-stricken vaidikas who do not eat two full meals in a day, are also kept out of the reservation quota regime. If a section of the Hindu forward castes are kept out of the quota regime, it would be expected that those brought into the quota spectrum would belong to the socially and economically backward ‘castes’. But is that the case? How many of us know that the ‘c’ in the OBC and MBC is not caste but ‘class’ here and ‘community’ there. Economically backward Hindus are kept out of the empowering quota regime because of their ‘caste’ but Christians and Muslims are brought into the fold in the guise of ‘class’.

The hidden face of religion behind reservations


Let me cite the much-acclaimed Sachar Commission report, Table 10.3:

  • Around 40% of all Muslims are already enjoying the benefits of reservation under the OBC quota
  • The percentage of Muslims and Christians who are cornering the benefits of reservation in the BC and OBC quota vary from state to state
  • West Bengal – 2.4%
  • Uttar Pradesh – 62%
  • Kerala, where the Muslims constitute 25% of the total state population, 99% are classified as OBCs and are claiming reservation quota
  • In Tamil Nadu 93.3% Muslims have been notified as OBC by the state government in 2004-2005 whereas in 1999-2000 83% of Muslims were notified as OBC – a steep increase of 10% in just five years!



  • All-India population as per 2001 Census – 2.3% or 24.2 million
  • 1/3 of all Christian population is tribal. Of the remaining 2/3, around 70% claim backward status
  • North-east – 5.3 million tribal Christians which is 1/4 – 1/5 of the total Christian population. The North-east Christians are all tribal people
  • Orissa – 8 lakh tribal Christians
  • Bihar and Jharkhand – 1.1 million tribal Christians
  • Of the remaining 16 million Christians, 60-70% of all Christians in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Orissa are notified as OBCs with percentages varying from state to state as indicated earlier
  • Only 10% of all Christians in the country are not availing of any kind of reservation and these would be largely the Goan and the Syrian Christians.

Some hard facts about the politics and religion behind reservations

  • All-India reservation – total 50%. ST 7.5%, SC 15%, OBC 27.5%.
  • All-India tribal population stands at 8.2% while all-India SC population is 16.2%
  • Christians constitute only 10% of the total tribal population but they corner 90% of all ST reservation quotas in higher education and government employment.
  • J&K has 11% tribal population but they probably get nothing.
  • Around 70% of Christians and Muslims have been brought into the quota regime as backward communities or backward classes
  • There is no category called Scheduled Caste Christians or Muslims. When the church demands reservation for so-called dalit Christians and God forbid, that it may ever happen, then the church will de-notify large segments of the OBC Christian population and re-classify them as Scheduled Castes so that they can corner all the benefits of SC reservation just as they are cornering all the benefits of the ST reservation quota.

Economically backward Hindus are kept out of the empowering quota regime because of their ‘caste’ but Christians and Muslims are brought into the fold in the guise of ‘class’.

This cornering is made possible only because of the constitutional right provided to minorities to start and run educational institutions. There is a move now afoot to equate degrees obtained from Muslim madarasas to the CBSE board so that the Muslims in the OBC spectrum may be enabled to corner another major chunk of the benefits of reservation just as the Christians are doing now.


Under the Gandhi-Nehru inspired secular political dispensation, Hindu OBCs and Hindu STs are being systematically disempowered economically just as the Hindus of the country are being disempowered politically. The economic and political disempowerment of the Hindus is directly proportional to the empowerment of the two most-well-organized so-called global Abrahamic minorities.

To get back to how the likes of Paul Kanagaraj and S Prabakaran have ascended to the powerful positions they now hold, we will have to look at the face of the religions behind the Tamil Nadu reservation quota regime. Paul Kanagaraj and S Prabakaran were elected Presidents by the advocates of the Madras High Court and Tamil Nadu courts respectively. These advocates have only to be registered in the Bar; it is of no consequence that they may not have made a single appearance in the court to argue a case. The bulk of these advocates enter the courts directly from law colleges where admission to the courses is governed by Tamil Nadu’s distinctively anti-Hindu reservation policy.

What is true of admission to law colleges is true of medical colleges, engineering colleges, IITs, IIMs, and admission to all under-graduate and post-graduate courses in the Sciences and Humanities. Let us now look at the reservation quota regime in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu total 69% reservation

  • 50% BC + MBC – 30% BC, 20% MBC
  • 18% SC – 15% + 3% exclusively for Arundhatiyar community
  • 1% for ST
  • About 90% of all Muslims and Christians have been included for reservation under the 30% BC category
  • 70% of all Tamil Nadu population is considered BC, a very unusual and high percentage.
  • 50% of the 70% BC population is qualified for reservation.

Now let us see how this works in real terms by taking admission to medical colleges as an example. There are altogether 3000 medical seats of which 30% or 900 seats are allotted to the BC. 600 seats or 20% of the total are allotted to the MBC.

Christians constitute 6.5% of the total Tamil Nadu population while Muslims constitute 5.5%. Of the total 6.5% of Christians, 6.1% or around 80% of the total Christian population have been classified as BC. This is 1/9 of the total population. BC Christians were cornering 300 seats out of the 900 medical seats every year; that is 1/9 of the population was claiming 1/3 of the share of seats.

And that is why Christian politicians and the Christian clergy met the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister to ask him to rescind the order granting 3.5% reservation for Christians. The Tamil Nadu government promptly rescinded the order and allowed the Christians to come back into the 30% BC quota segment which was getting them phenomenal returns. Christians must be removed from the 30% BC quota unless we want a situation someday in the near future when they may rampage across the entire BC spectrum. Giving this super-forward religion even 3.5% quota is bad enough but allowing them to occupy the elephant’s space in the BC quota segment is willful betrayal of the cause of Hindu backward classes.

The same would be true of all professional colleges and in admissions to all under-graduate and post-graduate degrees too. We must not be beguiled into thinking that the remaining seats go to Hindu BCs and MBCs. If we consider the possibility that preference in reservation is given to anti-Hindu, irreligious Dravidian Tamils with marked political affiliations, then we begin to understand what is happening in the Madras High Court and in all other courts of Tamil Nadu. Reservation benefits are being hogged by the minorities and anti-Hindu Dravidian Tamils. Tamil Hindu SCs, BCs and MBCs are being increasingly marginalized and alienated from the mainstream.

Events of February 17 and February 19 in the Madras High Court are only a violent expression of what has been happening for more than a decade now in Tamil Nadu’s educational institutions of higher learning. The Tamil Nadu government had announced 3.5% exclusive reservation for Christians and Muslims. This 7% minority reservation quota was supposed to have been hived off the 30% BC reservation quota. In the beginning, the church welcomed the move but soon beat the retreat when it realised that under the 3.5% exclusive quota, Christian BCs were eligible only for 105 seats as against the 300 seats it was snatching from the mouths of Hindu BCs.

Now let us look at the last government deception which is proving fatal to Hindu Backward class and castes. According to the 2001 Census report which for the first time was collecting such data on the basis of religion, if we consider urbanization and literacy as indicators or indices of forwardness, then in Tamil Nadu –

  • Male literacy is Christians 90%, Muslims also 90%, Hindus 81.5%
  • Female literacy is Christians 82%, Muslims 76%, Hindus 62.5%
  • Urbanized percentage – Christians 56%, Muslims 73%, Hindus 41%

If we have to avert a social bloody revolution, then Indian polity must begin to define forward and backward and also address the anomaly of the ‘C’ in FC and BC. Keeping Hindus out of reservation on the basis of caste but bringing in the Christians and Muslims into the quota regime with the fig-leaf of class is disempowering more and more socially and economically backward Hindus.

Classifying Christians as backward is akin to classifying the Brahmin caste as backward class just to enable them to corner the empowering benefits of affirmative reservations in higher education and government employment. This is perversion and anti-Hinduism of the most shameless kind. The Sachar Commission Report and the Tamil Nadu reservation policy rest on some fuzzy all-India misconceptions and deceptions whereas the truth of the backwardness of the Hindus, if one goes by the 2001 census indices of forwardness, is more acute and visible. Hindu caste, religious and political leaders must wake up to this appalling truth. The silence had to be broken yet again. Oh, and by the way, the said Prabhakaran is today the President of the All India Bar association, a very very powerful position within their professional community.