Friday, May 19, 2006

Reservations – agitations – Tamilnadu

Update: Please find a newer post on the similar topic here.

Please find an earlier write up on Success of reservations here.

Why does TamilNadu behave differently than the rest of the country? Asked one of my friends.

There are no anti-reservation agitations going on, there are people who cannot and do not want to differentiate anti-reservation and oppression of the under privileged, no voice against reservations in private sectors. These observations led to the aforesaid question.

Well I had to explain a lot on this, and let me try to share that.

Going back in time, the caste based politics started in TamilNadu started much before it happened in rest of India. To evoke sentiments of the people and to capture power, politicians had to identify a social enemy to fight with. The minority Brahmins were the unlucky choice.

All the backwardness of the state and the people were attributed to the Brahmins, similar to what Hitler did in Germany against Jews.[though really the Brahmins were only poor in government servants whereas the wealthy land lords who wielded power were all from non-Brahminical castes].

Sentiments were raised, Power was captured and 40 years have rolled over since then. Over the last 40 years, the only affirmative action towards implementing the policy of social equality has been reservation. Now, go through the following statistics

87.05% of the population gets benefited by Reservations. The rest 12.95 will have to compete only for the remaining 31% of the seats, in educational institutions, state government jobs et al.

Tamil Nadu Population (Projected)
Category Population(2001) % of Total Population % of Reservation
BC 2,87,93,980 46.14% 30%
MBC 1,08,77,310 17.43% 20%
DC 21,46,755 3.44%
SC 1,18,57,504 19.00% 18%
ST 6,51,321 1.04% 1%
Others 80,78,809 12.95% -
Total 6,24,05,679 100% 69%

This means that, if there are 100 seats, 69 are taken up Communities-Benefiting-From-Reservation [I cant call them backward, since most of those who enjoy reservation are already forward and in the creamy layer.]. The rest 31 seats are in Open Category, where the CBFR and CNotBFR have to fight it out. Now practically the CBFR folks competing for the 31 seats are 87% of the population and are creamy. So they tend to take up 28 of the 31 seats.
So, at the end, out of hundred seats, 97 seats go to the CBFR and 3 go to CNBFR.

Please find the article in The Hindu, which analyses the Medical admission in TamilNadu colleges for year 2005. Out of 1445 seats, 40 seats have been taken by CNBFR [so called ‘Forward’ communities], rest 1405 seats have gone to folks who get benefited by reservation.

The conclusions are

  1. There can never be a protest from students in Tamilnadu. A classroom consists of about 90% of students who get benefited from reservations.
  2. Since 87% of the population gets enjoys reservations, no government in the future dare to reduce the percentage from 69%. Once a majority has been given undue privilege in a democracy, it cannot be scraped at all.
  3. On the contrary, even if a TN government says that, 100% seats are reserved and all the forward community students have to be kicked out of the state, and passes an Act in the assembly to this effect, the 12% of the folks in the state do not command any power to react. They will have to accept it and live with it. The 12% in the state is just at the mercy of any opportunities that are provided by the rest.
  4. This is a lesson for the people from rest of the states. If you let more than 50% of seats to be reserved, then there is no looking back. Even for making a protest demonstration in the future, the anti-reservation junta will be in a minority in the classrooms. So this is the last chance to fight against undue advantage to the already much-forward, creamy folks. There will be more folks to for ‘Pro-Reservation’ agitations.
  5. Regarding reservations in Private sector, it is already there. What I mean is, if 95% of the students graduating are from the backward and below, how come an organization can staff itself without at least 50% of its employees from the 95% of the pass outs. In fact on taking number, it must be astonishing that 97% of the employees from the state would have been from the reserved categories, because even the few folks who get to be educated in TamilNadu, force their way out of the state/country for better prospects, for self and future generations. Thus there is no voice against reservation in private enterprise from Tamil Nadu.


At Fri May 19, 02:50:00 AM CDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear TJ,
your post is quite detiled compared to the emotional and subjective account given by Vatsan...

enna TJ, Chennaikku eppa Vareenga...reservation patthi paesinaa neram thaan waste' aagum...Tamil Nadu will certainly not oppose any quota because all politicans in Tamil Nadu like to use the anti-brahmin plank...

for those who speak of economic inequalities, well let them look at Archakas and Purohits whose children live in circumstances that can hardly be called "Forward."

I always feel that there should be opportunities for I really do not say anything about the people at whom this move is targeted...but what everyone needs to recongise is that
in India, esp in TN

Reservation = Reverse Discrimination (not my words,those of a senior High Court lawyer...)

Ellarum Nallaa Irukkaratthukku Vazhi thedaradhai vittuttu, oru silarukku Vaaiippu kidaika koodaathu endru than indha thitaam amaikka pattu irukkiradhu..

TJ, I have seen toppers being denied seats on account of being the "Open Category" where seats are very limited...

I want every child in India to utilise all opportunities available for education...not just kids who happen to be Tam Brahms like myself...

in fact this is possible only if some real analysis is done instead of dishing out sops...

Sarve Janaa: Sukhino Bhavanthu!


At Fri May 19, 03:10:00 AM CDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So i find the reason for the development of TamilNadu from your Blog.
Let North India follow Tamilnadu for development.
Tamilnadu is one of the best developed state in India.

At Fri May 19, 04:25:00 AM CDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please go through this write up for an alternative approach on reservations.

At Fri May 19, 04:51:00 AM CDT, Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Mappilaiiiiiiiiii - when did u restart blogging??? u didnt even tell me :(..great man - hows married life? saw ur pics - very good ones :)..

At Fri May 19, 06:40:00 AM CDT, Blogger ada-paavi!!!! said...

TJ, no use cribbing bout reservations (3%) cant make its voice heard, its better if we plan for reservation and survive a scenario where even the private sector might have reservation.

i have immense faith in the resiliant FC who will overcome this obstacle too

At Fri May 19, 01:54:00 PM CDT, Blogger Narayanan Venkitu said...

Very nice stats. I was thinking in the same lines.

No sane 'Brahmin' family will stay in TN !

My PUC days, 98% couldn't get Engg.!!.


At Fri May 19, 04:22:00 PM CDT, Blogger WA said...

Narayanan Sir, I think thats slightly unfair though. Plenty of Brahmin and 'other' families chose to stay in TN. I myself have cousins who have turned down good offers abroad to stay in Chennai.

TJ - Welcome back and wish you a very happy married life.

At Fri May 19, 04:44:00 PM CDT, Blogger Ganesh said...


To be unfair is only fair thats what is going on TN.
Look at the current agitation even MSM seems to turn blind eye.
This is sad state of affairs.
Most of the well do or middle class tambrams have their son/daughters leave out of state and out of country but what happens to poor tambrams those who work as temple preist earning meager 10rs/kg of rice what happens to their children

sorry state of affairs
why cant fellow tambram help their economically less privileged brothers ?!!

At Fri May 19, 09:40:00 PM CDT, Blogger Sowmya said...

Good comprehensive analysis.
Came to your post through my brother Ganesh's blog. I decided long back that in India life is pretty much screwed (pardon my language) if you are 1. Hindu 2. Brahmin. One can survive if he/she is in software. But other fields forget it!!!!
I am glad I am not in India. At least here I am doing my PhD. In India I doubt if I could have got a seat for PhD program even after topping in my Masters :)

At Sat May 20, 03:49:00 AM CDT, Blogger Narayanan Venkitu said... offenses meant..sorry If I hurt your feelings.

What I meant was - At this rate one would like to stay there!

At Sun May 21, 12:19:00 AM CDT, Blogger Chakra Sampath said...

brilliant analysis.. i was writing an in-depth analysis on the same lines.. but after seeing your post, let me not reinvent the wheel.

At Thu May 25, 10:34:00 PM CDT, Blogger Abyss|Ashwin said...

Hats off to you maan fr ur indepth anaylysis of the topic.

At Thu May 25, 11:56:00 PM CDT, Blogger Abyss|Ashwin said...

Problem is population.How can so many crores of Upper caste people get Green Card???So lets go on an expedition to find a new Island

At Sun May 28, 01:03:00 PM CDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Few things can be done , the richer and well off brahmins can help the forward castes alone , also consumer forum named 'VOICE' in chennai every year files in Supreme court because of which atelast 50% open quota is ensured , we all need to call Vijayan the lawyer who executes this every year , but do not know if the govt ensure the additional seats or if someone is following up

At Mon May 29, 08:54:00 AM CDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arayans who invaded India like others tried to suppress the peoples in Tamilnadu. But the great leaders like PERIYAR, etc removed that impact and made to realize the slavery put by the Aryans.
I am sure who ever supports the Anti-Reservation may the invaders of India and not the actual Dravidians. Most of them are real Dravidians and that why they did not support those peoples who invaded the India.
I just want to know why so called Brahmins or Aryans who killed the lower caste peoples in the name GOD , suffer for atleast 200 more years as ripe for their deeds.

At Mon May 29, 01:25:00 PM CDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only Todas and others are original inhabitants of South India. Most of the Dravid dalits, backward classes etc are also invaders who suppressed indigenous negroid adivasis.

Also, the same people like Ramadoss who are agitating for population based representation of all seats in the nation should realize that the Dravids are in a minority in India. In 2050, the population of India will be 180 crores, out of which Tamil Nadu will be only 8 crores. By this logic, 90% of seats in Lok Sabha, govt jobs, private sector jobs throughout the nation should be reserved for North Indians soon. Believe me, this is coming because the North population is very strong.

At Mon May 29, 02:55:00 PM CDT, Blogger The news that I hear said...

That is a good analysis. What you say is true. In TN, there has been a genocide of Brahmins. Politicians of TN have been successful in spreading hatred of Brahmins and keeping them out of all the benefits that is extended to all the other communities. And all this started out of a very basic emotion of man - Envy. If you cannot compete with the intelligence and hard work of a man, then wipe him out through all other means in the name of Social Justice.

At Tue May 30, 04:21:00 AM CDT, Blogger TJ said...

No chennai plans yet dude, bangalore is pleasant :P
Talking abt the reservation, ada vidungappa.. nothing's goinna change :(

Think of how TN would have developed if the handicap of reservation was not there.:P

appo appo, cycle gap auto ootting. Indiala vandha velai pakkaramadhiri atleast nadikavavadhu seyyanum. London maadhiri appatama blog ezhudha koochama irukku :P

True, Resilient FCs. :) Read the appam vadai thayirsadam novel by Balakumaran, it deals with that subject. I have posted my review on that here.

Narayanan sir,
The sanity part is true, but not all get the opportunities :(

Thanks for the wishes :)

Yes, helping underprivilege tambrams is the need for the hour. Help not only with money but opening up opportunities exclusive to them.

Good that u got ur ph.d. done there. The probability of Brahmin students getting a seat in medical specialization is nil.

Nandri, hmm. I wud want to see u write it in ur own way though. ;)

Thanks man!

Thanks anons for commenting.
Also, regarding brahmins killing lower caste people, that is the heightestest imagination possible. Keep it up!!


At Tue May 30, 07:49:00 PM CDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At Wed May 31, 02:19:00 PM CDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

there is a drastic deteriortion in TN . Where the vidvaan are not respected it means you are still living in barbaric age of human evolution . ONe day thre will be collapse and civilisation of TN will be extinct . already tamilians are treated like jokers in N. India

At Sun Jun 18, 10:05:00 AM CDT, Blogger Ravi said...

I dont think education is Tamil Nadu is worth fighting for . In long term it may be better not to waste one's precious years in the colleges which are not worth going to . Reverse discriminated people should directly move in to real life commerce . With internet there is not yet any reservation policy . One can pick up enough knowledge there which is the only thing required to succeed .

At Fri Jun 23, 12:16:00 AM CDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yappaaa.... ellaa Ayyar Pasangalum sEErnthu nallaavEE nenja nakkareengappaa....
Kakooos vazhikkum thamizhga Yuutha PasangaLukku oru vanakkamungOOOOOO......

At Mon Aug 07, 12:36:00 PM CDT, Blogger Raghu said...

Great analysis.
You could have underscored some benefits of reservation to stay fair.

At Fri Oct 13, 03:56:00 PM CDT, Anonymous Tamil said...

Intro: Higher education and Unemployment are problems faced by many youngsters. This is exceptionally true for the ones from underprivileged. Most of the students who are from underprivileged communities (BC/MBC/ST/SC) do not have access to good education and employment. As a result the government came up with the plan to bring educational and employment reservations back in 1979.

History: Among Tamils there were many communities (including Brahmins) who lived together in harmony. There wasn’t much discrimination based on one’s occupation. After 300 AD the Pallavas and the Cholas who followed them, popularized and patronized Vedic Hinduism and Brahminism. The Brahmins were given lands around the Temples, and in some cases Brahmins from other parts of India were also brought to TN (I strongly believe that this influx of Brahmins from other parts must have resulted in the Brahmin accent; I highly doubt that the Brahmins who have lived in TN in the Sangam times had an accent). The Brahmins were learned people who were employed mainly for temple work before the arrival of the Europeans. Some Brahmins also worked as ministers and Raja Gurus for their respective rulers. The Brahmins taught the kings and commoners that it was sinful/unholy/dirty to perform certain acts such as eating meat, drinking liquor, and dealing with anything dirty. Slowly the society moved towards a caste based society, with occupations connected to “unholy activities” being categorized as Lower, the other occupations being higher and the Priests (Brahmins who do God’s wok) the highest. This sort of mirrored the Varna system practiced in North India. But since the Brahmins had no real political or financial power over the masses, they did not make enemies with any other community.
The arrival of the British changed the life style of the Brahmins. The British who used the technique of supporting a minority among a population, to gain their support against the majority, did the same thing with the Brahmins in India. The Brahmins became the English man’s new best friend in an otherwise hostile India. The Brahmins who were not violent nature and much more educated than the people of the other castes were more than happy to serve their new masters. As a result they were installed in administrative jobs, given a good salary, and their children were also given an opportunity to get educated. (The only others who had the same opportunity were the ones who had converted to Christianity, Anglo-Indians, and children of petty rulers who supported the British). Many of these Brahmins became quite wealthy and influential in society (It is interesting to note that educating the Brahmins backfired when many young Brahmins who are not used to discrimination in India, find themselves being discriminated by the British. These young British-Educated Brahmins would then lead the masses in India’s freedom struggle).
The Golden age of the Brahmins would last from 1800 to 1960, when the Brahmins became close in status and power to the rich non-Brahmin upper caste land owners. 2 things bothered the upper castes and the castes close to them in hierarchy. 1) The sudden rise of the Brahmin wealth, 2) The fact that the Brahmins treated them as lower than them (The second point should be noted: the fact that the Brahmins were considered higher in pre-British times was not a problem as they had no real power. But as soon as they get power, the fact that they are considered higher becomes a problem). Once Freedom was attained, these upper castes mobilize to restrict the growth of the Brahmins. Many upper-caste non-Brahmins start anti-Brahmin propaganda about the Brahmins. The Influential Brahmins of the 50’s and 60’s fall for the trap. Instead of indulging in confidence building measures between Brahmins and other communities, they get agitated and indulge in activities that would pour oil into the already burning fire. This leads to the DMK coming to power in TN. The arrival of the DMK into the political scene and the Mandal commission brings new trouble. Some of the leaders in the party were from backward and Most backward castes. This coupled with the BCs and MBCs slow rise in status over the next 20-25 years (till late 80’s) is now a problem for the non-Brahmin upper castes. The DMK and Mandal Commission had in effect strangled the Brahmin community, which based its gains in higher education and government employment. Effectively eliminating the Brahmins from the scene, the non-Brahmin Upper castes now wanted to stop the rapid development of the raising lower castes. The politics of many castes begin. The upper caste non-Brahmins now do not mind the Brahmins and sometimes even supports them. The Lower castes have mobilized to gain more due their sheer numbers. The Brahmins (2-3%), Vellalas (7-9 %), the power castes (Mukkulathor), Chettiar, Naicker (26-28 %), support the ADMK alliance, and the other castes support the DMK alliance.

Conclusion: Whether we like it or not, Reservations have led to a substantial increase in the number of MBC, SC, and STs gaining education and a better life, which would not have happened without such rules. The drawback was the loss of the contribution that the Brahmin community could have given to the State and the country. Every well intended plan has its drawbacks. By 2010 it would have been nearly 30 years since the Mandal commission had come into effect. I think it is time for the government to come up with a better plan to better serve all communities.

At Mon Oct 16, 11:51:00 PM CDT, Blogger TJ said...

thanks Tamil,
That is one very good write up.

At Sat Jan 13, 12:57:00 PM CST, Anonymous Lindsay Lohan said...

best site

At Tue Jun 03, 02:12:00 AM CDT, Anonymous From website said...


Pro reservationationists ironically favour Muslims who only speak Hindi at home or Nayudus and Reddys who speak only Telugu at home. At the same time they treat Tamil-speaking Brahmins and Chettiars as foreign invaders by excluding them . They also claim to fight for the Tamil dividing Tamil society!!? PMK, DMK, ADMK etc reject creamy layer, support the cruel 2-tumbler system of Southern Tamil Nadu and now demand extended reservation. PMK leader will go Delhi, Hyderabad and Bombay to promote reservation rather than setting up Tamil learning centers in those places. This shows that Tamil Nadu policitians don't mind loosing their self respect and prefer to worship their Hindi masters than to work for an integrated Tamil society. Incidently the PMK health minister has made Hindi compulsory for medicine, the the DMK surface transport minister has made Hindi compulsory on national roads even in Tamil Nadu.

At Thu Mar 26, 10:44:00 AM CDT, Anonymous Lokesh said...

Guys… i want to quote from my personal life. During my school days, most of my friends were many times richer than me. My father was just a worker in a company earning wages not enough to meet our day-to-day expenses. He was the first graduate in our entire clan. My elder brother was the fist engineer in our entire clan. I remember my childhood days in early 1990’s when i used to shop provisions for one rupee. Hardly we used have stock of sugar, tea powder, rice for more than 3 days in my home. Whereas my friends parents were either politicians or doctors or engineers or businessmen. And they are filthy rich. They use to come in cars to school. And to my surprise their sons and daughters were benefitted by quoto regime. Whereas i suffered in the name of reservations. Inspite of all hardships i scored 88% in my 12th standard. I could manage to get admission only in evening college and did BBA. Whereas my friends who were filthy rich and scored 40 to 60% got MBBS and BE admission. Due to my hardwork and continuous efforts today i am in a very good position. My country didnt help me, my caste didnt help me, politicians didnt help me. I am here because of my hardwork. Will sons and daughters of rich non-brahmins sacrifice the reservations for poor. No they wont. They would like to enjoy the fruits without hardwork. This will not last long. Now world is shrinking. In the name of reservations one can get MBBS or BE seat. But talent and hardwork will win one day. MNCs will spit on the face of rich guys who reap benefits out of reservations. For the last fifty years, in the name of reservation our politicians are playing a mockery. Alert guys … i will change this soon… We need to setup an all round residential school in chennai exclusively for brahmin minority. Boys from all over the world will come and study here. We need to train our boys not only to excel in academics but also to raise voice for justice. They should specialise in matial arts in that school. We should sponsor the school using our network of Brahmin NRIs. Every student should complete a professional masters degree (in medicine or Engineering or Management or Law). If tamilnadu is not giving them opportunity we will send them to Singapore, US, UK, Australia to learn. Dont worry that our strength is only 3% here in tamilnadu. I feel i am equivalent to 10 non-brahmins. If each one of support me i can change this trend in 10 years. Give me 200 brahmin boys i will show to the world what we are.

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At Sat Mar 20, 07:19:00 PM CDT, Blogger Bob said...

At a philosophical level, any society that oppresses one to make a cheap and quick gain for another is a culture-less society. I hate to say that about Tamil Nadu; Many of the non-brahmin rich guys who now live in the USA must see (after having lived in the USA and seen how accepting this society is) that only those cultures which welcome everyone with open arms will stand the test of time.

Everyone must read Cho's "Verukkathakkada Brahmaniyam?" in which he provides an illustrious list of those Brahmins who offered their best to Tamil and state of Tamil Nadu (by extention).

Brahmins are resilient; If you close them out of medicine and engineering, and law, they will pop their head in other fields; I am seeing more of them in music, arts, and the media. May be this is a blessing!

At Tue Apr 10, 12:10:00 PM CDT, Anonymous Ram said...

Being just 3% of the population brahmins cannot become a vote bank in Tamilnadu. IN uttar pradesh the brahmin population is much higher. Hence no party can afford to ignore brahmins there. The point that a intelligence race will be looked at with envy is what is clearly happening in Tamilnadu. Can the non-brahmins dare to compete with brahmins on an equal level. They'll fail miserably. NOw and again it is debated that there is a great brain drain in India. There are many examples. Sir C.V.Raman's relative Chandrasekar won nobel prize as a citizen of USA. Recently Venky Ramakrishnan won the coveted prize. He also hails from TamilNadu and is now a resident and probably a citizen of USA. By the by it must be noted that all nobel winners from India are Brahmins.These people wouldnt have had an opportunity if they had remained here itself. So it is better to have brain drain than to have brains in the drain. Just by calling Anna Durai, Arignar doesn't make him an arignar. I have read his dramas and i find them anything but interesting. I wonder how passion can blind people. You can see scores of white foreigners queing up at Ramanashramam. One of the founders of modern psychology- Adler, wanted to visit him and get some clarifications. He became a bit jittery and went back after setting his foot in India. I dont see any foreigner working hard to understand Anna or Periyar. While umpteen spend their whole lives in trying to understand what Ramana or Jiddu Krishnamurti has said. The United Nations convened a meeting to listen to what J.Krishnamurti had to say on the most intricate subject of tackling man's psychological problems. The intellegentia took prode in calling J.Krishnamurti "the world teacher". Further the great work of Thiruvalluvar- Thirukural hailed by the DMK also as a great treatise starts with Salutations to God. The atheistic Karunanidhi doesn't apparently see the contradiction. He says there is no God and hails Thirukural which begins with praising God. Height of stupidity. There is a "Adhigaram" in Thirukural which talks about abstaining from eating meat- "PULAAL MARUTHAL. These so called propagators and protectors of Tamil eat almost any meat and still hail the treatise. The only way out for this stupid hypocritical crowd, i think, is to be told to see the contradictions. They will mostly not want to see. So the Brahmins can fume and vent out their anguish may be through such articles, but they'll most probably be an exercise in vain.I will be glad to help any deserving student and as the brahmin community needs such support i'm ready extend all possible help to it.

At Tue Aug 07, 09:51:00 AM CDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Ram - well u seem to be a Brahmin supremacist .. nothing surprising given that u r cribbing about losing out on reservations .. an that all the people who have made it big in the US and rest of the world are Brahmins.. so if u r so proud of the achievements why are u whining like a school girl?

For all the suffering that the minority communities have taken for hundreds of yrs u deserve this.. infact much more.

Welcome to reality. It hurts.


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