Thursday, February 03, 2011

The SKC Scandal 3: Is the majority privileged to violate the Constitution!?

The SKC report ended up suggesting that a few "constitutional guarantees" would help surmount the Telangana demand. However, this raised a fundamental question about majoritarianism and the tyranny of the majority with regard to the highest law of the land - the ConstitutionIn light of SKC's recommendation, it is reasonable to expect what the committee found to suggest this option. In short, what did the committee find regarding the implementation of previous constitutional guarantees in, say jobs?

What the SKC did?
Here is what the SKC reads out about the constitutional guarantees Telangana has in government jobs. It rephrases the question carefully to omit words like 'constitutional guarantees', 'presidentional orders', 'Government orders', '610 GO' as if none of them exist!

B. Whether the demand for reservation in public employment is an issue that can be considered relevant to a large section of the population?

The second question can be rephrased- Is public employment a big issue statistically? As per the figures of Census 2001, the population of Andhra Pradesh was 762 lacs, out of which the working population was 348.65 lacs. The Employees‟ Census, held in 2006, put the figure of total employees under the state government (or in public employment) at around 12.9 lacs. Now, for the sake of convenience, let us make two assumptions – 
(a) that the Census 2001 figures of total population can be compared with the Employees‟ Census figures of 2006, and 
(b) that the issue of residential qualification in public employment is relevant to the entire work force in public employment. 

The entire population of public employees in Andhra Pradesh in 2006 was about 1.7% of the total
population in 2001 and about 3.6% of the working population in 2001. If we had increased the total population and working population figures (which would anyway have increased by 2006 as compared to 2001) and reduced the number of public employees to include only those to whom the benefit of reservation could be extended, these percentages would have been even lower. The point is that, public employment constitutes a very small percentage of the working population of the state and an even smaller percentage of the total population. During the last two decades (1990-2010), as the Indian economy has undergone structural changes, a great many areas of employment opportunities in the private sector have opened up, pushing public employment, both in numbers as well as in importance into the background.

Someone like Justice SriKrishna is supposed to judge the legal and illegal, not the "highest satisfaction of the largest number". In fact, the latter concept does not belong to the courthouse, but maybe to a brothel house! When the question here clearly is about the failure of constitutional safeguards which means violating the Constitution, Justice Srikrishna refuses to even examine it and instead justifies why those violations does not matter! And then goes on suggest the very same failed guarantees as the route to solve Telangana's ills! Which right-thinking individual would heed this? The SKC seems to think constitutional violations are not illegal . Justice SriKrishna should tell us whether this is a privilege of the Majority.

What the SKC should have done?
Instead the Justice should have done at least 2 things:

1) They Should have taken the erstwhile Bhargava's committees' route to calculate how many government jobs Telanganites missed out because of these violations in last few decades. How many families could have got their welfare hit because of missing these opportunities.

2) Because of the siphoned jobs, key decision-making positions in Government were lost by Telangana. That resulted in the biased bureaucracy which did its part in further discrimination of Telangana. The SKC should have examined this.

It is clear SKC deliberately ignored the aspect of job loss and the consequences of the same for Telangana. It just read verbatim the argument of Samaikyandra plutocrats shamelessly. Worse, it tried to misle the issue and digress with statistical gimmickry.

1 comment:

Green Star said...

[Someone like Justice SriKrishna are supposed to judge the legal and illegal, not the "highest satisfaction of the largest number". In fact, the latter does not belong to the courthouse, but maybe to a brothel house! ]

Well said... I like your article. Well written.