Sadashiva panel on caste demands goes on and on
NAHEED ATAULLA, TNN, Apr 27, 2010, 03.08am IST
BANGALORE: It is the longest-serving inquiry commission in Karnataka,
and the reason is not because the panel was unable to meet the
deadline, but sheer apathy of governments of the day — since 2004 — to
provide necessary inputs to get the commission going.
The A J Sadashiva Commission of Inquiry (constitutional benefits and
review of disproportionate and inequitable distribution among the
scheduled castes in Karnataka) was set up by the Dharam Singh
government in 2004. The panel was constituted following a demand by
one sub-sect of the SCs — Madigas (left wing) — that some sects
amongst the SCs had cornered reservation benefits.
Initially, delay in the panel getting down to work was lack of
infrastructure and staff. Later, it was funds release. Chief minister
B S Yeddyurappa, after taking charge, assured full support to the
commission, but the funds were not released in time in 2009.
Now, allocation of Rs 11.12 crore has been made and also released. But
the cabinet has to approve unit-wise expenditure, which was submitted
a month ago, sources told TOI.
The commission's major exercise is conducting door-to-door survey of
101 categories of SCs, to determine their backwardness. For this, a
comprehensive 195-question format was prepared, which took almost a
The queries pertain to educational, cultural and economic background
of families, and also the extent of reservation availed by them.
However, the survey, which was to commence from April, was deferred as
census work is under way. "Though we had planned to conduct the survey
along with the census, we were asked to defer it,'' sources said.
While the commission will look into disparities in availing benefits
by the SC sub-sects, the BJP has raised the issue of according
`internal reservation' (reclassification of 18% reservation amongst
the sub-sects). The Congress-JD(S) has dubbed it a gimmick in view of
the ongoing gram panchayat elections.
However, minister Govind M Karjol said the government will table a
resolution in the next legislature session, urging the Centre to
accord equal benefits to all SC sub-sects on the basis of their
population. "Presently, of the 22.7% SC/ST population in Karnataka,
the SCs constitute 16.5%. The reservation benefits meant for them are
being cornered by a section of powerful sub-sects and politicians
belonging to it. As a constitutional amendment is required to Article
341, only Parliament is empowered to do so,'' he added.
* Demand for reclassification of reservation was made by the Madiga
sub-sect, after the Andhra Pradesh government order providing such
reservation was struck down by the Supreme Court. The Usha Mehra
Commission was constituted after the apex court quashed the AP
government order. The commission submitted its report in 2008, which
is before the Centre.
* Internal classification issue was recognized by the Punjab
government in 1975 — one reason being Punjab has the highest
proportion of SCs — 24.7% in 1972 to 28.85% as per the 2001 census.
* In Karnataka, SC/STs together tip the population scale at 22.7%. The
SC/STs Order (Amendment) Act, 1976, notified 101 SCs in Karnataka. But
the divide is broad-based into Right Hand (Holeya) equivalent of Malas
in Andhra Pradesh and Left Hand (Madigas, who go by the same name in
* While the right wing identifies with B R Ambedkar and Buddhism —
politicians Mallikarjun M Kharge, C Motamma, G Parameshwara, H C
Mahadevappa, K H Ranganath and V Sreenivasa Prasad hail from this, the
left aligns with former Dy PM Babu Jagjivanram, with Union minister K
H Muniyappa, Karnataka minister Govind Karjol and former ministers D
Manjunath and Alkod Hanumanthappa.
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