Maharashtra government advised to appoint new commission to reassess backwardness of Marathas

The seven-member committee headed by Justice (retired) Dilip Bhosale has recommended the Maharashtra government to appoint a new commission to reassess the social backwardness of the Maratha community. The committee that scrutinised the 500 plus pages verdict of the Supreme Court denying Maratha reservation has given detailed terms of reference the state should give to the new commission.

"To reassess social backwardness in the context of the actual deprived class of Maratha population (non-creamy layer). To re-examine educational backwardness in the context of recent regression of Maratha class," the committee stated in its suggestions for the terms of reference for the new commission.

The committee further stated, "To re-examine social backwardness in the context of recent regression of Maratha class. To re-examine actual percentage of educational backwardness. To supplant aspects of economic backwardness as that arrived by the Gaikwad Commission."

The report that runs into over 130 pages further states that the new commission, if set up, must lay out statistics of the open category population vis a vis Marathas.

"To trace out the actual percentage of forward Maratha class, such as politicians, businessmen, industrialists, professionals and academicians, amongst others, and of socially and educationally backward Marathas. To make a comparative study of earlier backward class commissions for Marathas and its in depth analysis of the shortcomings of such commission reports if any," the report states.

"To consider the difference margin of economic backwardness of Marathas vis a vis other open category EWS ( so as to sub classify/carve out a category). To find out the exact statistics of Marathas in higher services, such as IAS and IPS, in Maharashtra and outside states vis a vis other classes," the report added.

The report further mentioned that the SC didn't consider the ‘pre and post independence backwardness and depression of the Maratha community. The pleadings of Dr Babsaheb Ambedkar in support of the Maratha community considered it as backward.’

"Despite being socially, educationally and economically backward and, otherwise, entitled to the reservation benefits, the erroneous exclusion of the Maratha community since five decades of constitutional equality in itself is an extraordinary situation. Extraordinary backwardness of the Marathwada region was pointed out, wherein the Maratha community has the largest population," the report stated.

The report further states that the SC didn't consider the impact of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation on agriculture, employment and education in general and in the case of Maratha community in particular was pointed out.

"Thousands of farmers belonging to the Maratha community have committed suicide in the last decade due to agricultural distress caused by the new economic policies and natural calamities," the report stated on extraordinary circumstances.

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