It is surprising - or perhaps not so, given the "uneducated literacy" in the country - that a large number of people on either side of the reservation debate have little idea about the definition of OBCs.
This results in, e.g., a false debate on whether the reservations should be based on "economic criteria" or "caste".
Most people don't know - or care to find out - that the very definition of OBCs, however, was/is not based on genetic heredity. Rather, it is based on multiple criteria which consider not just the social (or caste-based) deprivation, but also on educational and economic deprivation...
According to Mandal Commission:
The backward Castes/Classes were defined on the following 11 criteria:
According to National Commission for Backward Classes:
The commission, after studying the criteria/indicators framed by the Mandal commission and the commissions set up in the past by different state Governments and other relevant materials, formulated the following guidelines for considering requests for inclusion in the list of Other Backward Classes:
1. Castes and communities, generally considered as socially backward.
3. Castes and communities, having no representation or poor representation in the State Legislative Assembly and/or district-level Panchayati Raj institutions during the ten years preceding the date of the application
(The term “poor representation” may be taken to refer to a caste or community whose presence in the body is less than 25% of its proportion in the population.)
1. Castes and communities, whose literacy rate is at least 8% less than the State or district average.
2. Castes and communities of which the proportion of matriculates is at least 20% less than the State or district average.
3. Castes and communities, of which the proportion of graduates is at least 20% less than the State or district average.
1. Castes and communities, a significant proportion of whose members reside only in Kachha houses.
2. Castes and communities, the share of whose members in number of cases and in extent of agricultural lands surrendered under the Agricultural Land Ceiling Act of the State, is nil or significantly low.
3. Castes and communities, the share of whose members in State Government posts and services of Groups A & B/Classes I & II, is not equal to the population-equivalent proportion of the caste/community.
Moral of the Story:
Intellectual brilliance/moral superiority is not a substitute for ignorance of facts ;0)