Sattanathan Commission was appointed by M Karunanidhi, the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu to looked into the existing reservation policy and the extent of benefit it has done to the most deserving category of people in the state.
Sattanathan Commission submitted its report in 1970 with clear recommendation for the exclusion of creamy layer from the reservation list. Sattanathan commission was of the view that “some castes have taken full advantage of the state’s protective measures and made rapid strides, while many others continue to trail behind and are still in the lower stages of stagnancy”.
Therefore the commission headed by Sattanathan recommended the removal of the ‘creamy layer’ from the list of beneficiaries by clearly stating that those families of salaried persons whose annual income is above Rs.9000/- month and those who have 10 acres of land and the business people with taxable income exceeding Rs.9000/- month must be excluded. But Karunanidhi did not eliminate the creamy layer from the list of beneficiaries of reservation and nor did he create separate reservation for most backward classes.
The question is why DMK did not follow the recommendations of Sattanathan Commission? The reason is quite obvious and it was the political reason that prevented Karunanidhi to accept the recommendations of Sattanathan.
The non-Brahmin upper caste was dominant in DMK and was dictating terms and conditions both in the party and in the government during the early period of DMK rule. The reservation policy in fact had benefited this group heavily than the most deserving category of people. When a person availed reservation benefit and occupied government position with more than Rs.9000/- month salary, his or her family should not be given reservation was the recommendation of Sattanathan commission. Those who become the creamy layer are likely to know the loopholes in the government establishment and hence are likely to over benefit the reservation policy meant for the deserving category and thereby would suppress the opportunity of the really deserving people in the reservation catagory. As a result of the above, only a few groups of people could over benefit and the rest shall continue to remain weaker both economically and educationally.
Had DMK government headed by Karunanidhi followed the recommendations of Sattanathan commission and eliminated the creamy layer, many people from the backward category would have benefited from the reservation and would have attained a reasonably higher status in the society by now. But DMK overweighed its political fortune than the genuine requirements of the depressed category of people.
If we carefully analyse the brand politics of DMK, we can easily establish the truth that DMK was not at all concerned about the depressed community and nor was its parent organization Justice Party. It had always played hate politics, politics of anti-God, anti-Hindu, anti-Brahmin and anti-Hindi. DMK cleverly carved an image to itself as the true messiah of the depressed category of people but when Sattanathan commission showed the real mirror to Karunanidhi and made clear recommendations for how to benefit the really deserving category of people by removing the creamy layer from the reservation list, Karunanidhi showed his true colour that for him politics matters and not the upliftment of backward category of people.
When MGR came to power after raising doubts over the financial misappropriations and corruption and forming AIADMK issued an order in 1979 that those with annual income lower than Rs.9000/- month in the backward classes alone eligible to get the benefits of reservation. MGR was true to the cause of uplifting the people of backward category but the malicious propaganda of DMK and lack of understanding of people about the true intentions of MGR, AIADMK was defeated in 1980 Lok Sabha election, as a result, MGR had to withdraw the order and then increased the reservation for the BC’s from 31 per cent to 50 per cent.
MGR, Amma and now EPS, all stood for the people of the state and not for own political gain. That is why MGR when he could not exclude the creamy layer, increased the percentage of reservation for OBC’s from 32 to 50 to ensure that even if the creamy layer benefit heavily, the most deserving category should not suffer.
The present generation and the first time voters must know the political history of DMK and how indifferent and irresponsible it was towards the most deserving backward category of people.
Tamil Nadu needs a total reform which EPS is catalysing. The leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the dreams of Amma alone can save the state and not the dynastic forces.