Social Justice and Empowerment Speech – 11.03.2020

தேதி: 10 Mar 2020
	Sir, I would like to open up my discussion with an quote by Bertolt Brecht: which is so apt to the present situation - “What kind of times are these, when to talk about trees is almost a crime, Because it implies silence about so many crimes?”
They say the battle of Waterloo in which Napoleon was defeated was won by the Etonians, students graduated from the Eton School, so also the battle against social injustice was won by three Dravidian reformists Thanthai Periyar, Anna and our Kalaignar as well Ambedkar – the Avant garde (avo’ga:d) champion.

Social Justice is a political and philosophical concept which holds that all people should have equal access to wealth, health, well-being, justice and opportunity –
	Synonyms – fairness, equity, integrity
	My first demand is this - whether there is fairness in the justice noted out to all citizens!
Why is it important now at this juncture?
To quote a saying “B’coz it assigns the rights and duties in the institution of our society, which enable people to receive the basic benefits of co-operation. Social justice helps us work toward celebrating diversity in our communities and country” - Legitimate
	Suppressing all voices of democratic protests - and plural voices is the present deplorable scenario here. 
Social Justice:
Justice party of Tamil Nadu was the pioneer in flagging up the Social Justice movement.
	The first Constitutional amendment of Article 15(4) that gives powers to Government to provide reservation in education was done due to the relentless fight in Tamil Nadu in 1950.
	Dr. Kalaignar continued, to protect the constitutional rights of SC/ST, Minorities, Backward and Most Backward communities by following 50% reservation.
	Dr. Kalaignar was instrumental in getting, the inner reservation for Arundhathiyar community.
	Dr. Kalaignar was the first one to propose and implement reservation for destitute women, Physically Challenged persons and for the Transgenders.
	Dr. Kalaignar brought the (33%) women reservation in local bodies 30% Women Reservation in Government Jobs.
Women were inducted into the police department for the first time by the Government lead by Dr. Kalaignar.
The Tamil Nadu Government at present provides 69% reservation for which Dr. Kalaignar was instrumental.
	Sir, they say “all are equal but some are more equal than others”. In order to have a fair balanced equality,
	I urge the Government to bring a Reservation Act for OBC, SC and ST and to place it in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution.
	I am proud to remind here that, The Government of Tamil Nadu headed by Dr. Kalaignar was the first government to create a separate Ministry for Backward Classes in 1969.
Sir, the three member expert committee on creamy layer for OBCs is needless and unwarranted since we already have a constitutional body National Commission on Backward Classes (NCBC) to look after the OBC related issues.
To determine creamy layer on the basis of salaried income only and to remove groups A, B is unjustifiable and could eliminate deserving OBCs.
Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) issuing orders without consulting Ministries of Social Justice and Empowerment, Law and Justice, National Commission on Backward Classes (NCBC), OBC associations and public is untenable as per the view of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on welfare of OBC observed in its 21st report.                                
Therefore, I urge the ministry of Social Justice and empowerment to reject the three member expert committee of Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and advice National Commission on Backward Classes (NCBC) to look into the equivalence posts in Public Sector Understandings (PSUs) (BHEL, HAL etc.,) and on creamy layer.
	Sir, the total budget estimate for the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment stand at Rs.10,103 Crore (Ten Thousand Hundred and Three Crore). Rs.3,742 Crore (Three Thousand Seven Hundred and Two Crore) has been year marked for the educational empowerment of students belonging to the SC/ST, OBC and BC. 
About 60 lakh students under the Post Matric Scholarship for SC to avail financial assistance for higher studies, but there are several millions, so the target should be increased.
The Target numbers for the year 2020-21 under the central scheme for providing Free coaching to SC and OBC students, enable them to appear in competitive exams is abysmally low of Just 2750 students.
The target of 2.75 lakh students under the Central Sponsored Scheme (CSS) Pre-matric scholarship for SC Children of those engaged in unsecured occupation is also very low. Only 110 students are likely to avail the National Overseas Scholarships for SCs and just 2,200 students can get scholarship to study in professional courses in institutes of repute. They are very low comparing to the total eligible students in the country.
Just 4060 OBC students are targeted under The National overseas scholarship scheme which is again abysmally low comparing to the OBC population in the country.
Sir, Injustice anywhere is a threat to everywhere.
I wish to record the grave injustice being done to OBC students in the seat allotments of MBBS and Post-Graduate Medical seats under All India Quota. Though this issue relates to the Ministry of Health, I want to record this in the discussion of Social Justice since the problem itself is related to the implementation and ensuring of Social Justice.
Sir, the 27% reservation mandated by the Government Orders for OBC Students have not been implemented by the Medical Council of India in All India Quota seats. Thereby, the OBC students are denied more than 3000 seats every year. 
The matter is very simple. For the seats drawn from the states for the All India Quota, SC/ST’s are provided 15% & 7.5%. In the same way, OBC’s should be provided 27%.
The Health Ministry as is done for SC/ST in 15% All India UG seats, has to take a decision to extend 27% reservation to OBC’s also in the All India Quota drawn from states and should file in a reply in the Supreme Court. 
Sir, they say the four principles of Social Justice are Equity, Access, Participation and Rights.
Does this Government really maintain & upkeep these standards?
Curiously, while the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University — Amarkantak has reserved positions for ‘Economically Weaker Sections’ (EWS) at the levels of ‘Associate Professor’ and ‘Professor’, it has no reserved positions for OBCs. The Tata Institute of Social Sciences, which is known for its commitment to issues related to social justice, too has no reservation at higher levels of teaching positions.

Sir, with heavy heart I would like to record in this august house that shrinking budget has hit scholarships for students from deprived communities. Despite increased demand, the post-matric scholarship scheme for SC students has been consistently underfunded. The inadequate budget allocation under these schemes is because of the gap between the funds demanded by the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment and those approved by the Ministry of Finance.
Sir, Justice delayed is Justice denied.
Noticeably, implementation of reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs in higher educational institutions funded by the Centre was delayed for more than 15 years after the announcement, while the same for EWS was done within a month of the announcement. Such is the differential treatment, which is prevailing here.
Since the formation of separate Ministries for Tribal affairs and Minority affairs they are able to demand for budget allocation for welfare schemes. Therefore I urge the Government to create a separate Ministry for OBC.
In the dark times will there
also be singing?
Yes, there will also be singing,
About the dark times.
-	Bertolt Brecht.

Yes, we should talk about
	the dark times.

Recently, the Supreme Court in its judgement stated that States need not provide reservation to SC, STs much to our worry and concern. This Government should speak about its position in this regard and it is high time that a Reservation Act for OBC, SC and ST is enacted as done in Tamil Nadu.

Periyar Foundation:
	The Ministry of Social Justice has created Dr. Ambedkar Foundation and allocated funds aimed at implementation of programmes and activities for furthering the ideology and message of Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.
Similarly, the Government has to create Thanthai Periyar Foundation for furthering the ideology and message of Thanthai Periyar.
Women: Be kind of women that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, “Oh crap, she’s up”
Dr. Kalaignar has been a pillar of strength to all politicians like me in Tamil Nadu as he is instrumental in providing 50% reservation for women in urban local bodies too. Tamil Nadu is the first State to do so in the whole country.
1.	Aristotle Also as regards male and female the former is superior, the later is inferior – the male is the ruler the female is the subject.
2.	Pythagoras says:
There is good principle which has created order light, man – and a bad principle which has created chaos, darkness and woman.
3.	But, Way back in 4th century Augustine disguised herself as a man and became the first Doctor.
4.	The Pythagoras Theorem which is the basic of Math was taught by Aristolia a woman Mathematician of extraordinary talent.
5.	Plato’s teacher was a woman of eminence by name Milatosia Asbashiya who was celebrated as the First Lady of Athens. And here we are still fighting for 33% reservation for women.
The Government of India has declared the year 2001 as the year of Women’s Empowerment, but still miles to go… and Reservation is our right not a concession.
Budget allocation for persons with Disabilities & SAGY: 
	Sir, they say, “Right is its own defence” Every physically challenged person has a right to live a dignified life.
For the Department of empowerment of persons with disabilities the total budget estimate stands at Rs.1,325 Crore (One Thousand Three Hundred and Twenty Five Crore) out of which for the social security and welfare of persons with disabilities is Rs.1,126 Crore (One Thousand One Hundred and Twenty Six Crore). For the Assistance to Disabled Persons for purchase of Aids/Appliances the Government has allocated Rs.230 Crore (Two Hundred and Thirty Crore) which is inadequate to cater the needs of Seventy Million differently-abled persons who requires such support.
	For the Deendayal Disabled rehabilitation program the allotment is Rs.130 Crore (One Hundred and Thirty Crore) which is also inadequate. The total amount allocated for the National program for the welfare of persons with disabilities is Rs.655 Crore (Six Hundred and Fifty Five Crore). This is awfully short to cater the needs of persons with disabilities in the country. Likewise the fund allocated for the National Institutes Rs.360 Crore (Three Hundred and Sixty Crore) needs further enhancement.
	Under the Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana Rs.700 Crore (Seven Hundred Crore) is allotted to benefit 4932 villages. Sir, most of the Adarsh villages selected under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) never get adequate funds or support from the respective State Governments. The ‘Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana’ (SAGY) launched with epic fanfare is marred by poor planning resulted in a big failure.
I have a few suggestions also Sir,

The Ministry to allocate more funds for the welfare of senior citizens.
It should provide funds for establishing residential facilities for unmarried elderly women.
Shenbagam Durairajan – B.A. After 15 years – 37 years old. Alladi Krishnasamy Aiyer, former Attorney General of India as well one of the architects of our Constitution – Chengalvarayan

I began with Brecht and here I end with here:

Those who take the meat from the table
Teach contentment.
Those for whom the taxes are destined
Demand sacrifice.
Those who eat their fill speak to the hungry
Of wonderful times to come.
Those who lead the country into the abyss 
Call ruling too difficult
For ordinary men.
-	Bertolt Brecht.

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