Contents: Vol. I. Preface. 1. The origin of class. 2. Classifying society. 3. Classifying Gods. 4. Backwardness as an endemic stigma. 5. The pre-independence backward classes movement in India. 6. Criteria for backwardness. 7. Status of backward classes under various states. 8. Identification of backwards. 9. State commissions. 10. Indicators of identification of backwardness. 11. Recommendations of Mandal commission. 12. Provisions for reservations under the constitution. 13. The first backward classes commission (1953-55).
Vol. II. 14. Other backward classes commissions in India. 15. Politics of job reservation. 16. Reservation for whom, why and how much: constitutional provisions and judicial verdicts. 17. Indian Administrative Service (IAS): promise, performance and perspective. 18. Reservation for the backward classes in India. Annexures. Bibliography. Index.
"The constitution of India grants some protection to backward classes, besides the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. These are to be found amongst all religious sects Hindus, Muslims, Christians etc. The framers of the Indian constitution were well aware about their miserable and apathetic living conditions, who have continued to be socially condemned and economically oppressed for centuries. Constantly they resolved in the preamble, to secure to all justice--social, economic and political, equality of status and of opportunity and to promote among them all fraternity, assuring the dignity of the individual.
India, which is a secular and democratic country, is regarded as a model of pluralistic society, which is reflected in its cultural pluralism of various religions, castes, languages and regions. About 82 per cent of the Indian population follows Hinduism and 15 per cent Islam and its plurality is visible in the four-fold varna system (Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra) and about 5,000 castes and sub-castes. Now the segmental aspects of traditional four-fold varna system is reflected in terms of four major caste groups created by the modern participatory democratic political system such as the scheduled castes (SCs: 16.73%), the scheduled tribes (STs: 7.95%), other backward classes (OBCs: estimated to be 52%) and the rest regarded as upper castes or forward castes (estimated 23%). These four modern caste categories also include social segments of the minorities. The present work mainly deals with other backward classes (OBC)." (jacket)