Setback for social justice
The apex court’s decision to extend the concept of creamy layer to S.CS and S.TS in promotions could reverse several years of gains in social uplift.
THE obsession with social stratification and the inability to let go of feudal hierarchies had led to the creation of the concept of “creamy layer”, under the garb of social justice.
The creamy layer argument is as problematic now as it was during the time of the implementation of the Mandal Commission report, which recommended reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCS) in education and government employment. Introduced into legal parlance by anti-reservationists in the 1970s, the term first came into prominence in 1992 in Indira Sawhney vs Union of India, or the Mandal case as it is known; subsequently, the Supreme Court defined the creamy layer on the basis of 11 criteria.
AT A Rashtriya Dalit Panchayat rally for reservation in promotion in government jobs, in New Delhi. A file picture.