India has taken a series of steps following the report of the Backward Classes Commission popularly known as the Mandal Conmmission in the 1990s. The Mandalisation of' the country since around 1990 especially in the Hindi heartland has had a profound effect on the Indian polity and the Indian economy. It has been essentially a journey into backwardness.
The Politics of Backwardness is the central theme of the present book. Mandalisation is not a new theme in India. Many states in the South began the process in earlier times. Some before independence and some after. The Mandal Commission Report and the actions taken after 1990 have made the politics of backwardness a major national phenomenon. The principal architects of this policy have advocated a transfer of power to the backwards. This political development was in many ways inevitable given the notion of the electoral politics of the country.
However the backlash of this politics of backwardness has affected the vitals of the Indian state. In 1997, the Home Miinister of India stated in the Parliament that Uttar Pradesh, the epicentre of the movement along with Bihar, was 'moving towards "anarchy, chaos and destruction". The present book presents both sets of views on the issue of the reservation policy. Its basic objective is to help better understanding of the process of the reservation policy in India, and its merits and demerits.
V. A. PAl PANANDIKER (Alumni), Ph.D. from the Universityof Michigan, U.S.A., was the Founding Director of the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi since 1973. He was Special Officer in the Ministry of Finance on social control and nationalisation of banks and was associated with the Government of India as Chairman of the Population Policy Committee, Planning Commission and the Expenditure Commission's Committee on Industry. He was appointed by the Prime Minister of India as member of the Group of Eminent Persons on SAARC in 1997. A member of several national and international academic and cultural institutions, he is also Life Trustee of the Population Foundation of India and of the international Centre, Goa.Dr. Pai Panandiker is the author of more than 24 books, a large number of research reports and several articles in prominent English language dailies in the country.