Justice Jeevan Reddy in the Mandal judgment held that “a backward class cannot be determined only and exclusively with reference to economic criterion. It may be a consideration or basis along with and in addition to social backwardness, but it can never be the sole criterion...”
The Mandal Commission report of 1980 estimated the OBC population at 52 per cent based on the 1931 Census. The National Sample Survey Organisation data of 2006 shows the OBC population at 41 per cent, but it was only an estimate based on sample data.
On August 7, 1990, V P Singh tabled the Mandal Commission report in Parliament, setting off an upheaval that pushed a new generation of ‘backwards’ into the forefront of Indian society. Profiles four faces from that defining period.