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Constitution copy Rahul Gandhi flashes at everyone was conceptualised by someone who was against OBC reservations: Read about SC Adv Gopal Sankaranarayanan

The Gandhi scion has been flashing a small copy of the constitution that was conceptualized by Supreme Court advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, who has spoken against OBC reservation and advocated for a complete overhaul of existing reservations.

During his election campaign and after the election results, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been alleging and furthering the unsubstantiated trope against PM Modi-led NDA government that the ‘Constitution is in danger’ and that it wants to do away with the reservations for vulnerable sections of society. The falsehood was amplified by circulating a doctored video of Union Home Minister Amit Shah. As part of his political rhetoric, he has been waving a red and black leather pocket-sized constitution copy to project himself as the saviour of the Dalits (SC), Tribals (ST), and OBC communities, and the one safeguarding their constitutionally enshrined reservations. 

Ironically, while asserting protecting the constitution and reservations, by extension, the Gandhi scion has been flashing a small copy of the constitution that was conceptualized by Supreme Court advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan who has spoken against OBC reservation as well as a complete overhaul of existing reservations. He has been demanding the introduction of a creamy layer in the SC/ST reservation and incorporating a 10% EWS reservation from the existing 50% limit.   

Notably, Lucknow-based Eastern Book Company has secured intellectual property rights for the said red-black leather-bound Constitution copy meaning the book cannot be copied by other publishers. 

One of the directors of the Eastern Book Company, Sumeet Malik told PTI that the idea of printing a court pocket edition came from Supreme Court advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, who suggested that they should publish a version that fits easily in the lawyers’ court pockets. 

Now it is pertinent to note that the Supreme Court lawyer Gopal Sankaranarayanan has been speaking against the OBC reservation, particularly the inclusion of dominant communities which “discriminated against SCs and STs”. 

In an interview with a legal portal Law School Policy Review & Kautilya Society, Sankaranarayanan expressed concerns about the increasing demand for reservation by communities who didn’t face historical discrimination. He asserted that the Parliament went ‘beyond’ the balance that the Constitution intended to achieve when it extended reservations beyond the SC/ST category to include the OBC category. He argued that it was wrong to put the accused and victim in the same category noting that some of the OBC communities getting reservations are the ones who discriminated against SCs.  

Elaborating his rationale against OBC reservations, Gopal said, “Unfortunately, I believe that it went beyond that (balance intended by the Constitution) the minute we went beyond SC/ST. When we went into the entire OBC domain, we took the measures of historical discrimination, slowly, a little bit in a direction where groups that were socially fairly strong, and in large numbers, were now getting the benefits that should have gone to those who have historically discriminated. Please remember that a large number of those who are the OBCs were the ones who have discriminated against SCs, now you’re putting them both in the same benefit category effectively.” 

Additionally, he was part of the pleas that were filed in the Supreme Court demanding the introduction of a creamy layer in the SC/ST reservations. Back in 2018, a plea was filed by Samta Andolan Samiti, the umbrella body of general and OBC government employees and nine people belonging to the SC/ST community.

Appearing for the petitioners, advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan sought the introduction of the creamy layer concept in SC/ST reservations to keep the rich among them out to ensure that the benefits go to the poor and the needy.

The counsel argued that due to the non-application of the concept of creamy layer in SCs and STs, the actually backward and deprived members of the SCs and STs are having a “heart burning” that uplifted/affluent and advanced portion of castes included in SCs and STs are taking away the benefits, which are designed for them.

Last year, he appeared in the Supreme Court to challenge the EWS reservation. Elaborating his opposition to the EWS reservations, he told the legal portal, “I was fine with saying EWS is good, but nuance it by saying that it is limited to 50% and doesn’t allow them to cross the 50% limit.” 

In a glaring irony, while the Supreme Court lawyer has been advocating for limiting reservations to a 50% cap, Rahul Gandhi, who has been declaring his intent to breach this limit and raising slogans such as ‘Jitni Aabadi Utna Haq,’ has been brandishing a copy of the Constitution conceptualized by the former.

Nonetheless, the Constitution copy that I.N.D.I. alliance leaders including Rahul Gandhi have been flashing at everyone roughly measures 20 centimetres in length and nine centimetres in breadth. Its first edition was launched in 2009 and there have been about 16 editions of this book, which have been published so far. The publisher has used Bible paper which is very thin. All the article numbers are in red and the text is in black. EBC publisher Sumeet Malik claims to have sold 5,000 copies in the last three months which is the same number that the publisher sold in 2023. 

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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