Forward class

Forward class

"Forward class" is used in India generally to denote communities and castes from any religion who do not currently qualify for Government of India Reservation benefits (that is, set quotas for political representation) for Other Backward Classes, scheduled castes and tribes. [ [ ] ] . Since the list presented by the commission for OBC, SC, ST is dynamic (castes and communities can be added or removed) and will change from time to time depending on Social, Educational and Economic factors, the Forward Classes also are subject to change from time to time. The Government of India does not publish a separate list of forward classes. The population of these communities is estimated at around 36–39% of the Indian population based on various surveys conducted by Government of India. [ surveys]

Classes and Communities

Classes that are considered backward in some states may be considered as forward in other states.

Classes considered forward everywhere and everytime

* Arya Vysyas aka Chettys aka Settys mainly concentrated in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka,Orissa and Maharastra. (Exceptional Tamil Nadu which categorizes it as Backward)
* Arora and Mahajans mainly concentrated in Punjab,J&K, Haryana, New Delhi
* Agarwals including , Banias, Guptas, Patwas, Barnwals, Khandelwals (having a Gotra, e.g., Garg, Goyal, Mittal, Jindal, Kansal, Vaishya, Kashyap, etc., and tracing their origin to present day Haryana, Western UP & Rajasthan), Oswals, etc.
* All Brahmin communities Eg. Iyers, Iyengars,Nagariks Bhumihar, Deshastha, Tyagi, Chitpawan, Saraswat
* Mishra, Shukla, Dwivedi, Tripathi, Ojha, Pandey, Dubey in eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh.
*Bunt, mainly concentrated in Karnataka
*Kodava,mainly found in Karnataka
*Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu, mainly concentrated in Maharashtra
*Khatris, mainly in the greater-Punjab region Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh
*Kapu and its sub-castes Telaga,Balija and Ontari in Andhra Pradesh,Tamil Nadu,Karnataka,Maharashtra,Orissa,Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh.Kapu caste is the largest community of Andhra Pradesh.
*Kamma, mainly concentrated in Andhra Pradesh,and Tamil Nadu
*Kayasthas, mainly concentrated in Assam,Bihar, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Orrisa, and Maharasthra.
*Mahishya,mainly concentrated in UP, West Bengal, Orissa, Assam.
*Vaishya,mainly concentrated in West Bengal, Assam, Orissa, UP.
*Marathas,mainly concentrated in Maharashtra
*Nairs, mainly concentrated in Kerala
*Nasranis, Malayalee Christians who are mainly concentrated in Kerala with sub-communities in all major cities.
*Nagarathar Chettiars, Mainly concentrated in Tamil Nadu
*Patnaiks in Orissa and Andhra
*Rajputs or Kshatriya of Bihar,Assam Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, UP, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. In Andhra and Tamil Nadu they are known as Rajus.
* Rajus mainly concentrated in Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu
*Reddies, mainly concentrated in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka
*Saiva Vellalars,mainly concentrated in Tamil Nadu and Kerala
*Velama, mainly concentrated in Andhra Pradesh.
*Veerashaivas or Lingayats in Karnataka
*Vokkaligas or Gowdas or Gowdaru in Karnataka
*Forward classes in Goa: Brahmin communities ( GSB, Daivajna, Karhade, Chitpavan, etc), Vaishyas, Kshatriya Marathas, Gomantak Marathas, etc. Forward classes constitutes 92 % of Goa's population.

Classes considered backward in some regions and forward in other regions

*Chettiars aka Chettys are considered as forward in many other States in India, but they come under OBC in Tamil Nadu, a state which strongly claims for Reservation in contrary to rest of India.
*Vishvakarmas are considered as forward in Maharashtra and many other States in India, but they come under OBC in Bihar, UP and other north Indian States.
* A good lot of sub-castes among Banias in Bihar are listed in OBC list (Sl.No. 119) [] .Misnomer: All Bania castes are OBC in Bihar. The fact is that a lot of immigrant Bania sub-castes have clandestinely utilised reservation benefits in Bihar by using the generic Bania surname of Gupta, Modi, etc. It is due to this reason that all Banias residing in Bihar are considered OBC.
*Boyar (caste) a warrior caste mainly found in South India, are considered OBC in central list.
*Dhangars in Maharashtra are OBC but in Karnataka they are in Open Category.
*Gujjars are present in 11 states of India, out of which they are included in OBC in five states and general category in rest. They were included in OBC in Delhi, haryana and UP quite recently, otherwise they were included here as general class.
*Jats found mainly in the Punjab region , Punjab and Haryana, are considered forward class whereas Jats from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan are classified as OBC.
*Karuneegars, who are scribes by profession like Kayasthas of North India, are considered backward in Tamil Nadu.
*Kurmi/Kunbi are forward in Gujarat and OBC in UP, MP, Bihar and Rajasthan
*Kumhar (Prajapati) in Gujarat, Rajasthan and elsewhere

Other religious people who are not eligible for Reservation benefits

The following proportion of other religious (Non-Hindus) people are not eligible for reservations benefits: [ [ Sachar committee report] .]

*59% of Muslims, mostly of foreign descent ashrafs: Syed, Sheikh, Mughal, Pashtun, Bohra. [ [ Most Muslims covered by Quota] "The Times of India". Retrieved on November 27 2006.] All Muslims are considered backward in Kerala, and separate reservation is provided for them. Most of the Muslims living in south Indian states have been classified as backward.
*33% of Christians. In South Indian states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala and even Goa, many Christians follow a Hindu caste pattern. An example are Kerala's Syrian Christians who follow Syriac Christianity and are believed to be converted from Hindus and Jews, and are descendants of the maritime trade syndicate that had links with Kerala from time immemorial. Other examples include different groups and denominations within Nasrani people who also fall in the unreserved category.

Goan Catholics follow a caste system which generally comes into play when choosing marriage partners.Roman Catholic Brahmins and RC Chardos (Kshatriyas) form the forward class where as RC Shudras form the christion backward class in Goa.

Christian Nadars,Thevars and Vanniars are a backward caste in these regions. Other Christians like Latin Catholics, supposedly converted from the fishermen in the Kerala coast by the Jesuits, have been included in the list of most backward castes in states like Tamilnadu & Kerala. [ [ classes/tamilnadu.html] ] . [ [ Central List Of Other Backward Classes ] ]
*94% of Jains.
*70% of Parsis.
*3% of Buddhists


Estimate the forward classes population as anywhere from 5-15%. [ [ The Hindu] ] [ [ 'What more do the upper castes want?' ] ] However, they have not quoted sources for their estimations. National sample survey estimates Forward Caste population almost same as Backward Classes at around 36%. Family health survey combined forward classes population along with all communities of other religions. If you exclude Backward castes of other religions, then it is around 38.6% which is more than Backward castes population. State wise Forward Caste Population can be found from the chart.

Impact of announcement on forward classes

After the implementation of OBC reservation, only 50% of seats are available in open competition. All communities can compete in open competition which means forward classes must secure between 72% and 78% of the 'open competition' seats in order to maintain their representation in keeping with their estimated population of 36-39%, whereas other communities will get major chunk of seats through exclusive reservations. This has resulted in protests from Forward Caste community members and supporters from other communities under the banner of Youth for Equality. They have pointed out following as reasons for their protests. []

**The Government has implemented reservations for the Scheduled castes and Scheduled Tribes for the last 60 years, however the social and economic situation of these groups has not shown much improvement. This might be interpreted as an indication of the ineffectiveness of reservation in higher educational institutions as a means of achieving social equality.
**Any difference between proportion of different communities in Higher educational institutions is mainly because of difference in primary school enrollment. (This fact was also confirmed in National sample surveys and pointed out by Oversight committee in its final report). Government should attack the cause instead of providing reservation at higher education level
**Already 24% of college seats are with Other backward classes. Providing another 27% seats will deprive chances of forward classes.
**Reservation on the basis of caste is cornered only by rich and affluent. For example daughter of former President of India got admission into Indian Foreign Services denying opportunity to another poor person from her own community.

Interestingly Government of India decided to introduce 27% reservations for other backward classes all over India. Many states does not have even 27% of other backward class population as per national sample surveys.(This includes major Indian states like Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra, Punjab, West Bengal). [
] .Some Indian states like Assam, Goa, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal has more than 50% forward classes population [
] which means no. of seats secured by forward classes will not be equal to their population proportion even if they secure 100% seats in open competition in central government institutions of these states. Central government, however, excluded 27% reservations to other backward classes to the areas with high tribal populations. [] .


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.