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Religion, Caste And Tribe Based Reservation - 4 - Printable Version
Religion, Caste And Tribe Based Reservation - 4 - Printable Version

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Religion, Caste And Tribe Based Reservation - 4 - Guest - 04-21-2007

<b>Myth Of Caste Division</b>

P V Indiresan
[20 Apr, 2007 l 0000 hrs IST]

As one would expect from a person of his judicial background, Rajindar Sachar made a dispassionate analysis of the problem of the OBC reservation issue (April 16, 2007).

However, not having direct experience of the education system, he cannot know the ground realities. Hence, his conclusions need some modifications.

Even though it is more than likely that the proportion of the OBC population is in excess of the 27 per cent quota proposed by the government, the court has decided to proceed with caution.

That caution is necessary on two grounds: <b>One, it is important to decide who the OBCs are today and not who they were 75 years ago.</b>

<b>Two, it is necessary to check whether backwardness of OBCs in 2007 is the result of 5,000 years of tradition, or whether it is a creation of 50 years of education (mis)management? </b>

The Planning Commission's Approach Paper to the Eleventh Five Year Plan states: "Thirty per cent (of primary school teachers) had not even completed Higher Secondary. For a large proportion of our children, school is an ill-lit class room with more than one class being taught together by someone who may not have completed her own schooling... 38 per cent of the children who have completed four years cannot read a small paragraph with short sentences meant to be read by a student of Class II. About 55 per cent cannot divide a three digit number by a one digit number... often the need for children of poorer families to work also drives them away from school. The monitoring above will need to correlate such facts with learning skills to identify where the real problems lie".

<b>Thus, the government's own top policy body supports the view taken by the court for objective analysis and contradicts the stand taken by the HRD ministry. </b>

The Approach Paper continues: "Even where service providers exist, the quality of delivery is poor and those responsible for delivering the services cannot be held accountable. Unless such accountability is established, it will be difficult to ensure significant improvement in delivery even if additional resources are made available".

Reacting to this statement, finance minister P Chidambaram has written: "It can be argued that you do not repair a leaking water supply pipe by simultaneously stepping up the water pressure".

Thus, at the highest levels of government there are deep concerns about accountability and about the acts of omission and commission of the HRD ministry that have led to the current poor performance of the education sector.

Whatever the finance minister may say in public, it is evident that he too is not convinced about increasing the pressure of prevailing policies which are leaking all over the place.

Inclusion is the fashionable expression these days; it has attained the status of moral imperative. Inclusion is the policy by which the HRD ministry swears by. The actual ground situation is different.

The Approach Paper observes that "relatively better off sections have virtually stopped sending their children to public schools".

According to a World Bank report, the share of unaided schools in secondary education has increased from 5.59 per cent in 1973-74 to 23.56 per cent in 2001-02. Currently, the proportion will be much higher.

Thus the poor quality education that the Approach Paper complains about is largely confined to government controlled schools; the better off sections have escaped the malaise by opting out of government and government-aided schools.

In effect, the poor and the poor alone have been excluded from acceptable quality education. Is this exclusion the result of age-old caste tradition or is it the result of political failure of recent decades?

That enquiry is moot because most chief ministers and almost all education ministers are OBCs. Therefore, the ground situation is quite different from the caste divide painted by the HRD ministry.

Before Independence, in many parts of the country, OBCs controlled land and forward castes concentrated on educated employment.

Income from land has dwindled and the OBCs are seeking to take over the economic space that was occupied by forward castes.

Is the difficulty that the OBCs are having to make that transition due to obstruction from forward castes, or is it due to administrative failures that neglect education of poor children?

In the case of higher education, the Approach Paper has set three goals: expansion, inclusion and excellence.

It is pertinent to ask whether excellence can be achieved at the higher education level when there is no excellence at the lower school levels; whether 12 years of bad schooling can be corrected merely by privileged entry into higher education institutions.

<b>It is politically fashionable these days to paint forward castes as amoral and anti-social. </b>The Supreme Court may like to consider enquiring how far this allegation is true.

In the Mahabharata, Yudhishthira begs for five villages for himself and his brothers. The Kauravas rejected even that modest request on legalist grounds. Is not the current situation similar?

Is it not the fact that the political class is rejecting a modest request that at least a few IITs and IIMs be left free to pursue excellence, not exclusively for forward castes but for one and all and without caste bias?

<b>Finally, which is the true divide: Forward-backward castes or is it politically over-privileged castes (POPs) and politically under-privileged castes (PUPs)?</b> <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Religion, Caste And Tribe Based Reservation - 4 - Guest - 04-23-2007

<b>Orissa to cut OBC quota in govt jobs</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->New Delhi: While the controversy over the Centre's move for quota in elite educational institutions rages on, Orissa government said on Sunday that it is contemplating to bring a bill in the next session to reduce reservation percentage for OBC candidates in government jobs.

The reservation for the<b> OBC candidates could be reduced to 11 per cent from current 27 per cent. </b>The OBC candidates were getting 27 per cent reservation in jobs since December 1994.<b> Nearly 65 per cent of seats were now kept reserved </b>for different categories of candidates in government jobs.

<b>''This is to contain the total ratio of reservation within 50 per cent in accordance with the Supreme Court interim order and a recent Orissa High Court judgement in this regard,'</b>' Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste Development, Minorities and Backward Class Welfare Minister C.P Majhi told PTI

Religion, Caste And Tribe Based Reservation - 4 - Guest - 04-23-2007

<b>Quota not ideal in higher education: Moily </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->New Delhi: An ideal situation in the higher education sector in India would be not to go in for reservation, a stage which the country has not yet reached, Administrative Reforms Commission Chairman Veerappa Moily said on Sunday.

Moily,a former Chief Minister of Karnataka, described as totally unfounded and incorrect, the argument that reservation in higher education would bring down quality standards.

The need of the hour, he said, was to bring in major changes in higher education, with quality and accountability at all levels in private and public educational institutions. "We need to humanize and sensitize our educational system."


Religion, Caste And Tribe Based Reservation - 4 - Guest - 04-23-2007

<b>SC declines to vacate stay on OBC quota</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->A Bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice L S Panta held that its earlier order staying the provision of OBC quota in a Central legislation was <b>"final" as far as the present academic session starting 2007</b>.

Faced with a strident demand from Solicitor General G E Vahanvati for referring the issue to a Constitution Bench, the court said it will examine it at a later date.

On March 29, the two-member Bench had stayed Section 6 of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) in so far as it related to 27 per cent quota for OBCs in institutions like IITs, IIMs and Central universities
During the one-and-a-half hour long arguments, <b>the Bench repeatedly questioned the government on the need to rush through the implementation when it had waited for 57 long years</b>.

<b>"You had waited for 57 years. Why can't you wait for one more year,"</b> Justice Pasayat snapped at the solicitor general, who tried to reason that the implementation would in no way affect the interest of the general category candidates.
<b>"The government rule cannot stand on better footing than the Supreme Court of the country, which enjoys its powers from the Constitution,"</b> the Bench remarked.

Religion, Caste And Tribe Based Reservation - 4 - Guest - 04-24-2007

HR Ministry has issued notification to IIMs to not take up admissions in the new session, despite the court orders against OBC reservation. IIMs are happily compying to retard Arjun Singh's notification.

Contrast this to the situation a few years back, when HRD under MM Joshi was trying to stop IIMs from increasing the tution fees, and when it tried to introduce norms to utilize IIM products into Indian companies, PSUs and state and central Governments. IIM directors were running all over the country like headless chicken, shouting autonomy autonomy.

None of that autonomy noise is being heard now. Directors say they are 'waiting for further instructions from government'.

Religion, Caste And Tribe Based Reservation - 4 - Guest - 04-24-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->None of that autonomy noise is being heard now. Directors say they are 'waiting for further instructions from government'.
They are appointed, funded and controlled by pimps in current ruling government.

Religion, Caste And Tribe Based Reservation - 4 - Guest - 04-24-2007

<b> Govt playing game</b>

<b>SC to Govt: "You (are supposed to) frame rule and then play game. But here you are playing game first and then framing rule"

No vacation of stay on reservation for OBCs

SC questions Government's hurry to implement quota when it had waited for 57 long years </b>

Religion, Caste And Tribe Based Reservation - 4 - Guest - 04-24-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>No quota for now  </b>
The Pioneer Edit Desk
IIMs must ignore Ministry order

It speaks volumes about the intentions of the UPA Government, especially those of the Human Resource Development Ministry headed by a 10 Janpath courtier whose sole priority is to wreck educational institutions in India, that despite the Supreme Court refusing to vacate the stay on 27 per cent OBC quota, it has refrained from immediately withdrawing the order asking Indian Institutes of Management not to proceed with admissions for the 2007-08 academic year. The IIMs, whose brand equity depends on attracting the best among those aspiring for post-graduate studies in management, had initiated the admission process when the Supreme Court stayed the absurd 27 per cent quota for OBCs in all institutions of higher education funded by the Centre. Common sense suggests that the IIMs should have been allowed to continue with the admission process without the OBC quota till the issue was settled by the Supreme Court, which could take anything between months to more than a year. But with its eyes firmly fixed on the OBC voters in Uttar Pradesh, where the Congress is desperately seeking to hold on to its previous abysmal performance, the HRD Ministry instructed the IIMs to keep the admission process in abeyance. That this gross misuse of authority could result in IIMs losing the cream of the applicants to other institutions and, more important, it would jeopardise the careers of hundreds of students, appears to have been ignored by the Minister and his advisers, most of them bureaucrats eager to please their political master irrespective of the cost to the nation. Hopefully, in view of Monday's order by the Supreme Court and its assertion that the quota will not be applicable for the 2007-08 academic year, the IIMs will do that which is legally correct and morally right - ignore the Minister and his babus.

Three points merit reiteration in the light of the Supreme Court's observations on Monday.<b> First, the Government's haste to impose the OBC quota without factoring in the consequences was, and remains, unseemly. As the court has observed, if treacly concern for the OBC welfare could wait for 57 years, it can wait for another year. Second, the court has zeroed in on the clause in the relevant law which allows the Government discretion to exempt certain educational institutions from introducing the OBC quota. There is no reason why such discretion should be vested only in the executive and not the judiciary. Nor is there any reason why a distinction should be made between some and others. Third, the Government's continued insistence on not excluding the creamy layer from the largesse being doled out in the guise of empowering the socially and educationally backward classes defies logic, if at all there is any logic to setting aside seats for OBCs</b>. The court has justifiably snubbed the Government's contention that the stay militates against the Supreme Court's judgement on the implementation of the Mandal Commission report; in that order, the creamy layer was excluded. In any event, the real issue at stake is about equality as guaranteed by the Constitution. This is best exemplified by senior counsel Harish Salve's argument that the 27 per cent OBC quota is a gross violation of the Constitution which prohibits discrimination among citizens on grounds of race, caste, religion, sex and other considerations. By insisting on having its way on the bogus OBC quota, the UPA Government is seeking to undermine the Constitution of India. Though not for the first time.


Religion, Caste And Tribe Based Reservation - 4 - Guest - 04-24-2007

<b>Without quota, every caste would be a forward caste</b>

Religion, Caste And Tribe Based Reservation - 4 - Guest - 04-25-2007

<b>Karunanidhi warns of volcano-like situation </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Chennai, April 24: Warning that country wide pro-quota protests would erupt like a volcano, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi said on Tuesday the Centre should find a way to ensure 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in elite educational institutions

They should arrest him for blackmailing. One small state CM is trying to hijack whole country for votes.

Religion, Caste And Tribe Based Reservation - 4 - Guest - 04-25-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Top Government sources said that Tuesday's order has fuelled hopes that a separate Bench may hear the quota issue, since the prerogative to constitute a Bench rests with the Chief Justice. The Government has repeatedly failed to convince the present Bench of Justices Arijit Pashayat and LS Panta to allow admission process from the current year in educational institutions with OBC quota.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for one of the petitioners said, "It seems to be a calculated attempt not to go back before the same Bench." Arguing on propriety more than the issue of early hearing as demanded by the Centre, Rohtagi said, "nobody is opposing an early hearing but it's improper that the Government does not go to the Bench that has fixed a date in a pending case."
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Govt's gameplan

Govt in tearing hurry to somehow get stay vacated on OBC quota
Hopes there will be a separate Bench hearing issue
Seems Centre's calculated attempt not to go back before same Bench
May now press for a final order
"It's absolutely my privilege to say which matter has to be heard. You have no business to say like that," CJI tells petitioners</b>

Now current government will give money, plot, job and admission to kids and kin of new court judges to rule in their favor. Pimps will do as Queen will ask them to do. As they did with 'Q' case and all paid babus will follow Queen not country.

Religion, Caste And Tribe Based Reservation - 4 - acharya - 04-26-2007

Parliament should assert its supremacy: CPI

Chennai, April 25 (PTI): Parliament should assert its sovereignty and supremacy by initiating measures to implement 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in elite educational institutions from this year itself, Tamil Nadu CPI secretary D Pandian said on Tuesday.

Further appeals in courts on the issue would not yield any result, he told reporters and sought convening the joint session of Parliament which should use its full powers to implement reservation.
The Centre should stop the usual admission procedure in central educational institutions and take over the responsibility, he said, adding a committee of educationalists should be formed to admit students for such institutions</b>.

Welcoming Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's letter to the Prime Minister on the issue, Pandian said all parties should unite to protect reservation rights and social justice.

Religion, Caste And Tribe Based Reservation - 4 - Guest - 04-26-2007

Looking backward
Dipankar Gupta

Referring abusively to a person’s caste background is a crude kind of cultural determinism and inherently divisive. While one kind of determinism that is insulting to Scheduled Castes is both outlawed and in ostensible bad taste, the other kind of determinism goes unchallenged. This second form of cultural abuse is aimed at the so-called ‘forward castes’ and is considered to be in good taste and par for the course in the political firmament today. The first kind of determinism is a caste slur that stigmatises the Dalits, while the second is a kind of caste sneer that insults the so-called upper-castes. Both suspend judgment and derail rational discussion because culture acts in such instances as a determining factor, as if it had the same force as the law of gravity.

Only recently, a newspaper article, while discussing Narayana Murthy’s inept attempts to wriggle out of his faux pas with the national anthem episode, calmly added without context that one cannot expect much from a Brahmin after all. Now where did that come from? As if to explain further, the journalist went on to remind the readers that Narayana Murthy, the Brahmin, as a Brahmin, also opposed reservation quotas. This is clearly a caste sneer!

Now why don’t Brahmins and members of the upper-castes get points for supporting Mandal reservations? Why don’t we also acknowledge in caste terms that forward castes of all stripes in all parties support OBC reservation in Parliament? Can anyone make a clear deterministic argument linking caste backgrounds of MPs with their endorsement of Mandal recommendations? Obviously not! From Vajpayee to Advani to Anand Sharma to the numerous Singhs who are Bhumihars and Rajputs, not one ‘forward caste’ MP of any significance has opposed OBC reservations. But no caste comments are made about them because they are the good guys on the right side. Caste sneers are obviously reserved only for those who are politically unacceptable to the current dispensation. This makes it expedient to culturally abuse them in a breathless, breaking news sort of way.

Now, let us look at it another way. When members of the so-called OBC communities go on the rampage and commit atrocities against Scheduled Castes, then a veil is thrown over the perpetrators of the crime to hide their actual origins. As it is politically incorrect to let anybody know of OBC misdeeds, which are rampant in rural India, and at the same time there is the compulsion to report, an interesting subterfuge is often adopted. Take, for instance, the recent case of outrage against Scheduled Castes in Karnataka. When the story appeared in the press, the spin given to it was that “caste Hindus” attacked Scheduled Castes. If one went through the fine print, it was revealed that the crime was committed not by “caste Hindus” but by Okkaligas, who are OBCs. In the popular mind, given the manner in which caste sobriquets are tossed around, a “caste Hindu” connotes Brahmins, Rajputs, Baniyas, et al, and not Yadavs, Kurmis, Jats and Thevars, and, as in this case, the Okkaligas.

Caste determinism works in other ways too. Advocates of OBC reservation seem to believe that once an OBC always an OBC. Many OBCs did exceedingly well before the Mandal storm broke, but our reservation advocates believe that they are culturally incapable of sustaining their ‘creamy layer’ status without the reservation prop. Such crude forms of identification should have angered members of the OBC communities but, strangely enough, they have not yet taken umbrage at being labelled culturally inadequate.

Against this background, one must commend the Supreme Court for contesting this kind of crude caste determinism that has enthralled politicians and the media. By consistently asking for a clear set of criteria for including people in the OBC category, the judges are trying to steer politicians from taking a deterministic position. This is a function that the courts intended the notion of the ‘creamy layer’ to perform. They had warned against “demonstrably perverse identification of the backward classes” in the 1992 Indra Sawhney case and the latest judgment in 2007 withholding quotas for OBCs builds on this observation.

It is ‘demonstrably perverse’ to consider members of certain castes incapable of doing well and getting ahead even if they have the means and the powers to do so. This is as much a cultorological loaded argument as are the caste slurs against the Scheduled Castes. By reminding the government to take a second look at not just the number of OBCs but also the principal of identification, the Supreme Court was doing democracy a great favour.

Caste identities seem non-problematic but they are hardly so. Even in the 1931 census, the Superintendent of the Census noted that certain castes had different statutes in different provinces. The Vaishya Bania for example, was a “forward” caste in some areas, but “backward” in what is Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa today. So the caste name does not say it all. Yet Jats, whether from Rajasthan or UP, are uniformly labelled by Mandal activists as backward, regardless of their actual circumstances on the ground. Again, with cultural determinism at work, nothing else matters but the caste name.

There are also castes that called themselves Brahmins in 1931, but, like the Vishvakarmas, would today be keen to be among the backwards. This might also hold true for a few other converts into that fold, such as the Archak Brahmins, the Nayi Brahmin or the Kayastha Kati Brahmins. How then would the principle of exclusion from the OBC category work today if we were to rely on the 1931 census? This is why the Supreme Court warned against “demonstrably perverse identification” of OBCs.

Caste determinism works against democracy, no matter who the beneficiaries of this mindset might be. It has worked against the Scheduled Castes for centuries, necessitating the provision of reservations for them in the Constitution. These were designed to protect them and help them generate socially valuable skills and assets that were traditionally denied to them. The rationale was that with time, members of the Scheduled Castes would have sufficient confidence in themselves to take the fight against casteism forward and eventually extirpate this curse. No caste determinism here, but a clear respect for the downtrodden and in their capabilities.

But today, the protagonists of Mandal see the matter differently. Casteism, they believe, cannot be eradicated because even the OBC ‘creamy layer’ is unable to handle its success. That this is culturally degrading to the OBCs as a people is calmly lost sight of. So, instead of seeking to uproot caste, the Mandalites want to represent it everywhere. This is why they’re compelled to resort to caste sneers and cultural determinism so that their arguments are never put to a rational test.

Crude determinism in all forms endangers democracy. Economic determinism gave socialism a bad name and eventually dismantled the mighty Soviet Union. Even the charismatic intellectual reputation of Marx was belittled by the dogmatic material determinism of latter-day Marxists. By the same token, let not caste slurs and sneers, and a few tarnished pieces of political silver, undermine our hard-won democracy.

Religion, Caste And Tribe Based Reservation - 4 - Guest - 04-29-2007 sunday/story/ 29618.html
Everyone loves the creamy layer
Sudheendra Kulkarni
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Rajeev Gandhi was against caste based reservation. His speech in parliament  .

<b>In a courageous act of plain-speaking, he delivered, on September 6, 1990, what was his finest speech — and also the longest, lasting two-and-a-half hours — in Parliament against caste-based reservations.
He gives the example of a judge belonging to an OBC caste who, after 15 years in the job, joins politics and becomes a minister. "Should he be given the benefit of reservations? " Rajiv asks. "Should his children be given such assistance? Do we want the benefits of reservations to be cornered by ministers, their sons and families? Do we want these benefits to go to landlords who have big properties?"</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->This brings me to my second question. Should the grandchildren of M. Karunanidhi, Veerappa Moily, Chaggan Bhujbal, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Kalyan Singh, Ashok Gehlot — all OBC politicians — get into IITs, IIMs and AIIMS through the 27 per cent OBC quota? Wouldn't it be negation of social justice and perversion of the constitutional principle of equality of opportunity? Take the example of Akhilesh Yadav, an MP and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav's son. He was rich enough to have afforded an engineering education in Australia. Can his son now justifiably claim a reserved seat in an IIT? The family wealth that some of India's OBC politicians have amassed, the political power they wield, and the social standing they enjoy are such that calling them "backward" is akin to describing Arab sheikhs as "poor, camel-rearing desert inhabitants" <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Religion, Caste And Tribe Based Reservation - 4 - Guest - 04-30-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><span style='color:red'>Nothing wrong with caste </span>

Birth and berth -- Rajeev Srinivasan | Public affairs commentator

It has become a conditioned, Pavlovian reflex for Indians to condemn the entire idea of caste unthinkingly. It has become a cliché to rail against caste, but jati and varnam are just a codification of the fact that all humans are not born equal in their endowments: Some are tall, some are fat, some are musically talented, and so on. We cannot escape the ruthless Bell Curve.

The very term 'caste' is not proper, because it is a European Christian distortion of the ideas of jati and varnam, which the colonialists condemned out of ignorance and prejudice. Yet, given the widespread notions about caste, I am forced to use the term.

What is deplorable is not caste per se, but casteism, or discrimination based on caste. This is similar to the rightly abhorred discrimination based on other inescapable biological facts: Race, gender, or age. Casteism must be condemned in the strongest possible terms, but that does not mean caste has to be thrown out, baby with bath-water.

Caste is a convenient organising principle. Being social animals, humans need to belong to groups. There is a tendency to manufacture in-group/out-group differences and mythologies. However, if groups are roughly equal, we end up with collective bargaining where a group member has a better chance than an unattached individual. This is the reality in India today: Caste as trade union, attempting to grab more than its fair share of the fairly small pie.

But caste is part of every human society, although they might call it by other names - 'class'. For instance, European Christian societies are infamous for lack of social mobility - your accent, your hometown, etc, brand you for life, making it practically impossible to change to another 'class'. Even in supposedly classless America, it is rare for the child of a wealthy investment banker to become, say, a janitor. Or for ersatz royalty like a Kennedy to marry an poor immigrant from, say, Lithuania. 'Class' persists.

Allegedly egalitarian Communist states, too, have their elites: Rulers' offspring get the plum jobs. Not too many children of Polit Bureau members toil in the gulags of China, or have their organs harvested on demand. In Muslim societies, too, there are obvious hierarchies: Women are defined to be inferior. Among men, Arabs are top of the heap; among Arabs, Prophet Mohammed's tribe is superior. In that tribe, Mohammed's family members are more privileged.

The big problem with caste in India today is rigidity. Jati, as originally practiced, was a guild of people in particular trades. Jatis were fluid in nature: Entire castes moved up and down the hierarchy as their value to society changed. For instance, when land records became important, scribes became important; today, if there were a jati of venture capitalists, they would surely be at the top of the pile.

The rigidity of caste as we know it is yet another 'contribution' - as are very many of modern India's ills, such as dowry - of Christian European imperialists. They capriciously decided that the Manusmrti was the rulebook of Indian society, and used their census to arbitrarily assign jatis to varnams.

The objective of the imperialists was simple: To divide and rule. Today, their lineal descendants, the Communists, have latched on to the same idea as a way of subverting India.

The truth of the matter is that jati is an entirely satisfactory construct for most members of a particular jati, so long as there is no overt discrimination against them. It is not as though people are just dying to get into a 'higher' jati. They are content with their existing in-group, even if they belong to a relatively 'low' jati. It is belonging that matters.

Finally, caste makes Indian society robust. It is a system theory axiom that a centralised, monolithic system is vulnerable to a single-point failure. But a distributed system, which has many smaller, independent, nodes, is far more difficult to destroy. Castes have functioned as these distributed nodes, and thus no attacker could overthrow the system. Caste, in a fundamental way, has been a reason for the longevity of Indian civilisation. Surely, the distortions in this perfectly sensible construct need to be removed, but it is not per se inappropriate.

Religion, Caste And Tribe Based Reservation - 4 - Guest - 05-02-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><span style='color:red'>'जातिगत पहचान में कुछ भी गलत नहीं'</span>

नई दिल्ली। भाजपा के पूर्व अध्यक्ष और विपक्ष के नेता लालकृष्ण आडवाणी ने कहा कि वह जाति को खराब नहीं मानते हैं। अगर समाजशास्त्र के संदर्भ में इसे देखा जाए तो जातिगत पहचान में कुछ भी गलत नहीं है।
  आडवाणी ने ईटीवी को दिए एक इंटरव्यू में कहा कि मैं जाति को खराब नहीं मानता हूं, मुझे याद है मेरा पहला पहला परिचय जाति से सिंध से यहां आने के बाद हुआ। उन्होंने कहा कि यहां तक कि मुझे चौधरी चरण सिंह कहते थे, तुम नहीं समझोगे। तुम तो सिन्ध से आए हो, मुझे याद है कि जब उनको मोरारजी भाई की सरकार से त्यागपत्र देना पड़ा था, तब मैं उनसे मिला था, उन्होंने कहा था कि देखिए मेरे साथ ऐसा व्यवहार किया, क्योंकि मैं ब्राह्मंण नहीं हूं, मैं बड़ी जाति का नहीं हूं, जाट हूं। मैंने कहा कि जाति से क्या लेनादेना तब उन्होंने कहा तुम नहीं समझते तुम सिन्ध के हो।
  उनसे सवाल किया गया था, अपना दल जैसे एक जाति आधारित क्षेत्रीय दल के साथ जुड़ना क्या आपकी मजबूरी है, क्या इसे राजनीतिक अवसरवाद माना जाएगा आडवाणी ने कहा कि सिन्ध से आने पर उनका जातिगत आयामों से खास परिचय नहीं था। उन्होंने कहा, लेकिन मेरा परिचय राजस्थान में जब जाति से हुआ तो जाति के बारे में मेरे मन में एक सकारात्मक भावना पैदा हुई कि यहां जितने सारे कालेज स्कूल और हास्टल हैं वे सब किसी न किसी जाति के नाम से हैं, यह समाज के लिए सकारात्मक योगदान है।
  आडवाणी ने कहा कि अगर सामाजिक संदर्भो में लें तो कह सकते हैं कि जातिगत समूह की पहचान में कुछ गलत नहीं है। उन्होंने कहा कि हर समूह की अपनी एक पहचान होती है। मैं एक सिन्धी हूं और मुझे सिन्धी भाषा पर गर्व है। मुझे हिंदू होने पर भी गर्व है। इसमें कुछ गलत नहीं है, लेकिन जैसे ही आप एक खास पहचान की सोचने लगते हैं कि देश की जगत जाति की चिंता करें तो यह गलत है। यह कहे जाने पर लेकिन यह मौलिक रूप से गलत पहचान है और इसकी संविधान में कोई व्यवस्था भी नहीं है आडवाणी ने कहा कि कोई संविधान नहीं है। यह समाज है। हमारे देश के कई भागों में जाति एक प्रमुख पहचान है। मैं हमेशा से मानता हूं कि जो लोग हिंदू वोट बैंक के संदर्भ में सोचते हैं वे गलत हैं। मुसलिम वोट बैंक है, ईसाई वोट बैंक है, तेलुगू, मराठी और यहां तक कि सिन्धी वोट बैंक है लेकिन हिंदू वोट बैंक नहीं है। यह पूछे जाने पर कि भाजपा का आज का जो राजनीतिक स्वरूप है उससे क्या वह पूरी तरह संतुष्ट हैं उन्होंने कहा कि किसी चीज से पूरी तरह संतुष्ट होने के बारे में कहना थोड़ा मुश्किल होता है।

Nothing wrong with Jati, per se - Advani

Talking to Eenadu television, Advani says there is nothing wrong in Jati identity. Says he is proud of being a Hindu and at the same time also on being a Sindhi. It can be and has been used for doing good to society, gives example of Rajasthan. Says wrong is, when Jati identity is allowed to become larger than national identity.

Religion, Caste And Tribe Based Reservation - 4 - Guest - 05-03-2007

<span style='color:red'>Which Caste were Zamindars?</span>

In above, notice the bottom left corner map of delhi, west-UP and Haryana prepared in 1869 by Sir JM Elliot. It shows the Zamindari allocation of British by caste. Lands allocated to the so called upper castes are negligible. Majority Zamindari was allotted by British to the 'weakest sections' of our today's soceity: the "OBC"s, Muslims, Meos, Gujjars and Jats.

Contrasts what they show in movies, novels and writings of the pinkos?

Religion, Caste And Tribe Based Reservation - 4 - acharya - 05-05-2007

M R Venkatesh

Without quota, every caste would be a forward caste

April 24, 2007

To rule India -- with her huge size and population -- the British hit upon a simple yet brilliant idea: divide and rule, with the State playing the crucial role of an arbitrator between various warring groups.

The government of Independent India is largely a remnant of the British Raj with one crucial addition: the ruling elite, comprising Marxists and pseudo-Marxists, largely understands the collective psyche of Indians far better than our colonial oppressors. After all, poverty of ideas invariably leads to politics of poverty.

Accordingly, subsequent governments in India have first ensured shortages, and then played Santa by rationing the insufficient. Quotas fall in this genre.

OBCs: No discussion, please

Having adopted this paradigm of governance, it was necessary for the Government of India to turn the majority against the minority, Muslims and Christians were to be pitched against Hindus, the 'higher' castes against 'lower' castes, the OBCs against the MBCs (Most Backward Classes), the BCs against the Dalits, the Hindi-speaking against the non-Hindi speaking and so on and so forth.

Else, a system that was predominantly modelled on the lines of the British style of governance -- highly centralised, with little accountability -- would be unworkable in India. And given this broad idea of dividing Indians, the caste system in India was an obvious candidate.

It may be noted that by the early twentieth century the British had already begun dividing the nation on these lines -- forwards and backwards. The governments in independent India merely carried the British agenda forward.

One of the popular assumptions built by the British and nurtured subsequently by Marxists about castes is that it is hierarchical and creates a rigid and vertical social structure. And that justified reservations, first for the Dalits (who are not the subject matter of this discussion) and subsequently extended to the backward castes -- OBCs.

The nature of competitive populism in contemporary politics makes it extremely difficult even for a cursory discussion on backward castes, their composition and genesis of their backwardness. On the contrary, every government aided and abetted by a pliable media, biased intellectuals and an indifferent public have repeatedly suppressed, distorted or de-legitimised scholarly studies about OBCs.

The truth needs to be told, facts debated and our assumptions re-calibrated.

Backward castes: What's that?

Whether caste is associated with vertical hierarchy or not has been the subject of great study by many historians, analysts and sociologists. 'Interrogating Castes,' a study of Dipankar Gupta, an eminent scholar and historian of great repute, shows that no caste considers itself to be lower in status, when compared with other castes.

In his essay, Gupta recalls an encounter with 'low caste' women who claimed that her caste was really Rajput -- a higher caste -- and was turned into a lower caste after a defeat in war.

Gupta further adds, "This encounter nearly twenty years ago led me to wonder how many low castes have elevated opinions about their caste origins. A new world was revealed to me as I read account after account of those who are customarily called low castes denying their lowly pedigree. Sometimes they said that were Brahmins of a certain kind, on many occasions they claimed Kshatriya status."

Stumped? Read on.

Arun Shourie, in his latest book -- Falling Over Backwards -- reveals something sensational. He quotes two Census Superintendents of the 1931 census who state, 'The feature of interest is that the claim is always for a more dignified title, for admission to a higher caste or exclusion from a caste which is considered low in the social scale.' Shourie further goes on enumerate repeatedly all through this book as to how Sainis and Malis wanted to be classified as Saini Rajputs, Gabits as Marathas, Bedas as Naiks, Blacksmiths as Panch Brahmans, Barias as Kshatriyas, Talpadas as Padhiar Rajputs, Devalis and Bhavins as Naik Marathas. . . the list seems endless, and Shourie's scholarly attempt is replete with such examples of the so-called lower castes seeking a higher caste appellation.

Surprised? Read on.

Lower castes or elite of the ruling class?

The late Gandhian, Dharampalji through a painstaking study spread over several decades in India, England and Germany established that before the British rule in India, <span style='color:blue'>over two-thirds -- yes, two-thirds! -- of the Indian rulers belonged to what is today known as the OBCs and conclusively proved that it was the British and not the upper castes who robbed the OBCs of their power, wealth and status.</span>

Dharampalji also exploded the popularly held belief that most of those attending schools must have belonged to the upper castes and again with reference to the British records, proved that the truth was other way round. <b>For instance, during 1822-25 the share of the Brahmin students in indigenous schools in Tamil-speaking areas accounted for 13 per cent in South Arcot to some 23 per cent in Madras, while the OBCs accounted for 70 per cent in Salem and Tirunelveli and 84 per cent in South Arcot.</b>

Shocked? Another study by Christophe Jaffrelot, a French scholar -- India's silent revolution: the Rise of the Low Castes in North Indian Politics -- corroborates the findings of late Dharampalji.

While the subject of the book may be out of context to the discussion on hand, the matter of interest to the extant debate is the historical perspective provided on the status of OBCs in nineteenth and early twentieth century. Some of the important factors highlighted in the book with respect to OBCs are:

All available historical evidence shows that almost none of the OBCs considered themselves to be backward, in any sense of the term, at least till the beginning of the 20th century.

Most of the rulers, both at the local as well as larger regional levels in different regions of India during 16-18th centuries, seem to have come from these OBCs.

Further, most of the professions that sustained the vibrant economy of India, which was considered a great agricultural and industrial nation till early 19th century, were peopled and managed mostly by these communities.

The de-industrialisation of India by the British and the subsequent suspension of all local support systems led to widespread deprivation among all sections of Indian society, notably the OBCs.

Four scholars, perhaps with differing ideologies have arrived at similar conclusions. Yet, look at the specious arguments that have fashioned our debate on this issue.

Look what have we done to ourselves.

The net impact of the above is that we have turned OBCs -- the supplicants in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries -- into applicants for posts of clerks in government offices, thanks to the reservation policy.

This would be perhaps true of earlier historical periods also. And most of them -- from Lord Rama to Krishna, from Maharana Ranjit Singh to Chhatrapati Shivaji to Veerapandia Kattabomman -- would in the scheme of our government invariably fall in one of the two categories: OBCs or MBCs!

Due to a conspiracy of coincidences, OBCs seem to have forgotten their glorious past. What else would explain their behaviour of being on all fours before successive governments -- and to curry favours? Today they are so used to the standard arguments of being exploited by forward castes (FCs), leave alone OBCs, even the FCs are loathe to buy contrary arguments.

The net result is that OBCs on the one hand are overwhelmed with an inferiority complex and thus find psychological comfort only in reservations. On the other hand, the upper castes, tutored through tortured history, live constantly in a guilt complex of having wronged their OBC brethren.

In short, our population comprises people who live either on guilt or on an inferiority complex -- what a wonderful combination to challenge the world!

Significantly, this is a perfect setting for our politicians, especially the Marxists, to exploit.

If there were 1,000 IIMs, IITs and AIIMS. . .

All these are pointers to a crucial issue -- the manner in which we are governed and the sinister idea of dividing Indians to rule Indians continue in the same manner as the British did to us till Independence.

The Indian politician perfectly understands the system and the Indian psyche. Leveraging the power of the government, our politicians prefer rationing a few thousand seats by constricting demand rather than considering the grand idea of increasing its supply.

For sixty years since Independence, we have one AIIMS, seven IITs and six IIMs for a billion-plus population. Even that tiny speck in the Indian Ocean called Singapore would have more educational institutions for its 4 million population.

Obviously, the idea is to constrict supply and play on the pent up demand. And in the process if history has to be distorted, so be it.

It may be noted that the Marxists would be at hand to lend credibility to any such distortions of history -- our silence would be their next ally. Needless to emphasise, it is these distortions of history that rationalise reservations, not the 'historical backwardness' of any castes. But if supply were increased as suggested here, what would our politicians -- Marxists and pseudo Marxists -- do? They would simply be jobless, as it would mean end of their brand of politics!

And precisely for these reasons, the current policy of reservations and with it dividing people through castes would continue.

Moral of the story: Without the powerful incentive of reservation every caste in India would be a forward caste.

The author is a Chennai-based Chartered Accountant. He can be contacted at

Religion, Caste And Tribe Based Reservation - 4 - shamu - 05-05-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-Bodhi+May 3 2007, 10:24 AM-->QUOTE(Bodhi @ May 3 2007, 10:24 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><span style='color:red'>Which Caste were Zamindars?</span>

In above, notice the bottom left corner map of delhi, west-UP and Haryana prepared in 1869 by Sir JM Elliot.  It shows the Zamindari allocation of British by caste.  Lands allocated to the so called upper castes are negligible.  Majority Zamindari was allotted by British to the 'weakest sections' of our today's soceity: the "OBC"s, Muslims, Meos, Gujjars and Jats.

Contrasts what they show in movies, novels and writings of the pinkos?
Bodhi, could you please explain how you came to the caste conclusion from the map?


Religion, Caste And Tribe Based Reservation - 4 - Guest - 05-05-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Bodhi, could you please explain how you came to the caste conclusion from the map? <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Check left bottom box. Brahmins hold minimum land. Jat, Gujars, Ahirs and Lodhas holds maximum.