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Religion, Caste And Tribe Based Reservation - 4

Answer: Dilip "dcubed" D'Souza

On related family matter, his father too was offering unsolicited testimony for Sri Krishna commission and the guy didn't feel like disclosing the conflict of interest in some dozen articles he wrote on the Mumbai riots issue. Believe it was exposed on Rediff by someone.
Hmm... So this is a family affair...

From Sattanathan to Dilip DeSouza
From VVGiri, the Congress labor leader to Palagummi Sainath

I wonder how many of these exist.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->SC issues notice to Centre on OBC reservation 
Agencies | New Delhi
The Supreme Court today issued notice to the Centre on a petition challenging 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in central educational institutions.
The petition was filed by Youth For Equality, an NGO, challenging the January seven, 2007, notification of the Centre, by terming it unconstitutional and violation of the fundamental rights of citizens.

The apex Court has issued a notice to the Centre on two petitions challenging 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in central educational institutions. The petitions want a stay on the Act, arguing that the entire issue of OBC reservations is pending before the Supreme Court.
<b>Cover-up for failed social uplift</b>

Sandhya Jain

The Justice Sachar Committee and the lesser noticed Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission (National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities) have both been established by the present UPA regime to honour the old colonial design to vivisect India. Nominated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a convenient tool in the hands of western nations determined to continue the White Man's supremacy in a supposedly post-colonial world, and their agenda is being ably guided by the Italian-born Roman Catholic president of the Congress party, Ms. Sonia Gandhi.

The divisive aspect of her agenda is immediately visible. There is the shoddy Indo-US nuclear deal to which the scientific community remains firmly opposed; the fake dialogue with Pakistan which puts the status of Jammu & Kashmir into question; the move to vacate the Siachin glacier to facilitate a Pakistani walkover into this strategic zone; the encouragement to Muslim clergy in Assam to demand political reservations for the community; the failure to react to the genocide of Hindus in Assam and the privileging of illegal Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants; and, above all, the surreptitious move to bring Christian converts into the ambit of political reservations for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (via Ranganath Mishra Commission) and thus create a formidable and fractious Christian lobby in the Indian Parliament and State Legislatures.

Shri Ram Vilas Paswan's recent Dalit-Minority International Conference fits in neatly with this agenda, and that is why it was inaugurated by Dr. Manmohan Singh. It is said that Shri Paswan intends to hold the conference overseas every two years, with international sponsors; hence it is not difficult to imagine the forces that are instigating and promoting Dalit and Muslim alienation from the larger Hindu society. It is inconceivable that such a sentiment could even be voiced in the lifetime of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi; Ms. Sonia Gandhi, however, is made of different stuff.

<b>In pursuit of his political obligations, Dr. Manmohan Singh made the startling observation at the Dalit-Minority International Conference (December 27, 2006) that </b>"some minorities in India have done better than others… Jains and the Sikhs have fared relatively well from the process of social and economic development. However, other minorities, especially the Muslim community in certain parts of our country, have not had an equal share of the fruits of development." <b>The statement is erroneous and repulsive on several counts.</b>

To begin with, under the Indian Constitution, the Sikh, Jaina and Bauddha (Buddhists) communities fall within the ambit of the larger Hindu community, as they are all of Indic origin. Thus, these smaller, distinct but not opposing groups, are part of the majority community and are not minorities. This position has also been upheld by the Supreme Court in several judgements, and this is also the reason why the Hindu Code Bill applies equally to Sikhs, Jainas and Bauddhas. <b>For the Prime Minister, therefore, to position Indic communities as "minorities" is not only an open violation of the letter and spirit of the Constitution, but enunciates minorityism as state policy. It is a mockery of national unity.</b>

This also conflicts with the Supreme Court's warning not to encourage the proliferation of minorities on the basis of religion; else this would encourage "fissiparous tendencies" and fracture the secular fabric of the nation. <b>The Prime Minister, no doubt, prodded by Congress supremo. Sonia Gandhi, is doing precisely the opposite-pandering to minorityism and creating community consciousness based upon religious identity alone, when the Constitution enjoins the State to have no religion at all. </b>

Further, at this conference, the Prime Minister claimed that the Sachar Committee Report had established the plight of Muslims in terms of their social, economic and educational status. Dr. Singh declared his commitment to eradicate these inequities. Thus, in one quantum jump, the Prime Minister converted the entire Muslim citizenry into a single religious-cum-political grouping, with common secular problems and aspirations. It is a recipe for disaster, as it assumes that all Muslims reject the constitutional ideals of equality, justice and freedom of conscience, and crave for special treatment, when experience shows that special privileges only reinforce alienation and inequality.

It can also, in states like Assam, where the ISI has proved remarkably adept in turning the anti-Bangladeshi migrants ULFA into an anti-Hindu workers outfit, lead to a demand for restoration of communal electorates or reserved seats for Muslims. It may be pertinent to recall in this connection that in the run-up to the last Assembly elections in Assam, Ms. Sonia Gandhi at a public rally virtually instigated the Muslim clerics present on the dais to demand some kind of communal representation.

To my mind, the most noteworthy aspect of the Sachar Committee was that it failed to pin Muslim economic or educational backwardness upon either the Indian State or the Hindu community. <b>India's Muslims receive thousands of crores annually as aid from rich Muslim countries. In addition, the community has approximately five lakh Wakf properties worth an estimated Rs. 1.2 lakh crore, and thus capable of yielding handsome dividends to the community. It is a mystery why these resources are not used to found quality schools, colleges and hospitals that could serve both the Muslim community as well as the larger local communities in the regions where these would be located</b>. Such initiatives would win enormous respect for the community from local communities as well as the nation as a whole. It is truly inexplicable why the visible presence of huge financial resources with the Muslim community should go hand-in-hand with poverty, backwardness, and a general sense of helplessness among ordinary Muslims. Community leaders, it would appear, have much to answer for.

<b>Even more unacceptable is the argument that lower caste converts, the so-called ajlaf and arzal groups, are worthy of inclusion in SC/ST quotas because they are discriminated by the upper caste Ashrafs. These are the descendants of Islamic invaders of the medieval period, and their discrimination against indigenous converts is a form of racism that needs to be quelled through strong legal action, as mandated by the Constitution and the penal code, and not institutionalised by the State!</b>

Surprisingly, neither the Prime Minister nor Ms. Sonia Gandhi has shown sensitivity on the one issue where Muslims have a genuine grievance, viz., missionary predations in the Kashmir Valley. Last December, the murder of a Christian convert in a Srinagar village brought to light the interesting phenomenon of missionary activism in the troubled State, particularly following the forced exodus of the Hindu minority there in 1990 and thereafter. Thus, while the 0.2 million-strong Hindu population has been reduced to just 6,000, the Christian population has been a startling growth, from just 650 in the 1981 census to around 13,000 at present, all of which is on account of conversion of Muslims. For a country and the regime that supposedly privileges Muslims above all groups, this silence is revealing-it exposes Ms. Gandhi's abiding commitment to the West's agenda for India, especially the conversion of its entire citizenry to Christianity. Muslims, it would appear, are to be appeased only to the extent that they hurt Hindu interests or sentiments; otherwise they may be safely ignored.

URL: http://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.p...8&%20%20page=15

The recent suggestion by national commission of scheduled castes NOT to extend reservation to dalit christians is a welcome development as it kills the Mischief which this demand is creating among the Hindus especially those who suffer from insecurity.This demand of the Dalit christian network for reservation was more political and inspired by a texan woman.
i want to take this opportunity to enlighten some friends to the speech which Indian nationilst Mr.KT. paul(1876-1931) delivered at the Round Table conference of 1930 wherein he opposed reservation for Indian christians in legislatures on the lines of anglo indian community.He motivated indian christian community towards NATIONALIST THINKING and opposed those who thought on the lines of MINORITYSM,RESERVATION ETC. I also want to highlight the teachings of shri narayan vaman tilak(1862-1919)who opposed western influence in indian churches.his poetry is true reflection of his love for his motherland,marathi and sanskrit.he wrote about motherland
Thrice blessed is they womb, my MOTHERLAND,
Whence mighty rishis,saints and sages sprang!
A christian I, Ywt here none taunteth me,
Nor buffeteth with angry questioning.
I meet and greet them, and with love embrace:
None saith "thou dost pollute us by they sin!"
My guru they delight to venetrate:
They say "he is our brother and our kin"
Let no man fancy that i idly prate;
Such kindness greet me always, everywhere.
Saith Dasa, O thou peerless Mother Mine!
Thy generous sons thy generous heart declare.

I am quoting below a leetter by one Mr. anandan which interested me.

The tragedy of the caste system and the obnoxious treatment meted out to the people of low castes and the Dalits now is that there is much hype and verbal expression of support and media publicity with very little practical assistance to overcome their handicap. Attempts are often made to take advantage of their conditions to convert them to other faiths with no guarantee of efforts to eradicate the continuing handicap after conversions.

IS THE space of Hinduism shrinking in India? If one looks at the history of India from the ancient and medieval times up to the present, the answer one would come to would be an emphatic `no'. When new religions like Buddhism and Jainism took shape and the most powerful and extensive empire of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka formed the major part of the northern India around 250 BC, with the nascent Buddhism holding sway over the people and the emperor himself, after embracing it, lending official patronage, there was naturally some effect on Hinduism. In the later periods, when Emperor Harsha Vardhan (606-647 AD) formed his empire and embraced Buddhism also there was some adverse effect on the following of Hinduism. Between the two periods (Ashoka and Harsha Vardhan) there were kings who followed Buddhism. The Mughal emperors with the exception of Akbar promoted Islam vigorously and even a tax had been imposed on the Hindus to induce them to convert.

Thus throughout the ancient period to later medieval period there were rulers who had followed Buddhism and Jainism and Muslim rulers who strove to promote Islam in India. During the same period, Christianity had also arrived and there were intensive missionary activities to spread that religion. It is a fact of history that missionaries of all these religions had operated in various regions of this country with varying degrees of official patronage and assistance to effect conversions from Hindus. This with the existence of the much hyped and hated caste system being prevalent from early first millennium AD. The chances were that Hinduism would have been totally obliterated from Indian soil. But what happened? With the new religions like Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, Christianity
and Sikhism occupying some space, there was no significant shrinking of the space of Hinduism. It will be of interest to know how and why this great religion withstood the powerful onslaughts of other ! contemporary faiths.

In the Vedic and later Vedic periods and the Upanishadic era foundations for a powerful and socially accepted cultural life had been running roots deep into the lives of the people with the Vedic and Upanishadic wisdom acting as a strong bonding factor. Especially the Vedic knowledge had been able to satiate the deep urge for the understanding of the secrets of creation and the multifarious natural forces which provided sustenance to human life. The people's eagerness to unravel the mysteries had caused deep spiritual bent. It was thus that the cultural life was formed. This culture had the influence of religious principles in its formation and had entered the social fabric and influenced the life of the people deeply.

Hinduism has its focus on spiritual upliftment of man and all the moral and social codes were formed with that as goal. Even the much misunderstood Varna system which is purely a division of responsibilities had and continues to have a heavy bias towards spiritual evolution. The deep religious proclivities and the urge for spiritual uplift had induced the people to search for simpler and effective ways to achieve the spiritual goal which led to innovations like the Bhakthi movement which had a powerful impact on the socio-cultural-spiritual life of the people even at mass level without distinctions of caste or class or other social differences. It is these deeply run cultural roots which caused an abiding following for Hinduism even in the face of unrelenting assaults by other religions and had in fact continued to influence the lives of people even after their conversion to other faiths.


The term Dalit, a comparatively new one, is a Sanskrit word and means `broken', `torn' or `split'. It is not known how the term came to be applied to refer to a sect of people. Unlike other religions, in Hinduism there is no authority, person or religious leader or organisation to declare any group or a section of the people as higher or lower or untouchable or socially renegade or unequal. There is no religious sanction for such ostracisation. It is equally untenable for any person or
organisation to declare the social status of a person one way or the other. On the other hand, religious leaders have been roundly condemning inequities based on castes from time to time.

Two points raised often in support of the Dalits are: (1) entry to temples and (2) conferment of priesthood.

Prevention of entry into temples of anyone based on his or her caste has been a punishable offence since long. Those who raise this as an issue are unaware of the fact that all the famous temples from the north to the south, like the Kasi, the ones at Tirupati, Palani, Rameswaram, Sabarimala and Guruvayoor and many others are open to devotees without any restrictions of caste. It will be of interest to know that VIPs of political parties belonging to other religions had entered some temples and worshipped. The various castes and communities establish temples of deities worshipped traditionally by them and entry into these temples is only made a point of contention. Refusal of entry into temples is mostly a rural practice, however abominable and at urban centres no such restrictions are practised. In course of time, with educational, social and economic status rising, such restrictions are bound to disappear. These are intra-caste quarrels and not the result of any edict or imposition from any religious leadership or organisation for which there is no sanction of the scriptures.

The Hindu religion stipulates several samskaras to be administered to any person from birth onwards (such samskaras are common in other religions too though they are not termed as samskaras). Among these, Upanayanam is an important one to confer Brahminhood on the person to qualify him to perform stipulated ablutions thrice daily and chant mantras. The term `Brahminhood' should not be
taken to mean that it is only for the Brahmins as a caste as understood now. Any one including the Dalits can undergo this and get qualified for Brahminhood. In fact, recently, a group of non-Brahmin boys were administered these samskaras in Kerala and the same was welcomed wholeheartedly by the people including Brahmins. However, conferment of this also enjoins certain rigorous disciplines such as early morning bath, stipulated ablutions thrice daily followed by focussed prayer, strict vegetarianism and not consuming alcoholic drinks, growing a tuft, etc. The Dalits should decide whether they should undergo the samskaras and enter Brahminhood. Priesthood in temples normally requires the person to have undergone this samskara though in some community based ones persons without it also perform the priestly job. The Iskcon (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), a spiritual organisation of worldwide reputation, functioning all over the world, have members of various religions who have undergone Upanayanam, grow tuft, wear saffron clothes and function as Hindus.
Some of the temples established by them are breathtaking in architecture, style and maintenance.

The present social scenario even among the so-called Brahmins is such that very few people volunteer for the job of priesthood. Even those not so well-to-do somehow provide modern education to their wards with difficulty and get them to choose employment other than priesthood. Priests, especially the temple priests of ordinary temples, could seldom earn enough to keep the kitchen fire burning. Children are sent to vedapathasalas when avenues for school, college and vocational education become beyond the reach. It is doubtful whether even the Dalits would prefer to enter the profession of priests given the rigorous daily routines which they are called upon to observe and the pittance of an income they receive with no social security cover available for old age and indigent situations caused by sickness, etc.

After conversion?
The socially backward condition and vulnerability to repression and indignities attended by acute poverty suffered by the lowest castes in the hierarchy in Hinduism were reasons for the provision of statutory entitlement to special reservations and other benefits to enable them to pursue education and enter government services. Since the caste system is prevalent in the Hindu religion,
such provision is restricted to the backward and lowest castes of Hinduism. But the clamour for extending such benefits to the Dalits and other lower castes converted to other religions would show that the social disadvantages and discrimination due to caste system continue to exist even after conversion to other faiths. One often hears terms like Dalit Christians and Buddhists, etc. Even in social life the converted Dalits do not get social status equal to the higher caste converts. They
are even referred to as `Dalit Christians', a term if used to refer to them in the Hindu religion, would be considered unpleasant and even objectionable. Social integration in any religion takes place through matrimonial relationships. But do Dalit converts get married to higher caste converts? A Dalit convert has to choose another Dalit convert for alliances. Even Hindu caste and community appellations such `Bhat' `Dar' are retained by Muslims in Kashmir and those like `Patel' in Gujarat.
Reddys, Raos and other caste names are suffixed freely and one could hardly distinguish a Christian from a Hindu by the name. And such caste connotations are main considerations in forging marital relationships.

A look at matrimonial advertisements would show that a converted person of certain caste wanting a spouse of the same caste converted even in the new religion. Where then is the advantage in Dalits `entering' other religions? Continuance of caste-based distinctions in such matters tantamount to indignity in social life. Relentless legal, social and religious action has made considerable headway in removing obnoxious caste-based practices in the Hindu religion and hopefully before long this malady will be a thing of the past. If such reformatory steps are not taken in the case of Dalits converted to other religions, passage of time will only cause expansion of the Dalit and low caste population in their new religions with the obnoxious treatment continuing and even getting strengthened as had happened in Hinduism in the course of past hundreds of years. Religious leaders of faiths other than Hinduism would have now realised how difficult it is to root out the malady from their religions. The fact that racism which is a more serious malady than casteism continues to exist even today in the most advanced nations where Christianity is practised stands testimony to the limitations of any religion in stemming the rot that has set in society. Total eradication of evils
such as casteism from society is practicable and achievable only with education and not by conversion or proselytisation.

Spirituality not denied
Spirituality in Hinduism now is mostly confined to worship in temples. Higher levels of spiritual activity such as yoga, pranayama, meditation, chanting of scriptures, etc., are practised only by a small percentage of people often guided by preceptors who have reached a much higher level of evolution. If a Dalit desires to pursue such a path, no preceptor of standing would object or reject his inclinations. Avenues for getting trained in spiritual practices mentioned above are now available in organised courses and anyone including Dalits can get enrolled in such courses. Hinduism has produced more saints of high spiritual accomplishment from non-Brahmin communities than any other religion and no one including the so called Brahmans ever enquires about the caste of such great saints as Swami Chinmayananda or Swamini Amirtanandamayi. History is replete with stories of lower and lowest caste persons having attained great heights of spiritual evolution. Who had stopped them from marching steadfastly on their chosen path?

The tragedy of the caste system and the obnoxious treatment meted out to the people of low castes and the Dalits now is that there is much hype and verbal expression of support and media publicity with very little practical assistance to overcome their handicap. Attempts are often made to take advantage of their conditions to convert them to other faiths with no guarantee of efforts to eradicate the continuing handicap after conversions. In fact, attempts at categorisation of Dalits and tribals as a bloc distinct from mainstream Hinduism is a step to make them believe about not belonging to any religion and to convert to other religions.

Though conversion of lower castes and Dalits from Hinduism to other religions had been taking place for several hundreds of years, and they form part of those religions precious little appears to have been done by those religions to eradicate the evil as could be seen from the prevalence of the evil in those religions. Had proper effort been taken during the past hundreds of years many of the problems of converts of low castes would not have been there now. The call for Dalits and lower caste people to `enter' other religions is not a solution in the right direction.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Ministries to use religion-based statistics </b>
Wednesday, 07 February , 2007, 22:20 
New Delhi: Ahead of the possible tabling of the action-taken  report on the
Sachar committee findings in Parliament, <b>more than a dozen  ministries are
being asked to use a new religion-based demographic  statistics for executing
minority welfare programmes.  </b>

<!--emo&:flush--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Flush.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='Flush.gif' /><!--endemo-->

<b>Fight for quota in private sector, YSR tells dalits</b>

Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy on Saturday called upon the dalits to launch a movement for reservations in private sector and oppose any measures that could "bring about a division among the Scheduled Castes."
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Quota plan for Dalit Muslims hits hurdle</b>
Subodh Ghildiyal
[ 17 Feb, 2007 0142hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

NEW DELHI: The government's bid to get Dalit Muslims categorised as 'Most Backward Castes' as suggested by the Sachar panel to get them targeted-quota in employment and education seems to be floundering, with the social justice ministry giving its thumbs-down to the possibility.

In its response, the ministry has pointed out that there is no such category as MBC at the Centre where the backwards are treated as a monolith, as opposed to states where they have been differentiated into "forwards among backwards", or "OBC", and "backward among backwards", called "MBC".

With the nodal ministry putting a spanner, government, under increasing pressure to back up its professed concern for minorities with tangible action, has been left hoping for a go-ahead from the National Commission on Religious and Linguistic Minorities.
The body has been asked to examine whether non-Hindu Dalits are entitled to quota benefits on par with Scheduled Castes.

In its report, which created much debate in political circles, the Sachar panel differentiated between two groups of Muslims converts from OBCs and from "untouchables" who are clubbed together in an "all encompassing OBC category".

<b>The report said the Dalit converts were "the worst off and need to be handled separately." It said they be either absorbed in the SC list or in a separate category (MBCs) carved out of OBCs. </b>

While the backward Muslims are entitled to OBC quota, it is argued that an overwhelming majority of those are not equipped to compete against other Hindu OBCs for quota benefits. Thus, the demand for sub-categorisation of Muslim OBCs into MBCs with a separate quota.

It is argued that <span style='color:red'><b>Dalit Muslims</b> would be better placed to compete for quota benefits against SCs, who would be equal competitors given their similar socio-educational status.</span>
(Yes, muslims are very special to dhimmi party governing India. So they get a special category and 'first claim on resources' as promised by MMS.)

Government is unlikely to draw much hope in the given situation as the less contentious suggestion to sub-categorise OBCs to earmark exclusive quota for Muslims has met with a negative response from the nodal ministry.

Arguing against a split of OBCs at the Centre, MSJ told a recent meeting in the PM's Office called on working out an implementation plan on Sachar panel's recommendations that the Centre's reservation policy skims out 'creamy layer' for the purpose of quota benefits. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->In one sense, it is true that islamics are the most backward, but that's because of their religion. Instead of giving them reservations, why not do them the greatest favour: give them the option of a change of religion?
Khalidi is back, it is the SC and ST he is batting for this time.
Scheduled for recruitment?
The furore over “the Muslim head-count” in January-February 2006 overshadowed the question of many groups unrepresented in the armed forces, such as the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs). They represented a little over 16 and 8 per cent respectively of the total national population in 2001, but few are found in the armed forces as officers. Between 1950 and 2005, about 50,000 men entered the defence services as cadets through the National Defence Academy (NDA), according to the Union Public Service Commission. Out of this number, only about 200 were SCs and a little over a 100 were STs. Why so? And what can be/should be done about it?

Historically, the British considered the SCs and STs outside the “martial races”, and thus disqualified them for recruitment as jawans.Wartime compulsions, however, necessitated the induction of many non-martial groups including SCs and STs. Thus the Mahars of Maharashtra and Mazhbi (faithful) and Ramadasia Sikhs — both lower castes — of Punjab entered the colonial army as did the pariahs of southern India from early 19th century onwards. The manpower demand of World War II even saw the emergence of a Chamar Regiment that recruited mostly in UP, only to be disbanded in 1946.

In 2007, SCs and STs are well-represented as jawans in the Mahar Regiment, the Bihar Regiment and the Sikh Light Infantry. In addition, there are some battalions of infantry regiments which are exclusively meant for SCs and STs, or have a fixed percentage in them. But the officers in these regiments are not necessarily members of SC or ST communities. The current chief of the army staff Gen. JJ Singh is a Sikh from the Mahar Regiment, and proudly considers himself a Mahar! The reason why there are so few officers from the two communities is clear: poor educational backgrounds, leading, first, to an inability to meet the minimum qualifications to enter the exams and, then, a failure to pass the examinations when able to enter them.

A close examination of the annual reports of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Tribes from 1950 to the present reveals a depressing absence of SC and ST men in all three branches of the armed forces: army, air force and the navy, as far as combat units are concerned. The absence from air force and navy is easy to explain: both are highly skilled organisations requiring technical education for entry. Since education of any kind — much less technical — is poor among the SCs and STs, they are therefore poorly represented in the two forces.

The situation is better in noncombat units. In the civilian cadres of the three branches of the forces, the SCs are represented well above their population percentages: 20.58 per cent in the army, 15.3 per cent in the navy, and 35 per cent in the air force. But the STs have done poorly in the army’s civilian cadres.

Within the civilian cadres of the three forces, the percentage of the two groups is highest in the D-category requiring least education and lowest in the A-category requiring advanced education. A high degree of education is not required in the infantry units, where at least 25-30 per cent of the recruitment is based on ethnicity, caste or region, exemplified by the famous Dogra, Garhwal, Gorkha, Kumaon, Rajput and Sikh regiments more than half-a-century after entry into the army was theoretically opened to all qualified Indian citizens. SC and ST politicians from Babu Jagjivan Ram (defence minister in 1970s) to Ram Vilas Paswan, Union minister for steel & fertilisers, have demanded reservation for the two groups in the three branches of the services. The commissioners/chairmen of the National Commission on Scheduled Castes and Tribes have consistently supported the demand as evidenced from their reports since the 1950s.

Most recently, Dr Suraj Bhan, the current chairman of the SC Commission articulated the demand in May 2006. The Lok Sabha’s Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Tribes, headed by Ratilal Kalidas Varma, presented a case for reservations with facts and figures to the Defence Ministry in August 2003. Paswan in particular demanded a Dalit regiment.

There is thus a consensus among Dalit politicians and the intelligentsia for reservations in the armed forces. But the Central government, whether headed by the BJP or the current UPA, categorically rejects the argument for reservation or for new regiments based on caste, ethnicity or region. Their argument is that “any attempt to introduce reservation for any class or community cannot but impair the fighting efficiency of the Army”.

When asked to abolish units based on ethnicity, caste or region, the Defence Ministry’s strange argument was that “class composition of certain army units has been retained because of compulsions of combat effectiveness, operational performance and experience”. It is obvious that the defence ministry wants to maintain status quo even when contradictory arguments are used in the same breath. Moreover, the then Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee was either misinformed or intentionally misled the nation when he claimed in Rajya Sabha on February 22, 2006, that “all regiments named after communities and regions were formed before Independence. None was raised after 1950.”

Mukherjee was obviously unaware that Naga and Mizo regiments were raised in the early 1960s, a decade-and-a-half after 1947. The nation as a whole must develop consensus on whether or not it wants its institutions to mirror the country’s population diversity. The armed forces’ composition cannot be above public scrutiny in a democracy such as India. If we desire our armed forces to reflect our population composition, then measures must be taken to achieve that goal.

Children of aristocrats, former officers, and children of upper classes are disinterested in a career in the armed forces, given the poor incentives compared with the IT sector; they are unlikely to complain if reservations are introduced. If reservations are too radical, then state-sponsored intensive coaching for SCs, STs, Muslims, women and all other under-represented groups to prepare for UPSC exams is one corrective measure. Otherwise the underrepresented groups will not be scheduled for recruitment.

(The writer is a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.)

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->All IIMs to reserve seats for OBC

March 06, 2007 16:14 IST

The Indian Institutes of Management will have to provide reservation for the other backward classes in addition to schedule castes and schedule tribes from the coming academic session, Rajya Sabha was informed Tuesday.

In a reply, Minister of State for Human Resource Development D Purandeswari said with the coming into force of Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act 2006, all the IIMs have to provide reservation of 27 per cent seats too for the other backward classes in a phased manner in three years, starting 2007-2008.

This will be in addition to 15 per cent existing reservation for the scheduled castes and 7.5 per cent for the scheduled tribes.

As per provisions of the Act, the institutes shall ensure mandatory increase in the number of seats in a branch of study or faculty, over and above its annual permitted strength.

This will be done in a manner that the number of seats, excluding those reserved for the persons belonging to SC, ST and OBC categories, is not less than number of such seats available for the academic session immediately preceding the date of enforcement of this Act.

In another reply, the minister said government has approved the setting up of seventh IIM in Shillong and there is no proposal to set up any other elsewhere in the country. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Casting doubts </b>
The Pioneer Edit Service
SC raises valid points on OBC quota
The Supreme Court has done well to raise issues that fly in the face of the UPA Government's claimed logic behind its ill-conceived move to reserve 27 per cent seats in institutions of higher education, including acclaimed centres of excellence, for students from the so-called 'Other Backward Classes'. That the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act of 2007, whose passage in Parliament was greatly facilitated by the active collusion of the Opposition with the Treasury Benches, indicating that no party is immune to the lure of identity politics, is a deeply flawed law has been known ever since it was conceived by Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh. Yet, nobody in authority has had the gumption of highlighting the flaws lest it displease the intended beneficiaries of such regressive quota politics. Youth for Equality did put up a spirited fight, but it was doomed to fail in the absence of political support; civil society in our cities and towns is too callous to bother about the future of India. However, it is to the credit of Youth for Equality that it has not entirely given up the fight against Mr Singh's dream of penalising meritorious students and degrading higher education; along with others, they have taken the issue to court. It is in this context that the Supreme Court, questioning the legality of the OBC quota in institutions of higher education, <b>has asked the Government to explain how it has fixed the quantum at 27 per cent and the criteria used for determining social and educational backwardness of castes and communities. It has also questioned the Government's decision not to remove the 'creamy layer' from the intended beneficiaries of its largesse</b>.

Those who dared oppose the OBC quota did raise these questions, only to be met with either devious obfuscation or arrogant silence. It is absurd to suggest, as has been done by the votaries of this perverse law, that the numerical strength of those who belong to castes that qualify as 'Socially and Educationally Backward Classes', known in popular parlance as 'Other Backward Classes', can be extrapolated from the caste-based census of 1931.<b> In the past eight decades, the social and educational profile of virtually every caste in India has undergone radical change; their demographic profile has changed, too. It is equally incorrect to use the benchmark adopted by the BP Mandal Commission which also relied on the 1931 Census.</b> Recent surveys conducted by the National Sample Survey Organisation and the Ministry of Health indicate that the OBC population is far less than what is claimed by those who wish to subjugate higher education to caste politics. Curiously, although the dispute over the numerical strength of each caste can be settled through a caste-based census, every Government has shied away from ordering such an exercise. That apart, there is the other issue of determining social and educational backwardness of communities in today's India:<b> Should the criteria be based on subjective interpretations that are guided by the exigencies of vote-bank politics or an objective assessment based on economic factors? </b>Hopefully, the Supreme Court will succeed in forcing the Government to abandon its antediluvian quota policy. If that leaves our vote-bank dependent politicians smarting, so be it.
<b>Arjun wants OBC tag for muslims</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Arjun wants OBC tag for muslims<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Last I heard they ruled Hindu India for 1000 years and now they call themselves backward class. What a joke? Shame on them?
<!--emo&Sad--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad.gif' /><!--endemo--> Muslims don't qualify for Dalit quota: Arjun

New Delhi: HRD minister Arjun Singh may have thrown down the gauntlet to his party colleagues and the Left when he all but ruled out the possibility of including Dalit Muslims within the ambit of reservation for Scheduled Castes. Citing the constitution and the "background and philosophy behind the Scheduled Caste quota", he said, "we should see how much they can be accommodated in the OBC quota."

The HRD minister’s stand is that the prevailing constitutional framework doesn’t allow for religion based reservation quotas. However, sections of Muslims and other minorities are classified as other backward classes.

In this context, the best the HRD ministry can do is provide for greater access to OBCs and to ensure that Muslims included in the OBC list have fair access to educational opportunities. "The constitution doesn’t allow for Muslim (religion based) quotas.

However, the OBC list does include minorities," Mr Singh said. His stand is at odds with that of his cabinet colleague, the minister for minority affairs A R Antulay. The minority affairs minister has argued for the inclusion of Dalit Muslims and Christians in the reserved SC/ST category.

The argument being that by changing their faith they have not changed their status, social and economic backwardness and the burden of being downtrodden for centuries. Arjun Singh’s position is also at variance with the Left’s position on reservation for Dalit Muslims.

During the deliberations of the Fatmi Committee to look into the education related recommendations of the Sachar report, a section of Muslim MPs and civil society leaders asked for a review of Article 341, so as to extend Scheduled Caste reservation to Dalit Muslims.

In a manner similar to the extension provided for neo-Buddhists and SC Sikhs. Besides the constitutional position on religion-based reservation, Mr Singh felt that Muslims should be claiming a share of the Scheduled Caste reservation quota.

The HRD minister also spoke of his ministry’s annual plan. Acknowledging that while progress on the CMP promise of spending 6% of GDP on education is yet to be fulfilled, he expressed hope that the target will be reached by the end of the Eleventh Plan.


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Knowledge Commission Chairman Sam Pitroda felt the political sting of some commission members opposing reservation when he arrived to lecture a group of Parliamentarians on Thursday.

He had barely finished his lecture on the Knowledge Commission's plans with regard to education, when Dr Karan Singh Yadav, Congress MP from Alwar in Rajasthan, questioned Pitroda as to how he could oppose reservation for Other Backward Castes.

Knowledge Commission Member Andre Beteille had quit the commission over the issue.

"How can you oppose reservation? Aren't you aware that for over 2000 years the backward castes have been oppressed," he said. He was joined by Congress MP from Nizamabad Madhu Goud Yaskhi and Francis Fanthome, former chairperson of the ICSE board.

Yaskhi wanted to know why the government was over eager to oblige private entrepreneurs by giving them incentives, but did not do the same for those who really needed a leg-up.

"Infosys has been given land in Hyderabad at throwaway prices just to ensure 500 jobs, something for which the company would have hunted for local talent in any case," he said.

When Yaskhi persisted with his line of questioning, especially on the issue of corporate getting incentives and not fulfilling social responsibilities, Pitroda was forced to agree with him. "You are right, why don't you all (politicians) go after them," he said.

The lecture was part of a series initiated by Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Govt to objectively implement Sachar suggestions

March 25, 2007 18:04 IST

The government would objectively implement the Sachar Committee recommendations for improving the condition of Muslims and the report would be discussed in the Parliament, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi said on Sunday.

"The Sachar report is being scanned by a committee set up by the Cabinet and the government will implement the recommendations objectively," he told a convention on the Sachar Committee report organised by the WBPCC Minority Cell.

The Sachar report would be discussed in the Parliament, he said.

Pointing out that<b> the government had no obligation to place the report before Parliament as it was not a commission of inquiry report, Dasmunshi said Congress president Sonia Gandhi had wanted it to be placed before Parliament.</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>SC stays OBC quota in Govt education institutes</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->New Delhi: In what could be a blow to the plans of the Central Government, the Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in elite educational institutions, including IIMs and IITs.

The verdict could be the cause for another legislation and judiciary clash as this is a big setback for the Government.

The Bench of Justices Arijit and Pasayat and L S Panta delivered the verdict on the batch of petitions filed by various organisations and individuals challenging the decision as being ultra vires (unconstitutional).

Various organisations had challenged the Centre's decision to implement the quota, claiming that there was no relevant data on the number of OBCs in the country.

<b>It held that the 1931 census could not be a determinative factor for identifying the OBCs for the purpose of providing reservation.</b>

<b>Keeping the petitions in mind, the Bench stated that Section 6 of the Constitution was not applicable since no data on OBCs has been collected in the last 76 years</b>.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Lawyer for United Student’s Forum, M L Lahoty told CNN-IBN, “SC has stayed the order on the Act saying to the Centre, ‘Don’t divide the country only because of your vote bank’ and that 'the consequences of this quota would be very bad'."<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Post 137:
Mudy see how the news contained in your post 137 (above) has now been twisted by the bbc when it turned its jaundiced little eyeball to it. I don't even know what to highlight - there's so much double-speak and brainwashing in there it is just a marvel-piece more than anything.
Note the subtle use of language too.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Thursday, 29 March 2007, 10:38 GMT 11:38 UK 

<b>Court blocks Indian quota plans</b>
(As if the Indian court is somehow separate from India)
(BBC has put up 'related' links underneath an image of students protestingSmile
India's colleges and quotas
Despair of the Dalits
India's Supreme Court has put on hold controversial plans to boost places for lower-caste and other disadvantaged people in colleges and universities.
Under the government's affirmative action plan the lower castes' share of places in educational institutions would more than double to nearly 50%.
(Just in case the reader didn't realise that the BBC thinks such quotas are a good thing, off goes the beeb and refers to it as 'affirmative action' to tie it up with how America is trying to pay off its debt to African Americans)

Correspondents say the move has split the country, with many arguing it could hurt India's rapid economic rise.

But it has the support of millions of students from underprivileged groups.

The plan to increase affirmative action quotas has been bitterly opposed by students at some of the country's best-known professional colleges

The court told the government to put the programme on hold until August.

It said the government needed to provide fresh data on lower castes - also known as Other Backward Castes or OBCs in official language - because it said it found the present data too old.

The 27% seat allocation is based on the population of OBCs in India, according to the census carried out in 1931.

Correspondents say the ruling is likely to provoke strong emotions among the people who support reservations and rejoicing among those who have been campaigning against the government attempts to introduce the measure.

<b>Fruit of growth</b>
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said his government is committed to removing iniquities so that everyone can enjoy the fruit of India's economic growth.
(Words are all these pseculars and their media have. MMS puts together some flowery words which sound proper and right. But that's all there is to them. There is no equality or even sense in his actual proposals.)

The government has recently pushed a bill through parliament in which places at some of the country's best-known professional colleges are set aside for students from lower-caste and disadvantaged communities.

And it is considering asking the private sector to institute some kind of affirmative action and also extend the benefit to the country's Muslim minority.
(Let's see how the Beeb likes it if there were a push for 'affirmative action' quotas for the 'downtrodden' islamoterrorist minority in the UK. Oh, but that would be considered a totally <i>different</i> matter, no doubt.)

A recent study suggested that India's Muslims were economically and socially worse off than Dalits.
(BBC feels the need to parrot this piece of tripe like it's true. In some states muslims are better off than all Hindus, as IF members have shown, but that would be something no bbc 'report' would ever want to admit let alone mention.)

But the move is being opposed by many who feel that it will lower standards and endanger India's economic growth.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Reliable colonial mouthpiece, the beeb. According to them, the 'dalits' are too unintelligent that they need this ridiculous new quota system. What, are they implying Harijan communities can't get there on their own hard labours?

What I think a proper government in India should do is
(1) ensure that everyone gets (non-madrassa, non-psecular, non-dawaganda) education until minimum age of 16 or 18.
(2) Give tertiary-study scholarships to enthusiastic but poor individuals who show promise, from <i>all</i> communities - with number of scholarships based on community size in each region.
Indians are not stupid. There are soooo many bright kids in all Indian communities. So if their parents are too poor to get them into college, then such scholarships will ensure that the brilliant amongst them get their fair chance, and more than that, not waste their talent and brain by dwindling into obscurity.

It is important that such scholarships are indeed based on the economic status of the student, their enthusiasm (ready interest and willingness in doing tertiary study, no point if they'd rather immediately embark on acting, say) and capability (getting the grades required for entry into a course). The passing grades should be uniform for all, they should not be entry-grades based on community background as it is now, that's merely degrading to everyone concerned. No one is stupid, stop treating people as such, it's just offensive.

But, as the number of scholarships per community is dependent on the size of a community, none will be badly off.

The above will ensure that all Indian communities (though I really care only for the non-christoislamics, but one must be fair) are given a fair chance, are well-represented at tertiary institutions and will thrive in whatever field they choose without wasting their intelligence and education-related gifts. Those who are interested in pursuing tertiary education will most certainly take the opportunity given them and they will do well, because they are self-motivated (enthusiastic) and they already have the grades required for the courses they want to enrol in.

There need be no quotas then, just government sponsored scholarships made available to the deserving who want to seize it. In subsequent generations, there can be community-sponsored scholarships to help more people of one's own community into tertiary education if people see more bright individuals amongst themselves who can do with a bit of help.
ADDED: It would be even better if we had general Hindu organisations collecting funds for scholarships to sponsor as many poor students as possible regardless of community background.

Best of all, Harijan communities (and now the government has added 'OBCs' too) won't be treated as if they are somehow inept at getting to where they deserve to be and need to be planted there by the government.
Their presence will be representative at all universities - major universities or the more regional ones. They will know they have got there by their own hard work and they'll also know they are finally being treated as equals instead of as people about whom the politicians think they could never have made it on their own.

Yes, it will require a lot of government funds. Just take it away from the politicians, and raid some terrorists to confiscate their stash (including Dawood), for instance. But the more important question is, will the 'Indian' government implement it? What? And let certain Indian communities actually get educated so they stop voting for propagandists and pseculars and stop believing the media and missionaries? Never! Keep them angry, keep them inadequately educated is the psecular government's motto. So too the beeb's. And hence bbc's barely-veiled support for the latest quota scheme proposal.

Mistake in the above:
Forgot that wealth is not equally distributed across communities in India (and that even then, the same community might be economically worse off in one state than the same community in the neighbouring state). So number of scholarships available for community must be calculated from the account total number of *economically disadvantaged* (as regards financing college for their child) in each community in each region. Merely calculating it based on the community size, as I wrongly stated above, will not be useful.

That's because the problem is two-fold: (1) economically underprivileged people have no access to study; and (2) some communities have not yet been made to feel sufficiently confident about themselves to be comfortable in taking their options concerning tertiary education - scholarships will help in fixing this.
(2 was certainly true when my grandfather was teaching. He had to convince parents from some communities in a neighbouring village that they were most worthwhile and their children equally deserving of the education he wanted to impart.)

Anyways, after two or three generations, this can then be simplified to government scholarships being granted based only on the ecomonic factor and the interest shown by the student to continue their studies. It no longer needs to be community-based then, because at that point all communities would have regained confidence in seeing tertiary study as accessible to them and would have made higher education common-place 'tradition' in families once more.
Editorial in Pioneer, 30 March 2007

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Caste irony

The Pioneer Edit Desk

<b>At 76, quota data is too old</b>

By ordering a stay on the Central law enabling 27 per cent reservation for the so-called 'Socially and Educationally Backward Classes', popularly known as OBCs, in Union Government controlled educational institutions, including IITs, IIMs and AIIMS, <b>the Supreme Court has made two very commonsensical and constitutional points. First, it has questioned the modalities of implementing OBC reservation.</b> The court has not taken a puritanical or theoretical stand against all quotas; hence, those Communist leaders who have accused it of a "retrograde" verdict are going way over the top. <b>It has only argued that data from the 1931 Census can hardly be the determining factor in the administration of a caste-based affirmative action programme. No Indian Census has used the caste parameter since the one in 1931. The 1941 census was disrupted. By the time the 1951 census happened, India had become independent and abolished caste-based enumeration. As such, the Mandal Commission, which submitted its report in 1980, extrapolated numbers from the 1931 Census and arrived at the figure of 27 per cent while recommending OBC quota in Government jobs. Since then, this figure has acquired a strange sanctity.</b> Over the past year, Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh has sought to set aside 27 per cent of all seats in Central higher educational institutions for OBCs. He, too, followed the Mandal template and went by the 1931 roll-call. <b>The court has now rightly stressed that a 76-year-old Census is hopelessly outdated. If the Government and the political class are insistent on caste quotas, what they need to do is get authoritative numbers. For this, caste has to be reintroduced as a query in the 2011 Census and all future enumerations.</b> Should that not be deemed appropriate, then an alternative but equally authoritative source of demographic data, for example, reports of the National Sample Survey Organisation, needs to be accessed and institutionalised as the final arbiter.

Population groups grow and contract with time and socio-economic evolution. Individual OBC communities that probably needed the crutch of reservation in, say, 1940, may not do so now. <b>This is the second point the Court has made: "Reservation cannot be permanent and appear to perpetuate backwardness". </b>Any development programme has to be time-bound or come with a sunset clause, however vaguely defined. <b>Human development, empowerment and notions of 'self-respect' are inherently dynamic; so must be caste categorisation. At what point does a caste group cross the threshold and cease to need quotas? Is an officially designated 'Backward Caste' backward forever? Can it never be 'delisted'? Is no review needed, say every decade or so? </b>These questions are not new. They were raised as far back as 1990, when the Mandal genie was released by Mr VP Singh. Yet, like an old ghost, the issue is back to haunt India. In putting a stay on the ill-considered OBC quota in Central institutions, the Supreme Court has also made suspect the validity of the original Mandal Commission's findings and the quota regime it has spawned in Government jobs. Can these, too, be allocated on the basis of a headcount in 1931? It's a bit like, to use an analogy that is current, selecting the national cricket team on the basis of scores made 50 years ago.


So it is possible with the right thinking the bogey of caste that the BRITs have left India with can be buried.
Pioneer, 30 March 2007
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->TN, AP in desperate need for reservation
Pioneer News Service | Chennai/Hyderabad
Some political parties today stepped up pressure on the Centre for implementation of quotas as a part of their vote politics.

Being in the forefront the Tamil Nadu Assembly today adopted a resolution saying the interim order of the Supreme Court depriving OBCs of reservation in elite Central academic institutions had caused a "setback to the social and educational advancement of the oppressed classes". Chief Minister M Karunanidhi dashed off letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to convene both Houses of Parliament to reach a decision on enabling the OBCs to enjoy the privilege of reservation from the coming academic year.

The AP Assembly in its resolution wanted the Centre to take necessary steps to ensure reservation for OBCs. An all-party delegation from Andhra Pradesh is also planning to leave for Delhi to meet the Prime Minister asking for taking steps in this regard.

What is going on in these two states when they are not facing elections? One state is led by an UPA ally and the other is INC led.

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