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Controversial Reviving the Caste System

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Admin Singh, May 15, 2010.

  1. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
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    Almost the first task undertaken by Jawaharlal Nehru after independence was to abolish caste. All government records, registers and application forms deleted the caste column. It had taken the nation some 88 years to rub off this stigma of discrimination.

    Ironically, the same Congress party, which was instrumental in throwing out the British, has announced that the next census in 2011 will include a caste column. The Manmohan Singh government was reluctant to introduce one because some cabinet members argued that caste was against the ethos of the freedom movement. But none of them appears to have a commitment to a casteless society, the prerequisite to a viable system of democracy.

    Political parties in the opposition had their way because the government after putting up a brave front caved in. True, the ruling Congress does not have a majority in the Lok Sabha. But it could have mustered one if it had stood firm on principles. It did not have to placate the leaders of the Other Backward Classes (OBC) for the sake of staying in office.

    The government does not seem to understand the repercussions of turning parochial. It should have at least held consultations with the National Integration Council which is meant to discuss such problems. Caste is something that will affect the nation as a whole. Parliament which does not represent more than 50 per cent of the electorate cannot push back the country into the dark ages.

    Electoral politics have blinded the three Yadav leaders — Sharad Yadav of the Janata Dal’s splinter group and the two former chief ministers, Mulayam Singh Yadav from UP and Lalu Prasad Yadav from Bihar. They have betrayed their mentors, socialist Dr Ram Manohar Lohia and Gandhite Jayaprakash Narayan, who propagated a casteless society.The Yadav leaders have argued that the OBC would be entitled to more reservations in employment and educational institutions after the census, which they expect will show their caste followers in larger numbers. They already enjoy a quota of 27 per cent, four per cent more than the scheduled Castes and tribes.

    The supreme court has limited reservations to 50 per cent. If OBC leaders want more, they have to appeal to the court. The census will not give them more reservations. Nor can parliament. The forum is the supreme court which in its judgment thought that at least 50 per cent of jobs or admission to education institutions had to be on merit.

    Where is the guarantee that the census would quantify the numbers accurately? There are risks of fudging. An enumerator goes to an ordinary person and asks him about his caste. The latter can say anything in reply. There is no authority or guidelines for the enumerator to verify the response. His job is merely to write what is told to him.

    Traditions and customs have moulded India and the rest of the subcontinent in such a way that the caste system has also affected Muslims, Sikhs and Christians. Islam preaches equality and this is the reason given by Hindus as to why caste barriers should not be recognised among Muslims for reservations. A Karachi labour leader who met me in Delhi told me that even workers in Pakistan have come to be divided on the basis of caste (zaat).

    In India, the Muslims belonging to OBC, for example, carpenters, weavers, etc., have been enjoying reservations like their Hindu counterparts. There is a demand to accommodate the Muslim ‘dalits’ in the quota given to the scheduled castes. The Sachar committee on the plight of the Muslims has also recognised that there are ‘dalits’ in the Muslim community.

    My knowledge of law, however limited, tells me that a caste column would violate the basic structure of the constitution. The preamble says that the people resolve to constitute India into a “sovereign socialist democratic republic”. In the Keshvanand Bharti case, the supreme court has said that objectives in the preamble contain the basic structure of the constitution which cannot be amended by the power that parliament exercises.

    Caste is the antithesis of democracy or socialist ideology. Any action to reintroduce caste identities, which the census will seek to do, is unconstitutional. Still, if the government wants to go ahead with caste categorisation, it should refer the matter to the supreme court. Since ultimately the matter will be decided by the supreme court, why not start the exercise now?

    The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) agreement to caste identification is surprising. The party is all the time going on about the country’s emotional unity. Its support for something divisive is because of electoral considerations. It wants to be seen with the Yadav leaders who are trying to project the census of caste as a step towards progress. The BJP, like other political parties, knows that elections are increasingly contested on an appeal to sub-castes, not caste alone.

    Poverty is not confined to the OBC. In a country where 40 per cent people earn less than a dollar, the concerted effort of political parties should be to extract people from deplorable economic conditions in which they are stuck. It is time to change the basis of reservations from caste to poverty. The criterion should neither be caste nor creed but how much a person earns.

    Whatever the benefits of reservations, they have been primarily cornered by leaders belonging to the creamy layers of OBC and the scheduled castes and tribes. The supreme court has said more than once that the creamy layer should be defined so that the benefits go to the next generation. But the leaders of these communities, particularly the Yadavs, refused to do so because they want to appropriate the gains. How to end their monopoly is the real problem. They have to be curbed if India is to remain a casteless society.

    The writer is a leading journalist based in Delhi.
     

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  3. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    WITHOUT DIVIDING..thier RULE is not possible....thye have to DIVIDE in order to RULE. This was inevitable..as the Hindu/sikh/Mulsim DIVIDE is no longer enough to keep on ruling..Now the HINDUS must also be DIVIDED and the SIKHS also DIVIDED much more thna the simple Akali-Congress divide....the MORE DIVISIONS created..the easier to perpetual RULE...
    This is why every party supports this...each one sees a future in DIVISION rather than UNITY..see how the Sikh Ruling combine seeks to DIVIDE SIKHS..into Ravidassis..jatts...kabirpanthis..dasam granthis..missionaries..singhsabhiyess..etc etc etc sants proliferate like mushrooms after a shower...sehajdharees vs amritdharees..nanaksaris vs radha soamis..etc etc the MORE DIVISIONS CREATED..the LESSER the chances of their defeat at the elections...
     
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    #2 Gyani Jarnail Singh, May 15, 2010
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  4. ac_marshall

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    This is just an extension of the age old British Raj policy of divide and rule. As respected Gyaniji has quoted, division on the basis of religion and language have almost exhausted the obtainiable political gains. The other major tool to divide and rule available at present is caste. This is the political game of the so called secular brigade.

    As if casteism among Hindus is not enough, caste based profiling of converts to Christianity, Sikhism and Buddhism is also under full swing.

    This will be sufficient to keep the Hue and Cry in the Parliament running for a while and clearing the path for scandals and misdeeds behind the screen leading to further impoverishment of poor Indians, further inflation. Our people will pay more attention to hatred, jealousy towards other castes and plundering India will continue unquestioned behind the screen.

    If a political party member organizes a political rally supporting certain castes, that is called secularism and social justice. He is garlanded and honoured as a hero.

    If the starving farmers, victims of gas leaks, victims of pogroms, under paid school teachers go on a peaceful protest that is called hinderance to law and order. They are either fired upon or hit hard with batons.

    I wonder when will the people of India ever wake up to these bitter facts!

    God save India.
     
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    #3 ac_marshall, May 15, 2010
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  5. ac_marshall

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    Going through Indian History, Lord Krishna belonged to "Yadu" or "Yadav" community. This community ruled over a significant portion of India. How can this community be backward?
     
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  6. ugsbay

    ugsbay United Kingdom
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    Its 2010 and in India they still want to cling onto this Caste issue, it seems to take years to get some sort of equality only for it to be shoved straight back into our faces. As i said before it is mostly used to keep people down trodden. Do not cry Racism in or at the West if you support this Barbaric Caste system.
     
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  7. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    In Rajasthan Jaats are considered backwards while it is well known fact that there were jaat kings in rajasthan.Similarly maratha's are also considered backward.

    Here is article from chandrabhan prasad
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    An interview with CHANDRA BHAN PRASAD
    it is not the majority which is oppressed, it the minority, it is the Dalits. Do you think Shudra communities such as Thevars, Vanniyars, Chettiyars, Gaudas, Lingayats, Vokkaligas, Kammas, Reddies, Jats, Yadavs, Gujjars, Kurmis, Patels, Marathas are oppressed communities?
     
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  8. ac_marshall

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    Thevars, Vanniyars, Chettiyars, Gaudas, Lingayats, Vokkaligas, Kammas, Reddies are all forward Dravidian communities (Mostly affluent agriculturists, landlords, civil contractors or big time traders). Chettiyars are Dravidian counterparts of Baniyas. They are mostly jewellers or money lenders in Southern India. At many places, I have found people belonging to these communities practising casteism more than Brahmins. How can they be backward?

    "Dalit" is the term used for the real down trodden i.e. those who were maliciously classified as untouchables. The communities listed above in fact were practitioners of untouchability.
     
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  9. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Because of their numbers these communities have exploited the system of reservation but whenever Dalits ask for land reform they don't utter a single word because they know that these communities are holding land worth rs.billions and they don't want to loose it.
     
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  10. ac_marshall

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    Kanwardeep Singhji,
    Your words fully reflect how the reservations meant for upbringing the down trodden are abused for personal and political gains (vote banks). The down trodden still remain down trodden.
     
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  11. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    That is why its said..JO Lai hai..NIJ Ball seh lai hai...
    Whatever is achieved..is achieved through the SELF.

    As long as the Dalits are content to be downtrodden..they will be downtrodden....the dalit must grab the power and rise up...or forever remain down..trodden !! Majority are Dalits..and its a Democracy of one man one vote..then how come Majority is ruled by MINORITY ??..a lion rules a flock of sheep..its time the sheep woke up and smelled the green grass..
     
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  12. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Dalits are not majority.It is so called OBCs that majority in today.If you look at chief ministers of India majority of them belong to OBC category
     
  13. roopsidhu

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    In the recent years the dividing gap on the basis of casted has norrowed to the minimum specially in Punjab. This is what the polictical leaders are affraid off because they can not survive politically without using the caste bades sentiments of the masses. Not one or two all the political parties agreed to this. Its very clear that all political leaders are playing with sentiments of the people to achieve their politiv\cal goals. With this decision Indian democracy has gone 50 years back.
    Roopsidhu
     
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