obc voice

Thursday, April 10, 2008

No thanks...

..to the Indian Judiciary for seeing the truth and still trying to mask it. To the Indian Government for not apologizing for hiding the truth for sixty years. To the Indian media for never respecting the truth. And definitely no thanks to upper caste India, the only creamy layer in the country, for consistently opposing the truth. Yes, there were honourable exceptions of course, courageous individuals in all those classes and institutions, and I salute all of them.

Thanks to Jyotiba Phule, Dr.Ambedkar, Kaka Kalelkar, B.P.Mandal, and countless others who began, and still guide us in this long series of battles.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

And who were the first to ask for data?

Kaka Kalelkar and B.P.Mandal. And who were these gentlemen? They headed the First and Second Backward Classes Commisions. Listen to what Kalelkar had to say:

"Before the disease of caste is destroyed all facts about it have to be noted and classified in a scientific manner as in a clinical record. To this end we suggest that the 1961 Census be remodelled and reorganised so as to secure the required information... If possible, Census should be carried out in 1957 instead of in 1961."

That was a recommendation of the Kalelkar Commission outlined in its 1955 report. Let's see what the much reviled B.P.Mandal did to acquire data:

'Advisor to the Human Resource Development ministry for this Supreme Court case, P S Krishnan, told The Indian Express today: “B P Mandal had himself written to three successive Home Ministers and had repeatedly requested them to conduct a caste-based Census. But he was refused saying that Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, independent India’s first Home minister, had decided in 1950 that there will be no caste-based census from 1951 onwards, when the first census took place in Free India.[...] Krishnan said that Mandal wrote “three DO letters to three home ministers, namely H M Patel in 1978-79, Y B Chavan in 1979 and Gyani Zail Singh in 1980.”'

So, who's afraid of data? And who stopped its collection in the first place? Definitely not the OBCs. Check who were the Prime Ministers when Kalelkar and Mandal made their requests - they were definitely not OBCs. Check who are the sociologists who first opposed and still oppose caste censuses? Andre Beteille and Dipankar Gupta are some of the names that strike you immediately. Aren't these the wiseheads who incidentally also happen to oppose reservations for the OBCs?

Why are you afraid of data? This is one of those umpteen accusations that are hurled at OBCs. Note the insouciance, at best, and brazen shamelessness, at worst, of those who hurl that accusation. If a caste census was carried out in 1961, reservations for OBCs would have started then - on a more comprehensive basis, even in states where they already existed. And perhaps, there wouldn't be as many OBCs now.

Did the OBCs stop the caste censuses forty/fifty years ago so that they could 'assert backwardness and then to claim that we are more backward than you' today? One would have thought the babalog fighting for 'equality' were the only denizens of Delhi who were capable of thinking up such filmi plots and (lines)- but one should've known better. There is a lesson here for the OBCs - if you think things have changed over the last forty/fifty years, you'll remain backward. Forever.

They stopped the collection of data then, because they didn't want to divide the country along lines of caste, they ask for data now because they don't want to divide the country along lines of caste.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Will they close down the IITs/IIMs and JNU etc.,?

Now that it seems almost impossible that OBCs would be admitted to centrally run educational institutions this year, and the future doesn't seem too rosy either for students from these castes, one question that, you'll notice, nobody asks...needs to be asked:

Will all admissions at all centrally run higher educational institutions be stopped? Will they close down the IITs/IIMs, Delhi University and JNU etc., until the issue of admissions of the OBC students is resolved? Because how can the government or the courts permit the functioning of institutions that cater only to a few castes in the country and exclude the great majority?

The Supreme Court hasn't ruled out the need for reservations which indicates that it recognizes the fact that many sections of the population aren't represented in these institutions. So how can the government continue to run these institutions that serve so obviously parochial needs? Do only the upper castes in the country have a right to equality and the others don't? And if the lower castes aren't to be admitted into these institutions until the issue is resolved, how can the upper castes be admitted? And how can these institutions still remain public institutions if only upper caste students would be admitted?

In this post, I'd said: 'But crudely put , the government owns them. And they were started with the objective of providing quality education to the people of India. Certain sections of the people were not represented- so they're claiming their share now. Their share, please note.' Which is their right. And these rights, whatever the reasons/pretexts, have been violated for the last sixty years in centrally-run educational institutions. And in most state-run institutions for lesser, but not less critical, periods of time. Now that the violation has been acknowledged, I repeat, should these institutions be allowed to continue to violate these rights? Shouldn't they be closed down until a fairer admissions policy, that reflects an accurate picture of the current demographic composition of the country and meets the very exacting, very objective standards of the courts, is installed?

That won't happen- no upper caste student/job applicant was ever stopped from being admitted/recruited because a new policy of reservations was being questioned in the courts. No academic years were lost, no upper caste applicant was refused a job he'd been selected for because the issue was in the courts. Their rights are important, inviolable - the rights of the lower castes on the other hand are not. Their aspirations, their disappointments can be ignored. Their efforts and their time- well, beggars can't be choosers. They can't choose the time they will be served, right?

The Supreme Court has reaffirmed the view held by the establishment, the ruling upper castes, that the lower castes shouldn't entertain any wrong notions about rights and all that rot. And be grateful for whatever crumbs, bheekh, khairat is thrown their way. Or not thrown.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

It's your country

'That's the OBC script. The OBCs don't exist. When Nehru was building one of the hugest public sectors in the whole world, building a large central government and was prodding the states on to do the same, and when the governments that followed were doing more of the same..generally acting like God and dispensing largesse and jobs left-right-and-centre, it looks like great care was taken to exclude the OBCs from the queues. Or, it looks like the Indian Government didn't know of the existence of the OBCs.'

That's what I had said a few months ago. For sixty years, the Government of India refused to count the OBCs because they didn't exist. Now the Supreme Court says they don't exist because they were never counted. More than an interesting paradox, doesn't that seem like a great con job? I congratulate the smart actors, the collaborators, in this drama, the great pillars of our democracy, I mean your democracy - the government, the courts, the parliament and the press. Their true motives were always quite plain, even if at times one or more of them seemed to have developed something vaguely resembling a conscience. It was only the lower castes, because of their inherent backwardness, their lack of merit, who couldn't see through this sham exercise in democracy.

'Don't divide the country for your votebanks!' How can there be any votebanks if the voters don't exist?

A triumphant commenter on the preceding post says: satyameva jayate! It's time the OBCs learnt the bitter truth that they don't have any place in this country.


The Supreme Court will once again express its opinion tomorrow on an issue on which it had always expressed itself without reservations. Reservations? Hang them from the nearest lamp post.

The lower castes shall also decide - is it worth hanging on to this sorry 'democracy'?

Friday, October 20, 2006


'On September 27th in a federal courthouse in Chicago an appellate panel will hear argument in the first case that seeks to hold major American financial institutions liable for their role in financing, underwriting and profiting from slavery in the United States.'

This article goes on to say - 'this recent lawsuit marks a new departure in the battle for reparations. Rather than seek to hold the government responsible for the general historic wrongs of slavery, this litigation targets the companies that specifically profited – often illegally – from slavery. The plaintiffs are descendants of slaves upon whom these financial institutions profited.'

Among the financial institutions in the dock are : JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Brown Brothers Harriman.

I am reminded of another people, who underwent a similar experience of uprooting..and transplantation as the Africans the article refers to - indentured Indian labourers in the Caribbean and elsewhere. In fact, the two histories are connected. This article says - 'the origins of what came to be known as the system of indentured labor owed everything to the abolition of slavery in 1838.' and it goes on to point out that the means employed to lure Indian labourers to plantations several continents away were..as unsavoury as those employed to trick Africans into slavery.

And I am also reminded of the lower castes in India. And of their inability to rise above their roots. And of the people who are still profiting from their misery.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Kanshi Ram ( 1934-2006)

'On 25th November 1949, the Poona Pact was 17 years old. At that time, the impact of the Poona Pact was not fully realised by our people. even though it was known to us that to get Baba Saheb elected to the Constituent Assembly, he had to be taken to Jesore and Khuina of Bengal. That was the main reason of his Hope that his People will Revolt against the unequal Brahminical Social Order. Later events showed that Spirit of Revolt was killed by the Poona Pact, and we have entered a New Age. Today, we know it well, as the Chamcha Age.'
- Kanshi Ram, the rebel who fought to overthrow the Chamcha Age. The visionary who breathed new life into the term Bahujan.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Pundits, I write about you

"No matter how hard they try, there's no escaping their identity. The merit list displayed on the notice board announces it. This rank is their introduction to upper-caste seniors, during friendly ragging sessions, which could later become an outlet for the frustration of general category students. Like the final-year AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) student, who made a reserved category fresher sit on the ground while a brahmin fresher sat on a chair, next to him. The senior asked him to say, "I am from a lower caste," repeatedly, to show him his place in the premises, where he had gained an "easy" entry this year. Hostels then become ghettoes. In AIIMS, quota students chiefly occupy the top two floors of the hostel. An engraved message on the door of one quota student on another floor asked him to "get out of this wing". Final-year student Ajay Kumar Singh still recalls the day he shifted from room number 43, which had leakage problems, to number 45. The whole wing was otherwise occupied by general category students, who promptly put up a board on top of the common carrom board, "Everyone except occupant of room number 45 can play." A reserved category student, who managed to become the gym secretary of AIIMS, resigned from his post as the financial secretary (a general category student) refused to release him funds. "He was chased around and beaten up by the executive heads of the student council," says Sunil Chumber, sub-dean of AIIMS. It is believed that several professors are on the side of the anti-reservation battalion. That's why during the recent agitation, some pro-reservation students hid their faces behind their placards, so that their professors wouldn't spot them. Once their pro-reservation rally was even mistaken by newspapers as an anti-reservation demonstration. Dalit students survive through a hard skin formed after a whole life replete with insults." Times.

Also at AIIMS : "The second student, who resides in Hostel 2, apparently incurred the wrath of his seniors for coming to the rescue of his friend on several occasions. "I have been subjected to mental and physical torture from my very first day in this institute...I was abused on my caste and...in the last few days my room had been locked from outside because of which I was unable to attend classes," his complaint reads. Both students are from the reserved category. Their complaints were submitted on Friday, along with a memorandum signed by 40 students recounting several cases of caste-based abuse in recent times — including the instances of a seventh-semester student "who...was forced to shift after abuses were written on his door." "

A pundit on Desipundit implies in a snide comment here that I write about 'sanskriti and parampara'. I think I write about institutions, formal and informal,..that block/censor/kill anything that questions our 'sanskriti and parampara'. Like Desipundit... which has certified, more than once, that the students (whose sankriti and parampara the newsreport describes), fighting for 'equality' are non-political, non-violent.