Category Archives: Equal Rights

Reservations: For whom and for what?


Written by Nijam Gara

The brewing Kapu agitation today and the recent Hardik Patel led agitation for BC (Backward Class) status for Patidars (Patels) in Gujarat has reignited passions and stirred up debates about reservations again. The word “reservation” is a very charged term and evokes strong emotions in the country. It typically refers to constitutionally guaranteed protections and preferential treatment given to historically oppressed sections of the society – dalits (Scheduled castes i.e. SCs), tribals (STs) and ‘BCs’. The idea of such reservations is to help create a modicum of equal opportunity in the overwhelmingly unequal Indian society. Anybody with a rational, historical understanding of Hindu caste system should recognize that the classes that enjoy the true ‘reservations’ are not the SCs, STs and BCs but the upper castes and the well-to-do Sudhras with thousands of years of ‘reserved’ access to land, wealth and exclusive control of every aspect of economy and Hindu society. Those hereditary rights guaranteed by Manuvadi system have assured their continued hegemony in to the 21st century.

The History of Reservation

The History of Reservation

The concepts of government, jobs and inclusivity in British India led to the idea of bringing the hitherto ignored sections in to the ‘mainstream’. Reservations to oppressed castes were subsequently first introduced in British India in the background of movements organized by Jyothirao Phule, Periyar, etc. and also espoused strongly in princely states such as Travancore and Kolhapur (Shahu Maharaja, the real Chatrapathi). The year 1933 marked a flashpoint in the history of caste-based reservations when the British government introduced the Communal Award with separate electorates for Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and more importantly, Dalits. Ambedkar supported this but the ‘father’ of the nation (Gandhi) vociferously opposed it. Eventually, Ambedkar had to concede to Gandhi’s blackmail and Dalits remained under the Hindu fold albeit with reserved seats within. Following the adoption of the constitution in post-independent India, reservations to SCs, STs were formalized. OBC reservations were haphazardly implemented later on. The 1953 Kalelkar Commission and the 1980 Mandal Commission reports came up with the suggestion of 70% and 52% reservations for OBCs respectively but the ultimate number was set at 27% in 1992 following a court verdict a few years after the nation witnessed bloody street violence with anti-reservation sentiments touching a chord with the upper caste youth. Even this 27% reservation is not rightfully implemented in several sectors with a report in 2010 showing that only 7% of civil service positions in the country were filled with OBCs. Reservations are certainly a great tool of affirmative action that have helped scores of dalit, tribal and BC families leap out of poverty. However, for every educated dalit, tribal or OBC, there appear to be a million others who don’t even make the cut to qualify for these reservations. Thus, reservations are only one mode of support and rather an imperfect means to the end goal i.e. decimation of caste structure. True social reform is only feasible with a much deeper cleansing of the Hindu society which appears almost impossible today. How many centuries of reservations can counteract the economic power that is concentrated in the upper castes today across India? How many dalit entrepreneurs will it take to match the clout enjoyed by Kamma industrialists, reddy landlords, etc, etc? Why is a Rahul Gandhi or a Brahminized Narendra Modi (does it really matter if he is theoretically a BC?) a readily acceptable PM candidate but not a Mayawathi or Lalu Yadav?

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What is the caste of your food?


Brahmins have infected everything from foods to cricket, everything has its own caste. Here are some of the pictures showing caste in the food items. What is the caste of your food? Let me know in the comments or if you have any other photo, send me at drbrambedkarbooks@gmail.com

Watch also – Caste on the Menu card documentary.

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Prepared by Brahmins. Flavored with 5000 years of discrimination!

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5th February in Dalit History – Dr. Ambedkar introduced Hindu Code bill in the Parliament, Hindu leaders opposed it


5 February 1951: Hindu Code bill was introduced in the Parliament

Following India’s independence Jawaharlal Nehru entrusted his first Law Minister Dr. Ambedkar, who belonged to the Scheduled Caste Federation, with the task of codifying the Hindu personal law as the first step towards a uniform civil code. Dr. Ambedkar formed a committee with himself as its chairperson. The other members were K Y Bhandarkar. G R Rajagopal of the Ministry of Law and S V Gupte of the Bombay Bar. The committee made only minor revisions to the draft that was presented to the Consituent Assembly in 1947 before Independence. But even before the bill could be put up to the Constituent Assembly (Legislative) some vocal sections of Hindu public opinion raised the bogey ‘Hinduism in danger’. Dr. Ambedkar and his team, however, was undaunted and continued with their efforts with all seriousness and presented the draft bill to Nehru’s cabinet, which unanimously approved it.  Emboldened by this exercise, on 5 February 1951 he introduced the bill to the Parliament. But to his utter surprise, many Hindu members, including some who had approved it in the cabinet earlier, now resisted it. Sardar Patel as the home minister and the Deputy Prime Minister, Syama Prasad Mookerjee as the industry minister who belonged to the Hindu Mahasabha, and Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, a tradionalist Congressman, strongly opposed the bill. Pattabhi Sitaramayya, the Congress president, also opposed it, particularly keeping in view its negative impacts on Hindu votes in the election of 1951-52. Mookerjee said it would ’shatter the magnificent structure of Hindu culture and stultify a dynamic and catholic way of life that had wonderfully adapted itself to the changes for centuries’. Even women belonging to the Hindu Mahasabha came to the forefront to oppose the bill. Already a year ago, in a long letter to President Rajendra Prasad, Janakibai Joshi, the President of the All India Hindu Women’s Conference that belonged to the Hindu Mahasabha, had written on 4 February 1950 that any move to replace the concept of Hindu marriage as sacrament by making it contractual would destroy the entire family system of the Hindus. ‘The Hindu family should be taken as a unit and fragmentation of the property should not be allowed so as to go away to other family through daughter’.

Check also – 5th February (1988) in Dalit History – Remembering Dalits’ fight to get publish Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Books

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भीम दोहे


भीम दोहे
================

नीच समझ जिस भीम को, देते सब दुत्कार |
कलम उठाकर हाथ में, कर गये देश सुधार ||१||

जांत-पांत के भेद की, तोड़ी हर दीवार |
बहुजन हित में भीम ने, वार दिया परिवार ||२||

पानी-मंदिर दूर थे, मुश्किल कलम-किताब |
दांव लगा जब भीम का, कर दिया सब हिसाब ||३||

ऊँचेपन की होड़ में, नीचे झुका पहाड़ |
कदम पड़े जब भीम के, हो गया शुद्ध महाड़ ||४||

पारस ढूँढें भीम को, आँख बहाये नीर |
पढे-लिखे हैं सैंकड़ों, नही भीम सा वीर ||५||

दिल में सब जिंदा रखे, बुद्ध, फुले व कबीर |
छोड़ वेद-पुराण सभी, भीम हुए बलवीर ||६||

झूठ और पाखंड की, सहमी हर दुकान |
भेदभाव से जो परे, रच दिया संविधान ||७||

रोटी-कपड़ा-मकान का, दिया हमें अधिकार |
पूज रहे तुम देवता, भूल गये उपकार ||८||

भेदभाव का विष दिया, सबने कहा अछूत |
जग सारा ये मानता, था वो सच्चा सपूत ||९||

भीम तब दिन-रात जगे, दिया मान-सम्मान |
लाज रखो अब मिशन की,अर्पित कर दो जान ||१०||

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विद्यार्थी चाहे, तो इन दोहों का विद्यालय कार्यक्रमों में सस्वर वाचन कर सकते हैं |

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24th September in Dalit History – Poona Pact


Poona Pact, Agreed to by Leaders of Caste-Hindus and of Dalits, at Poona on 24-9-1932

The following is the text of the agreement arrived at between leaders acting on behalf of the Depressed Classes and of the rest of the community, regarding the representation of the Depressed Classes in the legislatures and certain other matters affecting their welfare

1. There shall be seats reserved for the Depressed Classes out of general electorate seats in the provincial legislatures as follows: –

Madras 30; Bombay with Sind 25; Punjab 8; Bihar and Orissa 18; Central Provinces 20; Assam 7; Bengal 30; United Provinces 20. Total 148. These figures are based on the Prime Minister’s (British) decision.

2. Election to these seats shall be by joint electorates subject, however, to the following procedure –

All members of the Depressed Classes registered in the general elec- toral roll of a constituency will form an electoral college which will elect a panel of tour candidates belonging to the Deparessed Classes for each of such reserved seats by the method of the single vote and four persons getting the highest number of votes in such primary elections shall be the candidates for election by the general electorate.

3. The representation of the Depressed Classes in the Central Legislature shall likewise be on the principle of joint electorates and reserved seats by the method of primary election in the manner provided for in clause above for their representation in the provincial legislatures.

Dr. Ambedkar at the Round Table Conference

Dr. Ambedkar at the Round Table Conference

CENTRAL LEGISLATURE

4. In the Central Legislature 18 per cent of the seats allotted to the general electorate for British India in the said legislature shall he reserved for the Depressed Classes.

5. The system of primary election to a panel of candidates for election to the Central and Provincial Legislatures as i herein-before mentioned shall come to an end after the first ten years, unless terminated sooner by mutual agreement under the provision of clause 6 below.

6. The system of representation of Depressed Classes by reserved seats in the Provincial and Central Legislatures as provided for in clauses (1) and (4) shall continue until determined otherwise by mutual agreement between the communities concerned in this settlement.

7. The Franchise for the Central and Provincial Legislatures of the Depressed Classes shall be as indicated, in the Lothian Committee Report.

8. There shall be no disabilities attached to any one on the ground of his being a member of the Depressed Classes in regard to any election to local bodies or appointment to the public services. Every endeavour shall be made to secure a fair representation of the Depressed Classes in these respects, subject to such educational qualifications as may be laid down for appointment to the Public Services.

(Adult franchise but reservation has been provided for Dalits on population basis, till 1960),

9. In every province out of the educational grant an adequate sum shall be ear-marked for providing educational facilities to the members of Depressed Classes,

Source – Ambedkar.org

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Al Jazeera show on ‘Reservation’


Watch the Al Jazeera show on ‘Reservation’ where one of the community member, Jayant Ramteke rocked!

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Basis and Significance of Reservation


In the recent debates on reservation some people have suggested that let us now give reservation to so-called upper castes according to percentage of their population. I do not agree with this argument. I think those who are mooting this idea are doing in frustration or out of their ignorance about the logic and basis of reservation. By even mooting this idea we dilute the principles of reservation and spread the idea that reservation can be granted to anyone. One should not forget and misunderstand the logic of reservation. There are very significant, fundamental and structural principles on the basis of which this reservation was conceded to SC, STs and to some OBCs after intense debates in the constituent assembly and centuries of movements by SCs, STs, and OBCs. Few of them were:

  1. They have faced thousands of years of exclusion and discrimination and were not accepted as even human beings.

  2. This exclusion and discrimination of thousands of years was cumulative in nature, that is, it was not in one aspect of life but it was in most of the spheres, for instance in social, economic, political, educational, religious, residential, occupational, etc.

  3. The founding fathers of the Indian nation thought that even after these people were accorded human rights enshrined in the democratic constitution of India and there will be penal provisions according to Indian Penal Code one will not be able to obliterate this exclusion and discrimination against these people and there should be some special provisions for them in the realm of Politics, Bureaucracy, and Education.

  4. There is an element of social justice in the reservation of SCs, STs, and OBCs. It involves historical corrective of injustices done to SCs and STS.

  5. There was no time limit fixed for reservation for SC and STs in Bureaucratic Jobs and in Educational Institutions. Only political reservation under article 330 and 332 of Indian Constitution, which reserves seats in Lok Sabha and in Vidhan Sabhas of different States were for 10 years. However, these reservations have been given new life with different amendments.

  6. The most important point is ‘Reservation for SCs and STs’ is directly connected with the issue of representation. It was because they did not have any representation in any sphere of life, that is, in social, economic, political, educational, etc. sphere for thousands of years and therefore they were supposed to get representation in these Institutions.

  7. Therefore, reservation is not poverty alleviation programme. The founding fathers of nation did not think to remove poverty of scheduled caste persons through reservations. In fact there are so many poverty alleviation programmes begin run in India. One such programme is MNREGA, the other is Prime Minister’s Rojgar Yojna etc. They always thought to grant SCs and STs Self-representation through reservation.

In the light of the above we cannot concede reservation to Upper Castes. Second we cannot concede reservations on economic basis.

By – Prof. Vivek Kumar, JNU

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Facebook or Fascistbook? Speak up for Dilip Mandal!


A couple of days ago, Facebook disabled the account of senior Bahujan journalist and writer Dilip C. Mandal, without any explanation. Below is an English translation of the statement issued by Mr. Mandal through email, followed by the original note in Hindi.

I have no complaints against those who made a fake profile in my name and are writing stuff on it. All that is like juvenile behaviour, albeit of those who have just grown up physically. Those adults in diapers, who are making a mockery of the idea of discussion and debate – it is hard to be upset with such pathetic creatures. Their language reveals their true nature, which according to them is their sanskar, their values. Please forgive them.

Those who nurse any doubts regarding me, I just want to tell them that if you still do not know what I can or cannot write, then that is your problem. I am not in the mood to help you out. But Facebook, whatever happened to you? It is possible that you probably received thousands of complaints saying that my account is fake. Perhaps there was even some campaign. But you have my ID, my phone number. You could have asked once, could have asked for any authorized documentary proof, you could have verified. But you disabled my account without asking anything. Why? Was it under pressure from the government or was it the RSS that complained? Or is this due to some grudge that some casteist staff member in your office might be holding against me? Did anyone’s sentiments get hurt? Please do tell. What is there to be shy in this?

If anyone has a problem with what I wrote, if there is anyone who feels my comments were defamatory, or that they might disturb public peace and harmony; if anything I wrote violates some rule of the IPC, then there are enough legal provisions for anyone to utilise them to sue me.

But those running Facebook, particularly those sitting in their India office, should please explain that without any such complaint, what made them decide to disable my account?

Tell Facebook, why have you closed the account?

There is of course a simple way out, I could just open another account, but why should I resort to such stealthy means? This stealthy behavior – disabling my account in this underhand manner – is something that you have adopted. You should be ashamed. Now your tall claims that you are a platform for democratic and accessible ideas and opinions has been exposed as hypocrisy. Facebook, are you aware that the Indian Constitution ensures us freedom of thought and expression? Dear Facebook, you are driving on the wrong side. I hereby challan you.

~ Dilip Mandal

फेसबुक की रॉंग साइड ड्राइविंग

उनसे कोई शिकायत नहीं है, जो मेरे नाम की नक़ली प्रोफ़ाइल बनाकर उस पर कुछ कुछ लिख रहे हैं। यह सब शरीर से बड़े हो चुके कुछ बच्चों का खेल है। डायपर पहनकर जो विरोध और विमर्श का तमाशा कर रहे हैं, उन बेचारों पर तो नाराज़ हो पाना भी मुश्किल है। उनकी भाषा उनका परिचय है, उनके हिसाब से उनका “संस्कार” है। प्लीज़, उन्हें माफ़ कर दीजिए।

जो लोग मेरे बारे में संदेह में हैं, उनसे सिर्फ यह कहना है कि अगर आपको अब भी नहीं मालूम कि मैं क्या लिख सकता हूँ और क्या नहीं, तो यह आपकी समस्या है। मैं आपकी मदद करने के मूड में नहीं हूँ।

लेकिन फेसबुक, तुम्हें क्या हो गया है? हो सकता है कि तुम्हें हजारों की संख्या में शिकायतें मिली होंगी कि मेरा एकाउंट फ़र्ज़ी है। चला होगा कोई कैंपेन। लेकिन तुम्हारे पास मेरी आईडी है, फ़ोन नंबर है। एक बार पूछ लेते। कोई सरकारी पहचान माँग लेते। वेरिफाई कर लेते। लेकिन तुमने बिना कुछ पूछे, एकाउंट डिसेबल कर दिया। क्यों? सरकार का दबाव था? या RSS की शिकायत थी? या आपके दफ़्तर के किसी जातिवादी स्टाफ़ की निजी खुन्दक है? किसी की भावना आहत हो गई है क्या? चलो बता भी दो। शर्माने की क्या बात है?

अगर मेरे लिखे से किसी को शिकायत है, किसी की मानहानि हुई है, शांति व्ववस्था को ख़तरा है, सौहार्द नष्ट हो रहा है, IPC की किसी धारा का उल्लंघन हुआ है, तो कानूनी व्वस्थाओं के तहत कार्रवाई का रास्ता सबके लिए खुला है। लेकिन फेसबुक चलाने वाले, खासकर उसके इंडिया ऑफ़िस में बैठे लोग, बताएँ कि ऐसी किसी शिकायत के बग़ैर, आपने एक एकाउंट को डिसेबल करने का फैसला क्यों किया?

कोई तो वजह होगी?

बताओ फेसबुक, क्यों बंद किया एकाउंट? वैसे तो रास्ता यह है कि मैं एक और एकाउंट खोल लूँ। लेकिन चोर दरवाज़े से मैं क्यों आऊँ? चोर दरवाज़े से, छिपकर एकाउंट बंद करने का काम तो तुमने किया है फेसबुक। शर्म आनी चाहिए। अब आपका यह क्लेम तो खंडित है कि आप विचारों और आइडिया के लिए एक सर्वसुलभ डेमोक्रेटिक मीडियम हैं।

फेसबुक,

 क्या आपको पता है कि भारतीय संविधान में विचार और अभिव्यक्ति की स्वतंत्रता का विधान है। आप रॉंग साइड में चल रहे हो फेसबुक महोदय। मैंने आपका चालान काट दिया है।

दिलीप मंडल

Source – The Preamble 

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