Tag Archives: Scheduled castes

Buddhist Converts can claim Scheduled Caste Status


Government of India order. One doesn’t need to worry that after conversion he/she will lose reservation or other benefits.

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Source – karthiknavayan.wordpress.com

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RESERVATION – 10 Questions and Answers


Q 1: What is reservation?

The word reservation is a misnomer. The appropriate word for it used in the Indian Constitution is Representation. It is not given to anyone in his individual capacity. It is given to individual as a representative of the underprivileged community. The beneficiaries of reservations are in turn expected to help their communities to come up.

Q 2: Why reservation?

The policy of reservations is being used as a strategy to overcome discrimination and act as a compensatory exercise. A large section of the society was historically denied right to property, education, business and civil rights because of the practice of untouchability. In order to compensate for the historical denial and have safeguards against discrimination, we have the reservation policy.

Q 3: Were Reservations incorporated by the founding fathers of the constitution only for first 10 years?

Only the political reservations (seats reserved in Loksabha, Vidhansabha, etc) were to be reserved for 10 years and the policy review was to be made after that. That is why after every 10 years the parliament extends political reservations.

The 10 year limit for reservations is not true for the reservations in education and employment. The reservations in educational institutions and in employment are never given extension as it is given for the political reservations.

Q 4: Why give reservations on basis of caste?

To answer this question we must first understand why the need for the reservations has arisen. The cause for the various types of disabilities that the underprivileged castes in India face / have faced, is the systemic historical subjugation of a massive magnitude based on caste system having a religious sanction. Therefore if the caste system was the prime cause of all the disabilities, injustice and inequalities that the Dalit-Bahujans suffered, then to overcome these disabilities the solution has to be designed on basis of caste only.

Q 5: Why not on basis of economic criterion?

Reservations should never be based on economic status for various reasons as follows:

1. The poverty prevailing among the Dalit-Bahujans has its genesis in the social-religious deprivations based on caste system. Therefore poverty is an effect and caste system a cause. The solution should strike at the cause and not the effect
2. An individual’s Economic status can change. Low income may be taken to mean poverty. But the purchasing value of money, in India, depends upon caste. For example a Dalit can not buy a cup of tea even in some places.

3. Practical difficulties in proving economic status of individual to the state machinery are many. The weak may suffer.

4. In caste ridden India infested with rampant corruption, even for an unchangeable status like caste, the false “Caste Certificate” can be purchased. How much easier will it be to purchase a false “Income Certificate”? So income based reservation is impractical. It is no use arguing when both certificates can be bought, why caste only should form basis of reservation. It is certainly more difficult to buy a false caste certificate than a false income certificate.

5. Reservation is not an end in itself. It is a means to an end. The main aim is to achieve the active participation and sharing by the “socially excluded” humanity in all the fields of the affairs of the society. It is not panacea for all ills, neither it is permanent. It would be a temporary measure till such time the matrimonial advertisements in newspaper columns continue to contain the mention of caste.

Q 6: Should there be a creamy layer criterion or not?

The demand from anti-reservationists for introduction of creamy layer is ploy to scuttle the whole effectiveness of reservations. Even now out of all seats meant for SC/STs in IITs , 25-40 % seats remain vacant because it seems IITs do not find suitable candidates. Just imagine what would happen if by applying creamy layer criterion the SC/ST middle class, lower middle class people who are in position to take decent education are excluded from reservations benefit ! Will the poor among SC/STs be able to compete with these ‘privileged ‘students’ trained under Ramaiah and at various IIT-JEE training centers at Kota ?
Of course Not.
This will lead to 100 % seats in IITs for SC/STs going vacant.

Q 7: How long should the reservations continue?

The answer to this question lies with the anti-reservationists. It depends on how sincerely and effectively the policy makers which constitute “privileged castes” people in executive, judiciary and legislature, implement the reservations policy.
Is it just on part of “privileged castes” people who have enjoyed undeclared exclusive reservations for past 3000 years and continue to enjoy the same even in 21st century in all religious institutions and places of worship, to ask for the timelines for reservations policy?
Why do not they ask, how long the exclusive reservations for particular community in the religious institutions and places of worship are going to continue?
The people who have acquired disabilities due to inhuman subjugation for 3000 years will need substantial time to come over those disabilities. 50 years of affirmative action is nothing as compared to 3000 years of subjugation.

Q 8: Will not the reservations based on castes lead to divisions in the society?

There are apprehensions that reservations will lead to the divisions in the society. These apprehensions are totally irrational. The society is already divided into different castes. On the contrary reservations will help in annihilating the caste system. There are around 5000 castes among the SC/ST and OBCs. By grouping these various castes under 3 broad categories of SC, ST and OBC, the differences among 5000 separate castes can be abridged. This is a best way of annihilation of castes. Therefore rather than making rhetoric about reservations leading to divisions in the society the anti-reservationists should make honest and sincere efforts to annihilate castes. Have these people made any efforts towards this direction? In most of the cases the answer is NO. The people making these anti-reservations rhetoric, all this time have been enjoying all the privileges that the Indian caste system offers to the “Privileged Castes”. As long as they enjoy the privileges of the caste system they do not have any qualms regarding it. But when it comes to making castes as basis for achieving social equality by providing representations these same people make noises. These are the double standards of highest order practiced by the ‘privileged’ people.

Q 9: Will not reservations affect the Merit?

As regards to how Merit is defined in a very narrow sense and what it actually means, following is the quote from an article by Prof Rahul Barman of IIT Kanpur.

Reservations of more than 60 % have existed in the 4 states of southern India and around 40 % in Maharashtra since last 50 years. On other hand in the north Indian states the 15 % ‘privileged castes’ have been enjoying 77 % of the seats in educational institutions and in employment (assuming that 23 % reservations for SC/STs are totally filled, which is not the case). The World Bank study has found that all the 4 south Indian states are much ahead of north Indian states in terms of their human development index. It is a common knowledge that all the southern states and Maharashtra are much ahead in fields of education, health, industrial development, in implementing poverty alleviation schemes, etc. than the north Indian states. This shows that reservations have indeed helped the southern Indian states in making progress on various fronts. Whereas lack of adequate reservations is responsible for the lack of development in most of the north Indian states.

Q 10: Have existing reservations for SC/STs been effective or not?

The reservation policy in the public sector has benefited a lot of people. The Central government alone has 14 lakh employees. The proportion of Scheduled castes in class III and IV is well above the quota of 16 per cent and in class I and II, the proportion is around 8–12 per cent. So, the middle and the lower middle class that we see today from the Dalit community is because of reservation.

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22nd July (1940) in Dalit History – Subhash Chandra Bose met Dr. Ambedkar at Bombay


22nd July (1940) in Dalit History – Subhash Chandra Bose met Dr. Ambedkar at Bombay. After a talk on the federation Dr. Ambedkar asked Bose his attitude to the  problem of the Scheduled Castes. Bose did not have a convincing reply to give.

22nd July2

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17.1 % increase in crimes against Dalits, what governments are doing?


The crimes

  • Dalit girl beaten brutally because her shadow fell on upper caste man. Two Dalit boys killed for not having change for Rs 4.
  • Dalit girl’s hand burnt for asking upper caste man to lower volume of music. Dalit man crushed because an upper caste man didn’t like his mobile ringtone.
  • Several Dalit women and girls gang-raped. All of this in just last one month.
  • In 2013, overall, there was a 17.1% increase in crimes against Dalits.

Toothless prevention

  • The Prevention of Atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Tribes Act has not curbed violence against Dalits.
  • Number of cases pending under the Act: 84.1%.
  • Only 5% of total cases result in conviction, and the rate is declining steadily.

Suggested reforms

  • Dalit coalition NCPSA has suggested major amendments to the current Act.
  • Key changes: There should be no need to prove caste as a motivating factor in crime. Hard to prove intention. Identity of victims should be enough.
  • Officers should be held responsible for failing to act when crimes against Dalits are reported. Official apathy is a key reason Dalits don’t get justice.
  • The scope of the Act should be broadened to include socio-economic boycott, destruction of property, limiting access to opportunities, humiliation of men and women, etc.

Government inaction

  • UPA 2 Cabinet cleared the updated Bill in 2013, but it couldn’t be passed in Parliament.
  • Ordinance was passed, but Modi govt allowed it to lapse. Then sent it to Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • Committee cleared it late last year with minor changes, but govt hasn’t moved on it yet.

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Source – CatchNews

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25th June (1946) in Dalit History – Scheduled castes gave a great ovation to Dr. Ambedkar


25th June (1946) in Dalit History – Scheduled castes gave a great ovation to Dr. Ambedkar at the Bombay Central railway station

Dr.Ambedkar founded the People’s Education Society at Aurangabad in Maharashtra on 20 June 1946. He returned to to Bombay (present Mumbai) on 25 June where the Scheduled Castes gave a great ovation to their leader at the Bombay Central ralyway station. The Scheduled Castes leaders and workers made a black flag demonstration in front of the Congress pandal and demanded an explanation from the Congress leaders as to their rights and presentation in a free India.

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7th June in Dalit History – Dr. Ambedkar demanded equal representation of Scheduled Castes in the Executive Council


7 June 1945: Dr. Ambdekar wrote a letter to Field Marshall Lord Viscoll Wavell seeking adequate representation of Scheduled Castes in the Executive Council (letter copied and pasted)

NEW DELHI, 7 June 1945

Dear Lord Wavell,

I am grateful to you for asking me in my capacity as the leader of the Scheduled Castes to be a member of the Conference which you propose to call in furtherance of your proposal for the Indianisation of the Executive Council. I told you, for reasons, which I need not repeat here, that I am unable to accept your offer. Thereupon you desired me to name a substitute. Though I have expressed my disapproval with your proposals, I do not wish to deny you such help as you may derive from the presence of a Scheduled Caste representative in your Conference. I am, therefore, prepared to suggest a substitute. Judging on the suitability of various names that occur to me, I cannot think of any other name than that of Rao Bahadur N. Siva Raj., B.A., B.L. He is the President of the All-India Scheduled Castes Federation and is also a member of the Central Legislative Assembly and of the National Defence Council. If you like you may invite him to the conference as a representative of the Scheduled Castes. There is one other matter to which I feel I must draw your attention right now. It relates to the extreme inadequacy of the representation given to the Scheduled Castes in His Majesty’s Government’s proposals for the reconstitution of the Executive Council. Five seats to 90 millions of Muslims, one scat to 50 millions of Untouchables and 1 scat to 6 millions of Sikhs is a strange and sinister kind of political arithmetic which is revolting to my ideas of justice and common sense. I cannot be a party to it. Measured by their needs, the Untouchables should get as much representation as the Muslims, if not more. Leaving needs aside and taking only numbers the Untouchables should get at least three. Instead, they are offered just one in a Council of fifteen. This is an intolerable position.

This is a matter to which I drew your attention at the meeting of the Executive Council held on the 5th June when you explained His Majesty’s Government’s proposals to the Council. At the meeting of the 6th morning you replied to the criticisms offered by Members of Council the previous evening on the merits of the proposals. I naturally expected that you would also deal with the point I had raised. But to my great surprise you completely ignored it and made no reference to it whatever. It could not be that I was not emphatic enough. For I was more than emphatic. The conclusion I draw from your omission to refer to it is that either you did not think the matter to be of sufficient importance to deserve your notice or that you thought that I had no intention beyond lodging a protest. It is to remove this impression and to tell you in quite unmistakable terms that I propose to take definite action should His Majesty’s Government fail to redress the wrong that I feel the necessity of writing this letter.

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I would not have felt as hurt as I do if such a proposal had come from the Congress or the Hindu Mahasabha. But it is a decision by His Majesty’s Government. Even the general Hindu opinion is in favour of increased representation to the Scheduled Castes both in the Legislature and in the Executive. To take the proposals of the Sapru Committee as an indication of general Hindu opinion, the proposal of His Majesty’s Government must be admitted to be retrograde. For, this is what the Sapru Committee has said:—

” the representation given to the Sikhs and Scheduled Castes in the Government of India Act is manifestly inadequate and unjust and should be substantially raised. The quantum of increased representation to be given to them should be left to the Constitution-making Body.

” Subject to the provisions of clause (b) the executive of the Union shall be a composite cabinet in the sense that the following communities shall be represented on it, viz.— (i) Hindus, other than Scheduled Castes. (ii) Muslims. (iii) Scheduled Castes. (iv) Sikhs. (v) Indian Christians. (vi) Anglo-Indians.

” (b) The representation of these communities in the executive shall be, as far as possible, a reflection of their strength in the Legislature. “

I may add that two of my Hindu colleagues in the Executive Council have in the memorandum they have presented to you this morning expressed that the representation given to the Scheduled Castes in His Majesty’s Government’s proposals is inadequate and unfair. What shocks me [is] that His Majesty’s Government with all their profession of being trustees for the Scheduled Castes and contrary to their repeated declarations should have treated their wards in such an ill-liberal, unfair and unjust manner and far worse than enlightened Hindu opinion would have done I feel it, therefore, my bounden and sacred duty to oppose the proposal by every means at my command. The proposal means a death knell to the Untouchables and will have the effect of liquidating their efforts over the last 50 years for their emancipation. If His Majesty’s Government notwithstanding its many pronouncements wish to hand over the fate of the Untouchables to the tender mercies of Hindu-Muslim combine, His Majesty’s Government may well do it. But I cannot be a party to the suppression of my people.The conclusion to which I have come is to ask His Majesty’s Government to redress the wrong and to give to the Untouchables at least 3 seats in the new Executive Council. If His Majesty’s Government is not prepare(d) to grant this, then His Majesty’s Government should know that I cannot be a member of the newly constituted Executive Council, even if I was offered a place in it. The Untouchables have been looking forward to a full recognition of their political rights for some time past. I have no doubt that they will be stunned by the decision of His Majesty’s Government. And I would not be surprised if the whole of the Scheduled Castes decided as a matter of protest not to have anything to do with the new Government. I am sure their disillusionment will bring about a parting of the ways. This is what I anticipate will be the result of His Majesty’s Government’s proposals, if they are not revised. So far as I myself am concerned, my decision is made. I may be told that this is not the final shape of things. This is only an interim arrangement. I have been long enough in politics to know concessions and adjustments more [once] made grows into vested rights and how wrong settlements once agreed upon become precedents for future settlement. I cannot therefore allow grass to grow under my feet. If I have capacity to judge aright, I visualise that the distribution of seats though it begins as a temporary arrangement will end by becoming permanent. Rather than be left to regret towards the end, I feel I must lodge my protest against it at the very beginning.

It may well be that His Majesty’s Government may not mind my eclipse and even the eclipse of the Scheduled Castes from the future Government of India : nor regret the consequent parting of the ways between the British Government in this country and the Scheduled Castes. But I believe it is only fair that His Majesty’s Government should know what I have to say about the subject. I have therefore to request you to communicate to His Majesty’s Government my proposal for increase in the representation of the Scheduled Castes in the executive Council and the course of action I propose to take if the proposal is rejected by them.

I am,

Yours sincerely

B. R. AMBEDKAR

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