Mumbai Ocean of people 6.30 PM 06dec06

31/10/2010

Mumbai almost has  3-4 million people today in Central Dadar area. On Every road in Dadar- the people were seen as coming like rivers from diffrent directions and merging into Arabian sea at Chaityabhumi. They all have come there to pay tributes to  a Real model of Inspiration in 21st century to whom one regards Bodhisatva, the seedling of Bodhi.

inq.jpg
Pic 1: Long que 3km long taking 5 hrs to reach Chaityabhumi , Dadar

Our special correspondant reports:
Bhim-gite, the inspirational songs are heard in different languages. The stalls are visible here and there predominantly stuffed with Books as its fact that dalit movement thrives primarily on literature. However the stall from Political Parties  are looking empty because of two reasons 1. They are fractured in factions 2 . Most of them were in Nagpur detained till yesterday.

This time some new features-

1. Maharastrians are outnumbered by people from UP, TN, AP, Karnataka, Orrisa,Pondicherry, Punjab, Rajastan  Many domestic and international NGOs have come up first time to ‘Chaityabhumi’ and arranged workshops and advocacy.

2. Periodicals seen on streets getting distributed.

3. First time Media like NDTV  giving special coverage to the event.mms://wms.cityguys.net/sports for live coverage.

4. For Atrocity helpline, people have shown ready interests from all Indian corners.

5. People are impressed by the facilities this time provided by the Mumbai Corporation. Water, hygiene and medicines are available. The cleanliness is also worth noting.

Special Thanks to Mumbai Corporation on behalf of people of India!

Mahaparinirvana Day- Day of Dedication

 

The Last message to his people:

“Whatever I have done, I have been able to do after passing through crushing miseries and endless struggle all my life and fighting with my opponents. With great difficulty I have brought this caravan where it is seen today. Let the caravan march on despite the hurdles that may come in its way. If my lieutenants are not able to take the caravan ahead they should leave it there, but in no circumstances should they allow the caravan to go back. This is the message to my people”

It is worthwhile reviewing whether the caravan which Babasaheb had referred to has moved forward or backward in the last 44 years.

Here is another statement which encourages the activists of our mission:

“Noble is your aim and sublime and glorious is your mission. Blessed are those who are awakened to their duty to those among whom they are born. Glory to those who devote their time, talents and their all to the amelioration of slavery. Glory to those who would keep their struggle for the liberation of the enslaved in spite of heavy odds, carping humiliation, storms and dangers till the downtrodden secure their human rights.

So to secure the human rights to all the downtrodden people was the ultimate dream of Babasaheb. Has that dream been fulfilled after 44 years after his death?

Here is another statement of Babasaheb about the dalit employees of his time:

“There is some progress on education in our society. By acquiring education some people have reached to the higher positions; but these educated people have deceived me. I was hoping from them that after acquiring higher education they will serve the society; but what I am seeing is that a crowd of small and big clerks has gathered around, who are busy feeding themselves and their families”.

Please note Babasaheb made these remarks during his public speech at Agra on 18 March 1956. Has the situation changed today?

Babasaheb wanted our people to contribute 5% of their resources (time and financial) for the cause of the upliftment of our society. Do we do it?

Politics:

In political field, Babasaheb said way back in 1924 that”Write down on the walls of your houses that we want to be the ruling race”.

Have we grabbed any political power? Even in Maharashtra for the last 3 decades or so we have not been able to elect more that one or two MLAs through RPI, the party which Babasaheb himself was to launch(the constitution of RPI was written by Babasaheb). I hope we do not mistook the MLAs and MPs who are elected through Congress, BJP etc as the real representatives of our society. This can be easily verified from their performance in the assemblies and parliament. The only success in this direction is through BSP in U.P.

Buddhism:

Babasaheb wanted to make India a Buddhist country. Till date we have not converted more than 1% of India’s population to Buddhism. A dismal performance of the organisations, like Buddhist Society of India, which Babasaheb formed exlusively to work for the propagation of Buddhism.

An all round review of his mission and its achievements and to rededicate to complete the unfulfilled dream of Babasaheb, is the real homage to this great victorious revolutionary, the only of its kind in the last 2000 years.

Raju Kamble

 


Mangalore: Karnataka Dalit Sangarsh Samiti Protests Against Bajrang Dal

27/10/2010

Pics: Sphoorti Ullal
Daijiworld Media Network—Mangalore (SR/CN)

Mangalore, Aug 13: The Dakshina Kannada district branch of the Karnataka Dalit Sangarsh Samiti staged a protest against the brutal activities of the Bajrang Dal in the state, in front of the deputy commissioner’s (DC) office on Friday August 13.


The protest was staged under the leadership of S P Anand, district convener of the Samiti who said that Shreedhar, a resident of Paraje Kodagu district, was taken from his house and tortured and then paraded naked. He claimed that the complaint has been lodged at Bantwal police station, but due to the
political influence of the Bajrang Dal no action has been taken against the culprits.

Anand added that such activities of the Bajarang Dal shall be stopped in the state so as to enable all innocent citizens to live without any fear.

curty: http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_disp.asp?n_id=83331&n_tit=Mangalore:+Karnataka+Dalit+Sangarsh+Samiti+Protests+Against+Bajrang+Dal


The meaning of Maywati for the Dalit movement

24/10/2010

Mayawati and the Meaning of her Victory

By CHITTIBABU PADAVALA

Anand Teltumbde is an eminent Dalit theoretician who is respected and influential. He is among the few intellectuals who is also self-critical; someone who does not necessarily believe in ‘closing ranks’. Compared to Dalit intellectuals who think criticizing Dalit politics and social movements will always necessarily be used for anti-Dalit politics, and that Dalit politics could do without self-critical exercises, he is perhaps an exception in coming up with trenchant criticisms of Dalit politics, movements and perspectives from time to time. Most times, both well-meaning, pro- but non-Dalit intellectuals and Dalit intellectuals think it is dangerous to even air legitimate criticism of anything Dalit. Thus Teltumbde is also a lonely Dalit intellectual. His position is unenviable. Almost everything Dalits do or think is either unfairly dismissed and criticized or not given sufficient credit by the media and the dominant progressive-liberal left. Intellectuals like Chandrabhan Prasad or Kancha Ilaiah focus exclusively on exposing the hypocrisy of so-called progressive intellectuals and highlighting the admirable features of Dalit life and politics. Reading Teltumbde is complementary and sometimes corrective to the work of both Ilaiah and Chandra Bhan Prasad. What is missing in the latters’ intellectual practice is that they don’t entertain any sustained self-critical perspective of Dalit politics and movements and lines of thought.

However, having read Teltumbde’s recent attack on Mayawati—circulated on e-mail, posted on ZEST-Caste, and copied below—I feel the need to critically engage with his ideas, which in this case are far from acceptable. At the outset, let me say that such a critical posture is almost unique in the context of the celebratory reception of the news of Mayawati’s victory by upper caste progressives and Dalit intellectuals alike. His critique is not just unique, but is necessary and useful. That does not mean the burden of his argument is fair and acceptable. He does not posit any acceptable formulation or new revelation but reminds us of the basic fact that doing political theory is not the same as participating in celebrations but thinking a bit beyond.

First, he points to the fact that Mayawati does not have a comprehensive plan that includes such programs as land and resource redistribution and enhancement or at least does not reveal any such project either before or after the elections. It is unusual for a politician who has spent well over three decades in politics to be without any such agenda. It is equally unusual for the left and progressive intellectuals to uncritically celebrate such a politician’s victory in so unqualified a manner. I hazard an attribution to the beginnings of a conspiracy whose effects will be known only after Mayawati’s future failure. The conspiracy is simply that of undeserved praise being heaped on a personality and politics that are not going to deliver any great results, only to be withdrawn in the aftermath of the loss of the luster she now undoubtedly possesses. This praise on the part of the progressives is irresponsible for it neither points to the obvious ambiguities of her victory and politics nor offers any prescriptions to avoid the danger of being viewed as patronising.

So the question is what Mayawati can do, combined with the question of what a state government can do in the kind of system we have. And it is to be supplemented with what she wants to do, what she should do. Teltumbde does not appreciate one paradoxical difficulty she is bound to face if at all she is serious about her basic mandate: empowering the Dalits and putting an end to the discrimination against them. Unfortunately in our history the upliftment or empowerment of Dalits results in a simultaneous increase in the oppression of Dalits. The development of others too results in an increase in violence against Dalits. Of course, it is yet to be seen how much Mayawati’s emphasis on rule of law can work to prevent attacks on Dalits in the course of development and make social conflicts less violent. She has already made it clear through three government circulars that filing of cases under the SC/ST Act will not be encouraged unless in the worst of cases. She is going to have a tough time particularly in uplifting many backward communities which have been consistently showing a pattern of behavior in the course of their upward mobility: an eagerness to distinguish themselves from Dalits by means of discriminating against them and attacking them to assert their newly gained upliftment. The tragedy of Sudra ascendancy is that many Sudra communities in that phase very soon realize the difficulty of beating the upper castes in the realm of culture, public visibility, media, educational institutions, services and in fact try to imitate the upper castes rather than compete with them. The only way out they could imagine is to construct an ugly substitute of degrading the Dalits in order to feel certain ‘above-ness’ in relation to the Dalits.

The greatest challenge for Mayawati would undoubtedly be the problem of the ‘middle’. In terms of caste, it is the OBCs. In a class scale, it is the middle peasants. No party can think of winning elections without the support of this numerically substantial, resource-rich and power-seeking constituency. How Mayawati can reach out to this constituency is a big problem. It should not be forgotten that Mayawati, even in the moment of her highest triumph, could not cut much into this constituency, which remained firmly with Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Teltumbde very usefully calls our attention to the media-created myth based on Mayawati’s victory that upper caste votes are very important and that even they could be decisive. It is true that UP has a higher percentage of brahmin votes relative to other states and that they are important in deciding the victor in the elections. On an all-India scale, this is causing a new kind of ‘sensitisation’ among politicians in other states. What Telugu Desam Party’s Chandrababu Naidu said in his recent party’s conclave (Mahanadu) bears testimony to this Uttar Pradesh after effect. He for the first time addressed the issue of doing something for the upper castes; and his choice of words is unmistakably similar to that of Mayawati’s. The self-defeating dynamic inherent to such inflated importance bestowed on the so-called upper caste constituency is that it repeatedly calls everybody’s attention to their numerical minority and the marginal importance of their votes for winning elections. I think we should welcome it. But with the media’s shameless and unrepentant bias in favor of upper castes it is going to be a problem in the short run. It is particularly dangerous because most of our progressive social movements and political assertions express themselves in the vocabulary of anti-upper-caste struggles. Faced with the political incorrectness stigma to their rhetoric, which will soon follow the policy of upper caste appeasement on the part of political class, many subaltern social movements and political expressions will face difficult problems in legitimating their grievances and be forced to express their views in some liberal vocabulary which might be not so appealing to the purposes of mass mobilizations. Such discursive controls will result in some unproductive tension between media and social movements.

Many false paradoxes are pointed out in media analyses of the BSP victory in Uttar Pradesh. The most frequent of them is the idea of Brahmins and Dalits coming together to vote for BSP. Nothing could be farther from common sense. Unlike journalistic analysts and progressive intellectuals, the common people do not see the caste system as a textual entity. It is a matter of life and death; not an idea or ideology coded in ‘sacred texts’. It is not a superstition that has outlived its time (as urbanites tend to project it) and causes embarrassment to one’s sense of being enlightened. It is a lived practice enmeshed in the questions of power and resources. For ordinary Dalits, what texts the Brahmins take pride in are not important but the everyday encounter with the dominant Sudras on whom they are at once dependent and whom they also resist. Electoral alliances are not about deep social psychological transformations. People know very well that they will not be solved at the level of culture alone without reference to power. Thus they find no problem in aligning with Brahmins as opposed to dominant Sudras and even OBCs. None of this is lost sight of by Teltumbde. However, he fails to show the lesson the Dalit-Brahman-MBC alliance teaches the intelligentsia for whom the caste is a problem of texts and beliefs. Teltumbde should have used this as an opportunity not just to write diatribes against Mayawati but to confront the most damaging superstition of the intelligentsia that caste is merely an absurd idea still lingering among backward people. If Mayawati is praised for being everybody’s leader then Teltumbde objects to it by saying that her solid support base is just Dalits and that the other support is volatile. If you claim that she demonstrates Dalit power he would plausibly point to the possibility of she being poised to implement non-Dalit agenda and protect anti-Dalit interests because she has won with the support of non-Dalit votes. If his pessimism, which borders at cynicism, is true, he is not in fact seeing any genuine problem faced by this leader. Given such real-politik complexities, whatever contradiction is faced by Mayawati, Teltumbde sees scope only for her opportunism there and nothing else.

At one point in his essay he says, “there is an intrinsic conceptual error in assuming that the BSP as a dalit party. “At no time BSP, even from the times of its precursor movements like BAMCEF and DS4, had claimed to be a Dalit party. As its name eloquently suggests, it is a bahujan party.” However, at another point he contradicts himself: “Even though the BSP likes to don the bahujan identity, in reality its base has been dalits. It is they who provide a foundation for its victories.”

The most bizarre formulation of all is his characterization of the construction of Dalit identity in UP. For him, it is just with abusive slogans, casteism, and propagation of Dalit icons that the BSP constructed Dalit identity in the state.( He writes, in what could be termed as the most insensitive and inaccurate passage in the whole article, “The process of constructing a rock solid constituency of this mass of Dalits comprised systematic operation of exclusivist strategy with a rhetoric of manuvad, an offensive lingo against the dwija castes and later use of political power to reinforce Dalit identity by promoting Dalit icons.” Every Dalit knows that it is upper castes that construct Dalitidentity while the latter are always ready to at least forget and generally ready to relinquish the claims to a separate identity. He misses the significance of the early attempts by Kanshi Ram to organize Dalits as a separate political entity while they were of course already a separated social community with out any sympathy or understanding. Teltumbde merely notes, without any adverse qualification, perhaps with the hope that it would be disgusting enough for a left-liberal sensibility, that Kanshi Ram used to ask the upper castes among the audience to leave his meetings. He however forgets to add that even at the height of BSP’s power it does not entertain the idea of asking the upper castes to leave their places from villages. In fact, Teltumbde’s complaint is precisely that the upper castes were over-represented in her party and government. If Mayawati is exclusivist, it is a problem; even if she is inclusive she is the villain for our comrade. What appears to be consistent in such a contradictory attack is nothing more than an uncompromising hatred for her.

What angers Teltumbde is not exactly what is involved in Mayawati’s victory rather the descriptions it is receiving from the upper-caste intelligentsia. For him, a revolution is a precise political-scientific term. He frowns at the misuse of such a term. A Dalit woman’s power doesn’t automatically mean the power of Dalits and it cannot be equated with revolution. Fair enough. But it does not stop him from characterizing the victory of BSP, which included upper caste votes and disproportionate representation in party and government ranks, as ‘counter- revolution’. The representation of individuals belonging to upper castes in her party and government somehow becomes the power of the upper castes and what is more, it miraculously becomes a ‘counter-revolution’! He objects to imprecise use of political jargon only if it is used in favor of Mayawati, and doesn’t mind diluting the same if it is to dismiss her. Though he seems to be lamenting only her recent moves as degeneration of BSP politics, he seems to also disapprove of the early, movement phase of BSP’s actions since the BAMCEF days.

All in all, he is disappointed with Mayawati for her not being a communist and not implementing socialism. It does not occur to him that even CPI-M with its three decades of uninterrupted power in West Bengal, strong organisation and ideological indoctrination could not behave the way it wants largely because it is caught up in a quasi-federal system whose meta-logic is for everybody to obey. If he were to think that without the socialist restructuring of society Dalit problems could not be solved, he should say that. Then his argument would be to say that the problems of Dalits are structural and cannot be solved at electoral and governmental level. It does not have to depend much on attributing the opportunism of the Dalit leaders and mobilizations that do not think so. Teltumbde’s fixed solutions don’t grant any credit to the struggles and compromises of Dalit movements, politics and its leaders with the hope of improving their lot with the available means under the prevailing conditions. Perhaps Teltumbde needs to be reminded of Marx’s famous passage: “Therefore mankind always sets itself only such tasks as it can solve; since, looking at the matter more closely, it will always be found that the tasks itself arises only when the material conditions of its solution already exist or are at least in the process of formation.” The Dalits wait, unlike intellectuals, until the ultimate moment of socialist revolution. This small section of humanity sets certain realistic goals for itself and sees what it can achieve. Sometimes, like in UP, they even manage achieve a little.

Not only this, he fails to appreciate the gestures (yes, just gestures neither programs nor manifestos) of Mayawati ever since she assumed office. He did not have the heart to hail her very first speech in which she thanked the upper castes and assured benefits for the poor among them. It was a Mandelian moment! An oppressed community’s leader on the eve of transfer of power assures the former tormentors full safety. Yes, the scale, impact and the nature and stature of the politician and the gesture are incomparably varied. But the poignancy of the moment is unmistakable and deserves all praise.

Forging coalitions and maneuvering numbers in elections amount to opportunistic politics for Teltumbde. One wonders what he thinks of a revolution whose calculations involve weapons, brute force and military matters. All said and done, the so-called electioneering and that insensitive phrase, ‘social engineering’, are ways of dealing with people not coercing them. Getting people to vote may be a less edifying task then talking them into taking up arms but it is no crime either.

Teltumbde admits that the daughter of the most oppressed section of the most unequal country assuming office is a gratifying sight. However, he grossly underestimates the meaning of such an event. Politics and social processes are not dead objects. Inversions are not mere retentions of the same. It is no secret that Teltumbde prefers class-based politics to a caste-based one. His own writings have underscored the importance of interpenetration of the two. If he is a realist, as his piece appears to emphasise, he should know that to assume power in this country you not only win the confidence of the masses but also convince the ruling sections of society that you are not going to harm them much. It is now fairly clear that Mayawati has achieved this two-pronged, contradictory but necessary task. He grossly underestimates the relative autonomy of the state in relation to economy and society even in these days of globalization. If many of the exclusions Dalits face are structurally not inevitable and something can be dealt with through state power, winning elections is the shortest route toit. Social movements are, of course, a much better way to achieve such objectives. Nevertheless, Dalit movements have one inherent defect to them: almost everywhere at every level, from national to village level, Dalits are a minority group. And, against them even the otherwise passive or conflicting communities come together. Any politics based completely and solely on the mobilization of Dalits runs the risk of antagonizing the majority of the given unit of society. So far, all unifying social movements could do so only by sidelining the problems of the Dalits. In such unfortunate circumstances state power alone can achieve certain necessary, though not sufficient tasks of Dalits and Dalit movements. One of them is eliminating thesymbolic disqualification of Dalits to be in important positions in the public space. Achieving the office and using it to dispel the myth of Dalit inability is an end in itself. Even if it is dangerous to believe in the state’s capacity to transform, the best education in this regard comes by trying that means rather than by hurling copies of Lenin’s State and Revolution at ordinary Dalits without whose support no revolution worth its name can happen in India.

Perhaps Teltumbde evaluates the importance of the fact of Ambedkar writing the Constitution of India and K.R. Narayanan serving as the president only in terms of what they achieved or failed to achieve. They played a much bigger role than any rigidly biographical or historical account can capture. Like it or not, such facts have been, and continue to be, the source of confidence and self-worth among Dalits. Such an impact of the lives of Dalits goes beyond the actual doings of these representative figures. However unsavory it might seem to our rational mind, they contributed more to Dalits as symbols than by what they actually were. Mayawati is now doing something akin to that. She is proving that Dalits can rule a state on their own and not as an appointee of some other party.

Besides the question of causes and consequences of Mayawati’s victory, there is an equally important issue of the meaning of the victory which cannot be equated to or exhausted by causes and consequences of the event . For Teltumbde, the symbolic is simply what is not real or what is mistaken or substituted for the real. Whatever be the merits of such an approach, he simply cannot imagine the continuities and translatability of the real and symbolic. It is obvious that he thinks that such thinking is marxism. Even if we forgive him for such an impoverished idea of marxism, one element of his analysis should be vigorously contested. He finds no problems with the existing, even popular yardsticks to measure a political phenomenon. That is dangerous. That is giving away the dominance in the debates to our enemies.

Teltumbde fails to appreciate the single most important fate of being a Dalit politician. So far, Dalits could be legislators, mostly in reserved constituencies. Given the fact that most of the voters are non-Dalits while all the contestants are Dalits it is only the candidate most appealing to or least objectionable to non-Dalit voters who wins the election. It is at the root of the comprador and ineffective nature of our Dalit politicians rather than class dominating caste in their political behaviour . Mayawati emerged from within such structural limitations imposed on Dalit politicians in the country. We must also remember that of the 93 Dalit candidates fielded by the BSP only four were fielded in general constituencies. And of the four none could win, whereas 62 of the 89 fielded in reserved constituencies won. This shows that even today the ‘sarvajan’ support to BSP is not unconditional; a Dalit, even in Mayawati’s UP, is expected to contest and win only from reserved areas; in general constituencies, neither the brahmins, MBCs nor others seem to support Dalits. Despite such structural limitations, Mayawati today is there as chief minister with mostly non-Dalit votes. What is true of a legislator in her constituency is true for her at the state level. That is the fate of the dalit leaders in our democracy. They are a universal minority. Without resources, but only votes and the power to be organized, they are condemned to be a mere minority and not a powerful bloc. Any assertion or attempt at upward mobility has to take up the issue of some symbolic clearing. As the social practices in our country are based on systematic and totalitarian insults to Dalits even in the most unimportant aspects of daily life, it is simply not possible for Dalits not to take up such issues. This results in all the non-dalit sections of society uniting against them. Many groups, though not all groups, can afford to live parallel to each other. Dalits do not enjoy such an opportunity. Many a shrewd politician and party can please various groups separately and gain from such a policy. With Dalits, it is not a possibility. You cannot empower Dalits without angering the others. Many communities have learnt the manner of evaluating the status of their well being in terms of how well they are doing in comparison with the lowest denominator—Dalits.

How do you do politics in such a crooked world? Communists quickly learnt the hard lesson. Though their initial blindness to Dalit question was due to their brahminical prejudices and groundless hope of withering away of feudal vestiges, later some honest attempts were made to address the question of Dalits. However, they were quick to learn that you can’t command the loyalty of the rest of the society if you take Dalit issues seriously. Most of the so-called hypocrisy of the communists in the face of Dalit question can be explained by this, rather than by any essentialist understanding of its leadership’s caste origins. In fact, all enduring groups in India are minorities given the size and diversity of the country. While most other groups are allowed to be indifferent and coexist parallel to each other, it is only Dalits who are not permitted to coexist peacefully. Contempt and comparison are imposed on them relentlessly.

Such complexities do not matter to Teltumbde. He simply asks for a comprehensive program for development and resource redistribution. When he talks about this very fundamental question, he somehow gives the impression that here he thinks only about ‘class’ and not about the relational concept ‘caste’. Besides providing for the basic necessities of the people, a politician with long-term goals should also think of issues of perception. This is a society in which a caste or a group evaluates its situation not in terms of development or well being in absolute terms or comparatively with its own past, but in relative terms by assessing who are supposed to be above and below. It is suicidal for a politician to come up with a context-blind concept of development. One example I have noticed repeatedly in my home state Andhra Pradesh is telling: in many a village the absence of a school causes less protest than the construction of it near a Dalit street. I am not claiming that Mayawati might have all these factors in mind in keeping the cards close to her chest about the economic policy she is going to pursue. Perhaps she is just as clueless about economic policies as Teltumbde appears to fear Or perhaps her economic policy is not going to be much different from what obtains in other states.

With all my differences and dismay at his diatribe against the first woman Dalit chief minister of the country, we must be thankful to Teltumbde for his timely reminder that our Mayawati not so long ago campaigned for Narendra Modi and aligned with the BJP twice. Nothing can excuse her for doing this; it will forever be a black spot on her otherwise impressive career. Her chant hati nahee hai ganesh hai (It’s a Ganesha not an elephant) is one of the most dangerous slogans in recent times by any politician. The triumvirate Brahma Vishnu Mahesh is all-Hindu and too brazen for anyone to be missed. This degeneration is hopefully only a result of political shortsightedness and not going to be an enduring trend. It is clear case of ‘Congressification’ of BSP and its end point is playing into the hands of the BJP.

On the whole, it is heartening to see that a Dalit theoretician has highlighted this aspect at the very moment of the dalit leader’s victory; a courage the likes of Aijaz Ahmed or Prabhat Patnaik did not show when CPI-M and CPI came together with the BJP to form a government at the center which led to the eventual victory of the BJP and its subsequent influential position in India. Teltumbde deserves our salute for his courage and timing and it is even more praiseworthy given that most of the Dalit intellectuals of the country seem to be suffering from a ‘closing the ranks mentality’ all the time.

Then what is the meaning and significance of Mayawati’s victory?

We should not equate the government with the state and the state with society and economy. Then, there is the relative autonomy of the state and its fallout: autonomy of the government. We have an amazingly enlightened constitution given the overall backwardness of the society and culture. The Dalit contribution to it is well known. Here is an opportunity to even implement it. Implementing the basic constitutional provisions amounts to a radical program. I don’t think she will be able to make the best of these provisions even if she wants to. But what she can really achieve by being simply the chief minister is this: Many atrocities against Dalits are perpetrated not because the culprits are very strong but because Dalits are weak. Such elements will get an exaggerated idea of Dalit power and it will have some deterring effect. A government that is not anti-Dalit will surely make a difference in this regard.

Rather than narrowly focusing on what Mayawati government will do or will not do, it is better to think about the ways in which the Dalits of UP can benefit from the symbolic opportunity for them. The much bigger question is weather the UP Dalits can use this opportunity and achieve higher levels of education, conversion, mobility, visibility. The question is not what Mayawati can do to UP Dalits but what they can do to themselves with BSP around. It is here the role of organizations, social movements and intellectuals become important. Will the Dalit intellectual class provide such a direction, inspiration and participation for the Dalits on the street or field or it simply waits for the government to do everything is the question. It also opens up a unique and unprecedented opportunity for Dalits: Dalits are the only group whose emancipation cannot be achieved without enlightening the entire society. It is in the best interests of the Dalits to lead the rest of the society towards enlightenment. To such a task somebody like Teltumbde can contribute more than Mayawati can. Now, the Dalits of UP should invent creative ways in which they can conduct their rightful assertion less spectacularly but deeply. Jews provided despite their universal marginality the intellectual leadership to the West. Perhaps we can draw instructive lessons from that history. Mayawati’s victory is objectively and potentially no more than removing certain hurdles to Dalits. If the ruling complex of classes and castes cannot dethrone Mayawati in the next elections or stop her from becoming the Prime Minister in the future, they will definitely try to strike a deal with her. Such a bargain would be similar to the CPI-M’s implicit agreement with capitalist and business classes. Then, the Dalit party will be the most effective container of Dalit assertion. Just like the CPI-M is the most reliable and effective container of proletarian unrest in the country. The only immunity from such a nightmarish future for Dalit politics is the intense and effective educational and cultural movements in UP which alone can create a Dalit constituency that can take the smoothest road to social transformation—educational and cultural movements. Only the emergence of such an enlightened Dalit constituency can preclude the possible future temptations to exchange Dalit loyalty to the office for Dalit leaders and parties. Therefore, the question is not what Mayawati can do to us but what we can do to ourselves.

(I would like to thank S. Anand and Ravikumar of Navayana for suggesting this article, and Anand for editorial assistance.)

*The author is an independent researcher studying genocides. He recently completed a journalism course from Asian College of Journalism, Chennai.

“… No doubt, it would be a matter of great delight for the entire progressive world to see a daughter of a humble Dalit dislodging the traditional upper castes from the throne of the most unequal country on the planet. But would it be a dalit raj? Would it be a revolution? The answer to such questions may sadly be all negatives.”

A Mayawi Revolution in UP

By Anand Teltumbde

The BSP win in the recent assembly elections in UP has let loose high pitched euphoria. It is understandable that the supporters of the BSP celebrate their victory and common folks ‘worship the victor’. But what about the intellectual class, who is supposed to see beyond the surface reality and present the meaning of events? They appear to have even overtaken the common masses in their excitement. Our political analysts tend to see a ‘social revolution’ in this BSP victory, while some scholars take it as de-castization and even de-classization of Indian politics.

The kind of praise being showered on Mayawati is beyond comment. Diapankar Gupta, in his article in Hindustan Times (10.4.2007) had gone to the extent of comparing Mayawati with Mao as a strategist. He cites parallels in Mao’s and Mayawati’s incessant search of strategic partners; in their criticisms- when Mao allied with rich peasants and a section of landlords and when Mayawati joined hands with the BJP; and also in their foci, as Mao never lost sight of the poor peasants, Mayawati her poor Dalits. Prof Gupta ought to have searched for objectives, the prerequisite for strategies, before seeing parallels in them. While Mao had never compromised his objective to bring about new democratic revolution in China, Mayawati had never disclosed her, save for the implicit one -grabbing the power by any means. If the elections were a game, then there is no doubt that Mayawati has grounded all the veteran players. If they were a medium of securing personal power, then there is again no doubt that she has left everybody far behind in the race. But if they were taken as a vehicle to bring about a change in the caste/class relations to the benefit of oppressed and poor people, then Mayawati’s unscrupulous handling of them throws up a galore of serious suspicions. Mayawati’s strategy to create a constituency with Dalits, Muslims and Brahmins is eulogized as social revolution. One forgets that this is the precise strategy followed by Congress to rule for more than four decades after independence. Nobody would dare to call that rule a revolution, social or otherwise.

Why then Mayawati’s? It is explained that during the Congress rule, the strings of power were in the hands of the upper caste/class people whereas in the BSP’s case, it would be in the hands of dalits. Strictly speaking, the latter is not true. If it meant a dalit chief minister holding the strings of power, even the Congress had propped up dalit mascots to such positions. An example of Damodar Sanjivayya, who became the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh in the 1960s, may be an apt reminder. Indeed, there have been many dalit chief ministers including Mayawati thereafter but it hardly meant that the power strings had come into the hands of dalits. Besides the error of equating an individual with the party or his caste, there is an intrinsic conceptual error in assuming the BSP as a dalit party. At no time BSP, even from the times of its precursor movements like Bamcef and DS4, had claimed to be a Dalit party. As its name eloquently suggests, it is a bahujan party. Now that BSP won as a party of sarvajan,
it no more remains even that. Consequently, the strings of power that it held thus no more belong even to the bahujans. Just because Kanshiram and Mayawati belonged to dalits, BSP power does not become dalit power; it strictly belongs to sarvajan, the upper castes included. Social revolution, which is transformation of basic caste or class relations, cannot come through the first-past-the- post type of elections we adopted. While election victories in India do not need even a passive affirmation of majority of people, social revolution needs their active participation. With growing fragmentation of polity into interest groups associated with the process of uneven development, which expresses itself through the existing fault lines like castes, the percentage vote required to rule has already gone down to ridiculous levels. BSP, in the present case just got 13.8 percent of total votes in UP, which means 86.2 percent voters either are passive or against it. The election victory can certainly be an enabler to mobilize peoples’ participation but cannot itself mean it. Mayawati’s rainbow politics merely represents shrewd electoral arithmetic and hence should not be confused with social revolution. Her kind of caste-based coalition rather ends up deepening castism, as the experience in UP amply demonstrates, which is antithetical to any social revolution.

Even though the BSP likes to don the bahujan identity, in reality its base has been dalits. It is they who provide a foundation for its victories. BSP has built this strong foundation labouriously over the years through its Bamcef and DS4 days. Dalits are about 21 per cent in UP, far more than the national average of 16 per cent. The process of constructing a rock solid constituency of this mass of dalits comprised systematic operation of exclusivist strategy with a rhetoric of manuwad, an offensive lingo against the dwija castes and later use of political power to reinforce dalit identity by promoting dalit icons. In the early election days of BSP, Kanshiram used to publicly ask the upper castes in the audience to leave the place. Those days, BSP had several abusive slogans against the dwija castes. This offensive strategy cultivated identity and created self-confidence among Dalits. Having created this core, BSP could attract some Muslims and lower castes and made its mark in elections.

When it maneuvered to actually sit a dalit’s beti in the gaddi of UP’s chief minister, it meant realization of a dream for dalits. They felt as though they became the rulers of the state. With this unshakable dalit base of 21 percent voters, the BSP could try any kind of strategic acrobatics with impunity. When it realized that it has reached the limits of its constituency and that a little increment could win it far more seats, it took a complete somersault and decided to befriend the upper castes. Dalits stood by it rock solid, when BSP allied with BJP, when Mayawati canvassed for Narendra Modi in Gujarat at the time when the entire world despised him for having catalyzed the heinous carnage of Muslims; when the blue elephant of BSP ceased to be a symbol of Ambedkar’s struggle or emerging dalit strength and became a Ganesha and later a trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh of Hindus and now when Mayawati has come full circle discarding the bahujan garbs and joining hands with the very same people whom she disparaged as Manuwadis.

What does this party of sarvajan mean? None of the political analysts appear to ask this question. This term indicative of collaboration of castes and classes should be fundamentally inimical to the caste or class struggle of the oppressed and exploited. It assumes away the contradictions in the society. If so, what would be the premise, one may ask, for the existence of BSP? How could there be a dalit struggle without the definition of its friends and foes? By pushing such issues under carpet, it actually negates the dalit struggle itself. This approach becomes the ruling class parties’ as they have to cover up the contradictions in the society and seek to take shelter under such slippery terms to protect their class interests. They cannot be useful to the lower classes that have to target these contradictions in their struggle. Sarvajan smacks of samarasata of sangh Parivar. As such, when BSP claims to have become a party of sarvajan, it is admitting that it has not only become a ruling class party, it is also a ruling caste party.

Besides the rock solid support of dalits, specific situational factors in UP can be seen conributing to the BSP win. The misrule of Mulayam Singh Yadav had alienated most sections of populations beyond the SP’s loyal support base. They wanted a winning horse, which they found in the form of the BSP. The other two mainstream parties, viz., Congress and BJP were far too weak to pose as alternatives. Mayawati’s image as a sworn enemy of Mulayam Singh, her aggressive demeanour matching the goondagiri of Yadavs, and her solid support base among Dalits easily scored over them and became a choice of people. Mayawati’s social engineering to get the much wanted incremental votes for her has worked perfectly in this congenial electoral climate. The strategy of social alliance with the upper castes, giving them disproportionately more number of seats than their numbers deserved, helped this consideration greatly and brought the BSP that crucial incremental vote for getting catapulted to power.

This strategy is attributed to the political genius of Mayawati forgetting the fact that it could well be Brahmins’. If one considers the amount of decline in the status of the Brahmins, from the ruling caste to the political non-entity in UP, their anxiety to regain their lost status of ruling caste would perhaps be more intense than that of Mayawati. Their traditional party, BJP, stood no chance of coming to power in near future. Indeed, the strategy strikingly resembles the RSS strategy of samarasata to have a broader unity of all Hindus. Whatever the source, for the Brahmins and the upper castes, the only viable alternative available was joining hands with Mayawati. If they had indeed decided to capture the state power piggybacking Mayawati’s BSP, would it not be amounting to turning the wheel of history in reverse direction? Instead of Mayawati’s social revolution, would it not be the counter revolution of Brahmans? The marriage of convenience between Dalits and Brahmans had least hurdles on ground. Because, these two castes placed at the two ends of the caste continuum, do not have much social interaction and hence no ostensible ontradiction. It is therefore seen by many as potentially replicable in many other states. The politicians have already begun dreaming of such combinations in their states for coming elections. Unfortunately for them, this experiment may not be replicable elsewhere for the simple reason that none of the conditions that produced this dazzling result in UP may be encountered anywhere. However, it could certainly increase the influence of BSP everywhere.

Mayawati has set her eyes at Delhi. While she has not spelt out the timeframe, the Dalits have already started dreaming her as the prime minister in 2009. As the trend shows up, the next general elections will have strong anti-incumbency wave but its benefits are unlikely to accrue to any mainstream party. The largest beneficiary would certainly be the BSP. Thus seen, this dalit dream may materialize far sooner than anybody ever guessed. No doubt, it would be a matter of great delight for the entire progressive world to see a daughter of a humble Dalit dislodging the traditional upper castes from the throne of the most unequal country on the planet. But would it be a dalit raj? Would it be a revolution? The answer to such questions may sadly be all negatives.

 


Not just Hindu raj, Ambedkar opposed every argument for Partition as well

22/10/2010

Amid the heat generated by the Muslim League’s Lahore resolution on Pakistan and the extreme reactions across the subcontinent, the sole dispassionate voice was that of Dr B.R. Ambedkar. Pakistan or Partition of India (1940), his full-length book, became a reference treatise for all those engaged with the issue, including the main dramatis persona, M.A. Jinnah. For others, however, it remained unduly controversial. For Ambedkar, Muslims were not the worst victims of the Hindu society. They had a better deal compared to the untouchables. The book was such that any casual or motivated reader could easily pick up stray pieces to support his own hypothesis. Hence, many distortions are in vogue but the commonplace impression is that Ambedkar supported Partition. On the contrary, he demolished all arguments for the creation of Pakistan. Admitting the communal antagonism between Hindus and Muslims, he demonstrated that it could not be a valid reason for a partition of the country. With examples of Canada, South Africa and Switzerland, where antagonistic communities lived amicably under a single Constitution, he dismissed the inevitability of Pakistan merely on the grounds of a communal divide. The two-nation theory as the basis for Pakistan was also refuted by Ambedkar. While noting that Muslims were advancing from the state of community to that of a nation, he contended that it did not necessarily constitute the basis for Pakistan. Even if the Muslims were assumed to be a nation, it did not warrant a Pakistan since India had not yet lost its ‘organic filaments’. While admitting that India too was not a nation, he disagreed with those including Jinnah who thought that India could not become one. Those who argued for Partition, he wrote, were guided by colonialist writers who emphasised differences between people and ignored the forces that bound them together. Ambedkar also thought the Muslim apprehension that Swaraj would become a Hindu raj untenable because the Muslims had already reconciled to living in the more rabid Hindu raj sustained by Hindu princes against whom the Muslim League had never raised any objection. He did not see much substance in the political objection of the Muslims that Hindu society was undemocratic simply because they were not its worst victims. The Muslims, he observed, enjoyed a much better deal compared to people from the untouchable castes. While he was skeptical about the innate imperialist characteristics of Hinduism creating accommodative conditions for the peaceful coexistence of minorities, he did not spare the Muslims for their own minority communalism. For him, the abolition of parties like the Muslim League and Hindu Mahasabha and formation of a mixed party of Hindus and Muslims was the only effective way of burying the ghost of Hindu raj. He did not perceive much difficulty in the formation of such a party based on the material conditions of the majority. In fact, such political unity was achieved between 1920 and 1937 when in most provinces the Muslims, non-Brahmins and depressed classes worked as a team under the Montague-Chelmsford Reforms. Having dispelled the validity of the Muslims’ misgiving that they would be persecuted under Hindu raj, Ambedkar did not rule out the possibility of the emergence of the latter when he prophetically declared: “If Hindu raj does become a fact, it will, no doubt be the greatest calamity for this country. No matter what the Hindus say, Hinduism is a menace to liberty, equality and fraternity. It is incompatible with democracy. Hindu raj must be prevented at any cost.” Ambedkar struck at the root of the Muslim argument that the creation of Pakistan would solve the communal problem. He termed the Muslim League’s Pakistan scheme a political perversion because instead of solving the problem of minority Muslims, it made them more vulnerable and favoured the majority Muslims who did not need or deserve it. Pakistan was unnecessary for Muslims in areas where they were a majority and worse than useless for Muslims where they were a minority. On December 15, 1946, in his maiden speech in the Constituent Assembly, he hoped that some day the light would dawn upon Muslims and “they, too, would begin to think that a united India was better for everybody.” Secularism and democracy were the sole basis of coexistence. In the crowd of small and big villains of the Partition drama, Ambedkar stands out as the only hero, a true statesman.

Courtesy: 




Religion: Untouchable Lincoln

17/10/2010

One of the few men who have risen from the malodorous sink which is below the lowest caste of India is Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, No. 1 Untouchable. This plump, cheery, bespectacled man of no caste, whose very shadow would outrage high-caste Hindus, managed to get a good education in Indian Government schools, was staked to courses at the University of London and Columbia University by the highly democratic Gaekwar of Baroda. Dr. Ambedkar is probably the only man alive who ever walked out in a huff from a private audience with the Pope of Rome. His Holiness Pius XI having heard from Dr. Ambedkar about the miseries of Indian outcastes, replied: “My son, it may take three or four centuries to remedy these abuses, be patient.”

Impatient Dr. Ambedkar summoned 10,000 raggle-taggle Untouchables to Nasik near Bombay last autumn, said de liberately: “I had the misfortune of being born with the stigma of Untouchability. But it is not my fault. I will not die a Hindu, for this is in my power. I say to you, abandon Hinduism and adopt any other religion which gives you equality of status and treatment.”

Thereupon the 10,000 adopted a resolution advising India’s Untouchables—some 60,000,000—to desert Hinduism en masse. Then a mob of Untouchables made a mighty bonfire of the most sacred Hindu books they could find. At Lucknow volunteers were solicited to force entry into Hindu temples, from which Untouchables have been barred since time immemorial. At Barabanki 28,000 Untouchables shouted their support of Dr. Ambedkar, laid plans for an All Indian Untouchable Conference. Millions of leaflets bearing Untouchable Ambedkar’s message began fluttering out over India.

To what faith the Untouchables should turn for “equality of status and treatment,” Dr. Ambedkar did not hasten to explain. Since he was reported dallying with Mohammedanism, Christian leaders in India exhibited pious skittishness. Declared the National Christian Council of India: ”The harvest is ripe for the gathering in many quarters and we urge that volunteer bands be sent forth to gather it.”

This week in Zion’s Herald, New England Methodist weekly, appears the first interview with Dr. Ambedkar to be published in the U. S. since he made his Nasik speech. To get it, able Editor Lewis Oliver Hartman went to India, sought out its No. 1 Untouchable, plied him with practical questions. Wrote the editor of Zion’s Herald:

“The [Untouchable] leader was rather critical of Christianity’s constant emphasis upon personal experience at the expense of any wider reference. ‘Why have you not seen the importance of a religion that reaches out into all life and all relationships?’ he asked. Continuing, he declared with deep feeling, ‘If you are going to compromise with evil conditions while you stress personal religion exclusively, I tell you now I am not with you.

. . . . “I pointed out in answer that, so far as the Methodist Episcopal Church was concerned, our watchword was this: ‘Nothing that has to do with human welfare is foreign to Methodism.’ This seemed to please him. . . .” Of Hinduism the man whom Editor Hartman calls “India’s Lincoln” said: “Hinduism is not a religion; it is a disease.”

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,755912-1,00.html#ixzz12bMS89p2

 


‘There Is Still No Dalit Newsreader On Any TV Channel’

12/10/2010
The first to study the post-capitalist expansion of the newspaper industry in India, he says we will soon see the English language press taking stories and leads from language newspapers.
PRINT COMMENTS
Robin Jeffrey was the first to study the post-capitalist expansion of the newspaper industry in India. His book India’s Newspaper Revolution: Capitalism, Politics and the Indian-Language Press, 1977-97 has been translated into Malayalam as Indiayute Patraviplavam. Currently professor at the School of Social Sciences, La Trobe University, Australia, Jeffrey argues that in an India where 65 out of 100 Indians today can read, the proliferation of newspapers has led to an expansion and deepening of democracy and believes that the time is right for the Indian version of Citizen Kane.

“A policeman once told me that with the spread of Telugu dailies, villagers now know the police aren’t supposed to beat them up and if beaten, they can go to the newspapers.”

In an e-mail interview, he says we will soon see the English language press taking stories and leads from language newspapers.

You have talked in celebratory terms about the ‘newspaper revolution’ in India in the 1990s. Today, the Indian print sector is seeing another surge. What do you make of it?
If you think of newspapers as the cutting edge of capitalism, it perhaps shouldn’t be surprising that newspapers expand as marketers push more goods into wider markets. We’re nearly 15 years into ‘liberalisation’. We’ve also had notable growth in literacy in places like Rajasthan, which once would have been thought of as poor, illiterate and a poor place to start a small-town edition. That’s not so today. It’s understandable that newspaper expansion continues.

For an innately conservative society, can the term ‘revolution’ be really used? Has the media really helped usher in new ideas? Hasn’t there been a competitive dumbing down?
No question that many of the big-city English dailies have headed towards British tabloid style. But what happened in the 1980s, in my view, was the creation of a ‘public sphere’ in parts of the country where there’s been nothing like it before. I was fascinated by the Telugu policeman I met in 1993 who told me that the spread of Telugu dailies had made the work of the police difficult.

“The English press will take stories and leads from the Indian language newspapers. It’s part of the process of local news becoming increasingly important for capturing readers.”

Now, he said, villagers knew that the police weren’t supposed to beat them up—and they would “go to the newspapers” if the police did. When you repeat that perception tens of thousands of times around India, then you are, I think, talking about a revolution.

Managements are driven by a desire to maximise profits though they talk of the press being the fourth estate. Besides, we’ve seen the entrenchment of monopolies despite democracy. How then can the media be a harbinger of change?
Owners have always aimed to make money and wield influence. But they often do other things in spite of themselves. A newspaper owner in Bangalore has no problem if the reporters and editors run a campaign against oppressive landlords in northern Karnataka—providing that campaign captures readers and doesn’t put off advertisers.

Hasn’t information explosion, the 24-hour news channels, made news redundant? Sehwag’s century or Karisma Kapoor’s marital problems figure as ‘breaking news’ on TV. Can one not shut oneself from the world of news for a month and yet feel no less wise?
It depends what your interests are. If a telephone pole is falling in my village, and a reporter and photographer come and say they’re doing a story about it, I am going to buy the paper the next day. The local superintending engineer may find he needs to read the paper too. It’s hard to imagine a time when local news, in print, on TV or radio, is not going to have an audience.

TV and print media are joining hands—the launch of DNA by Zee TV and ‘Dainik Bhaskar’. What do we make of this?
It’s a proprietor’s dream: One newsroom! In India there’s still a lot of competitive families and organisations, but in other places, where media is controlled by two or three big companies, the linking of TV and print is a grotesque prospect. Towns could have one newspaper, which owns one of the town’s TV stations.It reduces the chances of different stories getting out into widespread circulation.

Does language press and the English media continue to address a ‘split public’? While the English language media took an anti-Hindutva stand during the Gujarat riots, the local Gujarati media sought to reflect the Hindu opinion.
There are more than two ‘publics’ in India. But various ‘publics’ overlap and interact constantly. Increasingly, I suspect, the English language press will take stories and leads from Indian language newspapers. We’ll see more of the agenda set by Indian language media outlets, rather than the other way round. That’s part of the process of local news becoming increasingly important for capturing readers.

In Tamil Nadu, for the Sun TV network, political and business interests seem to go hand in hand. The group enjoys virtual monopoly in television and is now taking on print with the purchase of ‘Dinakaran’. In Telugu, ‘Eenadu’ and ETV control most of the market. Why do monopolies persist and don’t we see healthy competition?
What business person would turn down the chance of operating a monopoly? The trend in English-speaking countries has been towards monopoly in the media. In Australia, two big newspaper chains control 90 per cent of daily circulation in big cities. For the time being, India is relatively fortunate with the kind of newspaper competition you see on the hawkers’ stalls in the bus stands in, say, Thiruvananthapuram or Delhi on any morning.

Whenever the topic is FDI in print, there’s talk of safeguards and issues of national concern. But wouldn’t the presence of foreign players and global capital challenge the complacency of monopolistic mercantile capitalism?
That is probably right. If foreigners start papers, there’s an extra voice created. Australia faces this question at the moment. Government has to decide whether to eliminate restrictions on cross-media ownership. And if it does, it will also probably lift restrictions of foreign ownership to try to get some more players into the media business. In India, too, foreign arrivals might provoke vigorous Indian response. Ramoji Rao said one of the reasons for founding Eenaduwas to give Telugu speakers in the 1970s a Telugu-owned voice. It was a matter of self-respect for someone who could afford to express his self-respect by starting a newspaper.

You have discussed the connection between democracy and media expansion. But the media does not seem to be representative of demographic realities. In 1999, you had devoted a chapter to the near-total absence of Dalits in Indian newsrooms. Has anything changed?
Almost nothing, so far as I am aware. I’m told, reliably I think, that there is not a single Dalit newsreader or weather person on any television channel. When will we get, say, a national Dalit weekly, doing what the Chicago Defender did for African-Americans from the 1920s to the 1950s? The absence of such a voice is a mark of the political and economic weakness of the Dalit middle class.

In the US and Europe, there are demands on the media to be socially responsible. Why does the Editors Guild in India not seem to have similar concerns? Moreover the Press Council of India seems virtually defunct. Is this not dangerous?
If the national government intends to let the Press Council quietly fade away, that would be a very bad thing. What’s needed is a revamped “media council” that would monitor ethics and conduct in the electronic as well as print media. But such a council would be politically difficult to create. Most governments find media matters very hard to deal with because they fear that powerful proprietors will turn their organisations against the government.

 


No faculty SC /ST reservation in IIT and IIM, bill soon

08/10/2010

New Delhi: In a significant development, 47 top institutions in the country including the IITs and IIMs as well as the central university will be exempted from faculty reservations.

 

The job reservations for SC/ST citizens in India so far has been through a bunch executive order.

 

In the last session, the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) introduced a bill to provide a framework for job quotas. But the HRD ministry informed the IIT council today that the bill will not include India’s premier institutions.

 

The HRD ministry informed the council in a meeting that their long standing demand to exempt IITs and IIMs from faculty reservations has been met.

 

The UPA in the last session has introduced a bill in Parliament to provide statutory framework to quotas in jobs. The bill is now with the upper house, the Rajya Sabha.

 

HRD ministry has informed that the bill will exclude 47 top institutes including IITs, IIMs and NITs as well as all central universities, from reservations.

 

The bill is called SC/ST Post Resevation Bill, 2008.

 

The Prime Minister had gone to IIT Guwahati last year where the institute made a representation aganst quotas in the faculty of these premier institutes.

 

For the time in his tenure, HRD Minister Arjun Singh has readily conceded to the demands of the anti-reservation lobby.

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/no-faculty-reservation-in-iit-and-iim-bill-soon/83889-3.html