OBC quota in Navodaya Vidyalayas likely

New Delhi, Jan 18, 2017, DHNS:

Absence of reservation an anomaly, says HRD minister

The Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNV) may soon introduce quota in admission for students belonging to Other Backward Castes (OBCs).At present, the government run-residential schools provide reservation in admission to students belonging to Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) only.

Addressing the national cultural integration meet of JNV students on Tuesday, Minister of State for Human Resource Development (HRD) Upendra Kushwaha described the absence of a quota system for OBC students as an “anomaly”, and assured that the government will soon take steps to “rectify” it.

HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar was also present on the occasion.
The JNVs, which fill their seats with 75% children from the rural areas, admit SC/ST
students under a flexible quota system.

The seats are reserved in proportion to the SC and ST population in the district, provided that marking of seats for such students should not be lesser than 15% for SC and 7.5% for ST.

The total seats reserved for SC and ST students should also not go beyond 50% of the total number of seats.

Kushwaha, who is in charge of the elementary education department of the HRD Ministry, had expressed displeasure on a previous occasion too.

Addressing the event, Javadekar expressed dissatisfaction with the number of girl students in JNVs.

Need more girl students
“Just 39% of the total students are girls. This is not good. We must make efforts to increase the enrolment of girls in the JNVs,” the HRD minister said.

One-third of the total seats are reserved for girls in admissions to the JNVs. A total of 600 JNVs are functioning in the country.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs recently approved the establishment of 62 new JNVs in 18 states, three of which will to be opened in Kolar, Ramanagara and Kalaburagi districts.

“We will open more JNVs in the coming days,” Javadekar added.




Fight against Corruption: Are we Serious?


<abbr title=" by Vidya Bhushan Rawat

Those were the years when the people in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar thought that now the change was about to come. The crowd at his gathering was increasing regularly. The speeches were laced with new adjectives of ‘future of India’. Rajiv’s clean image had taken a beating. The exposé had jolted his government. As the Finance Minister, he ordered that the corruption charges against prominent industrialists be probed. Many of them had to go to jail. He selected his officers on the basis of their probity and personal strength. They gave him results. Soon, the ‘best Finance Minister’ was shunted out of the Ministry to ‘defend’ the country. The industrialists wanted him out. He ordered an inquiry against corrupt politicians too and they also wanted his exit. No industrial house in India can survive without corruption. Tax evasions were rampant and he was trying to find out the big fishes without understanding that these sharks would connive together and throw him out.

He was sent to the Defence Ministry ignoring the big public opinion against his ouster. The govern-ment of that the day was habitual of such things. Rajiv was surrounded by the coterie and completely ignored saner advices. As he moved to the Defence Ministry, he found that there was a commission paid in the HDW Howitzer deal ordered from Germany. The Bofors report also came out and it became difficult for the Congress to hide its face. This ‘he’ that time was V.P. Singh whom we all love to hate despite his personal integrity and honesty in political life.

Yes, V.P. Singh was dismissed from the primary membership of the Congress Party for his fight against corruption. Yet, the successful thing was that he became the symbol of the fight against corruption in India in the late eighties. The students, middle classes jumped up and joined hands. His personal image remained clean all the time. The government of the day started a personal vendetta and fictitious reports were planted. Editors were hired to write in papers. Some of the biggest names of the Indian media jumped into the fray and allowed themselves to be used in a vicious propaganda against Singh. A fake account was opened under his son Ajeya Singh’s name in St. Kitts Island which later turned out to be fictitious. His ancestral property issue also cropped up. Yet, V.P. Singh could survive because he was simply a man of integrity and his life was open for probe.

The upper-caste middle classes were first to jump on his bandwagon when they realise that he was now ready to overthrow the government. The Brahmins of Varanasi anointed him with title ‘Rajarshi’ and he developed tremendous goodwill of the people, that is, the upper castes.

V.P. Singh came to power in 1989. He ensured that people with integrity take charge of the Ministry. The government was functioning well. It started allowing freedom to Doordarshan and All India Radio. It was refreshing to see news that time. It was working on labour and election reforms. A lot of other issues, including the Lokpal, was under consideration then. That apart, the Janata Dal as a political party had promised to fulfil 27 per cent quota for the OBCs.

On August 7, 1990, V.P. Singh announced the acceptance of the Mandal Commission recommen-dations in Parliament. For one month nothing happened and slowly the upper castes realised that their control over power is slipping and unless a slanderous campaign is started, they will be completely out of power. So, not only slander but everything that was available in the dictionary was used to defame the Dalits and OBCs. The middle class Hindus were in the streets against the OBC quota. V.P. Singh became one of the most hated politicians of our time. So much that none of the Hindu journalists ever want to say good things about him. Today, when we are fighting against corruption, none of these leaders bother to even mention his name. Why?

The answer lies in the upper-caste hatred against anything that provides connection of power to the Dalits and marginalised. V.P. Singh was the greatest person as long as he was talking about corruption and but he became the worst man once he started talking about the Dalits and OBCs. His government not only ensured the OBC quota but it also provided reservation for neo-Buddhists at the centenary celebrations of Babasaheb Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar and honoured him with Bharat Ratna. Similarly, Mayawati is not corrupt as long as she placates the upper castes but as soon as she erected those monuments of the Dalit Bahujan icons in the city of Lucknow, we are angry because we feel that the natural inheritor of our roundabouts in the city centre are the Gandhis, Nehrus, and our so many gods and goddesses. The upper caste-middle class feeling is that the Dalit Bahujan icons should remain in the bastis and dalitwadas.

WHEN we talk about corruption, how can we ignore the illicit land deals in our country? How can Anna and his team just feel that corruption is only in terms of money? The biggest corruption in today’s India is the sale of our natural resources, our land, forest and water. What is their stand on it? What will they do that powerful and well-connected people do not buy land just because they have money? Will we put a ceiling on land in India despite the people’s purchasing power? When the civil society wants to judge everyone, who will judge the civil society? What is this civil society? Did Anna and his team follow any principle of democracy in forming his team? How does democracy survive with such black-mailing tactics of Gandhi who used it to foil the separate electorate of Dalits?’

The issue of corruption is not a minor one but then those who want to fight against it should also remain clean. Yes, for people like us, they should not only be clean but also have faith in our secular pluralistic values and cannot be hate-preachers. How are these multi-billionaires, who have acquired their property in each State and even outside India, interested in the fight against corruption? Doesn’t Anna and his team know about the Baba and his games, his property and money? Is it a fight among those who say you have grabbed over one hundred million rupees and it is now our term to do so? How are we going to talk about individuals? Democracy will have to come out of such individualism and work. Yes, corruption affects us all. So why not we start to work developing a movement from the ground involving those whose lands have been grabbed by the local elites who may be donating huge sums to these anti-corruption crusaders? Should we not see who these forces we want to project as alternative are?

Just because there is a crowd does not mean that it has the right to do anything. Crowd does not provide legitimacy. Many of our friends actually feel that anyone who brings out the crowd is great. Yes, the Baba’s crowd was not a crowd for social justice. Anna’s crowd is similar. The stupidity of the Sangh’s propaganda is that the Ramlila Ground incident is being portrayed as Jalianwalla Bagh massacre. And see their gleeful faces at Rajghat. Sushma was dancing while Advani was comparing this incident to Jalianwalla Bagh. None ever questioned about the fictitious land deals of Ram Dev and other Babas. If we ignore the vital corruption in terms of land in the name of mutts, temples, gurudwaras and mosques, we cannot fight against corruption. In fact, we provide legitimacy. We cannot start a movement in which a majority of the population feels isolated, and fearful. The concern of 20 per cent Indian Muslims and other minorities are important and cannot be ignored. It is not just corruption but also their place in India and partnership in decision-making. How do we allow Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims and others partnership in our movement if we allow the entire reactionary forces in our decision-making? Just because you want to eliminate the Congress Party does not mean you can ally with anyone.

Yes, if the government and those who claim to work for us, are serious, then they must talk about corruption of all kinds, in all forms, anywhere. And not talk what is suitable to the middle classes who started corruption and want to lead the movement against it too. We want the government to release all the land papers of temples, mutts, gurudwaras, churches and mosques. Let the people know how much money is lying there and who is using that for what purpose. Anna Hazare and his team would do great harm if they do not consider this as corruption. Will they speak on it? Will they take on the religious thugs sitting on our land and water and preaching of austerity to us?

The Hindutva forces are working overnight on their agenda. They will use all the platforms which bring back power to the bramanical social order. After Ramdev, they want to bring back Uma Bharati to fight against Mayawati. While the Congress is shamelessly sticking to the Brahmin elite in Uttar Pradesh, the Hindutva forces are busy experimenting and who else can they use better than the Shudras? It is time we understand the dangers of such a fight against corruption and expose them tooth and nail. None can be a bigger threat to India than the ascendancy of the Hindutva forces to power. Let us fight against corruption and expose the very source of it.

Original Article: http://www.mainstreamweekly.net/article2867.html

Train services to Hisar hit by Jat protests


HISAR/ FATEHABAD: As a part of their indefinite protest for reservation in government jobs, Jats blocked train services from Hisar and Fatehabad toDelhi for the sixth day on Saturday.

The community leaders threatened that if their demand for reservations were not met by Monday, they will block rail and road connectivity in the NCR region.

The agitating community leaders on Saturday laid seize on four rail routes by removing the fish plates in Hisar and Fatehabad.

With cancellation of 60 trains, 80,000 passengers were stuck at different stations and railways have lost about one crore rupees so far. “We have to divert the route of Delhi bound trains from Punjab as the agitators have blocked 7 lines in Haryana,” said Radhey Shyam Meena, station superintendent, Hisar.

Meanwhile, the situation became tensed in Ramayan village when an agitators, who is on hunger strike, complained of heart problem. Kitab Singh, 65, was rushed to district primary health centre (PHC). After treatment, Singh was declared out of danger.

The Jats also held protest at Narwana, affecting rail traffic on the Delhi-Ferozepur section, he said. “Buses on various routes, however, were running undisrupted,” a spokesman of Haryana Roadways said.

“The agitation will continue till our demand is met,” a spokesman of the All India Jat Reservation Action Committee said. A number of protesters, including women, have been staging sit-ins on the rail tracks since March 5, demanding 27% reservation in central jobs under the OBC category.



Jat agitation grips other states


LUCKNOW: The Jat agitation demanding reservation in central services and in states of Punjab, Haryana and Jammu under other backward class (OBC) category spread to other parts of UP and adjoining states on Saturday.

While the rail route blockade at Kafurpur in JP Nagar continued for seventh day, Jatwala Khap panchayat of Jats in Muzaffarnagar served an ultimatum that it will block all roads to Delhi from their district if the demand was not met in next 48 hours. Reports of Jats blocking the roads and holding demonstrations also poured in from Haryana and Punjab. Jats may hold a protest in Delhi on Sunday.

In UP, Jats under the banner of All India Jat Arakshan Samiti have blocked the rail tracks in Kafurpur for past one week, causing a loss of over Rs eight crore to railways and inconvenience to over two lakh people. All major trains connecting Uttarakhand and west UP to Delhi are not plying on the route since the start of the agitation. Trains to other parts of UP and beyond have been diverted, leading to 10-12 hours delay in movement.

No relief appears in sight as the Central government has not taken any concrete step so far to persuade Jats to withdraw the agitation. The talks between Jat delegation and Union cabinet secretary KM Chandrashekhar remained inconclusive on Thursday. While the Centre wants more time to consider the demand, Jats said they will not lift the siege till their demand is met or they get an assurance either from UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi or Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi.

All India Jat Arakshan Samiti president Yashpal Mallik said the demand of reservation for the Jat community, which includes Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs settled in different parts of north India, is 20 years old. For past three years, he added, Jats have been peacefully agitating. “Several times in the past we withdrew our agitation on the assurance of the government but this time we want something concrete,” he said. He also pointed out that when Jats have already been provided reservation under OBC category in UP and Rajasthan, why the Centre is reluctant to implement it in the central services. While thanking UP chief minister Mayawati for her support, Mallik said the agitation is non-political. “Anybody who wants to support us can do so but no party politics or self-promotion will be allowed from our platform,” he said. Political parties, barring the Bahujan Samaj Party, have been silent over the issue so far.

Meanwhile, rail services were disrupted at Hisar in Haryana due to the Jat stir. The rail traffic was affected on Hisar-Bhiwani, Hisar-Jakhal and Hisar-Sadalpur, a railway official said. The Jats also held protest at Narwana affecting rail traffic on Delhi-Ferozepur section. Six khap panchayats of Narwana in Haryana have decided to support the agitation. In Punjab, Jats blocked the Amritsar-Jalandhar rail section at village Khilchian near Amritsar. Jat leaders said they are planning to hold an agitation at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.



Maya’s ploy to gain Jats votes?


LUCKNOW: Chief minister Mayawati on Thursday tried to kill two birds with one stone by announcing support to the Jat community demanding reservation in central services under other backward class (OBC) category. She has therefore, put the ball in Centre’s court by asking the Congress led UPA government to accept the demand of Jats and at the same time scored over rival Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), which has strong base in the Jat-land but has been silent over the issue so far.

But contrary to Maya’s appeal of peaceful protest, the Jats turned violent on Thursday. They indulged in arson at UP-Delhi border and announced the launch of agitation using `Guerrilla war technique’, that is, flash violent protests at an undisclosed place in Delhi for next few days and flee the venue before arrival of police. It will be followed by a full fledged agitation, if their demand is not met, to choke Delhi by blocking all the rail and road routes.

The Jat community which includes Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs is already getting OBC reservation in UP and Rajasthan. They are demanding similar facility in central services, Punjab, Haryana and Jammu. The demand of reservation is 20 years old. But for last three years, Jats have been agitating continuously in a peaceful manner for last three years. Now for last six days, the members of Jat Mahasabha have blocked the Delhi-Lucknow rail route at Kafurpur in JP Nagar.

Interestingly, Maya dealt strictly with Samajwadi Party workers holding demonstration against the state government for last three days but has made no attempt to clear the rail route blocked by Jats. The chief minister only made an appeal on Thursday asking Jats to lay siege in Delhi as their demands can be fulfilled by the UPA government. While reiterating her support for including Jats in OBC list, Maya also asked them to maintain peace and order. But Jats say that they have nothing against the state government but slammed Congress led UPA government. “The government at the Centre does not listens to peaceful agitations, hence we have decided to intensify our stir,” said Jat leader Yashpal Mallik.

Notably, on Wednesday, a delegation of Jats had held talks with the Union cabinet secretary but it failed. The issue of Jats was also raised in the Parliament on Thursday. But no solution is in the sight as yet.

According to political analysts, Maya has supported Jat agitation because she has nothing to lose but may gain. Jats have never been her vote bank. This will help her to make inroads in the community. In contrast, other political parties like SP fear losing votes of Yadavs, if it would support Jats openly. On being included in the OBC list, Jats will cut into the share of Yadavs and OBCs in the reservation. The RLDis playing safe because Jats are already in OBC list in UP.

However, farmer rights activist Prof Sudhir Kumar said that Jats should get reservation because their socio-economic status is similar or lower to Yadavs and other castes in the OBC list. “Jats got reservation in UP and Rajasthan through non-political movements. The agitation at present is also being organised by a non-political outfit. But the Congress is perhaps ignoring it because Jats traditionally have been voting for other parties in UP,” he added.



Mulayam, Sharad Yadav keep up opposition to women’s quota bill


NEW DELHI: A brief discussion in Lok Sabha on Tuesday highlighted familiar and contending positions on the women’s reservation bill with backward caste stalwarts like Mulayam Singh Yadav and Sharad Yadav demanding on a quota within quota for OBC, minority, tribal and dalit women.

Mulayam said he preferred a law that will ask political parties to reserve 15% per cent tickets for women rather than a bill on a quota in Parliament. Sharad Yadav said only certain women who “lived in cities likeDelhi and Lucknow” would benefit, suggesting he has not really revised the sentiment behind his controversial “par kati (short haired city women)” remark.


OBC-Why Marathas want reservation?


While Dalits take to the streets to demand the pulling down of an anti-Ambedkar page on Facebook, a far more serious threat to the community is on the rise as the dominant political caste, the Marathas, has reiterated its demand for reservation.

Though the Marathas (including the economically weaker Kunbi sub-caste) comprise only about 30% of Maharashtra’s population, their representation in the state assembly averages about 43%. The community also has a stranglehold on local political institutions like the panchayats, panchayat samitis and zilla parishads, which is further consolidated by its control over credit and sugar cooperatives and educational institutions.

Why then is the Maratha Arakshan Sangharsha Samiti (Mass), an umbrella organisation of 15 Maratha bodies, demanding reservation for Marathas? A closer look reveals that though the community is seeking quotas in education and employment, its main aim is to gain political reservation in due course.
Maratha leaders have sought 25% reservation in schools, colleges and jobs in the first phase, and later intend to demand political reservation and promotions in government service on caste basis.

Though a section of the community, mainly the one which depends on agriculture for sustenance, has been economically backward for many years, and its condition is deteriorating, socially and in terms of political clout, the caste is has been ascendant. Before the implementation of the panchayati raj system, and even afterwards, Marathas have been the only rulers in villages. It might be true that power is in the hands of a few community elite, but it is also true that all the power centres in the state are controlled by the Marathas.

Not only gram panchayats, but the entire co-operative movement in the state, from cooperative sugar factories to weaving mills, is dominated by the Marathas.

The Maratha demand took root after the lower castes were granted reservation in politics. Some say the community could not digest that a person from a lower caste can wield the power which has been its sole prerogative for generations.

Given the size of the Maratha vote bank, no political party can afford to ignore its demand, but due to its overbearing nature, none can publicly support it either. The parties, however, did try to lend implicit support in the hope that it would bring them extra votes, but the move backfired by creating a real threat of polarisation of non-Maratha communities. The political parties are now thus a proxy in the issue, preferring instead to work behind the facade of organisations like the Maratha Mahasangh and others.

The Dalit leaders, though wary, are not openly objecting to the demand. Their key contention is that the reservation should be given from a separate quota without affecting the reservation offered to the other backward classes (OBCs).

Senior Dalit leader and Dalit litterateur Arjun Dangale agrees that a section of the Maratha community is poor and doesn’t have land to cultivate. “The demand may be sound, but the existing reservation of other castes should not be curtailed,” he says.

“Since the chairmanships of local self-government arms, from the gram panchayat to zilla parishad, are reserved for each caste on rotation basis, the Maratha community will be able to wrest power for longer periods if it is denoted an OBC. Political reservation may be their hidden agenda,” Dangale says.

Another Dalit activist, professor Avinash Mahatekar, said that if the Marathas want reservation, it should be on the basis of economic backwardness. “The reservation allotted to OBCs is based on the Census of 1930, and is only 27%. However, the Mandal Commission’s finding is that 52% of the state’s population belongs to OBCs. If we consider the commission’s findings, the reservation for OBCs is not sufficient,” Mahatekar said. “But we still support the reservation for Marathas as many among them are backward,” he added.

On their part, Maratha leaders refute they are ultimately angling for political reservation. “The Marathas have been economically backward for many years and there are just a handful of families, about 150 to 200, who have all the power,” said Purushottam Khedekar, chief of Maratha Seva Sangh.

“The situation has changed in the last few years and the Marathas are not the rulers anymore. In fact, the community is not even interested in that role and wants to educate itself and get better jobs instead,” Khedekar said. “We don’t want reservation in politics. But our demand for reservation in education and government jobs stands,” he reiterated.

However, Vinayak Mete, MLC of the Nationalist Congress Party and a prominent Maratha leader, said, “The Marathas are backward in education which resulted in them having no face in the administration. There is opposition from various sections, but we are not for curtailing anyone else’s reservation. We want to be treated as a separate community in the reservation category,” said Mete.

Ultimately, Maratha leaders concede they have let their community down. “Though most of the educational institutions are controlled by Marathas, the leaders haven’t bothered about the community,” Mete says, and adds, “They never tried to think for the upliftment of the community, and that is why we are pushing for reservation.”
Though there is little to refute that this admission lies at the heart of the problem, what makes the plot more sinister is that these very leaders are now exploiting the backwardness of their community to tighten their grip on power.