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The worst sufferers of social discrimination in today’s India are the Other Backward Castes (O.B.C.) This is because, after the exit of the British, instead of equal opportunities, their share, in both the political and administrative power, had been almost entirely eaten by the higher castes, especially the Brahmins. As per the Mandal Commission Report, O.B.C.s are 52% of the total population of India. On the other hand, the population of the Brahmins and Kshatriyas is about 8 to 9% of the total. But in present parliament, these 8 to 9% people are represented by amost 52% of M.Ps., whereas 52% of people are represented by 8 to 9% of M.P.s. In a parliamentary democracy such representation makes all the difference. As a result of this imbalance, the entire power structure is grossly tilted against the O.B.C.

Tamil Nadu & U.P. – A study in contrast

Regarding the position of O.B.C. today Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh present a study of contrast. In Tamil Nadu the O.B.C. get its full quota in both political and administrative spheres. It keeps increasing with the passage of time. Thanks to the Dravidian movement which has taken inspiration from Satyashodhak Movement of Maharashtra.

Whereas in U.P., the O.B.C. are worst placed. There are some statistics available which say that politically, one Brahmin was equivalent to 23 backward persons. As per U.P. Govt., the percentage of gazetted officers of O.B.C. in 1946, 1955 and 1960 stood at 0.80, 0.47, 0.70 respectively. From this contrast, we can learn a lot for building our own political activity.

How the system stands:

The present social system can be summarised as follows:

Beneficiaries of the system 10 to 15%

Victims of the System 85 to 90% mainly Intermediate Castes (Shudras), Other Backward Castes (O.B.C.) Scheduled Castes (S.C.), Scheduled Tribes (S.T.).

This sketch of the Social System stands like a structure. In this structure the castes are the building bricks. A mere look at the structure will convince us that it is an epitome of inequality.

In this structure, castes are the building bricks. The above sketch is self explanatory. The beneficiaries of the system have cornered all the 5 major powers and sources of the powers, namely: (1)Political (2)Bureaucratic (3)Feudal (4)Economic and (5)Cultural. In the above, the castes shown as the intermediary castes which are not a part of the O.B.C. have also benefited and advanced even though they happen to be the Shudra Castes, religiously speaking. Whereas the victims of the system are losers all around and on every front.

Our Revolts in the Past

In the recent past, many rebellious spirits all over India revolted against this culture of the castes, The revolt of Mahatma Jotiba Phule, Periyar E.V. Ramaswamy, Sree Narayana Guru and Baba Saheb Ambedkar is outstanding. A plethora of literature is available about their revolt and the success they met. Here, we wish to take note of the means adopted by them to change this culture of the castes. Satya Shodhak Samaj by Mahatma Phule, Rationalism and Atheism by Periyar E V R and Buddhism by Baba Saheb Ambedkar were the means applied by them for affecting change. To-day while looking at the fate of these means, we feel disappointed. It appears that this culture of the castes has the strength and the strong backing to recover the lost ground. But nevertheless the efforts of our crusaders have resulted in the emancipation of the mind. It will be greatly useful for further expansion of our activity.

In a democratic set up adopted by us, the High Caste Hindus could not rule India without the consent of the Bahujans. Thus, to have access to this vote-bank, the ruling castes required the help of chamchas. Hence our problem here is that we need a political action to uproot the product of the present day political activity. Such a political action, therefore, will have to be altogether different from the present day political activity available to us.

Present political activity & outcome

To build-up required political activity of our own, we must know and understand the present day political activity and its outcome. After the exit of the British, the high caste started sharing power amongst them. The political and the bureaucratic power fell into the hands of the Brahmins. The S.C. / S.T. got 22.5 % reservation due to the efforts of Ambedkar; even though their representatives remained chamchas in the hands of the ruling castes. In the bureaucratic machine, they got opening at various levels. For the last 20 years, the are getting their full quota in the top administrative services of the Center. However the OBCs got no worthwhile share of either political or bureaucratic power. It was only after the Mandal Commission that the OBCs had any chance of having their proportional representation in educational and bureaucratic fronts. Yet, it is a sad fact that the 27% quota mandated by the Mandal Commission is not yet well implemented. And not to mention the fact that Mandal’s recommendation to provide same reservation in legislatures went unnoticed and unheeded. Clearly, the privileged castes know that if OBCs get their share in politics, bureaucratic power and all other positions, they shall stand no chance in maintaining their present undeserved position of power.

In the light of the past experience it can be concluded that the task for the future is tremendous, especially when we know the hidden and open backing this culture of the castes gets from the beneficiaries of the system. But to change this culture of perfect inequality into the one of absolute equality must remain our cherished goal. The present culture is controlled by beneficiaries of the system. But the changed culture of absolute equality must ever remain in the hands of the victims of the present system. It is a must to avoid sabotage and subversion.
Live, life as BC
Live life as BC with courage
Live life with self respect as BC
Oppressive politics shouldn’t change your life like play toys
Let your life not be a market commodity for oppressor castes
Wake up to the injustice against your BC community
For yourself, struggle for what you believe in sincerely
Struggle for the future of your children
Jai BC, Jai Jai BC, Jai Jai Jai BC!

TATA.SIVAIAH, president, Mahatma Jyotirao Phule & Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule Educational Circle, Hyderabad Central University,

5 Comments

  1. K SHESHU BABU says:

    While the SC / ST quota system was implemented to an extent, large sections of the OBCs did not receive the benefit till mandal commission report came up and after some time later, it was approved and passed by VP Singh government. But even now, mist OBC sections are not receiving benefit.
    Lately, many forward castes are agitating for inclusion in reserved lust. The jats of Haryana or patidar of Gujarat or kapus of Andhra and Marathas in Maharashtra . The regrettable thing is that they are demanding repeal of SC / ST atrocity act. They are being backed by self-seeking upper-caste politicians. They are diverting attention from corporate plunder of resources to the reservation issue and pressurising government to modify reservations.
    Sadly, women are reported to have participated in large numbers in anti- reservation agitation. The male dominated society us using women as shields. Hence, oppressed women should repulse upper-caste designs and express their solidarity with OBC /SC/ST / minorities and deprived sections.

  2. Thanks for verbatim adaptation of translation of a poem in Telugu into English by me on request from Ghulam Dastagir to you. You have for whatever reasons you know best avoided the mention of contributions of Manyawar Kanshi Ram and Behen Kumari Mayawati for the emancipation of oppressed Indians while used the words Bahujan and Chamcha to explain your perception of social structure. Equality and equity obviously don’t mean the same in the English language and bricks with people standing over them of different heights doesn’t convey anything about either equality or equity. Annihilation of Caste requires the turning of the vertical ladder of caste into horizontal position as Manyawar Kanshi Ram used to demonstrate figuratively in his meetings by pulling out a pen from his pocket, hold it vertically with the top small part of it with cap as the Savarns and the bottom larger part being the Bahujan Samaj and the desirability of unity of the Bahujan Samaj broken by caste to unify to turn the ladder horizontal. UP has had OBC leaders like Mulayam, Akhilesh, Kalyan as chief ministers who have done nothing for the BCs or the Bahujan Samaj and have received political support from manuvaadi parties who by themselves were in no position to stake claim for political power as in the past and have aggressively opposed the Bahujan Samaj Party and worked overtime to keep it away from capturing political power and are even now trying mahaghatbandan, third front etc., to try and defeat BSP..Therefore Jai BSP would make more sense than Jai BC which turns out to be a castiest statement in the current context rather than one for annihilation of caste.

    • “UP has had OBC leaders like Mulayam, Akhilesh, Kalyan as chief ministers who have done nothing for the BCs or the Bahujan Samaj and have received political support from manuvaadi parties…” What about Behenji who got to be the CM for four terms, including a full five year term? Looks like she did a hell lot for the Bahujan Samaj and that’s why the lives of Bahujans in UP has become heavenly! May be that’s why communal Sangha Parivar had a cake walk in UP in the last general elections. About receiving support from “Manuvadi parties” you’ll fare better to remember that it was BSP (and not SP) that took the support of the poster communalist party of India, namely the BJP when it suited its interest.

      To make myself clear, we certainly do appreciate Mayawatiji for what she is and what she has done; she is definitely one strong self-made politician who rose from humble beginnings to become the youngest, first female Dalit CM of India, raising hopes in the minds of millions of Bahujans across the country. However, I do not by any means consider her as ideal; she has her own share of mistakes, limitations and shortcomings. As does SP and its leaders. That communal forces managed a massive victory there last time is proof enough of that. The present article, however, was not written to comment on concurrent political parties and hence I haven’t mentioned anybody after Ambedkar (other than Mandal, of course).

  3. The S.C. / S.T. got 22.5 % reservation due to the efforts of Ambedkar; In the bureaucratic machine, they got opening at various levels. For the last 20 years, the are getting their full quota in the top administrative services of the Center. ///

    Can Mr.Sivaiah show the data on sc/st getting their full quota (15% and 7.5% ) for the past 20 years at various levels of posts (Group A,B,C,D.. especially in Group A and B) of central govt?

    Surely they never had any such full quota neither at central and state levels…

    the fact that Tata.Sivaiah is asking for OBCs is a good initiative and that is welcome.. but that never gives right to spread false news like dalits are enjoying full quota … that adds salt to the unhealed wounds of dalits who are already worried about non-filling of their quota, loosing of govt jobs through privatisation/globalisation.

    I request Tata.Sivaiah to look into the proportional represenation of dalits in all the spheres like land owning, industries,business, education, accessibility to public spaces including worship places, positions of power starting from sarpanch to highest positions… he is welcome to compare and contrast with that of OBCs

    Asking for the share of OBCs is a different story but painting the conditions of dalits as rosy is not definitely expected from persons like Sivaiah…

    • Sir, I never said anything like “dalits are enjoying full quota” and have no intention hurt the sentiments of Dalits who are still oppressed. I don’t have the idea that “the conditions of dalits as rosy”. Please don’t misunderstand me, and sorry if my words were not the best to convey the idea. I myself am trying to work for both Dalits and OBCs by uniting them under one banner of Bahujans so that their demands will not be ignored them being the majority. When I said Dalits are getting their full quota, I meant only that their proportion by population has been reserved for them in political (legislature) and bureaucracy, and that is thanks to the efforts of Dr. Ambedkar. Fact remains that in bureaucracy seats may not be getting filled because social conditions have not improved. But there is no denying that OBCs haven’t so far got representation in legislatures like SC-STs have got. Had they, the united block of SC-STs and OBCs could have brought up any legislature for Bahujans to success. This is what I’m trying to achieve. Even in educational and bureaucratic areas, they started getting proportional representation only after Mandal. And even that is in paper – like you say for SC-STs, seats most often don’t get filled because of social conditions – both SC-STs and OBCs are equal sufferers on that count.

      Sir you can see my work in FB page

      https://www.facebook.com/phuleeducationalcircle/?ref=bookmarks