Debate: A Great Opportunity To Restrengthen
Dalit Bahujan Alliance
08 May, 2006
One need to give due credit to
V.T.Rajshekar, editor of Dalit Voice, Banglore, for wonderfully explaining
the issue of merit and reservation. Rajshekar himself faced threat when
he was in Delhi during those heydays of anti Mandal agitation of the
upper caste youths 1990-91. Mr Rajshekar has a sharp mind who understand
well the brahmanical crookedness and has been really well ahead of his
contemporaries in analyzing caste system in India.
He is quoted two excellent
judgment of Justice Krishna Iyer and Justice Chinappa Reddy in his thought
provoking article " The Myth of Merit and Efficiency Dalit Voice
January 16th, 1987. I take liberty in quoting the wonderful judgment
of Justice Krishna Iyer and Justice Chinnapa Reddy from the article
for the benefit of readers.
Justice Krishna Iyer of the
Supreme Court says in the ABSK Sangh case 1981)
about efficiency are a trifle phoney. ... We are not impressed with
the misfortune about the governmental personnel being manned by morons,
merely because a sprinkling of harijans and Girijans happened to find
their way into the service. The malady of modern India lies elsewhere,
and the merit monger are greater risks in many respects than the native
tribals, and slightly better off lower caste. .. The fundamental question
arises, as to what's 'merit' and 'suitability'? Elitists, whose sympathies
with the masses have dried up, are from standards of Indian people,
least suitable to run the government and least meritorious to handle
the state business. ... A sensitized heart and vibrant head tuned to
the tears of the people, will speedily quicken the developmental needs
of the country... Sincere dedication and intellectual integrity - these
are some of the components of merit and suitability- not a degree from
Oxford or Cambridge, Harvard or Simian. Unfortunately, the very orientation
of our selection process is distorted and those like the candidates
from Scheduled Castes whom from their birth, have a traumatic understanding
of the conditions of agrestic India, have in one sense more capability
than those who lived under affluent circumstances and are callous to
the human lot of the
According to Justice Chinnappa
Reddy of the Supreme Court :
"There is no statistical
basis or expert evidence to support the assumption that efficiency will
be impaired if reservation is continued or if reservation exceeds a
certain percentage or reservation is extended to promotional posts."
Justice Chinnappa Reddy of Supreme Court said (in the Railways case
1881) "Therefore, we see that when the posts ... are reserved ...
to members of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other socially
and economically Backward Classes it is not a concession or privilege
extended to them, it is in the recognition of their undoubted fundamental
right to equality of opportunity and ...and to secure to all its citizens,
justice, social, economic and political and equality of status and opportunity
... to ensure their participation on an equal basis in the administration
country ... Every lawful method is permissible to secure the due
representation of SCs and STs in the public services."
(The Myth of Merit and Efficiency-
Dalit Voice January 16, 1987: the entire text is available on www.ambedkar.org)
What is merit?
Perhaps those campaigning
against reservation may not even know that Justice Krishna Iyer, one
of India's most illustrious judicial reformists made such a scathing
remark on the issue of merit. The fact of the matter is that upper Hindus,
their masters in the media and business rarely read books. They are
not bothered about human rights. Rarely would they feel apologetic about
what their forefathers have done to the Dalits. The violence against
Dalits, Adivasis and backward communities is still rampant. None of
our brothers want to discuss on this and carry a campaign against the
They are equally not bothered
about getting a seat through money and muscle power. Watch at any railway
station they would like to book reserve seat for them. Why cannot they
go in general category if they are so enamored with General. You oppose
reservation where you feel others will damage your 5000 years hegemony.
You support it where you can buy it.
The same upper caste Hindus
are back in action after a long wait of useless sitting. They did not
come in the street when Gujarat was burning. No doctor boycotted Praveen
Togadia, a shame on medical profession who warned doctors not to treat
the Muslims. They did not come to the street when Ayodhya's Babari Mosque
was demolished 1992. They cannot come to the street when Hindus in Kashmir
are massacred. They do not cry against the Sharmas who are involved
in a majority of criminal cases for the last ten years. Beginning from
the tandoor famous Sushil Sharma to Shivani murder case R.K.Sharma and
then onwards hundreds of Sharmas are behind the bar facing criminal
charges. No upper caste in the street come forward to condemn Sharmaisation
of crime. During the British period the same upper castes with the help
of their British bosses declared some of the Dalits and backward communities
as criminal tribe. If one Mushhar was caught for stealing a piece of
bread, the entire Mushhar community was branded as thief. Similarly,
Gujars were declared as criminal tribes. Upper castes have no time to
think over it, for they think it is not their issue. They are born to
rule the country and therefore when the political system is Mandalised,
they still feel they can still rule the country through media and bureaucracy.
Sorry, their time has gone.
Debate on Merit therefore
is gaining ground. We are hearing Trivedis, Chaturvedis, Malhotras,
Guptas, Sanghvis, Chawalas on the virtue of a 'meritorious' society.
One does not know what do they mean by meritorious society. Let us start
to unravel some facts of merit.
As Ambedkar once wittingly
said that Hindus failed to write even their two great epics the Mahabharata
and Ramayana. We all know that these epics were written by sage Vyasa
and sageValmiki. The third Epic, the constitution of Modern India was
written by Ambedkar himself. All three happened to be Dalits.Where was
the merits of upper castes. Of course, when a Brahmin heads the Maths
in Badrinath or Chennai, Varanasi or Tirupati, there are no open tenders.
In all other communities including Christians, Sikhs, Muslims, any one
can become priests. There are some procedures and when they pass out
they become priests. In the racist Varnashram Dharma there is no meritorious
quota fixed for being a priest. After all, a priest should be not only
knowledgeable but also look respecting the 'freedom, equality and liberty'.
Instead, they abuse and spit fire. That is Hindu way of life. Always
being crooked, cunning and pretending very liberal. Where are liberal
Hindus who can discuss quota?
South Indian states led by
Tamilnadu have more than 69% quota and as a recent report in Frontline
suggests not a single institution has been affected due to efficiency
of merit.Karnatka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh are also following the
same pratice and yet without any social backlash. In fact as noted Bahujan
historian Kancha Illaiah rightly says, South Indian states are better
governed than their north Indian states despite high dose of reservation.
There is no such protest against reservation. But after making Banglore
the hub of North Indian activities, they are back to same dirty tactics.
Strangely, the debate on
merit is started by those who are not meritorious at all and sitting
there from one connection or others. Editors once upon a time were sensitive
enough to social cause but today their first loyalty is towards their
supplier. Most of the editors are more involved in 'Jugad' with political
parties, sitting with them and asking for a favor. Can the editors and
those pretty faces on the TV channels claim they are the best to represent
the country? Since you do not want to see the ugly side of your own
faces, you close eyes and say you are unaware of it. Let us discuss
some of the merits of our editors.
Some of them got to the job
with political connections. One editor of a famous news weekly has a
Sangh background. It was said that he could not write even two pages
of a report in English. Today, he heads such a big organization and
under him are a number of meritorious editors suffocating and grinning.
There are similar stories in other media organizations where the meritorious
reporters and editors have to work with politically crooked fellows.
I would not like to name here personally but the fact is those preaching
us merit should disclose their educational background and where they
stood in their classes. It would make anything by just saying that they
passed out. Writing, they say, come from sensibilities of society. British
and European scholars visit India, stay in villages and respect its
diversity and have contributed more than our own social scientists because
of the dishonesty of its upper caste intellectual class. Why are Indian
editors and writers behaving racially? Why is that the Dalits are now
forced to write their own history? It is simply because our history
has been a victim of brahmanical notoriety, the value system of Hindus
which hid everything which was meant for social justice.
It is also necessary for
these upper caste reporters to understand what India is. You cannot
understand India by just reporting from Kargil from the bunker of army?
Neither can you report from injecting upper caste mind on all us. For
any reporter, understanding India's diversity and social issues is a
must. But then why should TV channels bother about these. Their concern
is to make a few of them as star.
Those who have watching TV
for the past 12 days would certainly want to ask question on the merit
of the editors. Do we deserve 24 hours Mahajan Puran for several days
on our bedrooms? No doubt he was a young leader who died an unnatural
death. Surely, he was a great manipulator of things, so-called strategist
but that does not make him a mass leader. Going by the same criteria
the channels should have devoted a few days to inform us about the greatness
of Dr Rajkumar, a great Kannadiga or MGR who people worshipped in Tamilnadu.
The same channels and great editors would not give a page or 5 minutes
tribute to K.R. Narayanan or Gyani Jail Singh, two great former presidents
of India. The caste Hindus and their dirty minds would always play game
in India. They would like us to believe what they believe. Fortunately,
we still do not vote according to the whims and fancies of these insincere
reporters, a complete prostitution of a sane profession.
South African blacks
need reservation now
A number of backward castes
and Dalit intellectuals have been roped in to inform people that reservation
is against merit. Indian Express recently carried out a report from
South Africa and how it is working on affirmative action. The fact of
the matter is Nelson Mandela was unable to extract any thing specific
for the blacks. One has to see history that Mandela is more popular
abroad than in his communities. The demand for participation in power
has to come through quota. If the same whites who ruled Africa for years
and crushed it, are ruling without any challenge on their authority
with a 'black' head of state, that does not mean any change. One has
to remember that Mandela after his release came to India first in February
1991 when the country was facing the worst-ever upper caste protests
against reservation. Mandela refused to speak on it. Clear enough, Mandela
became bigger than the issue of South African blacks. The result was
that South African cricket team still is a white team and the bureaucracy
is still dominated by the whites. If change of power mean transfer of
power from one prime minister to other, then South Africa has achieved
all its goal but if change means power to the people, South African
leadership has failed in that direction. One is sure Mobuki knows this
better than his predecessor.
The Neighboring Zimbabwe
when tried to implement Land Reforms, the white human Rights Organizations
came against Robert Mughave. He was termed as racist and undemocratic.
Every time there has been efforts by Robert Mughave to provide land
to the black poor, international agencies criticized him. Even when
he won elections on a massive mandate, charges of forgery made against
him. This is West's style to downgrade democracy and put in their interests.
Land Reform and Reservation:
Undoing Historic Wrongs
One has to understand that
reservation and Land Reform go hand in hand. Land Reform brings to a
large number of rural landless people into the mainstream. It is meant
to undo historic wrong while quota in the government services mean representation
in power structure. It has to be proportionate based. Often argument
is given that Dalits and backward do not compete with the upper caste
students. What could be far from truth is that such lies continue to
spread through media. I am sure they should know that a large number
of Dalits in the bureaucracy are functioning relatively better than
their upper caste counterparts. Some of them have been writing in daily
newspapers. Dalit academia has come up and writing their history which
has been concocted by the upper caste historians.
The case of Justice KG Balakrishnan
is a reminder. Justice Balakrishnanas' name was Suggested by late President
K.R.Narayanan. The media made hue and cry. Narayanan
wrote that there are many efficient judges from Dalits, Backward and
tribal categories and they should be given representation in judiciary.
The answer he got from the Government was that Balakrishnan was competent
judge but underage. But the real fear was that if Justice Bala Krishanan
is not denied due opportunity, he would be one of the longest serving
Chief Justices of Indian Supreme Court, nearly for six years. That is
matter of concern for the manipulators. Upper castes wanted judiciary
to remain in their hands so that all the executive order are abolished
by judicial judgments under the false pretext of Public Interest Litigations.
Hindus are expert in these litigations and become leaders after filing
them in the court. It is not easy for any other community particularly
for Dalits, OBCs and Adivasis to file PIL and get accepted.
Recently, an outlook story
pointed out how a senior officer belonging to Scheduled Castes was first
made Deputy Governor and then demoted. Such injustices against Dalits
happen in large number. If there is no quota, we know the upper castes
have no respect for merit. They will want an India led by the North
Indian Brahmins and their Bania chums. Since the political environment
has changed therefore they are targeting educational institutions.
Our Industries so far are
domain of Marwaris run on family business. I am sure Rahul Bajaj would
not appoint any other meritorious person as head of his organization
his own children. I am sure he wont claim that he has the best brain.
Dalit and backwards
are running business now
As far as Dalits and backwards
are concern, no body can put any doubt on their merit. They are running
business institutions and even banks. Siddhartha Bank in Maharstra,
Kunbi cooperative Bank in Konkan, Banks in the name of Ambedkar in and
Madhya Pradesh are working and succeeding. Blaming Dalits for just 2%
of job is Another calumny, which the Hindus are experts in over the
year. One needs not to tell these guys as who are the people who make
'Dastkar' or 'Fab India' what they are today.
How come the upper castes minting money on the excellence and work of
Dalit Adivasi women in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharastra. Do upper caste
reward them with this merit?
Today, Dr Narendra Jadav
is one of the most respected Economists in Government of India and deputed
to Central Bank of Afganistan to support build financially strong Afganistan.
This upper caste phobia of reservation against merit has to be rebutted.
To run a country and its administration, we need diversity reflected
in our masses. A few Brahmins and Marwaris cannot represent India. You
have to give fare representation to
Linguistic and religious minorities. Dalits, Adivasis and backward communities
have faced discrimination for years and therefore they need special
attention by the governments.
Lesson for backward communities: Dalits face brunt of the upper castes
for supporting backward communities. It is not unusual that Dalits were
in the forefront of support to Mandal Commission Report. That was a
time when Dalit Bahujan concept materialized. Unfortunately, because
of short term gains of our political leaders, all succumbed to Hindutva
game plan. Backwards became champion of Hindutva gang and started hitting
the Dalits in their respective power domain. Whether it is Yadavas in
UP and Bihar or Thewars in Andhra or Gujjars in Uttar-Pradesh and Haryana,
backward communities worked as a foot soldiers of their brahmanical
bosses. But in this important battle for reclamation of their rights,
backwards have found that they lack a complete political will to fight
this battle. They should now humbly follow the Dalits in this battle
of reservation. Dalits have Ambedkar, Phule as their icons and backwards
would do well to gain from Ambedkar and his writings.
In the meanwhile, all Dalit
bahujan should join hand against the upper caste onslaught on their
rights. Remember, the brahmanical forces of the cow belt are afraid
of losing their hegemony. They have already lost the political battle.
They run politics on crookedness. It is time the Dalits, backwards,
Adivasis come together and give a fitting reply. Organise debates and
debunk the upper caste merit. Merit is nothing but a Dronacharya syndrome.
That was past. Today in the 21st century such Dronacharyas would be
taught a lesson. India cannot gain if a majority of its population is
absent from power structure. Let us force the government to implement
quota fully. Let government bring out a white paper on reservation and
tell us what exactly is the percentage of Dalits,and backwards in government
services. Give us report categories wise. Let us demand that where are
27% backward IAS officers or 17.5% Dalit IAS officers in government
if quota is fairly implemented. Meanwhile, the Medical students would
do well to study their classes and think of their future. Such blackmailing
on part of them would be counterproductive for India's health. Let this
debate also build up a formidable alliance of Dalit Bahujan which got
derailed in the past. The upper caste protest therefore will ultimately
help us realize the long cherish dream of unity of all the oppressed
communities led by the Dalits. For the Dalit backward Member of Parliament,
it is time to awake and arise. Put the entire reservation for OBCs,
Dalits and Adivasis in IX Schedule of the constitution so that it remained
outside the judicial scrutiny, as has been the case in Tamilnadu. Perhaps,
this anti reservation rhetoric of the upper caste 'spiritual' medical
practitioners, a majority of whom are unethical and follow Tantra and
have allowed to build temples outside ICUs of the hospitals against
rational medical practices, will help Dalits and bahujan communities
to sink their differences and draw a common strategy to secure their