A Dalit Leader Attacked in Pathanamthitta,Kerala, by CPI(M)-RSS Coalition.

Dalit Leader  from  Pathanamthitta,Kerala, Attacked  by  CPI(M)-RSS Coalition.

Pathanamthitta: 21  of  March,2011  a  Groups  of  CPI( M) and RSS  activists  were attacked    the former  councilor  and  Sambava  Maha Sabha`s  Pathanamthitta  District President ( a  Dalit  community  organization in  Kerala) Mr.C.K.Arjunan  and  his  Family .

Mr.Arjuan  and  his  family  where now  undergoing  treatment in in the  Pathanamthitta  Taluk  Hospital  due  to  head   injury  and  his  daughter  was seriously  injured  during  the  attack  of  CPIM activists. A  case  was  Registered  by  the  police ,Pathanamthitta with  Petty  case  due  to  the  political  pressure  from  CPIM.As  per  the  Report  of  the  police,  it  is  a  minor  case,  but  Mr.C.K.Arjunan  and  his  family under  gone  severe  treatment,  his  daughter serious  health  problem,  due  to  this,   she  can`t walk  up to toilet. Even  now  police saying it is  a  minor case.

Sambhva  Mahasabha  Called  for  a  Protest March and  Students  wing  of  Congress done  a  SP office  march. Even  now  the police  is  not  booked under SC(PoA).  The  various  Dalit Organizations  in  Pathanamthitta  called  for  SP  Office  march  on March 31 in  protest  against  the non arrest  of  the culprits.

Published by: Joint  Action  forum  against  Dalits  Attacks,  Pathanamthitta,Kerala

Email:ckarjunan@gmail.com

Kerala * A Lunatic Asylum > Dalit Voice

THE KERALA “LUNATiC ASYLUM

http://www.dalitvoice.org/Templates/feb2005/reports.htm

Nair-Ezhava “unity” move to check Muslim & Christian progress
OUR CORRESPONDENT

Bangalore Earlier they saved their Hinduism by fooling the non-Hindu indigenous people through marxism and today the same forces in Kerala want to directly use Hinduism to save their rulership.
Many people in India and outside may think that Kerala, on the west-coast southern tip of India, is a highly literate, clean and efficiently working state of Malayalees. All these may be true to a large extent but what is hidden from outsiders is that Kerala is ruled by a micro-minority of highly caste-conscious racist Brahmins and Nairs.

WHAT VIVEKANANDA SAID
Vivekananda as he walked through Kerala called it a lunatic asylum. And it continues to be so even to this day.
The ruling Brahmin and shudra Nairs this time have roped in the oppressed Ezhavas, the Backward toddy-tapper caste considered Untouchables till recently. It was the revolutionary Sri Narayana Guru, who liberated the Ezhavas, Kerala’s single largest community forming about 30% of the state population.

HEINOUS ROLE OF E.M.S.
Sri Narayana revolted against Brahmins and established his own Shiva temple all over Kerala with Ezhava priests. Yet the Brahmins could not be defeated.
They gradually managed to fool the oppressed Ezhavas by using the marxist mantra. The innocent Ezhavas simply fell flat though the community was never allowed to occupy the chief minister’s chair.
The person responsible for fooling the Ezhavas and making monkeys out of this innocent but unthinking community is the “Modern Shankara”, EMS Namboodiripad.
Today, the same Ezhava leadership under their apex jati organisation, SNDP Yogam, headed by its general secretary, Velupillai Natesan, is all-out to embrace the very Hinduism which pushed his Ezhava jati to slavery.
The Brahmana Jati Party (BJP) is weak in Kerala because its job is being effectively carried out by the state’s two neatly divided political fronts ÑÊthe Congress-led UDF and the Marxist-led LDF. The beauty is both the fronts are united in keeping the Brahmin-Nair rulership in tact.

ROLE OF SYRIANS
The Syrian Christians, who claim Brahmin descent, are fully with the ruling class. Their hand-picked man Oommen Chandy is now the Chief Minister of Kerala.
The latest strategy of the Brahmin-Nair ruling clique is to “unite the Hindus” against Muslims and Christians by rousing “anti-minority” hatred. Syrians may be Christians but they never confront the Brahmins. Because blood is thicker than water.

ISLAM, CHRISTIANITY LIBERATED DALITS
Kerala has 25% Muslims and another 25% Christians. These Muslims and Christians did not come from Arabia or Rome. They are converts from the indigenous SC/ST/BCs who quit “Hinduism” unable to bear Hindu persecution. Both Islam and Christianity liberated the Dalits, Tribals and BCs of Kerala. So, the Brahminical efforts to “unite” Hindus will not succeed. Before “uniting” the Hindus, they must first clarify who is a Hindu.

Dalits, who today are badly divided and leaderless, have been always slaves. And their slavery will continue. What is puzzling is the Ezhava leadership decision to fall into the Brahmin-Nair trap even when every Ezhava in Kerala remember how they persecuted Sri Narayana Guru. The poor guru is weeping in his Sivagiri samadhi.

Ò HINDU UNITYÓ
Manjoor Gopalan from Kanakkary (686 532) adds
The BJP wants to capture power in Kerala where it doesn’t have a single MLA. The UDF and the LDF rule Kerala alternatively. The BJP wants a third front by taking rebels from both the fronts. The Nair Service Society of the Nairs is actively behind this third front move.
P.K. Narayana Panicker of NSS and Vellappally Natesan of the SNDPY advocate the need for “Hindu unity“. Natesan speaking at a Nair meeting at Changanacherry said
” Unity among the various castes of Hindus is the need of the hour… The situation is such that the minorities could swallow the majority. We have only two options Ð either succumb to conversion or commit suicide… If we are able to do away with the differences within the Hindu community, then there will be no communal and religious tension” (Hindu, Jan.1, 2005).
The Hindu nazi agenda is to check the progress of Christians and Muslims. They are instigating Ezhavas and Dalits against Muslims and Christians saying they are cornering all benefits in the name of “minorities”. They have just succeeded in ousting the powerful Muslim Minister Kunhialikutty of the Muslim League.
The Nairs and Brahmins are the two most hated jatis because they constitute the core exploiters. The BJP strategy is to divert this anger from the core group against the minorities.

CAT & RAT UNITY
Will Vellappally Natesan succeed? How will he take away his Ezhavas who are dedicated members of the CPM?
The Ezhavas, being a Backward Caste, stand for job reservation but the Nairs being upper castes are against such a caste-based reservation. Nairs want income- based reservation. The Nairs are also the oppressors of the Ezhavas. The cat and rat cannot make friendship with each other. How can the enemies join together?
The Nair-Ezhava unity will never be practical. At the same time the Christians and Muslims are under the control of their religious leaders. As a result, separate political parties have been formed in Kerala for each religion. The Kerala Congress (M.Jacob, Joseph) and the Muslim League are examples. Without the support of these political parties no government can be formed here. Hindus in Kerala are a conglomeration of hundreds of jatis. They have different modes of beliefs and style of life. There is no unity among the different “Hindu” jatis. They are more interested in their jati than their religion.

RELIGION DOES NOT UNITE
Religion does not bind a people but creates only harmony for participating in the religious functions. Dr. Ambedkar said

” But here again there are limits to what religion can do. Religion can help to produce justice within a community. Religion cannot produce justice between communities… The call of nation and the call of community has proved more powerful than the call of religion for justice. ” (W&S, Vol.5, p.398).
Our Editor said

” Ethnic pull is more powerful than any religion and there is no such religion in the world which can weld different communities together. Even revolutionary Islam, which normally transforms a person after conversions, remains a house divided. Pakistan, called an Islamic republic, is the best example.” (Caste A Nation Within the Nation, p.81).

The Hindu nazis want to use anti-Muslim hatred to unite the SC/ST/BCs in the name of “Hindu unity”. Such a Brahminical trick has to be viewed seriously by the oppressed classes.

BLOCKOUT OF EDITORÕS BOOK
These forces want to blackout our Editor’s book, Caste ÑÊA Nation Within the Nation. The “intellectuals” among the Hindu nazis know that this book has the potential to unite the people. They have carefully studied the book which exposed the “Hindu unity” tactics”.
Our Editor said

” The most important point to be seriously noted by intellectuals among the Bahujans is that our Aryan enemy is extremely worried over our theory of caste identity. It is worried because this caste identity theory will never be able to keep the SC/ST/BCs together under its control in the name of Hinduism/Hindutva, Hindu nationalism and Hindu unity”. (Ibid p.75).

The alarming development of the alliance between the Nairs and the Ezhavas in Kerala has to be viewed very seriously and has to be opposed vehemently. This can be done by strengthening our “caste identity”.

We should strengthen each caste and caste organisations because caste is good but casteism is bad. The present alliance between the Nairs and the Ezhavas in Kerala will be a threat to the unity among the SC/ST/BCs.

DV Nov.16, 2002 p.5 “Brahminism swallows marxism” & p.21 “Manuwadi marxist war against Kerala’s rising star of BC Ezhavas”
DV March 16, 2002 p. 6 “Kerala manuwadi marxist bid to oust Achutanandan” & ” Plight of Elavas as slaves of Nairs”.
DV Jan.16, 1999 p.5 “Achutanandan wins caste war in Kerala CPM”.
DV June 16, 1998 p.16 “EMS ensured enslavement of Kerala SC/ST/BCs”.
DV Edit May 16, 1998 “Elegy on EMS Verdict of Bahujans on Modern Shankara”.
DV Feb.1, 1998 p.5 “Caste war in Kerala Elavas crush savarna marxist arrogance”.
DV Edit May 1, 1995 “Plea to kick out Kerala’s two Aryan ruling fronts”.
DV Edit June 1, 1985 “Marxism to the rescue of Brahminism”.
DV July 16, 1997 p.4 “Savarna marxist bid to keep Elavas as slaves”.
DV Feb.1, 1997 p.5 “Caste war in Kerala CPM Elavas crush savarna marcist arrogance”.
DV Nov.1, 1995 p.12 “Sivagiri blood bath”.

A team led by NCDHR met the Chiefminister and Minister of SC&ST ,Kerala on the ongoing land struggle at Chengara

A team led by NCDHR met the Chiefminister and Minister of SC&ST ,Kerala on the ongoing land struggle at Chengara
by udaya.
last modified 2009-04-06 14:24
http://www.ncdhr.org.in/latestinterventions/a-team-led-by-ncdhr-met-the-chiefminister-and-minister-of-sc-st-kerala-on-the-ongoing-land-struggle-at-chengara/

CM assured immediate intervention and reassured his govt’s commitment to destribute land among the landless and poor..

A Delegation comprised of NCDHR-NFDLRM members led by NCDHR National Secretary Vincent Manoharan met Chief Minister, VS Achuthanandan and the Minister for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, A K Balan of Keralaand appraised of the ongoing struggle by the Dalits and Adivasis for land at Chengara ,Pathanamthitta district and demanded that land should be distributed to the Struggling Landless people and their interests and concerns should be addressed.
The Chief Minister assured the Team that the Govt has already initiated a process to identify the Government and surplus land and committed to the policy of distribution of land to the poor and the landless.
The Minister for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes informed that the District Administration was already started surveying the land and assured to distribute it to the Struggling people. He also assured that the SC/ST (PoA) Act 1989 should be properly implemented to protect the Rights of the SCs and STs.

National Federation of Dalit Land Rights Movements (NFDLRM) is a National Platform of Dalit organizations, Land rights movements and Activists from all over the country. It is part of National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, a Human Rights Advocacy Platform in India.

NFDLRMs concentrates in addressing the Socio Economic Rights of Dalits very particularly the issue of Land for Dalits. It mobilizes the Landless Dalits for Mass Action and under takes Advocacy and Legal Intervention to ensure land and livelihood and also upheld the issue of Civil Political Rights of Dalits who face the inhuman practice of Untouchability which has been identified along with Apartheid. We undertake Fact Findings on the Struggles of Dalits and draw attention of authorities concerned to ensure justice to victims and communities who strive for human rights, right to land and livelihood.

NFDLRM and NCDHR team visited the area and the People who struggle

· Manas Jena,National convenor,National Federation of Dalit land Rights Movements, Bhubaneswar, Orissa.
· Mr. Lalit Babbar,National Co convenor,NFDLRM, Maharashtra.
· Mr. Arun Khote,National Media Secretary, NCDHR,NewDelhi
· Mr. R Prakash, NCDHR, Convenor, Kerala.
· Mr. Pradeep ,Human Rights Defender,Pathanamthitta.
· Mr. J .Vincent Manoharan,General secretary, National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights(NCDHR),New Delhi.

The Team met the following persons:
· Shri .V.S. Achuthanandan,chief minister , Kerala
· Shri. AK Balan ,Minister of Scheduled castes and Scheduled Tribes,
· Mr. Laha Gopalan Leader of Sadhujana Vimochana Samyutha Vedhi – who leads the struggle
· Around 2000 people who participate in the fight along with Ms. Saraswathy, Secretary , SVSVS.
· Leaders of various Dalit organizations – KDP, AKPMS, Bamboo Workers Union, Dalit Unity Centre, etc.,
· Rev. M.J. Joseph and Johnson ,Solidarity Co-ordination Committee .

Major Findings:

· Dalits and Adivasis are the most neglected among the marginalized and the Landless in this state.
· Their life and livelihood is at stake and no successive Governments paid sufficient attention to address the demands of these people
· This struggle is going on fro a long time and the people withdrawn from such a similar struggle 8 months back as per the assurance of the Government to allot land.
· Harrison’s Malayalam Plantations Corporation is a Private Company which holds thousands of hectares of land in the state and cultivates Tea and Rubber Plantation
· It was told that the company violated the conditions of the Lease agreement and sublet and even sold lands under its hold.
· This company also encroached large areas of land and occupy it illegally .
· It tries to extend the Lease period and argue that even though the land belongs to the Government the Rubber Trees are the company’s.
· CITU , the trade union of CPI(M) , the major constituent of the ruling Left Democratic Front in its attempt to protect the interest of the Plantation workers , so far didn’t show any interest in the struggle
· The Dalits and Adivasis allege that the Government always come out with the customary reply that there is no surplus land in Kerala to allocate to the landless.
· Therefore the Dalits and Adivasis now demand the govt to seize the land under H&C company ,as the lease period is already over due and distribute among the real owners of the land who are rendered landless.
· The Non Dalits and the Land Mafia are eying the land and they do not want the Dalits and Adivasis to get this high cost fertile land .
· Media silence is conspicuous – may be with a notion to block this struggle and to create a myth among the general public that this struggle is disoriented and the strugglers disappeared from the scene.
· Dalit Movements yet to join this struggle but they start expressing their solidarity in different ways.
· The Solidarity Committee formed by Navchetana is active in giving visibility to this issue through various strategies like Satyagraha, consultations, cultural activities, holding public meetings, poster campaign etc.,
· NFDLRMs initiated by NCDHR visited the area a month back , met the struggling people and assured its solidarity and support and came out with a poster campaign.
· The district Collector has assured the Struggling People that the whole land in question will be surveyed and the surplus land will be notified as Government land and will inform the Government on the demands of the Ds and Ads.

· The Landless families of Ds and Ads registered with SJSVSV and moved in to the hilly area to pitch their tents demanding land. The number is increasing day by day.
· The people who have pitched their tents in the Hills are not dared to move out of the site either fearing an attack from Goondas of the Company or the Government will use force to evict them.
· But they seem to be determined even to face bullets for their cause
· They suffer from hunger and various diseases like chikungunya which is worsened by monsoon.
· Children stopped attending schools because of this struggle.
· The sick ,aged and disabled are the worst sufferers both physically and mentally.

The Demands

· SCs, STs ,Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims should be given land for housing and cultivation for a decent livelihood. The title deed should be issued in the name of the Women and Men.
· The struggling Dalits and Adivasis in Chengara and other areas should not be evicted as they are struggling for their livelihood
· The lease agreement with Harrison Malayalam Plantations Corporations and other Private parties should be cancelled and the land should be distributed among the Dalits and Adivasis
· Legal Actions should be taken against H&C and similar companies other than cancellation of the agreement .

· Medical assistance should be provided to the strugglers as they suffer from Chikungunya and other communicable diseases.
· The poor and land less families should also be provided with interest free loan without any collateral security for housing and agricultural activities like land development, irrigation, purchase of agricultural appliance, seeds etc.
· SCs and STs(POA)Act 1989 should be implemented strictly by the state government to protect the communities from the practices of untouchability and caste discrimination in all spheres.
· Any effort by the Harrison Malayalam Plantations corporations to evict these Struggling people by any means should be prevented by the Government and it should protect the struggling Dalits and Adivasis.
· The Surplus land in the State should be identified by implementing the Land Ceiling Act and the same be distributed to the landless Dalits, Adivasis and other Marginalised Communities.

APPEAL :

All Dalit and Adivasi Movements, Political Parties and Civil Society Organisations are requested to express their Solidarity and Support at all possible ways and means to strengthen the Struggle of Dalits and Adivasis of Chengara for land to ensure a secure Life with Dignity

Contact Details to enlist support to this Struggle :
Mr. Laha Gopalan ,State President – SVSV
Ms. Saraswathi, State Secretary – SVSV
Pattanamthitta PO
Kerala .
Laha Mobile: 092491 01709

Manas Jena
National Convenor – NFDLRMs
Lalit Babar
National Co-Convenor – NFDLRMs

VINCENT MANOHARAN
General Secretary – NCDHR

“People who oppose caste-census are less in numbers, but are powerful and they run this country”

“People who oppose caste-census are less in numbers, but are powerful and they run this country”

An interview with Dilip Mandal Dilip Mandal, a senior journalist and writer, is currently associated with Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), New Delhi.

He has been consistently writing on some of the most important socio-economic issues before our country, in newspapers and on internet. He has recently edited a book ‘Caste Census: Parliament, Society and Media’ (in Hindi). Here he is interacting with Insight members – Gurinder Singh Azad, Anup Vimal, Noopur and Anoop Kumar – on the issue of caste census. This interview is also being published in Hindi here. What is the need for holding caste-based census? Why this demand for counting people on the basis of their castes? There are many reasons for holding caste-based census in our country. Even if we discount these reasons, then also the need remains as there are many caste-based government policies. Caste has been cited for more than 25 times in our Constitution. The makers of our Constitution were aware that caste is not something that could be annihilated by mere Constitution and therefore they provided for caste-based specific policies to make some dent on caste-based hegemony of all those who have been deriving benefit from the age old caste system. The caste-based census is nothing new. Till now some castes are counted and many are not. The government has been counting scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in every census. But there is another community for which we have policies; we have OBC commission, OBC component plan, OBC Finance Commission. We have number of policies, even that of building hostels for OBC students but we don’t have their numbers. So, suppose, while implementing these government policies, the central government wants to allot some funds to different states, for example to Karnataka and Bihar. The fund allotted is not decided on the total population of OBCs in the state because nobody has the clue about its population. It is decided on the basis of the total population of the state. In such case, Bihar will be allotted much more fund due to its higher total population even if the number of OBC population is more in Karnataka than in Bihar. There are many such anomalies which need to be rectified provided we have specific data. So not having data is not an option for proper implementation of government policies. Many government agencies, from time to time, have clearly stated that we must have data on OBC population. Planning Commission has said this, Social Justice Ministry has stated about the need. Even Department of Personnel and Training has mentioned clearly that it needs such data to frame policies for carrying recruitment in different states. Supreme Court has mentioned this in its three judgments on the unavailability of such data. In fact in its latest judgment on 69 % reservations in Tamilnadu and Karnataka, the court has clearly stated the need of data, countable data. So we need authentic countable data to frame our policies. Even during the implementation of Mandal Commission Report and on 27 % OBC reservations, same questions were raised. Many anti-reservationists opposed its implementation citing the lack of specific data on the OBC population in the country. But now the same set of people is opposing the caste census. Yes, if we don’t have specific data then these questions are bound to be raised and therefore we need caste-census so that we have authentic data. It is interesting how the same people who opposed OBC reservations pointing towards the lack of data are the ones who are opposing caste-census now. Another thing in regards with OBC reservation is that during its implementation, the Indian government had decided that it would review the policy after every 10 years to see if there is any community that has been empowered and needs to be taken off the OBC list or some new communities to be added which are less empowered. How we will do such review if we don’t have any data on their total population, the number of graduates, how many of them have pucca houses etc? Unless and until you collect and correlate such data, how you will be able to figure out which community has got empowered and there is no need for any affirmative action for that community? So for all the policies for the development process of this country, for affirmative action, the caste based census is a must. The last caste-census was held in 1931 and after that the caste was stopped from being counted except in the case of SCs by even the British-India government. This is not true. It is a myth that British government stopped caste census and this is being propagated to sabotage our demand. Actually it was the Nehru government that stopped caste census from 1951 onwards, not the earlier colonial government. In 1941 census, the then British government had included caste like earlier censuses and collected the data but due to Second World War, the government refused to grant money for its tabulation and hence the data never came out. All the sociologists of this country know this fact but they will never come out with this as this will expose the brahminical ruling class of this country. That is indeed an eye-opener. So post-independence the demand for caste-census is a new one or there is a history behind this? The demand for caste census is nothing new. Right from the time of Kaka Kalekar Commission (1955) to Mandal Commission (1979), there has been persistent demand on this. Mandal Commission had clearly written that without contemporary data it is very difficult to frame policies as every time it had to refer to the data of 1931 census which might have gone through lot of changes in due course of time. So the demand is not at all new. Even if you see the questions raised in parliament, you will find that every year, whether that is census year or not, our representatives have asked this question again and again on whether the government is going to collect data on caste or not. Even before 2001 census, this demand was raised and in fact during the prime minister ship of Mr Devegowda a cabinet note was circulated on government agreeing for caste-based census. Many people now say that his government was toppled for precisely this reason as he was triggering caste-based census as this would have generated lot of debates which would unsettle the ruling elite class of this country. And when Advani becomes the Home Minister, he clearly states on this cabinet note that we are not going to have caste-based census. Why certain people oppose holding of caste-based census when it is very clear that we need such census for proper governance? What are their arguments? There are two faces of the opposition against caste-based census. One that is being articulated, being said on various public platforms and other which is left unsaid but is the real threat which motivates these people to oppose caste based census. Even if we analyse what they are arguing leaving behind their real intentions, you will see that none of their arguments holds merit. They claim that due to caste-based census, the casteism will increase; the caste which is a sociological identity will get perpetuated and institutionalized because the government will now ask everyone their castes. Secondly they claim that without doing caste-census, the government can get the required data through tools like NSSO and frame its policies. Then they come with a very absurd argument that with caste-census, the country will break. Such are the logic that are being forwarded against the demand and these are being articulated by big people, media, and intellectuals including those who are considered great sociologists of the country. Another argument that is being floated against the caste-census is that people will try to provide inflated figures for their respective castes and will try to provide wrong information so as to make a claim for government’s caste-based affirmative policies. Now if we analyse all these arguments, we can very easily see that none of these hold water but are just red herring against caste-based census. Take the last argument of people deliberately providing wrong information, suppose if I tell to census people that I am SC and by telling so will I automatically get SC caste certificate? Does a brahmin will get an OBC certificate if he merely claims to be from yadav caste in census? The people are conveniently forgetting that according to Census Act, 1948, no one can reveal any individual’s data in census. It is a punishable crime. You can get communities’ data, state wise data, country wise data from the census but any individual’s data cannot be revealed. So whatever I tell to census people will in no way going to help me as person, anywhere. Then people are claiming ‘country in danger’ and country will break if such happens. This is a very weird argument. If we look at our history, the country got divided only once and that too on the basis of religion. But on every 10 years, a census enumerator comes to your house and asks for your religion. Then you have no problem! More than 7-8 thousand people died in the past on the issue of language in this country. Our memories are still fresh with Khalistan movement, Tamil-Kannada riots, Tamil-Hindi riots and there is much more that has happened in the name of languages but still there is a column for language in the census. People are also talking about how a particular caste can inflate their numbers in the census. Does this argument make any sense? Now, this logic too is quite weird in itself. What would one do so as to inflate the number in the census?! It’s not possible for any particular caste to do so. For example, if kurmi decides to inflate their number in the census, what method could possibly he follow. If there are three people belonging to his caste in the village, will he be able to increase the number to six or would he be able to convince other people from his village to enumerate themselves as kurmi? It’s definitely not possible in any way and people who know census and Indian sociology know it very well that this is impossible. People have been propagating such illogical arguments just for the sake of hiding their real intentions of opposing caste census. What about the alternatives like NSSO, which some are claiming, can provide the required data? Yes, this argument is being put very strongly. But I really fail to understand how with a sample size of just few thousand people (as is done in NSSO), you can make policies for such a diverse country like ours with a one billion plus population and also for that you are ready to spend huge money but are not willing to add just one more column with ongoing census process. Also if you are willing to generate such data through NSSO, then what is your problem against generating the same through caste census which will be much more comprehensive and authentic? Moreover the census process has the legal sanctity whereas if you undertake anything based on the NSSO data, it can be challenged in the courts. The data generated through census has much legal validity and cannot be compared with the NSSO data by any means. There is one more argument that is pitched forward that why do we need to collect data of all the castes, only OBC enumeration will do? Let us just count all the OBCs. Yes, some ‘liberal’ sociologists have come out with this argument too. This is again an old trick to make caste problem appear to be only that for OBCs and SCs and rest are presumed to be ‘caste blind’ and have nothing to do with caste problem. They very conveniently create a space for themselves and ask us, “Where is caste? Everything is in proper place. I don’t know about my caste or I will not tell about my caste.” These are the people who, essentially, belong to the upper hierarchy of caste system and have reached wherever they are because of the advantages that their caste background has provided them. But such is not the case with everyone. Caste is a big disadvantage for majority of the population but for the people from higher caste hierarchy, caste has never been a problem. Whereas if you see, the same set of people will put matrimonial ads based on their castes, develop social relations, recruit people, and move around with people from same caste background. Caste operates at all levels of their personal and professional lives then why this hypocrisy? You say that people opposing the caste census are not coming forward with their real intentions or what they see as real threats. Why are these people so scared about the caste census? What are the real threats to them? Their real fear stems from the fact that if such caste data are generated and are correlated with socio, economic and educational indicators then a true picture in this country of each caste will emerge. Then we will be able to get some very curious data and might be able to find out, for example, that even after 60 years of independence, there is one caste that is just 2-3 % of the total population but is occupying more than 50 % of the seats in media, bureaucracy and judiciary. We might get such data. There is every possibility. It might also happen that we come across a community that is 12-15 % of the population but does not have even access to 1 % of total country’s resources. All such data can trigger for a demand of proper diversity in every field, equal access to resources and resentment against the monopoly of few castes that are garnering all the resources. This is where their real fears are coming from. Castes that are small in number but holding huge chunk of the country’s resources are scared as this census will raise many debates. It will not just affect the public sector but the private sector as well. The repercussions will also be seen in the academia too as the domination of particular kind in the academics will also then be questioned. A caste-census is a direct threat to their monopoly over country’s resources and I am sure that the ruling caste elites of this country will never allow caste-census to happen if we are not able to create a very strong mass-based movement demanding caste-census. They are very well aware that the caste census will take us towards the new phase of Indian polity and economy and is going to have much bigger impact than Mandal – I or II. Another argument is that the OBC will become too powerful, too politicised and well organised once they come to know about their large numbers through caste-census. This argument is being propagated by those who claim to be pro-Dalit and argue that the oppression of Dalits will increase as the post caste-census OBCs will wield too much political power. Given the history of caste atrocities perpetuated by dominant OBC castes on Dalits, what you have to say on this? One thing is clear that for these people OBC means only either jat or reddys or kurmis but they conveniently forget that the majority of OBC constitutes castes that are socially, politically and economically marginalised like that of weavers, barbers, blacksmith etc. Also see, everyone calls Western UP as Jat land but I feel that once the caste-census happen, we will come out with the data that the largest community in this area is jatav (a Dalit sub-caste). This is my belief as I have covered this area during my reporting on elections. All such myths will get shattered with caste-census. Jats are powerful in this area not because of their numerical strength and the caste census is in no way going to add on its power. They are powerful because they control everything there. Democracy is all about numbers and caste-census can open new vistas and their monopoly over resources, then, can more easily be challenged. Regarding OBCs voting as a bloc, if such was the case then VP Singh would never have lost the election. OBC is a very large collection of varied castes and if we see their political manifestation one can find many internal contradictions. Take an example of Bihar, look at yadav and mallah (boatmen). Do you think that given their respective places in rural economy, they will go together? Those who feel threatened about OBC domination after the caste census must be told that such threat is there even without the census. No one needs the census to tell that OBC is the biggest voting bloc. All the OBCs are already aware of this fact. The figure of 51 % and OBCs being in majority is there since 1931 census and the current percentage will not vary much from 1931. So the caste census is not going to bring some new fact that is going to change the voting patterns of OBCs overnight. OBC as one voting bloc can never work in India. This is too diverse a bloc. Many of our political and social commentators are also saying that our caste-enumerators are not informed people and they will not be able to classify people according to their castes and will lead to lot of confusion. This is anyways not the job of caste enumerators. His/her work is just to ask people about their castes and write it down in the form. After that only people can be put into different categories according to the SC/ST/OBC lists provided by state and central government. About enumerators not being informed enough, one must know before arguing such thing that the enumerator is most often the teacher of that area and is definitely much more informed about castes in that area than India’s best sociologists. Then there is another argument forwarded by many about what will be the caste of children from intercaste marriages? In last census, more than 7 lakh people told that they did not believe in any religion. They were enumerated separately. So, such options can be included for those who say that they don’t have any caste. They can be counted separately. Even for children born out of inter-caste marriages, there is a clear cut legal provision that the child will carry father’s caste. Let there be choice of inter-caste column too. America comes out with data on inter-racial marriages taking place there, every year. For example, 17.8 % of the total marriages in USA were inter-racial in 2008-09. They do not stop with this data only. They go further within inter-racial marriages and have exact data on how many such marriages have been between Blacks and Hispanics, Hispanics and Asians and all such combination. Earlier in USA, they used to have columns like black, white or mixed, now they have gone a step further. They ask for the racial identities of the parents of mixed race people. Such data is freely made available on the internet and is collected every year. However in India, such data on intercaste marriages is impossible to get. We don’t even know whether it is Bengal or Kerala or any other state which leads in intercaste marriages and hence we might never be able to capture the factors that are responsible for more inter-caste marriages there. Such marriages are necessary for the annihilation of caste but we have no clue about this phenomenon as we are not yet ready to generate the required data. But there is one fear that is plaguing our minds also regarding caste-census. The census enumerators are basically primary school teachers and other government officials, who go to each household to fill up the census forms but majority of them, especially in states like UP and Bihar, belong to either brahmin or other ‘upper’ caste groups. There is a strong feeling that these enumerators avoid going to Dalit and Muslim’s colonies and fill up their forms from their homes/offices and hence giving deflated data on population of both these groups. In case of caste-based census, this threat increases manifold given its high political overtones. Yes, this threat has always been there. Such things do happen in census and are often done very deliberately with a purpose. Take the example of Scheduled Tribes that are almost 100 million in this country. These do not belong to any caste-hierarchy of Hinduism. Tribals have their own gods, rituals, social systems, culture and traditions and they don’t even marry according to Hinduism but have been clubbed within Hinduism through census only so that the number of Hindus increases in this country. Similarly there is a long debate on whether Dalits, being outcaste or out of Hindu castes hierarchy, are part of Hinduism or not. Throughout Dalit movement’s history, people have strongly contested against Dalits being Hindus. So there have always been efforts to show higher numbers of Hindus in this country and in the context of counting OBC population also, there are chances of deliberate mistakes. So, I agree that there are such threats given the caste biases of enumerators, still let us go ahead with our demand on caste-census. The Census Act has strong legal provisions against supplying wrong information and there are provisions for scrutiny and cross check. And if such needs arise we must demand that and challenge the data. The government has yet to formulate how they are going to do caste census after that only we can see how this threat can be minimised. There has been lot of churning among the Indian intelligentsia but not much is coming out officially from the Indian government side. How has the Indian government manifested itself in this whole debate of caste census? Government has tried every trick and has given every excuse not to have the caste-census. When this question was raised in the parliament and when even the Planning Commission specifically asked for caste-based data, then government made Registrar General of India to come out with a statement that this is not possible. He said there are too many OBCs, how would we count! Then many in government said that this will result in institutionalisation of caste. They also came up with an excuse that now it is very late to add caste column for 2011 census. Suddenly government changed the track and said, ‘let us only count OBCs’ in this census. Then it said that no, we will do it with UID, in the biometric phase during the collection of finger prints etc that is supposed to complete in 15-20 years. Now the government has come up with something much more hideous. It wants to delink the counting of caste from the census and wants to hold it separately. The government is ready to spent 2000 crores for this but is not agreeing to add just one more column for caste in the census form. So you see how our system works in conspiracies and is trying hard to deny any chance of holding caste census and if that is not possible then they want this to get delinked with census. Till now the Indian government has no intention to hold it. It is just trying to waste as much time as possible so that in the end, it can very easily say that such is not possible in 2011, due to lack of preparation or time constraints. The parliament, which is the largest democratic body of the country, every political party has agreed to caste-census then also the Indian govt formed a Group of Ministers (GOM) to ask for the views of political groups. They wasted two months on this. When all the political parties again reiterated the need of caste census before GOM, the government came out with a proposal to do that together with UID and went back to all the political groups again to take their views on the methodology to be involved! When pressurised, now the government has come up with counting caste in a separate process which is utter waste of resources and nothing but an eyewash. Why you are opposing the recent government proposal of delinking caste-counting from census and doing it separately? Why you are calling it an eyewash? Recently government has come out with a cabinet note. Three things are to be noted from this. First, that the caste census will be done separate from the census, second that a separate legal framework will be formulated for this and third that an expert committee will be appointed in order to analyze and tabulate the data. My main contention is if castes are counted through census by including just one more column, then together with castes’ numbers we will also get their socio-economic status after correlating with different socio-economic indicators that are included in every census. And that is what exactly the kind of data we require for better governance of this country, equitable distribution of resources and for the correct picture of Indian society to emerge. But the Indian government and the ruling class of this country don’t want such data to come in public knowledge so they are going to spend 2000 crore for just asking castes of people in a separate process. You will just get the numbers devoid of any socio-economic mapping of castes. So you will know the numbers of yadavs, balmikis, thakurs but not how they fare socio-economically in this country and their relative accesses to national resources. I feel this 2000 crore are not for revealing facts but government is spending to hide the facts. However let me tell you something, even these numbers are not going to come easily for us. The government is talking about formation of an expert committee that will undertake a study on each caste, case by case and decide which caste to go in which groupings and then only to come out with data. Why do we need this expert committee now when we already have central and state lists of SC, ST and OBC? This committee has been approved by the Indian cabinet now. The data collected on caste from February till September next year will be then given to this expert committee to decide on the placing of these castes in different groups. Now this is a great potential situation for disaster. Just imagine how many court cases would be filed, how many agitations will surface and there is bound to be total chaos. People would say, we are from this caste, why we are not been included in OBC? Gujjars would say, put us in ST. There will be similar situation in almost every state and believe me in such situation, forget about any data for at least next ten years. Compare this scenario with a situation when caste counts happen together with census where you not only get the caste numbers but also the socio-economic status of each caste. Once such data is available, the government can undertake any number of groupings and regroupings of castes. That is much more scientific way to go about than appointing an expert committee to do so with no authentic socio-economic data. The census process is constitutional, is a serious affair, and has the capability to organize 25 lakh enumerators in just one notice. This would be difficult if the caste counting is done separately. Then another question arises whether government is going to spend 2000 crore and more every ten year to conduct the caste count separately? Actually the government doesn’t want socio-economic data of each caste to be generated and therefore trying everything that can derail this, create controversies and consume time. And the worst part is they are going to spend crores of your, mine and our money for doing so. Given such scenario, do you see any chance of caste-census happening in near future? The people who oppose caste-census are very less in number, but they are very powerful and they run this country. They will not let this happen so easily unless there is a strong demand that comes from within the society. Our people have to understand that if this country belongs to them, then they have equal rights towards all the resources of the country. For the all round growth of the country just few castes cannot be allowed to keep on monopolising the country’s resources. What you do with the data is a secondary issue but if you see sociologically, not having the data is not an option. Take the case of voter list, which is a tool to further the democratic process but from the same list one can clearly deduce other’s identity and misuse it in communal riots. This has happened in recent past. But does it means that you will never come out with authentic voter list? Can democracy function then? Not having data on its population is not a healthy sign for any modern democratic country. Every major democratic country be it South Africa or any European country, every kind of data is collected there. Countries are collecting data on micro level but here in our country, people are so afraid of data. They are afraid because they know that if such data comes, you will become aware of the truth of this country and raise uncomfortable questions. Knowing all the debates that are going on caste census and on other issues of social justice, we feel that we have to tread a very long path. Unfortunately, in last 20 years, we witness a severe backlash from the upper caste dominated institutions like academia and media on such issues that are supposed to be liberal and progressive. Yes I agree. No matter what opinions we have for the politicians of this country but the truth is, in our country, Politics and Parliament remain the only democratic process and institution. The elites in our country claim to be apolitical and hate politics. They never lose any opportunity to strongly assert that ‘politics is bad’ and ‘politicians are evil’ just because the strongest voice for the empowerment of marginalized communities comes via politics only in this country. Just look at Indian media and compare with our political system and the way it deals with the issue of social justice. According to a recent survey of all the newspapers, channels and magazines, one can clearly find out that our media is essentially an ‘upper’ caste Hindu male media. I have collected 15 editorials from the major Indian newspapers and one can clearly see how they have a consensus among themselves to not let the caste-census happen. So we come across a scenario where in the Parliament there is a consensus in favour of caste census but Indian media being run and controlled by ‘upper’ caste Hindus totally oppose it. ‘Upper’ caste scholars and intellectuals should become little liberal and sensitive. They should learn from the American society that has manifested itself very democratically on the issue of racial discrimination by electing Obama as their President. He could never win without the support of whites there. But here in India one can clearly see that the people who are against caste based reservations, they are the ones against the caste census too and at the same time support women reservation but without sub-quota for women from backward communities! So it’s very unfortunate to not have liberal voices from the ‘upper’ castes. Our aim is to build a better society with equality and no where we are asking for hating ‘upper’ castes. We are just claiming for our rights of having an equal share. They must understand that due to monopoly of resources in the hands of few castes, our country is not developing. We are ranked 134 in Human Development Index, below even to many Sub-Saharan countries. If our country could develop in the hands of a few people, it would have developed long back. This should be an issue of concern for all those who claim to be patriotic. Look at the condition of common wealth games. We are not able to even organize this properly in one city whereas South Africa within 2 decades of ending apartheid organized FIFA World Cup, the largest event on earth, hoisted in 9 cities. Cleary, this country isn’t safe in the hands of the people who claim to be ‘meritorious’. [You can write to Dilip Mandal at dilipcmandal@gmail.com. Anup Vimal and Noopur are doing their MSW (IInd Year) from TISS, Mumbai.]

BRAHMIN ISM v/s AMBEDKARISM

Dear brothers and sisters,

Jaibheem

Today, Suvarna 24X7 Kannada telecasted the interview “BIG FIGHT” in which Pejavar Sri of Udupi math was the centre of debate. Pejavar Sri is the follower of Madwa philosophy and his desciples are the Palace priest of Nepal Kings and he gave Dheeksha to Umabharathi also. He is known for his Sanghapariwar connections and he is the spokesman of Sangh Pariwar on religious issues and led al the Saints/Sants to demolish the famous Babri Masjid.

Soon after the BJP came to power in Karnataka, the Sreeramsena an outfit of RSS attacked on Churches and Muslims. Innocent Muslim Engineering/Medico students were falsely arrested and put behind bars in the name of connection SIMI. We were predicting that the RSS outfits will definately target Ambedkarites and now it has come true.

Brahminical forces first started to devide the Dalits and classified them as Ambedkarites and non-Ambedkarites. The attempted division between Mahars and Chammars did not yield them much result because most of the Chammars of North India embraced Buddhism and are the staunch Ambedkarites including NRI Ramadasis and Chammars .

Todays big fight in the Suvarna TV was mainly concentrated on the issue why Dalits should embrace Buddhism and should remain in Hinduism/Brahminism. Some of the Dalits were supporting the views of Smamiji and some of were arguing for the path shown by Babasaheb Ambedkar.

Recently the Pejavar Sri visited a Dalit Street (Madigas) i in Mysore in the name of removing untouchability! Now the Swamiji of Madiga community SRi Sri Madar Chennaiah Swamiji who was baptised by Basava philosophy has scheduled to visit Brahmins street in Mysore on 15th September and declared that he should be received by the Brahmins with all the religious respects,rituals as they are receiving Pejavar Sri.? Pejavar Sri has selected Madiga community thinking that Madigas are not Ambedkarites and Buddhist. But, many Madigas both in Andra Pradesh and Karntaka are committeed Ambedkarites and Buddhists. Time will reply whether the strategy of RSS through Pejavar Sri will get the definate result of their hidden agenda. One of the follower of the Sri was telling in the debate that when Christain of the world and Muslims of the world are uniting and why not the Hindus in India atleast? Thanks to Babasaheb, he has given us relgious path also. Please debate on this very importa
nt issue on this web-site and come to some conclusion.

With regards and Jaibheem

Yours fraternally

F.H.Jakkappanavar

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