Reality Check India

An extreme position, Mr Shourie

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on June 26, 2006

I watched Arun Shouries interview with Karan Thapar on the program "Devils Advocate". This was telecast on CNN-IBN at 8:30 PM on Sunday 26, Jun 2006, retelecast the same day on CNBC-TV18 at 10:00 PM. The entire transcript is available here :


Just to set the context: Mr Shourie has a new book in stores called "Falling Over Backwards" ( ). This book is about the current quota policy, its contradictions, how various judges have dealt with this issue, how the OBC quota is totally unmonitored, and how various states will not study this system. This book contains a wealth of information on this subject. I am half-way through reading this book and I can tell you it is worth it. I have my issues with Shouries extreme positions on various subjects and his method of putting his views forward, but that does not take anything away from this book. Good read.

Now, on to the interview:

Karan Thapar: Well, that’s what I want to put to you. The Scheduled Castes have been treated as untouchables for centuries. In fact, even their shadow was considered to be polluting. Their dignity has been trampled upon. Their individuality and humanity has been questioned. Why do you believe that reservation is not an appropriate way of giving them confidence and status?

Arun Shourie: Firstly, these are clichés without particular examination of historical records. Because a passage occurs in something called Manu’s doctrine or Manu’s compilation, I mean I have not met a person who realises or who acknowledges the fact that this compilation was done over 700 years.

Ignoring the quota issue for a moment, he seems to question the very concept that there were castes that were the targets of social repression. Whether or not the Manu's compilation had any relevance, it is commonly accepted that SCs were discriminated against in a large number of places in India. So, the interview starts off with Arun Shourie positioning himself on a plane that does not have many boarders. We know that there are the lowest of the low, the scavengers, the night soil cleaners, the hide removers (all scheduled castes).By adopting such an extreme position, Shourie prevents any discussion about his main arguments about OBC quotas and how they are implemented.

Even so , there were parts of the interview that Shourie made some important points. He also addressed one of the major problems with these debates.

People talk as if intent and implementation are the same thing. If one agrees on the intent, then any implementation should be automatically acceptable and you have no grounds for complaining. Yes, even if the implementation is hijacked by vested interests and now addresses an entirely different intent.

Consider this exchange.

Arun Shourie: And for 50 years you have not monitored them? Even the government.

Karan Thapar: But that’s not the failure of reservations? That is the failure of the administration.

Arun Shourie: No. No. You don’t understand. Reservations are going to be implemented by whom? By the Americans in India?

That was sarcastic, but illustrates the tone of the discussions today. = 

This interview then degenerates into a milk-boils-to-form-cream discussion. Karan presents some totally irrelevant statistics about Dalit school enrollment for the past 50 years. It is amazing, how in the absence of statistical studies even the most knowledgable scholars are reduced to arguing like school children – clutching desparately at whatever can be considered to be data. Perhaps, the government wants to keep discussions at this level. It might have worked in the past, but in the age of information it is too jarring. How can we have the largest social justice program in human history and at the same time not allow its beneficiaries to be studied ?

Tips to deal with Karan Thapar

None of the points that Mr Shourie makes in his book got a chance. I think Arun is not very comfortable with Karans format. Maybe some helping points to anyone who wants to deal with an interviewer like Karan.

  • You only have 20 seconds before Karan cuts you off. So use short sentences.
  • Do not try to build your point from bottom up. If you start by laying down some historical context, then facts, then specific cases, then arguments, and then finally your position. Karan will probably stop you before you can say "110 million Chinese displaced by moderniz..". In the end you dont make your point.
  • Just state your precise answer and give leads for Karan to follow up. You cannot lead Karan (because it is his show), so you let him lead you. It is not that difficult, just end your answers with a caveat.
  • Dont get involved in a "you suck" -> "no ! you suck" -> "no you suck more" kind of banter with Karan. You cant win !
  • No matter how hard you try, if your position is extreme you are doomed. It wont work with Karan. He will continue to dwell on your extreme position only and prevent you from moving to the centre of the argument.

Arun does make some interesting points about social reformers. I too think these people play a much larger role in transformation of a society at large. Even so, I support quotas for SC/STs *only* as mandated by the constitution. While SC/ST quotas are slightly better monitored than the OBC quota, it still needs major improvement. Perhaps the SC/ST quota system can be fine tuned to benefit all regions in a fair way. Even if a creamy layer does benefit from the SC/STs, it might give youngsters in those communities someone (or some families) to look up to. Remember, these groups have not had a history of control of their own destiny, they owned almost no land, they worked on rich landlords lands sometimes on a bonded basis, they were associated with unclean activities and were routinely humilated. The rationale for SC quotas are totally different, and therefore the metrics for measuring its effect must take these into account.

There is not much opposition to SC/ST quotas. There is also broad consensus that it is reasonably monitored (enumerated as late as the 2001 census). There are no landlord / mercantile / elite and wealthy communities in the SC/ST list. This list is carefully prepared.

OBCs are a whole different story altogether. I wished Arun Shourie could have given us his views on this issue (which is the burning issue in India today).

33 Responses

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  1. Sharan Sharma said, on June 27, 2006 at 6:25 am

    Hi RC,
    I don’t think you mind contra-views on your space 🙂 – here is one of them followed by a question:

    1)> ‘it is commonly accepted that SCs were discriminated against in a large number of places in India’.
    Unfortunately, the ‘commonly accepted’ views have been shaped by our reading of school history textbooks which keep harping on the bad stories and trying to form a stereotype without ever giving some idea on the ‘extent’ of discrimination. Of course there would have been discrimination practiced by some of the ‘upper-caste’ folk. But what is this discrimination? Many of the so-called discriminatary practices had nothing to do with being ‘untouchable’! For instance, KTs quote in the interview on how even the shadow of an ‘untouchable’ was considering polluting. It might surprise many that Nambudiri Brahmins in Kerala used to go and bathe when the shadow of a Tamil *Brahmin* was cast upon them!
    Or another complaint that upper-castes used to not accept water from an ‘untouchable’s hand/house’. Again, this has nothing to do with being an ‘untouchable’. My own teacher, who i used to learn the Yajur Veda from, used to refuse to have anything at our house for reasons of ritual purity (though we are a fairly orthodox Brahmin family ourselves). Now, one may not subscribe to these habits but to say that it springs from malice towards anyone (discimination) is not true.
    I therefore actually thought that Mr. Shourie’s statement on the historical basis for arguments of discrimination very valid.
    Actually, if someone can point to me a good objective source on this, i’ll be grateful.

    2) Since you do support reservations for the Scheduled Castes, I’ll be interested in knowing your viewpoint on how long you think they should continue operating.

    Incidentally, i am one of those who are of the view that *any* kind of reservation policy is harmful. Especially those that do not have a deadline in mind – there is just no impetus on implementation.


  2. realitycheck said, on June 27, 2006 at 7:08 am


    Thanks for the comment.

    I too agree that the oppression script has been extrapolated way beyond what it actually is. I think the manu smriti, lead pouring, reincarnation as dogs, twice or thrice born are all far fetched and bear no evidence.

    Your points about the ritual cleanliness of Brahmins is also valid. Let me add to your list, many of them wont allow women near the deities, wont even see women who are in their periods, wont touch people who have not had a bath, wont touch anyone (even other brahmins) before pooja, will only wear wet clothes washed by themselves, even if one of their own family members touches their clothes they will wash it again, the list continues.

    In fact, if they do touch (even other brahmins in their family) they would not only have to bathe again, but they would even have to re-wash their clothes.

    All these practices seldom had an effect on the scheduled castes. In order to understand their situation, you have to see them with respect to the landowning castes who controlled their productive living. At best they were a band of servants and landless labourers toiling to maintain the production of the landed classes. That is why I maintain that only SCs have a right for quota.

    In any case, much water has flown under the bridge. Shouries ideas stem from an alternate plan for upliftment of the SCs without resorting to numerical quotas. Maybe his plan migh have uplifted them (SCs) without encouraging divisiveness like the quota system does. In my view, to blanket oppose quotas in the current situation serves no purpose.

    Given the current reality, it is an extreme step to oppose SC/ST quotas. To start off, the constitution specifically mentions SC/ST as “castes” unlike OBCs who are called “classes”. So, to remove or alter the SC/ST quotas you would have to amend the constitution. An impossible task that would not find much support from even the forward castes.

    Yes, the SC/ST quota needs reform. Maybe sub-categorization like in AP is the answer to ensure even benefits. With SC/ST quotas it is hard to say when they will end.

    OBC quotas are a whole different story. These quotas are based on a opportunistic politics of under-representation. The moment enough OBCs make it through the general category, I think the rational for the OBC quota vanishes (at least the castes that make it to the general category).

    I wish Arun had talked more about OBC quotas, which is the hot issue today. His book is very interesting and points to large scale hijack of the OBC quota by vote bank politics.

  3. Sharan Sharma said, on June 27, 2006 at 8:18 am

    Thanks RC!
    I appreciate and get your point of view.

    Your posts are indeed very thought provoking.

  4. mineguruji said, on June 27, 2006 at 4:08 pm

    Reservations – Some Questions and their Answers
    Q: What is reservation?

    The word reservation is a misnomer. The appropriate word for it used in the
    Indian constitution is Representation. It is not given to anyone in his
    individual capacity. It is given to individual as a representative of the
    underprivileged community. The beneficiaries of reservations are in turn
    expected to help their communities to come up.

    Q: Why reservation?

    The policy of reservations is being used as a strategy to overcome
    discrimination and act as a compensatory exercise. A large section of the
    society was historically denied right to property, education, business and
    civil rights because of the practice of untouchability. In order to
    compensate for the historical denial and have safeguards against
    discrimination, we have the reservation policy.

    Q: Were Reservations incorporated by the founding fathers of the
    constitution only for first 10 years?

    Only the political reservations (seats reserved in Loksabha, Vidhansabha,
    etc) were to be reserved for 10 years and the policy review was to be made
    after that. That is why after every 10 years the parliament extends
    political reservations.

    The 10 year limit for reservations is not true for the reservations in
    education and employment. The reservations in educational institutions and
    in employment are never given extension as it is given for the political

    Q: Why give reservations on basis of caste?

    To answer this question we must first understand why the need for the
    reservations has arisen. The cause for the various types of disabilities
    that the underprivileged castes in India face / have faced, is the systemic
    historical subjugation of a massive magnitude based on caste system having a
    religious sanction. Therefore if the caste system was the prime cause of all
    the disabilities, injustice and inequalities that the Dalit-Bahujans
    suffered, then to overcome these disabilities the solution has to be
    designed on basis of caste only.

    Q: Why not on basis of economic criterion?

    Reservations should never be based on economic status for various reasons as

    1. The poverty prevailing among the Dalit-Bahujans has its genesis in the
    social-religious deprivations based on caste system. Therefore poverty is an
    effect and caste system a cause. The solution should strike at the cause and
    not the effect

    2. An individual’s Economic status can change. Low income may be taken to
    mean poverty. But the purchasing value of money, in India, depends upon
    caste. For example a Dalit can not buy a cup of tea even in some places.

    3. Practical difficulties in proving economic status of individual to the
    state machinery are many. The weak may suffer.

    4. In caste ridden India infested with rampant corruption, even for an
    unchangeable status like caste, the false “Caste Certificate” can be
    purchased. How much easier will it be to purchase a false “Income
    Certificate”? So income based reservation is impractical. It is no use
    arguing when both certificates can be bought, why caste only should form
    basis of reservation. It is certainly more difficult to buy a false caste
    certificate than a false income certificate.

    5. Reservation is not an end in itself. It is a means to an end. The main
    aim is to achieve the active participation and sharing by the “socially
    excluded” humanity in all the fields of the affairs of the society. It is
    not panacea for all ills, neither it is permanent. It would be a temporary
    measure till such time the matrimonial advertisements in newspaper columns
    continue to contain the mention of caste.

    Q: Should there be a creamy layer criterion or not?

    The demand from anti-reservationists for introduction of creamy layer is
    ploy to scuttle the whole effectiveness of reservations. Even now out of all
    seats meant for SC/STs in IITs , 25-40 % seats remain vacant because it
    seems IITs do not find suitable candidates. Just imagine what would happen
    if by applying creamy layer criterion the SC/ST middle class, lower middle
    class people who are in position to take decent education are excluded from
    reservations benefit ! Will the poor among SC/STs be able to compete with
    these ‘privileged ‘students’ trained under Ramaiah and at various IIT-JEE
    training centers at Kota ?
    Of course Not.
    This will lead to 100 % seats in IITs for SC/STs going vacant.

    Q: How long should the reservations continue?

    The answer to this question lies with the anti-reservationists. It depends
    on how sincerely and effectively the policy makers which constitute
    “privileged castes” people in executive, judiciary and legislature,
    implement the reservations policy.
    Is it just on part of “privileged castes” people who have enjoyed undeclared
    exclusive reservations for past 3000 years and continue to enjoy the same
    even in 21st century in all religious institutions and places of worship, to
    ask for the timelines for reservations policy?
    Why do not they ask, how long the exclusive reservations for particular
    community in the religious institutions and places of worship are going to

    The people who have acquired disabilities due to inhuman subjugation for
    3000 years will need substantial time to come over those disabilities. 50
    years of affirmative action is nothing as compared to 3000 years of

    Q: Will not the reservations based on castes lead to divisions in the

    There are apprehensions that reservations will lead to the divisions in the
    society. These apprehensions are totally irrational. The society is already
    divided into different castes. On the contrary reservations will help in
    annihilating the caste system. There are around 5000 castes among the SC/ST
    and OBCs. By grouping these various castes under 3 broad categories of SC,
    ST and OBC, the differences among 5000 separate castes can be abridged. This
    is a best way of annihilation of castes. Therefore rather than making
    rhetoric about reservations leading to divisions in the society the
    anti-reservationists should make honest and sincere efforts to annihilate
    castes. Have these people made any efforts towards this direction? In most
    of the cases the answer is NO. The people making these anti-reservations
    rhetoric, all this time have been enjoying all the privileges that the
    Indian caste system offers to the “Privileged Castes”. As long as they enjoy
    the privileges of the caste system they do not have any qualms regarding it.
    But when it comes to making castes as basis for achieving social equality by
    providing representations these same people make noises. These are the
    double standards of highest order practiced by the ‘privileged’ people.

    Q: Will not reservations affect the Merit?

    As regards to how Merit is defined in a very narrow sense and what it
    actually means, following is the quote from an article by Prof Rahul Barman
    of IIT Kanpur.

    “Is merit all about passing exams? After all, are the exams a means or an
    end? If the exams are means to look for ability to make better engineers,
    doctors and managers, then can there be better methods to look for such
    ability? After all in my first engineering class I was told that a good
    engineer is the one who can produce the best out of the least resources and
    similarly, management is supposed to find one’s way in an uncertain
    situation – or allocate scarce resources in the most optimal way possible.
    If that is so, whatever I have seen of our deprived masses (of which
    overwhelming majority belongs to the backward, dalit castes or adivasis),
    they have the astonishing capacity to make something productive from almost
    next to nothing! For the last few years I have been studying small industry
    clusters, like Moradabad brass, Varanasi silk and Kanpur leather. Put
    together (all the clusters in the country), they are exporting more than the
    IT sector and their cumulative employment will be several times of the
    whole of IT industry. In all these clusters they operate with miniscule
    resources – small investment, no electricity, forget about air-conditioning,
    non existent roads, lack of water, and little formal education. These
    clusters are primarily constituted of these so called backward/ dalit castes
    and are truly a tribute to the genius that our society is. But in spite of
    centuries of excellence these communities have hardly produced any formal
    ‘engineers’, ‘doctors’ and ‘managers’, and conversely these elite
    institutions have not developed any linkages with such industries and their
    people. ”

    Reservations of more than 60 % have existed in the 4 states of southern
    India and around 40 % in Maharashtra since last 50 years. On other hand in
    the north Indian states the 15 % ‘privileged castes’ have been enjoying 77 %
    of the seats in educational institutions and in employment (assuming that 23
    % reservations for SC/STs are totally filled, which is not the case). The
    World Bank study has found that all the 4 south Indian states are much ahead
    of north Indian states in terms of their human development index. It is a
    common knowledge that all the southern states and Maharashtra are much ahead
    in fields of education, health, industrial development, in implementing
    poverty alleviation schemes, etc. than the north Indian states. This shows
    that reservations have indeed helped the southern Indian states in making
    progress on various fronts. Whereas lack of adequate reservations is
    responsible for the lack of development in most of the north Indian states.

    Q: Have existing reservations for SC/STs been effective or not?

    The reservation policy in the public sector has benefited a lot of people.
    The Central government alone has 14 lakh employees. The proportion of
    Scheduled castes in class III and IV is well above the quota of 16 per cent
    and in class I and II, the proportion is around 8–12 per cent. So, the
    middle and the lower middle class that we see today from the Dalit community
    is because of reservation. With no reservation, the entry of these people in
    government services would have been doubtful.
    The situation is similar in education. An article in the EPW (Economic and
    Political Weekly) estimates that there are seven lakh SC /ST students in
    higher education and about half of them are there because of reservation.
    Reservation has certainly helped but there are limitations in any policy
    with the way it is implemented.

  5. barbarindian said, on June 27, 2006 at 6:52 pm

    The word reservation is a misnomer.

    The correct terminology is fre seats. Some prefer government sactioned bank robbery.

  6. XYZ said, on June 28, 2006 at 5:41 pm

    1.nobody denies that a considerable section of society in the north is deprived.

    2.but the cure should not be worse than the disease.

    3.there are many problems in the unorganised sector

    4.we are talking about organisation on western lines.

    5.should more people be deprived

    6.i strongly believe india needs more quality institutions.US has so many fine universities.

    7.north india has not yet caught the TN virus,which is caste animosity.the true motivation there is power.what they are after is prestige through short cuts.

    8.The world Bank doesnt give a damn about equality.they would be happyto cut india to pieces.Andre Betille(Prof. of Sociology,Delhi university) remarked that the indian elites learned more from the practice of inequality by the british colonial govt than by their professions of equality.

    9.the reservation system was invented by the british to divide indians..

    11 in TN,the system succeeded because there was an ethnic linguistic element

    12 if implemented in central institutions,it will increase separatism

    13 regarding coahing institutes,democracies cannot wish them away.iits select the best,there are no quotas for this or that there is great competition.when high standards are set people aspire for it.that is human nature.nobody aspires to be second andhra which is in south india,students train in coaching institutes.Sociology,history,politics and law perhaps require no can write whatever you please.

    14.iits have admitted outstanding students,produced outstanding graduates,engineers,educationists and leaders in many walks of life.those who dreamt the vision of iits and built their edifice are worthy of our respect.

    15. let us not bringthem down.we can build or strengthen other institutions of quality,where standards of admission be lighter.

    16.Marx said that politicians will talk about past injustices rather than future dreams.

    17.everyone has a`right to vote.the politicians can frame policies to ensure fair opportunities for all

    18.what they really want is to humiliate the brahmanas,not to improve the downtrodden

  7. XYZ said, on June 28, 2006 at 5:54 pm

    19.mine guruji as usual is for retenti0n of creamy layer,so that these ‘backwards’ can eliminate competition from forwards,need not share fruits with the real backwards.what they are asking for is something like what Hiranyakashipu wished for.”permanent svarga”.

    20. immoral power,without being responsible to anyone.

  8. Bruno said, on June 29, 2006 at 3:01 am

    //north india has not yet caught the TN virus,which is caste animosity.//

    Thankfully we don’t burn dalits alive giving less importance to a living dalit than a dead cow, in tamilnadu

    If that is animosity, I have no comments

    Tamil nadu has enacted law to give quotas and scholarship to children born out of intercaste marriage.

    Do you know this.

  9. barbarindian said, on June 29, 2006 at 4:36 pm

    Tamil nadu has enacted law to give quotas and scholarship to children born out of intercaste marriage.

    Dr. Bruno, we know this. Let me also mention here that recently Meira Kumar proposed that children borne out of a wedlock between a Dalit woman and an upper-caste man be deemed eligible for quotas as well. Earlier the rule only applied for children who had a Dalit father.

    If anything, this perpetutes the alleged brahminical belief that once you touch a Dalit ….

  10. XYZ said, on June 29, 2006 at 4:37 pm

    erratta to my last post

    19. like hiranyakashipu….”permanent backwardness”

    in UP,a dalit became a chief minister,she is a leader in her own right.

    is it possible in TN?

    not in another 100 years

    is there one dalit leader in TN who has a place in mainstream TN politics

    Thirumavalavan was offered 2 seats by DMK in the TN leegislature elections

    BSP has 19 seats in the Lok Sabha

    so much for social justice in TN

    my point is not to accuse each other

    we all need to grow.we need to have mutual respect for each other.

    india is a multi racial,multi ethnic,multi lingual society.

    there has been considerable progress in the last 60 years.

    take for example,nadars in tirunelveli district,where you come from.

    are they backward? the answer is NO

    SSN college in Madras,MEPCO SCHENK in sivakasi are two of the best colleges in TN.This is due to the hard work and drive of the community

    apart from this there are numerous colleges run by CSI,catholic,evangelical and inviduals

    yet the nadars and christians claim to be ‘backward’

    why is there no ardour to uplift mutharayars in thanjavur,tiruchi and karur?

    what about konars?no proportionate reservation for them in TN

    no proportionate reservation for scs in private engg colleges

    no reservation for SCs in oil mills,litho printing presses,fireworks factories,provision stores,waste paper stores

    but reservation in iits, because we are “backward”

    remember we have made all this progress after independence.

    nobody is being discriminated.

    everyone can live with dignity

  11. XYZ said, on June 29, 2006 at 5:04 pm

    correction : no reservation for sc in ownership of oilmills,…

  12. XYZ said, on June 29, 2006 at 5:15 pm


    SSN and MEPCO SCHENK are two of the best engineering colleges in TN

    there are numerous (about 75)engineering colleges run by catholic,CSI(church of south india),evangelical and indviduals,apart from thousands of arts,science,teacher training,paramedical colleges run on govt funding

    there are 65 telugu minority engineering colleges.that is another sick joke.many of them ardent supporters of “thamizh ina thalaivar”

  13. realitycheck said, on June 30, 2006 at 4:17 am


    Except a handful, all the engineering, teachers training, medical colleges are owned by OBCs. I dont think Dalits own any colleges in TN.

    The common view is that Nadars have come up due to their own hard work and community support. They are not benefitting that much from the BC category, that is why they are demanding to be classified as MBC

    A select group of OBCs have always dominated the medical profession, even prior to independence. They were so elite that they donated land and founded Stanley Medical College, great Mudaliar scholars founded the Veterinary College in Chennai and the Madras Medical College. Brahmins were never in a position to even think of oppressing this powerful community. Now even such forward communities as Tuluva Vellalars are classified as “backward”. The question is “backward” compared to whom, the Manhattan Jewish community ?

    Again that is why we need data. That is also why we will not get any data.

  14. Bruno said, on July 1, 2006 at 4:44 am

    the fact which Reality check again and again hides is that

    95 % of Brahmins are in influential posts in Govt and Corporates where as only 3 % of nadars are rich

    The other 97 % are still below poverty line working as labourers

    Just because there are 100 nadars who are rich and influential it does not mean that the community is forward

    Please don’t misguide using wrong statistics and arguments

  15. realitycheck said, on July 1, 2006 at 9:08 am

    This is why we need data. You are just pulling numbers out of your hat (ed).

    Brahmins are conveniently projected as being wealthy, employed in high government positions, highly educated and so forth. This projection is totally flawed and can be easily proved to be so. It is very rare to find brahmins in state government service, police, law, even politics (even at the level of local bodies). A number of brahmins are just cooks, who live and work in grimy conditions and can barely survive. Another vast number are small time priests of temples who dont even have clean clothes and live off 20-30 rupees a day. Another bunch are just doing marginal stuff such as astrology, helping with poojas. A huge chunk are getting by making appalams, murukkus, and pickles and stuff. Only a minority are flying around the world and owning companies. Remember India is still a very poor country. No community is 95% wealthy.

    You should encourage the government to collect statistics about state government employment, university enrollment, college and school ownership.

  16. Barbarindian said, on July 1, 2006 at 8:52 pm


    Your comments may be the best part of your blog.

  17. XYZ said, on July 2, 2006 at 4:29 pm

    people like bruno will never accept the truth.

    i am fairly conversant with tirunelveli.nadars completely dominate busines in tirunelveli.the brahmanas who are left in the district are poor and backward.

    i live in ….the waste paper mart nadar who has his shop in the govt poromboke land nearby must be earning 25 times what i earn every month.that is a reflection on his enterprise and the way the govt functions and collects taxes.he is smart enough to occupy govt land.

    he is extremely hard working,but what i cannot understand is,how can he be classified as backward.

    he has a house and 5 autos as far as i know

    even Dr. Bruno must be intelligent and hardworking.but they hate brahmanas.

    from a tamil christian nationalist view point it is understandable.but why foist it on rest of india

    the statistics on 3% and 97% is pure hatred

    tamil brahmanas are not to be found in TN state machinery

    what they are seeking is proportional reservation .

    bruno has not replied to my posts on the number of engineering colleges owned by christian proportional reservation proportional reservation for sc’s,mutharayars.or in business

  18. XYZ said, on July 2, 2006 at 5:26 pm

    today v.p. singh has called for a referendum on reservation

    i think reservation is becoming inevitable in central institutions.

    but as reality check has emphasised,if india has to have any future the creamy layer has to be removed

    in an earlier post i had made some childish remarks on india of our dreams.

    but india means different things to different people.

    the distinguished tamil-kannada poet A.K.Ramanujam had asked the question whether india was one or many.he compared india with the word “trousers” .Is ‘trousers’ singular or plural.He said something to the effect ,plural at the bottom and one at the top.

    even V.P. Singh who is a ‘thakur’ cares two hoots for india.they will wreck everything for their personal animosity.he was chosen by indira gandhi.if this is the attitude of ‘kshatriyas’ in north india,what can one say of others

    india has been a united political entity only for 100 years.everyone wants a piece of the cake.nobody can stop can only hope there will fairness in determining backwardness.

    this is where TN shouuld not be the benchmark.

    otherwise all the gains after independence will be lost.

    an inclusive society will unleash the constructive capacities of indians.

    it will make everyone have a stake in the future.

    but quotas based on proportional representation will tear india apart.anbumani,chidambaram,maran,ramadoss,bruno will have their moment of glory and then nothing will remain.

    the french historian Sylvan Levi said that the indian nation is based on ‘….profound conceptions,ideals,kinship of ties between extremely differing people reared on the same foundation and exigencies of situation.’This is true perhaps of any nation.what is left in india seems to be only exigencies of situation.

    Again may be every nation passes through these cycles periodically.

    but it deeply pains one,when V.P.Singh,Ramadoss and people of their ilk get together on a ‘social justice’ platform,it means the chauvinistic groups want a licence to do whatever they please

  19. realitycheck said, on July 2, 2006 at 5:52 pm


    If you have time read, the book, “The rise and decline of Nations” by Mancur Olson a Nobel Prize winning American economist.

    When people secure rewards not because of effort but because they are members of a group, he will work to strengthen that group. Olsen shows that this is bound to happen. By its nature the members of this group are “anti the-whole”.

    That is what we are seeing today with primary education. It just not rational for members of these exclusive groups (OBC component and caste based parties) to work for the larger society. This involves massive upgrade of primary education, standardizaton of syllabii, land reforms, and other dalit welfare activities. If they take on these tasks, they will have to take on a disproportionate share of work to make it happen, while reaping a miniscule reward for their group. They would like to focus on tasks that result in benefits that are exclusive to their group.

    This book is brilliant. You see the worst aspects of it happening all around us. You will never find “group leaders” such as Ramadoss, Deve Gowda, Karunanidhi, Lalloo talk about things like land reform, primary education, improvement of schools, measurement of social justice activities and the like.

    So here we are now, ready to spend 16,000 cr on a massive expansion of tertiary education which is *not* a priority. A knowledge superhighway cannot be built on village schools with no teachers, no books, no library, no internet, no toilet. Still you wont find anyone take on these tasks, because these are for “the-whole”.

    It is fascinating reading, if you extrapolate it to the Indian OBC situation today.

  20. XYZ said, on July 2, 2006 at 5:56 pm

    Hrecently i read an article by a frenchman in ‘Hindu’,wherein he had emphasised the role of language in education.

    this is something which has always disturbed me.

    the writer has pointed out in this article,that the european languages had come out of the shadow of the shadow of latin since the Enlightment.

    in european nations and even korea there are excellent books on technical subjects.this is not the case in india.

    i have found students who are otherwise bright,unable to express themselves in english.they also have a difficulty in comprehending english.

    this is also inflaming the reservation issue.The politicians,dravidian nationalists send their children to english medium schools.

    though english has no role to play in admission to iits,lack of knowledge of english is a handicap in understanding the moder world.particularly for ordinary tamilians,who have little knowledge of modern literature,fed as they are by yellow journals like nakkeeran,dinakaran

    it would be wrong to penalise the brahmanas for their knowledge of the english language.but it is important to build capabilities in the regional languages without inflaming linguistic chauvinism.(i am sounding like a politician,but this is has an important bearing on the reservation issue.)

  21. Bruno said, on July 3, 2006 at 12:07 am

    //tamil brahmanas are not to be found in TN state machinery//


    It is because of the reservation

    Can you tell the statistics for the following

    1. Percentage of Brahmins in Indian Population
    2. Percentage of Brahmins in Indian Intelligence services
    3. Percentage of Brahmins in Percentage of Brahmins in Indian Foreign Services
    4. Percentage of Brahmins in Media in New Delhi and Mumbai (MSM)

    It is a plain truth that Forward Community dominate in virtually every where except in South India

    Why are you worried only about few nadars

    Why can’t you see the whole picture

    Few Nadars in Tamil Nadu are affluent. Not every one

  22. Bruno said, on July 3, 2006 at 12:09 am

    // bruno has not replied to my posts on the number of engineering colleges owned by christian proportional reservation proportional reservation for sc’s,mutharayars.or in business//

    This is a baseless false statement. SO there is no need to comment on this

    The colleges owned by Aditanar group as well as by JPR (these are a lot of colleges) implement the 69 percent reservation in Admissions as well as Job Recruitment

  23. Bruno said, on July 3, 2006 at 12:10 am

    // but as reality check has emphasised,if india has to have any future the creamy layer has to be removed//

    Creamy layer is already excluded from OBC Reservation

    Why can’t the reality check who gives so many data, correct such false statements

    Why is that you come with a lot of statistics sometimes, but do not point out such mistakes

    Please don’t mislead !!!

  24. realitycheck said, on July 3, 2006 at 5:09 am

    Enforcing representation based on ones population share in all walks of life is the sure way to disaster. Quotas are a tool to offset oppression and discrimination, no more.

    Why only a handful of OBCs own 80% of fertile land ? Should we redistribute it to the Dalits and FCs according to their population share ? Will the Gowdas, Reddys, Gounders, Naickers agree to this type of redistribution ?

    Why Christians get permission to dominate educational institutions much more than their population share ? Should they only be allowed to control 8% of school and college seats ? Should the government take over CMC vellore and redistribute seats according to population ?

    Chettiars control a majority of banking, oil, and fertilizer industry ? Should other OBCs/Dalits/FC demand share proportional to their population ?

    Why FCs being 12% of TN population (according to 2001 census) are only 4 in TN assembly. Shouldnt 12% of 236 be around 30 ?

    Christians dominate in nurses who go abroad, what about Dalit hindus/OBC ? Should we have quota for that too ?

    Muslims have reaped benefits going to the gulf. What about poor hindus/christians ? How can we allow Muslims being 10% of the population take 70% of gulf jobs ?

    Should we cap the number of Mudaliar/Pillai doctors based on their communities population ?

    Why most highly paid DJs at 5-star hotel parties are Christian ? These DJs earn lakhs per night. That is grossly unfair, everyone should be represented equally. So DJ Craig should give way to a muslim or dalit hindu. I hope he doesnt mind.

    OBCs are well represented in the media. Dont invent oppression stories. The topmost media in south india with over 14 channels it OBC (actually MBC) dominated. The top newspapers in TN/KA/AP/KE (Deccan Herald,Chronicle, Dinakaran, Malayala Manorama, The Week, Outlook) are owned by OBCs. All the NDTV staff in chennai are OBC. Jaya TV, E-TV, Sun TV, Vijay and Raj are owned by OBCs.

    Let me turn it around and ask you. Why no Dalits own newspapers or TV channels ? Why no Dalits own hotels ? Should the government take over 4 of Sun TVs 14 channels and give it to the Dalits according to their population share ?

  25. XYZ said, on July 3, 2006 at 4:55 pm

    what i meant was,how many engineering colleges are owned by dalits

    thinathanthi,rani,owned by nadars.until recently dinakaran owned by nadars.The declared income of KPK Kumaran,DMK candidate for rajya sabha elections coming up ,(former owner of dinakaran) is Rs. 125 maran owns the paper.according to maran’s own admission he paid Rs. 400 crores to KPK family.Backward indeed!!!

    it is these papers which do Goebbelsian propaganda about ‘backwardness,reservation etc’

    is it too much to expect honesty from tamil nationalists

  26. XYZ said, on July 3, 2006 at 5:25 pm

    why no proportional reservation in the ownwership of engineering colleges,in the ownership of property

    why is no zeal to eliminate rentier capitalism,benaami land ownership,bogus trusts holding illegal money to the tune of thousands of crores

    honestly,i am not interested in all these issues.nobody can change this,realistically

    all i care about is ,why this zeal for equality in education and govt. appointments alone.

    as regards govt jobs,we have given up.

    we have no hope of justice in TN govt education institutions

    speaking for myself,iits were way beyond me during my student days

    i am not emotionally attached to iits

    but the system is fair.if one is going to tinker or tamper with,there has to some logic or reason

    most ‘backwards’ are having great opportunities to pursue quality education in TN

    they have a great future ahead of them.

    We want everyone to grow.that was the vision JN Nehru,Subash Bose set for us.

    the previous century and this one present us extraordinary possibilities.

    every one should be empowered from the cobbler to the temple priest.

    india is a laboratory for this experiment.india can be example for the entire human race.

    indian nationalism is not narrow hindu is essentially humanism in the indian context.

    what we want is upholding of basic human values like equality before law.

    it is wrong to discriminate against one,while giving preferential treatment to an undeserving person

  27. XYZ said, on July 3, 2006 at 5:50 pm

    i want to present a historical perpective of reservation in TN

    1.during Justice party days,the bigwigs did not give a damn to the common man was the congress party which insisted on universal franchise

    3.due to complex reasons congress was defeated by DMK

    4.Kalaignar during 69-75 period was more interested in eliminating one community than in any general improvement

    5.the reservation problem came to a head during MGR’s time.

    6.MGR,himself a menon,was torn between his genuine empathy for the poor,tamil nationalism,indian national feelings and sympathy for the travails of one community in TN

    7.he realised the conflicting claims of different sections had their own logic and emotional appeal

    8.he opened the door for private engineering colleges,so that the supply situation will improve.

    9.many non brahmins supported him.
    they maintained a fine balance between the competing claims of tamil and indian nationalism

    10 though there`was tension,they tried to reconcile both

    11 situation has vastly improved now in TN

    12 the tamil experiment cannot be repeated elsewhere

    13 i would point out again that kalaignar has always used reservation to bait one community. was because of MGR and his supporters the awareness was increased and the supply position improved.

    15.there has to a vision for the society as a whole,not just division into votebanks

  28. XYZ said, on July 4, 2006 at 3:09 pm position in private engg colleges pvt engg colleges,in the govt ‘free’ and ‘payment’ seats the sc seats are not fully filled.the scs cannot afford either.there is not a big difference in the fees between the two categories.there is no reservation in the management category for scs.

    3.does Dr. Bruno not know this

    4.Why no prop. reservation there

    5.i am not demanding prop. reservation

    6.why selective application of the demand for prop. reservation

  29. XYZ said, on July 4, 2006 at 4:42 pm

    thanks for your suggestion on the book ‘The rise and fall of nations’.i will try to get it.

  30. JeromeKonar said, on September 13, 2006 at 12:52 pm

    It is sad to see that India still practices such as caste and segregation of the Rich and poor. I live in South Africa and this country had a similiar policy whereby the skin colour was the issue. India can thrive if the people are united and treated as equals and not as dalits. Shame on India for not scrapping this issue and educating their people to think positively and not look down on others. I am ashamed of India and my roots are in India(South). If I visited india I will probably be classed or treated as the rest of the Indians of India. Get with the times you fools. It is 2006 and not 1706.

  31. albergo economico praga said, on January 10, 2007 at 11:48 pm

    albergo economico praga


  32. kunal said, on February 1, 2007 at 5:37 pm

    myself kunal,
    i question is that for how many years this reservation is in practice, general peoples like us has to move out from this country because of this,being a general students we hav to suffered a lot in big instution for them the cutt off is less,why dont they send front during the wars,for other thinks they provide one of the point here written as

    The people who have acquired disabilities due to inhuman subjugation for
    3000 years will need substantial time to come over those disabilities. 50
    years of affirmative action is nothing as compared to 3000 years of

    ok so tell me only thebackward classess suffered not the generals,wat is the proof of this.
    today every politicians says we are equal,but i m asking where we are equal,they dont study they govt.job,
    so my thinking is that the time has come to change this system or all generals should leave this country and settles in some developed countries,so our children dont faces any problems.

  33. Orient Views said, on November 17, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Happened to see this article after long time.. the usual stereotype on the supposed evil caste and the SC & STs..

    I have written different perspective about this acusation of caste, particularly untouchability, in my blog.. pls visit it when you find time..

    The discrimination argument is merely a propoganda by colonial forces, to create wedges in the society.. and so as other accusations..

    1. Dalits never did night soil cleaning in our original bharathiya society.. because there was no concept of toilet system in almost all the villages of india just 40 years before. How can the dalits do a job that does not exist?

    2. Temple entry – its true that certain communities are not allowed to enter certain temples.. what is wrong in that? a temple is not a congregational place like church.. It is a place where divinity resides, and utmost cleanliness and saanithyam has to be maintained inside the temple. The communities which worked in leather products are not allowed inside vaideeha temple and it is perfectly legitimate and right.
    Secondly, these communities had their own temples, specifically for them. So it does not mean that they were deprived of worship just because they were not allowed in big temples..

    3. The ST or scheduled tribes were living in forests and hills and had their own autonomy in their region. there was no discrimination ever done to them. Infact it is the indian government which has been driving them away from their homeland in the name of development.

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