Reality Check India

Peddler of lies ?

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on March 3, 2007

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Data will set us free

A prominent blogger  (see last few comments) repeatedly accused me of peddling lies. Apparently, he was upset by me quoting the NSSO 61st Round data comparing TNs OBC population with the low OBC counts in Bengal. He claimed that the NSSO used the state lists and the central lists count would have indicated a different story. First of all, NSSO used a self reporting census methodology. Second, the state and central lists are not that different atleast not for TN.  The burden of proof is on the one making the accusations.

Since this is a recurring theme on this blog, I need a post for this.

Hypotheses vs Lies

Consider an example. Whenever I claim “the lack of data is severely affecting the really backward” or “there are unexplained regional differences in social backwardness” – I am just stating a hypotheses. Are these just lies ? Do I have data to prove that it is affecting the really backward ?  Of course, I dont have data – the purpose of this blog is to push for data. Only data can help us test these hypotheses. Is this then irresponsible speculation intended to confuse ? What is the difference between a speculation and a hypotheses ? Between a lie and a hypotheses ?

Hypotheses are single tentative guesses–good hunches–assumed for use in devising theory or planning experiment, intended to be given a direct experimental test when possible – Eric Rogers.

My hypotheses are not speculations because they meet two requirements : 1) they are testable and 2) they are falsifiable.

Unless proven to be false, some statements continues their life as a hypotheses. A comfortable middle ground between “patently false (lie)” and “patently true(truth)”. If you want to turn this blog into a bunch of lies, then you have to take on the work of “falsifying” the various hypotheses in this blog. Every single one of the hypotheses in this blog is falsifiable by data. My agenda is only to test these hypotheses – not to move them towards truth or falsehood.

Social backwardness line 

I have been amazed at the opposition I encounter from some quarters when I ask for a data driven social policy. What on earth can be more obvious than asking for a clear identification of “socially and educationally backward” candidates in a policy to address “social and educational backwardness” ? Isnt it as simple as selecting obese people for a weight reduction camp ?

What does “socially backward” mean ? Does it include people who are clumsy taking to the ballroom dance floor at the Palaise de’ Fontainebleau ? I exagerrate of course, but then does it include people who throw the most lavish and elite wedding parties at the top hotels and halls in India ? Does it include film stars and other glitterati who the public dies to get a glimpse of ?  We have to realize that “socially backward” is not a self defining group like african americans, bumiputeras, racial minorities, blacks of SA / ZA, or even the scheduled caste, tribes, or muslims.

You might say, “Not so fast RC, the stone breakers, nomadic wanderers, small time magicians, artisans are all caught in a caste-trap. They are obviously socially disadvantaged. If they did not make the SC list, then obviously they are the socially backward people we are talking about.”

You may also add, “Stop the nonsense RC,  dont spread lies. The socially backward are the ones who are the servants, labourers, landless peasants – dont mislead by bringing in film stars, doctors, actors, and other glitterati. Lies, Lies,..”

This brings us to the crux of why data is important. 

We all agree who the socially backward groups are. That is not the issue. Most of us holding different positions can accurately pick out socially backward people from a sample. Most of us know which groups are still hindered by caste. In fact, most of us will accurately pick the same groups with great fidelity.

The problem is not one of “who is socially backward” but of “who is NOT socially backward”. 

All of us who so accurately picked socially backward people will now be greatly divided. Where is the line ? We all agreed beggars, snakecharmers, stonebreakers are socially backward – but we cant agree on landlords, filmstars, celebrities, ministers, officials, professors. We cant agree on whether to factor in economic criteria, because there are so many upper castes below the poverty line.

This is where data comes in. Can “social backwardness” be defined then measured ? Can a group throw the most lavish wedding parties for its celebrity members and yet be socially backward ? You might argue- a lavish wedding is an individual event. Then the question is how many such individual events does it take to have an impact on the groups backwardness!

The next question : Can a consensus ever be built on who is NOT socially and educationally backward ?

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30 Responses

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  1. vatsan said, on March 3, 2007 at 9:17 am

    The line is decided by
    a) how much votng power the caste has,
    b) how the votes will swing if the status is accorded
    c) can the caste be percieved to be socially backward, percieved, not whether they actually are!!.

    thts the line fixed by the politicians.

    Please ask shivam to clarify the indicators used to determine how a caste is socially backward. and if all the castes classified as backward in india are below the indicators. secondly how many have improved from the time they were classified as backward. the point is that by the classification they shud improve right? if they were classified as backward, in 1990, by 2007, there should be some improvement in the indicators used to classify them as backward rite? if their situation is worse,assessed based on the indicators speficied, then the policy isnt working. time for a change?

  2. RC said, on March 3, 2007 at 10:07 am

    vatsan,

    There are rough guidelines, what we need are data against those guidelines. For example consider the educational backwardness criteria.

    >> Castes and communities, whose literacy rate is at least 8% less than the State or district average >>

    Well, Sachar lays this rule to rest. In 10 states muslims are not 8% less than state average in fact they are more than the state average. In TN, Muslims are 10% more literate than hindu OBC and 20% more than SC/ST. Same story in 10 states. So – the governments own committee (Sachar) has invalidated the inclusion of all muslims in OBC category in TN/AP/ and 8 other states.

    See this link for my comments on Sachar literacy rate data https://realitycheck.wordpress.com/2006/12/29/the-sachar-muslim-literacy-rate-puzzle/

  3. opinionated man said, on March 3, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    dear rc,
    why are you responding to thugs like vij?we all know reservation has little to do with backwardness and everything with power equations.

    They are waiting for brahmanas to capitulate.They might even give us some crumbs.We can go back to old ages .May be again muslims or christians will dominate us.Then the game(that is how these rascals see it) will start again.By then most of us will not be here.

    I am talking like a brahmana pauranika.

  4. Confused said, on March 3, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    RC,

    Ah well, the said prominent blogger has no time for data, these are merely externalities which have no relevance.

    We should have reservations because the said blogger wants them. Period.

  5. Barbarindian said, on March 3, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    As you can see, quota for the socially and economically backward is a contradiction in terms. You want kids from the snakecharmer community to go to IIT. Now, do you want the kid of a practicing snakecharmer to go to the school or from an ex-charmer for several generations now working in an MNC? So, you throw in the economic criterion and the whole thing collapses.

    That is why Mr. Social Reformer started singing the tune of representation. What a baloney idea it is.

    The way our esteemed FM handled the budget is wholly repugnant. He claims a lot of things are just not known, as if in India we need to rediscover all laws of economics. The same goes for education. We know what needs to be done. It will not be because it will not garner votes.

    The problem is somewhat due to the public as well. I believe the public is getting what it deserves. No one is interested in any policy that aims for growth for everyone. The mantra is ” Mujhe kya milega”? It has always been that way with this artficially created country.

  6. Observer said, on March 3, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    I have not posted comments on this blog before, however I have been following this blog almost every weekend for the last few months. Initially, when I first stumbled across this blog last year, I was completely amazed at the professional and insightful nature of this site. Being used to reading standard Indian media with their slanted and cliched writing, with many factual errors, it was refreshing to see a website which actually referred to facts in a very objective and informed way in its articles. Blogs like these should be made required reading for all current and aspiring editors in Indian news media.

    As a Brahmana, of course I am interested in some of the debates on here, but I think I speak for many Brahmanas who really are interested in being part of an Indian society where policies are driven by the desire to truly uplift all Indians instead of perpetuating poverty for generations to come. I do know that such policies cannot be formed in a divisive and bitter environment, where emotions of revenge and jealousy, rather than reason and objectivity serve as the basis of the policies formulated.

    My perception is that Indians, being a primarily agrarian society, are used to thinking of all resources as being finite in amount, similar to farmland. The same reasoning is applied by the politicians and bureaucrats to non-finite resources like education and jobs, which results in the divisive politics being witnessed nowadays.

    I am glad that blogs like these are elevating the level of understanding of these issues in a professional and fact-based manner. No policies should be formulated without having rigorous guidelines, data and continuous monitoring of outcomes to back them up. Emphasis on these separate the shrill and petty blogs (of which there are plenty) from the cream.

  7. Barbarindian said, on March 4, 2007 at 12:43 am

    My perception is that Indians, being a primarily agrarian society, are used to thinking of all resources as being finite in amount, similar to farmland.

    Not sure I agree. Even now India perhaps really uses 60% – 70% of its potential arable land, not sure, need to check out FAO website. In the ancient times, people really couldn’t see beyond the horizon and usually the idea was that the earth is infinite. So, even if your theory is correct, it must have started after the invention of modern sciences etc. In other words after the British times. Even in the Mughal times I believe scarcity of land was not a major problem. Rains, river patterns, crop diseases and insects would be perceived as far more threatening issues.

    Even by the end of Mughal era the world had suffciently advanced so that one could easily see effects of various economic policies. Perhaps Farmer to tradesmen ratio was less that 50% in those days. Again, not sure.

    The concept of economy being a zero sum game is a communist one. It was essentially imported towards the middle of the Indian nationalist movement. Added to the Indian xenophobia and group hatred (which has been in existence since Vedic times), it is potent enough to keep the country in the dark ages.

    My current favorite idea is that India needs to be broken up. All socio-political and economic literature points to this same conclusion.

  8. Observer said, on March 4, 2007 at 1:42 am

    At least currently in India, there is almost no unclaimed land available. Nobody can create land, it either belongs to the govt or to private parties. That is what I was referring to. when I mentioned the limited mind-set of our politicians and a substantial portion of the public. This clamor for quotas has always been present ever since the days of the license raj, where production was tightly controlled for items like automobiles, telephones, petroleum products, TVs etc. The politicians could then play king and promise a telephone connection, or a petrol station, or new buses, etc to their favored villages or localities for votes. Indira Gandhi’s telecommunications minister (Stephen) remarked that “telephones are a luxury product” when asked why so few Indians had telephone connections. Right now, of course, such kind of thinking seems comical.

    Similarly, when the education market is liberalized, with the government only in a supervisory role to prevent fly-by-night operators from cheating people, these education quotas would become irrelevant. Lots of colleges would be opened and operated autonomously, with free and fair competition among them for students automatically making things affordable. Colleges would themselves work out the right mix of pricing to be competitive and to get as many students as possible. Anybody who is desirous of a good education, can then avail themselves of one.

    A politician or bureaucrat will elicit only derision or laughter today if he says that he will grant a 50% quota in all mobile phones to OBCs to win votes. Anyone who wants one today can buy one himself, without needing to promise a vote to a politician. With the downsizing of the govt, govt job quotas may also become irrelevant, with most lucrative jobs manufactured in the private sector.

  9. vatsan said, on March 4, 2007 at 10:30 am

    RC,

    Education is just one indicator, Im asking the prominent blogger for a whole set of indicators. which IM sure he cannot produce. so his argument for reservation is bullshit.

  10. xyz said, on March 4, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    There are three types of people who are supporting reservarion.Their common ground is envy of talented kids.
    1)karu and co are basically intelligent.They have robust common sense.But they cannot tolerate a(relatively)fair skinned guy who is sharp,can speak good english and who will not be tempted by cheap pleasures.(i mean tamil prostitutes)
    2)The shivam vij types.Shallow,lacking depth in any decent branch of learning,one-dimensional,professional patriots,having neither the inclination nor the capability to learn anything,obtuse,dogmatic,incapable of accepting change or contributing anything worthwhile,who derive a purpose in life only through totalitarian ideologies.

    They can find meaning in life only through professions of sympathy for a downtrodden oppressed class,whose existence they might not even be aware of,except in their tortured imagination.

    3)Outright thugs like Ramadoss,Ram Vilas Paswan who have no agenda other than this and have muscle power.

    Of these three classes,perhaps karu alone can be made to see reason.Even a karu hater like me,feels that if sanity has to return,the dmk leader has to make a U turn.Because a substantial tamil non-brahmin middle class,which can hold its own(atleast in TN exams) has emerged.

    RC,
    Wishing you all the best.

  11. xyz said, on March 4, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    Observer,
    What you say is true.Even IIT graduates admit that there is no need for such a tough exam.I know at least two IIT professors who have recogonised that the IIT entrance tests are very tough and perhaps need not be so.

    We can have more universities,more seats in IITs.But there has to be equity in the admission process.The need for standardization in admission,recruitment of faculty cannot be denied.

    If we have to evolve as a nation,the personal agendas of karu,paswan and eramadachu cannot be appeased.

  12. Reason said, on March 4, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    Approaching this issue only from the politicians/political angle is incomplete. You got to focus on the sections of society who are in this race for backwardness and who see nothing wrong in benefitting from a scheme that is promoted in the name of the ‘downtrodden’.
    How do you make Karu or anyone else see reason? Why would they want to see reason? As long as this section of the society remains silent, if Karu sees reason Jaya will scream, and if Jaya sees reason Karu will scream. If by some strange fortune they both see reason, a new dravida entity will take up that opportunity to start screaming.

  13. Revathi said, on March 4, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    I agree with observer that liberalisation of education will help in evening out the quota problem but this will happen only when govt aided or private institutions are given freedom to define their own categories of forwardness and backwardness in the manner they see fit. If this happened, even today, I am sure that most universities can decide very well for themselves as to who is backward without any instructions from big brother.

  14. Barbarindian said, on March 4, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    Even IIT graduates admit that there is no need for such a tough exam.

    With that sort of acceptance levels there is no option but to give a tough exam. You give an easy paper and perhaps 100,000 will qualify.

    What is not equitable is the education pipeline. Privatization of education is a must. Otherwise all this talk of demographic dividend will remain just talk.

  15. Observer said, on March 4, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    Reason said,

    on March 4th, 2007 on 1:56 pm

    Approaching this issue only from the politicians/political angle is incomplete. You got to focus on the sections of society who are in this race for backwardness and who see nothing wrong in benefitting from a scheme that is promoted in the name of the ‘downtrodden’.

    —————————————————————-

    I believe the public also suffers from the same limited mind-set. Vast sections of our public are used to getting things from the govt for free without making much effort on their own. Unfortunately, this acts as a detriment to leadership and reduces the number of self-made persons. One cannot get to the top by taking short-cuts. Witness the acute shortage at managerial and leadership positions that the Indian IT industry is complaining about, even in a 30 billion dollar segment of the economy. Just one company, Hon-Hai Precision industries in Taiwan, is a 30 billion dollar entity. There is a very very long way to go if India is to achieve a per-capita GDP even close to Taiwan’s, and if Indians want to be at the top, vast segments of the population will need to be convinced to put in the effort to be able to make it there and stay there. The world is getting increasingly crowded and competitive, the only way to distinguish oneself is going to be through an unrelenting emphasis on quality.

    Tamil Brahmanas are one of the most successful Tamils on an overall basis. I base this inference on a meeting that my father attended at TAMBRAS in Madras where statistics on the state of Tamil Brahmanas were presented. I will try and get a copy of that data, but TAMBRAS might be reluctant to share it in the belief it may inflame the Ramadosses further. I think we are successful *because* of, and not in spite of, the draconian discrimination we face in TN education and govt jobs, similar to that faced by Jews in Nazi Germany. Hence, if Brahmanas wanted to be selfish they should not protest against discrimination since it only helps them in the long run to prepare for the global scene.

  16. Barbarindian said, on March 4, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    You don’t want to go through the holocaust phase to achieve the global Jewish status of today, I am sure. Did you hear about Ramadoss’ threats against Reliance Fresh?

  17. realitycheck said, on March 4, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    Observer,

    Thanks

    Reason,

    Read my post about a system called “Numerus Clausus” , this was used as a jewish quota. https://realitycheck.wordpress.com/2006/04/16/numerus-clausus.

  18. realitycheck said, on March 4, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    >> I think we are successful *because* of, and not in spite of, the draconian discrimination we face in TN >>

    In this social justice program, there is little doubt a huge number of brahmans suffer. Whenever I attend a wedding (of vegetarian folks), I go to the kitchen area and start chatting with the poor cooks and folks who cut vegetables there. They are absolutely crushed – not because they are victims of a social justice program. They are crushed because there is no data to suggest that the beneficiaries are worse off than them socially.

    Let us come to the more important part : the really backward. This is simply unbelievable. The plight of the poor brahman pales in comparison to these people. I try to keep personal anecdotes out of this blog, but excuse this one. A group of people move from place to place putting up “pandals / thatched roofs”. They are from Senji. They were erecting a large pandal at a relatives place. One of them would cook lunch while the others painstakingly tied hundreds of knots with coir ropes. I was amazed that none of their family members were educated even after 80 years of the quota system. There are probably others like them – coir mat weavers, gypsies selling trinkets, parrot astrologers. If you talk to servants and construction workers in Bangalore – chances are a large number of them are from Dharmapuri, Salem, Tiruvannamalai, areas. This system is NOT working for them.

    They deserve data first. They dont have anyone who can blog and ask for data on their behalf. They do have a lot of left wingers, who visit their jhuggies, capture some video footage, and even photograph their snotty nosed kids. When it comes to asking for data on their behalf – these “liberal” people head for the hills. Why is it that not one socialist blog or publication had the honesty to question the creamy layer criterion ?

    Atleast the poor brahmans, as ridiculous as it sounds, can try to derive some hope from their “nobel prize accomplished caste brothers” (even though the chances of actual help coming their way is close to zero). There is simply nothing for these really backward souls.

  19. realitycheck said, on March 4, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    >> With that sort of acceptance levels there is no option but to give a tough exam. You give an easy paper and perhaps 100,000 will qualify. >>

    Barb,

    The problem with people who complain about the toughness of the JEE is that they dont get the essence of any contest.

    Any contest is heavily biased in favour of …those who prepare for it.

    In other words, there is simply no way you can “fix” the JEE or any exam in such a manner that extra preparation or coaching has no effect.

  20. xyz said, on March 5, 2007 at 8:22 am

    RC,
    i have no problem with the present format of JEE.If there has to be elite institutions,the students who join them should be the very best.

    I am not even questioning the need for elite institutions.The IITs are a natural crystallisation in our society.

    But what worries me is likening admissions to a contest.Perhaps even this is inevitable.When some institutions pick up a brand value,there is going to be competition for admission to these institutions.

    The government CAN consider ways of reducing this increased workload merely to enter such institutions.After all, the aim is to create world class engineers and scientists.Passing JEE is not an end in itself.

    After all Cambridge,Harvard,Princeton,MIT,Berkeley are able to produce high quality engineers/scientists with less rigorous entrance tests.

    After all the JEEs in the 70s was nothing like what it is today.Even taking into account increased awareness and greater numbers applying,is it necessary to spend so much effort?

    By relaxing standards and creating more seats,if necessary ,in other universities,the govt can ensure ,no deserving student is turned away.

  21. Jai_Choorakkot said, on March 5, 2007 at 10:58 am

    It bothered me that the prominent blogger just came up with “pack of lies” from the very 2nd comment. Spectacularly closed mind on display.

    1. But RC, to be honest, are you just being so data-based since you know data will support you? If they go p.blogger’s way would you be OK.

    2. Let us also give a fair hearing to those who contend that critics of reservation (data-based or any other) are basically trying to bury it:

    ie. the contention is that the critics are even less interested in the stonebreaker/ nomad than their castemates and are bringing it up only because they know/ think these actually repressed sections CANNOT take advantage of the reserved seats meaningfully and will effectively nullify any quota effect (the seats go empty and are lapsed back somehow into a general pool).

    This charge deserves to be addressed, it sure looks like a valid point.

    regards,
    Jai

  22. realitycheck said, on March 5, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    Jai,

    Interesting point as usual.

    >> 1. But RC, to be honest, are you just being so data-based since you know data will support you? If they go p.blogger’s way would you be OK. >>

    Absolutely. If data shows that the detours taken from Article 14 (right to equality) are worth it – then I dont think anyone can complain much. From the point of view of an upper caste, this is like asking for a bill.

    >> think these actually repressed sections CANNOT take advantage of the reserved seats meaningfully and will effectively nullify any quota effect (the seats go empty and are lapsed back somehow into a general pool).>>

    Very tough question. Since, I have not built any trust with the readers here. It is safest to start by assuming the worst. The right way to address that would be to place specific checks on what the data can be used for. For example, the affirmative action program in India is in the form of reservation and is non-negotiable. The only point of contention is the identification of beneficiaries for this program. Data, if made available cannot be used to thwart the entire program – not deny opportunites to the really backward in anyway.

    Jai, if these actually repressed sections cannot make any meaningful use of the reserved seats after 80 years- then we are really bringing into question the very purpose of this policy. Unlike corrupt ration shops, the quota has constitutional issues associated with it. There are sections of people who are accepting a shortened version of their guaranteed right to equality in order to advance and integrate these really backward. If the quota cannot help them break out of the circle of caste, then the detour from article 14 is futile. What good has then come out of the poor brahman cook sons’ sacrifice ?

    This doesnt mean that the entire quota system has to go. It must be tuned to help these really backward. The only way to do it is to “make way for them”.

  23. xyz said, on March 5, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    Jai,
    We have made enormous progress in the last 50 years.The field is now level than ever before.In IIT Kanpur,Roorkee and IT-BHU more backward caste students are getting admission in ever larger numbers.Today more biharis are getting admitted than tamil brahmins,by a fair margin.

    What does this suggest? Given opportunities and if the candidate is motivated,a person of any background can get into iits.

    Where is the question of denying anyone?

    The stone breaker/nomad requires,primary education.

    What RC is saying is that there are deprived among brahmanas.(cooks,etc).Those who are clamouring to get into iits(the tamil BCs) are doing so on the basis of under-representation camouflaged as backwardness.

    They are asking for numerical quotas on the basis of population.There are numerous scs,artisan and backward groups in TN who have not been given proportional representation in tn jobs and college seats.They dont care about these deprived groups.

    Nor are they asking for proportional distribution in govt contracts,media ownership,”small businesses ” running into hundreds of crores or land ownership.

    They are demanding seats on the basis of tamil nationalism .because of the 40 members they return to the Lok Sabha.If we start accepting such demands,it will be the beginning of the end of the idea called india.

  24. realitycheck said, on March 5, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    Well put xyz,

    >> The stone breaker/nomad requires,primary education. >>

    Is this what the report card on quotas going to show ? Who is going to answer to them ? How much longer before they dont have to break stones ? How many poor brahmans sons have to give up their constitutionally guaranteed right to equality before the stone breaker shatters his caste barriers ?

  25. Jai_Choorakkot said, on March 6, 2007 at 7:19 am

    Good responses overall.

    Re. primary education for stonebreaker/.. of course they do need it.

    One argument for reservations that does not feel invalid is that building up critical mass even among the pseudo-depressed classes in educational/ employment sectors will benefit these real-depressed ie:

    1. the beneficiaries of reservation will likely recruit from among their community and promote educational/ employment opportunity of their own kind and the stonebreaker (ie. really weak) benefits eventually. Its trickle down still to the stonebreaker but faster than otherwise.

    2. the above looks OK to me if it is actually realized on the ground. It looks like, smells like, IS, discrimination in a way but if we are honest we will admit that lots of mediocrity from the “advanced” classes gets by in life thru old school tie/ family connections. All that the above will do is level the playing field by placing SC/ST/OBC in the ownership classes.

    3. the possibility of (1) happening may be as remote as the Nobel-equipped members of the advanced classes coming to the aid of brahmana cooks.

    4. pro-reservationists SHOULD be open to honest/critical enquiry on whether this is happening and not stonewall with the lies litany.

    regards,
    Jai

  26. Revathi said, on March 7, 2007 at 8:20 am

    Yes, we have to wait for OBC intellectuals/ statesmen to do what Nehru and Gandhi did for them after independence. Let’s hope that they will rise to the occasion.

  27. xyz said, on March 7, 2007 at 9:37 am

    Jai,
    those who are clamouring for reservation in iits and the stone breakers are two classes with nothing in common.They are two separate endogamous groups.

    Secondly, reservation in iits is not a basic right.I am not an IIT graduate.I am not receiving any benefits from any IIT graduate.A society can guarantee minimum needs under certain conditions,which can be agreed to by all(or most) its members.

    Any thing that carries value comes at a tag.I am not glorifying contests for the sake of contests.But all over the world,elite institutions admit students on the basis of their performance and promise.Why should it be any different in india?The field is getting level.People from backward castes are getting in through merit.

    One can have honest differences here.Barb feels the standards cannot be brought down.Yesterday,i saw a tv report ,that 3 new iits are in the pipeline.After all,the “upper castes” are a minority in india.it is only a matter of time, before others catch up.We can have more quality institutions.In fact,many “backward castes” are in reality the ruling castes. Arbitariness in formulating policies is causing divisions in polity.

    The old caste system is dead.No body can bring it back.It has no relevance today.But should we retain the worst aspects by creating a new “backward caste elite”.

  28. xyz said, on March 7, 2007 at 9:53 am

    If one is going to distribute iit seats on the basis of caste,what value will it have?And will it not lead to divisions between those who come only on merit and those who come by caste/merit.In TN the people who suffer are in a minority.
    But in north india the two groups are evenly matched.Has anyone done a study on the repurcussions.

    The backward groups are making silent but significant progress in north india.There was no demand from mulayam/lalu/nitish.Cant help feeling that thakurs like vp singh,arjun singh are the villains of the piece.

  29. Jai_Choorakkot said, on March 7, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    xyz,

    My comments were more general and not specific to IITs. I was also puzzled at the preference for reserving ones entry into these top institutions rather than helping the disadvantaged to compete and win thru the JEEs fair and square.

    It was all the more mystifying when the beneficiaries, the OBCs are often more involved in oppression of SC/ST than any other category.

    No less a person than p.blogger reports this (albeit in a different context, w.r.t BSP prospects in the upcoming UP polls).

    I did find that p.blogger writes well, back on his site. I wish he was less eager to get into flamery / accusations in comment spaces elsewhere.

    regards,
    Jai

  30. […] not include a certain socialist who blogs on national highways (who uses polite phrases like peddling lies, etc) or another eminence whose blog drips with gems such as bullshit, stupid right-wingers, […]


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