Reality Check India

Open category faculty

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on March 27, 2007

Pratap Bhanu Mehtas’ latest article in the Indian Express confirms our fears about the push for caste quotas in IIT,IISc,IIM,AIIMS.

The Central government has just engaged in the largest populist buyout of higher education since Independence. To facilitate rapid expansion of the system, necessitated by increased reservations, the government has raised the retirement age of university teachers to 65, with reappointment up to 70. There is an argument to be made that our retirement ages are too low. But this increase could at least have been linked to performance. Or it could have been used to leverage other radical reforms that universities badly need. But get this. The increase in retirement age has also been accompanied by a directive to first fulfil all outstanding quotas in teacher recruitment. What will be the consequence of this directive superimposed upon increase in retirement age? The effects will vary a bit, but its net result will be that there will be almost no new recruitment in the general category for at least five, possibly more, years.

[emp added] Source : The Indian Express

So, if any of you “open category” academics are nurturing ambitions of working in IITs, IISc, IIMs, or AIIMS – fine tune your plans accordingly.

Unlike SC/ST reservation which despite all its faults, is about social justice – the OBC quotas has become a tussle for caste supremacy. The TN parties have always resented IIT Madras for sticking out like a sore thumb, where merit trumped caste and politics. It was always seen as a safety valve where some brahmins were seen to be hiding and where OBCs had limited say as a caste group. Read this , this , and this.

Like other issues, this comes down to data. Castes in the OBC list must be examined in detail to ascertain the existance of social and educational backwardness first. If some castes can make such a strong play for professorships and deans at IISc and IIT, can they still be educationally backward ? Without this basic prerequisite, the whole policy is nothing but a tussle between

  • upper castes who do not have the political capital to classify themselves as backward
  • upper castes who have the required political capital and do not mind calling themselves backward in exchange for concrete benefits

After reading the Indira Sawhney judgement in full, I get a sinking feeling about data. Can we just expect “prudent and reasonable” classification of OBCs from the state governments. One check can be that a caste must have  graduate levels 20-25% below the state average. There must be some binding legal bar in the form of statistics.


52 Responses

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  1. Gaurav said, on March 27, 2007 at 4:24 am


    I have a nagging question. From what I understand Brahmins and SC/STs can make a political alliance in TN against middle castes. What prevents it? Is it something to do wtih Brahmin orthodoxy and dogmas.


  2. realitycheck said, on March 27, 2007 at 5:59 am


    Good question. There is no orthodoxy or dogmas involved when it comes to politics. The two top Dalit leaders Thiruma (of Dalit Panthers) and Dr Krishnaswamy (of PT) have been accorded honours at the two most orthodox brahmin places namely Chidambaram temple and Kanchi Mutt. Dr Krishnaswamy was helped to a great extent by his brahmin teacher in the face of discrimination by OBCs. There is not much jostling or animosity here.

    The real issue is that there is no independent Dalit leadership in TN as in UP. Any alliance of brahmins and dalits has to be necessarily led by the Dalits. Contrast this with UP, while the BSP has 19 members in the Lok Sabha, the main dalit party in TN (DPI) was offered a paltry 2 seats by the DMK to the TN assembly. The proportion of scheduled castes in UP and TN are roughly the same.

  3. Reason said, on March 27, 2007 at 7:15 am

    And the percentage of brahmins in the population of TN is about 3%. 50 years of cleansing has resulted in a lot of them migrating out of TN.

    A 3% group has no relevance in elections.

    OBC groups dominate both DMK and ADMK.

    A respite from the dravida OBC assault might come if nationally, OBC politics loses out. There are some indications to that. If BSP wins big in this UP elections (I am hoping for that) – and continues that trend in the next LS elections by winning a sizeable number of those 85 seats – and the 40 seats in TN get split evenly between DMK and ADMK – and the importance of the dravida numbers which have been dominating national alliances since 1991 diminish – then the dravidas will get it. After seeing the force with which their friends the communists from Bengal wanted to get them, I would guess they will get it good.

    I know that was a lot of ifs, but no trend can continue forever.

  4. Revathi said, on March 27, 2007 at 8:17 am

    Oh la la, people with certificates simply dont work hard enough. . We had one lady student with the “certificate” who could hardly finish her dissertation but had to do it since she had a professorship waiting for her. In IISc, the big profs were known to thrust “reserved” candidates on the less powerful ones and many reserved candidates were asked not to apply for posts where they were not wanted. All this will now happen on a larger scale than ever.

  5. prasanna said, on March 27, 2007 at 8:28 am

    HI RC

    I guess Gaurav has a valid point

    I find TAMBRAHMS refusing to see the reality and change with times because of their age old dogmas

    What else explains their continued patronage of elitist,Brahminical Institutions like The Hindu(which does enormous damage to them),total identification with Kanchi Mutt which has unfortunately come to represent the varna social order and den of politicking(unlike the Hindu Mutts in Karnataka which have played role in egilitarian Hindu social order),refusal to do business with decent and reasonable leaders like Vaiko(that his principled stand on Lankan Tamils be of any consequence to them defies sense to me

    My heart really goes to the poor and impoverished Brahmins of the state while the small elite(RamS,KamalhassanS,SuhashiniS etc ) continue to extol the virtues of Periyarism and enjoy state patronage

    I think if they some political savviness they should rally behind Thirumavalavan or Vaiko and secure their future

    Otherwise they need to reconcile the subtle ethnic cleansing that will render them even more insignificant

    Till they change,Dravidian parties with continue to conjure their ‘oppression script ‘ and perpetuate their brand of hegemony

  6. Gaurav said, on March 27, 2007 at 8:32 am


    Interesting, but if the fact that that SC/ST have been shortchanged under Dravida rule is true, shouldnt such a political formation have already happened, or I am missing something.


    I very much doubt that. OBC dominance in TN precedes that at national level.In fact I think that it was success of Dravidian politics, which had some influence in Mandalization at a national level.


  7. Gaurav said, on March 27, 2007 at 8:36 am

    I should make one think clear, I am mostly unfamiliar with politics south of vindhyas *(a tragedy of this nation), and only in past year been attempting to understand.

    My present thoughts are in part due to A million mutinies now by V. S. Naipaul


    * I understand that is real meaning of Dravid in Sanskrit literature and nothing to do with different races.

  8. Sri said, on March 27, 2007 at 8:58 am

    >> identification with Kanchi Mutt which has unfortunately come to represent the varna social order and den of politicking(unlike the Hindu Mutts in Karnataka which have played role in egilitarian Hindu social order)…

    “represent the varna order”….”den of politicking”?? Don’t know where you got that information from..
    you must be reading a lot of dravida magazines (not to mention The Hindu too).
    People like prasanna understand nothing about these fine institutions. Do some research before you start commenting about them.

  9. realitycheck said, on March 27, 2007 at 8:59 am


    >> What else explains their continued patronage of elitist,Brahminical Institutions like The Hindu(which does enormous damage to them), >>

    The Hindu is on its last legs. Many traditional folks with decades of beginning their day with the hindu have switched. The “power of selective patronage” is a new concept in India, but it is working here in this case. DC has dramatically increased its circulation in Chennai. Throw in a better employment section, better properties section, and a local engagements section (concerts etc for the traditional hindu types) and it will have closed the gap.

    >> total identification with Kanchi Mutt which has unfortunately come to represent the varna social order and den of politicking(unlike the Hindu Mutts in Karnataka which have played role in egilitarian Hindu social order), >>

    Dont believe what you read in the media. The mutts in KA have a stranglehold on politics in that state.Everything from candidates to caste equations are vetted at these mutts. From whatever data is available to me, the Kanchi mutt is involved in more social activities like hospitals, schools, and partonage of traditional arts than any other. Is this not true ?

    Kamal, Suhasini etc will say anything for their careers. Human nature.

  10. Jai_Choorakkot said, on March 27, 2007 at 9:24 am

    Uncomfortable with that 400/427 ratio (93.2%) for a segment that apparently has less than 3% share in the population. What is the likelihood that all of them got thru on their own merits.

    I dont quite agree with the rest of those linked posts about faithfully implementing x % etc. in faculty reservation; jeez man at least not the IITs but these numbers are way odd.

    RC, I would have liked to see you question that data point, or attempt to defend it if you want to. On the face of it, it looks like some nepotism/ cronyism/ caste discrimination.

    I would have liked even better to see you call for an open probe into it. If there is nothing there to be hidden, that’s surely the way to go?


  11. realitycheck said, on March 27, 2007 at 9:53 am


    That wasnt even the point of the post, I just linked to it to show a desire for control of these institutes by certain sections. The data is suspect because no one declares their caste while applying in the open category. Only a compulsory disclosure can bring out the true picture.

    We must keep in mind the toothpaste theory while dealing with representation numbers. There is finite amount of toothpaste in a tube, if you squeeze it from different corners, they accumulate in a single part. Like it or not, brahmins are not squished yet. If you close many doors, they will all tend to accumulate in a room which has a door still open.

    If as Pratap Bhanu Mehta claims, there is a 5 year freeze on open category faculty, then you will find these aspirants in schools like ISB which do not have such a caste based ban. Lo and behold we have an imbalance in ISB.

    Let us all get together and unravel the vision of a casteless society of our founding fathers. All this to avoid a definition of “socially and educationally backward”.

  12. Revathi said, on March 27, 2007 at 10:43 am

    The secret of the “success” of certain sections is the importance they give to education in their life, the dedication to hard work, the discipline they impose on themselves and a fervent desire to better themselves. So, if a parent can pass on these values to their offspring- no quota can stop them. So that is the secret of the success of tambrams- just a lot of hard work..

  13. Barbarindian said, on March 27, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    Let us all get together and unravel the vision of a casteless society of our founding fathers.


    You alright dude?

  14. Observer said, on March 27, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    Since Tambrams have been effectively cleansed out of the “Anna Universities” of TN, where else will they go to teach? IIT-M is the only option available to the lucky few. I have noticed that in the links available on the web on the IIT-M faculty caste distribution, they all mention the fact that there are 400 Brahmanas etc, but there are no references. In fact, it looks like all of the links essentially work off of the same DMK propaganda material. Unless there is a clear reference, it is hard to judge the accuracy of this information.

    Also, while we are at it, we might want to request the TN govt to provide data on the OBC faculty breakup in Anna University. If there is a concentration of just a few castes in the Anna University faculty, it might be worth asking the same question there also. I really think if the political class could display the maturity to collect data in a transparent fashion, and then base decisions on the publicly available data, it would go a long way towards making people of all castes feel there is some fairness in the system. This would reduce the hatred developing between the next generation of Indians, who will be crucial to building the India of the future.

    I feel this really is the paramount issue facing India today, a lack of data-drive policy across all sectors. Unfortunately, since most Indian politicians are not professionals, but career partymen, the only data they are interested in is the number of caste-based votes they can gather, which in turn is dividing the country further. The “social justice” PMK, DMK, (other alphabet combinations ending in K) parties have not led to a reduction of casteism in TN, the “model” of social justice states. Here are some references to the pogroms unleashed by the *K parties on each other, including Dalits…. With such people, no wonder India is the way it is today.

    Thevar-Dalit clashes fed by politicians 1997:

    Vanniyars kill Dalits in 2006:

    …. just google for tn caste clashes, and you will see no Brahmins in them.

  15. Barbarindian said, on March 28, 2007 at 11:46 am

    All this talk of facts and logic is fine but does not help much when the sword comes down. That is why I am for creating a movement for pushback. As many of you said, it may be impractical to demand a division of India. But the deemed privileged must stand up and fight back.

    Indians in general are chickshit. It just requires a credible threat. Just make it clear that the first crowd violence against Brahmins and upper castes will lead to funny incidents such as a reactor suddenly melting down etc. etc.

    This is highly important.

  16. xyz said, on March 28, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    It is practically impossible for an elite group to align with the downtrodden.

    The position of tamil brahmanas is unique.In ancient times,even until the arrival of the british,or even before reservations were introduced in 1920 there was no conflict.

    The problem began when new economic and social forces created mobility for brahmanas.As a non-tamilian,you might have some difficulty understanding what follows,but pay attention.

    In the perception of a savarna in north india,a madraasi is a dark skinned lecher ogling at punjabi females.In ancient times,manu looked down on brahmanas migrating to south india.

    In TN,the brahmanas(particularly the learned ones) are a community marked from the rest by their appearance and dialect.Only a fraction are really fair,yet the perception the brahmanas are “different” is an established proposition.

    From at least the post-gupta tamil brahmanas(sankara,there was no kerala at the time,ramanuja etc) have been at the forefront of the indian philosophical tradition.

    It was relatively easy for tamil brahmanas to translate their scholastic tradition to ‘successes’ in modern education.Of course, the genuinely talented are always far and few in between.

    I hold the thesis that savarnas have a certain flair for the english language because of ancient indo-european literary and intellectual traditions.( without going to the merits of “aryan invasion”).This is true of brahmanas throughout india or say khatris in punjab,the identification with bharata varsha.

    This hurt the tamil intelligentsia(“vellalas” the ancient custodians of tamil language).Vellalas are a unique caste in india.They are the tamil “brahmanas” with ancient loyalty to tamil language.A similar predicament would be the position of muslims in West Punjab.The muslims opted for a separate nation.

    The vellalas are hindus,primarily vegetarians,not warriors,accept hindu philosophical traditions(after all they are co-authors of Hinduism) but felt slighted by the upsurge(!) of brahmanas,who were getting mobile.

    The vellalas too(because of ancient tamil literary traditions) took to english language,but had difficulty competing with brahmanas.They were also dismayed by the new found enthusiasm of the brahmanas for egalitarianism.They found the attitude of brahmanas hypocritical when nothing had changed in the social practices of the brahmanas in what was then a primarily an agrarian society.

    The British stepped in with reservation.They fuelled the differences which again were not created by the british.

    One must remember of course the vellalas and brahmanas shared many values like vegetarianism,but there were essential differences.For one sanskrit.Though tamil brahmanas speak tamil at home,and appreciate the tamil literary tradition,the major section of tamil brahmanas(the smarthas,the followers of sankara )do not accept tamil as canonical.This injures the esteem of vellalas,who feel dispossessed and naked in an all india context.They have never experienced this situation before.

    It is similar to a situation,when we brahmanas oppose indians being put on par with other third world nations by the british-americans.

    The vellalas hit back after independence(they were stauch british supporters) by joining the congress and undermining from within.Though brahmanas were discriminated in state govt jobs,brahmanas found opportunities in central institutions.

    Were there no leaders capable of reconciliation,rapproachment etc.?

    The differences were deep and cannot be papered over.

    This make shift arrangement had to break.The trigger was hindi imposition.The vellala leadership had sought peace with delhi,but there was disgruntlement among masses.(A crude parallel would be the middle eastern leadership).

    This found expression as the DMK.

    What was the position of other non-brahmana castes during this period?

    The vellalas as the tamil “brahmanas”,in true brahminical tradition did not give a damn to others during the pre-independence phase.

    But in the post-independence phase,the lower in the hierarchy,sengunthas were the harbingers of tamil nationalism.M.Karunanidhi is also from a vellala caste low in the traditional hierarchy.He harbours deep animosity to brahmanas and pan-indian traditions.

    The Naidus,Naickers who ruled tamil nadu from 1600AD for 300 years have traditionally supported Justice party/DMK.These communities who migrated from AP have played it safe.

    The vellalas/naidus form the nucleus of DMK with support from the politically conscious thevars,gounders.

    It was easy for M.G.Ramachandra Menon to displace Karunanidhi by enlisting the support of the numerically larger thevars,gounders,vanniyars who were marginalised in the vellala/naidu dominated DMK.

    But karunanidhi has always been able to retrieve ground by offering more concessions to thevars,gounders,vanniyars.

    Still from time to time,frictions arise between competing claims of power between PMK ( a rabid extremist party with its base in the backward vanniyar community) and DMK,but they are sorted out in the larger interests of tamil nationalism.

    The really backward like the mutharayars,konars,sc’s,small impoverished communities are left to their fate.

    It is not that there are no fair minded among non-brahmanas,but like all decent people who have to earn a living and are perplexed by the modern world,keep their counsel.

    There are tamil brahmanas who are industrialists(TVS,CTS),professors,professionals,cooks,musicians.There is no way tamil brahmanas will patch up an alliance with scs.

    Jai Choorakoot,
    You might understand now why tamil brahmanas feel so passionately about iits.It was the only institution where they were not discriminated.Though most, like myself,stood no chance whatsoever.

    It is possible that is why there are clustered there.Though i will not believe anything that comes from the DMK’s goebells ministry,until it is substantiated by facts.

    Of course, today there are opportunities for everyone.

    There is no 100% positive correlation between scholastic achievements and success in so many endeavours.

    “Itna Mayoos mut hona”,you have nothing to worry with your multi-splendoured talents.

    After all this is a play of Maya.


    All the best in your endeavours.

  17. Gaurav said, on March 28, 2007 at 4:33 pm


    Thanks for information. I still have a nagging doubt but will write later due to paucity of time at present.

    “In the perception of a savarna in north india,a madraasi is a dark skinned lecher ogling at punjabi females.In ancient times,manu looked down on brahmanas migrating to south india.”

    Now I don’t know how you got this impression. The prevalent stereotype of a south indian (I wont use the M’ word lest I provoke a shit storm, and get linked to by desi pundit) north of vindhayas is that he(she) is highly educated, has a sharp brain, cultured, fluent in sanskrit, religious and socially conservative.

    The negative side of stereotype, well south indian is perceived to be snob or shrewd.

    And north is “little” bigger than Punjab.

  18. Observer said, on March 28, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    Whenever I was in North India (Delhi, Simla), I (a Tambram myself) never had any problems. Even in Bangalore or Pune I never had any problems. However, in Chennai, supposedly my home town, I have never felt as alienated, even compared to my sojourn in foreign countries like USA or UK. In my personal experience, I have found North Indians that I encountered to be straightforward, and somewhat more aggressive compared to South Indians in general, and particularly so when compared to Tambrams. At least I knew where I stood, for good or bad, when working with North Indian colleagues. Of course I am extrapolating from my limited experience, but I would be very wary of settling back in Chennai, and am extremely happy I was able to escape from Chennai.. I wish I could disown my background as a Tamilian, and be any other kind of Indian except a Tamilian.

  19. Observer said, on March 29, 2007 at 12:29 am

    I saw this very interesting post on And it is backed up by data from


    By 1850, England had already surpassed India in per-capita GDP and wealth. Here is a link which includes a detailed breakdown of the GDP from AD 0 to 1998.


    * India was No. 1 in world GDP from 0 AD – 1500 AD. And by a large margin. So much for the story peddled by the Evangelists, Muslims, and EVR’s thugs that the caste system had doomed and rotted India.

    * Given the population of India, the per-capita GDP of India was No. 1 in the world, comparable to China, until 1000 AD.

    * From 1000 AD to 1600 AD, the per-capita GDP of India and China declined, until it was roughly half of Western Europe. However, because of the large population, China took over the No. 1 spot in the world in terms of total GDP, with India a close second. Incidentally, this is when the Muslim invasions of India were at their peak, which is logical. After all looters are going to go where there is loot, not to Papua New Guinea or some such place.

    * From 1700-present, Europe had a big surge in GDP, and in terms of per-capita GDP, it was more than 4 times that of China or India. This also coincided with the Industrial revolution in England and northern Europe, since their colonies served as large captive markets, spurring a huge demand for their products and hence increased prosperity.

    * England’s GDP grew by almost 8 times from 1820-1950!! Far more than any other northern European country. India was truly the jewel of the crown, a large slave population, and also a large captive market, forbidden from starting its own industries. England needs to thank India to this day.

    * From 1870-1998, it has truly been an American century. The GDP of America grew in this period by an astonishing 15 times! No other country comes even close, at any period of time. America was a colossus by any measure, per-capita GDP or total GDP.

    Of course, India and China, now called developing countries, should really be called re-developing countries. If only all these caste-based hatreds were not whipped up by the politicians, India would have been on a steep trajectory to regain its former glory.

    So, when all those EVR’ists complain about Brahmanas having destroyed India, one can point them to the above study, conducted by an international group of economists, who can rubbish these idiotic claims. Brahmanas should never, ever, be apologetic of their past. As thought leaders, intellectuals, writers, they had a role in nearly 2000 years of prosperity for India as a whole! While there are going to be some bad elements in every group who may have led to a deterioration in the values and perception of the group, no one should be apologetic.

    I must emphasize, that no society has ever enjoyed such a long reign at the top as India, and if the Brahmanas are mistreated and extinguished from India, it would be a sad commentary on how to destroy a society through short-sightedness.

  20. Jai_Choorakkot said, on March 29, 2007 at 5:44 am

    We seem to be in a state where everybody believes they are being discriminated against and are in a contest of comparative victim-hood.

    I sincerely hope there is some exaggeration on all sides (no intent to cause offence, I believe there is).

    We cannot build fair systems for a casteless society if we go fully with the toothpaste analogy, which I read as: we’re being squeezed everywhere else, so getting positive discrimination in a couple of places (IIxs) is ok.

    If brahmin professors at IIx deeply believe they have been squeezed out of everywhere else, one can guess how OBC/SC/ST students will be treated. This will only perpetuate the divide.


  21. Gaurav said, on March 29, 2007 at 6:06 am


    You are presuming that there is discrimination in IIT Madras, that is a wrong assumption, hence what follows is also wrong.
    It is difficult to impress upon non IITians (someone like Ms. Annie Zaidi), that only thing IITians thrive on is competition, of hardcore variety, and the only thing they respect is excellence.

    IITians are “almost” a class apart. Does this sound elitist ? It is.

  22. Revathi said, on March 29, 2007 at 7:26 am

    Yes, selections in IITs are based on excellance when compared to what goes on in the name of selection in other institutes. Ofcourse, even IITs can be more transparent- I dont think they are terribly transparent. They could for example put up the names of people with their CVs on the web site of the dept when there is a faculty postion being filled ( a lot of universities do this). They can also put up the short listed candidates and the name of the person that was selected.
    You still need to have some “connections” in addition to being brilliant to be a faculty. Also, IITs do not have any preference for the people in the state where they are based and thus they are supposed to have a mix of people from all states. However, tendencies cannot be avoided- people used tocall IIT Madras as AIITM due to the disproportionate number of people from Andhra. I dont know if this is still the case.

  23. xyz said, on March 29, 2007 at 7:36 am

    The villains of the piece are really thakurs like vp singh and arjun singh.These erstwhile rajahs and tekedars cannot stand the modern nabobs-“the corporates”.

    The dravidian leaders have to be more than human to resist the candy being dangled before them.

    The “rajah” of manda has called for a referendum on this issue.

    These thakurs seem to have a visceral hatred for india.

    what is wrong with elitism that is a natural crystallisation in any society?
    A communist society is an artificial creation.

    The differences between different sections have been exaggerated ,but by whom?-christian missionary types,bleeding heart liberals,congress secularists,dravidian linguistic fanatics,self seeking tekedars.

    There are elite institutions in every state.for instance,there are very bright students in anna university.Nobody complains against this in TN.TN is a wealth conscious and status conscious society.

    The karunanidhi family is one of the richest in the country.They own about 20 TV channels and four newspapers/magazines.Many DMK ministers have been in power for more than 30 years,that is,whenever their party was in the saddle.One finds three generations of power brokers in so many families in DMK,Congress and even the PMK.Ramadoss comes from a politically influential family.

    What dravidians want is replication of their vulgarity at the all-india level.It has to be opposed.

    Opportunities should be available to the deserving at multiple levels.This is already the case in TN.In fact,only the brahmanas are discriminated.They are able to manage because of private colleges.

    Equality of outcomes is not possible even at high school level.Let us provide nutrition,basic health care,sanitation and primary education to all.

    The “backwards” will come up on their own.They are already doing so.They are not inherently inferior.They just did not have the opportunities,which they are seeking now and will demand very shortly.

    In any society,some are climbing up,some are going down.There are hidden obstacles everywhere.Today the field is level than ever before.We can provide more facilities for more students.Why not more institutions of good quality?

    I have said this 1000 times.This is what every one here believes.

    Why reservations?

  24. Revathi said, on March 29, 2007 at 7:38 am

    I think the 400/427 ratio is not valid. This is not from 3% of the population! This is the number of forward/SC and the forward have come from the whole of India-not just tamil nadu. So, the number of SC should have been higher if affirmative action was applied. It should have been atleast 40/400.. I know the case of one SC who was selected prof in IIT but gave it up to join another university since he felt that he didnt belong there. So perhaps the SCs are not applying in enough numbers. Also, most IIT professors have to have post doctoral experience abroad and qualified SCs are not motivated to go abroad since they feel that they can get a good position in India. So you see how quickly this can change the numbers.

  25. Jai_Choorakkot said, on March 29, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    There is a fair amount of frustration and anger I find in this space re. mistreatment and extinction of brahmins etc. Apropos this *suffering*, I found a link to a *completely Off-Topic video* that shocked me beyond belief. I hope you will consider watching it.

    I do not intend to:

    – downplay the suffering of some brahmin/ “advanced” communities
    – suggest brahmins are solely and directly responsible for this though I think they should bear some responsibility.
    – ignore the fact that it skips past MCC/ naxal violence.
    – connect this to *reservations in IIT / IIM which I think will be cornered by the non-performers among the OBC elite.

    Having said all that, there really is NO comparison to the inhumanity you encounter there. This is a plain human rights issue.

    Thank you,

  26. Gaurav said, on March 29, 2007 at 1:14 pm


    No one is denying that atrocities against dalits do not happen, they do.
    What people are objecting against reservation and politics of hatred and dissimulation, which has more to do with greed for power, and in long term does a disservice to the really oppressed.

  27. Barbarindian said, on March 29, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    Once again:

    The current quota is NOT meant for Dalits. It is meant for OBCs. That video is a fraud in the context it is being used.

    Quotas for Dalits are already in place.

  28. realitycheck said, on March 29, 2007 at 2:56 pm


    The brahmin suffering is neither of the scale nor of the same variety of the really backward. This “suffering” can be mitigated by self help by better placed among them. The socially deprived do not have that option.

    I have never focused on brahmin suffering in this blog. To me the main issue is : any loss of the right to equality must be justified in terms of data about who is gaining from it.

    We can safely say that most upper-castes (educated) are equally or more socially aware than the NGO left wingers. There is a conscious attempt not to engage the very people who are most capable of bringing about social change. By showing these videos, while taking care not to ask the right questions shows the true colours of these people.

    Bait and Switch is the term for it.

  29. xyz said, on March 29, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    my father retired from central govt. service at a fairly senior level.The present and previous HOD(dept.) are scs.One of whose sons has married a brahmana girl,had a child and now they are divorced.

    In my native village,scs have made progress.They own land now.There has been all round progress.Yes,much remains to be done.But why are the Obc tekedars refusing to give up their privilege.They want to be the new brahmanas and Kshatriyas rolled into one under the permanent banner of backwardness.These b… make me sick.

    I differ with rc on one issue.Why should meera kumar,kr narayanan,paswan’s progeny have a party at my expense?

  30. realitycheck said, on March 29, 2007 at 3:33 pm


    Thanks for your comments (the previous one was really informative).

    I assume you are referring to the non-exclusion of creamy layer among SCs. Here is my take.

    The SCs do not have to be socially and educationally backward in order to avail quotas. I see a lot of comments today that SCs also do not have data since the 1931 census (aggregate SC data is available, not individual caste). The data is not relevant to SC, the rationale for their quota is different. Does this place them at a huge advantage over OBCs who are in a similar or lower position than top SCs ? Absolutely.

    The way to handle even distribution of SC benefits is via a subquota not via creamy layer exclusion. So, the night soil carriers category need to be placed in a sub category from Mahars.

  31. Revathi said, on March 30, 2007 at 11:19 am

    I hear on and off that the brahmins were solely responsible for the sufferings and exploitations of the dalits. They are shouldering the blame for this by being more and more discrete about their identity and accepting every offence that has been thrown at them. What about the rest of the population? Were they hugging the untouchables? What about muslims? By accepting that dalits did all the dirty work, they were party to the exploitation. If Hitler was bad, so was Himmler and so was Goebbels..

  32. Barbarindian said, on March 30, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    The crimes of ancestors several generations removed can not be passed on to the heirs. If this is accepted then the laws against indentured servitude are invalid.

    The atrocities were not uniform in nature. There were many small kingdoms each with their different rules.

    There is no detailed historical evidence available before the 5th Century. While most people place the most ancient Rig Veda between 1500 and 500 BC, this is not certain.

    On the other hand recent genetic research suggests that when the Indo-Europeans “migrated” to India, people were already in a class system. It may have been that the “Aryans” merely adopted an already existing caste system.

    But all this is mute. Already the word atrocity is being used for past Brahman-OBC relationship. This is as preposterous as it gets.

  33. Jai_Choorakkot said, on April 2, 2007 at 7:01 am

    I would like to thank everybody that responded to my comment (March 29th, 2007 on 1:02 pm)

    If your comment was a response to my comment, please do re-read it. As an upper-caste non-Brahmin person myself the comparison is allowing me to skate easy
    – Goebbels/ Himmler had no existence independent of Hitler.
    – implicit acceptance of caste hierarchy in that statement.
    Powerful non-brahmin uppercastes certainly deserve to be cornered, and with better arguments.


    Appreciate the input on the complexity of discrimination/ atrocity. Instead of sending archaeological expeditions re. 5th century, let us concentrate on improving the lot of these ppl around us, here and now? That video I think was shot in 2006.

    I think we have run this into the ground though and should stop for now.

    Thanks again,

  34. Revathi said, on April 2, 2007 at 8:28 am

    Dear Jai,

    It is not in my interest to corner anyone. I guess the Hitler parallel cannot be taken too far, the crimes he committed are far too horrible to be even mentioned. I just meant to say, that the society at large was silent and not pro active and hence needs to share some of the blame.

    I hope this clears your doubt.

  35. Barbarindian said, on April 2, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    That video I think was shot in 2006.

    I don’t need a YouTube video to tell me these things. What is shocking is that many people were actually shocked to see these. Which country did you guys grow up in? I saw all these growing up and much more.

    It is a question of a moral stand and an opinion about policy. Unless you get the economics right, you can not fix this. Our chief justice is Dalit, so there.

    Just as using 5th century history to defend atrocities against Dalits is wrong, so is using 17th century economics to fix 21st century India.

    In any case, you are right. We have discussed this too many times perhaps. Some folks believe showing these videos and then sending kids of rich OBC families to IITs will fix these problems. Some folks don’t. Only time will tell I guess.

  36. Barbarindian said, on April 2, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    By the way, there is a reason these videos were shot in Gujarat. And there is another reason these videos will never be shot in TN, which I think is the most logical location.

    Think about it.

  37. Observer said, on April 2, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    I think the upper-caste non-Brahmanas in TN are in a really enviable position. Sigh…I wish I had been born in one. Then, the heat would be off me and my future generations. Right now, I am target number 1 in TN, and also in India. I feel like having a bulls-eye sign painted on my head for everyone to take shots at.

    Is it possible for me to go to some other state, get a false certificate saying I am a Yadav or something, and then come back to TN? Will they accept such a certificate? If this works, I plan to tell my relatives and friends and others to also convert to Yadavs or something. If any readers on here can shed some light on how this can be done, I would be grateful.

  38. Barbarindian said, on April 2, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    Depends on what your objective is, whether to avail reservations or avoid being a target of violence.

    The reservation gambit may not work, some states have a domicile factor thrown in.

    If you just want to stay out of harms away, move to the US, Europe, Singapore, Australia etc. In India you can move to New Delhi, West Bengal. Avoid Maharashtra, Karnataka, Assam and any other state where folks may have a beef with “outsiders”.

  39. Revathi said, on April 3, 2007 at 7:41 am

    You could marry an upper caste non brahmin (if you are not already married) and try to integrate-after all, this the point of the whole exercise.

  40. Jai_Choorakkot said, on April 3, 2007 at 10:56 am

    @ Barb: “… these videos will never be shot in TN …”

    Actually the video I linked to spans almost all the states, there was TN/ KA (recognised from the language) and many others incl I think MH and UP/ MP/ CG. I didnt catch any specific GJ stuff except for a segment on Ahmedabad city using bhangis to clean out the sewers in spite of having urban facilities as compared to the dry latrines etc in the rest of the video (rural).

    Bye for this thread folks.


  41. Revathi said, on April 3, 2007 at 11:27 am

    Dear Jai,

    This is what we have to address to the politicians. Why are these dry latrines still in use? In rural areas everyone goes to the fields and that is it. But in urban areas, the various govts havent been really active on this issue. TN says that dry latrines dont exist in the state (is this true). However, the sewers get blocked regularly and instead of using mechanised equipment like they do in the west, they send some people down to clear them. My dad is a member of citizens associations who would like to change this but he is not optimistic (he is eighty and doesnt think that it will be done in his lifetime). He does what he can for these poor folk like inviting them afterwards to our home to have a good shower, change and have tea etc. In any case, UP has the worst record in this matter it seems. You should send the video to Rahul gandhi- instead of standing of front of babri masjid he can do something for these people.

  42. Barbarindian said, on April 3, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    If there is any emphasis on any other state in the film other than Gujarat, I didn’t get it. Indeed the films makers and promoters have noted it themselves:

    There was once a man called Mahatma Gandhi. Among other things, he believed in cleaning his own toilet. But the land of his birth, Gujarat, still has thousands of ‘scavengers’—an archaic Victorian term used mostly in India—who carry on their head night-soil, the sanitised euphemism for human excreta.

    There is an intense naivete (at least in my perception) about Indian people that worries me. What is it people? Why is economics so goddamn difficult to understand? Why do people still believe that there is such a thing as “art” film?

  43. Observer said, on April 3, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    Revathi said,

    on April 3rd, 2007 on 7:41 am

    You could marry an upper caste non brahmin (if you are not already married) and try to integrate-after all, this the point of the whole exercise.

    Unfortunately, according to current rules, the children of an inter-caste marriage take the caste of the father. Hence, there is no incentive for a non-Brahmana woman to marry a Brahmana man, while there are lots of incentives the other way around.

  44. Barbarindian said, on April 3, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    Unfortunately, according to current rules, the children of an inter-caste marriage take the caste of the father.

    I am not sure sure. At least for SC/STs Meira Kumar changed this law.

  45. Observer said, on April 4, 2007 at 1:32 am

    Here is the latest Supreme Court judgment which affirms that the children of an upper-caste man and a tribal woman cannot be classified as ST for claiming benefits. As I said, Brahmin males are the number one target in India, especially in TN and there seems to be no escape. What would be the incentive for a upper-caste non-Brahmin woman to marry someone like me, when the future prospects of children are bleak and growing bleaker? Check out the article below:

    Koda govt follows SC quota seal
    Legal breather

    Jamshedpur, Feb. 13: The tribal community has welcomed the state government’s decision to withdraw reservation benefits to offsprings of a non-tribal father and a tribal mother.

    Principal secretary of the personnel department Mukhtiar Singh has issued an order to this effect to all principal secretaries, secretaries, divisional commissioners, departmental heads and deputy commissioners.

    The decision has been taken in the wake of the Supreme Court’s verdict on a civil appeal (in the Anjan Kumar vs Government of India case), which says that the offsprings of a forward caste Hindu father and a Scheduled Tribe/Scheduled Caste mother can neither claim for SC/ST status nor can they get government jobs under the reserved category.

    “The state government, after reviewing the SC order, decided to change the earlier system wherein such an offspring would enjoy the status/benefits of STs/SCs. The order has been implemented with immediate effect,” Singh said in the letter.

  46. Barbarindian said, on April 4, 2007 at 1:57 am

    I guess my news was dated:

    I have seen Dalit/Socialist sites go back and forth on this issue. The privileged are constantly knocked for being endogamous. Yet, Dalit website articles chide Dalits for marrying upper-castes and giving up their identity. This became a thorny issue when some Dalit IITians claimed they would not avail quota for their kids. Thsi drew angry responses, these people were accused of acting like upper castes and trying to gain acceptance.

    I think there are two factors in play here. If you have strong group benefits, you do not want any dilution. Also, if the privileged start poaching women from the tribals, it is not a welcome move.

  47. Barbarindian said, on April 4, 2007 at 2:01 am

    By the way, there is a Rs. 50,000 reward for inter-caste marriages in many states.

  48. Revathi said, on April 4, 2007 at 7:43 am

    I think that the only quota that makes sense if that for children of inter caste marriages. I think that it needs a lot of courage and determination to marry outside one’s community- we need more of them.

  49. Revathi said, on April 9, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    Dear observer,

    It is sad to see that tamil brahmin men are given to self doubt and uncertainty. Perhaps you should travel and see the plight of kashmiri pandits who are refugees in their own land. May be you should try and marry one of them- fulfilling shankara’s dream of uniting hindu india.
    Any way, Good luck

  50. […] Pratap Bhanu Mehta had already warned in March that the OBC quotas will soon be imposed in all faculty positions at central institutes. Yes, that includes IITs, IIMs, AIIMS, and IIScs. See here for RC coverage “Open Category Faculty“ […]

  51. Lieselotte Hilleman said, on October 21, 2010 at 5:33 am

    This is often a pretty decent blog. I’ve been back more than once over the past few days and want to join your feed making use of Google but can not understand how to do it exactly. Would you know of any instructions?

  52. veeru6565 said, on May 21, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    lower caste Should given more opportunity as they were deprive of studies for a long period of times

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