No ST status for you, no data for anyone !
So, everyone has heard about the clashes in Assam. Why are groups of people so angry ? Worse still, why are they fighting each other. What happened to the good old days of fighting the government ?
The reason : Tribals who were brought to Assam from central India decades ago have been demanding ST status for a long time now. The local tribes oppose this because they fear losing their “portion” of the pie. As if that were not enough, Muslims who constitute 30% of Assam have been demanding OBC status for a long time. Emotions are simmering.
In this instance, Mr Shivraj Patil says –
Quoting from observations of the Registrar General of India and the Backward Class Commission, Patil said, “The local committee and RGI have said back in 1965 that they can only be granted Backward status and not ST status as many of these tribes have lost their tribal characteristics in their present surroundings.”
Source : IBNLIVE
Another report :
Patil said, “By turning violent, these tribals have lost their tribal bearings.” He also said these tribals do not have ST status even in their own states.
Source : Zeenews
Mr Shivraj Patil backed by the Congress Party gets to wave a magic wand and instantly people are denied a honest evaluation of their claim to a share of the social justice pie. By indulging in violence, can a group lose claim to tribal status ? What does “home state” mean anymore ? These people have been in Assam for many decades (some even more than a hundred years).
What happens now ?
The politicians have demonstrated in the Lok Sabha (with the notable exception of Mr Tathaghat Satpathy) that annoying things like data and monitoring of entitlement programs are not to be discussed. They impede the magical properties of the wand. With data, you have to wave it ten times for it to work its magic. Without data, a simple wave is all it takes.
The courts too seem to be shy of insisting on data or monitoring. That leaves only jostling, pushing and shoving, and large scale violence as viable options to those who have the means. We need to remember that the really backward stonebreaker or night soil carrier does not have the framework needed to mobilize. So, to hell with them. No data for you. You have our finance minister’s life stories instead. You may also have a couple of leftist NGO types showing up at your huts for video footage.
Is that all ? No, Inter state relations get strained. We already hear that organizations in Jharkhand have called for a bandh to protest the killings in Assam. So we have All Adivasis Students Union Vs All Jharkhand Students Union.
Snatch the magic wand from these political forces before the country is laid to waste. If the ST status is permanent and not dependent on current backwardness, leave it alone. That is a separate problem for another day. Make sure the protesting tea workers as well as the muslims of Assam are getting a reasonable share of the OBC quota in that state.
For the 118th time : Data please !
Barbarindians (see the shocking picture in his post)
Various political entrepreneurs are waving sticks in the hope it turns into a magic wand. Old Frontline article containing a background of these groups. Even the Andamans are showing symptoms. Ramadoss holds a rally in Delhi asking for early implementation of the OBC quota.