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Gujjars agitating for Tribal status, Rajasthan's 5.5 Million Gujjars want a downgrade
VAMAN
post Jun 5 2007, 01:32 PM
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Indian Shepherds Stoop to Conquer Caste System
By AMELIA GENTLEMAN
Published: June 3, 2007

NEW DELHI, June 2 — A fight for the right to be downwardly mobile exploded this week in north India, as a powerful community of Indian shepherds asserted that the best way to rise up in modern society was to take a step down in the regimented class hierarchy here.

Tension over the still-rigid caste classifications, which underpin the Indian social system, spilled over into riots across Rajasthan State, with at least 23 people killed.

By Friday evening, protests had spread to the outskirts of the capital, New Delhi. On Saturday, amid continuing clashes, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed for an end to the violence.This was not the usual show of anger at the ever-prevalent discrimination faced by members of lower-caste groups. Instead, it stemmed from controversy over a demand from the Gujjar community, traditionally farmers and shepherds, to have its caste status officially downgraded, relegating it to the bottom of the caste ladder.

Doing so would allow Gujjars to qualify for greater benefits under India’s affirmative action program, along with Dalits (also known as untouchables) and tribal communities, in what is known as the scheduled caste and tribe category.

Quotas of university places and lucrative government positions are reserved for members of the scheduled castes under the system that was created when India became independent 60 years ago. It was intended to lift those groups that for centuries were viewed as “pollutants,” ostracized by society and prevented from accumulating wealth.

The Gujjar caste is now positioned second from the bottom, a grouping known in the bureaucratic lexicon as “other backward classes.” Gujjars enjoy some preferential treatment, but not as much as they would if demoted to the lowest rung.

Sachin Pilot, the Congress Party member of Parliament for the region where six people were killed Tuesday by police gunfire and a member of the Gujjar caste, said as many as 70,000 protesters were still blocking the road out of Jaipur.

“Most people don’t realize that India’s new economic prosperity is not shared by the vast majority,” he said in a telephone interview. “The Gujjars feel they have been very deprived. Access to quotas would give the community a sense of hope.”

Frustrated at the state government’s refusal to meet their demand, thousands of Gujjars blockaded the national highways around Jaipur, the state capital, on Tuesday. The protests brought Rajasthan State, much loved by tourists, to a virtual standstill all week. Vehicles were prevented from traveling to Agra and the Taj Mahal.

On Friday, government buildings were attacked in one Rajasthan town, prompting the authorities to issue a shoot-on-sight order.

“Let a hundred people die,” Col. Kirori Singh Baisala of the Indian Army and one of the Gujjar leaders, told The Times of India on Thursday. “But we are clear in our objectives. We have suffered enough and would not go back until we get the scheduled caste status.”

Kalu Lal Gurjar, a member of the caste and a minister in the Rajasthan government who is backing the protesters, said the Indian government promised in 1964 to reclassify the group as a scheduled caste.

“At that time, there was opposition from within the Gujjar community itself, because they thought that it would be demeaning to be associated with the scheduled castes,” he said. Later, when the material benefits of being consigned to the bottom of the ladder became more obvious, the mood changed. “The community has been agitating since the 1980s for inclusion,” he said.

The debate over India’s affirmative action policy hovers constantly at the top of the political agenda. The Hindu designation untouchable was abolished in 1950, but the centuries-old caste system and the deep prejudices that go with it remain.

In rural India, Dalits are often prevented from sharing the same water pump as the rest of the village. Even in middle-class urban India, where the divisions are less obvious, people will often inquire indirectly for clues of caste on first meeting, putting together details of surname, origin and father’s profession.

For some, the oppression is so intolerable that they abandon the religion altogether, converting to Buddhism or Christianity.

Mr. Singh recently compared India’s caste system to South Africa under apartheid. “Untouchability is not just social discrimination,” he said. “It is a blot on humanity.” But his government’s programs for eliminating it have proved as controversial and unsuccessful as those of his predecessors.

India has more than 6,000 castes and subcastes, 3,743 of which are designated “backward” on the grounds of social and educational deprivation. Scheduled castes represent around 25 percent of the total population of more than a billion people.

Intended to abolish caste divisions by helping the Dalits and tribal communities escape destitution, the quota system was expanded in the early 1990s to assist the “other backward classes,” or those who were less well placed in the ancient hierarchy.

Opponents of the expanded quota system argue that instead of eliminating caste consciousness, it has further entrenched it, making society more aware of divisions and more resentful of rival castes.

Fierce competition for government quota jobs has fueled the inter-caste tension this week. The Meenas, another Rajasthan community in the scheduled caste bracket, protested the Gujjars’ demands, concerned that their share of the pie would be diminished if the Gujjars were reclassified.

Four people were killed Friday in clashes between them, officials said.

The demands of the Gujjars have been condemned by some as cynical.

“It’s about milking the system,” said Dipankar Gupta, a sociologist and expert on caste, adding that Gujjars had never been “brutalized or pushed down” as Dalits had.

Such a “political maneuver” was an inevitable result of the affirmative action policy, he said. “If you play the caste game, you will end up with caste war. Because of the government intervention, these identities have become heightened.”

SOURCE - http://www.nytimes.com

This post has been edited by VAMAN: Jun 9 2008, 04:35 AM
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VAMAN
post Jun 5 2007, 01:35 PM
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Indian Officials to Rule How ‘Backward’ Group Is
By SOMINI SENGUPTA
Published: June 5, 2007

NEW DELHI, June 4 — They burned buses during the morning rush hour. They threw stones at trains packed with passengers and at the police. By Monday evening, after a week of violent protests that began in tourist-friendly Rajasthan State and ended up here unsettling the nation’s capital, the Gujjars got their way.

The Rajasthan government announced that it would appoint a panel to study the demands of the traditionally pastoralist group that has been clamoring for the right to be considered more “backward” than it is.

Even by Indian protest standards, their fight has been confounding and violent. The violence began a week ago when clashes between protesters and the police left 14 dead, including a police officer. The Gujjars responded by destroying public and private property and cutting off highways and train lines to tourist attractions like the Taj Mahal. By the end, 11 more people had died.

The Gujjars, officially classified as an “Other Backward Class” for the purposes of affirmative action set-asides in public sector jobs, want to be included in the list of Scheduled Tribes, which are considered more socially and economically deprived and thus are eligible for more benefits.

But the Minas, the largest group in Rajasthan, opposed sharing the spoils of tribal backwardness. They gathered in their strongholds with homemade weapons, warning the government not to cede to Gujjar demands.

In a news conference on Monday evening, the embattled Rajasthan State chief minister, Vasundhara Raje, said a government-appointed commission, led by a retired state judge, would study the Gujjars’ petition and submit recommendations. Gujjar leaders endorsed her action and apologized for the violence.

“We got what we asked for,” the Gujjar leader, Kirori Singh Bainsla, told reporters in Jaipur, the state capital.

The battle is hardly finished. To amend a group’s official designation requires central government approval, preceded by an ethnographic inquiry into whether the group is culturally or physically isolated, speaks a distinct dialect and is sufficiently socially and economically backward to merit the change.

One way to solve the current standoff, scholars have suggested, would be to draw more specific distinctions between those considered “backward” and those considered less so, or to take a fresh look at those who, as the sociologist on caste, D. L. Sheth, put it, “have ceased to be backward.”

Whether the Rajasthan government, based on the recommendations of a panel, might recommend that the central government classify the Gujjars as a tribe remains unclear. Ultimately, Parliament would have to vote on the matter, a prospect that is likely to be politically fraught.

The Gujjars, who include both Hindus and Muslims, are by no means all pastoralists these days. Mr. Bainsla, the Gujjar leader, is a retired army colonel who has spent years rallying his group to demand tribe status.

But then, caste and tribe are not fixed matters in India, either. They are subject to political bargaining. In fact, the trouble with the Gujjars was fueled by a pledge by Ms. Raje, the state’s chief minister, during the state election several years ago, to grant tribe status to the Gujjars.

On Monday, Sachin Pilot, a member of Parliament from the Congress Party and the country’s most prominent Gujjar politician, accused Ms. Raje, of the Bharatiya Janata Party, of raising false expectations and failing to contain the violence.

“You raise hopes, you make promises, you bear the brunt of what happens next,” Mr. Pilot said Monday.

SOURCE - http://www.nytimes.com
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VAMAN
post Jun 6 2007, 12:49 PM
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Army stops Meena raid on Gujjars
4 Jun, 2007 l 0025 hrs ISTlPrakash Bhandari/TIMES NEWS NETWORK

JAIPUR: Rajasthan continued to sit on a powder keg as tens of thousands of armed Meenas attempted to storm Peepalkhera, the village in Dausa district that has become the epicentre of the Gujjar agitation for ST status. The standoff was continuing till late at night with the Army and CRPF keeping the agitated Meenas at bay.

The turn of events have delayed the departure of Gujjar leader Col Kirori Singh Bhaisala to Jaipur for talks with CM Vasundhara Raje.

The Meenas, intent on another confrontation with the Gujjars, had been stopped 3 km short of Peepalkhera. But many of them, armed with weapons and lathis, were still in the area, officials said. "I had never seen such a large assembly of people from one community. The number could have been anything between 50,000 and 60,000 and they came in trucks, cars, motorcycles and tractors," Madhukar Gupta, commissioner of Jaipur division, told TOI.

Gupta said the Meenas were still camping at the spot and efforts were continuing to convince them to turn back "but they do not seem inclined".

He admitted that the departure of Kirori Singh Bhaisala, the convenor of the Gujjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti, to Jaipur to meet chief minister Vasundhara Raje for talks had been delayed because of the large assembly of Meenas.

Bhaisala was worried as the Meenas outnumbered Gujjars 2:1. In the event of a confrontation, the Gujjars would have been thrown on the defensive. He wasn’t ready to leave the place as the situation was tense and could have taken an ugly turn any moment.

SOURCE - http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com
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moviez
post Jun 10 2007, 06:43 AM
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QUOTE(VAMAN @ Jun 5 2007, 02:32 PM) [snapback]2984789[/snapback]
Indian Shepherds Stoop to Conquer Caste System
By AMELIA GENTLEMAN
Published: June 3, 2007

NEW DELHI, June 2 — A fight for the right to be downwardly mobile exploded this week in north India, as a powerful community of Indian shepherds asserted that the best way to rise up in modern society was to take a step down in the regimented class hierarchy here.

Tension over the still-rigid caste classifications, which underpin the Indian social system, spilled over into riots across Rajasthan State, with at least 23 people killed.

By Friday evening, protests had spread to the outskirts of the capital, New Delhi. On Saturday, amid continuing clashes, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed for an end to the violence.This was not the usual show of anger at the ever-prevalent discrimination faced by members of lower-caste groups. Instead, it stemmed from controversy over a demand from the Gujjar community, traditionally farmers and shepherds, to have its caste status officially downgraded, relegating it to the bottom of the caste ladder.

Doing so would allow Gujjars to qualify for greater benefits under India’s affirmative action program, along with Dalits (also known as untouchables) and tribal communities, in what is known as the scheduled caste and tribe category.

Quotas of university places and lucrative government positions are reserved for members of the scheduled castes under the system that was created when India became independent 60 years ago. It was intended to lift those groups that for centuries were viewed as “pollutants,” ostracized by society and prevented from accumulating wealth.

The Gujjar caste is now positioned second from the bottom, a grouping known in the bureaucratic lexicon as “other backward classes.” Gujjars enjoy some preferential treatment, but not as much as they would if demoted to the lowest rung.

Sachin Pilot, the Congress Party member of Parliament for the region where six people were killed Tuesday by police gunfire and a member of the Gujjar caste, said as many as 70,000 protesters were still blocking the road out of Jaipur.

“Most people don’t realize that India’s new economic prosperity is not shared by the vast majority,” he said in a telephone interview. “The Gujjars feel they have been very deprived. Access to quotas would give the community a sense of hope.”

Frustrated at the state government’s refusal to meet their demand, thousands of Gujjars blockaded the national highways around Jaipur, the state capital, on Tuesday. The protests brought Rajasthan State, much loved by tourists, to a virtual standstill all week. Vehicles were prevented from traveling to Agra and the Taj Mahal.

On Friday, government buildings were attacked in one Rajasthan town, prompting the authorities to issue a shoot-on-sight order.

“Let a hundred people die,” Col. Kirori Singh Baisala of the Indian Army and one of the Gujjar leaders, told The Times of India on Thursday. “But we are clear in our objectives. We have suffered enough and would not go back until we get the scheduled caste status.”

Kalu Lal Gurjar, a member of the caste and a minister in the Rajasthan government who is backing the protesters, said the Indian government promised in 1964 to reclassify the group as a scheduled caste.

“At that time, there was opposition from within the Gujjar community itself, because they thought that it would be demeaning to be associated with the scheduled castes,” he said. Later, when the material benefits of being consigned to the bottom of the ladder became more obvious, the mood changed. “The community has been agitating since the 1980s for inclusion,” he said.

The debate over India’s affirmative action policy hovers constantly at the top of the political agenda. The Hindu designation untouchable was abolished in 1950, but the centuries-old caste system and the deep prejudices that go with it remain.

In rural India, Dalits are often prevented from sharing the same water pump as the rest of the village. Even in middle-class urban India, where the divisions are less obvious, people will often inquire indirectly for clues of caste on first meeting, putting together details of surname, origin and father’s profession.

For some, the oppression is so intolerable that they abandon the religion altogether, converting to Buddhism or Christianity.

Mr. Singh recently compared India’s caste system to South Africa under apartheid. “Untouchability is not just social discrimination,” he said. “It is a blot on humanity.” But his government’s programs for eliminating it have proved as controversial and unsuccessful as those of his predecessors.

India has more than 6,000 castes and subcastes, 3,743 of which are designated “backward” on the grounds of social and educational deprivation. Scheduled castes represent around 25 percent of the total population of more than a billion people.

Intended to abolish caste divisions by helping the Dalits and tribal communities escape destitution, the quota system was expanded in the early 1990s to assist the “other backward classes,” or those who were less well placed in the ancient hierarchy.

Opponents of the expanded quota system argue that instead of eliminating caste consciousness, it has further entrenched it, making society more aware of divisions and more resentful of rival castes.

Fierce competition for government quota jobs has fueled the inter-caste tension this week. The Meenas, another Rajasthan community in the scheduled caste bracket, protested the Gujjars’ demands, concerned that their share of the pie would be diminished if the Gujjars were reclassified.

Four people were killed Friday in clashes between them, officials said.

The demands of the Gujjars have been condemned by some as cynical.

“It’s about milking the system,” said Dipankar Gupta, a sociologist and expert on caste, adding that Gujjars had never been “brutalized or pushed down” as Dalits had.

Such a “political maneuver” was an inevitable result of the affirmative action policy, he said. “If you play the caste game, you will end up with caste war. Because of the government intervention, these identities have become heightened.”

SOURCE - http://www.nytimes.com



QUOTE
Despite the caste system being illegal in India, in many rural areas it is still rife. Stefan Gates goes in search of those at the bottom of society to find out how they cope with the poverty and discrimination they face.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/cook...one/6551389.stm
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VAMAN
post Jun 10 2007, 09:59 AM
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^ This article you posted doesn't concern this topic. Don't post any fuking article by western journalists especially British. They have very preconcieved baised views and they don't understand the things here.
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JuMong
post Jul 8 2007, 03:24 AM
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Certain aspects of Indian society I find fascinating, like how caste system came about. I heard caste system has been outlawed in Indian society but the "culture" of caste still persist. I wonder if caste system can ever be removed in India?



This post has been edited by JuMong: Jul 8 2007, 03:24 AM
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ACMILAN1983
post Jul 8 2007, 05:54 AM
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QUOTE(JuMong @ Jul 8 2007, 09:24 AM) [snapback]3046986[/snapback]
Certain aspects of Indian society I find fascinating, like how caste system came about. I heard caste system has been outlawed in Indian society but the "culture" of caste still persist. I wonder if caste system can ever be removed in India?


That's pretty much correct. The modern caste system is a mixture of the British influence and also "twisted" interpretations of Varna system in hinduism.

The caste system has been officially outlawed, but in society it still plays a part. It is a slow process to remove it completely, but as each generation passes it is playing a less important role.
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VAMAN
post Jul 8 2007, 07:36 AM
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QUOTE(ACMILAN1983 @ Jul 8 2007, 04:24 PM) [snapback]3047133[/snapback]
That's pretty much correct. The modern caste system is a mixture of the British influence and also "twisted" interpretations of Varna system in hinduism.

Very well stated. I would like to add a bit more biggthumpup.gif . British historians and anthropologists found foreign origins of all the higher caste people in order to prove that they are the rightful rulers of the country since they are also of foreign origin. The British introduced their own education system in India which lead people to study the British point of view and make them believe many distorted facts about the Indian society. They interpreted 'Varna system' as 'Caste system' which is grossly incorrect in every manner.

QUOTE(ACMILAN1983 @ Jul 8 2007, 04:24 PM) [snapback]3047133[/snapback]
The caste system has been officially outlawed, but in society it still plays a part. It is a slow process to remove it completely, but as each generation passes it is playing a less important role.

Actually it was outlawed but recognized by the government in another form as reservations for the backward communities. The Dalits are now officially listed as Scheduled Casts (SC) and the tribals as Scheduled Tribes (ST), these terms are used to list people for the benefit of reservations.

Now the real problem is that politicians have exploited this situation to their own benefit. They promise SC people that their percentage of reservations will be increased, to garner their votes. The same thing happened in Rajasthan, where Jats got reservations some time ago. Now Gujjars also want the same thing for themselves. Now Gujjars don't have SC status (since they are considered as high caste people) the Gujjar politicians are demanding to enlist them in ST category (SC category is considered as lowly), but this doesn't go well with powerful and influencial Meena (a tribal community) community. Since they think that Gujjars will eat into their reservation benefits.

What I have observed for sometime that the casteism have increased. And politicians are the main culprit.



This post has been edited by VAMAN: Jul 8 2007, 07:44 AM
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ACMILAN1983
post Jul 9 2007, 06:35 AM
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Vaman, I don't personally consider the Scheduled Caste (or Scheduled Tribes) to be another form of the caste system, just an offshoot from disbanding the caste system.

You're right though, it is also corrupted as politicians and groups might take advantage. Then again though, it's not really any different from the benefit systems of most nations, as the UK and US also have the same problems.

What I find interesting is where you say politicians are the main culprit for the increase of importance in the caste system, as usually they're really the ones who gain the most from it. It's funny really because nothing never really changes, greed is why such hierarchies come into place.
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JuMong
post Jul 11 2007, 02:16 AM
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What's interesting is that a type of caste system is also developing in America as well, mainly racially based. Unfortunately, this outrage against Mexicans may just be the beginning.


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sabrina11
post Jul 16 2007, 09:11 AM
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http://www.onlybollywood.com/forum/religio...on_methods.html
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VAMAN
post Aug 7 2007, 03:47 AM
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QUOTE(ACMILAN1983 @ Jul 9 2007, 05:05 PM) [snapback]3049105[/snapback]
Vaman, I don't personally consider the Scheduled Caste (or Scheduled Tribes) to be another form of the caste system, just an offshoot from disbanding the caste system.

I never stated that SC and ST are another form of the caste system. What I meant was that the creation of such categories (SC & ST) is creating an atmosphere of conflict between various ethnicities. In Rajasthan even Jats have reservations. Rajputs and Brahmins also want reservations. This is madness.

Now Gujjars also want reservations for themselves. Gujjars are already included in OBC (Other Backward Casts) category. Jats are also in OBC category. Now Gujjars say that Jats take up all their jobs so they have no benefit of been in the same reserved category as the Jats. So Gujjars are saying they must be included in Scheduled Tribes category. But the Mina tribals don't want them to be included because they don't want to share their pie. But here Mina tribals which has reservation are more powerful than the Gujjars (Gujjars are high cast). Minas were educated and employed and used to serve in the army and police force of the various kings in the past even before independence so they reaped all the benefits. While other tribals of Rajasthan like Bhils they don't get the benefits because most of them are not educated enough. Just read this.

QUOTE


Tuesday 29 May
A mob of Gujjars, who were holding a demonstration and "rasta roko" on the highway to press for inclusion of their community in the Scheduled Tribe category, protest in Bala Khedi village nearby Dausa district of Rajasthan. In the worst ever caste violence over the issue of reservations, some 26 people died in six continuous days of violent protests, police firings and Gujjar- Meena clashes in several districts across Rajasthan. The Gujjars, who blocked several national highways and rail links in Rajasthan, were demanding that their community be given Schedule Tribe status in the state, which was opposed by the Meena community. The agitation spilled out of Rajasthan to other north Indian states, including the national capital where a 'Delhi Bandh' called by Gujjars on Monday, June 4, left the outskirts of the city paralysed due to violent clashes. The agitation was finally called off on Monday after the Gujjars and Rajasthan government agreed to set up a high-power committee headed by a retired High Court judge to examine their demand for Scheduled Tribe status. The Supreme Court has termed the week-long Gujjar violence as a "national shame" and directed the governments of Rajasthan, Haryana, UP and Delhi to submit their action taken reports on the incidents.

http://www.outlookindia.com

All over the country there is same type of problem.

QUOTE(ACMILAN1983 @ Jul 9 2007, 05:05 PM) [snapback]3049105[/snapback]
You're right though, it is also corrupted as politicians and groups might take advantage. Then again though, it's not really any different from the benefit systems of most nations, as the UK and US also have the same problems.

What I find interesting is where you say politicians are the main culprit for the increase of importance in the caste system, as usually they're really the ones who gain the most from it. It's funny really because nothing never really changes, greed is why such hierarchies come into place.

During British Raj the British used to give reservations to make people of a particular community happy. When India became independent Bhimrao Ambedkar carried on this tradition. He was too convinced that reservations to Dalits and tribals would be sufficient for their upliftment. But he forgot one thing that there are communities among Dalits and Tribals which are prosperous and even better than upper caste people, like Mahars of Maharastra and Meens of Rajasthan. B.R. Ambedkar was himself was from Mahar community and western educated. Though J.L. Nehru was opposed to the idea of reservation to Dalits and Tribals but Ambedkar had the backing of Gandhiji. So it got implemented and became a law. It was meant to be implemented for 15 years.

Now 60 years have passed, not much has changed. The prosperous among SC & ST reaped the benefits and those who really needed it are still poor and helpless. Now upper caste people also want reservations for themselves because they observed that what benefits reservations can bring to a community. Politicians are great oppurtunists, they dangle the reservation carrot whenever required. The reservations have only increased and another category has been created OBC (Other Backward Casts) for people who are neither Dalits nor Tribals but still backward icon_neutral.gif . OBC is especially created for Gujjars (which also includes Yadavs) they are the most populous of all the communities in North India hence bigger vote bank. Now there is talk about reservations to muslims. Many people argue that why the country was partitioned in the first place if muslims also need to get reservations? thumbsdown.gif

This post has been edited by VAMAN: Jun 9 2008, 04:40 AM
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ACMILAN1983
post Aug 7 2007, 05:23 AM
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Vaman, the other day my grandmother told a story that actually had an impression on me. The story was that once there was a man with great wealth, and the man had a big heart. For those suffering in poverty the man would give out money to help them live. However, a rich man came in rags and begged for money, so the wealthy man gave him money as he thought he was poor, being tricked in the process. The rich man who acted poor had sinned, but the wealthy man who gave him money cannot be completely void of blame as simply giving money offers people the chance to take advantage.

The point is, to really help people, they need guidance and the opportunity to live a better life, not just handouts. This is what India is suffering from in this case. Giving reservations is just like the rich man handing out money, and people are weak and will corrupt the system. It might be ok to temporarily provide relief for those who desperately need help (hence the 15 years you mentioned), but eventually we must help people to stand on their own.

I believe India's progression is built by it's people, those living in India and those living outside of India.

A family friend (I think of him like a brother) provides work to many poorer people in Gujarat, offering them a chance to live a good life. He looks out for them like one might look out for family.

An uncle of mine (who is a millionaire) came to my house the other day. With his wealth he's built 3 schools in India recently, one of which is extremely big and a boarding house for kids in poverty or orphans. He's planning on building a school in Kenya (where he was born and raised) for the same purpose, to help provide education for the poor.

These two are a couple of many Indians who feel attached to their homeland, and people like this who provide these people with an opportunity for the future are the ones who will lead India to a more prosperous future. They offer more than anything an opportunity to those that need it.
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VAMAN
post Dec 18 2007, 01:23 PM
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^ @ACMILAN1983 your uncle seems to be a real good man. People like him do good deeds and give hope to lot of people. I really apprecite those people who always keep in touch with their roots and try to do something good and constructive for their people. Btw these reservations are the contemporary reality of India. Now and then people belonging to different communities and religious groups keep asking for reservations. I really despise this thing. Something more to keep up with the latest news.

QUOTE
Gujjars don't qualify for ST status: Expert panel

CNN-IBN

TimePublished on Tue, Dec 18, 2007 at 11:08, Updated at Tue, Dec 18, 2007 in Nation section

New Delhi: The Rajasthan government will forward the Chopra Committee report on the status of Gujjars, who are demanding a Scheduled Tribe tag in Rajasthan, to the Central government without any changes. However, a Cabinet sub-committee has been constituted to look into the suggestion of providing a special package to Gujjars.

The report says that the Gujjars do not qualify the 5 Criterion to be included in the ST status. The criterion under which a community qualifies for being under ST status is geographical isolation, economic backwardness, shyness of the tribe, should be a forest dweller and cultural primitiveness. However, the report makes an observation that this criterion needs to be reviewed.

With Meena MLAs stepping up pressure, the Rajasthan government seems to be walking the tightrope on reservation issue. CNN-IBN learns the Chopra panel stops short of recommending Schedule Tribe status for Gujjars.

The report might be a mixed bag for both the Meenas and the Gujjars. It is expected that the report will stress on the need of Gujjars being brought into the mainstream, as there is marginal representation of the community in Rajasthan government at the moment.

However, there may not be any commitment on giving them scheduled tribe status.

The challenge for the Vasundhara Raje government now is to strike a balance between the Meena and Gujjar community. The Meenas have stepped up pressure on the Vasundhara Raje government, fearing that the report might go in favour of the Gujjars.

Gujjars' agitation seeking tribal status had turned violent in June and later Justice Chopra Committee was constituted to examine the Gurjars demand for ST status.

The BSP MLAs submitted their papers to the Janjati Arakshan Bachao Sanyukt Sangarsh Samiti while the Congress MLA to his own tribal community, a release said.

The move, apparently to put pressure on Raje government not to give any recommendation to the Centre for granting ST status to the Gurjars, came two days before Justice Chopra Committee submits its report to the government.

The Relief Minister Kirorilal Meena, who had also threatened the to quit his post and the BJP, had a long discussions with the party's state unit president Mahesh Sharma and national treasurer Ramdas Agarwal last night, sources said.

According to agency reports, state relief minister Kirorilal Meena's wife went to the CM to submit his resignation on Sunday but the BJP has denied it. On Saturday, two BSP MLAs, Suresh Meena and Murari Meena, and one Congress MLA Ram-narayan Meena tendered their resignations.

Later, Kirorilal Meena told reporters that if the state government forwards the Chopra Committee report to the Centre recommending granting of ST status to the Gurjars, he would tender his resignation immediately.

He said though other Meena ministers and MLAs of BJP were keeping mum, they were ready to follow the directives of their community.

When contacted, Agarwal, who was one of the key negotiators with Kirori Singh Bainsla, told PTI that it was for the Chief Minister to decide whether the Chopra Committee report would be sent for judicial review or for a Cabinet Committee's review and approval.

With Agency inputs

http://www.cnnibn.org/news/gujjars-dont-qualify-for-st-status-expert-panel/54406-3.html


This post has been edited by VAMAN: Dec 18 2007, 01:24 PM
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ACMILAN1983
post Dec 18 2007, 04:16 PM
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QUOTE(VAMAN @ Dec 18 2007, 06:23 PM) [snapback]3374712[/snapback]
^ @ACMILAN1983 your uncle seems to be a real good man. People like him do good deeds and give hope to lot of people. I really apprecite those people who always keep in touch with their roots and try to do something good and constructive for their people. Btw these reservations are the contemporary reality of India. Now and then people belonging to different communities and religious groups keep asking for reservations. I really despise this thing. Something more to keep up with the latest news.


thank you, I think my uncle wants to perform a service in the parts of the world that gave him his life. Eventually I will continue the work of my family and aim to give to those who need it, back in India and in the UK. You know, as life progresses, the less I value material wealth, I need it to survive but the less I focus on it the more I am at peace. I would rather share any goods I have with those around me so we can all enjoy life together than to collect more material goods. In the end, I will die and my material goods will no longer be mine, so what is the point in trying to gain what I cannot keep, life is much more fulfilling providing for others, as the satisfaction and peace of mind I get from that will be with me forever.
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maersk
post Dec 19 2007, 01:05 AM
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werent alot of dalits escaping the caste system by converting to bhuddism not too long ago?
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Arash
post Dec 19 2007, 01:21 AM
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The cast system is one of the ugliest and most repulsive social practices in human society.

The fact that it exists in the 21st century is ridiculous. People who believe in this mumbo jumbo should be burnt alive.
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VAMAN
post Dec 19 2007, 05:13 AM
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@ACMILAN1983 I am grateful to know that you have such good thoughts, I hope you would be able to translate your good thinking into action someday. I assure you that most young folks in India share your sentiments, including me as well.

Will someone teach these two ignorant posters a thing or two about this thread.

QUOTE(maersk @ Dec 19 2007, 11:35 AM) [snapback]3375738[/snapback]
werent alot of dalits escaping the caste system by converting to bhuddism not too long ago?

Have you read any of the posts in this thread before posting this? The thread is not about Dalits. Atleast read the first post properly and try to comprehend what this thread actually conveys.

Some Dalits converted to Buddism. BR Ambedkar the champion of Dalit cause, converted to Buddism so Dalits did that to show solidarity. But it is rather a superficial convertion because most of the Dalits celebrate Hindu festivals and lead Hindu way of life. Most of the Dalits are Hindus. Also a lot of Dalits had converted to Islam and Christianity as well.

QUOTE(Arash @ Dec 19 2007, 11:51 AM) [snapback]3375767[/snapback]
The cast system is one of the ugliest and most repulsive social practices in human society.

Yes I agree. Please go to Britain and cry buckets because British society still practice caste system in a big way.

QUOTE(Arash @ Dec 19 2007, 11:51 AM) [snapback]3375767[/snapback]
The fact that it exists in the 21st century is ridiculous. People who believe in this mumbo jumbo should be burnt alive.

I am sure you didn't even read any of the posts in this thread before making your post. Are are so into yourself right. You just read Caste System in the caption and made your post without bothering what this thread is all about.

Caste System is dead in India. But the government is keeping it alive in another form by giving lots of reservations in jobs and educational institutions to some socially deprived sections of the population which includes so called lower castes (Scheduled Castes) and tribals (Scheduled Tribes).

These reservations are so high that some high caste groups want the same benefits for their own communities and agitating to force the governments to give their community scheduled status. In this case a community called 'Gujjar' are trying themselves to be included into 'Scheduled Tribes' category. But the tribals of that area are so powerful (yes they are powerful socially as well as have lot of influence in the region) that Gujjars have no chance.

I have explained things to you in a concise manner, but it is upto you if you really want to understand or you just want to remain ignorant.



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jiggyiggy
post Dec 19 2007, 08:28 AM
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The reservation system produces more problems than it solves, and it doesn't get to the root causes of inequity. Reservations are almost akin to making the village idiot into the mayor. You want real change? Then get all of the scum out of the mid and lower level parts of the goverment, and force parents to send their kids to school(and make teachers actually... teach). India's too big to ever have efficient national education standards, which should be left to the state's to develop and enforce; but it's not going to happen until all the clowns are removed from the civil service system. There are absolutely no standards for mid-lower level elected officials, the people getting these posts aren't capable admins but rather the best at hardball power politics and Athenian style promises.

This post has been edited by jiggyiggy: Dec 19 2007, 11:53 AM
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ACMILAN1983
post Dec 19 2007, 10:20 AM
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QUOTE(VAMAN @ Dec 19 2007, 10:13 AM) [snapback]3375997[/snapback]
@ACMILAN1983 I am grateful to know that you have such good thoughts, I hope you would be able to translate your good thinking into action someday. I assure you that most young folks in India share your sentiments, including me as well.


Thanks, like I said my family does do some work for those in India, my view is simply to expand on it. I definitely believe a nation will only improve when people work for the good of the nation, not just for selfish reasons.
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