Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Merit of the Meritorious

Reservation Debate

A Great opportunity to restrengthen Dalit Bahujan Alliance By V.B.Rawat

One need to give due credit to V.T.Rajshekar, editor of Dalit Voice, Banglore, for wonderfully explaining the issue of merit and reservation. Rajshekar himself faced threat when he was in Delhi during those heydays of anti Mandal agitation of the upper caste youths 1990-91. Mr Rajshekar has a sharp mind who understand well the brahmanical crookedness and has been really well ahead of his contemporaries in analyzing caste system in India.

He is quoted two excellent judgment of Justice Krishna Iyer and Justice Chinappa Reddy in his thought provoking article “ The Myth of Merit and Efficiency Dalit Voice January 16th, 1987. I take liberty in quoting the wonderful judgment of Justice Krishna Iyer and Justice Chinnapa Reddy from the article for the benefit of readers.

Justice Krishna Iyer of the Supreme Court says in the ABSK Sanghcase 1981)
"Trite arguments about efficiency are a trifle phoney. ... We are not impressed with the misfortune about the governmental personnel being manned by morons, merely because a sprinkling of harijans and Girijans happened to find their way into the service. The malady of modern India lies elsewhere, and the merit monger are greater risks in many respects than the native tribals, and slightly better off lower caste. .. The fundamental question arises, as to what's 'merit' and 'suitability'? Elitists, whose sympathies with the masses have dried up, are from standards of Indian people, least suitable to run the government and least meritorious to handle the state business. ... A sensitized heart and vibrant head tuned to the tears of the people, will speedily quicken the developmental needs of the country... Sincere dedication and intellectual integrity - these are some of thecomponents of merit and suitability- not a degree from Oxford or Cambridge, Harvard or Simian. Unfortunately, the very orientation of our selection process is distorted and those like the candidates from Scheduled Castes whom from their birth, have a traumatic understanding of the conditions of agrestic India, have in one sense more capability than those who lived under affluent circumstances and are callous to the human lot of thesorrowing masses."

According to Justice Chinnappa Reddy of the Supreme Court :
"There is no statistical basis or expert evidence to support the assumptionthat efficiency will be impaired if reservation is continued or ifreservation exceeds a certain percentage or reservation is extended topromotional posts."
Justice Chinnappa Reddy of Supreme Court said (in the Railways case 1881)"Therefore, we see that when the posts ... are reserved ... to members ofScheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other socially and economicallyBackward Classes it is not a concession or privilege extended to them, itis in the recognition of their undoubted fundamental right to equality ofopportunity and ...and to secure to all its citizens, justice, social,economic and political and equality of status and opportunity ... toensure their participation on an equal basis in the administration of thecountry ... Every lawful method is permissible to secure the duerepresentation of SCs and STs in the public services."

(The Myth of Merit and Efficiency- Dalit Voice January 16, 1987: the entire text is available on www.ambedkar.org)

What is merit ?

Perhaps those campaigning against reservation may not even know that Justice Krishna Iyer, one of India’s most illustrious judicial reformists made such a scathing remark on the issue of merit. The fact of the matter is that upper Hindus, their masters in the media and business rarely read books. They are not bothered about human rights. Rarely would they feel apologetic about what their forefathers have done to the Dalits. The violence against Dalits, Adivasis and backward communities is still rampant. None of our brothers want to discuss on this and carry a campaign against the same.

They are equally not bothered about getting a seat through money and muscle power. Watch at any railway station they would like to book reserve seat for them. Why cannot they go in general category if they are so enamored with General. You oppose reservation where you feel others will damage your 5000 years hegemony. You support it where you can buy it.

The same upper caste Hindus are back in action after a long wait of useless sitting. They did not come in the street when Gujarat was burning. No doctor boycotted Praveen Togadia, a shame on medical profession who warned doctors not to treat the Muslims. They did not come to the street when Ayodhya’s Babari Mosque was demolished 1992. They cannot come to the street when Hindus in Kashmir are massacred. They do not cry against the Sharmas who are involved in a majority of criminal cases for the last ten years. Beginning from the tandoor famous Sushil Sharma to Shivani murder case R.K.Sharma and then onwards hundreds of Sharmas are behind the bar facing criminal charges. No upper caste in the street come forward to condemn Sharmaisation of crime. During the British period the same upper castes with the help of their British bosses declared some of the Dalits and backward communities as criminal tribe. If one Mushhar was caught for stealing a piece of bread, the entire Mushhar community was branded as thief. Similarly, Gujars were declared as criminal tribes. Upper castes have no time to think over it, for they think it is not their issue. They are born to rule the country and therefore when the political system is Mandalised, they still feel they can still rule the country through media and bureaucracy. Sorry, their time has gone.

Debate on Merit therefore is gaining ground. We are hearing Trivedis, Chaturvedis, Malhotras, Guptas, Sanghvis, Chawalas on the virtue of a ‘meritorious’ society. One does not know what do they mean by meritorious society. Let us start to unravel some facts of merit.

As Ambedkar once wittingly said that Hindus failed to write even their two great epics the Mahabharata and Ramayana. We all know that these epics were written by sage Vyasa and sageValmiki. The third Epic, the constitution of Modern India was written by Ambedkar himself. All three happened to be Dalits.Where was the merits of upper castes. Of course, when a Brahmin heads the Maths in Badrinath or Chennai, Varanasi or Tirupati, there are no open tenders. In all other communities including Christians, Sikhs, Muslims, any one can become priests. There are some procedures and when they pass out they become priests. In the racist Varnashram Dharma there is no meritorious quota fixed for being a priest. After all, a priest should be not only knowledgeable but also look respecting the ‘freedom, equality and liberty’. Instead, they abuse and spit fire. That is Hindu way of life. Always being crooked, cunning and pretending very liberal. Where are liberal Hindus who can discuss quota?

South Indian states led by Tamilnadu have more than 69% quota and as a recent report in Frontline suggests not a single institution has been affected due to efficiency of merit.Karnatka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh are also following the same pratice and yet without any social backlash. In fact as noted Bahujan historian Kancha Illaiah rightly says, South Indian states are better governed than their north Indian states despite high dose of reservation. There is no such protest against reservation. But after making Banglore the hub of North Indian activities, they are back to same dirty tactics.

Meritorious reporters

Strangely, the debate on merit is started by those who are not meritorious at all and sitting there from one connection or others. Editors once upon a time were sensitive enough to social cause but today their first loyalty is towards their supplier. Most of the editors are more involved in ‘Jugad’ with political parties, sitting with them and asking for a favor. Can the editors and those pretty faces on the TV channels claim they are the best to represent the country? Since you do not want to see the ugly side of your own faces, you close eyes and say you are unaware of it. Let us discuss some of the merits of our editors.

Some of them got to the job with political connections. One editor of a famous news weekly has a Sangh background. It was said that he could not write even two pages of a report in English. Today, he heads such a big organization and under him are a number of meritorious editors suffocating and grinning. There are similar stories in other media organizations where the meritorious reporters and editors have to work with politically crooked fellows. I would not like to name here personally but the fact is those preaching us merit should disclose their educational background and where they stood in their classes. It would make anything by just saying that they passed out. Writing, they say, come from sensibilities of society. British and European scholars visit India, stay in villages and respect its diversity and have contributed more than our own social scientists because of the dishonesty of its upper caste intellectual class. Why are Indian editors and writers behaving racially? Why is that the Dalits are now forced to write their own history? It is simply because our history has been a victim of brahmanical notoriety, the value system of Hindus which hid everything which was meant for social justice.

It is also necessary for these upper caste reporters to understand what India is. You cannot understand India by just reporting from Kargil from the bunker of army? Neither can you report from injecting upper caste mind on all us. For any reporter, understanding India’s diversity and social issues is a must. But then why should TV channels bother about these. Their concern is to make a few of them as star.

Those who have watching TV for the past 12 days would certainly want to ask question on the merit of the editors. Do we deserve 24 hours Mahajan Puran for several days on our bedrooms? No doubt he was a young leader who died an unnatural death. Surely, he was a great manipulator of things, so-called strategist but that does not make him a mass leader. Going by the same criteria the channels should have devoted a few days to inform us about the greatness of Dr Rajkumar, a great Kannadiga or MGR who people worshipped in Tamilnadu. The same channels and great editors would not give a page or 5 minutes tribute to K.R. Narayanan or Gyani Jail Singh, two great former presidents of India. The caste Hindus and their dirty minds would always play game in India. They would like us to believe what they believe. Fortunately, we still do not vote according to the whims and fancies of these insincere reporters, a complete prostitution of a sane profession.

Mandela failed in getting justice to South African Blacks

A number of backward castes and Dalit intellectuals have been roped in to inform people that reservation is against merit. Indian Express recently carried out a report from South Africa and how it is working on affirmative action. The fact of the matter is Nelson Mandela was unable to extract any thing specific for the blacks. One has to see history that Mandela is more popular abroad than in his communities. The demand for participation in power has to come through quota. If the same whites who ruled Africa for years and crushed it, are ruling without any challenge on their authority with a ‘black’ head of state, that does not mean any change. One has to remember that Mandela after his release came to India first in February 1991 when the country was facing the worst-ever upper caste protests against reservation. Mandela refused to speak on it. Clear enough, Mandela became bigger than the issue of South African blacks. The result was that South African cricket team still is a white team and the bureaucracy is still dominated by the whites. If change of power mean transfer of power from one prime minister to other, then South Africa has achieved all its goal but if change means power to the people, South African leadership has failed in that direction. One is sure Mobuki knows this better than his predecessor.

The Neighboring Zimbabwe when tried to implement Land Reforms, the white human Rights Organizations came against Robert Mughave. He was termed as racist and undemocratic. Every time there has been efforts by Robert Mughave to provide land to the black poor, international agencies criticized him. Even when he won elections on a massive mandate, charges of forgery made against him. This is West’s style to downgrade democracy and put in their interests.

Land Reform and Reservation: Undoing Historic Wrongs

One has to understand that reservation and Land Reform go hand in hand. Land Reform brings to a large number of rural landless people into the mainstream. It is meant to undo historic wrong while quota in the government services mean representation in power structure. It has to be proportionate based. Often argument is given that Dalits and backward do not compete with the upper caste students. What could be far from truth is that such lies continue to spread through media. I am sure they should know that a large number of Dalits in the bureaucracy are functioning relatively better than their upper caste counterparts. Some of them have been writing in daily newspapers. Dalit academia has come up and writing their history which has been concocted by the upper caste historians.

The case of Justice KG Balakrishnan is a reminder. Justice Balakrishnanas’ name was
Suggested by late President K.R.Narayanan. The media made hue and cry. Narayanan
wrote that there are many efficient judges from Dalits, Backward and tribal categories
and they should be given representation in judiciary. The answer he got from the
Government was that Balakrishnan was competent judge but underage. But the real fear
was that if Justice Bala Krishanan is not denied due opportunity, he would be one of the
longest serving Chief Justices of Indian Supreme Court, nearly for six years. That is the
matter of concern for the manipulators. Upper castes wanted judiciary to remain in their
hands so that all the executive order are abolished by judicial judgments under the false
pretext of Public Interest Litigations. Hindus are expert in these litigations and become
leaders after filing them in the court. It is not easy for any other community particularly
for Dalits, OBCs and Adivasis to file PIL and get accepted.

Recently, an outlook story pointed out how a senior officer belonging to Scheduled
Castes was first made Deputy Governor and then demoted. Such injustices against Dalits
happen in large number. If there is no quota, we know the upper castes have no respect
for merit. They will want an India led by the North Indian Brahmins and their Bania
chums. Since the political environment has changed therefore they are targeting
educational institutions.

Our Industries so far are domain of Marwaris run on family business. I am sure Rahul
Bajaj would not appoint any other meritorious person as head of his organization against
his own children. I am sure he wont claim that he has the best brain.

Dalit and backwards are running business now

As far as Dalits and backwards are concern, no body can put any doubt on their merit.
They are running business institutions and even banks. Siddhartha Bank in Maharstra,
Kunbi cooperative Bank in Konkan, Banks in the name of Ambedkar in and around
Madhya Pradesh are working and succeeding. Blaming Dalits for just 2% of job is
Another calumny, which the Hindus are experts in over the year. One needs not to tell
these guys as who are the people who make ‘Dastkar’ or ‘Fab India’ what they are today.
How come the upper castes minting money on the excellence and work of Dalit Adivasi
women in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharastra. Do upper caste reward them with this merit?

Today, Dr Narendra Jadav is one of the most respected Economists in Government of
India and deputed to Central Bank of Afganistan to support build financially strong
Afganistan. This upper caste phobia of reservation against merit has to be rebutted. To
run a country and its administration, we need diversity reflected in our masses. A few
Brahmins and Marwaris cannot represent India. You have to give fare representation to
Linguistic and religious minorities. Dalits, Adivasis and backward communities have
faced discrimination for years and therefore they need special attention by the

Lesson for backward communities: Dalits face brunt of the upper castes for supporting backward communities. It is not unusual that Dalits were in the forefront of support to Mandal Commission Report. That was a time when Dalit Bahujan concept materialized. Unfortunately, because of short term gains of our political leaders, all succumbed to Hindutva game plan. Backwards became champion of Hindutva gang and started hitting the Dalits in their respective power domain. Whether it is Yadavas in UP and Bihar or Thewars in Andhra or Gujjars in Uttar-Pradesh and Haryana, backward communities worked as a foot soldiers of their brahmanical bosses. But in this important battle for reclamation of their rights, backwards have found that they lack a complete political will to fight this battle. They should now humbly follow the Dalits in this battle of reservation. Dalits have Ambedkar, Phule as their icons and backwards would do well to gain from Ambedkar and his writings.

In the meanwhile, all Dalit bahujan should join hand against the upper caste onslaught on their rights. Remember, the brahmanical forces of the cow belt are afraid of losing their hegemony. They have already lost the political battle. They run politics on crookedness. It is time the Dalits, backwards, Adivasis come together and give a fitting reply. Organise debates and debunk the upper caste merit. Merit is nothing but a Dronacharya syndrome. That was past. Today in the 21st century such Dronacharyas would be taught a lesson. India cannot gain if a majority of its population is absent from power structure. Let us force the government to implement quota fully. Let government bring out a white paper on reservation and tell us what exactly is the percentage of Dalits,and backwards in government services. Give us report categories wise. Let us demand that where are 27% backward IAS officers or 17.5% Dalit IAS officers in government if quota is fairly implemented. Meanwhile, the Medical students would do well to study their classes and think of their future. Such blackmailing on part of them would be counterproductive for India’s health. Let this debate also build up a formidable alliance of Dalit Bahujan which got derailed in the past. The upper caste protest therefore will ultimately help us realize the long cherish dream of unity of all the oppressed communities led by the Dalits. For the Dalit backward Member of Parliament, it is time to awake and arise. Put the entire reservation for OBCs, Dalits and Adivasis in IX Schedule of the constitution so that it remained outside the judicial scrutiny, as has been the case in Tamilnadu. Perhaps, this anti reservation rhetoric of the upper caste ‘spiritual’ medical practitioners, a majority of whom are unethical and follow Tantra and have allowed to build temples outside ICUs of the hospitals against rational medical practices, will help Dalits and bahujan communities to sink their differences and draw a common strategy to secure their future.

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