Tag Archives: SC

Facts Behind Alleged Attack On SC (Dalit) Youth In Andhra

According to an eyewitness, opportunists twisted the fight between two Madiga (Scheduled Castes) families for their political gains.

He says there is no role of ‘caste’ in attacking the ‘Madiga (scheduled caste) community members in Amalapuram, Andhra Pradesh.

The surrounding areas of Amalapuram are witnessing an increase of missing cow cases particularly in the last 4 months. People belonging to all caste and religions were victims to this cow theft.

Due to this villagers were angry and questioning every suspect irrespective of caste and religion whenever they are in doubt. Villagers are leaving such suspects after confirming their whereabouts.

In the midst of all this, the concerned villagers have already informed families who are involved into animal skinning business. They requested them to inform if they sense any suspicion on dead animals before skinning. These 12 families were residents of Janakipeta and they were divided into groups due to some family rivalry.

On Monday, a local villager Arvind approached Mokati Elisha and Lazarus and asked them to skin his cow that died due to electrocution. To do this work, both Elisha and Lazarus reached the crematorium located between Sudhipalem and Battupalem villages.

But this crematorium was in the possession of Yarlagadda Yesurathnam, who also belongs to Janakipeta. But, Yesurathnam never allows others into his premises.

Mokati Elisha and Lazarus belong to one group and Yarlagadda Yesurathnam belongs to other, and they both have some family disputes for long time.

By seeing Mokati Elisha and Lazarus skinning the dead cow in his premises, Yesurathnam became angry and thought it is right time to take revenge against them.

Immediately, Yesurathnam approached members of local Gowda Community who were already

searching for their lost cows and complained to them that Mokati Elisha and Lazarus are skinning their stolen cows.

Once this news of skinning cows spread, all villagers irrespective of caste and political affiliations (No BJP member in this group) came together and severely beat those three members.

The facts of this total episode are:

  1. Stealing the cows
  2. Rivalry between two families.
  3. Beating people perceiving them to be thieves.

By ignoring all these, on whose interests the facts were twisted and called it as “Gou Raksha brigades ( Cow vigilante groups)”, “attack on Scheduled caste”?

Even the Parliament was mislead by this wrong reporting.

Is it to distance the scheduled brothers from Hindutva and to blame RSS and its inspired organizations?

It is requested to report the facts and do not mislead the citizens of this country.

Source

 

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Tackling the Caste Based Reservation Debate – Positively

For a few years in every decade, the discussion about caste based reservation becomes hot. The 60’s and 70’s saw anti-upper caste movements in many states esp South India. In 80’s, there was a huge anti-reservation movement in Gujarath. In 90’s we had the anti-Mandal commission movement. The decade of 2000’s saw consolidation of castes and some some improbable alignments between SC’s and so-called upper castes in states like Uttar Pradesh. In this decade, this discussion has once again started. However, the tragedy is that the stakeholders don’t progress towards a solution and positions only become more rigid. What are the reasons ?

Period of Turmoil is the worst period to engage in a free and fair discussion. Basically because issues are clouded due to prejudice, personal experiences and positions are strong. However, considering that the discussions are now rampant esp on Social media platforms, it  maybe worthwhile to examine the issues raised.

Those who oppose reservations Say 

  1. The constitution makers envisaged only 10 years for reservations. Why is it continuing till date?
  2. Why should merit suffer ? It leads to mediocrity.
  3. Is this not reverse discrimination ?
  4. Reservation should be on the basis of economic criteria

Those who support Reservations Say 

  1. The lower castes were subjected to discrimination for centuries by Hindu society and hence seek redressal.
  2. Discrimination is still rampant and large sections are still unprivileged and therefore a case for reservations.

In both positions, there is merit in the argument. However, instead of seeing each other point of view by dialogue, the groups have transferred their power of attorney to politicians who make good use of the issues to further their cause.  Personal rivalries, Election clashes, land and family disputes also take up that vicious form. Further, the politician or the interested person gives it the colour of conflict between two castes just to save his skin and serve his political ends. At such times, unfortunately, many well-meaning persons are made pawns in this game.

Let us try and address the issues one by one :

Discrimination  

The standard terminology that is used is “Discrimination of centuries by upper castes”. The character of a society is revealed during times of crisis. History bears testimony that for centuries that all castes stood by each other to fight the invaders. In fact, there are no instances in history which show inter-caste conflict as the reason for a loss. So-called lower castes like Jat,Mina, Meo,Bachgoti, Baghela,Tomar,Barwaris,Gonds, Bhils, Satnamis,Marathas,Oraons, Gujars, Kunbis, put up a heroic and determined resistance to the invaders.

Battles that we lost were either due to personal ambition, treachery, excessive chivalry or under-preparedness.  The subsequent treatment of all Hindu jaatis by the invaders was the same – oppression. In fact, the so-called upper castes were subjected to the highest form of discrimination. Many of them were later made to menial jobs like manual scavenging and it lead to an increase in castes which were later enumerated as Scheduled castes, Scheduled Tribes.  The book ” Growth of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Medieval India” throws great light on the same.

Unfortunately over a period of time, leadership of the rest of the so-called upper castes of society became rigid, forgot its moorings & intrinsic spirit of our scriptures of Atmavat Sarva Bhuteshu .  As Swami Vivekananda puts it, “Touch me not ism” became prevalent. So much so that some communities were debarred from temple entry, getting water from the same source as others and also basic respect.

 British Rule 

During the British period, many artisan jaatis ( castes ) were destroyed effectively making them backward. Some castes which revolted were marked as criminal castes. When the British introduced their education system, many of the then upper castes took to it ( or motivated to take to it ) and were given jobs in administration positions. This was the period when the systematic discrimination was brought in.

Pre-British rule surveys by British surveryors show that all sections of society received education in large numbers. This was later documented in the Beautiful Tree by Sri Dharampal. The British education system made it difficult for lower castes to get educated. The caste system became legally rigid during the British Raj, when the British started to enumerate castes during their ten-year census and meticulously codified the system. A system which was self-managed was made dependent on government for grants and sops.

Reverse Discrimination 

The argument by the anti-reservation groups is that what is being practised today is reverse discrimination. ” Why should we suffer ” they say ?

At the face of it, yes it does seem unfair that those who had nothing to do with the “wrongs” of the past are facing the brunt of a policy in which they feel wronged.  However, in a nation’s life,  esp when one considers the society as an extended family, it is inevitable that some sections of society sacrifice some of their comforts for the sake of the less privileged. The term less privileged in this case is not from the economic point of view but from a social perspective. However, this cannot run endlessly. Community leaders from all sections have to come forward to discuss these issues and work out solutions.

Post Independence :

After Independence, the Constitution makers gave a provision for reservations to certain sections of society to enable them to regain social status in society. However, the implementation of affirmative action seems to be flawed and instead of the number of reserved castes reducing over time , it has only increased.

What Does this lead to ? 

  • Society, esp the unreserved categories lose confidence that reservation as a policy would ever go away and therefore they make efforts as groups to become part of the bandwagon viz to stake claim of backwardness or seek other forms of reservations.
  • The most needy communities in terms of social status still don’t get the benefit of reservations which makes the case for the same to be retained.
  • There is no movement from the politicians to instill a feeling of swabhimaana and motivation to move forward. Before the British came, there were hundreds of instances of communities moving forward from so-called lower caste status. It effectively meant that the desire of communities was to be respected.
  • Politicians make communities a pawn in their game of power showing the carrot of benefits.

Growth of SC ,ST’s and BC’s post Independence : 

In 1950 we had 1208 SC castes. 2011 census : 1241; List of SC’s in 1950

In 1950 , we had 664 Scheduled Tribes. 2011 we have 705;

1950 we had 1257 communities enumerated as Backward Classes. It must be noted that the constitution framers scrupulously used the word “Other Socially and Educationally Backward classes” and not castes for OBC’s. However, new political movements use the word Other backward Castes for OBC’s.

In 1979 –  3743 castes and communities were enumerated as OBC’s;  In 2013 – this number was put at 5013.

The above numbers are a consolidation of the castes and communities enumerated in various states and Union Territories. There are many castes which have an overlap in the states.

It effectively shows that instead we now have more and more castes aspiring to become part of the SC,ST and BC community list. The constitution has been amended dozens of time to include more castes into this list.

The recent movement by the Patel’s of Gujarath also falls in the same category. It either shows that communities are being further impoverished by government policies or that there is a rush to fall backwards. It also shows that the government is not the agency which can stop this.

How can we Win Over this Situation  ?

This problem cannot have  political solution because it requires political parties to have a view bigger than electoral politics. It can be solved by 3 stakeholders – Individuals, Community leaders (non-politicians ) and Sadhus. We cannot wash away the fact that some of the castes were subjected to inhuman social discrimination, lack of temple entry during a period of time as stated above .

a. In 1921 Census- The Race Was To Rise In Hierarchy – Understanding Why ?

Hindus never believed in living at the mercy of other. Swabhimaana or self-respect was an essential part of our value system. In 1921, jaati ( caste ) sabhas put up representations to be called as Higher castes. The representations included – Ahars as Yadavas, Yadava as kshatriya, Aheria as Hara Rajput, Ahir as Kshatriya, Banjaras as Chauhans and Rajputs, Barhai as Dhiman Brahman, Chamar as Jatav Rajput, Gadaria as Pali Rajput, Gujar as kshatriya, Jat as Jaduvanshi Thakur, Nai as Nai Brahman, Patwa as Brahman and so on..This list runs to 63 pages . Each of this caste demanding a higher place in the social hierarchy. Contrast this with the movements later where movements were made so that Scheduled castes be called as Crushed communities- Dalits.  

Shift in Caste Numbers : Also, the census thereafter showed that numbers in castes changed frequently. For example,  Yeatts, who was the  British Census officer compared 5 successive censuses and wrote that caste enumeration is useless since the figures swing.  He gave examples of Ambattans who were recorded as 2,27,000 in one census and in successive ones, they came to 10,000 because they went to other jaatis. Similarly, the number of gollas declined but Yadavas increased. The reason being one Jaati had many upajaatis ( sub-castes ) and transmigration among upajaatis was common. It is for this reason that the British made enumeration of caste rigid and tied benefits like jobs, sops etc to caste.

 The Census Commissioner of India for 1931, J.H. Hutton noted,

Sorting for caste is really worthless unless nomenclature is sufficiently fixed to render the resulting totals close and reliable approximations. Had caste terminology the stability of religious returns, caste sorting might be worthwhile

. With the fluidity of current appellations it is certainly not… 227,000 Ambattans have become 10,000, Navithan, Nai, Nai Brahman, Navutiyan, Pariyari claimabout 140,000 all terms unrecorded or untabulated in 1921

Only explanation for this could be that most of the Ambattans of 1921 changed into some other caste. Similarly, the number of Marathas in Central Provinces and Berar increased from93,901 in 1911, to 206,144 in 1921. This more than 110% increase in number can be explained by the mass mobilization of Kunbis ( Kurmi’s) to Marathas during the period. It was also found that Koli’s could rise to the status of Maratha Kunbi by taking to cultivation.

b. Ending Social Discrimination 

As the 3rd RSS Sarsanghchalak, Sri Balasaheb Deoras put it,

” In this task of bringing about social equality, we should be able to win over the support and cooperation of various types of people. We should, for that purpose, conduct our selves with restraint and grace. Then only we will be successful. There are our religious leaders, saints, sages and scholars. They hold a sway over the popular mind. Their cooperation in this task is essential. Sometimes we feel that they are firmly attached to only the old customs and would not like to see them changed. However, this should not make us mistake their good intentions.In other countries too there are religious teachers pinning their faith on ancient systems. Nevertheless the people there do not ridicule them on that account. We too, with proper approach, could plead with our religious leaders that they should, in their preaching’s and discourses, tell the people which facets of our Dharma are of eternal value and which of them changeable according to the times, and that such an exposition on their part would be more impressive and pervasive in its effect. We should also submit to them that the responsibility of protecting the society is theirs and that it can be discharged only by their coming out of their ashrams and mutts and unreservedly mixing in the society.
Though this appears as an uphill task, actually it is not so. Fortunately there are already auspicious indications that our Dharma Gurus have started working in this direction.”

c. Invoking Swabhimaana  or Self- Respect

The above examples show that the so-called “backward” communities also did not ask for the mercy of anybody. They only desired an equal status with others and that too on their own merits. The Dalit Chamber of commerce is one such initiative in instilling a feeling of self-confidence and aspiration among the scheduled castes. We are seeing individual instances of people from SC,ST and BC’s giving up reservations for themselves and their children as a contribution from their side for the nation. Such people must be celebrated and discussed. Dr.Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of Dr.BR Ambedkar also stepped in stating that it is time to end Political reservations .

It is for the communities getting reservations to think and strive and chalk out a time-bound plan of rising themselves up. A day has to come when all of us will feel equal, equal in our worth and capacities.And it is for them to decide how long these privileges should continue. Groups of such individuals must educate their own community members to give up reservations for the sake of the more under-privileged ones.   Read also – Social Equality & Hindu Consolidation

d. Empathy

I complained I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet “. While it is true that many beneficiaries can actually give up reservation for their next generation, it is equally true that there are many more who deserve affirmative action. It is important that the socially upwardly mobile communities share a emphatic view on the situation of communities who are socially deprived. The entire society must invest in educating the more underprivileged communities and give them a sense of self-respect.

e. See Through the Game & Let Us All Show Maturity 

Some people are making derogatory caricatures on both sides showing the other group as wily characters. This is the work of those who want to divide the society and a continuation of the British mindset.. This is not the first time a social issue is being discussed in our nation. A social issue needs to be handled with maturity of a society which has a civilization history of atleast 10000 years.

We must show ourselves, the world and our generation next that we are worthy descendants of ancestors who wanted to Ennoble the World by Krunvanto Vishwam Aryam .  We cannot allow a set of political leaders to hijack the nation’s progress. At the same time, we must know our history of handling social issues and then Discuss and Resolve Issues – We must !

– Ayush Nadimpalli

Sources :

i) Government Census – 1950 to 2011

ii) Social Equality and Hindu Consolidation – By Sri Balasaheb Deoras

iii) Growth of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Medieval India – Sri KS Lal

iv) Falling Over Backwards by Sri Arun Shourie

v) Caste by MN Srinivas

vi) RSS resolution on reservations – 1981

Non-Kshatriyas Jaatis Performing Kshatriya Dharma

Role of so-called Non Kshatriya Jaatis esp from Non-Brahmin Jaatis Leading in Battles for Hindu Revival 

Many a times, varna and jaati are mixed. It would surprise one to know that nowhere in our texts is there mention of Vaishya jaati. Vaishya is a varna ( people who wanted to expand business ) . They came from all jaatis and since they were basically engaged in selling in outside lands for which they had to travel long periods, sometimes for over 2 years, they went along in groups of families.

In later period, this may have got stratified. For example, even though Marwari sounds like a jaati, it simple means those that belong to area of Marwar. Since most of them were engaged in business, they got identified with vaishya community. However, there are Marwaris of various jaatis.

Similarly, while some jaatis were entrusted with the role of protection ( kshatriyas ), there are numerous examples of other jaatis who came to occupy the role of the kshatriya and also won many battles against trained Muslim armies. This would not have been possible had they not been trained in war strategy and tactics.

2. Barwaris, a scheduled caste jaati involved in leather cleaing – In 1299, Barwaris of Gujarat rose in revenge of the sack of Gujarat and helped Khusrau Khan in planning and excution of Qutubuddin. Khusrau was a forcible Muslim covert at but still retained Hinduness at heart. . Khusrau Khan changed his name to Khusrau Shah began workship of vigrahas in Delhi, forbade cow slaughter. Over 40,000 barwaris marched into Delhi and their leader was annointed a general by Khusrau Shah

3. Khokkars were an agricultural tribe and they lead a resistance for over 250 years. They tenaciously opposed Muhammad Ghori and eventually killed him. They even had taken over Lahore.

4. Gonds were also an agricultural community or worked in forests. They had their own systems of rulership and were called Rajas. Rani of Gondwana – Durgavati, Raja of Garha Garola, Harya, Salwani, Manola, Lanji continued their battle. An Agrarian jaati which took up the role of Kshatriyas.

5. Bhils a tribe support to Rana Pratap. Because of them the chiefs of Marwar were never short of manpower. It must be noted that during their ascension, evey Rajput chiefs to be marked on the brow with the blood of Bhils. The state emblemn of Rana Pratap bore the Bhils on it as a testimony their bravery. After his loss at Haldighati, Rana regrouped and n all his forts except Chittor, Ajmer and Mandalgarh. Pratap’s army also had chieftains from Bhil community trained in strategy and tactics. Rana’s army comprising of majority Bhils succeeded in winning many battles of so-called disciplined Muslim forces. Without training in military warfare of the Bhils, would Rana be able to regain those sites.?

6. Satnamis – A Chamar sect was an offshoot of the Raidasis. They followed agriculture and trade on small scale. 5000 Satnamis fought Aurangzeb’s army. He had to send out additional force of 10000 soldiers to coutner them in 1672.

7. Jats, Marathas and Sikhs – Jats were mostly peasants who fought continuous battles from 1661. Raja Ram and Ram Chehra, zamindars of Sinsani and Sogar assumed leadership of Jats in 1685. They builds small forts and trained the peasants in warfare. They killed Mughal warrior Aghar Khan and then attacked Mahabat Khan and marched into Punjab. They also plundered Akbar’s tomb.

It must be noted that Jats, the Marathas and most of the Sikh warriors came from backward classes since the struggle was given up by the Rajputs. Surajmal rose to the position of a Raja and spearheaded the struggle in Agra-Mathura. Marathas were also among backward castes.

Sivaji himself was from a Kunbi jaati. Kunbis are basically agrarian community who over a period of time took up kinship. Sivaji was also trained by Dada Kondadev, guided by Samartha Ramdas and his army consisted of generals like Tanaji Malsure, yeshaji Kank and many other generals who were from so-called non Kshatriya jaatis ); took up the role of Kshatriyas.

While there was resistance to him assuming the name of Chatrapati, it must also be remembered that the coronation was presided over by Gaga Bhatt, a Brahmin from Varanasi who convinced those who opposed his coronation.

It was after their sustained prowess that the Marathas and Sikhs were considered as martial segments of Hindu society.

8. Oraons – Oraons are also known as Kol which is a generic name for Munda, Ho and Oraon tribes of Chota Nagpur and Santhal paraganas. The Oraons defeated Jahangir and their victory is even today celebrated as Jani Shikar.

9. Reddi Rajas – After the defeat of the kshatriya clans, the Andhra Reddis took over the task. Raja Vema regained the agraharas from the mlechas. An inscription by Singaya-Nayaka clearly proclaims the pride that they took in defending the country when the kshatriya clans were vanquished. . Another inscrpition by his cousin Kapaya Nayaka also talks about how they rescued the Andhra kingdom from the Mohammadans.

There are many more such instances of non-Kshatriya clans, taking up the role of Kshatriyas and defending the country as Kshatriyas. Some jaatis remained as Kshatriyas and some other went back to their traditional vocations. It also shows that people from all jaatis had great respect for their own vocation and depending on the situation were trained and were willing to take up the responsibilities of various varnas.

Majority of above material is from Growth of Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes in Medieval India by Sri KS Lal

Savarkar and Temple Entry for All Hindus

Savarkar

While in internment in Ratnagiri (coastal Western Maharashtra), Savarkar was barred from participating in political activities. He used this opportunity to bring about social reform in Hindu society. In those times, the so-called untouchables were barred from entering temples. Savarkar waged a bitter struggle for temple entry of ex-untouchables. In this, he also put his literary prowess to use.

Savarkar was instrumental in founding the Patitpavan Mandir in Ratnagiri in 1931. This was the first major temple in India after the Mughal rule to open its doors to all Hindus irrespective of their caste. This was a revolutionary step.

Patitpavan mandir 1 Patitpavan mandir 2

To mark this occasion, Savarkar composed a Marathi poem ‘Malaa devaache darshan gheu dya’ (Allow me to see my God) that expressed the anguished cry of ex-untouchables who were being denied temple entry.

The poem was sung by two boys of the Bhangi (Balmiki) caste. Members of this caste carried out scavenging work and were considered untouchables. Narayan Sadashiv alias Ulhas Bapat, Savarkar’s associate was an eye-witness when Savarkar composed this poem.

In his reminiscences (Smritipushpe, self-published, Pune, 1979, p 63), Bapat remarks that Savarkar must have shed atleast a handful of tears when he composed this poem. Such was the intensity of feeling that Savarkar had for the plight of ex-untouchables. It may be noted that the very same Savarkar remained unmoved on being handed down a punishment of two Transportations for Life. Given below is an English translation of Savarkar’s poem ‘Amucha swadesh Hindusthan’ with the Marathi original. The translation has been done by Anurupa Cinar.

Malaa devaache darshan gheu dya (Allow me to see my God)

मला देवाचे दर्शन घेउ द्या

डोळे भरून देवास मला पाहुं द्या II धृ II

जो तुम्हिच करा दिनरात

मळ काढित मळले हात

म्हणुनीच विमल हृदयात-

हृदय त्या वाहु द्या !

To see my God in his temple

Allow me, I beseech.

Let my eyes have their fill of Him

Please, O please.

Defiled my hands are

Cleaning your filth night and day.

To cleanse them in the Pure heart

Allow me, I pray.

मी तहान जल तो जाण

मी कुडि माझा तो प्राण

मी भक्त नि तो भगवान-

चरण त्याचे शिवु द्या

तो हिंदु-देव मी हिंदु

मी दीन तो दया-सिंधू

तुम्ही माझे धर्माचे बंधू-

अडवु नका जाउ द्या

I am but the body, he its life,

I am the thirst only he can sate.

I am the Wretched, He the Compassionate,

O, let me fall at his feet, prostate.

I am his devotee, he my Lord,

I am a Hindu, he my Hindu God.

O Fellow Hindu Brothers,

Bar not, beg I, my way to my God!

Source : http://www.savarkar.org