Showing posts from July, 2013

Untouchability and Modi's babus

By Rajiv Shah
Recently, a prominent Gujarat-based activist handed me over a Gujarat government-sponsored report, "Impact of Caste Discrimination and Distinctions on Equal Opportunities: A Study of Gujarat", drafted in May 2013. Authored by a few CEPT University, Ahmedabad, scholars led by Prof R Parthasarathy, whom I know as a fine academic, I scanned through the report but was not shocked, as I knew it would simply reflect the mindset of the Gujarat government, especially when the issue involved is rather ticklish - untouchability.
It calls caste discrimination a matter of "perceptions", but so what? What does one expect from a government headed by Narendra Modi? Let me recall, in 2007 Modi got published some of his speeches he had delivered at the annual bureaucratic conclave, Chintan Shibir, in a book, "Karmayog", where he said, Valmikis cleaning up others' dirt was nothing but "an internal spiritual activity" which has "continued ge…