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Showing posts from August, 2015

Convene special session of Parliament, prepare white paper on status of caste

By Martin Macwan* The Patidars, popularly known as ‘Patels’, are far from ignorant to know that to acquire other backward class (OBC) status for securing reservation in Gujarat (each State has its own commission and list of its own castes), they have to file a claim before the permanent OBC commission set up by the Government of Gujarat. Knowing well they stand no chance to prove themselves as ‘an educationally and socially backward caste’ before the OBC commission, Patidars have chosen a path of popular show of muscles to bend the Gujarat Government headed by the first woman chief minister and a Patidar herself to agree to their demand. Patidars have also threatened the BJP Government of Gujarat as well as Narendra Modi, the OBC Prime Minister of India that they may fall if their demands are not met. Patidars claim that without their critical support both the rise of BJP government of Gujarat and Modi as the Prime Minister of India was not possible. The prominent personalities and org

Hype around Patidar demand for reservation: Will India become confederation of castes?

By Martin Macwan* The current agitation in Gujarat for the inclusion of Patidar, popularly known as Patel – a considered a ‘forward’ caste – in the list of other backward castes (OBCs) category has sanctioned the importance of caste in India once again. What is particularly important to note is that the agitation is supported by other ‘forward’ caste organizations, too. The myth that the ‘higher caste’ status brings in privileges has shattered. For, it is clear, based on the experiential perception of the agitators, that caste offers an equal status to all its members but not the equal living conditions. Still more important, the agitation is led by the educated youth with prominent number of women participants. Is the Ambedkarite dream for annihilation of caste a step closer where, after almost seven decades of national independence, recognizing the futility of the ‘higher’ caste status, the ‘forward’ caste has taken resort to the street agitation to be derecognized as ‘forward cast