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Updated: February 6, 2013 00:28 IST

The question of casteism still remains

K. Satyanarayana
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Contrary to what Nandy’s defenders would have us believe, his corruption remark reinforces negative stereotypes about Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes

The controversy around Ashis Nandy’s casual remarks at the Jaipur Literature Festival did not address a number of important questions of public concern. The frenzied ‘Save Nandy’ campaign that followed has actually foreclosed any productive discussion. His supporters have been trying to explain and contextualise Professor Nandy’s flippant remarks through references to his scholarship and eminent status.

Sankaran Krishna seeks to locate Mr. Nandy’s words in the wake of his earlier scholarship and criticisms (The Hindu, January 31). Such an approach is irrelevant to what Mr. Nandy said at the JLF. Harsh Sethi (The Hindu, January 28), Yogendra Yadav (Indian Express, January 28), Lawrence Liang (Economic Times, January 30) and several others have argued that Mr. Nandy’s statements should not be read as casteist. What is pertinent is that both Mr. Nandy and his defenders invoke ‘SC, ST and OBCs’ in a manner that reinforces a stereotypical image of these communities as “intolerant” and “undemocratic.” Shiv Visvanathan writes, “Dalits and OBCs are treated as sacred cows” (Firspost, Jan. 28).

One-sided

The other standard mode of response has been to combine the banning of Kamal Haasan’s film Vishwaroopam, the Rushdie affair and other state censorship issues with Mr. Nandy’s “freedom of speech” to conclude that Indian society is becoming intolerant and undemocratic. Manu Joseph writes in the New York Times ( Jan. 30) that India is “a paradise for those who take offence.” That Mr. Nandy named the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes, a large population of the marginalised protected by special laws, as the most corrupt, is totally ignored.

There has been absolutely no attempt to seriously examine the significance of the SC/ST Act and its provisions given that we live in a society with rampant caste discrimination. Madhu Kishwar tweeted on January 28: “Wonder why no one discussing the draconian provisions in SC/ST Act under which Ashis Nandy being booked. Only focusing on Nandy, not the law.” It was no less than a call for the scrapping of this important 1989 Act, which was a result of decades of lobbying by the Dalit movement. Its repeal has been, for long, the demand of the Shiv Sena, the Pattali Makkal Katchi, the Samajawadi Party and such like. Swapan Dasgupta echoes this view saying the Act is “absurd, inflexible, draconian” (The Pioneer, Feb. 3). Antara Dev Sen says that “the more socially disadvantaged you are as an identity group, the more laws you may have at your disposal to attack” (Asian Age, Feb. 2). Liang argues that filing a case is “a lumpen strategy of the right” that all minorities have adopted.

Even if it is not the only option, is it so wrong for Dalits to file a case? No one thought it necessary to examine the validity of Mr. Nandy’s “provocative” claims. The irony is that in the name of freedom of expression, liberal and rightwing intellectuals have come together in actually suppressing all debate on Mr. Nandy’s objectionable comment that the OBC, SC and ST people are “the most corrupt.”

The effect has been to deflect all attention from his bizarre statements (dubbed as “nuanced utterances”). The question of whether Mr. Nandy’s remarks in fact constitute casteist speech was never given serious attention. Mr. Nandy himself clarified his position many times but never unconditionally withdrew his comments. He reiterated the view that the SC, ST and OBCs are indeed most corrupt (in the sense of they forming a majority of the population) in very clear terms on an NDTV show ( Jan. 28 interview to Barkha Dutt).

In the case of the socially stigmatised and marginalised people, references of any broad-brush kind only reinforce stereotypes of these people. Imagine a white intellectual in the United States, irrespective of the nature and stature of his previous body of work, saying that Blacks and Hispanics in the U.S. are the most corrupt. What would be the repercussions?

What is more, by a clever displacement it was argued that Mr. Nandy actually was the victim of an intolerant culture and authoritarian politics. He is seen as ‘hounded’ and ‘harassed’. It has been argued that the response to Mr. Nandy is ‘intolerant outrage’ and ‘competitive outrage’. From whom? Clearly, the Dalit-Bahujans. When Shuddhabrata Sengupta (Kafila.org, January 30) wickedly refers to “the foot soldiers of identity politics” and “brokers of victimhood,” he is referring not just to one or two individuals, but tarnishing entire communities. These are sweeping statements that depict the SCs, STs, OBCs as people who have no ‘commitment’ to careful listening, who, unlike the ‘upper castes,’ are easily offended, crave for false publicity and organise stage-managed protests.

An editorial in The Hindu (“From Footnote to FIR,” Jan. 30) notes that “in a country where there is a flourishing outrage industry — helped by a slew of laws that takes the feelings of easily offended individuals very seriously — there is a great deal of publicity and even political capital to be acquired in claiming that sentiments are hurt.” The rhetorical strategy is to refer to Indians in general but the specific context is the protest by certain SC, ST and OBC groups. The running theme of the Nandy defence team is that the public (especially the marginalised) has neither skills of reasoning nor a sense of humour to appreciate Mr. Nandy’s words in context. In fact, the campaign to produce Mr. Nandy as a victim as well as a great man constructs SC, ST and OBCs as fools and criminals.

‘Lumpen strategy’

Mr. Nandy’s defenders may have the right to be delusional and believe that his comments are pro-Dalit, pro-Adivasi and pro-OBC, and that such comments should not therefore attract the SC/ST Act. But to call taking recourse to a legal remedy ‘a lumpen strategy’ and to term the SC/ST Act ‘draconian’ — as some have done — is to casually undermine what is in fact an extremely important legislation. This is a special law designed to protect the dignity, life and property of the SC/ST people.

The dispute between the SC/STs and Ashis Nandy is one about dignity and respect. The state is not directly in the picture. A section of the marginalised, and the National Commission for the Scheduled Castes, invoked the SC/ST Act. Many others have objected to Mr. Nandy’s views on other grounds. But how does asking for the application of a special law amount to censorship and violation of freedom of expression? True, this Act imposes limits on speech that humiliates and discriminates against the Dalits and Adivasis. The new scholarship on humiliation and caste, by the likes of Gopal Guru, elaborates on and illustrates this point.

Mr. Nandy first clarified that the view that the SC, ST and OBCs are the most corrupt is a normative view, and not an empirical one. Despite this, he later claimed on NDTV that ticketless travellers in trains and black-ticket sellers in cinema halls would inevitably be SC, ST, and OBC, and they are in a majority.

Not pro-Dalit

This theory of false agency and emulation of the upper castes (in matters of corruption) is highly objectionable and offensive and it cannot be passed off as a ‘pro-Dalit’ statement. Madhu Koda, for all his skills at corruption, is not the role model of the marginalised. The corruption of some of the elite among the disadvantaged is as dangerous and oppressive as that of the upper caste elites. In fact, Mr. Nandy’s theory reinforces the commonsensical view of the oppressed castes as corrupt. The assumption that only physical violence and atrocities attract the SC/ST Act is wrong. Any generalisation that produces a stereotype could be objected to both on moral and legal grounds. There are divergent views among SC, ST, and OBC commentators on how to deal with Mr. Nandy’s remarks and theory of corruption (such loose talk is turned into a theory). But no one claimed that Mr. Nandy’s speech is excellent and ironic. No Dalits have come out to support him.

The public intellectual, Chandra Bhan Prasad, asked Dalits to forgive Mr. Nandy hoping he would unconditionally withdraw his statements. Some activists and politicians filed cases under the SC/ST Act. What is wrong with this? How can anyone take objection to one’s right to seek legal remedy under an Act that provides minimum protection to the deprived in this country? How can anyone prescribe only ‘a verbal or intellectual redress’ for these offensive and derogatory remarks?

In this vitiated context, one can only take some solace in the words of the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, which said on February 1: “He [Nandy] can’t continue making statements like this. Whatever may be your intent, you can’t go on making statements.” When staying his arrest, the bench noted, “We are not at all happy”. Nor are SCs, STs and OBCs.

(The author teaches at the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, and is the author of No Alphabet in Sight: New Dalit Writing from South India)

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The author here seems to make a biased argument, falling in line with most other publications, probably fearing repercussions. I do not have exact figures in my hand, but lets take these two statements. Since ~1950 India has been applying reservations in education, employment into various civil services, including lowering standards for entry into civil services for reserved category. The second statement is since ~1950 the corruption level in India is growing manifold. So if there are high number of people at places with high level of corruption, what does that say?

I agree it does not say that all MBC,BC or SC/ST are corrupt, which is true. But it also shows that there are some issues that needs to be addressed.

What reservation intended to do was to uplift marginalized people, but what we use it today is to reward mediocrity and promote lower standards, for political reasons.

from:  sriram
Posted on: Feb 6, 2013 at 17:41 IST

Social relations evolve slowly. To believe that they can be forced by laws alone is an
incorrect assessment. A social environment conducive to the change dependent on multiple
factors. Our law-makers made the laws believing that laws alone will work.
We live in a world of inequities and inequalities. Only, a slow evolution could be expected to
do the the change. Hastening the change by opportunistic politics,discussions,points and
counterpoints could lead us nowhere.

from:  G. Narayanaswamy
Posted on: Feb 6, 2013 at 07:28 IST

Mr. Asish Nandy is wrong in his fragmented thoughts. The phenomenon of "corruption" can never be fragmented and assigned to castes, religions, etc. We must think who is at the centre of our socio-economic structure? Which section of the society wields "money and political" powers? Who can deny the fact that it is our socio-economic system that breeds corruption and other such ills? Who is responsible for the prevalence of socio-economic inequalities? Which section of the society lags behind in respect of facilities pertaining to education, health, employment, housing, safe drinking water, toilets, sanitary conditions and other facilities of life? As a concerned intellectual believing in the Constitutional values Mr Nandy should also fight for the Fundamental Rights of the marginalised sections of the society. These sections need "opprtunities" to grow and develop as equal citizens of this great country. Work for their socio-economic empowerment. Expose the real culprits.

from:  Sudesh Kumar Sharma
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 20:28 IST

The issue of caste is not that one person is superior or inferior to another. If all people are equal, then what people want to know is, how can I not have the same status as say, Mr. Mukesh Ambani? The idea is, that Mr. Ambani is happy being himself, but still, cannot we all be like him? Getting rid of the caste system will not change inequality in income. People might become poor, just because we are in circumstances, where others get rich. If everyone becomes Mr. Ambani, then we won't have an economy like now. The rich, and not necessarily the rich whom Mr. Ambani represents, are very insecure, not about personal wealth, but about their employees, and businesses.

from:  Aditya Mookerjee
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 19:45 IST

I fully agree with you.Both Ashish Nandi and his supporters used the same tactics to defend him as used by politicians. They blamed the media for quoting him out of context and sensationalizing his comments. Then they made a distinction between statement and observation.Thereby openly accusing the protesters of not being able to understand him-the great intellectual. The various interviews given by Nandi after this incident and the articles written by his supporters showed our castist mindset. It showed how deep rooted our caste biases are progressive.Academically we might pose as non-castist. But when we are made accountable for our castist moorings our real face appears. Ironically these supporters also could not defend the words used by Nandi.They were defending him because he belonged to a particular class which in Manu's India is more equal than others. SCs, STs and OBCs demanding legal course they thought were crossing their limits.Their support to Nandi has exposed them also

from:  gopajoshi
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 19:40 IST

Nandy's comment not even qualify as 'academic insights'. In the absence of comprehensive empirical examination and comparative synthesis his oversight observation is a negation of any spirited academic debate. For him hundred one rupee coins are much larger than ten thousand rupee notes. In such attempt he joins the group of neoclassic enthusiastics who seldom seen in the research field work. Long grown gray hair and tongue tipped English does not make anyone as academic intellectual. It was a bloody attempt by Nandy to morally marginalize SC/ST communities as Nandy and his comrades failed to stop their economic forwardness. I scared seeing him telling Burka Dutt of NDTV that if he has to prove his comment as “THAT CAN BE DONE”. Yes Nandy can BUY anything. But, you are marginalized within our academic circles.

from:  Needhi Dharman
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 18:32 IST

This entire episode clearly informs me that the so called top academicians, journalists and intellectuals are not faraway form their caste of mind. Had Asish Nanday made this statement inadvertently and realized the gravity and implication of this statement he should have openly sought public apology. His sweeping statement is derogative in its nature but whereas the so called eminent scholars in myriad fields, in the name of his solidarity, have gone to the extent of criminalizing the entire SC/ST/OBC Communities with their sophisticated theorization and interpretation. At least Politicians know how to represent the feelings of the oppressed with due respect and dignity. But this fake, self claimed academicians and intellectual class totally failed to redress the historical discrimination meted out to SC/ST/OBC sections of this society.

from:  B. Venkat Rao
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 17:38 IST

India was supposed to rid of the caste system after Independance but the politicians found a way to perpetuate the same by demanding caste based reservations keeping electoral considerations in view. A system that helps the truly disadvantaged is to base reservations on economic criteria.

from:  krishna
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 17:21 IST

Ashis Nandy said that corruption should persist among Dalits because that will help them equalise with the rest of society. He also said that when upper castes indulge in corruption, it is subtle, whereas when Dalits do so, it is not so subtle and when they get caught, it gets blown up.
Now what he said may hurt Dalits, but he is right. Even the Supreme Court has ruled that he just needs to be careful in his choice of words, but that what he said does not merit him getting arrested.
Hence the point is, Dalits should not get hassled by what someone says or does not say. It is actions, and their own actions, that will ultimately take them up the path of equality. And in that area, they need to seriously consider how they, especially their so-called leaders, have by action (read corruption), more overtly reiterated the corrupt-Dalit stereotype than any covert anti-Dalit words have ever done.

from:  Rajeev Iyer
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 17:20 IST

Largely, politicians, media and the bureaucracy is responsible for
this state of affairs. We can never create a classless society until
we dismantle reservations of any kind - be it on the basis of religion
or caste. Then we pander to our base instincts - how many times do you
hear "Dalit woman molested". Why do we add the word "Dalit" - for all
we know, the perpetrator did not do this because the victim was
"Dalit". That way, the press is too responsible for building more
barriers in the way to building a classless society.

People in general don't care about someone's caste - unless it is
about marriage into that caste. Even that will go away soon. Our
politicians would like to keep us divided for their selfish ends by
keeping the caste issue alive. They have pitted man against man, in
the name of "reservations", and there is precious little we can do
against the mighty (and selfish) political class. That is the reality
we have to live with, in India.

from:  Mohan Narayanan
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 16:57 IST

The casteism is deeply rooted in our sub-conscious mind . We all tend to use it for our disadvantage whenever an opportunity is available. Any how what Ashish Nandi has stated seems to have been taken out of context. Still he has apologised for it. The matter should be laid to rest there. .

from:  Hema
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 16:54 IST

You are dead right about this whole episode. Mr. Nandi's bizarre statement damning the SC/ST community is no different from those lumpens who identify the muslim community with terrorism. Mr. Nandi didn't stop there, to prove his point he went further to substantiate it by pointing out to the rule of the WB leftist government. Is it morally & ethically correct for an intellectual to stigmatize a whole community for the actions of a few. Corruption is the core philosophy on which governance & politics thrives in this nation & i am yet to see a SC/ST heading the nation since Independence. Yet Mr. Nandi has the gall to point at them for this contagion. More bizarre was the response of the media. First they went to town with repetitive displays of his atrocious statement & made him the public enemy no 1. They then suddenly make a sharp 'U' turn, now the SC/ST is the arch enemy. Freedom doesn't mean that you lose sight of your sensibilities. This Nandi seems like the bull in the China Shop.

from:  Yunus Sait
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 15:28 IST

I think what Mr.Nandy said was spontaneous and not thought
before.So,we must look at it from the context in which it was said.
Further,issues like reservation,casteism,stereotypical feelings
towards SC,ST and OBC,promotion bills all are real issues which needs
to be debated in an open and congenial atmosphere.Each should be
allowed to speak up its mind with no historical baggage.there should
be freedom of speech.

from:  SANTOSH KUMAR
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 15:19 IST

Next day all the dailies and the same day current affairs channel engaged in debate and discussin using of cast in corruption irrespective of his supporters may defends in either this or that way. If he had conscious about corruption should not mention any cast and bring under corruption category treating them all equal in that practice. Instead of doing that raised one more controversy by category in cast of corruption by hurting the majority population. But one good thing is has he already raked this issue government should list all the corrupt politicians and bureaucrats and post it in website mentioning their cast which they belongs to statistics purpose that will intellectuals make of this authenticate data to use cautiously and defend them that for using it educate particualt class of people not to indulge as they represent highest percentage in that list. Hard fact is superior cast corrupt people clever in how to safeguard themselves even though they caught without having substa

from:  RAGHAVENDRA R PAWAR
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 15:17 IST

I think if he has made statement, he is actually reflecting words used in talk by government. We have policies framed by government with focus on SC, ST,OBC,minorities. So if these words remain focus in government and in media, they get added to lingua.
There is much focus by government to look everything from lens of Castes,religion that it also makes people to talk and see in same lens. At end it does little to integrate than to divide. Communication has profound impact on psychology

from:  Sachin
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 15:01 IST

India was and is divided into caste /religions by the ruling people first by the kings and now by the political parties.The categorization of SC/ST and OBC have even worsen the country..
Most of the time I think if there was only poor(who cannot afford) and rich(who are there) classification it would have made our country a much better place to live...

from:  Subra
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 14:31 IST

No matter what your intention is or was, when you are a public figure,
speaking on a public platform, you should be eloquent enough to leave no
confusion. Secondly, generalizing corruption on basis of caste or any
other group, is a medieval mindset.

from:  piyush tyagi
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 14:26 IST

"Any generalization that produces a stereotype could be objected to
both on moral and legal grounds." All SCs/STs are assumed to
economically, socially backward thatswhy they are enjoying the
benefits of reservation. This generalization is made which is based on
false assumption. Though statement of Mr. Nandy may not be correct but
after applying the same logic as of reservation there is nothing wrong
in saying this. Dalits never tried to use 1989 act when they were
called socially/economically backward, though tey are not. If a son of
Grade "A" officer still need reservation to compete with other guy,
the he is not socially/economically backward but he lacks the
capability to compete. In other words reservation for these capable
people means they are incompetent. Does it not hit on their dignity &
pride? Mr. Author after this article you also seems onseided.

from:  Abhinav Sharma
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 14:08 IST

Respect in the society is earned by talent, good deeds and intellectual
prowess. Being irritated by statements of a person who does not even
provide logic and relevant data to support the statement, is really
immature. The people who feel they are marginalized and oppressed should
do even more hard work, acquire knowledge and fight intellectuals in an
intellectual manner. By this only they could be able to show their metal
and earn respect. Things have changed a lot and very frequently taking
refuge under some Act of Law is not generous on the part of the SCs/STs

from:  Divya Prakash
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 13:06 IST

The author is simply reiterating the arguments given by so called
offenders and by our honorable politicians(legality etc).As it is
clearly mentioned in previous articles that if you understand the
whole context in which it is said ,one can easily interpret the
intention and sense of it.The right way to counter this by the pro
dalit intellectuals should be based on arguments and facts in the
public space bcoz that shows the true spirit of democracy,not by
arresting.It is very easy for somebody to be offended and speak on
the behalf of whole community.And it this sense of offensiveness that
is harmful for democracy and divert from the real issues that the
dalits are facing.It is clearly understandable that some would agree
with Mr Nandy concept of emulation and corruption as a means of
upliftment of dalits and some would not.

from:  Ravi Malik
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 12:43 IST

Its time to remove caste based reservations. The whole propaganda of 1000's years of oppression of dalits is so utterly false perpetuated by vested interests, just like aryan invasion theory. This writer & others, do not have the courage to question muslims/british. 200 years before Independence, british ruled india. 800 years before by moguls. Caste system was non existant before british. Almost all the people who started freedom struggle, and responsible for independence are upper casts. If infact they were so happy enjoying all the benfits suppressing dalits, india would not be a free country today. India got independence in 1947. How can entire forward caste be taken hostage by dalits on the false pretext of oppression during a time when british/muslims were in power? And that too for more that 65 yrs after independence? When will dalits stop treating upper castes like untouchables, stop using false pretexts for the sake of entitlements,start commanding respect instead of demanding

from:  Raj
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 12:42 IST

the essence of democracy is that one tries to understand and
accomodate other viewpoints and not stifle conflicting opinions.
mr.Nandy has not done a praiseworthy task in propagating such a
statement. but he has a point that should be given freedom of
expression. sometimes trying to get to the root of a problem, creates
more problems but it does not mean we can give up on that. what mr.
Nandy said was just an offshoot of a sociologist's quest to understand
the phenomenon of corruption. he can certainly be forgiven for that.it
is now for the dalits to come forward and show that they have hearts
larger than that. after all this is the land of Gandhi.

from:  tanu
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 12:19 IST

For 60 years, two generations, have willingly supported the need for reservation. The third generation now coming up is facing serious and common challenges for education and employment. Is it not time for 'levelling up' the field ? There are already accusations within the SC/ST group that only one or two sections are grabbing all benefits. Of course the "attrocities" Act also needs to be reviewed. Why not review the functioning of the reservation policy 'de novo' and make suitable changes to ensure fairer distribution of benefits in keeping with the times . Why should be treat the 'reservation policy' untouchable ? A healthy national debate on the issue is well worth

from:  S.Rajagopalan
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 12:04 IST

The writer is totally ignorant and has based this article on the
pseudo-fact he has listen but did not hear properly, Prof. Nady did not
said that SC/ST and OBC are more corrupt, in fact what he said was they
are equally corrupt as mush as their upper cast brother and I don't
find any issue of caste here what is said is factual truth and if that
insults anyone then you have very fragile ego.

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 11:48 IST

It's sad that when people like RamMohun Roy criticized this "existing" structure ages back, we have got people like Nandy still around. Corruption and molestation are not properties of certain sections anymore. The present caste system is more on discriminating others on flesh and birth, which is derived from 'undaunted' version of caste thesis of Manusmriti. The script today goes undaunted even. Equality is the source of nature. Even a fractional percentage error means we are no more. When our surroundings themselves made this a basic property, it is a matter of concern how we were able to codify without ever knowing and meaning this phenomenon. Comparison is crucial in performance, but discrimination is redundant. This is what exactly is riding us at the moment. We use high-definition audio and video tools and boast of our extreme modernity, and we don't realize that all the intricate elements contribute to the system in "congruence". There seems no end to this mindless debate.

from:  Santhosh Saikrishna
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 11:43 IST

Excellent article It has exposed how the educated liberals and so called intellectuals nurture the ill-will and stereotypes towards the SC,ST and OBC congratulations- uddhav kamble mumbai

from:  uddhav kamble
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 11:29 IST

The vital context of Nandu's remark was corruption. Context cannot be removed from any discourse if the concept of free exchange of ideas is accepted. The author's thesis that there are "negative stereotypes about Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes" may be true. The author does not claim, thankfully, that these negative stereotypes are that entire "classes" are corrupt ! Corruption exists independently of casteism, and there will be intersections where both co-exist. How frequent and how correlated these are, is for sociologists to study. In summary, let us not mix up the two problems; if we do, we will create more heat and less light.

from:  Kumar
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 11:20 IST

"This theory of false agency and emulation of the upper castes (in
matters of corruption) is highly objectionable and offensive and it
cannot be passed off as a ‘pro-Dalit’ statement. Madhu Koda, for all his
skills at corruption, is not the role model of the marginalised."
Absolutely! So glad The Hindu has finally published the 'alternative'
view on this quite fake controversy. Der aaye, durust aaye.

from:  Shyama Haldar
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 11:05 IST

The statement by Ashis Nandy is purely a empirical one . Though he
might have right intentions to give such a statement , Word formation
was completely absurd and heinous in a way that its completely
protecting the Upper Class from this corruption Saga . But , empirical
results dont always show us the real nature of society as many Upper
Caste citizens are being protected by Government in an indirect way
and the similar arguments triggered when Bangaru Laxman of BJP was
convicted for taking 5l bribe . He might have intended to focus this
statement on Reservation System or Laws availed by lower class, which
we never know but such a comment is surely not Pro-Lower Castes in its
actual format .

from:  KSVM Koundinya
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 09:33 IST

The question is not what he said, but the reactions thereafter.
Did he say something so horrible that political leaders called
for his arrest, it was like projecting Ahish Nandy as an anti-
national. Nandy's point that its an idea, and the idea has indeed
sparked an informed debate, which includes SC/ST act is a
welcome. As for issue of Casteism, SC/ST/OBC/general conflict is
a living issue as is seen in reservation/promotion bills.India
should not be a country to suppress ideas or opinion but should
be a tolerant enough democracy to accept criticism even if it is
wrong. That was the idea of M K Gandhi also.

from:  Amit Kumar
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 09:01 IST

Power, and not caste, decides individual’s ability to make money in an
illegal way. Yes, caste is not a factor in corruption and Mr. Ashis
Nandy is totally wrong in saying that leaders of Scheduled caste and
other backward castes are indulging in corrupt practices. But it is
also true that in the name of caste, protection from penal action is
definitely sought and given to the corrupt ministers from Dalit
communities as it is given to ministers from other powerful
communities.
Therefore, instead of asking for penal action under a law (which has
often been misused to threaten opponents), is it not better for Dalit
leaders to counter Nandy’s remarks by saying that they are against use
of caste for protecting a corrupt politician?

from:  Narendra M Apte
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 08:47 IST

So long as our pover greedy politicians continue to get elected we can not hope for good governance of feeling all are belonging gto the country as brothers and sisters, grand father and grnd mother etc, forgeting our religion, caste etc outsideur houses. Nobody knew in which he caste he or she would be born.and it is only after birth starts caste. Caste and religion should be used only within four walls and outside we are all one community of Bharatias . Indians. Till such time poverty, corruption disputes continue. This is my observation. comments welcome. B S GANESH BANGALORE

from:  B S GANESH
Posted on: Feb 5, 2013 at 08:11 IST
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