'I would dub the CPI (M) party as being the equivalent of the RSS for the Congress. They are anti-reform and completely xenophobic. What the country needs is a secular-reform combination; the Left is secular but not pro-reform. They do not give a monkey about the poor. Their concern is limited to public sector employees. They are interested in promoting a dole culture. The problem here is that the middle class receives a lot of dole. The poor do not receive dole and so the Left is caught up in the rhetoric of redistribution. They are using the poor to protect the privileges of the middle class. Everyone knows that the whole public distribution system does not help the poor. The money is not percolating down; rather it is reinforcing a self-serving state apparatus.'
meghnad desai has lived abroad too long - the cpm is the rss. and the rss is the cpm.


Cosmic Voices said...

Why this obsession with the great indian middle class which hardly goes to the polling booths?

kuffir said...

my obsession or the cpm's?


as for your query on orkut - i'm not an expert to offer any gyan on the issues you touched upon. most of what i said on otherindia was commonsensical wisdom gained from looking at what happened earlier.

looking at the history of irrigationn projects in ap the earliest projects built by the british on the godavari and the krishna, inadvertently, fuelled the growth of certain upper caste communities from the krishna-godavari districts and in kurnool etc., the brtish didn't plan it that way, but that's the way they turned out.

the later 'developments', post-independence, went on to consolidate and expand the older trend. there are two-three issues that tend to influence investments in irrigattion:

* the more powerful, socially, economically and hence politically a community the greater its power to influence investments. this results in investments moving from a paradigm of 'need' to one of 'merit', in a way.

* the more powerful, socially, economically and hence politically a community, the greater its power to corner investments in regions where a 'need' based approach was followed. here, the powerful communities mop up land leveraging their access to better economic resources from less powerful communities.

* the more powerful, socially, economically and hence politically a community the greater its ability to influence the distribution of water in any particular ayacut area.

now, look at the regions which greater access to irrigation in a.p., and you'll notice that these three issues had/will play a great role in determining who benefits from large projects.

Cosmic Voices said...

cpm's of course and also all the other political parties. It really intrigues me as to why they are bothered so much about a section which is not their vote bank.

Regarding your "commensensical wisdom", I should say that your being too modest.

Anyways, going by your arguments, the powerful become more powerful and the weak become weaker. In that case, how can we expect that powerful andhra lobby will strive for investments in telangana?

I would also like to know your view on water-sharing and on the claim that since major share of taxes come from hyderabad, telangana will not have problems of financial viability.

kuffir said...


i don't think there is any 'powerful andhra lobby'. there are powerful castes and powerful class interests. not all people from a region/caste share the same interests.

this is a democracy, or at least it attempts to be, and it is impossible for any particular caste/class from one region to influence the decisions of voters in another region. so that means any interest group has to depend on elected officials to work for their interest. this does happen everywhere- but what we have to keep in mind is that no single interest group, if there is such an interest group can represent all the interests of any particular region cutting across class/caste divisions. i don't know whether i am clear here- but let me illustrate that with one example - two particular communities from guntur/krishna district may come together to promote their common interests on one particular issue - but may have diverse interests on other issues- even rivalry bordering on enmity. and they may not hasve anything in common with same communities groups from kurnool or chittoor. you may have noticed this too.

when i responded to your comment on irrigation earlier...you might have drawn the conclusion that i was talking of powerful communities from only one region- this is not true. there do exist powerful community groups in telangana and rayalaseema who have their own particular agendas. they have been historically powerful, and have also consolidated their positions after independence.

kuffir said...


my has gone off on a tangent i see.

whose investments did you mean? outsiders' or the andhraites?

kuffir said...

my response, i mean.

Cosmic Voices said...


Yes, I did draw the conclusion that powerful groups are native to particular region and I may be wrong as you said.

With my limited knowledge, I am still unable to identify the powerful communities/classes in telangana. All I know is that there are quite a few landlords owning hundreds of acres.

But I do not know how these sections have leveraged their power.Real estate and software are recent phenomenon. Where did they make investments and why did not their investments help in triggering auxiliary benefits? May be because they did not invest in agriculture. Is that the only reason?

And more importantly, why couldn't they leverage commensurate political power? Rayalaseema is probably less than half of Telangana and is equally backward. But how does it manage to throw up influential politicians? Why were the telengani politicians so accommodative on neglect of irrigation when farmers are a huge vote bank?

These are some issues I am unable to figure out. To sum up, you are right when you say there are powerful castes/classes and not regions. But, why does only some regions enjoy the trickle-down effect of consolidation of these castes/classes.

By investments, I meant public investment in irrigation, health, education etc.

Krish said...

Just curious. Meghnad Desai also said

Reservations are a sign of backwardness. I am willing to support reservation on the basis of gender, poverty or disability but not on grounds of caste, religion or untouchability. How can you create a secular State if you can’t create a secular society? If you go on entrenching caste formations it is not possible to have a secular State.

Do you subscribe to the above views of Mr. Desai in the same interview?

kuffir said...


i don't subscribe to any dogma - i'll accept views that make sense to me. i don't really care what dogma/ideology/background the person expressing the opinion subscribes to.

i know what desai's views on reservations are, and i know what rajiv gandhi's were. and what nehru's were. and what the marxists' even now are... the only contribution of the marxists to the current debate on reservations was to insist on the creamy layer. earlier during the first mandal phase, students affiliated to left organizations organized the whole anti-mandal drama...while their front organizations staged some token protests in favour of reservations. i'd be stupid to not recognize that the marxists were not in favour of reservations.. and their record in west bengal shows that. the marxists and the congress thwarted the first backward classes commission initiative because it didn't fit in with their class theory. it took another twenty five years for the second commision (the mandal commission) to take birth. tell me about the commitment of the marxists , the congress and other so-called socialists to 'social justice'.

ten years after the mandal report was accepted, vp singh, for whatever reasons, dusted the report and brought it to parliament. and what were the congress, under indira and rajiv doing in the meantime? and who opposed the mandal commission more than anyone else in parliament?.. rajiv gandhi's famous speech in parliament is still quoted by anti-mandalites in every meeting, placard, article...as are his grandfather nehru's observation that 'reservations' for the lower castes would turn india into a 'third-rate' nation. do you want me to forget that the greatest 'spiritual'/ideological support to the anti-reservations movement comes from these two 'statesmen'? and the 'active' disinterest of the marxists who all through independent india's history saw to it that class and not caste would dominate all policy? i could go on and on about how many lower-caste movements for rights were sabotaged by the left from the inside. the results are there for all to see - today, you wouldn't be seeing all those ignorant, upper-caste kids on tv mouthing platitudes that reservations should go to the truly needy etc., (meaning all lower castes are cheats who hide their wealth to get easy admission into colleges and jobs)..every time this debate comes up, the lower castes are put on trial - and every tom, dick and harry feels competent enough to question the right of the lower castes to a place in good, affordable colleges. their motives are questioned, their behaviour, their parents' boorishness, their lack of 'intelligence', their drinking-eating-'spending' habits, their treatment of women, their alleged mistreatment of castes lower than them in the social order.
is any upper-caste student who enters any of these institutions ever asked any of these questions? why are these kind of remarks allowed in television debates, newspapers? because the ideology of the marxists that class is more important than caste in our society has legitimized this kind of questioning, given it a respectability that allows pure prejudice to be masked as 'secular egalitarianism'..this ideology tells the questioners that caste is 'fluid', it is of little economic importance, it doesn't alter distribution of outcomes,it is 'practised' by the ignorant lower castes more than the 'enlightened, modern' upper castes ..this line of thinking has legitimized this line of questioning... and those who ask these questions do not feel that they're indulging in any kind of prejudiced behaviour.

i'd said earlier i can't afford to abide by other people's beliefs totally - meghnad desai is an honest bigot, the congress and the marxists are not. as for 'social justice' i've given up hope that any authentic justice can ever be achieved..by depending on the good sense of these people, or any other national party. it is not possible in a country where the govt has been spending lakhs and lakhs on each upper caste individual student at most centrally and state run 'professional'/higher education colleges for the last fifty years and acts out a twenty seven year long drama to admit a handful of lower caste students. now any kind of parity is impossible...the institutions which helped build an almost completely upper caste middle class in the country are no longer within reach of the lower castes. and these institutions would be privatized/abandoned in a few years anyway.

and do you realize that most of the lower castes can't even go back to practising their old trades any more because the socialist public sector aided by the monopoly-license seeking private sector had long ago destroyed their markets?

kuffir said...


'I am willing to support reservation on the basis of gender, poverty or disability but not on grounds of caste, religion or untouchability. How can you create a secular State if you can’t create a secular society?'

do you realize that's exactly the stand the congress took for a long time (and sill takes)... and the marxists inherently believe in? if ambedkar hadn't wrenched the rights of the dalits before independence (from gandhi and the congress)..nehru wouldn't even have bothered on his own to think of any positive discrimination measure favoring the dalits.

kuffir said...


'By investments, I meant public investment in irrigation, health, education etc.'

99.99 % of schools, colleges and hospitals in telangana came up after independence. as i said earlier, there is no 'powerful andhra lobby' which wishes to stop investments in telangana - there would of course be politicians etc., who'd want more investments in their own constituency/region.

Rajarshi said...

thanks for the correction!
why not let's crosslink blogs!

APman said...

I don’t know what lower castes you are talking about. If you are talking about backward castes as in BC-A,B,C,D , I don’t agree with your observations. As per Govt classification, I too belong to backward caste. Perhaps by sheer luck, I managed not to use my backward caste status so far. But the point is, inspite of my education and better economic conditions, me and my children still can depend on the privileges of backward caste, if we want to, which is absurd. It appears I can justify my claim for backward class status by comparing myself with some rich people from Krishna-Godavari delta, although it is silly for me to claim that I’m socially or economically backward. I’m not sure this is why lower caste classification was created. In fact, coming from a poor family, I knew what is economically backward, but I never understood why they call me socially backward. The point is there is a serious flaw in our reservation system based on caste. Our politicians are basically riding a political Tiger. They cannot dare to get down from this, lest it will kill them.

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