this is what i mean by jnu gyan

check this interesting article by chandrabhan prasad: a critique of buffalo nationalism that kancha ilaiah seeks to promote. i'd not like to attempt here a critique of the critique (i think it'd be useful), but i'd definitely like to point out some factual inaccuracies and inconsistencies that many knowledgeable folks from indian academia seem to consistently indulge in. especially those articulate folks who work, or have spent a few years (like prasad), in jnu.

for instance, the jats. the jats from uttar pradesh are not obcs- not according to the national commission for backward classes (check the u.p. list). neither are the jats from punjab. nor haryana. only the jats from rajasthan (excluding jats from bharatpur and dhaulpur districts, where nearly half of the state's jats live) are in the central list of backward classes.

which means around 95% of the jats in the country are not obcs. which also means: the jats cannot be taken to represent the obcs.

let me quote here a paragraph from this excellent article, in frontline, on why some jats from rajasthan are in the central list):
The NCBC further reasoned in its advice: “No doubt, after the effective abolition of jagirdari and zamindari systems, the condition of Jats in Rajasthan have begun to improve, but considering the time-span required for advancement of a community as a whole from a position of backwardness, the time that was available for Jats in Rajasthan (excluding Bharatpur and Dholpur) to move up from a position of social backwardness to that of social advancement, cannot be reasonably considered as adequate. The exceptional circumstances dating at least from the late medieval age through the modern period, which were available for communities like Kamma and Reddy of Andhra Pradesh and the Jats of Punjab, etc., have not been available for Jats of Rajasthan (excluding Bharatpur and Dholpur). (italics mine)
so, if you wish to place the jats in any category, place them alongside the reddies and kammas of andhra pradesh, or the marathas of maharashtra or the patidars of gujarat. they don't belong in the obc category. their ascendancy- social, economic, political- is not recent: it has been happening over the last three, four centuries at least. and in the non-aryavarta states, these castes have emerged, as if naturally, to assume the place of the absent kshatriyas.

call them the intermediate or intermediary castes, or the middle castes: in most indian states they're the upper castes. but that news doesn't seem to have reached jnu until now. for a lot of the tv stars from jnu, and other universities across india, the intermediate castes (or upper castes not of upper varna origin) are quintessential obcs.

there is not just socio-economic, but also a consistent historical logic to the castes in the central list.
it's another matter that there have been reports from some state commissions for backward classes that have found inconsistencies pertaining to a few castes in the respective states' lists (but not in the central list). prominent among doubtful inclusions are a couple of castes from tamil nadu and karnataka and uttar pradesh. but by and large, there have been more, many more, non-inclusions, of small unknown castes, than inclusions, of large, prominent castes.

look at this way: if the obc population of india, let's assume, is around 50 crores. what would be the average size, in terms of population, of the 2000 odd obc castes? around 2,50,000. if we exclude those few castes whose numbers run into lakhs and a few times, a couple of millions, what would be average size of the average obc caste? many wouldn't even reach the one lakh mark. no, you've never really met the average obc, even though you've met him hundreds of times: he might be the hawker who sells vegetables at your door, the janitor in the lift, the plumber or the electrician, the thelawallah selling plastic goods, the mechanic, the paanwallah...but how would you recognize him if he isn't a yadav or a jat or a kurmi or a lodh? most likely, not even the government has heard of the name of the plumber/electrician/janitor's caste.

why does the focus of the committed academia (and the media and most of the chattering classes who follow their performances in the media) in india remain fixed on the few prominent intermediate castes at the top of the social order in many states, historically, even when most of them are not even obcs, according to the ncbc? considering, even those among them who are obcs, probably constitute around 5% of the obc population in the country, and less than 1% of all obc castes?

and the popular myths propagated by this set of jnu led dons is based on such poor research- it's ages since most of them have actually done any field work, i think. most of the best research has been done by researchers from outside india. and even when they do do field work: they seem to know beforehand what to find.

1 comment:

no1name said...

Can you please specify a few studies by foreign researchers which are helpful in understanding these topics? If you have specified these links in other posts on this blog, links to some of those posts shall also be good enough. Thank you!

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