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May 31, 2007

Is Corporate and Rich India Watching the Explosion of Violence in Rajasthan?

The Gurjar community in Rajasthan wants to be classified as a Scheduled Tribe (ST) and does not want the Other Backward Caste (OBC) tag. Their Muslim co-brothers belonging to the same tribe in Jammu and Kashmir already have Scheduled Tribe status. There are five million Gurjars in Northwestern India with a large majority in Rajasthan. While another similar tribe in Rajasthan, the Meenas, were given the ST status, the Gurjurs were kept out. Governments have not followed a fair and just policy in giving reservation (affirmative action status) to marginalized groups. Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims have been denied reservation benefits for decades.

The current BJP-led state Government in Rajasthan came to power promising the Gurjurs ST status. But now the same Government's police have opened fire on 30,000 protesters and killed several people who were simply demanding that the promise be fulfilled since the BJP has been in power now for three years. The firing on protestors by the police has resulted in widespread violence all over Rajasthan. Gurjars have burned police stations, railway stations and have taken the violence across the state.

The caste monopoly and resulting discrimination during the decades after India’s independence (not to mention the discrimination of hundreds of years) have come to haunt today's ‘Rising India’. The uneven economic and social development of the last two decades have made the problem worse for the oppressed tribes, the Dalits and the most backward castes. Many millions have lost their land and are displaced. Millions more work for a pittance and are exploited simply to boost the new economy.

The reservation system is now seen as the major way of dealing with poverty and social deprivation of the marginalized masses. This too will not meet the needs of the millions as Government job and education is severely limited.

What is extremely disappointing is that ‘Rising India’ does not care about the education and job opportunities for the Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes. The Rising India with its 9% economic growth does not care about investing some of their profits in providing English school education for the masses. It is not thinking of building tens of thousands of new schools that give quality education with a worldview that gives equal dignity to all human beings.

Therefore, it is not surprising that now the Meena tribe in Rajasthan is rising against giving the Gurjars ST status because they do not want to share the limited reservation benefits. One hopes that tribal violence does not break out in Rajasthan and the adjoining States on the reservation issue.

Is Corporate and Rich India watching? Can India survive the gross disparities between the majority oppressed peoples and the minority privileged? The growing anger against the State will sooner or later erupt against the Corporate world if Rising India does not include the majority people in the recent extraordinary economic and social development. The Prime Minister’s recent words to the Corporate world to include the oppressed poor in their prosperity fell mostly on deaf years, especially when watching the rise of corporate CEO salaries.

For more, see this link…


Posted by klajja at May 31, 2007 09:09 PM

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Christianity and islam believes on universal brother hood. When people have taken the belief where is the question of claiming reservation under caste which is supposed to be evil of hinduism. Where are they ?

Posted by: little_computer_freak at June 5, 2007 09:51 PM

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