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After the OBC Judgment

It is now time to interrogate orthodoxies on both sides of the reservations debate.

Karnataka: The Muted Anti-Reservation Agitation

The current protests against reservation in Karnataka may appear to be largely political in nature. But the protests overlook the historical nature and the wider repercussions in the polity, society and economy that the issue of reservations has had in the state. As a group, the "other backward classes" have come to constitute a politically significant section of the populace. But even as the protests unfold over reservations in government-run higher education institutions, these overlook the fact that the OBC community is in a state of flux and divisions within them indicate that a new social coalition is in the making.

Merit of Reservations

Upper caste youth are not willing to tolerate the sharing of government educational facilities with youth coming from historically oppressed communities. But reservations and nation building are not antagonistic. The democratic and rational path charted by Ambedkar should be allowed to run its course; otherwise, an anarchist trend is bound to set in among the SC/ST/OBCs. Let the upper castes decide which course is better for the progressive transformation of this nation.

ANTI- MANDAL AGITATION-Significant Silence

Never-Ending Expansion THERE is going to be apparently yet another permanent security structure, this time entrusted with the responsibility of co-ordinating the strategies to combat the insurgencies in the north-east. According to a report in The Times of India (October 6), "A kind of a north-east security council for co-ordinated action against insurgency in the entire region is expected to be set up soon!' Making an announcement to this effect during a press conference, Assam's chief minister Hiteswar Saikia is reported to have said that the setting up of the proposed council, which is to be headed by the chief of one of the paramilitary organisations operating in the region and will have among its members the police chiefs of all the north-eastern states, would among other things "facilitate the exchange of information among the various states in the north-east, monitor developments and plan joint strategies".

RESERVATION-Political Posturing

Political Posturing THE stand of the five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court hearing the petition of anti-reservationists that the government make clear by September 24 its stand on the notification of August 13, 1990 issued by the National Front government introducing job reservations in the central government for the socially and educationally backward castes on the basis of the Mandal Commission's recommendations has put the Congress party in a fix. Having played no small part in engineering the violence that greeted the notification at the time of its announcement, the Congress can scarcely come out openly in support of OBC reservation. On the other hand, open opposition would work to the advantage of the Janata Dal and the various regional parties. The Supreme Court's demand, though difficult to comprehend, has the merit of forcing the Congress to emerge from the ambiguity behind which it had sought refuge.

MANDAL COMMISSION-Expedient Ruling

Expedient Ruling WHILE the precise content of the October I ruling of the five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court on the stay application by the Supreme Court Bar Association continues to remain something of a mystery, it has certainly served a useful purpose: V P Singh can now put on display the flexibility he has been accused of not possessing knowing fully well that the agitationists will continue to be obdurate.

An Ideological Perspective on Mandal Report

An Ideological Perspective on Mandal Report Balraj Puri GROWING competition in the stagnant job market is an inadequate explanation for the anti-reservation student upsurge that is sweeping across most of towns and cities of the north India. The intensity and magnitude of the agitation and self- righteous and crusading zeal of the participants are no less sustained by theoretical rationalisations and ideological and moral sanctions provided by leading scholars, intellectuals and journalists of the country, obviously belonging to the upper castes. To be sure, these castes have, in the past, provided not only ideas but also leadership to egalitarian and radical movements. Now, too, the intelligentsia supports the anti-reservation stir more out of concern for efficiency of the system and unity of the nation than merely for the jobs for the caste to which it belongs. The concern is not entirely a rationalisation of the caste interest.

Reservation for Backward Classes

A national debate on reservations for the backward classes is called for to focus on the real issues in the face of the tendentious campaign unleashed by the anti-reservationists. Some of these issues.

Middle Class Politics Case of Anti-Reservation Agitations in Gujarat

Anti-Reservation Agitations in Gujarat Ghanshyam Shah The middle class has grown in size disproportionately with economic growth in Gujarat. While their aspirations have risen, They are unable to satisfy their needs and maintain the traditional status, and therefore experience a strong sense of deprivation. This is especially true of the upper and middle caste members who are jealous of the new entrants from the traditionally low castes. The two anti-reservation agitations in Gujarat were essentially struggles within the middle class

Backwards All...

Backwards All... Romesh Thapar FRANKLY, and particularly after the penetration of the security system at Raj Ghat by a wayward character, I think the time has come for our dynamic PM, Rajiv Gandhi, to rouse himself for another 'instant' decision and use his massive parliamentary majority to carry a constitutional amendment to declare all the tribes, castes and communities of India as 'backwards', A dramatic move of this kind might save us from the violent agitations now surfacing to claim everything (including security!) on the basis of 'reservations

Anti-Reservation Agitation and Structure of Gujarat Society

This article attempts to analyse the implications of the anti-reservation agitation for the total Structure of Gujarat society. It argues that the system of reservations, even though introduced by the State, has now become a weapon in the hands of the various deprived groups in their struggle against socially entrenched upper caste and upper class interests.

Gujarat-Caste Violence

credits for subscriptions to the tune of Rs 800 crore to the black money bonds, the contribution of the Union Budget to total Plan expenditure will be less than 56 per cent in 1981-82 compared to about 60 per cent in
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