ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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New Reservation Policy

Is the reservation policy earmarking a 10% quota for the economically weaker sections of the “general category” empirically founded and justifiable? An analysis of 445 premier higher education institutions finds that this section of students already had about 28% of representation—that is, close to three times the proposed 10% quota—in these institutions in 2016–17. This finding raises questions as to the relevance and possible impact of the proposed policy.

Dominant or Backward?

Using data from the India Human Development Survey, this paper examines the demands of Jats (Haryana), Patels (Gujarat), and Marathas (Maharashtra) to be classified as Other Backward Classes to access reservations. Compared to the major caste groups (Brahmins, other forward castes, existing OBCs, and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) in their respective states, based on several socio-economic factors, they are closer to dominant than disadvantaged groups. Their claim to backwardness is empirically unjustified. The paper examines the material basis of their anxieties in the context of structural changes in the Indian agricultural economy. It investigates networks and political connections that explain their success in mobilising.

The 'Silence' of the Marathas

The signals of the silent Maratha morchas are loud; the Maharashtra government must act.

The Gujarat Vote Share Trend Conundrum

The Bharatiya Janata Party may seem invincible in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat. However, the staggering numbers in terms of the party's vote share and seats in the state assembly tell a very different tale. Right from the first time it came to power on its own in 1995, till now, this article chronicles the BJP's eventful journey in Gujarat.

Addressing Caste Prejudice

“Oh...you will get a job, because you are an SC,” I used to hear this from my neighbours from the Other Backward Classes (OBC), Thiyya castes. Some used to treat us “lower” than them. “Oh you people get stipend, so you can study” is another sentence Dalits used to hear from anywhere in Kerala. OBC...

Fair Representation of SCs/STs

As we have progressed, various caste groups have agitated for their share in reserved quotas either as Other Backward Classes or Extremely Backward Classes. We have seen violent conflicts and social unrest over this issue. However, recent developments and statements by certain actors, and the...

Safai Karmis of Uttar Pradesh

A study of the operation of the Safai Karmi Scheme of the Uttar Pradesh government reveals the apparent weakening of the age-old link between caste and occupation, with Other Backward Classes and even upper castes competing with Scheduled Castes to secure the job of a sanitation worker in villages. Another significant fact which comes to the fore, is the struggle for power in the safai karmi unions between OBC and the numerically superior SC workers, with the former trying to establish their dominance, reflecting the nature of caste politics at play in the state.

Caste in West Bengal Politics

It is difficult to agree with Praskanva Sinharay’s argument (“West Bengal’s Election Story: The Caste Question”,EPW, 26 April 2014) that “caste” is emerging as a “determinant” factor in West Bengal’s political scene. The association of some “Matua” leaders with dominant parties like the Trinamool...

The Politics of Reservation Categories in Uttar Pradesh

Some of the Other Backward Classes in Uttar Pradesh want to be classified as scheduled castes, while some of the latter want to be reclassified as scheduled tribes. Despite the politics behind these demands, most of the castes demanding reclassification have good reason to feel that the benefits of reservation have passed them by. It is the invisibility of the numerically small castes with little education and no voice that has to be ended before the fruits of development can reach them.

Reservation for Marathas?

The Other Backward Classes of Maharashtra are concerned that if the Maratha community is given reservation then the OBCs will be edged out.

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