Trinamool won't compromise on price rise: Mamata Banerjee
India has one of world's weakest pension systems!
Maruti Suzuki paid Shiv Kumar & Sonu Gujjar Rs 1 crore each, allege workers.Undeterred by the "betrayal" by their former leaders, workers at Maruti Suzuki's Manesar plant are going ahead to form a union and have applied again for registration to the Haryana labour department.
Swami Agnivesh to enter Bigg BossUS wants India to open FDI in multi-brand in retail!
Troubled Galaxy Destroyed Dreams, Chapter 705
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In a recent interview, N. R. Narayana Murthy, chief mentor and chairman of the board of Infosys Technologies Ltd., and belonging to the Kannada speaking brahmincaste had this to say about brahmins and the brahminical system in India's caste-based society.
The Indian society is a society of ideas. It is a society that has revered talk. In this society, articulation is mistaken for accomplishment. We are quite satisfied with our voice, with our writings. This is not a society that is focussed on execution. Frankly, the problem is due to our caste system and the dominance of Brahmins in our society for long period. The Brahminical system said my job is to think of the higher worlds, my job is to think of connecting you people with God, I don't want to do anything that has a relationship with the real world. Now that is a problem that has played havoc with the Indian culture. So, here in this culture, if you do anything with your hands, it is considered less honourable that anything to do with your brain.
It is commendable that Mr. Murthy talks with gusto pointedly about the problem of brahmin dominance in Indian society.
It is however unfortunate that there are still many 21st century well-educated brahmins living around the world, who still air brahmin caste superiority in this day and age, one can only say to that their education and knowledge have failed them?http://vjai.com/post/102098161/brahmins-and-the-brahminical-system-in-modern-india
Is the Populist Politics would DO any Good for the Excluded Mulnivasi Bahujan and the Non Brahamin Non Aryan Ninety Five Percent Population? Let us see!Mamata Banerjee to remain in Kolkata as UPA delegation goes to Delhi!Would She DARE to Quit UPA?Demanding an immediate roll back of petrol price hike, BJP on Monday made a veiled threat of stalling Parliament during the winter session if government fails to do so. The main opposition also hit out at the UPA allies, saying they were "part and parcel" of the hike. The comments come at a time when Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress has sought an appointment with the Prime Minister on Tuesday to convey its unhappiness over the hike.Petrol issue to be sorted in PM-Trinamool meeting: Salman Khurshid
Impressing on India to open multi-brand retail to foreign investment,the US today said its companies are willing to help the Indian agriculture sector and strenghen its supply chain.
"Foreign direct investment will create jobs, often bring innovation. I think it (opening of FDI by India) will be a win:win situation for India and the US," Under Secretary of International Trade Francisco Sanchez said here.
He was talking on reporters on the sidelines of anIndo-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Sanchez, who is leading a high level US business delegation, said," some of our MNC retailers are prepared to work with Indian companies, particularly in agriculture sector to make it more profitable, more efficient in terms of cold chain supplies".
The US giant Wal-Mart is among several global retail chains waiting in the wings to set up the multi-brand stores in the USD 550 billion retail market, 90 per cent of which is dominated by the neighbourhood kirana stores.
At present, India allows FDI only in single brand (51 per cent)and cash carry models of retail business (100 per cent).
Social activist Swami Agnivesh will be the latest entrant in the " Bigg Boss 5" house, currently home to an eclectic mix of aggressive and abusive celebrities. He will enter the show on Tuesday.
Agnivesh was in the news recently for his estrangement from Anna Hazare's anti-corruption campaign.
The saffron-clad Arya Samaj leader will be the fifth male contestant in join the notorious gang of girls in the reality show.
The current participants in the show are model Shraddha Sharma, former Miss Afghanistan Vida Samadzai, VJ Pooja Missra, Pooja Bedi, Juhi Parmar, Shonali Nagrani, Mahek Chahal, transgender activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, Amar Upadhyay, Akashdeep Saigal and Siddharth Bharadwaj.
The controversial show, aired on Colors, is replete with bickering and backbiting - and one only wonders how Agnivesh will fare in it.
Trinamool MPs to camp in Delhi, up pressure over fuel price hikeNew Delhi: Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress has reportedly asked its 18 Members of Parliament (MPs) to camp in national capital New Delhi to step up pressure on the UPA government to roll back the recent petrol hike.
A television channel quoted Trinamool sources as saying that Banerjee has the resignation letters of the party's central Cabinet ministers with her. The MPs, some of whom are central Cabinet ministers, have sought an appointment with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday to discuss the fuel price issue.
The TMC, according to party sources, wants some action before Manmohan Singh leaves for the SAARC Summit in the Maldives later this week.
Trinamool Congress Parliamentary Party in Lok Sabha Sudip Bandyopadhyay said: "We will return to Kolkata on November 9 and report our discussions with the Prime Minister to Mamata Banerjee. She will take the final call."
"I have sent a letter to the PMO seeking an appointment on November 8. I am expecting the appointment will be given since the PMO tells me the Prime Minister will go abroad on November 9."
Bandyopadhyya added, "We'll express our concern to the Prime Minister. There is a huge lack of co-ordination among the constituents in the UPA. No meeting is held with allies before policy decisions are taken. We want to express our sentiments to the Prime Minister. "We are a pro-people party. Fuel prices were hiked 11 times in 12 months," he said.
Last week, Banerjee threatened to pull out of the UPA alliance over the Rs. 1.82 fuel price hike, even as the Opposition dared her to carry out her threat.
Even with a Cabinet minister and five junior ministers at the centre, Banerjee has said her party does not have any say in government decisions.
While the Prime Minister''s Office (PMO) is yet to confirm an appointment with the Trinamool lawmakers, Banerjee is hoping for some action before Singh leaves for Male
The TC parliamentary party has already authorised her to take the decision in the matter after they decided on November 4 to pull out of the government if there was no rollback.
Mamata wants Rs 20,000 cr to douse petro fire?Last Updated: Monday, November 07, 2011, 14:15
Tags: Trinamool Congress, Manmohan Singh, Mamata BanerjeeZeenews Bureau
New Delhi/Kolkata: Even though Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has virtually ruled out a rollback, Trinamool Congress (TMC) appears in no mood to let go of its 'concern' over fuel price hike.
However, reports claimed on Monday that there still remains a way out – Centre should respond positively to West Bengal government's demand for a special financial package to the tune of Rs 20,000 crore.
Although Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee does favour a package for the debt-ridden state but he says that the Centre can only give Rs 9,000 crore. But Mamata wants Centre to treat the state "differently" and has sought a debt restructuring plan.
Interestingly, tomorrow around the same time when TMC MPs would meet the PM in Delhi to press for a rollback of the recent hike in petrol price, Pranab Mukherjee would meet West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC boss Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata to discuss the financial package.
Besides the Chief Minister, Mukherjee would also meet West Bengal Governor MK Narayanan to discuss the state's financial issues.
It remains to be seen whether Mukherjee's position on the 'package' will have any bearing on the stand taken by the TMC on the issue of fuel price hike.
Party MPs who are part of the UPA-II government have reportedly sent their resignations to Mamata Banerjee. The party has 18 MPs in the Lok Sabha and another six in the Rajya Sabha. A pullout from the UPA government would mean the collapse of the government.
The Trinamool Congress parliamentary party has already authorised the party chief to take the decision in the matter after they decided on November 04 to pullout of the government if there was no rollback.
However, on the issue of petrol price hike, notwithstanding the political pressure, Manmohan Singh appears resolute in his decision to not rollback the prices.
"These are very sensitive areas and I have no hesitation in saying ultimately we must allow the markets to find their own level except for those commodities which are semi public goods...So, the direction of change is quite clear. We must move in the direction of decontrolling more and more prices," he had told journalists at the sidelines of G20 Summit in Cannes.
Assocham urges Bengal to adopt cluster approachOUR BUREAU
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The industry body plans to partner with the State government for setting up industrial clusters.
KOLKATA, NOV. 7:
Setting up industrial clusters will help West Bengal achieve double-digit growth and also generate four lakh new jobs over the next three years, said a study released by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
The industry body plans to partner with the State government for setting up industrial clusters in sectors such as food processing, handicrafts, renewable energy and information technology.
With a compounded annual growth rate of about 5.6 per cent between 2005 and 2010, the industrial sector in West Bengal held 19 per cent share in the State domestic product in 2009-10. Manufacturing, construction, electricity, gas and water supply were some of the key industrial activities, the report said.
"With the share of industrial activity in West Bengal's state domestic product falling year-on-year, the e-cluster based approach to develop micro and small industries is the key to realise the double digit growth," said Mr Dilip Modi, president of the chamber.
The cluster approach will help revive the manufacturing sector in the state. "West Bengal bagged 974 investment projects worth over Rs 6.4 lakh crore as of September 2011 registering an increase of about 9.5 per cent over previous year. Manufacturing accounts for 43 per cent of the total investments, followed by electricity (30 per cent), services (20 per cent) and real estate (6 per cent)," Mr Modi said.
The State government should encourage private sector for extending research and development, training facilities and providing critical infrastructure such as cold chains and cargo complexes for perishable food products to give and impetus to agro food processing and agri exports.
Keywords: industrial clusters, double-digit growth, Associated Chambers of Commerce study,
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Mulnivasi Trade Union is the URGENCY to Save Workers in Organised as well as Unorganised Sector Belonging to Excluded Communities ie Minorities, SC, ST and OBC! Since all Existing Tarde Unions are part and parcels of Brahaminical Political parties and guided with Brahaminical Political Leadership,Intersts and Ideologies, they do NOT represent the Bahujan Mulnivasi workers at any level! More over, this Trade Union Movement led by Brahamins did deviate from its general agenda that is to defend the Constitutional Rights of the Working class and its Welfare! The Trade Union Movement has Betrayed the Working Class as it is led by the Ruling Class and all set to defend the Class Interest of Market Dominating Brahaminical class in an EXCLUSIVE Economy based on EXCLUSION of the 95 percent NON Brahamin Non Aryan Majority Masses and Ethnic Cleansing of Eighty Five Percent Population consisting of Mulnivasi Bahujan. That is why, the Trade Unions led by Mostly Marxist Barahmins NEVER did Oppose Capitalism, Imperialism, Corporate Imperialism, Neo Libaral Policies, Economic Reforms, Disnvestment and Divestment, Privatisation and Free Market Economy!
The Token Opposition lodged by the Trade Unions NEVER did mean any Resistance whatsoever but it Helped the LPG Mafia to Implement Manusmriti Rule Postmodern as Trade Union Movement devoid of IDEOLOGY and focused on Financial Benefit which proved to be rather Complete Mind Control! The Rights of the Working Class and Labour Laws ensured by DR BR Ambedkar who NOT only Framed these laws but also Ensured TRADE Union Rights!Since Post Ambedkarite Movement did NEGLECT AMBEDKARITE Economics and his Legacy of Trade Union Movement, the Brahamins did SUCCEED to Hijack the Trade Union Movement to mislead it!They used it as CORPORATE LOBBYING and RESOURCE Generating Machine to Monopolise Power Politics!Hence, the Production system is Devastated and It is FDI Raj all over! Hence Job Security and Working Conditions have become Shattered Dreams for us. Privatisation has made Reservation and quota IRRELEVANT! The Tarde Unions, in fact, worked as STIMULUS for Lock OUTS and Privatisation! As it happened in Bengal. Fifty six thousand Production Units have been LOCKED Out despite so called Super ACTIVE Trade Union Activities!
Mamata's many challenges: Petrol price, health, financial messNov 7, 2011
#HowThisWorks #Mamata Banerjee #Petrol price hike #West Bengal
The meeting, which will be held at the Raj Bhavan, assumes significance as Narayanan had taken up the financial issue a week after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asked the Centre to treat the state "differently" and sought a debt restructuring plan.Manmohan Singh on the same day, November 8, over the party's unhappiness with the petrol price hike.
Banerjee had last month demanded a financial package at the National Development Council meet to tide over the crisis in the debt ridden state. "After 34 years of misrule, founded on coercion and violence, the economy of the state is in shambles. Therefore, the 12th Plan must give special attention towards the regeneration of the great state of West Bengal," she had said at the NDC meeting in New Delhi.
This also follows a spate of deaths and miserable conditions of new born children in Kolkata's hospitals.
What means by Brahaminical Politics, Current Maruti Suzuki Stand OFF is an Example!
Maruti Suzuki paid Shiv Kumar & Sonu Gujjar Rs 1 crore each, allege workers.Undeterred by the "betrayal" by their former leaders, workers at Maruti Suzuki's Manesar plant are going ahead to form a union and have applied again for registration to the Haryana labour department.
Manmad 1938, the GIP Railway Dalit Mazdoor Conference, ( caste discrimination was practiced in the railways and the textile mills , with the lower and lesser paid jobs going to the Dalits ; while clean and weaving jobs went to the 'other' workers ) , was a defining moment in Dalit struggle , an inflexion point, a turning point, that focuses both on the contemporary reality and a guiding star for the times ahead. Dr Ambedkar places before all, this foundation of his beliefs , convictions and the path that leads to the future , that the Dalits in a common united front to be forged with all the exploited classes , to achieve the goal of social and economic justice in an egalitarian society and real democracy thus :
1. The economic emancipation of the Dalits is as vital as the struggle for social justice ( To make the Dalits aware of the definition of the Subjugated class'; so that Dalit awareness is raised to a level whereby we join hands and march shoulder to shoulder with all other subjugated classes , to wage the struggle against the Ruling Class )
2. Brahmanism ( or the forces that negate and deny equality , liberty and the feelings of brotherhood, 'bhai-chara') and Capitalism are the two biggest enemies of the workers or toiling classes.
3. Karl Marx did not as a principle, say that there were only two classes, the owner and the worker, and that in India these two classes had evolved in their final form.
4. The spread of poisonous and vicious religious hatred in a casteist order in Indian society has resulted in workers and employees sometimes turning against each other , as opponents and enemies.
5. Trade Union Leaders while exhorting and giving spirited speeches against the Capitalists adopt double standards and remain silent on the issue of Brahmanism.
6. The Dalit wokers and labourers movement is not against the common workers movement . It also does not support the Capitalists . Their only request is that their independent identity be protected.
7. The movement of the Working class has deviated, from its main goal , and is solely concerned with trade unionism per se.
8. The General Strike is the weapon of last resort , it is not an end in itself to be used for attaining the end of competitive trade unionism – leadership.
9. In the struggle against capitalist owners the working class cannot be successful by resorting only to trade unionism. The workers have to seize and take the reins of political power in their hands.
10. Mazdoor Sanghatans which are politically directionless become tools in the hands of political parties that support the capitalist class.
11. Equality, liberty and fraternity must be the ideals of the working class.
12. Even after the end of British Rule , it would be wholly legitimate for the workers to struggle against the spider's web of the Landlords, Capitalists and the Baniya –Sahukar combine who will very much survive even after British Rule.
13. To wage a struggle to oppose the Imperialists does not mean that the class struggle against the internal structure of society has to be kept away on the shelf.
14. The Dalit class conflict in the interest of the Dalits must conjoin with the mainstream Mazdoor Andolan.
15. In normal situations Mazdoors will take the Constitutional path. However they should prepare and ready themselves to use other means , should the situation and circumstances so demand.
16. Dalit Mazdoor Sanghatan is in full co-operation and support of the All India Mazdoor Andolan; and it sees 'resevation' as complimenting and supplementing the Andolan.
Dr Ambedkar formed the Independent Labour Party on three fundamental / basic principles and these principles were:-
I. First : All the wealth , property and assets which are in this world are the result of / and have been created by the undying ,hard labour of the workers and the kisans. . Despite this , the worker and the kisans who toils with desperation in the field is naked and hungry. All these riches, property and the means of production have been arrogated by private property rights arbitrarily imposed by the profiteers, landlord class, capitalists and the rich class who have expropriated all this wealth by illegal / unjust loot, robbery and theft. This ( parasitical ) class has done nothing to earn this.
II. Second: Indian society is divided into the class ruled over and the 'Ruling' class', whose interests mutually clash as a class conflict between the 'Ruler-Exploiter' and the 'Ruled –Exploted', is fundamental, and this fact remains all encompassing.
III. The rights of workers and the toilers can be defended , ( and will be secured ) only when the reins of 'Political power' will be in their own hands.
The Manucracy, is so shameless and unconstitutional that you can not expect justice but only persecution and torture from them, because Arya-Brahmins have proved themselves worst enemies of Mulniwasi Bahujans. All commissions (human rights, SC/ ST, Women's etc.) which lack any power to do justice are constituted to 1) appoint Arya-Brahmins on higher posts. 2) to deceive people in the hope of justice and 3) to act as an agent of exploiters in weakening Bahujan struggle. To deceive people, these commissions must create illusion of justice by false propaganda with rare incidences of insufficient justice. People countable on fingers get lottery still the millions go after it. The same principle is applied by these commissions to deceive the Mulniwasi victims. The higher authorities of the concerned department will not respond whenever it goes against Arya-Brahmin interest. It does not matter which authority you plea. You will not receive any reply from them. In writing letters and reminders to president of India, governors, all the commissions, ministers and chief minister you will only spend your money, time and will get only frustration. We ourselves are sufferer. We have no genuine Bahujanwadi media or it is very weak. No matter how just and right we are ! No matter how genuine is our side, the Manu-media will declare that we are totally wrong. In the big loud noise of Manumedia our voice have always been remained unheard.
No hope from judiciary. Judiciary is anti-Bahujan and act on the behest of Manu-Smriti to protect Arya-Brahmin interests. Have you forgotten the big Statue of Manu raised in the foreyard of Rajastan high court in Jaipur? In giving anti-Bahujan judgements it does not hesitate to go beyond its powers, and make contempt of constitution says Waman Meshram.
Therefore, our main objective must be to destroy the exploitation system completely and establish firmly the Bahujanwadi Samajik Ganatantra (Bahujanist Social Democracy). Our every action must lead us ahead in that direction. Any action which does not accomplish this function is a misleading activity. When the exploiters are afraid of loosing their state power they beg Bahujans to accept concession such as reservation and other facilities. Those who hold the reins of state-power has the ability to give concession to others. Therefore, when the Irish nationalist Redmund asked Karson the leader of Alster to agree for united Irish state and get whatever facilities and concessions he needs. On this Karson replied, "Down with your concessions, we do not want to be ruled by you at any cost."
"Manusmriti" deprived OBC, Dalit, Adiwasis from education and respectable jobs. The same is being achieved by speedy implementation of Liberalization, Privatization & Globalization" (LPG). The LPG and SEZ are modern Manusmriti. We must realize that the liberalization, privatization and globalization (LPG) and SEZ which is "modern Manusmruti" is being implemented to exploit and enslave laboring masses of the world by imperialist countries. Arya-Brahmins are part of world Tri-Iblisi imperialist alliance. Therefore, fighting against Brahminism & LPG and SEZ involves struggle against world imperialism. Considering oppressive capacity of world imperialists and their ally Arya-Brahmins, think and visualize the nature of struggle would require and prepare ourselves for it.
When Arya-Brahmins shall find themselves incapable of retaining power through the elections, they will abolish parliamentary system and impose dictatorship over the toiling masses. Then struggle will be the only alternative left with the toiling masses to free themselves from exploitation and to establish Bahujanwadi Samajik Ganatantra.Therefore, genuine struggle is a fundamental need while the electioneering shall be always secondary and complementary to the basic struggle.
The Only Alternative for the indigenous Masses !
1) All parties of Brahmin leadership are enemies of Bahujan interest. Enemies are fought tooth and nail. Solidarity is developed between the friends. Hence it is our sacred duty to destroy these organizations. We must never trust our enemiesand analyze their every sugar coated poison proposals with extreme caution.
2) Dr. Ambedkar has clearly instructed us not to depend on any leader for our emancipation of any kind. Our emancipation lies in our own hands, and in our own efforts. The basic need is to aware masses for decisive struggle against every facet of Arya-Brahmin exploitation and oppression system. Dr. Ambedkar wanted exploited Bahujan masses to become politically aware, launch missionary activities themselves and develop organizational skills and control mission and its leadership. Therefore, every exploited Bahujan considering his own efficiencies, weakness, resources and responsibilities has to dedicate himself for the missionary activity of his choice and priority. "A missionary activity is that activity which unites Bahujan Samaj, strengthen its struggle and weakens Brahmanism". Unless missionary activities are started by exploited aware Bahujans themselves, we can not destroy exploitation system, free ourselves from oppression and establish exploitation free social system.
a) Never worry of difficulties no matter how great they are ! Instead, welcome them for the cadres are tempered and steeled by surmounting difficulties. Only by surmounting difficulties our struggle can grow. Therefore, whosoever does not welcome difficulties to conquer them but lament an shed tears can not be regarded as an aware Bahujan. Such a person is only a lazy, devoid of intellect, coward, selfish or slave in mentality. We the children of "Fule, Stalin, Ambedkar" are born to win !
b) Think not in terms of individual organizations but in terms of "whole process of struggle" between us and our exploiters. In this "process" many Bahujan organizations would be friends some with their limited capacity, some will remain in mission only to a point only. Therefore, do not expect anything beyond the capacity of friends & the friendly organizations and strive to fulfill by your own efforts whatever is lacks in the Bahujan mission. The enemy and their lackeys would strive to deceive and destroy our struggle. Therefore, identify our friends and the enemies, assess their strength and weaknesses, identify "cracks" in enemy fort, use them to demolish the enemy fort.
c) "Followers" of Fule, Shahu, Ambedkar, are reviving Fule, Shahu, Ambedkarism buried under ritualism and devoteesm. They don't carry Bahujan idols on their heads but understood life mission of Fule, Shahu, Ambedkar to implement their teachings in their struggle against the exploitation and oppression. They spend their every penny on creating awareness among Bahujans, punishing the oppressors and on missionary activities leading to destruction of the Arya-Brahmin exploitation system.
Delusions of Working masses
1) Toilers believe that they are to be ruled by a powerful ruling class as the ruling class only have the ability and skills to rule. This delusion is maintained because of their deep-rooted mental slavery. Mental slaves can never think of becoming masters. Mental slavery creates apathy to develop necessary skills to control the rulers or uproot their exploitation system. If someone's brother cheat him he will not talk to him whole life; someone rape his women he may retaliate in extreme vigor and continue enmity for generations. But because of mental slavery Bahujans tolerate and ignore every cheating, betrayal and oppression of Arya-Brahmins and bring them to power by voting in their favour. You must uproot your mental slavery to make struggle against exploitation and oppression possible.
2) Poor masses have developed delusion that highly educated intellectuals or the high profile people can only become leaders and rulers. Being uneducated and having low profile they (masses) should never become politically aware as this is the task of intellectuals only. Because of above delusion even the communist parties who talk of working class leadership, in practice, exclusively have nonworking class Arya-Brahmin leadership. No communist party member protest against this ideological betrayal because all are deluded with this delusion.
This delusion results from sense of inferiority and fear of taking wrong decisions. They are unable to recognize that almost all of the decisions taken by intellectual class, from the point of view of ending exploitation and oppression, turned to be completely wrong because of timid and opportunistic class characteristics of intellectual class. Masses even fail to relate the fact that everybody learns through committing and improving from mistakes. Everybody fell while learning to walk and so on.
3) Toiling masses have developed a delusion that their duty is simply to choose among the rulers. They should not even think of controlling government, their leaders or their struggle.
4) Masses have developed a delusion that they must depend upon good leaders against exploitation and oppression therefore they simply wait for saviours to appear. They have never thought of controlling leadership an idea which is considered most important and essential for democracy by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.
5) Masses have developed delusion that struggle against exploitation and oppression simply means giving monetary contribution to their party leaders, attending their meetings and processions, and voting in favour of candidate decided by their leaders. This delusion compel them to ignore that nun of these routine activities accomplish task of Bahujan Mission i.e. activities that successively weaken Brahmanism and strengthens Bahujan unity and their struggle.
6) They have delusion that if they choose their own role in struggle considering their own strengths, weaknesses and family and professional responsibilities and liabilities and carry the chosen missionary activities continuously means breach of party discipline. Therefore, they remain idle. This delusion is biggest setback for Bahujan struggle.
If we really, deeply study his core ideas , ideology if you like , his central mission is spelt out in his drafts to the Constitution Drafting Committee of which he was the Chairman ,1947-49 . Dr Ambedkar finally emerged as the main 'Architect' of this most vital document that lays down the framework of the Republic and its social , political and economic objectives , which is a manifesto of those who struggled for India's freedom against foreign capital , foreign rule and local dominant , economic and caste interests . The Constitution is above the Supreme Court , the Lok Sabha , the Prime Minister and the Executive and was intended to be its guiding star , its Dhruva tara. How much we have deviated from the Constitution's Directive , its soul the Directive Principles which are mandatory for any Government in office is an issue which is for all of us to assess. . If this is tested by the ground reality of the condition of the exploited classes , the denial of equality of opportunity , of education, of the very right to life , to work, and economic policies which have made the preamble of the Constitution a paper promise in the hands of the exploiting class who have arrogated to themselves a near total monopoly of resources , unprecedented and growing concentration of wealth that make a mockery of the direction 'for the common good'.
First of all let us try to forge a common understanding of how 'Ambedkar thought' evolved ? Is it possible to flag mark Dr Ambedkar's tortuous yet blazing journey . Dr Ambedkar chose his own methodology to educate and inform himself . It is true that cataclysmic events took place in the journey of his life…the 1917 October Proletarian Revolution in Russia, which to begin with placed power in the hands of the workers and peasants , the toiling and hitherto exploited class . In my understanding , though he may not have explicitly stated so in his revolutionary call in Manmad in 1938 , that was the central idea of his declaration of the three principles at the workers conference to which we will come as we discuss further . Then came the 'Great Economic Depression' of 1929 , with its devastation , hunger and unemployment , which not only burnt and singed the people in the United States but also in Europe . The Capitalist classes across the industrialized countries speedily funded Fascist groups , to further disposses and divert the working class . This was spread through fear and propaganda , promising them the mirage of nationalism , discipline, conquests and full employment , at the same time breaking their organizations , enslaving them in factories , mines and plants jointly owned by global 'finance capital' , including by American corporations and British capitalists , through the 1930s , as now brought to light , through the period of the Second World War ,via a commonly owned and set up Banking system, while the soldiers were killed and maimed as cannon fodder on military fronts all over the world in Europe , the Soviet Union , North Africa and Asia . Dr Ambedkar by now a champion of Dalit rights also clearly saw that Dalit emancipation could only be achieved through a broad united front of all the exploited classes . Dr Ambedkar had already defined a Dalit as 'one who struggles' ( for democratic rights ). His definition was, therefore, categorically inclusive of all individuals and groups who were naturally bonded , engaged in the common struggle, of the exploited classes.
Dr Ambedkar had through his definitive works , beginning in 1917 with his outstanding doctoral dissertation at the Colombia University, the "National Dividend of India" , essentially on the transfer of wealth and surpluses from India to Imperial Britain , laid bare the huge colonial (looting ) enterprise on which Britain's industrialization was founded . There is another work , that of RC Dutt , covering this path breaking subject ; which dared to expose to bare bones , through facts , figures , official documents how Britain , later called 'Great Britain', established and executed the great parasitical enterprise , called British India . Dadabhai Naoroji whom Dr Ambedkar greatly respected also spoke and wrote on the rapacious transfer of surpluses from India to England .This thought process , bold and courageous in the extreme, shook those little social clubs who were petitioning the Sarkar for some concessions in entrance to the British Indian Army through the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and the ICS quota for Indians . Historically , it was quite a coincidence that Gandhi's own experiences in South Africa of racial discrimination and apartheid , brought him to India and start transforming the Congress into a mass organization of peasants , workers and all the toiling masses within the limitations of the social setup in the country. Not content with his monumental work Dr Ambedkar finished writing his " Small Holdings in India and their Remedies in 1917." We cannot but infer that Mahatma Jyotiba Phule's "Kisan Che Kode" inspired him and stoked his passion to try and expose, and later struggle , by throwing in his lot with those classes subjected to extreme social , political and economic exploitation .
Academically and to further consolidate his grasp of Public Finance was published in 1921, he worked on and published "Provincial Decentralisation of Imperial Finance in British India , the Problem of the Rupee ( the issues of Silver and Gold Standards ) in 1923 , the Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India 1925. Let us pause for a moment and reflect on the boundless energy , the diligence and perseverance , the prodigious output of the Man. No economist in India has produced such monumental , vital and relevant works as Bhimrao Ambedkar did in those nine years 1916-25. Undoubtedly these studies gave him an incomparable advantage over his contemporaries . He may have surpassed his contribution as a Law Minister after 1950 in the field of public finance if he had been Finance Minister ; but Finance Ministers in the existing system have to be conservatives not revolutionaries , who may upset the 'apple cart' !
Dr Ambedkar had emerged as ,by far the most erudite and scholarly economist on the sub-continent. His alert , incisive and sensitive mind was now setting up his own compass for the struggles ahead as he walked tall in the thirties. The Great Depression of 1929 –33 shook the whole world and its epicenter was in the United States and Europe , the foremost capitalist systems, where he had spent his period of study and observation . Capitalism's exploitative chain had broken down and was engulfed by a serious crisis ; it was replaced by Fascism , i.e the rule by private Corporations in partnership with the ruling elite controlling the State apparatus. Dr Ambedkar was perceptive enough to grasp the significance of slave labour being used by the Corporations . While he had pre-occupations with the Round Table Conference, the Poona Pact , the Government of India Act 1935 , the provincial elections and Separate electorates ; he was deeply distressed by the exploitation , impoverishment, daily humiliation and denial of human rights to the exploited classes and the Dalits in the social mileu of the backward , feudal , arch conservative society that had evolved in the country of his birth . This evolution was not an accident . Michiavellian state craft in combination with parasitical economic production relations and a cruel , ritual order was used as a means to enslave the people who built India . Another economist in Ancient India had seen through it all – Chanakya who led a revolt of the slaves and helped install a Shudra dynasty , the Mauryas , which held sway over most of India until it was done out by a regrouping of the wealthy and the propertied , expropriating classes . The people who toiled in the fields to produce food, the bundkars who wove clothes and fabrics , the artisans who made tools with their hands , household items and the most exquisite articles with precious stones and alloy metals , the people who built homes , palaces and monuments, the leather workers who made shoes , saddles for the army cavalry and without whose services society would not exist and flourish , were all continuously being cheated , looted through expropriation of the surpluses that they created by their sweat, blood and sacrifices. The Manu Smriti , a fraudulent , adharmic manufacture of diseased minds of some elements of the priestly class who had prostituted themselves to the exploiting , ruling class to lay a spider's web of fear , intimidation and an unimaginably, cruel and despotic social order based on all that is ignoble , unjust and unequal , in direct opposition to the Dharma that many great minds, specially Gautam Buddha , and those who guided Indian society had laid down. The nectar of Dr Ambedkar's perceptions can be gauged by a better effort at understanding the essence of his writings and speeches , through his life and the stands he took, some necessarily with compromises, underpinned by his deep understanding of how the exploitative chain and the process of accumulation of surplus works and creates an overwhelming majority of serfs and slaves as an economic underclass leading a dehumanizing animal like existence , outside the boundaries of the proper village or bustee and in slums and ghettoes in the cities and towns as outcastes , untouchables and sub humans or'unter-menschens'. Others , so called born into higher castes have also been forced into this large mass of labor, of unceasing toil , of carrying the load on their backs and pulling the 'thela', since then with the rise of modern capitalism.
Dr Ambedkar had decided to carry out the struggle on two tracks ; to destroy the oppressive social order and to bring about an equitable , non –capitalist economic restructuring through mass awakening , reform and democratic movements , as he believed that real economic democracy was a means to transform a nation to a just order . He said 'the struggle for economic justice was as important as the struggle for social justice' . Why has this central idea and central mission of Dr Ambedkar's life been forgotten and his core ideas and philosophy on the struggle for economic justice , suppressed by various big leaders and movements in all corners of the country is a question of fundamental importance ? This needs to be urgently corrected if we have to move forward.
The Expansion of Working Class
We have a wider organisational Set Up with Bharat Mukti Morcha besides different organs like Rashtriya Mulnivasi Sangha, Mulnivasi Mahila sangh and Mulnivasi students Organisation and other Units of social networking! Coincidentally, the Cadre Base of these organisations would rather help us to Unite and Mobilise the Expanding Working Class!As these organs have broken the Middle class set up of SC ST Employees Associations, this would Further Break the Upper Middle Class Middle Calss limitation of Self Centred Working Class PROMOTED by Brahaminical Leadership which turned Selfish, Benefit Seeking,Alienated from the Roots and Identity, Idle and Disinterested in Ideological Struggle which made them Professionally Incompetent and Inefficienst and Organisationall worthless! The Brahamin leadership BLINDED them so much so that they are not aware of the Impending Disaster and never did realises the Break down of economy or Production system! Finally, they are NOT Prepared to Pay Back the Society in any condition! The First Task should be to break the Middle class selfish blind suicidal barriers!
The New Global Order has Not only Destroyed the National Production System demoting Production as well as Manufacturing and Promoting Service, Import, Export,Private Investment, Public Private Mode of Development and Omnipower Omnipresent Foreign Capital, it also DESTROYED Business small and medium as well as the Agrarian Rural world and strategically Free Marketed the Culture of Consumerist Ethnic Cleansing!
Emergence of NON ORGANISED working Class is the most principal Development! Permanent job is replaced by CONTRACT Job even in Govt. departments! Infratstructure and Development became Top Most priority to launch Monopolistic Aggression to exploit Natural Resources. Citizenship Amendment Act, Land Acquisition Amendment Act, Retail FDI, Mining Amendment Act, other Financial and economic Reforms, SEZ, NIMZ, Industrial Areas, Industrial Corridors, Nuclear Plants, Big Dams, High Ways and Indiscriminate Industrialisation and Urbanisation led to AGRARIAN crisis converting the Society in itself a FREE MARKET which has to be DOMINATED by the Ruling Caste and Class which is Identical in India! Because Private Investment and Foreign capital are the two most Decisive elements in the Baseless SENSEX Economy, Traditional Business set up is also Broken as the Agrarian Rural Indigenous Aborigine World has BEEN Devastated!
Now the People engaged in Small and Medium Business, small scale industries and Manufacturing and Peasantry do CONSTITUTE the Majority of the Working Class and most of them are NON ORGANISED as in Agrarian sector, Realty and Infrastructure, Construction, IT, SEZ and services!
The Chief Task of the Mulnivasi Trade Union MUST be to Organise these people who coincidentally belong to the EXCLUDED Communities and have been dislodged from Home, Land and Livelihood! The have NO SURVIVAL KIT and predestined to be KILLED in Ethnic ECONOMIC Cleansing! We must MOBILISE them for Liberation, NOT for Financial benefit!
Can the proletariat, Majority MULNIVASI BAHUJAN assume the leadership of the revolution? Is it sufficiently strong and politically mature?
The power of the proletariat is sufficient to enable it to lead the Indian revolution.In India, the proletariat means the Majority MULNIVASI Bahujan! Dr BR Ambedkar has clarified it long before! What it lacks in numbers it can more than make up for by the great masses of the peasantry, whom only the proletariat can offer a program of expropriating the landlords and usurers. At present, the Peasantry and the whole Indigenous Aborigine Landscpae as well as Humanscape are SUBJECTED to MONOPOLISTIC Corporate Aggression by the LPG Mafia !
Provided, we develop an Ideological Organisational Network to MOBILISE the workers from Non Organised Sector specifically from Buisness and Agrarian Sector, it would be the Best opportunity for REVOLUTION which means Ultimate Liberation from the Age Old SLAVERY of the Brahaminical system and Hegemony and also from the Global New Order!
The decisive question, however, in India today as throughout the world since the degeneration of the Communist International, is that of the leadership of the working class itself. Will it push forward a firm revolutionary leadership, impervious to bourgeois influences, understanding the full implications of a struggle to the end against imperialism?In fact, this question was IMPENDING since the Trade Union Movement was DIVERTED by the Brahamins like TILAK, Gandhi and Nehru to ensure BRAHAMIN Bania Raj long before 1947 and the Socialists, Communists and Marxists were SUB Ordinate to them. After 1947, the Brahaminical Parties used Trade Unions to hold on Political as well as State Power! India Incs and MNCs added another Dangerous Dimension of NAXALITE and Maoist ideology and Movement to EJECT out the Mulnivasi Bahujan Demography out of NATURALLY Resourcefull Geography as in CENTRAL India!
Here you are!The Decisive answer is the Leadership of the New Working Class must Emrge representing the Majority Mulnivasi BAHUJAN Excluding the Brahaminical Aryan Class which DIVERTED the Trade Union Movement hitherto!
We have to keep in mind the Communist Betrayal from the Beginning! As the Communist Party and the Democratic Party of the renegade M.N. Roy were vainly exhorting the workers to refrain from strikes, repudiate the civil disobedience campaign and cooperate with the British for the sake of the "war for democracy." Even befor 1990 as well as after 1990, the Marxist and Communist Trade Union Leaders REFRAINED from RESISTANCE and focused on BENEFIT Bargaining to divert the Working Class from its main task to Overthrow the Brahamin Bania LPG Mafia Rule!
The Subordination of the Trade Union Movement to the Manusmriti Hegemony is the Greatest Problem since then!
Trade Unions did support Congress,Tilak, Gandhi and Nehru and the Brahamin Bania Swaraj!
Brahamins succeeded to alienate the Workers as well as Trade Union Movement from Dr. BR Ambedkar who first did launch the Labour Party!However, Stalinists had done otherwise under ultra-radical formulas during the civil disobedience campaign of 1930-31 – and disgrace the unions in the eyes of the Brahami nationalist movement. Unfortunately, the Stalinists have been swept aside.
Those Brahamin leaders of the Congress like Nehru who called themselves socialists. Brahamin leaders were urging the workers on to struggle. But at every critical point in the past they have capitulated to the Congress bourgeoisie.Later, Mrs Indira Gandhi also adopted the Socialist Mode, aligned with Communist USSR and introduced Nationalisation policy! CPI aligned with Indira Gandhi and the supported EMERGENCY Promulgated by her! Meanwhile, Pro US Democratic movement led by Socialist Jai Prakash Narayan introduced First Indian Spring and it also INVOKED the Revival of HINDU Nation and RSS family. After the Demise of USSR, Unipolar Global Power Equation led by Zionist Corporate Imperialism emerged with New Global Order and the Brahamins led by CONGRESS and RSS aligned with it. INDO US Nuclear Agreement established FDI Raj and Foreign capital Inflow captured the COMMUNIST MARXIST MAOIST movement Combined which further Handicapped the Trade Union Movment which failed to mobilise whatsoever Resistance and betrayed the Working Class in its fight for Survival and sustenance!
The Excluded Communities lost the leadership as Dr Ambedkar had to meet an untimely demise under Conspiracy as our friend BILAS Kharat has Exposed in his research work.
Since Ambedkarites had NO Leader like AMBEDKAR, the Dual Betrayal by the CONGRESS and COMMUNISTS supported by Brahaminical Parties,including the Communists, created the ground for Neo Liberal Policy!
Narasimha Rao and Manmohan are credited for which.
But GREEN Revolution, Defence Alignment and deals, Mass scale Militarisation, Big Dams did open the Floodgates of foreign Capital as the EXCLUSIVE Economy had no Fiscal policy from the Beginning and Taxation had always been over loaded against the Ninety Five Percent of the Population, the Excluded Communities, Minorities and Non Brahamin Non Aryan Masses!
Five Years Plans and yearly Budgetary allocations, Monetary Policies always boosted the Market which was MONOPOLISED by the Brahamin Bania Raj and the status quo sustained!
Mind you, like India, Russia too was a predominantly agricultural country and yet the industrial proletariat led the October Revolution. Trotsky tells us that the Russian industrial working class, exclusive of railwaymen and miners, amounted to 1½ millions in 1905 and two millions in 1917. The comparable figures for British India were (roughly) as of 1935: two millions in power-driven factories, one million plantation workers (European-owned factory farms), 400,000 transport workers apart from railwaymen. With the undoubtedly considerable increase since 1935, one can say that the Indian proletariat compared in specific weight to the Russian proletariat of 1917. It is bigger and stronger than the Chinese proletariat of three millions which was prevented from assuming the leadership of the Chinese revolution in 1927 only by the false policy of the Communist Party.But the RESULT was NIL! What Ambedkar, Ayyankali and Lokhande did, was UNDONE and the TRADE Union Movement was INVESTED to ensure Brahamin Bania raj and Manusmriti Rule! The Ramrajya!
In fact, as should be obvious, the working class movement in India at present faces immense challenges. Because the Brahaminical Hegemony is NO MORE a local Phenomenon! DNA report proved the FOREIGN URASIAN Origin of the Ruling Class and Caste, the BRAHAMIN which aligned with the New ZIONIST Global Order of Corporate Imperialism controlled by ILLUMINATI! Now, the Brahaminical Hegemony is GLOBAL and Brahaminical System in India is replaced by the Global HINDUTVA! The Task of Sustenance of the Working Class and Peasantry has been made IMPOSSIBLE and the destination to LIBERATION becomes very Tough despite the GLOBAL Movement like OCCUPY the Wall Street! Till this date, Indian Trade Union Movment has not RESPONDED as yet!
First of all, the very structure of India's workforce highlights the complexity that the movement has to confront. As of 2004-05, India's workforce was estimated at nearly 460 million. Of these, only 70 million were in any kind of regular employment. Another 130 million were casual or contract wage workers. But the majority of India's working people-the remaining 260 million-were in fact 'self-employed', being for the most part tiny producers or persons forced to engage in some income earning activity on their own for a pittance, given the absence of any kind of social security for the poor in our country. Such increase in employment as has taken place since the late 1990s has been either in the informal sector or in informal employment in the formal sector.
Indian working class is facing an unprecedented assault in the wake of policies of privatization, downsizing, increased workload, contractualization-casualization-informalisation and so on. Hard-won trade union rights are under constant attack not only from the central and state governments, but also from the judiciary. And to be sure, it is valiantly responding to the challenges. Even a cursory glance at some of the struggles that rocked India in recent years, reveal an extremely broad sweep: the struggles waged by government employees in Tamil Nadu and Bihar, the weeklong strike of SBI employees, struggles of NALCO and Neyveli workers, the nationwide protests by central trade unions against blatantly pro-imperialist measures like the hike in FDI cap in Telecom industry (February 7, 2005), the Parliament March of February 26, 2005 against the passing of the Third Patents (Amendment) Bill, the trend-setting action in aviation sector by the airport authority employees and so on.
Absolute levels of formal employment in the organized manufacturing sector have shown no rise for over a decade, despite high rates of growth of manufacturing output. The share of wages in gross value added in manufacturing has been declining steadily since the early 1980s. A significant part of the country's workforce-including the wage employed- is at very low levels of education. A substantial part of the working population is linked to land and to pre-capitalist relations.
Ideologically, the forces of obscurantism and of identity politics continue to exercise a strong influence even on the segments of the working population including industrial workers that are part of the technologically advanced sectors of the economy. Divisions of caste, religion, language and ethnicity have not disappeared, and continue to influence the consciousness of workers, thus making the task of developing the class and political consciousness of the working class a major challenge. But the CASTEOLOGY overwhelming is not to do anything with MULNIVASI Bahujan Identity. It is jaust in line with the traditional Caste System which establishes the Micro MINORITY Brahamins DOMINATING and Detremining!
Where the democratic movement has advanced through decades of struggle, there is emerging an all-in unity of the most reactionary forces against it. In defence of the Age Old hegemony and System which are further Strengthened by LPG Mafia Rule!
Neoliberal policies, while deepening the crisis of working people's lives, also provide a fertile soil for growth of divisive forces within the MULNIVASI Bahujan Demography that make it even more difficult to build the unity of the working class and of the broader sections of working people.The criminal Hijacker are still the Organisational and Ideological leaders!
Narayan Meghaji Lokhande, OBC leader from Mumbai Maharashtra who is well known as the Father of Indian Trade Union Movement, Anykali the Dalit SC Leader who led the First Strike in British India and Dr. BR Ambedkar who ensured the Trade Union Rights and Labour rights in India- have been outfocused to marginalise Indian working Class movement by the Marxist Leaders of Trade Union Movement Post Independence!Post Ambedkarites also did deviate from Ambedkarite Ideology which recognises the Excluded Communities SC, ST, OBC and Minorities as Producers and workers! Annihilition of Caste was immersed in Casteology and Greater Disaster for the Excluded Communities as Powerful Castes were co opted into the Hegemony to ensure POWER POLITICS Win and Share in Power with the Vote Bank equation of Castes most powerful across Caste and class line! More over, lack of Internal Democracy and Empowerment within the Ambedkarite movement has been HIJACKED by the Most Absolute and Opportunist caste leaders including those from Caste Hindus and the AMBEDKARITES making alliances with the Ruling Hegemony in the Centre and States contributed most to sustain ECONOMIC ETHNIC Cleansing! In parliamentary Majoritarian system, co opted Representation of EXCLUDED Communities departed from Trade Union Activities as well as Ambedkarite ECONOMICS of Inclusive Mass Mobilisation to Liberate the Eighty Five percent Enslaved Bonded Indian Masses. Deviation from Ideology have created number of FACTIONS and Personal Cult in the Ambedkarite movement and it led to the situation where the Aboriginal Indigenous Excluded landscape and humanscape are SEIZED WITHIN and all political parties and trade Unions push for Further Capital Inflow and Economic Reforms not to mention any resistance whatsoever.BHARAT MUKTI MORCHA has launched Hundered Days` Budget Burn Campaign which is virtually a great Resurgence of AMBEDKARITE Economics! I have been talking and writing on the Global Phenomenon in which Caste Identity would be Never enough for SURVIVAL in War and Civil war like conditions and Unprecedented Violence Flare Up in ANRCHY sponsered by the Mind Control game 3 G Spectrum and Toilet media. The STATE power is in fact MILITARY NUCLEAR BIO Chemical Power and we have no space for Mass Movement and even EXPRESSION, Civil and Human Rights.
Now, I do understand that Gandhian NON Violence was NEVER anything like Hindutva or Buddhism or Spritual Philosophy, but it was an EXCELLENT STRATEGY to resist the BRUTE Imperilaism which ended the SCOPE of All Out Aggression. Maoist Menace is the Part of Global Phenomenon to kill the Democratic Civil and Human Right movement in Violence so that Ruling Manusmriti Zionist Corpoaret Hegemony may have the LICENSE to Kill the Aboriginal and Indigenous , Working and Producing Communities! It is happening all over the Globe!
Thus, an ORGANISED Non Violent Trade Union Movement in the Organised SEctor is the DEMAND of the TIME and we may not dare to BETRAY the Challenge provided we have Hearts and Minds intact with Human Sensitivity and Commitment to the Toiling masses in HOLOCAUST Environment!
It is only through a relentless struggle against both neoliberal policies and obscurantist forces of all hues that the working class movement will be able to go forward. For this, the Fundamental task as DR Ambedkar earmarked and Ayyankali and Lokhande showcased with their historical achievemnt should be Pursued rigidly! Without launching Final ASSAULT against the Brahaminical hegemony, Mobilisation of Working Class as MULNIVASI BAHUJAN Entity is impossible. Recent Bharat Mukti Morcha Mass Mobilisation demanding OBC headcount may be a brighter Development but we have no support from the Trade Union front! To make effective the Mass Movement, we have to have the control over Economy and Production system and it is IMPOSSIBLE without the mobilisation of the Working Class. Hence,the Role of the Mulnivasi Trade Union is going to be very instrumental!
The current global economic crisis and the bankruptcy of neoliberalism that it has exposed as well as the present disarray in the camp of obscurantism may well be an opportunity that the working class movement can seize to go forward. However, this demands also that the working class movement must carry with it the overwhelming mass of petty producers including the peasantry but without succumbing to the political illusions of petty commodity production or romantic conceptions concerning the dynamics of social change that tend to underplay the role of science and productive forces.
It is rather a positive development that BHARAT Mukti Morcha with Village to Village level Networking is already doing the Ground work to Mobilise the Working Class as Mulnivasi Bhujan entity!
N. M. Lokhande, a disciple of the great social reformer Jyotiba Phule. Long before trade unions of a modern type came into being in India, Lokhande espoused the cause of workers and was a pioneer in attempts to impart literacy and rudimentary education to the workers of factories in the late 19th century.Narayan Meghaji Lokhande who pioneered the labour movement in India will be remembered not only for ameliorating the working conditions of textile mill-hands in the 19th century but also for his courageous initiatives on caste and communal issues.
Narayan Meghaji Lokhande fought for providing numerous facilities which are enjoyed by workers today.
His tireless efforts led to the establishment of the first Indian labour union, the 'Mill Hands Association' in 1884.For the first time in India the Bombay Mill Hands Association was formed on 24 April 1890. This gave impetus to the trade union movement in British India. The establishment of ILO in 1919 provided a source of inspiration for the workers to organise themselves and shape their destiny. India's membership of the same exerted great influence in the formation of a central organisation of workers called 'All India Trade Union Congress' (AITUC) in 1920 for the purpose of conducting and co-ordinating the activities of the labour organisations.
A member of the Factory Labour Commission established in 1890, Lokhande's efforts contributed to the enactment of the Factory Act (1891).
Every year, the first day of the month of May is being celebrated as the May Day. Since the beginning of the last decade of the nineteenth century this day came to be observed as the Labour Day or International Workers' Day to highlight the struggle of the workers and manifest their solidarity throughout the world.
The emergence of the urban working class can be traced to the Industrial Revolution in Europe since the mid-eighteenth century. The workers were exploited with lengthy hours of work, poor wages and unhealthy living conditions. Even women and children were forced to work for 12 to 15 hours a day. There was neither government legislation nor popular movement to improve the condition of the working class.
The first attempt to ameliorate the miserable condition of the working class was made by the so called 'Utopian Socialists'. A British socialist, Robert Owen created a model community of workers by improving their working and housing conditions and providing schools for their children. His ideas stimulated the cooperative movement in England. In France too, a number of socialists such as Saint Simon, Charles Fourier, Proudhon and Louis Blanc tried to implement socialist ideas to improve the condition of the workers. However, their efforts did not succeed in improving the lot of the working class.
Born in 1848 in Thane, he began his career in the Railways and Postal Department before joining the Mandavi Textile Mill as a storekeeper.
A follower of social reformer Jyotirao Phule, the Maratha Hospital at Mumbai was started by Lokhande to provide medical aid to the poor during the plague epidemic in 1896.
He died on February 9, 1897, while serving people affected by the plague.
Mind you,The Indian Working Class is very young just because of Late Industrialisation. Only in the last two decades has it emerged permanently from the peasantry, and many proletarians still have direct ties with the villages.
The first real impetus for modern industry in India came in 1914-18, when wartime necessities relaxed the British policy of preventing the growth of factories in India; manufacturing for Britain's armies, and for the home market hitherto flooded with English-produced goods brought forth the Indian proletariat. Despite Britain's renewed discouragement of Indian industry after the war, and the narrow domestic market due to the impoverishment of the peasantry, a poverty which fell to starvation levels after 1929, industry (including mining and transportation) developed so that by 1935 there were five million Indian workers in modern plants. Since then war preparations have brought expansion – the extent is concealed by Britain as a military secret – which has undoubtedly added several millions to the industrial proletariat. The specific weight of this class is enormously increased by the fact that the industrial plants, established so late in the development of capitalism, are generally large-scale enterprises, so that the workers are concentrated into relatively few production units.But ironically, after Lokhande we the Excluded Communities lost the Intitiative and handed over the dvantage to Brahamins only.
If the latter half of the 19th century was marked by the emergence of industrial workers and their spontaneous resistance, the first two decades of the 20th century witnessed a massive expansion of working class struggle in our country, preparation of organised trade union movement and the assertion of the role of the working class on key political questions.But it contributed to Nothing as Communists led by MN Roy had already Hijacked the Trade Union Movement.
Indian Congress was born with the Demand of HOME Rule in 1885 and it demanded INDEPENDENCE as late as in 1927. Meanwhile, it was lobbying for better Placement of those in the Brahaminical ruling Class fold. CONGRESS also supported the British Colonial rulers to defend the interest of Capitalism. Since the Socialists and Communists were aligned to Congress and Brahaminical System, the Trade UNION Movement was DIVERTED therefrom despite brillient examples of Trade Union Activities as the Working Class in general was UNAWARE of the Political Equation and Economics. It remains the fact even today!
A major section of the Anushilan movement was attracted to marxism in the 30s.
Reason for Civil Disobedient Movement led by Congress an Gandhi was to contain the RESISTANCE of Indian People and the emerging Working Class!
The initial shock of discovering that some striking labour union members, including the ex-president of the Maruti Suzuki Employees Union, Sonu Gujjar, had left the company after receiving hefty severance packages has given way to increasing criticism over how the whole affair was handled by Maruti.
A Business Standard report on Monday said that institutional investors in Maruti Suzuki, India's largest car-maker, are disgruntled at the lack of communiciation from the company on the severance packages, which reports said ranged between Rs 14 lakh and Rs 40 lakh per person.
Indeed, it took a report in The Economic Times for the rest of the world to find out about the payoffs.
While investors acknowledged that there is no legal obligation for Maruti Suzuki to inform shareholders of its actions, they believe it should done so for the sake of good corporate governance.While investors acknowledged that there is no legal obligation for Maruti Suzuki to inform shareholders of its actions, they believe it should done so for the sake of good corporate governance.
Gujjar was among the leaders spearheading the labour agitation, so why didn't Maruti think it was important to quickly inform shareholders that he had left the company with a hefty pay off? The lack of communication, in fact, has give rise to charges that the company actually "bribed" Gujjar and Co to end the strike.
Institutional investors, not surprisingly, are unhappy with the entire arrangement, pointing out that paying off labour union leaders to end a strike is not the way to go about dealing with such unrest.
Sadly, it also does little to burnish the reputation of Gujjar, with whom institutional investors even had a conference call to understand the striking workers' point of view. "..now we learn he took some money from the management and vanished. Who do we trust?" asked one of the investors, who did not wish to be named, according to Business Standard. Indeed, the rest of the striking workers who were left in the lurch will be asking the same question.
Trust is a commodity in increasingly short supply not just among investors but also with consumers of some high-profile companies in recent times.
Most Blackberry users in India will remember all too clearly how there was absolutely no word from Research in Motion's (RIM) top management even after a severe service outage struck four continents for nearly four straight days. Didn't consumers and shareholders have a right to know what was going on? Most commentators were shocked by the company's stubborn silence on the issue even as hapless users struggled with non-functional devices.
In another high-profile incident, Crompton Greaves came under fire from institutional shareholders after the management bought an aircraft at a time when its profits were under pressure.
And in another instance of corporate misgovernance coming to light, Lilliput Kidswear had to defer its initial public offering after private equity investors raised questions about certain "irregularities" in the company's financial statements.
Kingfisher Airlines also came under the investor radar after auditors noted in their report that the company's net worth had been "completely eroded" and its ability to survive depended on the company's ability to raise more cash. Nomura Securities also downgraded one of the group companies, United Spirits, after referring to the inappropriate manner in which cash was being transferred in and out of the group's holding companies.
And of course, who can forget the grand-daddy of corporate misgovernance, Satyam? Late last week, Satyam promoter B Ramalinga Raju was granted bail after nearly three years in custody. The strange thing is, the scam did not begin by the auditors or the investigative agencies catching Raju doing the dirty. It came from Raju himself, when he sent a letter of confession on 7 January 2009 to the stock exchanges and the company's board saying he had cheated shareholders by overstating profits and cash balances and understating liabilities.
Yet, as a Firstpost article noted, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is so incompetent that it cannot catch a self-confessed white collar criminal and get him convicted in double-quick time.
Indeed, very few companies in India get penalised for inappropriate corporate behaviour. With even the authorities going slow on punishing offenders, shareholders have few options at their disposal to correct any management wrongdoings.
In the rare case of Crompton Greaves, the outrage among shareholders forced the company to sell back the aircraft. But the truth is that in the vast majority of cases, shareholders are simply silent spectators in companies that just don't seem to care about their rights.
Apallingly, Maruti, India's largest car-maker, risks falling into that category of companies.
While the workers have decided to retain the previously proposed name Maruti
Suzuki Employees' Union (MSEU), a new crop of leaders have emerged to take forward their cause.
According to a worker at the plant, Ram Mehar Singh has been nominated as new President of MSEU, Sarabjit Singh as new general secretary of the body.
MSEU former President Sonu Gujjar and ex-general secretary Shiv Kumar, along with 28 other suspended workers, which included all the former office-bearers of MSEU, had left the firm after taking a severance package of Rs 16 lakh each.
"Sonu Gujjar, Shiv Kumar and other people have betrayed us. We do not know why they have done this, but we will move ahead. We have again applied for registration of our union to the Labour Department in Chandigarh on last Friday," a worker at the Manesar plant told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
In July, MSEU's application for registration was declined by the Haryana labour department on technical grounds.
The worker further said: "This time we are very careful and we are taking care of all the regulations. We have already informed the company in writing about our new application".
He further said the union will be an internal and independent body. MSI management has been opposed to the formation of an externally affiliated new union at the plant.
When contacted, a Maruti Suzuki India spokesperson said: "Yes, the company has received in writing from the workers".
Mounting pressure on the government after threatening to pull out over petrol price hike issue, Trinamool Congress leaders will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tomorrow on a day when West Bengal's financial health is to be discussed.TMC chief and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will not be part of the delegation of party MPs since she will remain in Kolkata tomorrow for a meeting in the Raj Bhavan where Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will discuss the financial situation.
Demanding an immediate roll back of petrol price hike, BJP on Monday made a veiled threat of stalling Parliament during the winter session if government fails to do so. The main opposition also hit out at the UPA allies, saying they were "part and parcel" of the hike. The comments come at a time when Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress has sought an appointment with the Prime Minister on Tuesday to convey its unhappiness over the hike.
"If the government wants the upcoming session to run smoothly they must roll back the prices immediately. What we demand, what the people of this country demand is to roll back the petrol hike because there is no justification," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.
The party maintained that on the day the hike of Rs 1.80 per litre of petrol was announced, international prices of crude had actually fallen.
Javadekar insisted that refined petrol can be sold at Rs 34/litre in Delhi and Rs 36/litre in Mumbai.
"Why the extra charge, because this is a totally unjustified move. For when we talk of pricing petrol, it is based on abnoxious concepts and it seems that govt is insensitive towards people worries and aspirations," he said.
Law Minister Salman Khurshid hoped that a solution could be reached during the meeting with the Prime Minister in New Delhi.
Ahead of her party MPs' meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Delhi tomorrow over fuel price hike, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee today said her party would not compromise on the price rise issue.
"We will not compromise on the price rise issue which is hitting the common man most. Our battle will go on. Our party MPs will meet the Prime Minister tomorrow, if he gives time, and express our grievances and listen to what he says," the West Bengal Chief Minister told PTI.
In a bid to put pressure on the government, Trinamool Congress, the second largest constituent of the UPA with 18 Lok Sabha and six Rajya Sabha MPs, held an emergency meeting of its parliamentary party last week after which Banerjee said the leaders favoured withdrawal of support but later she put on hold such a move.'
"There is also talk of increasing diesel and LPG prices. Trinamool Congress is a pro-people party. Already people are overburdened with rising prices. We are not going to accept it," Mamata said.
Her party colleague and Union minister Sudip Bandyopadhyay said today before leaving for Delhi that "after a talk with Prime Minister, we will return here on November 9 and report to party chief Mamata Banerjee who will take the final call."
According to Bandopadhyay, Mamata had complained that despite her repeated pleas, there existed no co-ordination committee in UPA consisting of allies.
Sharply reacting to criticism in 'certain quarters' that Mamata Banerjee, who was the then Railway minister and part of Empowered Group of Ministers that had in June 2010 decided to deregulate or free petrol prices, Bandopadhyay said "Mamata did not attend the meeting of EGOM where such a decision was taken.
"Trinamool Congress had never been taken into confidence by the UPA government in taking policy decisions of the government," he claimed.
Bandyopadhyay pointed out "it was Mamata Banerjee who gave a note of dissent in the (union) cabinet on the land bill which had to be subsequently recast in the light of the points raised by her."
Meanwhile, state industry minister Partha Chatterjee said the chief minister would be present at a meeting tomorrow in the Raj Bhavan where Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee would discuss the state's financial health.
He, however, clarified that the meeting had been scheduled about 10 days before the pull-out threat on the fuel price hike issue.
Against the backdrop of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee expressing displeasure over the recent hike in petrol prices, Law Minister Salman Khurshid today said a solution could be reached during the proposed meeting of the Prime Minister with the key UPA ally.
He also maintained that the government was "sensitive" towards the common man and the demands of the allies.
Manipur on brink of breakdown with 99 days of blockadeAs one travels along the national highway in Manipur inhabited by two rival tribal groups - the Kukis and the Nagas, one can see the chassis of burnt trucks on the roadside with protestors enforcing an economic blockade that entered its 99th day Monday.
A meek state government and an equally insensitive central government -- ably aided by some sectarian leaders of the two warring tribal groups -- have turned the northeastern state into a lawless region, literally on the brink of complete breakdown, say Manipuris.
It's a near-anarchy-like situation with hospitals running out of oxygen cylinders and life saving drugs, while stocks of all essentials, baby food and petroleum products are almost drying up.
"The ongoing blockade has resulted in acute shortage of food, medicine, petroleum products, and other essential commodities in the state and very soon the entire life support system in the state would collapse," T. Singh, a civil rights leader, told IANS.
During the blockade - which some say is the longest in Indian history, four people have been killed and 10 government buildings burnt down.
The Sadar Hills District Demand Committee (SHDDC) had launched the economic blockade Aug 1 on two national highways -- Imphal-Dimapur-Guwahati (NH 39) and Imphal-Jiribam-Silchar (NH53) -- to press their demand for conversion of the Kuki tribal majority Sadar Hills area into a full-fledged district.
However, tribal Nagas inhabiting the area are opposed to the creation of a Sadar Hills district. The Nagas have since Aug 21 launched a counter-blockade on the two highways. This protest is spearheaded by the United Naga Council (UNC).
The turf war between the two warring tribal groups has literally held the majority of Manipur's 2.7 million people to ransom with the landlocked state depending on supplies from outside the region -- trucks from the rest of India carry essentials to it.
"People are forced to buy a litre of petrol for Rs.200, while a cooking gas cylinder is being sold at Rs.2,000, a kilogram of potato at Rs.20 to 25," said Runu Devi, a teacher and mother of three children.
There was a ray of hope when the SHDDC last week announced lifting of the blockade following a written assurance from the state government, agreeing to concede their demand for creating a new hill district.
But the Naga groups led by the UNC are adamant on their stand and have continued with their agitation - so the blockade continues.
"I feel very sad when I see people queuing up in front of fuel pumps for the whole day to purchase petrol or diesel, and that too may be just one or two litres, as stocks are limited," said Manipur government spokesperson and senior minister Biren Singh.
Common people are getting restive by the day.
"A time might come when people like us might be forced to take guns into our hands to protest such blockades. What a shame to find the state and the central governments surrendering before a handful of agitators," an angry college student Nanda Singh said.
Nalini Singh, a woman activist, said: "Can you ever imagine such a blockade continuing for the 99th day in mainland India? It may sound cliched but it's true - who cares for the northeast? How does it matter to New Delhi even if people die of starvation in Manipur."
Not just food and petroleum products, even life saving drugs and oxygen cylinders are becoming scarce.
"We are putting on hold several surgeries that could wait and only dealing with emergency operations," said a senior surgeon at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal requesting not to be named.
Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram made a two-day visit to Manipur last week - but his mission failed, with his assurance failing to cut much ice among the Naga groups.
"It's the faulty policies of the government that lead to such agitations at frequent intervals. Obviously if you agree to one group secretly without consulting a rival group, there is bound to be trouble," said A.R. Singh, a student leader.
Manipur has a long history of economic blockades - mostly between the Nagas and the Kukis, and Nagas and the majority Meiteis.
Given the deep tribal, geographical and historical divisions in Manipur, however, few expect it to end.
"We are like a football, tossed from one end to another, with groups with no humanitarian concerns enforcing strikes and the government literally impotent," said Sharat C. Singh, a community elder.
Mamata: From a milk vendor to Bengal CMKolkata: There was a time when poverty forced her to become a milk vendor. That was the only way she could help her widowed mother bring up her younger siblings. Those difficult years steeled Mamata Banerjee, whose decades old one-point agenda -- of ousting the Communists from West Bengal -- finally became a reality Friday.
For too long, too many people viewed the perennially shrill Mamata as a maverick and lacking in political acumen, one who could never get the winning combination right despite picking new partners and dumping old ones.
But the gritty 56-year-old lumbered on, never taking her eyes off the mission to crush the larger-than-life Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) -- one of the most successful Communist parties in the world -- even as some of her colleagues gave up exhausted.
From being her party's solitary member in the previous Lok Sabha and winning only 30 of the 294 seats in 2006, it has been a fascinating but roller coaster ride for a woman who founded the Trinamool only 13 years ago after quitting the Congress.
The daughter of a freedom fighter father who died when she was young, Banerjee could hardly enjoy her salad days as she had to fend for her family. For a while, she worked in a milk booth as a vendor-attendant.
Her baptism in politics came in the 1970s as a stormy petrel of the Congress students wing Chhatra Parishad, which played a key role in wiping out the Maoists from Kolkata then.
With a postgraduate degree in arts besides degrees in law and education, Banerjee was mentored early on in politics by Subrata Mukherjee - now ironically one of her followers in the Trinamool.
Banerjee, however, remained largely unknown outside of West Bengal until 1984 when she worsted CPI-M stalwart Somnath Chatterjee in Jadavpur -- in her maiden Lok Sabha contest.
There has been no looking back since.
In 1991, she joined prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao's ministry but was unhappy because the government was indifferent to her proposal to develop sports. She lost the portfolio in 1993.
Once Banerjee realised -- and said so -- that the Congress did not really wanting to take on the Communists in West Bengal, she quit the party and formed the Trinamool Congress.
Some felt she had committed political harakiri.
She courted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from 1998 to 2001, supped with the Congress in the 2001 assembly polls, and again dated the BJP-led alliance in 2001-06 as she looked for ways to defeat the Left.
In between, she was the country's railway minister twice (1991 to 2001 and for a few months in 2004).
Despite becoming a cabinet minister, Banerjee continued to live in her single-storey house in a dingy lane close to the famed Kalighat temple in Kolkata.
Her attire was always the same: cotton saris, a 'jhola' bag and cheap rubber chappals. It was a picture that endeared the seven time MP to her sympathisers.
Outside of politics, Banerjee dabbles in painting, she is a also writer with several books to her credit. She is a good cook whose chicken and aar maachh curry have won wide praise.
Secular to the core although deeply religious, Banerjee - a Brahmin -organises an annual Kali worship at her residence and herself distributes prasad to all and sundry.
And one who plays the synthesizer deep into the night, Banerjee, who chose not to get married, is known to hit the bed only at the crack of dawn.
Her lowest moment came in 2004 when her party was crushed in the Lok Sabha election in West Bengal -- and the victorious Left decided to back the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
But only five years later, the Left and Congress divorced.
As protests erupted in West Bengal over the Left's decision to seize farmland to build factories, Banerjee plunged into the movement, virtually paralysing the state government.
Quickly, she won the support of a wide section: the civil society, the disgruntled leftists and even the Maoists.
Both in 2009 and now, Banerjee used her catchy slogan "Ma, Mati o Manush" (Mother, Earth and People) and played on the anti-incumbency factor to overcome three decades of Left rule.
From 2006 to 2011, as West Bengal was enveloped by unrest, Banerjee crippled the once mighty Communists bit by bit by usurping their slogans and issues -- and their rural vote bank aggressively.
The coming days could be tough. Banerjee has inherited an exchequer high on debt.
"Moreover the sort of promises she has made like converting Kolkata into London, the sea resort of Digha into Goa and north Bengal into Switzerland may subject her to bitter criticism if she fails to deliver," Congress leader Arunava Ghosh said.
Trinamool leader Partha Chatterjee disagreed: "Mamata Banerjee is totally clean and honest. She has dedicated her life to the people."
The Durbar Hall Pundits
In the IAS, Brahmins still rule. From the senior-most bureaucrat in the central government to the officials who advise the prime minister, bureaucrats from the community are continuing with a tradition many say they were born into.
Brahmin Population ChartAccording to one, the dominance of Brahmins can be traced back to the British who recruited literate Indians in lower positions of administration. "As Brahmins were educated, they were quick to take the opportunity offered. Back then it was easy for them to compete in the ICS," he says.
A quick head-count reveals that right from the present cabinet secretary to other key positions like secretary, RAW, defence research and development, agriculture and cooperation, economic affairs, revenue and legal affairs, Brahmins hold key jobs. As many as 37 top officials in the list of secretaries and officers of equivalent rank in the present administrative set-up are Brahmins.
Going by figures quoted by the Backward Classes Commission, Brahmins account for 37.17 per cent of the bureaucracy.
Other forward castes too constitute a substantial chunk.
In the department of science and technology and other research wings funded by the government too, Brahmins are very visible in the upper echelons.
Many believed that back in 1990 V.P. Singh opened the gates for OBCs to aspire for a slot in the most coveted jobs in the government. But according to serving bureaucrats, it will take another five years for those who got into the civil services through the reservation quota to become joint secretary-level officers.
But the winds of change are blowing. This year 144 candidates who cleared the civil services examinations are from other backward classes. Even the candidate who topped was an OBC. As a senior official remarked, perhaps 2010 may throw up an altogether different bureaucracy—one that is more inclusive and representative. Till then, it's Brahmins who will dominate.
Total Population: 5.6 crore
Poor Brahmins: 13%
Literacy levels above the age of 18: 84%
Brahmin chief justices between 1950 to 2000: 47%
Associate justices between 1950-2000: 40%
Down in the Cow-belt
Falling percentage of Brahmin MPs elected in the Hindi belt
2007: The present Lok Sabha has only 50 Brahmin MPs nationwide. That's 9.17 per cent of the total strength of the House.
Anuradha Raman,The Outlook Magazine , 4 May 2007
Identify your Brahmin Lord from their Last Names:
These are the most typical last names used by Brahmins in India.
Andhra Pradesh Sarma, Sastri, Somayajulu
Bengal Banerjee, Bhattacharya, Chatterjee, Ganguli, Mukherjee
Bihar Jha, Mishra
Gujarat Bhatnagar, Pandya, Trivedi, Tiwari
Jammu and Kashmir Kar, Pandit, Sharma
Karnataka Adiga, Aithal, Bhat, Deshpande, Hebbar, Iyer, Iyengar, Karanth
Somayaji, Sharma, Shastri, Bendre
Kerala Namboothiri, Iyer
Maharashtra Athavale, Bhat, Bhave, Datar, Datey, Deshpande, Dixit,
Gokhale, Joshi, Pandit, Patwardhan
Orissa Kanungo, Kar, Mishra, Satpati
Rajasthan Sharma, Vyas
Tamilnad Iyer, Iyengar
Uttar Pradesh Chaturvedi, Dwivedi, Joshi, Mishra, Sharma, Tripathi, Vajapayee
| The resilient Brahmin |
Hardly weakened by Mandalisation, Brahmins continue to dominate the socio-political spectrum
By Debashish Mukerji
It was called a watershed in post-independent India's history. Prime Minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh's decision in 1990 to implement the Mandal Commission recommendations was hailed and reviled with equal fervour. While the upper castes, especially Brahmins, saw it as the death knell of their aspirations, the backward castes and Dalits believed it was the gateway to a brave new world, free of Brahminical hegemony. Upper caste students demonstrated noisily, immolated themselves in protest, but in vain. Four years later, after an injunction against it was removed following a historic Supreme Court verdict, the Mandal recommendations entered the statute books.
But 12 years after the announcement-and eight since the judgment-both Brahmin fears and backward caste hopes appear to have been belied. Be it in national or north Indian politics, the bureaucracy or elsewhere, Brahmins are far from marginalised. Nine of the 12 years have seen Brahmin Prime Ministers at the helm (P.V. Narasimha Rao and Atal Bihari Vajpayee); for five years there was also a Brahmin President (Shankar Dayal Sharma). The current Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi is a Brahmin, as are three chief ministers (of Uttaranchal, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal).
The Brahmin roll call among top civil servants is even more impressive: National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra, Cabinet Secretary Kamal Pande, Home Secretary N. Gopalaswamy, Finance Secretary S. Narayanan and Central Vigilance Commissioner P. Shanker are the leading lights among two dozen Brahmin secretaries at the Centre. The chiefs of the Army and the Air Force, Gen. S. Padmanabhan and Air Chief Marshal S. Krishnaswamy, are Brahmins. Brahmins proliferating in top corporate positions, or straddling the heights of the culture and entertainment worlds are too many to name. Why, four permanent fixtures in the Indian cricket team-Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble-are Brahmins!
The Brahmin domination of Hindu society goes back a long, long way. The Purusasukta legend-claiming the Brahmin emerged from the head of Purusa, the primeval being, while the Kshatriya came out of Purusa's shoulders, the Vaishya from his thighs and the Shudra from his feet-first mentioned in the Rig Veda, aptly symbolises the unquestioned sway the Brahmin has held for millennia. But in the twentieth century there occurred a curious, sweeping, worldwide reversal of long-cherished values: suddenly elitism-like empire and patriarchy-became a dirty word.
Egalitarianism was the new ideal, and Brahmins, like traditional elites everywhere, found themselves under attack for having suppressed and oppressed the toiling masses. In the first half of the century the scheduled castes asserted themselves under Babasaheb Ambedkar; in south India, particularly Tamil Nadu, the backward castes rallied behind 'Periyar' E.V. Ramaswami Naicker. Half a century later, with the Mandal announcement, the backward upsurge reached north India.
Simultaneously, Kanshi Ram's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), slowly and painstakingly accreting support for years, suddenly grew wings in Uttar Pradesh, giving the scheduled castes-now renamed Dalits-a voice they had never before had. And as the anti-Mandal agitation failed, as the anti-upper caste, anti-Brahmin rhetoric of the BSP-and to a lesser degree, of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)-grew shriller, it was believed by many that the Brahmin had had his day. "The upper castes did feel besieged," said Yogendra Yadav, political scientist and psephologist.
In south India, undoubtedly, lasting changes did occur, rendering Brahmins irrelevant in politics. In the bureaucracy, too, Brahmins have been reduced to a minority, but even that minority-as the list of top bureaucrats reveals-is not doing all that badly. Besides, south Indian Brahmins continue to thrive in the private sector, in the arts and related areas, in new fields of technology: the Indian contribution to software development, feted worldwide, is primarily the achievement of south Indian Brahmins.
In the north, Brahmins have held their own even more successfully. In the Hindi belt they still matter in politics, they still dominate the bureaucracy, they still possess sizeable land and economic resources. Indeed, it is their opponents' fire which has dimmed; the anti-Brahmin sloganeering of the nineties is no longer heard. Even Kanshi Ram and Mayawati now explicitly seek votes not just from the 'bahujan samaj' but from all sections of society, including the upper castes. Said sociologist Dhirubhai Sheth of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies: "Brahmins have shown an unexpected degree of resilience."
How did the Brahmin become so powerful in the first place? Recent research on caste questions if they were, in fact, all that important. The central thesis of Dipankar Gupta's Interrogating Caste, for instance, is that there was no single caste hierarchy, which was universally acknowledged and accepted by everyone in the caste system. "Every caste has always considered itself superior to every other caste," said Gupta, who teaches sociology at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. "But the poorer castes, lacking wealth and power, never dared to openly say so!"
Gupta maintained that only those Brahmins who had plenty of wealth and land were dominant. "The Brahmins who were simply pujaris were not particularly revered," he said. The notion of unchallenged Brahmin superiority in ancient and medieval times, suggested Gupta, was a construct of the British. "When they took over the country they wanted to understand and codify the Indian caste system. They turned to the Brahmins, among the few literate groups then, for information. The Brahmins naturally gave them only their own point of view!"
The more conventional position, however, insists that all Brahmins-not only the rich, powerful ones-were accorded immense respect in bygone times. And that was because, trained in ritual, they were believed to possess occult powers. F.E. Pargiter writes in Ancient Indian Historical Tradition: "The original Brahmins were not so much priests as adept in matters supernatural, masters of magico-religious forces, wizards, medicine men." As much as he feared the Kshatriya's sword, the common man must have been terrified of the Brahmin's capacity to cast spells.
Whatever their position in the distant past, there is no doubt that Brahmins reached the zenith of their prestige under British rule. "The British needed a class of scribes to man their lower bureaucratic positions," said Gupta. "In those days the only literate castes were the Brahmins and Kayasthas, and these were the ones the British recruited. These salaried positions gave the Brahmins extraordinary power over Indian society."
Naturally, other castes, equally wealthy but not so well-read, resented this dominance. Even so, Brahmins may not have attracted so much opprobrium had they not carried their phobia of 'pollution' to extreme lengths. As notions of democracy and human equality spread, the inexcusable practice of untouchability towards the Dalits, the unwillingness to dine with other castes considered lowly, evoked an enormous backlash. Ambedkar led the battle for the Dalits; Periyar raised the banner of backward caste revolt in Tamil Nadu. "The castes which backed Periyar were hardly the wretched of the earth," said Gupta. "They were rich, powerful castes, unwilling to stomach Brahmin superiority."
The coming of Independence, and universal suffrage with it, irreversibly weakened the Brahmin's position. Suddenly this caste had to confront the fact that, for all its influence, its numbers were few: even in Uttar Pradesh, where Brahmins are most numerous, they constitute just 9 per cent. In Tamil Nadu they form less than 3 per cent. When the DMK, an offshoot of Periyar's Dravida Kazagham (DK), won power in 1967, the writing for Brahmins was on the wall. "Once the DMK took charge it embarked on a severe and systematic programme of reverse discrimination," said Sheth. "Reservation quotas were raised to such high levels that Brahmins were squeezed out of government-owned educational institutions and jobs."
Why did retribution take so much longer to reach north India? "In the south, caste battles were polarised between Brahmins and non-Brahmins," said Sheth. "In north India, not only were Brahmins more numerous, but there were also other upper castes with whom they could ally." Besides, added Gupta, the jajmani system of village economy lasted longer in the north than in the south. "As long as it existed, the power and influence of the landed Brahmin remained. But now that has collapsed in the north as well."
"The main reason Brahmins, especially in north India were able to preserve their position despite the coming of democracy," said Satish Deshpande of the Institute for Economic Growth, "was the peculiar naivetŽ and optimism of the Nehruvian era. At the time it was thought that as the country progressed, caste would just wither away. But in fact this approach only led to the perpetuation of inequality. A caste-blind polity also remained blind to the persistence of caste dominance!"
But not for ever. Thanks to reservations and reforms, there has been the rise of a substantial middle class among the scheduled castes and tribes; the Green Revolution of the sixties empowered sections of the backward castes; and finally, V.P. Singh's fateful decision led to the backward and Dalit assertion of the early 90s. As the frenzy of the anti-Mandal agitation showed, pure panic set in among the upper castes, especially Brahmins.
Yet the deluge never came. The Brahmins of north India have not been washed away. How did they stave off the backward class-Dalit threat? Politically, their sizeable numbers proved crucial. At 9 per cent, Brahmins are the largest caste in Uttar Pradesh after Jatavs (12 per cent). As castes like the Jats and the Yadavs have repeatedly proved, determined minorities can, in the electoral arena, aided by wealth, weapons and proper organisation, overcome the handicap of moderate numbers. Brahmins, too, have not shied away from using strong-arm methods to enforce their electoral will in the past, but defensive after the Mandal upheaval, they have lately restricted themselves, like the Muslims, to careful tactical voting.
"Across much of north India, Brahmins have joined forces with castes like Rajputs and Banias to form broadbased upper caste coalitions," said Sheth. "This is a recent development. In the past, before the backward classes became politically conscious, these upper castes, especially Brahmins and Thakurs, were the main rivals for state power." Such a coalition so augments their numbers that no political party can ignore them. But the upper castes have done more. "They have been very clever at exploiting the political and regional fragmentation of the backward castes to their advantage," observed Yogendra Yadav.
"Dalit intellectuals, mostly city-based, continue to rail against Brahmanvad," said Dalit intellectual Chandrabhan Prasad. "That is because they are in government service, or their Dalit friends are, and often suffer minor humiliations at the hands of upper caste officers, especially Brahmins. But the bulk of Dalits in the villages has realised that the main enemies of Dalits are not Brahmins. Their real oppressors are the intermediate and elite backward castes, who are the powerful landowners today." Agreed Sheth: "That is why an upper caste-Dalit coalition, though unstable, is at least possible, as we have seen in UP. It is proving more tenable than a backward-Dalit coalition."
Beyond politics, in the professional world, the Brahmin's main survival weapon has been their legacy of education. "Earlier Brahmins had status power," said Sheth. "Now that has gone. But the benefits they obtained on account of that status in the past-the education they received down several generations, in some cases vast amounts of land and money they came to possess-remain with them still."
From memorising mantras to memorising equations and formulae is, after all, not that large a leap. "Ingesting large amounts of data, doing well in exams, articulating a point of view cogently: these are all skills," said Deshpande. "Brahmins, through centuries of practice, possess these skills. The recently empowered castes are finding that such skills are not easy to acquire." A recent study on social mobility in the Economic and Political Review showed that "men from salaried backgrounds had far superior chances of reaching salaried destinations themselves than did men from any other background".
A good number of second generation employees do indeed owe their success to their hereditary academic ability; but not all. Like all other castes in India, Brahmins too network tirelessly to protect and promote their own. Brahmin bureaucrats denied it, insisting that the relationship between fellow Brahmins was usually one of rivalry rather than cooperation. But R.S. Khare's study of Kanakubja Brahmins of UP, The Changing Brahmins-which could well apply to all Brahmins-showed this is just not true. Khare cites a marvellous example of how a poor Kanakubja schoolteacher goes through five other Kanakubjas to finally approach the commissioner of his division, also a Kanakubja, and obtain a small-time job for his son.
What of the future? Brahmins may have held out so far, but they were far from optimistic. "It is still early years for the Mandal entrants," said a top BJP politician. "Ten years from now the upper castes will be finished in the north Indian bureaucracy as well." As soon as their confidence is won, upper caste bureaucrats embark on stories about the inefficiency and venality of backward caste and Dalit officers. "In coming years efficiency will plummet, the country will suffer terribly. I'm trying to send my children abroad," said a Brahmin joint secretary.
"Anti-reservation feeling is much stronger now among the upper castes than in the past," said Yogendra Yadav. "Some of the horror stories of poor performance may be true," admitted Dipankar Gupta. "But the other castes are also learning fast. The second generation of educated backwards and Dalits will be much more capable than the first."
Of course, there is always the private sector. As long as reservations remain confined to state-owned services, Brahmins can rejoice: for the private sector is expanding, while the state sector is shrinking. It may be mere coincidence, but the move away from increasing state control began in 1991, one year after the Mandal agitation. As second generation and third generation economic reforms follow, as more and more areas are privatised and more and more PSUs disinvested, Brahmin hegemony is likely to get a fresh lease of life. By the time the backwards and Dalits get to rule the state empire, they may find, like the later Mughal emperors, that there is little of the empire left to rule.
The last census in which caste figures as a category was conducted in 1931. It is, of course, hopelessly outdated. The map of the subcontinent has been drastically redrawn since then: one country has split into three; the princely states have disappeared; within each of the three countries boundaries of states have been repeatedly redrawn. Yet the figures relating to caste in this census still remain the only reliable figures available. In 1931, there were 1.5 crore Brahmins-4.32% of the total population.
KAY BENEDICT NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 7, 2011 | UPDATED 12:36 IST
Sonia-led National Advisory Council backs PM stand on petrol price hike
Sharad Pawar has backed the government on the petrol price hike.
- Trinamool MPs to meet PM on petrol price hike
- Pawar backs PM, defends Cong for fuel price hike
- Govt unlikely to roll back petrol price hike
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh received a shot in the arm on Sunday with a member of the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC) backing his firm stand on the hike in petrol prices.
The Prime Minister, who had braved a pullout threat by volatile Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee as well as criticism from political opponents, had resolutely defended the decision to decontrol petrol prices during a press meet at Cannes. He is learnt to have discussed the oil price hike with Congress chief Sonia, soon after his arrival here on Saturday.
N.C. Saxena - an NAC member - defended the hike on Sunday, saying the price rise will not have a major impact on inflation. It indicated a tacit support of Sonia to the PM's stand on the hike. The oil marketing companies had raised the petrol prices by Rs 1.80 per litre on November 3.
"Our transport system depends entirely on diesel. Less than 10 per cent people use petrol, while 90 per cent use diesel. In the wholesale price index, the weightage of petrol is only one per cent. Petrol is not used for economic activity but for consumption by a handful of influential people," Saxena said.
"I am in support of the price hike. There is no case for providing subsidy on petrol but the subvention on diesel should continue," Saxena said. The Congress is, no doubt, concerned over the fourth hike in petrol prices this year. It also gains significance in view of the fact that such a decision has come at a time when it could cause electoral fallout in the five poll-bound states. Also, the government managers will have to face a belligerent Opposition in the upcoming winter session of Parliament.
But it was not only Saxena who was seen backing what could be termed as a highly "unpopular" decision on Sunday. The Sharad Pawar-led NCP came out in support of the hike in petrol prices. Pawar, the Union agriculture minister, on Sunday said there was no point in blaming the government for increase in the domestic prices (of fuel) as they are related to fluctuations in the international markets.
The NCP, had earlier, opposed the decision though not with a pullout threat. Pawar went on to praise the PM as an "economist of international repute" when asked about his comments on deregulation of petrol prices.
The Trinamool had kicked up a political storm on Friday by threatening to wi thdraw support to the UPA if the hike was not rolled back. But Banerjee later clarified that she had no intention to rock the UPA boat, citing the huge financial cost of a mid-term poll as well as the advantage it would give to communal forces (read the BJP).
A Trinamool delegation is expected to call on the PM on Wednesday before he flies to the Maldives for a three-day visit. Sources said Singh will try to convince the UPA ally about the compulsions behind the hike in petrol prices.
A section of Congress leaders view Banerjee's shrill threat as playing to the gallery so that the CPM is not able to milk the issue.
Congress sources on Sunday said the party will only be too happy if the prices are rolled back, but would like to leave the issue to the government. "Those in the government are in a better position to understand the importance of sustaining strong economic fundamentals," they said.
Interestingly, Banerjee was a cabinet minister in the UPA government when a GoM took the decision to decontrol petrol prices. Sources said the PM, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and petroleum minister Jaipal Reddy are on the same page in their opposition to a rollback.
But the fight is as much based on the Congress-Trinamool equation at the Centre as it is in West Bengal. Many in the Congress believe that the Trinamool is trying to undermine the Congress in Bengal. While on the other hand, sources pointed out, the Trinamool is unhappy over the denial of special concessions and packages by the Centre.
"Banerjee is emboldened by the fact that she does not rely on the Congress for the survival of her coalition government in West Bengal but the Congress needs it at the Centre. However, she must not forget that there are no absolutes in politics. The Left would be only too happy to back us if Banerjee backtracks. Besides, if she aligns with the BJP, she will lose the huge Muslim votebank in Bengal," a senior Congress leader said.
Sources confirmed that the tough posturing by Banerjee was as much to neutralise the shrill CPM campaign against price rise as to bargain with the UPA for a bigger financial package for the state.
Government sources said the West Bengal CM has asked for a package worth thousands of crores for implementing various social and infrastructure projects.
Last week, Banerjee handed over a long wishlist, including a mammoth financial package, to the government. Complaining that West Bengal is suffering from a debt of nearly Rs 2 lakh crore, she demanded that her state be treated differently from other states.
Banerjee had also asked for additonal monetary support in the sectors of education, irrigation and infrastructure.
WHAT MAMATA WANTS FROM THE CENTRE
- A debt restructuring plan for West Bengal in the 12th Five Year Plan. The state has a debt of 1.92 lakh crore. It has to pay 27,900 crores this year as interest, repayment and dearness allowance to employees.
- West Bengal should be treated differently from other states as its economy, Banerjee alleges, has been ruined under the 34-yearlong Left's rule.
- The Centre should facilitate the process of setting up five major new universities in Cooch Behar, Purulia and Uttar Dinajpur.
- Higher level of allocation to hydro power projects and setting up of a hydro power station of 1,000 MW capacity in Bhutan to meet West Bengal's rising need for power.
- The Centre should establish a Central Agricultural University at Paschim Medinipur and launch a separate Seed Mission for the state.
- Central assistance for the Teesta Barrage project and Subarnarekha project to meet irrigation needs of the state. Centre should focus on new Green Revolution in West Bengal.
- Central sponsorship in projects like Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) to be augmented from 35% to 90% so as to assist the state in accelerating urbanisation.
- The Centre should support the state in development of arterial roads, Rapid Transport corridors such as BRTS and Metro.
Politics of West BengalFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Politics in West Bengal is dominated by the following major political parties, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Indian National Congress (also known as Congress(I)) and the Trinamool Congress. All three are leading a regional bloc of parties, the CPI(M) heads the Left Front and the Trinamool Congress has emerged as the main component of the National Democratic Alliance in the state. The Congress(I) generally head informal alliances of various minor parties that align ahead of elections.
In 1977 the Left Front won the state assembly elections, and since then the state is ruled by communists and other left groups. The West Bengal state government hold the Indian record of period of governance. The last election won by the Left Front was the 2006 state assembly election.
Until 2001, Jyoti Basu was the Chief Minister of the state. After his resignation, due to health reasons, Buddhadev Bhattacharya became theChief Minister of West Bengal.
In the run up to the 2011 elections, the state has witnessed several violent clashes between the workers of the opposition parties and the ruling party cadres. 
In 2011 Assembly Election, Trinamool Congress- Indian National Congress alliance won by a huge margin with Mamata Banerjee becoming the first woman chief minister of West Bengal after a 34 year Communist rule.
Major political parties of West Bengal
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Politics of West Bengal
Notes and references
- ^ http://www.indianexpress.com/news/maoist-didi-party-lists-of-armed-cpm-camps-are-almost-identical/680582/0
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"During the talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, I hope they will understand some points and the PM can also make changes in the present system," he said referring to the proposed meeting.
A delegation of Trinamool Congress MPs led by senior leader Partho Chatterjee will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here tomorrow without party chief Mamata Banerjee in the wake of the UPA ally's pull-out threat over the latest fuel price hike.
In reply to a question, Khurshid said there was a "fear" that dual pricing of fuel could create problems in the present system which is based on government providing fuel at subsidy to all sections of the society.
TMC, with 18 members in the Lok Sabha, is the largest ally of the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre and is peeved that allies were not consulted over the latest price hike. It has six MPs in the Rajya Sabha.
The delegation, which will convey the party's views to the Prime Minister, will be led by senior leader Partho Chatterjee.
Trinamool leader and Union minister Sudip Bandyopadhyay said the delegation will not demand a rollback of the petrol hike but will "express grievances to the PM."
He said the common man was being affected and that is not a good thing.
"No, we are not asking for a rollback. We are trying to represent the grievances of the common man. Prices of diesel and gas are going to increase, is what we are hearing," he said when asked whether the delegation will demand a rollback.
Upping the ante on the eve of the meeting, Banerjee said her party would not 'compromise' on the price rise issue.
"We will not compromise on the price rise issue which is hitting the common man most. Our battle will go on...," Banerjee told PTI in Kolkata without elaborating.
Khurshid maintained that the government was "sensitive" towards the common man and the demands of the allies.
"During the talks with the Prime Minister, I hope they will understand some points and the PM can also make changes in the present system," he said in New Delhi.
West Bengal Industries minister Partha Chatterjee said the Chief Minister would be present at the meeting convened at Raj Bhavan tomorrow.
Sudip Bandyopadhyay told PTI today before leaving for Delhi, "After a talk with the Prime Minister, we will return here on November nine and report to party chief Mamata Banerjee who will take the final call."
The TMC parliamentary party has already authorised Banerjee to take the decision in the matter after they decided on November 4 to pull out of the government if there was no rollback.
Reeling under the impact of the 2G spectrum scam, the DMK needs the UPA umbrella to keep its flock s
- DMK chief Karunanidhi meets Sonia Gandhi
- DMK-Cong ties to continue: Karuna
- Karuna meets Kanimozhi in Tihar jail
When it comes to strength in the Lok Sabha, the DMK is on par with the Trinamool Congress. But the Karunanidhi-led southern party is not even a patch on the aggressive posturing byTrinamool chief Mamata Banerjee.
The DMK has no love lost for the Congress but a beaten and bruised DMK is in no mood to rock the UPA boat. Not just it was annihilated by Jayalalithaa in the state elections, the Congress offered it no help in the 2G scam. To add insult to injury, Karunanidhi's daughterKanimozhiis languishing in jail and despite repeated efforts has not been able to secure bail.
Given the political realities back home, the predicament of the party is that it could neither be assertive nor have the luxury of even protesting against the oil price hike like the impulsive Trinamool.
Though there is every reason for the DMK to snap its ties with the Congress and pull the rug from under its feet, the party is treading very cautiously. For, once it walks out of the UPA, it loses even the semblance of a protective cover thereby exposing itself to a vindictive Jayalalithaa. Already, the party's frontline leaders are behind the bars in connection with land scams. As such, the DMK leadership will not take a decision in haste which will alter the present power equations.
DMK leaders rejected the contention that the party will not pull out support to the UPA till at least Kanimozhi gets bail. "The question does not arise at all. We are a responsible political party and our actions are guided by national interest. We should not create political instability. Thus far we have provided stability at the Centre and we will continue to do so," DMK spokesperson TKS Elangovan said.
Other senior leaders like TR Baalu echoed Elangovan over the issue. Baalu, however, maintained that the party was opposed to the petrol price hike and will raise the issue in Parliament.
But, the fact remains that the DMK has never dared to take on the Centre when in power in Tamil Nadu. This was very much evident during the Sri Lankan Tamil issue as well as seat-sharing talks for the last assembly polls in the state.
The only time the old man from Gopalapuram showed some courage was when he dumped the Congress for the civic polls, in which the national party lost even a semblance of being a political force.
Read more at:http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/karunanidhi-upa-dmk-oil-price-hike/1/158970.html
7 NOV, 2011, 07.20AM IST, RAJEEV JAYASWAL,ET BUREAU
State-run oil cos planning to cut petrol price by 50p, first time since Jan 2009
NEW DELHI: State-run oil retailers are preparing to cutpetrol price for the first time since January 2009 to reach out to consumers with the message that retail rates do not always move upwards, and to make sure the government does not take away their pricing freedom. This reduction, expected to be around 30-50 paise, would the first in 33 months.
Starting December 2008, the then oil minister Murli Deora had reduced petrol price by Rs 5 a litre each in two successive months following a steep fall in crude oil prices. Despite fluctuating crude oil prices, oil companies have raised petrol price 13 times since June last year when the government decontrolled the fuel.
Two consecutive increases in less than two months have triggered strong protests even from the ruling party and its allies. Last year's decision to decontrol price came with a caveat that the government can intervene in public interest.
Authorities have again cautioned state oil companies they may lose pricing freedom if they do not pass the benefit to consumers when international crude oil prices fall even marginally, two government officials with direct knowledge of the matter said, requesting anonymity.
Recently, oil companies had an opportunity to cut petrol prices marginally, but they refrained from taking the move as in the past they had not raised prices to the required extent. Government officials feel this was not a good strategy. "Companies missed an opportunity when petrol prices could have been cut by 25-30 paise.
A similar opportunity is expected next fortnight and we are sure that companies would not miss it," one official, who did not wish to be identified, said.
Softening crude oil prices:
Senior executives of oil companies said they expect it would be possible to reduce the fuel price between 30 paise and 50 paise unless price trends change.
Crude oil prices softened by about $3 a barrel in the first few days of the current fortnight. Oil companies review petrol prices on the basis of prices and exchange rates prevailing in the proceeding fortnight.
The pump price is fixed for the whole fortnight. RS Butola, chairman of IOC, the country's biggest fuel retailer with about 50% market share by volume, said the company would reduce petrol prices depending on softening of crude oil prices and supporting exchange rate.
"This time, the rate hike was mainly due to depreciation of rupee against dollar. A one-rupee depreciation would mean a loss of 90-95 paise (per litre)," he said.
Although, petrol is deregulated since June last year, the government indirectly controls its price through the three state oil firms that control 95% of the country's retail market. In order to avoid any charges of cartelisation, IOC, HPCL and BPCL keep different prices at their pumps and the difference is negligible--one or two paise per litre.
SOUDHRITI BHABANI KOLKATA, NOVEMBER 7, 2011 | UPDATED 16:13 IST
Is Mamata Banerjee trying to mount pressure on Congress?
A miffed Mamata called the recent decision to hike petrol price unilateral and anti-people.
She broke ranks and formed the Trinamool Congress to oust the communists, who continuously ruled West Bengal for three decades. That very feat made her a colossus andMamata Banerjeehas been using it to good measure to browbeat her former party and current ally - the Congress.
Be it in the bargaining of seats before the 2011 assembly elections, where the Trinamool chief only gave 65 of the 294 constituencies to the Congress, or handing out the ministerial berths in the state cabinet.
The recent differences between the two parties over the hike in fuel prices where the Trinamool leadership - the second largest ally of the UPA - openly threatened to pull out if the prices were not rolled back, distinctly indicated that Mamata was trying to mount pressure on the Congress.
The Trinamool was well aware that the UPA government's survival depended on its support. It makes every effort to remind the hapless Congress this little fact.
State Congress general secretary Om Prakash Mishra said the Trinamool was trying to put up a political resistance to the party at almost all possible levels across West Bengal to turn it into a marginalised political force. Calling it "a sad state of affair", he said the Trinamool has been desperately attempting to lure away Congress defectors to its fold. This, he said, could jeopardise the dynamics of their relationship.
"The formation of Trinamool Yuva, a newly introduced youth arm of the party where Banerjee had introduced her nephew Abhishek, was nothing but an emulation of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) led by Rahul Gandhi," he said.
In Murshidabad and North Dinajpur districts, two traditional Congress citadels, the Trinamool Chatra Parishad (TMCP) were involved in frequent clashes with their Chatra Parishad (Congress) counterparts.
State PCC president Pradip Bhattacharya, however, called these disturbances "just temporary setbacks". One the contrary, some Congress renegades were rewarded for joining the Trinamool. Shyamapada Mukherjee, a Congress deserter in Bankura district, joined the Trinamool before the assembly elections. He was rewarded with a cabinet profile as housing minister.
Similarly, Sabitri Mitra - a former Malda district Congress president - is now the woman and child development minister in Mamata's cabinet. Giving Mitra a cabinet profile was a very calculative attempt to make strong inroads into the Congress votebank in north Bengal.
Mamata's recent disagreement on the Teesta water-sharing deal, before PM Manmohan Singh's visit to Bangladesh, also had a strong political undertone.
Read more at:http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/mamata-banerjee-trinamool-congress-upa/1/159030.html
India | Updated Nov 07, 2011 at 02:17pm IST
Partial rollback in fuel prices likely: sourcesCNN-IBN
5New Delhi: As the Trinamool Congress MPs are all set to meet the Prime Minister over the issue of fuel price hike, sources have now indicated that a partial roll back in petrol prices cannot be ruled out.
The UPA government has been facing criticism over the recent petrol price hike from its own allies. TMC Chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had threatened to pull out of the UPA.
Trinamool Congress MPs will submit a memorandum to Manmohan Singh on Tuesday asking for a rollback. Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee, along with TMC leader Amit Mitra will also meet Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee over the issue in Kolkata on Tuesday.
CNN-IBNEarlier, the government sources had also said that diesel and LPG prices prices may remain untouched in a bid to placate Mamata.
Earlier, at a National Development Council meeting, the West Bengal Chief Minister had complained that the Centre was not disbursing adequate funds to the cash-starved state.
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#Petrol prices #Fuel price hike #Mamata Banerjee #Pranab Mukherjee #UPA#Trinamool Congress
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WHAT'S YOUR REACTION? * 38 * 2 * Fuel price hike: TMC ups the ante, to meet PM
NCP backs govt on petrol price hike
* Delhi: Teenage domestic help tortured, 2 arrested * Kalam's 10-point solution for Kudankulam row
We'll raise petrol prices further if needed: IOC
Anupama Airy, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, November 06, 2011 Email to Author
First Published: 20:24 IST(6/11/2011)
Last Updated: 20:28 IST(6/11/2011)
Painting a grim picture of its profitability, leading public sector oil refiner and retailer Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has said that it may have to raise petrol prices again, or cut down on supplies. "This is an unusual year where the average price of the Indian basket of crude oil has
related storiesalready averaged $110 a barrel so far, against last year's average of $85 a barrel," chairman and managing director, IOC, RS Butola told Hindustan Times.
"We will have to stall our capital expenditure plans completely if this is the reaction to the price hikes… you are telling us and the government to force us to go into losses… are you ready to face supply cuts," he asked.
Stating that the other two state-owned oil firms - HPCL and BPCL - have already incurred losses, the IOC chairman hinted at a similar trend for IOC, which is to announce its earnings figures for the second quarter next week.
"Let's be realistic. Who will bridge the oil industry's under-recoveries of Rs 1,32,000 crore that have already been incurred on sales of auto and cooking fuels?" he asked.
"Our board is meeting on November 9 to take stock of the company's performance… HPCL and BPCL have already announced losses and let me tell you the situation is not looking encouraging at all for IOC as well."
He said the finances of the oil companies are stretched. "The government is already spending huge amounts on socialistic schemes and we do not expect them to subsidise us for our losses like last year ," Butola said, adding that the only choice now is between maintaining supplies by paying the cost or facing cuts in fuel supplies.
Asked why the companies are aggressively expanding their retail presence amidst huge losses, Butola said despite the "unsual situation" that oil companies face this year, "We (oil industry) continues to spend Rs 7,000 to 8,000 crore on maintenance and repair as also to keep the brand alive."
West Bengal's new battle: Mamata Banerjee must get her prorities rightJay Mazoomdaar Nov 6, 2011, 12.34am IST
Change, said Heraclitus, is the only constant. But over 34 long years in West Bengal, the Left proved many wise men wrong. Mind you, Bengal did change under Left rule — but after the early euphoria of land reforms, mostly for the worse.
The May 2011 verdict was as much against lost opportunities of development, job, enterprise, capital, you-name-it, as it was against a systemic takeover of the administration and basic democratic rights by the party. So when Bengal finally voted Mamata Banerjee in, only one emotion overrode relief: hope for a turnaround.Six months on, sample this. "I am concentrating on industry. Regarding infant death, if you still have some queries, ask my health secretary. Please don't disturb me," chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who holds the health portfolio, told reporters on the death of 47 babies in a week in three hospitals in Kolkata, Burdwan and Murshidabad.
Two days later, a newborn in Murshidabad died on Wednesday when the doctor used carbolic acid instead of an antiseptic. The CM's response hasn't changed since a similar crisis in July: the Left is to blame for the pathetic medical infrastructure in the state.
But inertia is no excuse, given the expectations. Last month, my elderly aunt, having seen many a cynical autumn, dismissed my indifference towards the same festive crowds with an unusual prod: "Are you sure you want to miss this [Durga] pujo — the first after poribarton?" It struck me that I was in kindergarten when the Left Front came to power; that not much of my memory dates back beyond 1977.
Could this be the reason why I, belonging to the first of many so-called Left generations, found pujo and much of Bengal the same all these years?
Potholes, Pujo, 'Liberation'
The potholes, the traffic jams, the rickety, smoke-spewing buses were all in place. So were the noisy, tireless, pandal-hoppers. Just when I was wondering if Rabindrasangeet wafting from select traffic signals was the only change I would encounter in Kolkata, Mamatadi held out a few surprises.
The parks in Kolkata have been reclaimed for the bhadrolok. Families now enjoy evening walks without being intimidated by drug addicts or hoodlums. Pity, the municipal workers lock the premises soon after sundown; the move, I was assured, has nothing to do with moral policing. There are just too many homeless in the city.
Daily News & Analysis - Nov 6, 2011
"Left politics revolve around issues like price rise. So she wants to see that the Left does not gain from protests that could dent the Trinamool margin in Kolkata South," said Ray Chaudhury. Since taking power in West Bengal in May, Banerjee has ...
Firstpost - Nov 4, 2011
Mamata Banerjee, Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister, is not the easiest political ally to get along with. But despite having 18 MPs at her command and a track record of throwing tantrums, she has been unusually patient with the ...Times of India - Nov 5, 2011
... and BJP by describing their opposition to the decision as "political hypocrisy". A senior minister who is part of the Cabinet's group on fuels shrugged off the Bengal CM's pull-out threat, terming it a manifestation of her "compulsive populism". ...
India Today - 6 hours ago
State Congress general secretary Om Prakash Mishra said the Trinamool was trying to put up a political resistance to the party at almost all possible levels across West Bengal to turn it into a marginalised political force. Calling it "a sad state of ...Zee News - Nov 5, 2011
Kolkata: The writ of students, non-teaching employees and politicians will no longer run in the decision making process of West Bengal's state universities, unlike the scenario in the erstwhile Left Front regime, with the Mamata Banerjee government ...
Firstpost - Nov 4, 2011
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress party leader Mamata Banerjee today slammed the Centre for 11 fuel price hikes in an equal number of months and said that she did not mind pulling out of the Union Cabinet for the sake of the people. ...
Hindustan Times - Nov 4, 2011
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reached home on Saturday amid a politicalcrisis after Trinamool Congress boss Mamata Banerjee threatened to withdraw support following Thursday's petrol price hike. The Prime Minister attended the crucial two-day G-20 ...Economic Times - Nov 5, 2011
"It is perfectly legitimate for any political party which is a constituent of UPA to express concern on any issue and to discuss it with the Prime Minister. They have done exactly that," Mukherjee said. Trinamool is UPA's second largest ally. ...
India Today - 12 hours ago
Given the political realities back home, the predicament of the party is that it could neither be assertive nor have the luxury of even protesting against the oil price hike like the impulsive Trinamool. Though there is every reason for the DMK to snap ...
Hindustan Times - Nov 5, 2011
Banerjee was criticised earlier for regularly missing important cabinet meetings as railway minister, preferring to spend her time on the politics of West Bengal in the run-up to the assembly elections that she ultimately swept. ...
NDTV.com - 6 hours ago
While her MPs troop down to Delhi, sources say the West Bengal Chief Minister herself is expected to join a crucial meeting between Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Governor MK Narayanan on the state's fiscal situation tomorrow. ...
The Hindu - Nov 4, 2011
Doubtless, the Congress in West Bengal plays second fiddle to the Trinamool — a political liaison that has rarely been harmonious but has survived because of the Congress in New Delhi insisting that it has. One can already see some more disgruntled ...mydigitalfc.com - Nov 6, 2011
It is not surprising that UPA allies, including Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, who has been rightly called a "compulsive populist" by a Cabinet minister unnamed in media reports, have their political axe to grind in calling for a rollback. ...
Daily Star Online - Nov 5, 2011
Is Trinamool Congress' threat to pull out of India's Congress-led coalition government in protest against the latest round of petrol price hike for real or just a political grandstanding keeping her own constituency in Paschimbanga? ...
Firstpost - Nov 3, 2011
Political pressure to roll back the latest fuel price hike is mounting, including from within the ruling UPA coalition, with the Trinamool Congress holding out a veiled threat to pull out of the coalition if the measure was not rolled back. ...The Asian Age - Nov 4, 2011
He also agreed to the larger need for free flow of commodity movement across borders to tame global price rise, but said the concerns of domestic politics would prevail in enforcing such a decision. Speaking to Indian media at the conclusion of the ...
Times of India - Nov 5, 2011
Reminding Trinamool that it has the strength of 185 members in the 294 seat West Bengalassembly and has no political compulsion to support "misdeeds" of the Centre, like corruption and inflation, BJP feels "it is time for Mamata Banerjee to decide if ...
AFP - Nov 5, 2011
Banerjee, who is also chief minister of the Trinamool government in the state of West Bengal, made the statements after she held an emergency meeting with the parliamentary wing of the party. "If it goes on like this we don't want to stay in the ...
Calcutta Telegraph - Nov 4, 2011
Bengal is finding itself in a situation similar to Greece — a bankrupt government plunging into financial chaos by refusing to hike prices and making structural reforms. Her decision not to allow the state power companies to raise tariff has hurt the ...Economic Times - Nov 5, 2011
"As of now there isn't much political heat. The roll-back looks unlikely," said a source. Meanwhile, hitting out at the ruling UPA alliance partners such as Trinamool Congress, who have denounced the hike and threatened to withdraw support from the ...
Times of India - Nov 2, 2011
On August 21, while addressing a meeting with industrialists in Salt Lake, she had clearly said: "If needed for Bengal's development, I would certainly ask for money from people. But as of now, please stop paying those who seek money as our partymen. ...
Times of India - Nov 4, 2011
"Enough is enough," said an angry West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee as she reminded Congress that UPA government's survival depended on the support of Trinamool and other allies and her MPs had "unanimously decided to withdraw from the ruling ...
gulfnews.com - Nov 4, 2011
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who heads the Trinamool Congress, said her party felt insulted after they were not consulted before the decision to hike petrol prices was made. "We are accountable to people, can't tolerate this fuel price ...
The Hindu - Nov 6, 2011
Even though the Congress promptly fell in line, parties across the political spectrum understand only too well that the tolerance level of ordinary citizens has reached breaking point. From an accountant's point of view, the oil marketing companies and ...
Times of India - Nov 4, 2011
There are strong compulsions in alliance politics," she said. Distancing herself from the unpopular decision by saying that her representative in the Cabinet, railway minister Dinesh Trivedi, was overruled, she said, "Fuel prices were hiked 11 times in ...
Rediff (blog) - Nov 2, 2011
When children die in Bengal hospitals, Mamata can't think of anything but blame the Marxists! But look at Jayalalithaa. Her politics of putting down her political rivals, the DMK, also includes creating better hospital care in Tamil Nadu! ...
Deccan Herald - Nov 5, 2011
I do not find anything wrong in it," Mukherjee earlier told media persons on the sidelines of a programme at the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences here. However, the finance minister supported the hike by the oil companies saying if ...
Livemint - Nov 4, 2011
Sensing the popular anger against the price rise, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, leader of key alliance partner Trinamool Congress, demanded a rollback after a brief meeting with her top party leaders in Kolkata on Friday. ...
Emirates 24/7 - Nov 5, 2011
India's prime minister returned from abroad on Saturday to face a political revolt over a petrol price increase with a key coalition ally threatening to withdraw support unless the hike is reversed. The Trinamool Congress, the second-largest party in ...
Swami Agnivesh to enter Bigg BossNov 7, 2011
#Bigg Boss #Swami Agnivesh
"Whenever he finds a challenge, he accepts it and that is the reason why accepted this," Singh said in New Delhi today.
Agnivesh was in the eye of a storm soon after Hazare's hunger strike when a video surfaced in which he was seen talking to an unidentified person asking him to deal strongly
with the Gandhian. This led to his estrangement from Team Anna.
Swami will spread his message through the programme. ReutersHe will be the fifth male inmate to be part of the Bigg Boss house, which is dominated by female contestants like Pooja Bedi, Juhi Parmar, Shonali Nagrajan, Mehak Chahal among others. The swami will make an unlikely contestant on the show, which is popular for the cat-fights among the members of the house.
7 NOV, 2011, 03.55PM IST, ET NOW
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NEW DELHI: In a new development, the management of Maruti Suzuki India, workers are now levelling charges and raising questions on the way the strike has been brought to an end. ET Now spoke to workers who are of the opinion that the kickbacks paid to the the leaders Shiv Kumar and Sonu Gujjar were not limited to a few lakhs. Workers believe that both Kumar and Gujjar were given Rs 1 crore each and that the Haryana government has promised them flats and cars in Delhi.
They are also alleging that twenty-eight other workers who have resigned have been given Rs 20 lakh each. These allegations could not however, be independently confirmed and both Maruti as well as the leaders have denied it.
Institutional investors are saying that there are serious corporate governance issues in the way Maruti settled the whole problem. However, Maruti has clarified that they were not wrong in giving this money to the workers and also corporate governance practices were properly followed.
Last week, ET had reported sources saying that 30 suspended workers at Maruti's Manesar plant, including their two leaders Sonu Gujjar and Shiv Kumar, had quit the company, taking home amounts ranging between Rs 16 lakh and Rs 40 lakh.
A spokesman for Maruti confirmed to ET that all 30 suspended workers had resigned and had "taken their full and final settlement from the company".
Rishi Pal, one of the suspended workers, said he resigned and received a cheque for Rs 16 lakh. Pal said he and others were left with little option but to resign, especially after it emerged that Gujjar and Kumar had left the company.
Pal said the workers had been indicted in an internal inquiry conducted by the company and had decided to leave with payouts. "The company has offered us the negotiated amount which is our severance package in lieu of resignation from services," Pal said.Check out Brand Equity's Most Trusted Brands List 2011
India has one of world's weakest pension systems
Greece, India, China and Thailand are home to the weakest national pension systems in the world, crippled by a mix of acute sovereign debt, young retirement ages, high ratios of pensioners to workers and poor pension take-up, a study showed.
The Allianz Global Investors Pension Sustainability Index, which tracks the relative sustainability of national pension systems in 44 countries around the world, showed the number of Greek retirees to people of working age remains above the European average.
The country has committed to addressing this ratio as part of a series of pension system reforms demanded by the International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank, who are overseeing the distribution of financial aid to Greece.
In India, China and Thailand, roughly 12 percent of the population contribute to a pension, while the weaknesses of Thailand's pension system are compounded by an average retirement age of 55 years, compared with 65 years in most western European countries.
The ratio of retirees aged 65 and older to population aged 15-64 years is expected to top 40 percent in China and Thailand by 2050, above the rate forecast for Cyprus, Britain, Luxembourg, Norway, Ireland and Denmark.
Comprehensive pension systems remain the exception rather than the rule across Asia, Allianz GI said. But a rapid rise in sovereign debt across more developed economies has pushed the need for pension fund reform up the national agenda in Ireland, France and Spain this year, the index shows.
Further afield, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania have channelled contributions to privately funded second schemes to the 'pay as you go' public system in order to strengthen fiscal positions. Conversely, Norway and Finland benefited from their comparatively solid public finances.
"The negative impact of the financial crisis on accumulated funds and national economies has tested the resolve of many governments," said Renate Finke, senior economist at AllianzGI.
"In central and eastern Europe, for instance, some countries decided to put their hand into the proverbial pension-fund cookie jar in response to the dramatic rise in debt to GDP ratios," the economist said.
The world's strongest pension systems can be identified in Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Australia, the study showed. All countries benefit from highly developed, privately funded systems which lessen the potential burden on public finances.
Trinamul builds grievance dossier for PM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT * * Mamata Banerjee and Sudip Bandopadhyay
Calcutta, Nov. 6: The Trinamul Congress today said the rift in the UPA would widen if the ally was "kept in the dark about key decisions" and its grievances were not addressed.
"A delegation of Trinamul Congress MPs from both Houses of Parliament will convey their grievances to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when they call on him in the evening of November 8," Trinamul chief whip Sudip Bandopadhyay said this evening.
Bandopadhyay said the MPs would ask the Prime Minister why Trinamul, despite being the second largest party in the coalition, was not being consulted before taking key decisions such as increasing the price of petrol.
"As the head of the government, the Prime Minister should address our grievances. Otherwise, the rift with the Congress would continue to be widened," he added.
The Centre has been saying that since petrol price is decontrolled, it has no say in the pricing decisions of state-owned oil firms. Although Trinamul has cited the petrol price hike as the flashpoint, complaints that its views were not being considered have been piling up.
Bandopadhyay's warning came two days after chief minister Mamata Banerjee issued a threat to pull out of the UPA government over the petrol price increase.
Asked about many Trinamul MPs and some ministers staying put in Calcutta most of the time, Bandopadhyay said: "If we are informed about important meetings in Delhi, we make it a point to attend them."
Mamata has already asked all her 26 party MPs to reach Delhi by November 8 morning.
"We are getting a feedback from the PMO that the Prime Minister might give us an appointment on Tuesday evening for apprising him of the party's concerns over the current hike in petrol price and myriad other contentious issues," Bandopadhyay said.
The Prime Minister will be leaving for Maldives the next day to attend the two-day Saarc summit from November 10.
A Mamata aide said the MPs would submit to the Prime Minister a note listing their grievances. "Mamata is fine-tuning the note in consultation with the MPs," he added.
Bandopadhyay, also junior central minister for health, said the MPs' decision to pull out of the UPA government would stand if the Prime Minister did not address "our concerns over attempts to sideline us in the UPA".
"All our MPs had already taken a unanimous decision at a meeting in Calcutta on coming out of the UPA government if we continue to be sidelined by our principal alliance partner. So, we are attaching much importance to our proposed meeting with the Prime Minister," he added.
A Trinamul general secretary indicated that the party MPs might lodge a protest on the price hike in Parliament when it meets at the end of the month end.
The Congress leadership has started parleying with the chief minister in its efforts to "keep her in good humour".
An AICC leader said from Delhi tonight that senior party leaders had already spoken to Mamata during the day. "Efforts are on to keep Mamata in good humour because we fully share her concerns over the petrol price hike. As a leader of a political party, it is her job to stand by the common people," said Shakeel Ahmed, the AICC general secretary looking after the party's Bengal affairs.
Maruti Suzuki continues to walk the labour tight ropeROUDRA BHATTACHARYA
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Maruti Suzuki employees shout slogans against Maruti Suzuki during a protest inside the Manesar plant in Haryana (file photo).
New worker leaders, fresh union application could mean déjà vu for carmaker
MUMBAI, NOV. 7:
NEWSStrike at Maruti Suzuki's Manesar plant endsTalks continue as Maruti Manesar plant strike enters 14th dayAgitation at Maruti's Manesar plant enters 13th day; talks onMaruti rolls out 350 cars from Manesar; talks onNeed to understand young workers to avoid strikes: MSIMaruti deadlock continues, talks break down
TOPICSCompaniesMaruti Suzuki India Limited
The emergence of a new leadership among the workers at Maruti Suzuki's Manesar plant, with similar demands for the recognition of a new union, could mean that the carmaker's woes have now come a full circle.
The only reason for comfort for the company this time though is that the workers have promised no third party affiliation.
This comes after last Thursday when Maruti had expected to close the labour issue after bidding goodbye to 30 workers, allegedly among the leaders of the workers' strike that initially began in June this year. Sent off with severance packages reportedly of around Rs 16 lakh each, this was to be the last chapter in the company's recent labour strife after the tripartite agreement (with the Haryana Government) was signed on October 21.
NEW UNIONSources close to the development said that the workers have now made a minor change to the name of the proposed new union – Maruti Suzuki Workers' Union from Maruti Suzuki Employees' Union – and have already applied to the Haryana Labour Department for the same. The new leaders appointed are Mr Ram Mehar Singh as president and Mr Sarabjit Singh as the new general secretary.
"We sent in the application on Friday and are in talks with the company for our new union. We felt betrayed by what our earlier colleagues did, but one has to move on as this is the only way ahead for both our and the company's benefit. They are (Maruti) saying that they are fine with the union as long as it is independent – but they've given such assurances before," a worker said.
LOSSESA Maruti Suzuki spokesperson said that the company has received written information of the new application and is reviewing it.
The company has forgone around Rs 2,500 crore of revenue this year after losing production of about 83,000 units across the three-phased strike that began in June. Losses suffered at the supplier end are over and above this.
LABOUR LAWSIndustry experts said that the company may agree to this new union if there is no third-party or a political affiliation involved – a major contention in the new union demand the last time round.
"I don't think the company will give in and it is possible that the problems may erupt again. This time round both sides will have to do better. It is unfortunate for a Japanese company with strong labour practices to face such issues – they will remember this for a long time," a senior sector analyst with a leading consultancy said.
Another analyst said that these problems will continue if labour laws of the country are not changed, especially since most employers are worried of outside control in their workers' unions.
"This time they will have to create confidence and improve communication. The convincing will have to happen both ways," the analyst.
Keywords: Maruti Suzuki's Manesar plant, labour laws, Maruti Suzuki Workers' Union
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Maruti strike: 'Union will be independent, we won't give up'Pallavi Polanki Nov 7, 2011
New Delhi: Just when it seemed like the dust had finally settled in Maruti Suzuki India's plant at Manesar, the centre of what has been proclaimed as "the most significant worker's struggle in India in the last two decades", comes news that workers plan to register a new union.
In early October, workers at Maruti's Manesar plant began a daring agitation, which then spread to other plants in Haryana's emerging industrial hub, demanding the reinstatement of contract workers and the setting up of a workers' union.
On October 19, an agreement was signed between Maruti Suzuki's management and the workers in the presence of officials from the Haryana Government, ending the 12-day agitation. This was the third such agitation since trouble first started in June.
Maruti Employees will now set up a new union. AFPWhen asked whether the agreement had conceded to the workers' longstanding demand for a Union, a company official speaking to Firstpost said, "In many ways, the proposal to set up a grievance redressal committee and the labour welfare committee is addressing that issue. The two committees will have representation from both workers and management. The committees have legal backing and are not an ad hoc arrangement."
He attributed the labour unrest to a lack of communication between the two parties. "The whole problem has been due to the communication gap. The feeling now is that these two committees will address this gap."
Responding to whether the company believed that they had seen the end of the demand for a union, he said, "It is difficult to predict the future. Two members of the top management have had mass interactions with workers this past week. A lot of things have gotten cleared out in this. It is initiatives like these that will eventually solve the problem. Agreements and strikes only go up to a point. Things seem to be looking up."
Now less than a week after the two young leaders – Shiv Kumar and Sonu Gujjar – who led the hugely successful workers campaign, resigned from the company, amid rumours of a 'sell out', plans are afoot by workers at the Manesar plant to register a brand new union named the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union. The one led by the previous agitation was called Maruti Suzuki Employees Union.
Speaking to Firstpost on the phone, the president of the yet-to-be registered Union, Ram Mehar Singh, a permanent employee who has worked at Maruti Suzuki's Manesar plant for four years now, confirmed that on Friday (November 4) they had applied for registration at Chandigarh for a workers union.
Ram Mehar Singh rejected the idea of having committees as an alternative to a union.
"The workers have decided that they don't want a committee. Our demand has always been for a workers union. And this is our Constitutional right," said Singh, the new workers leader.
Ram Mehar Singh added that there were reservations about the previous agitation which he said had caused losses to "both to the management and the workers. The 30 workers who resigned have left after settling their accounts. We believe they were sacrificed for a larger cause. However, we remain steadfast in our demand for a workers union."
According to sources, the 30 workers who resigned where paid between Rs 12-15 lakh by the management, fuelling rumours of a 'sell out' by the two who were leading the agitation.
One of the two leaders, Shiv Kumar, speaking to Firstpost, denied allegations of betraying the workers. "More than half of the 30 workers, who eventually resigned, were not ready to take the agitation forward. How can we lead a fight, when we don't have mass support. And so we decided to negotiate. Now allegations are being made that we took the money and left town. But the reality is different.
We mobilized a lot of support…all of India was with us. But people from Manesar were beginning to turn against us. There were chances that the revolt against would grow stronger. Although we did not want to compromise, the workers were not ready to cooperate with us." Shiv Kumar said he was not in Manesar at the moment and had taken a decision on his next move.
While not all workers are willing to condemn their two former leaders, they are disappointed at what they see as a capitulation.
Speaking to Firstpost, Sunil Dutt, one of the 30 workers who resigned said, "The resignation of our Shiv Kumar and Sonu Gujjar did cause negative feeling among the workers who had put their jobs on the line for them. But the workers have decided not to give up and to go ahead with applying for the registration of a new union. We are ready to support them, to train them and help them take it forward."
Sunil Dutt added that the workers were no longer in touch with Kumar or Gujjar. "Whether they sold out or whether they were compelled to resign, it is not for me say. We are not in touch with them anymore."
There is a renewed sense of hope among workers with the formation of a new body to lead them. Ram Mehar Singh, the president of the yet-to-be registered Maruti Suzuki Workers Union, emphasized that they would not allow any third party interference. "This union will be independent. And only members of the plant will be members. Other parties will not be involved. If the Maruti Management wants to move in the right direction, they will support this union."
What Maruti Suzuki will make of this remains to be seen. Last month, the company's board of directors cleared the way for setting up a manufacturing facility in Gujarat, marking its first such facility outside Haryana (The first plant was set up in Gurgaon).
The labour problems of the last couple months has hit the leading car manufacturer hard, causing it an estimated loss of turnover worth Rs 2100 crore (since trouble first started in June). It reported a 59.81 per cent loss in net profit for the quarter ended September 30, largely due to its labour problems at the Manesar plant.
The company official from Maruti Suzuki attributed growing significance of trade unions in Manesar to the rapid industrialization of the belt. "Five years ago, this belt was barren. In just a couple of years, it has sprouted factories. That is the ground where trade unions operate. It is a constituency that is tempting for them."
Maruti strike: The real battle in Manesar is about relevance of trade unionsPallavi Polanki Oct 13, 2011
#BigStory #Manesar #Maruti Suzuki #Maruti Suzuki Employees Union #SUZUKI POWERTRAIN INDIA LTD
Amarjit, one of the 1500 workers inside the plant who refused to leave the plant since Friday (october 7), speaks to the media from across the barb wire fence. Naresh Sharma
"This is the fifth day (the strike enters its seventh day today) that we've spent inside. According to the agreement with the management on 1 October, it was understood that all employees would be allowed to resume work. However, only permanent employees were allowed to enter the plant and our brothers (referring to the 1200 contract workers on are a dharna outside the premises) were not allowed."
The stand-off between the workers of Maruti Suzuki's Manesar plant is only the latest in what has been an extremely acrimonious last couple of months. This is third strike since June.
The strikes and stoppage of production have hit the company hard. "The problems we have had since June has cost us 51,000 cars which translates to loss of turnover worth Rs 1500 crore," said a company official speaking to Firstpost. The Haryana government on Tuesday issued a breach of settlement notice to the Maruti Suzuki workers.
The condition of striking workers inside the plant remains unknown as no media (or other workers) are allowed inside by the security personnel. A temporary kitchen has come up outside the plant to supply food to workers inside. Some of the workers who have fallen ill were seen giving samples for blood test across the fenced wall.
Striking Maruti Suzuki workers at Manesar Plant. Naresh SharmaHowever, "We are relaxed," insisted Amarjit. "The management has not spoken to us. The workers of Suzuki Powertrain (that belongs the parent Suzuki company and has two plants in Manesar) are also on strike in our support."
Loudspeakers inside the premises could be heard making a recorded announcement calling for an immediate end to the strike, only to be greeted by boos and songs of protest by the workers inside and outside.
Labour officer of the Haryana government, Ajay Pal, who was at Manesar's Suzuki Powertrain Casting plant on Tuesday evening to mediate talks with workers who've also been on strike since 7 October in solidarity with Maruti Suzuki workers, maintained that the "process of conciliation is on."
The second and longest strike, since troubles first started in June, lasting 33 days ended after a hard-fought negotiation that led to the 1 October agreement, which both parties are now accusing the other of breaching.
Sunil Dutt, one of the 44 permanent workers of the Maruti Suzuki plant whose employment has been terminated explains: "The agreement was that barring the 44 workers who had been suspended, all workers would be allowed to resume work. But the management didn't allow 1200 contract workers to resume work. Only 1800, which includes permanent employees, were taken back. This is a violation. Our demands now are that the management take back the 44 previously suspended workers and also the 25 who were suspended on 8 October. The false cases of inciting strikes that have been lodged against them be taken back."
The company official counters. "The number of permanent employees at the plant is 950. Barring the 44 who were suspended, that is 906 employees were admitted into the plant. The 1200 workers being referred to are contract workers and the agreement has nothing to do with them. But it was explicitly communicated at the time of the agreement that the contract workers would be taken back over the next couple of weeks. There was no confusion on this."
The company official went on to suggest that the latest crisis was a ploy by the 44 suspended workers. "Perhaps workers are using the contract workers as a ploy to force the management to take the 44 back. The contract workers is a complete non-issue."
According to company official, about 2000 were inside the plant the Friday afternoon when the strike started. "500 workers who didn't want to take part in the strike were then rescued with the help police. Currently there are about 1500 people inside."
The heart of the conflict is the issue of establishing a second workers union to represent the Maruti's Manesar plant workers.
Maruti has another plant at Gurgaon. "In December, the management said that there would be union elections. When the workers who wanted to contest were discouraged by the management and mentally tortured and harassed. Until June, no elections happened. The management does not want to hold elections here.
"We then decided that we should have another union that will represent the welfare of Manesar plant workers. On 3 June, we applied for the registration of the Maruti Suzuki Employees Union at Chandigarh," said Sunil.
Striking Maruti Suzuki workers at Manesar Plant . Naresh Sharma
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National Issues and Speeches
* Subject: "The burning problem of the Mulnivasi Bahujan and the need to create nationwide Movement". We are going to transform the slogan, 'Freedom in a Rupee' into a mass movement. This shall be a People's Campaign.
-Mr. Waman Meshram
'Addressing the people gathered in the convention in the inauguration session, Mr. Waman Meshram said in his presidential speech, "It was decided to generate about one corer and one lakh rupees for the creation of nationwide movement. But you have generated only 35 lakh rupees. On one hand I want to thank you for this. But on the other hand I want to warn you that there are those people who have cores of unaccounted black money. If you want to fight with such people who have corers of rupees, then this war cannot be won by only contributing a few lakh rupees. Though I thank you for contributing this much but I want to warn you that with these resources we cannot run our movement. Therefore from 16th April to the end of September we shall organize programmes in about 100 centers covering 500 districts in which you will have to contribute a minimum of 1 lakh to a maximum of 5 lakhes rupees to compensate for this backlog. Accordingly we have made a plan and we shall try to implement it.
I wish to give you information on a very important subject. The subject is, "The burning problem of the Mulnivasi Bahujan and the need to create nationwide Movement". To understand the burning problem of the Mulnivasi Bahujan we have to delve into history.
Jotirao Phule started the freedom struggle of the Mulnivasi Bahujan in modern India in 1848. Gandhi was not even born then. Jotirao Phule was 21 years of age at that time. Gandhi was born in 1869; 21 years after Jotirao Phule started his movement. Jotirao's movement was a movement for our independence and liberation. But Gandhi was running his movement for the Brahmins and the higher castes; to free them. The mutiny of 1857 is said to be started by Mangal Pandey. Mangal Pandey was a Brahmin by caste and he revolted only because the Brahmins were the slaves of the British. That is why the Brahmins started their freedom struggle. Jotirao Phule had started a movement for our liberation because the Brahmins had made us their slaves. We were not directly the slaves of the British but we were the slaves of the Brahmins. Even when the Brahmins were free we still were the slaves of these Brahmins. The Brahmins were the slaves of the British but we were slaves of the Brahmins. That means we were slaves of the slaves. Jotirao Phule started his movement to liberate the slaves of the slaves. We want to write history in a new way using a new approach. We shall organize a seminar on history very soon. All definitions and analyses will have to be rewritten.
Jotirao Phule had started a movement to free the Mulnivasi Bahujan Samaj from their slavery to the Brahmins. It was a freedom struggle of the Mulnivasi Bahujan Samaj. The history written by the Brahmins tells us that Jotirao Phule never fought against the British. The fight against the Britishers was a freedom movement for the Brahmins alone. Definitely Jotirao Phule was not fighting against the British for the freedom of the Brahmins. In fact he was fighting for our independence.
The historical documents prove that Jotirao Phule used to say that the Shudras and the AtiShudras have a chance of obtaining their freedom from the Brahmins only till the time the British remain in India. And they should use this chance as early as possible.
The movement run by Jotirao Phule till 1890 was a regional movement. Even when Savitrimai Phule carried this movement forward; it was a regional movement. Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj carried this movement forward through Bhaskarrao Jadhav. Why did Chhatrapati Shahu feel the need to run this movement even when he was a king himself? It was because even for Shahu. Maharaj the Brahmins recited the Mantras meant for the Shudras. The mantras to be recited during the pooja are different for the Shudras and the Brahmins. Shahu Maharaj protested against this. But the Brahmins insisted that only the mantras meant for the Shudras will be recited. But Shahu Maharaj opposed this by saying that his forefather was Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj who was given the status of a Kshattriya and as he was the descendant of Shivaji Maharaj he too was a Kshattriya. Brahmins retorted by saying that they had given a temporary concession to Shivaji Maharaj and his descendants will not benefit from that past concession given to a forefather. The descendants therefore will not be considered as Kshattriyas. Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj therefore had to run this movement because the Brahmins considered him as a Shudra. This movement was a regional movement. When Babasaheb assumed leadership of this movement he swore that he shall transform this movement into a nationwide movement. It took Babasaheb 26 years to do this. He called a convention of the Scheduled Castes Federation on 1819 July 1942 in Nagpur. In this convention 50000 men and 25000 women participated from all over the country. In that convention Babasaheb gave the message that our struggle was not for power or pelf but for independence. However this does not mean that our people do not want power or pelf. Our people should want it. But some people want power and pelf at the cost of independence. They want to compromise with their freedom to gain power and pelf. They want to compromise with their self respect. After Babasaheb's demise the leaders compromised freedom and self respect to get power and pelf. They got power but with power they also got despair and slavery. We do not know how many people actually understood the significance of the convention of the Scheduled Castes Federation held in Nagpur in 1942. But this convention left a deep impact on one person. This person was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Immediately on the 9th of August after Babasaheb had transformed his movement into a national movement, Gandhi launched "Quit India Movement" from Bombay, only three weeks after the SCF convention. He asked the British to Quit India. One more event which is important is that on 9th August 1942 on Singapore Radio, Subhash Chandra Bose gave a slogan," Give me blood and I will give you Freedom". Subhash Chandra Bose knew that the British are not going to listen to Gandhi's so called Ahimsa and that is why he exhorted "Azad Hind Sena", the army that he had formed to march to Delhi. To obtain Freedom it was necessary to fight and to shed blood, thought Subhash Chandra Bose. We have to understand a historical event the convention of the Congress party held in Tripura. Gandhi's candidate was Pattabhi Sittaramaiya whom he had nominated to stand in the election for the seat of the president of the Congress party. People thought who would dare to put up a candidate against the candidate that Gandhi had put up. But Subhash Chandra Bose himself stood up to fight against the candidate put up by Gandhi and won the election. When Subhash Chandra Bose assumed the President ship of the Congress Party and began work he was so disturbed from doing his work properly that he had to resign from the President ship. Not only did he resign from the Presidentship he also resigned the primary membership of the Congress party. Afterwards he formed a new organization called as the " Forward Bloc". This implied that the Congress party was a backward bloc. It also implied that Congress was a casteist party, a sanatani party. The question is why did Gandhi disturb and trouble Subhash Chandra Bose in his work as president of the Congress party? Because Subhash Chandra Bose was a Kayastha and Kayastha's are Shudras in the VarnaVyavastha. For e.g. Balasaheb Thackeray, a Kayastha. Balasaheb Thackeray's father was Keshav Sitaram Thackeray who was involved in the movement of the Shudras and the atiShudras. The Maharashtrian Shudras and the atiShudras gave him the title of 'Prabodhankar'. Prabodhankar means the one who awakens and instructs. K.S. Thackeray knew that the Brahmins consider the Kayasthas as Shudras. In Shivaji's time the Brahmins used to oppose Shivaji but Kayasthas used to support him. The person sent by Shivaji to Benares to meet Gagabhatt was not a Brahmin but a Kayastha. Gandhi meted out such treatment to Subhash Chandra Bose because Subhash Chandra Bose was a Kayastha. Babasaheb Ambedkar was an atiShudra in this Varna Vyavastha. Thus an AtiShudra launched a nationwide movement and a Shudra gave a call to march to Delhi. Gandhi thought that if his freedom struggle were to slip towards these two different movements then the whole movement will go into the hands of the Shudras. In such a situation what will become of us in free India thought Gandhi.
What Babasaheb said in the Scheduled Castes Convention made a deep impact on Gandhi and immediately on the 9th of August he launched "Quit India Movement". For this movement he coined a new Slogan i.e. 'Do or Die'. Gandhi had sacrificed his Ahimsa. Gandhi thought if he didn't take an initiative everything would be lost and the matter would become topsy-turvy. Gandhi thus abandoned the road of Ahimsa and instead gave the slogan of "Do or Die". Babasaheb wrote an article in Janata which said," It is good that the person in the Mahatma remained whilst the Mahatma died". When Gandhi used to chant "Ahimsa Ahimsa", people used to say he is such a Mahatma. This was Babasaheb's reaction after Gandhi gave the slogan of "Do or Die". We should analyze history in this context.
When Babasaheb ran his movement he analyzed that his movement comprised of the Scheduled Castes only. The freedom struggle would not succeed only on the strength of this section of people. When he got an opportunity he devised a strategy to broaden the social base of his movement. He also tried to awaken the backward classes and join them to his movement. Not only did he try to transform the movement into a nationwide movement, he even tried to make it more broad base.
Afterwards he went to Bengal to get himself elected to the Constituent Assembly. The Congressmen defeated Babasaheb twice in Maharashtra. Those who hail Congress do not know history. Congress put up a 'seventh standard pass' candidate against Babasaheb and this candidate defeated Babasaheb. Also in Bhandara the Congress put up a nonmatric candidate named Borkar against Babasaheb and defeated him. The people of Bengal from the districts of Jassur, Barishal, Khulna and Faridpur elected Babasaheb to the Constituent Assembly. Gandhi had made an announcement through the Congress party that for Babasaheb not only the doors but also the windows of the Constituent Assembly would be closed. In spite of this the people of Bengal elected Babasaheb to the Constituent Assembly. That is why Gandhi and Congress gave away these districts to Pakistan to inflict punishment on these people. Indeed how great was Gandhi! Congress had to compromise with Babasaheb because of the nationwide movement that he had created. They had to make him the chairman of the Drafting Committee. This was not any favor bestowed on him. The question is where is the nationwide movement that Babasaheb built and with the help of which Babasaheb was able to give us constitutional rights. Those who assumed the leadership of the movement after Babasaheb were bought by the Congress with the help of money and party ticket. These leaders dissolved this movement into the Congress Party. In this way the Congress was able to destroy this movement. There is one more reason for the destruction and demolition of this movement. Congress and Gandhi used the Poona Pact to destroy and demolish this self-respecting, self reliant and independent movement. Babasaheb had launched a "JailBharo" movement to protest against the Poona Pact in 1946. Master Mansingh who went to jail in that movement is present here on this occasion. R. R. Bhole under whose leadership this movement was run later joined the Congress party. He too was great !
In 1954 the working committee of the Scheduled Castes Federation passed a resolution. Babasaheb himself has written that the political reservation should be terminated. Those Buddhists who went to the Bombay High Court to beg for Political Reservation should read the resolution passed by the SCF in Nashik in 1954. Babasaheb said that our leaders open their mouths in Parliament only to yawn and for nothing else. If yawning was not a natural activity then these so called leaders wouldn't have yawned even! Haribhau Narke has published some volumes in Marathi in which Babasaheb calls those who get elected through Political reservation as "Gadhe( Donkeys or asses)". This means that Babasaheb wanted to end this Political Reservation. Gandhi and Congress used this political reservation to destroy our self-respecting, self reliant and independent nation wide movement. Our people considered those who get elected through the reserved seats as their leaders and representatives. Babasaheb called those who got elected through the reserved seats as agents but our people accepted these people as leaders. Our people thought there was no need of running a separate movement as they had their leaders elected through political reservation. Thus people withdrew their support from the movement and went after the so called leaders. Consequently the Nationwide movement was destroyed. After the destruction of our nationwide movement the enemy started to encroach upon our rights by implementing the policy of liberalization, privatization and globalization. We got our rights because of our forefathers who fought a long struggle of 108 years. Have we given a thought to this struggle of 108 years? Will this struggle just vanish into thin air? BJP and Congress both started this programme of Privatization. This programme is intended to end all our constitutional rights. In ancient times Manusmriti was used to deprive us of our rights. LPG is the Manusmriti of the present times. Our rights are being terminated in front of our eyes as we have no movement to resist it. The so called leaders who had been given this responsibility are themselves involved in this programme of implementation of LPG. This proves that they are not our real representatives. In this way neither there is any movement to oppose LPG nor are these so called leaders willing to stand in your support. Thus we have no alternative other than watching this Tamasha. But if we wish to resist in the future, then there is only one alternative through which we can do so, that alternative is to create a Nationwide Movement. Our forefathers created a Nationwide movement but Gandhi and Congress destroyed it. If we wish to retain and get constitutional rights, if we wish to start a freedom struggle then we must make preparations.
To create a nationwide movement BAMCEF has drafted a 10 point programme. I shall tell you about the programme in brief. First of all we wish to do Geographical Networking. Our people live in 35 states. We planned to spread our organizational network in 26 states. Out of the 602 districts we shall create a network in 502 districts. Out of the 5500 tehsils we plan to network 5000 tehsils. Also we shall make a network in 50000 blocks out of 55000 blocks. We shall build a vast geographical network in 600000 villages. This is a time bound programme and shall end in 2009. The other programme is social networking. To enforce slavery on us the Brahmins divided us into 6000 castes. Thus we have no resistance power. If we wish to destroy these 6000 castes then we have to join them together. The third programme is to create a media of propagation in all the regional languages. The print media, vocal media, traditional media and the electronic media are in the hands of the Brahmins. We need to have a media of our own. The fourth programme is to create a Human Resources and Development Institute. If we need to seriously run this movement then we need trained human resources.
For this we intend to buy 60 acres of land in Central India in Nagpur where the syllabus of the movement shall be taught. Those trained in this institute shall work for the movement on the field.
For the movement to succeed women who comprise 50% of our population cannot be left out. We have designed a 4 point programme to prepare the women for our movement. First we will awaken them and then train them to make them cadres. Then we shall give them representation. Leadership will emerge from those who will represent. We conducted this four point programme implementing it first from Bombay and we tested this programme in Gandhinagar. The results were there to see in Agra and the Convention was very successful. We are applying the same methods all over India. The sixth programme is to work towards creating an international opinion in favour of us. For this we started to establish an international network. The English had imprisoned Nelson Mandela for 28 long years. South Africa became free; it was only because of the international opinion which was in their favour. The international opinion should favour us if we want to achieve freedom. By the end of 2009 this network should reach atleast 100 countries. The seventh programme is to organize smallbig programmes all over India. The eighth programme is to create a nationwide organization capable of launching a nationwide mass agitation after 2009. Neither freedom can be won by begging nor can it be won by forming political coalitions. Freedom cannot be got even by contesting elections. Most people are resorting to these three methods. But we are planning a fourth method because we know resorting to these three methods will not achieve Freedom. The fourth way is to build a mass movement. Freedom can be achieved only through mass movement. We have planned to mobilize 315 corers people. If the organizational network is spread to 5000 tehsils and if we mobilize 6000 people from each tehsil then we shall be able to mobilize 5000x6000=30000000 people. If one family consists of five members then 30000000x5=150000000 people will agitate on the streets. Gandhi was able to mobilize only 1 corer people but still the English quit India. As our enemies are more treacherous and rogues we have planned to mobilize 15000000 people. We shall need more strength and therefore a huge mass movement will have to be built. But to build such a huge movement we shall need enormous funds. We have devised a concept of Nation-Wide Movement Creation Fund". We collect funds on the occasion of every National and State convention. Also we receive funds from every small or big programme that we organize. Mr. S. K. Biswas told us that M. N. Roy received 2 corer rupees. 2 corer rupees in those times are equivalent to 2000 corer rupees today. But we have developed a technique of doing maximum work in minimum resources i.e. work of 10 rupees in 1 rupee. The fund that we collect is the fund of the Central unit. But our activists themselves spend a lot on the field from their own pockets. They use scooters and four wheelers in the field for organizational work. We never give them a single rupee from the Central fund. Thus our activists and our sympathizers actually spend corers of rupees on organizational work from their own pockets. We will also generate "1 rupee per day" fund, i.e. 365 rupees in 365 days. Subhash Chandra Bose had said," Give me blood and I shall give you freedom". If I say the same you shall all run away. So I say, "Freedom in a Rupee ". We are going to transform this movement into a mass movement. This will be a people's campaign. The people will drive it by contributing a rupee each day to this movement. If we succeed to do this there will not be any dearth of resources. I appeal to all the activists who have come from different states, tehsils and blocks to drive this people's campaign in their respective regions to transform this movement into a mass movement."
CASTES IN INDIA
Their Mechanism, Genesis and Development
Dr. A. A. Goldenweizer at
The Columbia University, New York, U.S.A. on 9th May 1916
Source: Indian Antiquary, May 1917, Vol. XLI
Many of us, I dare say, have witnessed local, national or international expositions of
material objects that make up the sum total of human civilization. But few can entertain
the idea of there being such a thing as an exposition of human institutions. Exhibition of
human institutions is a strange idea; some might call it the wildest of ideas. But as
students of Ethnology I hope you will not be hard on this innovation, for it is not so, and
to you at least it should not be strange.
You all have visited, I believe, some historic place like the ruins of Pompeii, and
listened with curiosity to the history of the remains as it flowed from the glib tongue of
the guide. In my opinion a student of Ethnology, in one sense at least, is much like the
guide. Like his prototype, he holds up (perhaps with more seriousness and desire of
self-instruction) the social institutions to view, with all the objectiveness humanly
possible, and inquires into their origin and function.
Most of our fellow students in this Seminar, which concerns itself with primitive versus
modern society, have ably acquitted themselves along these lines by giving lucid
expositions of the various institutions, modern or primitive, in which they are interested.
It is my turn now, this evening, to entertain you, as best I can, with a paper on " Castes
in India: Their mechanism, genesis and development "
I need hardly remind you of the complexity of the subject I intend to handle. Subtler
minds and abler pens than mine have been brought to the task of unravelling the
mysteries of Caste; but unfortunately it still, remains in the domain of the " unexplained
", not to say of the " un-understood " I am quite alive to the complex intricacies of a
hoary institution like Caste, but I am net so pessimistic as to relegate it to the region of
the unknowable, for I believe it can be known. The caste problem is a vast one, both
theoretically and practically. Practically, it is an institution that portends tremendous
consequences. It is a local problem, but one capable of much wider mischief, for " as
long as caste in India does exist, Hindus will hardly intermarry or have any social
intercourse with outsiders ; and if Hindus migrate to other regions on earth, Indian caste
would become a world problem." [f.1] Theoretically, it has defied a great many
scholars who have taken upon themselves, as a labour of love, to dig into its origin.
Such being the case, I cannot treat the problem in its entirety. Time, space and acumen,
Comment [f.1]: I am afraid, would all fail me, if I attempted to do otherwise than limit myself to a phase
of it, namely, the genesis, mechanism and spread of the caste system. I will strictly
observe this rule, and will dwell on extraneous matters only when it is necessary to
clarify or support a point in my thesis.
To proceed with the subject. According to well-known ethnologists, the population of
India is a mixture of Aryans, Dravidians, Mongolians and Scythians. All these stocks of
people came into India from various directions and with various cultures, centuries ago,
when they were in a tribal state. They all in turn elbowed their entry into the country by
fighting with their predecessors, and after a stomachful of it settled down as peaceful
neighbours. Through constant contact and mutual intercourse they evolved a common
culture that superseded their distinctive cultures. It may be granted that there has not
been a thorough amalgamation of the various stocks that make up the peoples of India,
and to a traveller from within the boundaries of India the East presents a marked
contrast in physique and even in colour to the West, as does the South to the North. But
amalgamation can never be the sole criterion of homogeneity as predicated of any
people. Ethnically all people are heterogeneous. It is the unity of culture that is the basis
of homogeneity. Taking this for granted, I venture to say that there is no country that
can rival the Indian Peninsula with respect to the unity of its culture. It has not only a
geographic unity, but it has over and above all a deeper and a much more fundamental
unity—the indubitable cultural unity that covers the land from end to end. But it is
because of this homogeneity that Caste becomes a problem so difficult to be explained.
If the Hindu Society were a mere federation of mutually exclusive units, the matter
would be simple enough. But Caste is a parcelling of an already homogeneous unit, and
the explanation of the genesis of Caste is the explanation of this process of parcelling.
Before launching into our field of enquiry, it is better to advise ourselves regarding the
nature of a caste. I will therefore draw upon a few of the best students of caste for their
definitions of it :
(1) Mr. Senart, a French authority, defines a caste as " a close corporation, in theory
at any rate rigorously hereditary : equipped with a certain traditional and
independent organisation, including a chief and a council, meeting on occasion in
assemblies of more or less plenary authority and joining together at certain
festivals : bound together by common occupations, which relate more particularly
to marriage and to food and to questions of ceremonial pollution, and ruling its
members by the exercise of jurisdiction, the extent of which varies, but which
succeeds in making the authority of the community more felt by the sanction of
detrain penalties and, above all, by final irrevocable exclusion from the group ".
(2) Mr. Nesfield defines a caste as "a class of the community which disowns any
connection with any other class and can neither intermarry nor eat nor drink with
any but persons of their own community ".
(3) According to Sir H. Risley, " a caste may be defined as a collection of families or groups of families bearing a common name which usually denotes or is associated
with specific occupation, claiming common descent from a mythical ancestor,
human or divine, professing to follow the same professional callings and are
regarded by those who are competent to give an opinion as forming a single
homogeneous community ".
(4) Dr. Ketkar defines caste as " a social group having two characteristics : (i)
membership is confined to those who are born of members and includes all
persons so born; (ii) the members are forbidden by an inexorable social law to
marry outside the group ".
To review these definitions is of great importance for our purpose. It will be noticed
that taken individually the definitions of three of the writers include too much or too little :
none is complete or correct by itself and all have missed the central point in the
mechanism of the Caste system. Their mistake lies in trying to define caste as an
isolated unit by itself, and not as a group within, and with definite relations to, the
system of caste as a whole. Yet collectively all of them are complementary to one
another, each one emphasising what has been obscured in the other. By way of
criticism, therefore, I will take only those points common to all Castes in each of the
above definitions which are regarded as peculiarities of Caste and evaluate them as
To start with Mr. Senart. He draws attention to the " idea of pollution " as a
characteristic of Caste. With regard to this point it may be safely said that it is by no
means a peculiarity of Caste as such. It usually originates in priestly ceremonialism and
is a particular case of the general belief in purity. Consequently its necessary
connection with Caste may be completely denied without damaging the working of
Caste. The " idea of pollution " has been attached to the institution of Caste, only
because the Caste that enjoys the highest rank is the priestly Caste : while we know
that priest and purity are old associates. We may therefore conclude that the "idea of
pollution" is a characteristic of Caste only in so far as Caste has a religious flavour.
Mr. Nesfield in his way dwells on the absence of messing with those outside the Caste
as one of its characteristics. In spite of the newness of the point we must say that Mr.
Nesfield has mistaken the effect for the cause. Caste, being a self-enclosed unit
naturally limits social intercourse, including messing etc. to members within it.
Consequently this absence of messing with outsiders is not due to positive prohibition,
but is a natural result of Caste, i.e. exclusiveness. No doubt this absence of messing
originally due to exclusiveness, acquired the prohibitory character of a religious
injunction, but it may be regarded as a later growth. Sir H. Risley, makes no new point
deserving of special attention.
We now pass on to the definition of Dr. Ketkar who has done much for the elucidation
of the subject. Not only is he a native, but he has also brought a critical acumen and an
open mind to bear on his study of Caste. His definition merits consideration, for he has defined Caste in its relation to a system of Castes, and has concentrated his attention
only on those characteristics which are absolutely necessary for the existence of a
Caste within a system, rightly excluding all others as being secondary or derivative in
character. With respect to his definition it must, however, be said that in it there is a
slight confusion of thought, lucid and clear as otherwise it is. He speaks of Prohibition of
Intermarriage and Membership by Autogeny as the two characteristics of Caste. I
submit that these are but two aspects of one and the same thing, and not two different
things as Dr. Ketkar supposes them to be. If you prohibit intermarriage the result is that
you limit membership. to those born within the group. Thus the two are the obverse and
the reverse sides of the same medal.
This critical evaluation of the various characteristics of Caste leave no doubt that
prohibition, or rather the absence of intermarriage—endogamy, to be concise—is the
only one that can be called the essence of Caste when rightly understood. But some
may deny this on abstract anthropological grounds, for there exist endogamous groups
without giving rise to the problem of Caste. In a general way this may be true, as
endogamous societies, culturally different, making their abode in localities more or less
removed, and having little to do with each other are a physical reality. The Negroes and
the Whites and the various tribal groups that go by name of American Indians in the
United States may be cited as more or less appropriate illustrations in support of this
view. But we must not confuse matters, for in India the situation is different. As pointed
out before, the peoples of India form a homogeneous whole. The various races of India
occupying definite territories have more or less fused into one another and do possess
cultural unity, which is the only criterion of a homogeneous population. Given this
homogeneity as a basis, Caste becomes a problem altogether new in character and
wholly absent in the situation constituted by the mere propinquity of endogamous social
or tribal groups. Caste in India means an artificial chopping off of the population into
fixed and definite units, each one prevented from fusing into another through the custom
of endogamy. Thus the conclusion is inevitable that Endogamy is the only characteristic
that is peculiar to caste, and if we succeed in showing how endogamy is maintained, we
shall practically have proved the genesis and also the mechanism of Caste.
It may not be quite easy for you to anticipate why I regard endogamy as a key to the
mystery of the Caste system. Not to strain your imagination too much, I will proceed to
give you my reasons for it. It may not also be out of place to emphasize at this moment
that no civilized society of today presents more survivals of primitive times than does
the Indian society. Its religion is essentially primitive and its tribal code, in spite of the
advance of time and civilization, operates in all its pristine vigour even today. One of
these primitive survivals, to which I wish particularly to draw your attention is the
Custom of Exogamy. The prevalence of exogamy in the primitive worlds is a fact too
well-known to need any explanation. With the growth of history, however, exogamy has
lost its efficacy, and excepting the nearest blood-kins, there is usually no social bar restricting the field of marriage. But regarding the peoples of India the law of exogamy is
a positive injunction even today. Indian society still savours of the clan system, even
though there are no clans; and this can be easily seen from the law of matrimony which
centres round the principle of exogamy, for it is not that Sapindas (blood-kins) cannot
marry, but a marriage even between Sagotras (of the same class) is regarded as a
Nothing is therefore more important for you to remember than the fact that endogamy
is foreign to the people of India. The various Gotras of India are and have been
exogamous : so are the other groups with totemic organization. It is no exaggeration to
say that with the people of India exogamy is a creed and none dare infringe it, so much
so that, in spite of the endogamy of the Castes within them, exogamy is strictly
observed and that there are more rigorous penalties for violating exogamy than there
are for violating endogamy. You will, therefore, readily see that with exogamy as the
rule there could be no Caste, for exogamy means fusion. But we have castes ;
consequently in the final analysis creation of Castes, so far as India is concerned,
means the superposition of endogamy on exogamy. However, in an originally
exogamous population an easy working out of endogamy (which is equivalent to the
creation of Caste) is a grave problem, and it is in the consideration of the means utilized
for the preservation of endogamy against exogamy that we may hope to find the
solution of our problem.
Thus the superposition of endogamy on exogamy means the creation of caste. But
this is not an easy affair. Let us take an imaginary group that desires to make itself into
a Caste and analyse what means it will have to adopt to make itself endogamous. If a
group desires to make itself endogamous a formal injunction against intermarriage with
outside groups will be of no avail, especially if prior to the introduction of endogamy,
exogamy had been the rule in all matrimonial relations. Again, there is a tendency in all
groups lying in close contact with one another to assimilate and amalgamate, and thus
consolidate into a homogeneous society. If this tendency is to be strongly counteracted
in the interest of Caste formation, it is absolutely necessary to circumscribe a circle
outside which people should not contract marriages.
Nevertheless, this encircling to prevent marriages from without creates problems from
within which are not very easy of solution. Roughly speaking, in a normal group the two
sexes are more or less evenly distributed, and generally speaking there is an equality
between those of the same age. The equality is, however, never quite realized in actual
societies. At the same time to the group that is desirous of making itself into a caste the
maintenance of equality between the sexes becomes the ultimate goal, for without it
endogamy can no longer subsist. In other words, if endogamy is to be preserved
conjugal rights from within have to be provided for, otherwise members of the group will
be driven out of the circle to take care of themselves in any way they can. But in order
that the conjugal rights be provided for from within, it is absolutely necessary to maintain a numerical equality between the marriageable units of the two sexes within the group
desirous of making itself into a Caste. It is only through the maintenance of such an
equality that the necessary endogamy of the group can be kept intact, and a very large
disparity is sure to break it.
The problem of Caste, then, ultimately resolves itself into one of repairing the disparity
between the marriageable units of the two sexes within it. Left to nature, the much
needed parity between the units can be realized only when a couple dies
simultaneously. But this is a rare contingency. The husband may die before the wife and
create a surplus woman, who must be disposed of, else through intermarriage she will
violate the endogamy of the group. In like manner the husband may survive, his wife
and be surplus man, whom the group, while it may sympathise with him for the sad
bereavement, has to dispose of, else he will marry outside the Caste and will break the
endogamy. Thus both the surplus man and the surplus woman constitute a menace to
the Caste if not taken care of, for not finding suitable partners inside their prescribed
circle (and left to themselves they cannot find any, for if the matter be not regulated
there can only be just enough pairs to go round) very likely they will transgress the
boundary, marry outside and import offspring that is foreign to the Caste.
Let us see what our imaginary group is likely to do with this surplus man and surplus
woman. We will first take up the case of the surplus woman. She can be disposed of in
two different ways so as to preserve the endogamy of the Caste.
First : burn her on the funeral pyre of her deceased husband and get rid of her. This,
however, is rather an impracticable way of solving the problem of sex disparity. In some
cases it may work, in others it may not. Consequently every surplus woman cannot thus
be disposed of, because it is an easy solution but a hard realization. And so the surplus
woman (= widow), if not disposed of, remains in the group : but in her very existence
lies a double danger. She may marry outside the Caste and violate endogamy, or she
may marry within the Caste and through competition encroach upon the chances of
marriage that must be reserved for the potential brides in the Caste. She is therefore a
menace in any case, and something must be done to her if she cannot be burned along
with her deceased husband.
The second remedy is to enforce widowhood on her for the rest of her life. So far as
the objective results are concerned, burning is a better solution than enforcing
widowhood. Burning the widow eliminates all the three evils that a surplus woman is
fraught with. Being dead and gone she creates no problem of remarriage either inside
or outside the Caste. But compulsory widowhood is superior to burning because it is
more practicable. Besides being comparatively humane it also guards against the evils
of remarriage as does burning; but it fails to guard the morals of the group. No doubt
under compulsory widowhood the woman remains, and just because she is deprived of
her natural right of being a legitimate wife in future, the incentive to immoral conduct is
increased. But this is by no means an insuperable difficulty. She can be degraded to a condition in which she is no longer a source of allurement.
The problem of surplus man (= widower) is much more important and much more
difficult than that of the surplus woman in a group that desires to make itself into a
Caste. From time immemorial man as compared with woman has had the upper hand.
He is a dominant figure in every group and of the two sexes has greater prestige. With
this traditional superiority of man over woman his wishes have always been consulted.
Woman, on the other hand, has been an easy prey to all kinds of iniquitous injunctions,
religious, social or economic. But man as a maker of injunctions is most often above
them all. Such being the case, you cannot accord the same kind of treatment to a
surplus man as you can to a surplus woman in a Caste.
The project of burning him with his deceased wife is hazardous in two ways : first of all
it cannot be done, simply because he is a man. Secondly, if done, a sturdy soul is lost to
the Caste. There remain then only two solutions which can conveniently dispose of him.
I say conveniently, because he is an asset to the group.
Important as he is to the group, endogamy is still more important, and the solution
must assure both these ends. Under these circumstances he may be forced or I should
say induced, after the manner of the widow, to remain a widower for the rest of his life.
This solution is not altogether difficult, for without any compulsion some are so disposed
as to enjoy self-imposed celibacy, or even to take a further step of their own accord and
renounce the world and its joys. But, given human nature as it is, this solution can
hardly be expected to be realized. On the other hand, as is very likely to be the case, if
the surplus man remains in the group as an active participator in group activities, he is a
danger to the morals of the group. Looked at from a different point of view celibacy,
though easy in cases where it succeeds, is not so advantageous even then to the
material prospects of the Caste. If he observes genuine celibacy and renounces the
world, he would not be a menace to the preservation of Caste endogamy or Caste
morals as he undoubtedly would be if he remained a secular person. But as an ascetic
celibate he is as good as burned, so far as the material wellbeing of his Caste is
concerned. A Caste, in order that it may be large enough to afford a vigorous communal
life, must be maintained at a certain numerical strength. But to hope for this and to
proclaim celibacy is the same as trying to cure atrophy by bleeding.
Imposing celibacy on the surplus man in the group, therefore, fails both theoretically
and practically. It is in the interest of the Caste to keep him as a Grahastha (one who
raises a family), to use a Sanskrit technical term. But the problem is to provide him with
a wife from within the Caste. At the outset this is not possible, for the ruling ratio in a
caste has to be one man to one woman and none can have two chances of marriage,
for in a Caste thoroughly self-enclosed there are always just enough marriageable
women to go round for the marriageable men. Under these circumstances the surplus
man can be provided with a wife only by recruiting a bride from the ranks of those not
yet marriageable in order to tie him down to the group. This is certainly the best of the possible solutions in the case of the surplus man. By this, he is kept within the Caste.
By this means numerical depletion through constant outflow is guarded against, and by
this endogamy morals are preserved.
It will now be seen that the four means by which numerical disparity between the two
sexes is conveniently maintained are : (1) burning the widow with her deceased
husband ; (2) compulsory widowhood—a milder form of burning ; (3) imposing celibacy
on the widower and (4) wedding him to a girl not yet marriageable. Though, as I said
above, burning the widow and imposing celibacy on the widower are of doubtful service
to the group in its endeavour to preserve its endogamy, all of them operate as means.
But means, as forces, when liberated or set in motion create an end. What then is the
end that these means create? They create and perpetuate endogamy, while caste and
endogamy, according to our analysis of the various definitions of caste, are one and the
same thing. Thus the existence of these means is identical with caste and caste
involves these means.
This, in my opinion, is the general mechanism of a caste in a system of castes. Let us
now turn from these high generalities to the castes in Hindu Society and inquire into
their mechanism. I need hardly premise that there are a great many pitfalls in the path
of those who try to unfold the past, and caste in India to be sure is a very ancient
institution. This is especially true where there exist no authentic or written records or
where the people, like the Hindus, are so constituted that to them writing history is a
folly, for the world is an illusion. But institutions do live, though for a long time they may
remain unrecorded and as often as not customs and morals are like fossils that tell their
own history. If this is true, our task will be amply rewarded if we scrutinize the solution
the Hindus arrived at to meet the problems of the surplus man and surplus woman.
Complex though it be in its general working the Hindu Society, even to a superficial
observer, presents three singular uxorial customs, namely : (i) Sati or the burning of the
widow on the funeral pyre of her deceased husband. (ii) Enforced widowhood by which
a widow is not allowed to remarry. (iii) Girl marriage.
In addition, one also notes a great hankering after Sannyasa (renunciation) on the
part of the widower, but this may in some cases be due purely to psychic disposition.
So far as I know, no scientific explanation of the origin of these customs is
forthcoming even today. We have plenty of philosophy to tell us why these customs
were honoured, but nothing to tell us the causes of their origin and existence. Sati has
been honoured (Cf. A. K. Coomaraswamy, Sati: A Defence of the Eastern Woman in
the British Sociological Review, Vol. VI, 1913) because it is a" proof of the perfect unity
of body and soul " between husband and wife and of " devotion beyond the grave ",
because it embodied the ideal of wifehood, which is well expressed by Uma when she
said, " Devotion to her Lord is woman's honour, it is her eternal heaven : and 0
Maheshvara ", she adds with a most touching human cry, " I desire not paradise itself if
thou are not satisfied with me ! " Why compulsory widowhood is honoured I know not, nor have I yet met with any one who sang in praise of it, though there are a great many
who adhere to it. The eulogy in honour of girl marriage is reported by Dr. Ketkar to be as
follows : " A really faithful man or woman ought not to feel affection for a woman or a
man other than the one with whom he or she is united. Such purity is compulsory not
only after marriage, but even before marriage, for that is the only correct ideal of
chastity. No maiden could be considered pure if she feels love for a man other than the
one to whom she might be married. As she does not know to whom she is going to be
married, she must not feel affection, for any man at all before marriage. If she does so,
it is a sin. So it is better for a girl to know whom she has to love before any sexual
consciousness has been awakened in her" [f.2] . Hence girl marriage.
This high-flown and ingenious sophistry indicates why these institutions were
honoured, but does not tell us why they were practiced. My own interpretation is that
they were honoured because they were practiced. Any one slightly acquainted with rise
of individualism in the 18th century will appreciate my remark. At all times, it is the
movement that is most important; and the philosophies grow around it long afterwards
to justify it and give it a moral support. In like manner I urge that the very fact that these
customs were so highly eulogized proves that they needed eulogy for their prevalence.
Regarding the question as to why they arose, I submit that they were needed to create
the structure of caste and the philosophies in honour of them were intended to
popularise them, or to gild the pill, as we might say, for they must have been so
abominable and shocking to the moral sense of the unsophisticated that they needed a
great deal of sweetening. These customs are essentially of the nature of means, though
they are represented as ideals. But this should not blind us from understanding the
results that flow from them. One might safely say that idealization of means is
necessary and in this particular case was perhaps motivated to endow them with
greater efficacy. Calling a means an end does no harm, except that it disguises its real
character; but it does not deprive it of its real nature, that of a means. You may pass a
law that all cats are dogs, just as you can call a means an end. But you can no more
change the nature of means thereby than you can turn cats into dogs ; consequently I
am justified in holding that, whether regarded as ends or as means, Sati, enforced
widowhood and girl marriage are customs that were primarily intended to solve the
problem of the surplus man and surplus woman in a caste and to maintain its
endogamy. Strict endogamy could not be preserved without these customs, while caste
without endogamy is a fake.
Having explained the mechanism of the creation and preservation of Caste in India,
the further question as to its genesis naturally arises. The question or origin is always
an annoying question and in the study of Caste it is sadly neglected; some have
connived at it, while others have dodged it. Some are puzzled as to whether there could
be such a thing as the origin of caste and suggest that " if we cannot control our
fondness for the word ' origin ', we should better use the plural form, viz. ' origins of
Comment [f.2]: caste ' ". As for myself I do not feel puzzled by the Origin of Caste in India for, as I have
established before, endogamy is the only characteristic of Caste and when I say Origin
of Caste I mean The Origin of the Mechanism for Endogamy.
The atomistic conception of individuals in a Society so greatly popularised— I was
about to say vulgarised—in political orations is the greatest humbug. To say that
individuals make up society is trivial ; society is always composed of classes. It may be
an exaggeration to assert the theory of class-conflict, but the existence of definite
classes in a society is a fact. Their basis may differ. They may be economic or
intellectual or social, but an individual in a society is always a member of a class. This is
a universal fact and early Hindu society could not have been an exception to this rule,
and, as a matter of fact, we know it was not. If we bear this generalization in mind, our
study of the genesis of caste would be very much facilitated, for we have only to
determine what was the class that first made itself into a caste, for class and caste, so
to say, are next door neighbours, and it is only a span that separates the two. A Caste is
an Enclosed Class.
The study of the origin of caste must furnish us with an answer to the question—what
is the class that raised this " enclosure " around itself ? The question may seem too
inquisitorial, but it is pertinent, and an answer to this will serve us to elucidate the
mystery of the growth and development of castes all over India- Unfortunately a direct
answer to this question is not within my power. I can answer it only indirectly. I said just
above that the customs in question were current in the Hindu society. To be true to facts
it is necessary to qualify the statement, as it connotes universality of their prevalence.
These customs in all their strictness are obtainable only in one caste, namely the
Brahmins, who occupy the highest place in the social hierarchy of the Hindu society ;
and as their prevalence in non-Brahmin castes is derivative of their observance is
neither strict nor complete. This important fact can serve as a basis of an important
observation. If the prevalence of these customs in the non-Brahmin Castes is derivative,
as can be shown very easily, then it needs no argument to prove what class is the
father of the institution of caste. Why the Brahmin class should have enclosed itself into
a caste is a different question, which may be left as an employment for another
occasion. But the strict observance of these customs and the social superiority
arrogated by the priestly class in all ancient civilizations are sufficient to prove that they
were the originators of this " unnatural institution " founded and maintained through
these unnatural means.
I now come to the third part of my paper regarding the question of the growth and
spread of the caste system all over India. The question I have to answer is : How did
the institution of caste spread among the rest of the non-Brahmin population of the
country ? The question of the spread of the castes all over India has suffered a worse
fate than the question of genesis. And the main cause, as it seems to me, is that the
two questions of spread and of origin are not separated. This is because of the common belief among scholars that the caste system has either been imposed upon
the docile population of India by a law-giver as a divine dispensation, or that it has
grown according to some law of social growth peculiar to the Indian people.
I first propose to handle the law-giver of India. Every country has its law-giver, who
arises as an incarnation (avatar) in times of emergency to set right a sinning humanity
and give it the laws of justice and morality. Manu, the law-giver of India, if he did exist,
was certainly an audacious person. If the story that he gave the law of caste be
credited, then Manu must have been a dare-devil fellow and the humanity that accepted
his dispensation must be a humanity quite different from the one we are acquainted
with. It is unimaginable that the law of caste was given. It is hardly an exaggeration to
say that Manu could not have outlived his law, for what is that class that can submit to
be degraded to the status of brutes by the pen of a man, and suffer him to raise another
class to the pinnacle ? Unless he was a tyrant who held all the population in subjection
it cannot be imagined that he could have been allowed to dispense his patronage in this
grossly unjust manner, as may be easily seen by a mere glance at his " Institutes ". I
may seem hard on Manu, but I am sure my force is not strong enough to kill his ghost.
He lives, like a disembodied spirit and is appealed to, and I am afraid will yet live long.
One thing I want to impress upon you is that Manu did not give the law of Caste and
that he could not do so. Caste existed long before Manu. He was an upholder of it and
therefore philosophised about it, but certainly he did not and could not ordain the
present order of Hindu Society. His work ended with the codification of existing caste
rules and the preaching of Caste Dharma. The spread and growth of the Caste system
is too gigantic a task to be achieved by the power or cunning of an individual or of a
class. Similar in argument is the theory that the Brahmins created the Caste. After what
I have said regarding Manu, I need hardly say anything more, except to point out that it
is incorrect in thought and malicious in intent. The Brahmins may have been guilty of
many things, and I dare say they were, but the imposing of the caste system on the
non-Brahmin population was beyond their mettle. They may have helped the process by
their glib philosophy, but they certainly could not have pushed their scheme beyond
their own confines. To fashion society after one's own pattern ! How glorious ! How hard
! One can take pleasure and eulogize its furtherance; but cannot further it very far. The
vehemence of my attack may seem to be unnecessary ; but I can assure you that it is
not uncalled for. There is a strong belief in the mind of orthodox Hindus that the Hindu
Society was somehow moulded into the framework of the Caste System and that it is an
organization consciously created by the Shastras. Not only does this belief exist, but it is
being justified on the ground that it cannot but be good, because it is ordained by the
Shastras and the Shastras cannot be wrong. I have urged so much on the adverse side
of this attitude, not because the religious sanctity is grounded on scientific basis, nor to
help those reformers who are preaching against it. Preaching did not make the caste
system neither will it unmake it. My aim is to show the falsity of the attitude that has exalted religious sanction to the position of a scientific explanation.
Thus the great man theory does not help us very far in solving the spread of castes in
India. Western scholars, probably not much given to hero-worship, have attempted
other explanations. The nuclei, round which have " formed " the various castes in
India, are, according to them: (1) occupation; (2) survivals of tribal organization etc.; (3)
the rise of new belief; (4) cross-breeding and (5) migration.
The question may be asked whether these nuclei do not exist in other societies
and whether they are peculiar to India. If they are not peculiar to India, but are common
to the world, why is it that they did not " form " caste on other parts of this planet ? Is it
because those parts are holier than the land of the Vedas, or that the professors are
mistaken ? I am afraid that the latter is the truth.
In spite of the high theoretic value claimed by the several authors for their
respective theories based on one or other of the above nuclei, one regrets to say that
on close examination they are nothing more than filling illustrations—
what Matthew Arnold means by " the grand name without the grand thing in it ".
Such are the various theories of caste advanced by Sir Denzil lbbetson, Mr.
Nesfield, Mr. Senart and Sir H. Risley. To criticise them in a lump would be to say
that they are a disguised form of the Petitio Principii of formal logic. To illustrate : Mr.
Nesfield says that " function and function only. . . was the foundation upon which the
whole system of Castes in India was built up ". But he may rightly be reminded that
he does not very much advance our thought by making the above statement, which
practically amounts to saying that castes in India are functional or occupational,
which is a very poor discovery ! We have yet to know from Mr. Nesfield why is it that
an occupational group turned into an occupational caste ? I would very cheerfully
have undertaken the task of dwelling on the theories of other ethnologists, had it not
been for the fact that Mr. Nesfield's is a typical one.
Without stopping to criticize those theories that explain the caste system as a natural
phenomenon occurring in obedience to the law of disintegration, as explained by
Herbert Spencer in his formula of evolution, or as natural as " the structural
differentiation within an organism "—to employ the phraseology of orthodox
apologists—, or as an early attempt to test the laws of eugenics—as all belonging to the
same class of fallacy which regards the caste system as inevitable, or as being
consciously imposed in anticipation of these laws on a helpless and humble population,
I will now lay before you my own view on the subject.
We shall be well advised to recall at the outset that the Hindu society, in common with
other societies, was composed of classes and the earliest known
are the (1) Brahmins or the priestly class; (2) the Kshatriya, or the military class ; (3) the
Vaishya, or the merchant class and (4) the Shudra, or the artisan and menial class.
Particular attention has to be paid to the fact that this was essentially a class system, in
which individuals, when qualified, could change their class, and therefore classes did change their personnel. At some time in the history of the Hindus, the priestly class
socially detached itself from the rest of the body of people and through a closed-door
policy became a caste by itself . The other classes being subject to the law of social
division of labour underwent differentiation, some into large, others into very minute
groups. The Vaishya and Shudra classes were the original inchoate plasm, which
formed the sources of the numerous castes of today. As the military occupation does
not very easily lend itself to very minute sub-division, the Kshatriya class could have
differentiated into soldiers and administrators.
This sub-division of a society is quite natural. But the unnatural thing about these subdivisions is that they have lost the open-door character of the class system and have
become self-enclosed units called castes. The question is: were they compelled to close
their doors and become endogamous, of did they close them of their own accord ? I
submit that there is a double line of answer: Some closed the door : Others found it
closed against them. The one is a psychological interpretation and the other is
mechanistic, but they are complementary and both are necessary to explain the
phenomena of caste-formation in its entirety.
I will first take up the psychological interpretation. The question we have to answer in
this connection is: Why did these sub-divisions or classes, if you please, industrial,
religious or otherwise, become self-enclosed or endogamous ? My answer is because
the Brahmins were so. Endogamy or the closed-door system, was a fashion in the
Hindu society, and as it had originated from the Brahmin caste it was whole-heartedly
imitated by all the non-Brahmin sub-divisions or classes, who, in their turn, became
endogamous castes. It is " the infection of imitation " that caught all these sub-divisions
on their onward march of differentiation and has turned them into castes. The
propensity to imitate is a deep-seated one in the human mind and need not be deemed
an inadequate explanation for the formation of the various castes in India. It is so deepseated that Walter Bagehot argues that, " We must not think of . . . imitation as
voluntary, or even conscious. On the contrary it has its seat mainly in very obscure parts
of the mind, whose notions, so far from being consciously produced, are hardly felt to
exist; so far from being conceived beforehand, are not even felt at the time. The main
seat of the imitative part of our nature is our belief, and the causes predisposing us to
believe this or disinclining us to believe that are among the obscurest parts of our
nature. But as to the imitative nature of credulity there can be no doubt." [f.3] This
propensity to imitate has been made the subject of a scientific study by Gabriel Tarde,
who lays down three laws of imitation. One of his three laws is that imitation flows from
the higher to the lower or, to quote his own words, "Given the opportunity, a nobility will
always and everywhere imitate its leaders, its kings or sovereigns, and the people
likewise, given the opportunity, its nobility." [f.4] Another of Tarde's laws of imitation is
: that the extent or intensity of imitation varies inversely in proportion to distance, or in
his own words " The thing that is most imitated is the most superior one of those that
Comment [f.4]: are nearest- In fact, the influence of the model's example is efficacious inversely to its
distance as well as directly to its superiority. Distance is understood here in its
sociological meaning. However distant in space a stranger may be, he is close by, from
this point of view, if we have numerous and daily relations with him and if we have every
facility to satisfy our desire to imitate him. This law of the imitation of the nearest, of the
least distant, explains the gradual and consecutive character of the spread of an
example that has been set by the higher social ranks." [f.5]
In order to prove my thesis—which really needs no proof—that some castes were
formed by imitation, the best way, it seems to me, is to find out whether or not the vital
conditions for the formation of castes by imitation exist in the Hindu Society. The
conditions for imitation, according to this standard authority are: (1) that the source of
imitation must enjoy prestige in the group and (2) that there must be " numerous and
daily relations " among members of a group. That these conditions were present in India
there is little reason to doubt. The Brahmin is a semi-god and very nearly a demi-god.
He sets up a mode and moulds the rest- His prestige is unquestionable and is the
fountain-head of bliss and good. Can such a being, idolised by scriptures and venerated
by the priest-ridden multitude, fail to project his personality on the suppliant humanity ?
Why, if the story be true, he is believed to be the very end of creation. Such a creature
is worthy of more than mere imitation, but at least of imitation ; and if he lives in an
endogamous enclosure, should not the rest follow his example ? Frail humanity! Be it
embodied in a grave philosopher or a frivolous housemaid, it succumbs. It cannot be
otherwise. Imitation is easy and invention is difficult.
Yet another way of demonstrating the play of imitation in the formation of castes is to
understand the attitude of non-Brahmin classes towards those customs which
supported the structure of caste in its nascent days until, in the course of history, it
became embedded in the Hindu mind and hangs there to this day without any support—
for now it needs no prop but belief-like a weed on the surface of a pond. In a way, but
only in a way, the status of a. caste in the Hindu Society varies directly with the extent of
the observance of the customs of Sati, enforced widowhood, and girl marriage. But
observance of these customs varies directly with the distance (I am using the word in
the Tardian sense) that separates the caste. Those castes that are nearest to the
Brahmins have imitated all the three customs and insist on the strict observance
thereof. Those that are less near have imitated enforced widowhood and girl marriage;
others, a little further off, have only girl marriage and those furthest off have imitated
only the belief in the caste principle. This imperfect imitation, I dare say, is due par tly to
what Tarde calls " distance " and partly to the barbarous character of these customs.
This phenomenon is a complete illustration of Tarde's law and leaves no doubt that the
whole process of caste-formation in India is a process of imitation of the higher by the
lower. At this juncture I will turn back to support a former conclusion of mine, which
might have appeared to you as too sudden or unsupported. I said that the Brahmin
Comment [f.5]: class first raised the structure of caste by the help of those three customs in question.
My reason for that conclusion was that their existence in other classes was derivative.
After what I have said regarding the role of imitation in the spread of these customs
among the non-Brahmin castes, as means or as ideals, though the imitators have not
been aware of it, they exist among them as derivatives ; and, if they are derived, there
must have been prevalent one original caste that was high enough to have served as a
pattern for the rest. But in a theocratic society, who could be the pattern but the servant
This completes the story of those that were weak enough to close their doors. Let us
now see how others were closed in as a result of being closed out. This I call the
mechanistic process of the formation of caste. It is mechanistic because it is inevitable.
That this line of approach, as well as the psychological one, to the explanation of the
subject has escaped my predecessors is entirely due to the fact that they have
conceived caste as a unit by itself and not as one within a System of Caste. The result
of this oversight or lack of sight has been very detrimental to the proper understanding
of the subject matter and therefore its correct explanation. I will proceed to offer my own
explanation by making one remark which I will urge you to bear constantly in mind. It is
this : that caste in the singular number is an unreality. Castes exist only in the plural
number. There is no such thing as a caste : There are always castes. To illustrate my
meaning: while making themselves into a caste, the Brahmins, by virtue of this, created
non-Brahmin caste; or, to express it in my own way, while closing themselves in they
closed others out. I will clear my point by taking another illustration. Take India as a
whole with its various communities designated by the various creeds to which they owe
allegiance, to wit, the Hindus, Mohammedans, Jews, Christians and Parsis. Now,
barring the Hindus, the rest within themselves are non-caste communities.
But with respect to each other they are castes. Again, if the first four enclose
themselves, the Parsis are directly closed out, but are indirectly closed in. Symbolically,
if Group A wants to be endogamous, Group B has to be so by sheer force of
Now apply the same logic to the Hindu society and you have another explanation of
the " fissiparous " character of caste, as a consequence of the virtue of self-duplication
that is inherent in it. Any innovation that seriously antagonises the ethical, religious and
social code of the Caste is not likely to be tolerated by the Caste, and the recalcitrant
members of a Caste are in danger of being thrown out of the Caste, and left to their own
fate without having the alternative of being admitted into or absorbed by other Castes.
Caste rules are inexorable and they do not wait to make nice distinctions between kinds
of offence. Innovation may be of any kind, but all kinds will suffer the same penalty. A
novel way of thinking will create a new Caste for the old ones will not tolerate it. The
noxious thinker respectfully called Guru (Prophet) suffers the same fate as the sinners
in illegitimate love. The former creates a caste of the nature of a religious sect and the latter a type of mixed caste. Castes have no mercy for a sinner who has the courage to
violate the code. The penalty is excommunication and the result is a new caste. It is not
peculiar Hindu psychology that induces the excommunicated to form themselves into a
caste 5; far from it. On the contrary, very often they have been quite willing to be
humble members of some caste (higher by preference) if they could be admitted within
its fold. But castes are enclosed units and it is their conspiracy with clear conscience
that compels the excommunicated to make themselves into a caste. The logic of this
obdurate circumstance is merciless, and it is in obedience to its force that some
unfortunate groups find themselves enclosed, because others in enclosing, themselves
have closed them out, with the result that new groups (formed on any basis obnoxious
to the caste rules) by a mechanical law are constantly being converted into castes to a
bewildering multiplicity. Thus is told the second tale in the process of Caste formation in
Now to summarise the main points of my thesis. In my opinion there have been
several mistakes committed by the students of Caste, which have misled them in their
investigations. European students of Caste have unduly emphasised the role of colour
in the Caste system. Themselves impregnated by colour prejudices, they very readily
imagined it to be the chief factor in the Caste problem. But nothing can be farther from
the truth, and Dr. Ketkar is correct when he insists that " All the princes whether they
belonged to the so-called Aryan race, or the so-called Dravidian race, were Aryas.
Whether a tribe or a family was racially Aryan or Dravidian was a question which never
troubled the people of India, until foreign scholars came in and began to draw the line.
The colour of the skin had long ceased to be a matter of importance." [f.6] Again, they
have mistaken mere descriptions for explanation and fought over them as though they
were theories of origin. There are occupational, religious etc., castes, it is true, but it is
by no means an explanation of the origin of Caste. We have yet to find out why
occupational groups are castes ; but this question has never even been raised. Lastly
they have taken Caste very lightly as though a breath had made it. On the contrary.
Caste, as I have explained it, is almost impossible to be sustained : for the difficulties
that it involves are tremendous. It is true that Caste rests on belief, but before belief
comes to be the foundation of an institution, the institution itself needs to be perpetuated
and fortified. My study of the Caste problem involves four main points : ( 1 ) that in spite
of the composite make-up of the Hindu population, there is a deep cultural unity; (2) that
caste is a parcelling into bits of a larger cultural unit; (3) that there was one caste to start
with and (4) that classes have become Castes through imitation and excommunicationpeculiar interest attaches to the problem of Caste in India today; as persistent attempts
are being made to do away with this unnatural institution. Such attempts at reform,
however, have aroused a great deal of controversy regarding its origin, as to whether it
is due to the conscious command of a Supreme Authority, or is an unconscious growth
in the life of a human society under peculiar circumstances. Those who hold the latter
Comment [f.6]: view will, I hope, find some food for thought in the standpoint adopted in this paper.
Apart from its practical importance the subject of Caste is an all absorbing problem and
the interest aroused in me regarding its theoretic foundations has moved me to put
before you some of the conclusions, which seem to me well founded, and the grounds
upon which they may be supported. I am not, however, so presumptuous as to think
them in any way final, or anything more than a contribution to a discussion of the
subject. It seems to me that the car has been shunted on wrong lines, and the primary
object of the paper is to indicate what I regard to be the right path of investigation, with a
view to arrive at a serviceable truth. We must, however, guard against approaching the
subject with a bias. Sentiment must be outlawed from the domain of science and things
should be judged from an objective standpoint. For myself I shall find as much pleasure
in a positive destruction of my own ideology, as in a rational disagreement on a topic,
which, notwithstanding many learned disquisitions is likely to remain controversial
forever. To conclude, while I am ambitious to advance a Theory of Caste, if it can be
shown to be untenable I shall be equally willing to give it up