STUDENTS' CAMPAIGN FOR CLAIM ON NATION

It is a group of students having deep concerns over castist biases of 'Indian' Media & Academia on Social Justice and Equal Opportunity particularly on caste-based reservations. Students from any caste/gender/region can join us. We are clear that it is not mere SC/ST or OBC issue. Any student, genuinely, against caste system can join us. We also seek support from our professionals, intellectuals, workers, and wage earners. Email us at claimonnation@yahoo.co.in with phone numbers and addresses.

Name:

The name of the group has its origin in one of the placards of protesting castist doctors claiming"OUR COUNTRY HAS DISOWNED US". In ‘their’ Nation/Country there is no place for non-dwijas (or SC/ST/OBC) people. Reservation for them is not mere number of seats assigned to underprivileged but a claim of these downtrodden masses into 'their' Nation. In fact by protesting against reservation they are opposing this claim of underprivileged. For us also Reservation is not matter of few jobs or seats in educational institutions. It is claiming of our share in Nation that has been denied historically to us. This is NOT their country only. But it is also OUR country, OUR Nation. We claim it as ours for the simple reason that it is we who create wealth for the Nation by tilling fields, mining minerals. It is we who build roads, bridges, and machinery with our bare hands. THEY are parasites eating off from OUR sweat and blood.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Pro-reservation voice in IIT Bombay is loud and clear

Dear friends,

Just take a look at how those who dominate these premier institutes of higher learning and the media, misuse it’s importance for their advantage. You must notice how they behave on the issue of reservation and what opinion they have about our communities which have been deprived socially and educationally.
On 22nd May a group of 39 IIT students went on a hunger strike against reservations. That was a relay hunger strike and which still continues. Some of us who are supporting reservation have also formed a group named "people for social justice". We even have a yahoo group. We all who were pro-reservation went on a Dharna on 22nd night. Two of us went on a hunger strike. But, if are watching TV and reading newspaper you must have seen we got hardly any coverage. Zee TV, Sahara TV, Star News, NDTV and many other news paper journalists visited the campus to cover the anti-reservation strike. Many of them talked to us. But there was a vast difference between the kind of coverage that we got and the coverage that the other camp got. I mean the media may not agree with what we had to say but media has the responsibility to represent the truth which they failed to fulfill. In fact one of the dailies (Navbharat Times 24/05/2006) gave our photographs in their newspaper claiming that we were anti-reservation people.
The group of anti-reservationists throughout the entire day came in small groups and discussed the issue with us. Many of them who wanted aDiscussion, were OBCs who did not support reservation. We did discuss with them and give our point of view. But some of the anti-reservationists were had an extremist stand. Discussions with them were very difficult. And they kept insulting us by saying that "Backward communities can not compete with us in IIT". The situation had become quite tense then.
The next day (24/05/22006) some our faculty members had invited us (anti-reservationists and pro-reservationists) for a panel discussion. These people who were against reservation even after several requests did not give their speakers and a moderator for the discussion and had previously walked out of the meeting we had called to decide an agenda for discussion. They said they did not want to take part in the discussion.
But on the day of discussion they came in an hour late. After that theyaccused the faculty, conducting the discussion, of being partial. When they were reminded that they had refused to take part in the panel discussion they had no option but to keep quite.
The entire discussion involved good numbers of faculties and students and was too long to be within the scope of this report. But there is one point which I would like to highlight. One of the anti-reservationists said that "we should have dignity of labour. We should respect all professions - carpenters, farmers, potters and so on". When we asked that "if that is the case then why is it that the doctors who are in protesting in Delhi, are taking up jhaadu(broom) and sweeping floors? What dignity of labour is it? Or are they telling us, ‘see if you get reservations your job of sweeping the floor will come to us and that is a great insult for us’" On this question one of the anti-reservationists stood up and said "you do not know, they are actually showing dignity of labour which you do not have." We did not know whether to laugh or cry on this comment. Because these were those doctors who were denigrating their profession by holding the patients on ransom to blackmail the Government. But the absurdity of the comment apart, do they qualify to teach us the dignity of labour. Is it that our communities which have earned their livelihood for several hundred years through manual labor would have to learn dignity of labour from them? Or is it that they are telling us to have dignity for jobs that have been assigned and do them sincerely and not to aspire for jobs which are meant for them.
This is a brief summary of the activities that were taken up by the Pro-preservationist group in IIT Bombay. We are in touch with pro-reservationists from different part of Bombay and would extend our support as and when needed. We have, with whatever little support from media we got, successfully made a strong pro-reservation point across in and outside IIT. We wish to inform that there is no consensus on the anti-reservation move and IIT bombay community is visibly divided with many faculties openly coming out in support of reservation in their individual capacity.

regards,
Sai Thakur
for People for Social Justice, IIT Bombay

newslinks

Southern Solitude: The South, with a longer history of social justice, has been quiet on quotas
S. ANAND
http://outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20060529&fname=Cover+Story+%28F%29&sid=6

IMA develops crack; caste war divides doctors
http://www.newindpress.com/Newsitems.asp?ID=IEH20060523102249&Title=Top+Stories&Topic=0

thanks bitingmerit2death@gmail.com

also am sure most of us have signed this petiotion but if not do spend a few minutes

"Say YES to RESERVATION in Higher Education"hosted on the web by our free online petition service, at: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/Obcs2006/



other pro web-voices links
http://www.deepikaglobal.com/ENG3_sub.asp?newscode=140164&catcode=ENG3&subcatcode=
http://anticaste.blogspot.com/
http://obcvoice.blogspot.com
http://nanopolitan.blogspot.com

pamphlet from hyderabad rally and press conference 26 May 2006

Reservations Now!

The current protests against the long-overdue implementation of reservations for OBCs are highly disturbing. The drama around merit has taken attention away from the fact that they are mandated by the Constitution. Reservations represent only a small fraction of our commitment to equality and social justice. Still, the upper caste and its media are orchestrating a ‘national’ campaign against them. They simply dub this as "vote bank politics"- this is the latest dirty word! Let's not forget that vote bank politics is the only mechanism that has been historically available to ensure democratic representation in India.

Youth For Equality???

What does it mean for agitating upper caste youth to call themselves youth for equality? How easy it is for this small, privileged elite to claim sympathy in the name of the nation! Don’t Dalit, Muslim, OBC and ST students equally (if not more) constitute this nation?! ‘Youth For Equality’ has MONOPOLIZED heavily government-subsidized education over the last 60 years. Yet, they oppose the same opportunities for others – all in the name of "equality". It is this "innocence" of caste privilege that allows these youth to so easily claim merit exclusively for themselves! Do they think that more than half of India is non-meritorious?!

Merit is the new word for caste privilege.

Reservations lead to brain drain???

Students from the IIT/IIMs are trained to become technicians who can be transplanted to work in the U.S. and U.K. Let’s not be so naive as to assert that this 'one foot on a plane abroad' tendency is an outcome of the last month's debates on OBC reservations! Most of the time we celebrate news in the mainstream media that list the increasing number of students going abroad to study. Not to mention the whooping joy that greets news of record salaries and foreign placements during campus interviews. A sudden mourning of this 'brain drain' in a moment that is demanding social justice smacks of opportunism and selective memory.

Why hasn’t the worry about this 'brain drain' brought Youth For Equality out on the streets before this, asking the government to be accountable to its youth, to provide opportunities so that they are not forced to leave because of lack of facilities?







What Is Merit?
Is Merit Marks?
Why is it so easy to equate marks with merit? When a person gets the best of educational facilities, fancy coaching classes, and a literate and supportive home environment like most upper castes here; it is NO surprise that s/he gets 90% marks!!! Contrast this with a first-generation learner who has to struggle against social odds, studies in poorly equipped municipal schools, is systematically humiliated on the basis of caste by her teachers and peers, has no access to supplementary books or coaching, and gets 70% marks; surely s/he is far more ‘meritorious’! Merit is NOT marks. Merit is built up by socio-economic and cultural capital.

What is cutting-edge?
Creamy layer siphons off reservations?!

Myth: Many OBCs, ST & SCs are rich and misuse reservations!

Fact: The Mandal Commission itself has a clear provision that makes OBCs ineligible for reservation if a) if you own above a certain amount of land b) if your annual family income is above 2 lakhs and c) if your parents are IAS or IFS or IPS.

Fact: 33.9% OBCs are below the poverty line. Only 4.7% upper castes are below the poverty line. (Source: NSSO data for 2000)

So all you bleeding hearts for the upper caste poor get your facts right!!!

New constituencies of students HAVE to be brought into "islands" of higher education. These groups long denied entry have a right to enter these institutions. New groups of students need to come into established institutions to change old research agendas and help shape new ones. We know from history that when Indians entered the colonial education system, when women entered schools and universities the world over, when blacks entered colleges in the U.S., they radically changed existing knowledge structures. They asked new questions. They brought in fresh ideas. They challenged both stereotypes and established dogma. They breathed new life into the very idea of education, research and knowledge building and acquisition. Isn't that the true pursuit of excellence? We definitely need Dalits and OBCs to enter institutions of higher learning to challenge and fight the invisible casteism that shapes current ideas of "merit" and "excellence". We need them to ask new questions and that will help us change our thinking.

Should the public education system run on the principle of 'survival of the fittest' as the agitators demand? In fact, in Darwin, the 'fittest' means the organisms which adapted best, NOT the strongest / tallest / biggest. The biggest dinosaurs died out. By this logic, the Dalits, tribals and the OBCs in fact count as the fittest, having survived the harshest social conditions!!!!

Reservations for a Better India

interesting intervention

Dear friends,

The anti-reservation uproar has gotten to such a point that we at Drishti feel it is critical for groups like ours to get involved. The anti-reservation cry is becoming a movement, and it represents one of the strongest societal assaults on social justice, equality and people’s rights that this country has seen in ages. The media is only showing the anti-reservation side; there are few groups speaking out to explain how quotas have benefited millions of people; and there are no student groups that we know of to counterbalance ‘youth for equality.’

We feel that the anti-quota cry is dangerous for a few reasons. One, it is anti-Dalit and anti-poor; two, it is being pervaded throughout the country by the media; three, it shows a profound ignorance about the realities of this country; and four, it will create a very difficult situation for OBCs and SCs who arrive at their colleges next year. With no strong support network, who will they turn to when they face a high level of hostility?

For these reasons we feel it is important that groups like ours take action. Drishti has already begun processes that have grown out of our work with youth in the schools and colleges in Ahmedabad.

Drishti, as most of you know, has organized the Nazariya Film Clubs in 7 colleges of Ahmedabad as the first step in creating Peace Clubs within these colleges. We began working with these students on the Reservation issue over the last few weeks, and then extended it to the heavily anti-reservation camps, by recruiting students at the Medicos rallies for discussions at Drishti. We’ve had two group meetings with the students (totaling about 45 students from 12 different institutions), and they were tremendously exciting because they began to concretely move towards a common ground.

When the students came in they were nearly all anti-reservation. It was clear to us, however, that this is not an entrenched opinion—they think this way because their education, their life experience, and the media [their only source of information of the external world] have never exposed them to the realities of this country. A depressing fact for communications people and activists like ourselves, but one which gives us hope that much can be accomplished with just a little exposure. We showed them films like Lesser Humans, gave them an orientation to Dalit issues and showed them the prevalence of caste in their own lives by looking at the matrimonial pages in the Times of India and at their own relations with their servants. Through the discussion the students realized that they were ill-informed and that they needed more information. They expressed an openness to revise their opinions based on this new information, and also came up with some, to us, wonderfully constructive new possible positions on Reservations.

Throughout the meeting with the Medical students, some of whom are on hunger strike, we demonstrated to them that they needed to articulate their position more clearly. The student, it turns out, feel quite strongly that they are NOT anti-reservation or anti-OBC and do not like the fact that the media is reducing the positions to ‘anti-reservation’ and ‘pro-reservation.’ In the students’ minds, they are for social justice, for an equal society, and for the upliftment of the underprivileged castes. We made them realize that unless they actively work for the under-privileged these claims would be taken as hollow—so, for example, if they truly believe that ‘primary education for lower castes needs to be strengthened’, then they should ALSO go on strike for Dalit children who are forced to clean the toilets of their schools.

From these two Workshops, we have come to believe two things are possible: one, that polarized campuses can be brought back together through simple dialogues and group processes like this. And two, that it may even be possible for the anti-reservation team and the pro-reservation team to come together to come up with a platform of reform. We believe these two things because we have seen that these young people are simply ill-informed and also eager to learn, and to work for a better country.

As a first step, the students have asked for a dialogue. They would like to Drishti to organize a meeting of speakers who can give them the ground realities of caste, and more information on the reservation system, why it is in place, what kinds of reforms have worked, not worked, etc. We feel it is very important to give them information about how Reservations have benefited social justice in this country, because all they see are its failures.

We feel it is very important for organizations to take action when the upliftment of the oppressed classes is taking such a beating in the media. We are going to organize this dialogue with the students in the next few days, and will let you all know what transpires from it. This will be the first move in a longer process aimed at working with youth and the wider community around the issue of reservation.

We would like to hear your suggestions on how to tackle this issue and how we might be able to work together on this issue, and also about any action that you all have taken or intend it. We hope to hear back from you.

In harmony…Stalin

Friday, May 19, 2006

STARTING OUR CAMPAIGN

Dear Friends,
Jaibheem
Students' Campaign for Claim on Nation will start its campaign on 21st May evening by holding a public meeting in favour of reservation in JNU. On 22nd morning, we will start our Dharna in front of Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Many of us will go on hunger strike. We will start with a relay hunger strike with more students joining in. The aim of our hunger strike and dharna is to mobilise more students, youth as well as other professionals to come out in support of Reservation policy and to oppose the castist biases of Media, in the Academia and the blackmail of castist medical students and doctors and also to force the government to fulfil its constitutional obligation effectively. Pro-reservation students from different parts of the country have assured their participation in our protest in Delhi. Within a week we are hoping to have students from each university and professional institutions sitting on hunger strike and dharna in Delhi. Given our limited means, we plan to focus our protest in Delhi. We will gradually coordinate with students from other part of the country and organise ourselves under one umbrella and strike with focused and concerted force. We call on students from various part of the country to flood Delhi in coming days. We are a small group of students with minimal finances so, unfortunately, we can only ask those who can afford travelling and staying in Delhi to come. The only thing we can do is to provide them the space in our rooms for their stay. It is most important that our intellectuals and scholars join us. We appeal to them to come to Delhi and stay with us for at least one day. This will boost our confidence and help us to mobilise more support from student community. We also appeal to our professionals to come to Delhi in large numbers, or support us in whatever way they feel they can.

TOGETHER ALL OF US CAN REALLY BRING DESIRED CHANGES IN INDIAN SOCIETY

The main rationale behind our agitation
1. Anti-reservationists have provided us a golden opportunity to bring caste discourse into the mainstream. We all are aware that the media, academia and civil society always maintain a conspiratorial silence on the horrors of the caste system and always try to hide caste-based discrimination and inequality in the name of merit. In fact they have denied us the space to speak, to raise our concerns since independence. Now they themselves, by default, have provided us an opportunity to organise and fight caste-based discrimination;

2. This is also an historic opportunity for us to pressurise the Indian government to take stock of its measures for empowerment of underprivileged and demand effective implementation of such government policies;

3. To oppose elitist and castist biases in educational system of the country and to bust the myth of 'upper' caste merit

4. And the most important point is to claim our share of national resources that have been monopolised by 15-20% of the Indian population based on the caste system. It is high time that we demand effective land reforms for landless people which constitute mostly SC/ST/OBCs.

OUR DEMANDS
1. The Government must fulfil its constitutional obligations by implementing reservations for SC/ST/OBCs in all government jobs, private or government educational institutions, army, judiciary and super-speciality courses.

2. Government should also make legal provisions for reservation in private sector for underprivileged.

3. Government must bring out a White Paper on reservation policy and document how reservation has been implemented at all levels. It is fact that not even 50 % of reserved seats and jobs are filled. This is a deliberate scheme by the ruling brahminical class of the county to undermine the reservation policy. They have denied us the maximum benefits of reservation policy till now.

4. Effective land reforms are essential for the empowerment of SC/ST/OBCs. The government must implement land reforms in every part of the country.

5. Castist & elitist biases in our education system by should be removed by:
a. redesigning the syllabi to generate awareness about caste-based discrimination and inequality;
b. providing non-brahminical, anti-caste icons prominent space in text books and to remove completely brahminical myths and misconceptions, which are taught in the name of National History and Culture;
c. Ban all coaching classes for IAS, IIMs, Engineering, medical and such other courses;
d. Restructure competitive exams to remove biases that favour elite class/caste students
e. Ensure compulsory courses of history, political science, sociology for students from technical and professional institutes.
f. Recruit faculties in premier institutions from underprivileged background to correct the caste imbalance and to break the monopoly of brahminical people over such institutions and to provide opportunity for blossoming of real merit, efficiency and excellence.
g. Higher education must be provided in regional languages or all primary schools must be in English medium.
h. Government must spend 12% of GDP on Education focusing not only on quality primary education for underprivileged but on support to the under-privileged in higher education.

6. We demand swift punishment for anti-reservation protesters for hurting sentiments and showing their castist nature by sweeping roads, cleaning shoes and raising castist slogans.

7. We condemn the castist Indian media for instigating the protest against reservations and providing space to biased, one-sided, castist coverage. We also demand for punishment of journalists, cartoonists and editors for making fun of SC/ST/OBCs and casting aspersion on the merit of SC/ST/OBCs without any concrete proof and thus showing the media's true castist nature.
8. Harsh rigorous imprisonment for media persons who brutally attacked pro-reservation activists in Patna.
JAI BHEEM signed/- STUDENTS' CAMPAIGN FOR CLAIM ON NATION Contact Anoop- 0-9313432410 Vikas-011-20026832
and join us.

no need for upliftment

this may seem like a trivial point but i would like to comment on muni's email id upliftthem@yahoo.com. there is no need to uplift anyone. this is movemnt for social and political power, but it is also a self respect movement and has to be respected as such. please do not take this personally, but it had to be said.

jomo

Thursday, May 18, 2006

RESERVATION TO PROTECT DESERVING CANDIDATES

Dear Friends,
Greetings from Noida. I belong to Patna but currently residing in Noida to earn my bread and butter. I am neither Dalit nor OBC but my upbringing happened in a very remote and secluded place in Jharkhand and had close proximities with underprivileged class kids. I studied, played, eat, danced, enjoyed outdoor activities with them for my entire childhood. So, even though I am born in upper caste (Kayastha) family, my attitude, thought process, opinions are in contrast with typical upper caste mentality and I know I am not alone such upper caste guy, I have few friends from upper caste too who simply refuse to buy any upper caste or Urban middle class mentality and they fight these evils at every possible forum.
I am not surprised to see the attitude of media in the current ongoing controversy on reservation. The media run by shrewd intellectuals who are not just promoting anti-reservation protest, they are deliberately spreading all sorts of misconceptions. they are doing exactly what they did during Mandal-I in 1990.
The print and electronic media are at their best trying to create 1990-type hysteria over the reservation issue (quota in IIT, IIM & other central universities & private sector). Voices of "merit" and captains of industry are on record as to how a few hundred seats in management/technical/medical schools will erode India's competitiveness in this age of globalisation.
Voices & faces of "merit" are being heard & seen in various forms (like debate, protests, blogs, e-petitions, articles in newspapers etc.) in media. With strong support from media, the votaries of "merit" have succeeded in raising the noise to such a level that Govt. is now ready to lend a ear to them.
What is interesting (& perplexing) to me that such an intense opposition to reservation is not talking about facts & figures. Have these protestors able to produce any study/research paper on this topic of utmost concern (which according to them will kill the merit and thus destroy the nation) ? Isn't it expected from these most meritorious, most vocal, most concerned section of the society that their argument should be backed by solid facts and studies?
How many newspapers and TV channels have presented /referred well-researched studies/papers on this subject? No, probably they assume that all of the world will take their arguments against reservation on their face value.
But the world does not move in this way any more. But their ways of protests, the very tone and tenor of their reactions against reservations speak volume about their bias and prejudice against the very large section of the society.
Just few days back, in Delhi, the future generation of doctors resorted to sweeping roads in protest, implying the traditional profession of tens of lakhs of Dalit safai karamcharis is a lowly, ignominious one, and it was prominently telecasted over number of TV channels.Believe me, had this happened in any European country, they would have to face series of court cases against them. Yes, in a democratic country they have very right to protest but what right do they have to insult those who earn their livelihood by sweeping roads?
Can they dare to resort to "puja path" in protest against reservation? During the anti-Mandal agitation of 1990, upper-caste students mockingly polished shoes - with utter disregard for people who depend on such labour for livelihood - mourning the 'death of merit'. They were merely expressing contempt for such work; these were just photo-ops. Even if it comes to remaining unemployed, upper caste would think it below their dignity to consider sweeping, shining or mending shoes. They merely wanted to convey that such jobs are not meant for people who have 'merit'. The meritocrats would rather be underpaid in sweat less jobs than sweat it out as shoeshiners or sanitary workers even if paid more.
Contempt for certain kinds of labour goes a long way in hindu culture and is integral to the definition of the caste system. But what are they (protestors) trying to achieve by this kind of vulgar form of protests which have absolutely no rationale.
Can these votaries of merit show a single case of dalit failure on account of lack of merit? Surely, over the last five decades they must have amassed a lot of examples to bolster their prejudice; they may just present a single example to illustrate their point. The fact is they have none.
They just want to talk in air with casteist rhetoric. It is this attitude of the upper caste elite that drives Dalits/oppressed/OBCs inwards to take shelter under their identities and create hurdle in breaking the caste barriers; it damages their psychic frame and alienates them. Precisely for this reason, we come across apologetic arguments from some who have benefited from reservation. The media and protestors have been trying to perpetuate misconception about reservation.
Reservation, after all does not mean sitting people merely by birth without cognizance of their capability as it is mischievously made out to be in public. The premise behind reservation as a mechanism to of uplifting people is basically wrong one. While it is projected as a measure of uplifting ‘low’ caste people, it conveniently hides the intrinsic disability of the Indian society to treat all people equally and justly, which necessitates an externally imposed mandate of reservation. It is not the disability of the dalits/oppressed but the disability of "Indian society" that necessitates reservation.
The correct premise behind the Constitutional reservation - that it is a countervailing measure by the state against the socio-cultural disability of Indian society to treat people from the untouchable/oppressed castes as its own. It is a mechanism to ensure that the "deserving people" from these oppressed castes get their due share because otherwise the deep entrenched socio-cultural prejudice will never let them have it as can be seen in the sectors where this mechanism does not exist. It is a mechanism with which the rights of certain sections of society are PROTECTED, because left to itself society is incapable of doing it.

Let me emphasise once again - Reservation is NOT to uplift underprivileged class, it is to protect deserving candidates' due right and share because otherwise the deep entrenched socio-cultural prejudice will never let them have it.
Prabhat Sinha
................................
Why don't we have our own news papers dedicated to 300 million dalits, even if 10% of dalits buy our newspaper, we will be able to run without much financial problem, if you guys are interested in working with me on a new news paper, please write to me. We need to start a news paper and make it a mainstream news paper. There are wonderful writers from our dalits all over the world.
write to me: upliftthem@yahoo.com

Muni
...............................
i am currently compiling a list o international and indian news blogs that we should start visiting and updating with views and information about pro-reservation protests.
Jomo
................................
The Times of India and Mumbai Mirror, like much of the media has taken a very strong anti-reservation stance and in the process is broadcastingrabidly discriminatory, demeaning, and insulting reports regardingScheduled Castes and Tribes.
Please read and if you wish to do so, sign the petition regarding this issue, online at:
http://www.PetitionOnline.com/toimm506/petition.html
The petition recommends that the Atrocities Act be applied to the people responsible for humiliating dalits and adivasis through the Times of India and Mumbai Mirror.
Send an email to DeputyChiefMinister@maharashtra.gov.in asking for legal action against this kind of media reporting.

D.Parthasarathy , IIT Bombay
....................................
Good that you came up with this....all my support for your work. I got a mail forwarded "protest against anti-reservation brigade and Join US" which asked us all to join in protest in Delhi. It is impossible for me to come to Delhi right now...But I hope you wouldnt mind if I put that mail in my own blog.

Smrti, Hyderabad Central University
........................................

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

phase I

the Hindu readers' editor's email is readerseditor@thehindu.co.in

his adress is Reader's Editor, The HIndu, Kasturi Buildings, 859&860 Anna Salai, Chennai 600002.

there are many more newspapers in english no doubt. but considering their history of reporting on this issue, it may be a waste of time to bombard them.

anyway, the doctors are not going to be on strike for much longer. they will soon have to appear for contempt of court proceedings.

this is also a request to everyone to pl submit details (how many attended, where and when, what was the media coverage etc) of any pro-reservation protests happening in their cities. one never knows how it may help.

an earlier posting made a suggestion to boycott nonsense newspapers. while i don't speak for teh entire claimonnation community, i think that it is important to read their nonsense even if it is only to get angry.

It is also important to categorically condemn the CPI(m) stand that reservation should be for the economically backward among the OBCs. it speaks of a historical lack of understanding on part of the official left of the caste issue. Kudos to D Raja for once again being one of the few people in public offcie to take a categoriclly pro-reservation stand in public.


ME

DALIT SOLIDARITY

Dear Friends
Greetings from Hyderabad and at the same time I congratulate you for the initiative.I am working as a dalit human rights activist since last 7 years, I hail from state of Orissa. I assure you I will be ready to give any sorts of support that you require for the cause of dalit. I am based in Hyderabad presently, I know Prof.Kancha Illiah very well. Please intimate me whenever you do something for the cause of dalit in the coming future. With warm regards,
Yours in Dalit Solidarity
Mr.N.NilambarHyderabad

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

IIT C as brahmins' harem !!

Brahminical media is exaggerating the protests against reservations. In Tamil Nadu,
all the newspapers are publishing the protests of anti reservation but they are not even mentioning hugely attended pro reservation protests held in all places in Tamilnadu. They are blindly publishing Delhi and Mumbai medical college students' protests against reservation.

Out of 426 faculties in IIT (Chennai) only 2 faculties are Dalits and 22 faculties are OBCs remaining 402 are Brahmins. This is the reason for asking reservation in central institutions. The Brahmins maintain IITs only for their people. If an education institute is used as an
instrument to uphold their privileges, why the hell should we allot Rs 1000 crores from our annual budget to these institutes if it is not going to benefit 97% percent of the INDIANS.

Balu.j
Research Scholar
Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai

Stretch Our Space

Friends I am from Patna. Today here, all the doctors of general category (it was written on their placards) took out a rally and blocked main roads. They were shouting the sentences that were openly castist like,

"kala- Gora ek samaan
nahi chalega nahi chalega".


(Black and White like Equals, No Way No Way)

It has happened after when some doctors of PMCH stood in favour of reservation.
The most shocking fact was that instead of targeting OBC reservation they were mostly raising slogans against existing 22.5% of reservation of SC/STs
I don’t understand when and why this protest took the shape of anti SC/ST protest.
I think we, like minded people need to think about it and do some thing which will not only give the voice to our people who r not able to speak for generations but will also teach a lesson to all these anti Dalit masses.
I believe that now we need to stretch our cyber space to people's space.
What do u think friends??

Satyendra, Patna

Terrific Spark !

Thanks JEROME, for your expose! NDTV is a shockingly irresponsible news channel, and is unfortunately leading the way for other media reportage.

In response to ME's comment above, this is the need of the hour! Please share your information with everyone on this list. Some of us at my work place have also started looking at news websites and blogs to flood them with views thrashing the anti-reservation hate campaign that the media is creating, and we are getting more of our contacts to do the same. We must use the internet for all it is worth.

It's terribly disturbing, the kinds of virulent things that are being said online. While it is clear that these people are completely blind to the seriousness of the issues at stake, this unformed-but-malleable mindset is what the media is feeding into. We really need to expose this selective reportage. The latest online news editions are starting to report some pro-reservation news, but we need to build up more such supportive debate from all sides. UANDI's post is also really useful in this regard.

And Anoop and others at SCN, you have charged this moment with a terrific spark, your posts have been truly inspiring! Wishing lots of energy to all of us!

Lakshmi Kutty , Hyderabad

We Demand White Paper On Reservation

Dear Anoop and Friends,

We have formed a group of students called CONCERN and are bringing out posters etc informing students about the reality of anti-reservation debates. We from CONCERN are planning to arrange a panel discussion on the same issue by this month end. Since much of the population here in IISc is of brahmins and banias, you can expect the same kind of attitude on the issue of reservations as it is seen in AIIMS like institutions. And I fully agree with your plan to organise demonstrations in favour of reservation and condemning the strikes by doctors. The very fact that all the doctors and the IMA are against reservation proves that the medical,engineering professions are dominated by brahmin-baniyas, which makes the reservation for SC/ST/OBC in these professions more necessary. I came to know that students from IITs are also planning to join the protests againstreservation. And as you mentioned that our brothers and sisters in these institutionslike AIIMS are being forced to give statements in media that they are opposed to reservations. Last night they showed a guy from some medicalcollege in Delhi, who was saying that he belongs to OBC community and hecame through open competition and that OBCs do not need the "baisaakhi" of reservations. Obviously such students are speaking under pressure and they need our support. And certainly yes, while this issue is creating a turmoil, this is the high time, we ask for a white paper from the govt. on the state of reservation in the country - how much it has benefited the oppressed communities, what are the loop holes in it etc. People are not informed about the benefits of reservation policy, and this is one of the reasons that they oppose reservations.

Gyan
Indian Institute of Sciences, Banglore

Plan and Organise

I agree with the need to protest.
It is important.
If we observe the protests of the anti-reservation doctors and students, there was small time gap in which much organisation and thought went into how to protest. There is a need for everyone to think on the lines of organisation. This does not only mean attending protests. It means thinking of organisations and groups that u know. Student unions, professional bodies, ngos, small (or big) political parties. Having identified these groups, one should try and build pressure on them to protest. There is no need to hold massive protests, though these are the best. The key is effective protests. 50 people outside a hospital, 20 people at a main traffic junction even for ten min. stick small computer printed or handwritten pamphlets in buses or other places where people queue up. Take responsibility and become the centre for organisation in your city. All the while co-ordinate with national level efforts to organise large-scale protests. Before every protest make sure u call the media :). All numbers of the reporting desk are printed at the last page of every newspaper. If we look at Vivek's comment we can see that the media is unwilling to acknowledge pro-reservation voices. If you are unable to ensure that reporters you know attended the protests, then protest in front of the newspaper offices. Each city has a press club. It is cheap to book it for 1 hour and hold a programme where three major figures talk about reservation. In the press invites some famous names it doesn't matter if they do not actually come as long as the reporters come. It may also be possible to hold protests opposite where striking doctors are holding protests, with placards that expose the idiocy of their placards. There are a million ways. Just do it.
Most important is not to loose steam. Some protests won't be covered in the media. Such is life. That is no reason not to protest.

Uandi
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Make our Struggle Broad Based

Dear Anoop and friends,

I join your protest against the brahminical media, which tries to create an impression that the whole country is burning. Seeing that even the alumini of the IITs also joining the strike, we realise today that our protest cannot stop only with the institutions concerned. Now it is time for us to raise lot of other issues - issues relating to the treatment of 'quota students' by the institutional structures.
We need to interrogate
1. Syllabus design (this is largely discussed only in humanities) we need to extend it to engineering, medical and management disciplines.
2. Question paper pattern and evaluation pattern.
3. Mode of conducting interviews (we 'quota students' will remember for their lifetime the insults they go through in the interviews.)These are issues pertaining to students after winning reservation.
Azhagarasan,
English Department, University of Madras

NDTV Exposed

I am also quite irritated about the things going on in Delhi and Mumbai. The media also plays a very brahminical role.
Yesterday doctors inTamilnadu has taken up a rally to condemn Delhi and Mumbai doctors'and Indian Medical Associations' anti-reservation protests. A few days back NDTV's "We the People" was shot in Chennai and we went to participate in it. A few brahmin fools from Anna university raised the issue of reservation and expressed their anti-reservation views and we immedately asked for the mike but Barkha Dutt proved that she is no less brahminical by refusing to give us the mike and the ever brahminical Cho.Ramasamy who was in the panel said that reservation should go down gradually. then we started protesting and saying 'Reservation is our fundamental right" and even then Barkha denied us a chance and the program was brought to an end. We then shouted that this is not "we the people" this is "we the brahmins" and NDTV is anti-dark skins. All this happened after Mithreyan one of the panelist told that "as far as Tamilnadu is concerned reservation is a settled issue" but this stupid Barkha Dutt did not give him a chance to elaborate. It was clear that she was manufacturing the program for the upper caste english speaking elites of the north.
As far as Delhi situation is concerned, these students and Doctors who participate in the protest should be deemed 'Anti-Constitutional" and should be subjected to legal action by the government. Reservation is our constitutional right, no brahminical foxes have the right to deny our fundamental rights.We are also thinking of staging the protest against the brahminical fundamentalist doctors and medical students. In the mean time if you plan any protest, we will also make our best to co-ordinate and express our solidarity from here.

Jerome Samraj
Research Scholar
MIDS, Chennai

Monday, May 15, 2006

WHY WE NEED TO PROTEST

Friends,

Since Indian government has come out with the proposal of reserving 27 percent of the seats in central educational institutions for OBCs we are witnessing a hate campaign against Dalits and backwards being initiated by Indian media. Instead of analytical reports on merit and demerits of reservation to OBCs they are targeting Dalits, backwards and branding them as inefficient, merit less parasites. They are publishing cartoons, articles, editorials insulting to the most productive sections of the society-the real wealth creator of this country.

The media is also giving hype to few medical students protesting against reservation and trying to project as if the whole country will burn if the reservation proposal is implemented.

On the other side these doctors are blackmailing whole country and trying to turn the wheels backward and to keep intact their privileges of being born in ‘merited’ castes.

Have we ever thought why doctors are only on streets protesting against reservation?

It is because they know that sabotaging the medical facilities can make big impact and can hold the entire country on ransom by going on strike. They also knew that only poors (mostly from underprivileged castes, tribes) flock to government hospitals to get treatment whereas their kith and kin avail private medical facilities. They also knew that being an elite institution how important is to keep medical colleges a monopoly of brahmin-bania combine. It is advantageous for them to monopolize medical colleges so as to able to loot the wealth of the country. If students from underprivileged people become doctors they won’t be able to mint money by exploiting masses that consider these meritorious doctors as god.

Now the question arises whether we will let them to do whatever they want to do. Whether we will remain mute spectator to the blackmail of few doctors and let media keep calling us merit less, inefficient parasites. Or we will protest.

We MUST protest


1. against media’s handling on the issue of reservation
2. against blackmail of doctors
3. against Indian accademia’s golden silence
4. against government faulty implementation of reservation policy
5. against total black out of caste issues in syllabuses
6. against people like Sam Pitrodas, Andre Bettiles who are considered to be custodians of Knowledge in India.


We MUST protest

1. for Reservation is our claim of being a equal part of the nation
2. for Reservation is the only policy till now that is an antidote to caste system
3. for Reservation has brought millions of people in mainstream. Gave millions of people some human dignity.
4. for Reservation is our right not a favour.
5. for Reservation is bringing the real prosperity in the country as it has increased the purchasing power of the under privileged and that is creating scope for more industrialization

And most importantly we must protest

1. because we all are product of Reservation Policy. Without which we would have been cleaning shoes, carrying dead animals, doing menial jobs without any hope for our next generation. Reservation has provided the strength to fight for our dignity. Now no upper caste dares to touch us openly.

2. And we must protest so as all under privileged should get benefit of reservation and claim their right on this nation.

3. And we must also protest because we want to give our next generation more better future. This can only be done by claiming our right in the national resources in what ever forms.

Time to Stand Up

JAIBHIM

Yes. Guys that’s right on target. All ignited minds in Delhi please come up to show up our stand.
There was a demonstration held at Azad Maidan in Mumbai .It was a large but legally planned demonstration held by Medical students in Mumbai in favour of reservation. But the media did not even mention it .The points put up by the Students’ for claim on Nation is the perfect background ...time to ring some phones ... connect and show the support with full strength and peace. Time to stand up on our feet guys.

Vivek Chaurey, Mumbai

We must Protest

Friends:

There is no doubt that we need to protest; the question is, how many more weeks will go by before we actually do so? We are still talking to each other rather than doing something. May I suggest NDSF students in Delhi anounce a date and venue and get a big crowd of students from all over to hve a big protest? They should submit a memorandum to Arjun Singh in support of the move to reserve, and also take forward the idea that there be a reservation for the privileged classes and open general merit for the rest.

Come on. Anoop Take an off from work and the lead. This is the time to stand up and be counted! Togenter, we can do it!

Cynthia

Doctors Killing People

Dear friends,

Yesterday three people died in Delhi hospitals.
More people are going to die within few days. They have to die because ‘meritorious’ doctors are on strike. This is going to be replicated through out the country. The photos of these dead bodies will never be splashed on the front pages of the newspaper. No Burkha Dutts will debate on why these people had to die.

Instead the front pages of the newspapers will have photographs of young doctors braving police water cannons and police lathis protesting against ‘their’ country disowning them. There will be editorials, ‘expert’ comments and ‘analytical’ articles on how reservation is killing merit, efficiency and decelerating the onward march of India Inc.

What will be missing in these media reportings will be that how the reservation policy is the only successful government policy till date benefiting millions of underprivileged giving them some hope for better future despite being badly implemented. The media is surely going to miss that these millions of under privileged people, burdened by history, slog day in and day out during their student life as well as in jobs to justify that opportunity.

Instead media will bask in the glory of doctors donning white coats and carrying stethoscope in their pockets protesting with brooms, sweeping the roads, carrying shoe police. Because doctors and media are angry as to how their country can give their jobs to people who don’t belong there. This is their country, their nation. They have claim to all national resources not to those who actually clean roads or clean shoes. Doctors and media will teach them their place and never let the sons and daughters of sweepers, shoe cleaners to don white coat and carry stethoscope other wise who will clean their toilets, carry the dead bodies to morgue, change the bed sheets of the patients and carry their shit.

Media will also not let you know that these protesting doctors will marry with handsome dowries and open private nursing homes inspite of being posted in government hospitals. They will take bribes from poor people to carry life saving operations in government hospitals or otherwise refer to their own nursing homes which will be running as family businesses. They will prescribe fake but costly medicines and get hefty gifts in cash and kinds from medical representatives of the pharmaceuticals. No body will question them as this is all part of their merit, efficiency and skills.

Friends, such is the state of this country. The sons and daughters of the people who produce wealth and finance the elite institutions and the students studying there are called parasites, outsiders, inefficient, lacking merit. Whereas the wards of the most non productive sections of the country are upholding the banner of ‘Merit’ and ‘Excellence’.

There is no body to question their claims.

There is no body to hold them responsible for the deaths of patients.

There is no body to punish them for keeping us ransom through blackmails and trying to maintain caste hierarchy through blocking the opportunities to underprivileged.

There is no body to call their bluffs of merit and excellence.

And there is no body to tell them that this is not their country only!

Expose Them

You've hit the nail on the head! I hope this very important letter is circulated as widely as possible.These images of upper-caste victimhood MUST be exposed for what they are- a battle to preserve privilege. Lets see how long the media can sustain its campaign.

Shefali Jha, CIEFL, Hyd
May 15, 2006 1:47 AM

Not mere caste Battle

We must recognize that this is more than just a Dalit battle or a tribal battle or an OBC battle. Alongside trying to fight the public blackout of information in support of reservation and combat the nonsense propaganda of merit. it is imperative that each of us takes serious steps to think about what it means to work together.

Uandi

Total Support

I fully endorse views expressed in Anup's article- can we put together information on the pro- reservation rallies that are happening in our cities/regions? We can then try and get it into the mainstream media. at a personal level too, it would be very politically empowering to know about and look up with the pro- reservation rallies

Sharmia Rege , University of Pune

May 14, 2006 8:54 PM

Intensify our struggle

A lot of thanks to all of you..but intensify it..It is so diassapointing that where upper caste media,students,academcicans are advocating their voices through every channels,our people are not doing even to their strength..Media has created such an environment that it seems that whole country is speaking a single voice,the voice of 2-3percent has crushed the voice of more than 90percent of people..I will suggest that take out a rally either near Jantar-Mantar or some other places to highlight our movement..it will help us in two ways first our sleeping people will come up and second there is a possibilty that some media will cover us ..And this is the only way through we can warn the media and their homogenized voice and barking of upper caste students..Please carry on..I am with you.

Brahma Prakash

May 13, 2006 9:38 PM

Students for claim on Nation as a Platform

We should make STUDENTS FOR CLAIM ON NATION a platform to counter the attacks of Indian media on our rights and dignity. It is shame that we continue reading newspapers like TIMES OF INDIA day in day out in spite of being abused daily through cartoons, 'expert' comments, 'analytical' articles, editorial etc.Let us together make a platform from where we make sure that our views are not only heard but have wider impacts.

Lokendra IIT DELHI

Dear Friends,

It is good that you have come out with this statement; I fully endorse the views expressed. Further, it is clear that the existing upper-caste run media are having a free run in trampling upon the dreams and aspirations, as well as challenging the very basis for the diversity and strength of our younger generation of first and second-generation learners.But we too should also be more active in reaching out to the public with our own media products as the existing media is blocking us out of their pages and their air-time.What can we do to change this one-sided information order?
Cynthia Stephen
May 13, 2006 12:54 AM

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Jai Bhim Friends,

Anoop raise the very serious issue infront of us.As we can't sit as mute spectator.Today professions like medical and engineering which was taken as wheel of country went for strike. It was henious crime commited by the so called doctors. This is my request to all my dalit medicos that not only to protest against these people, but also put non cooperation to them in all sphere of life. If these people were against reservation, it means that these people are against humanity. I also request to all of you, try to stop buying castist news papers like TOI so we can cut down circulation of such stupid newspaper. I already started from today, you do so.
Jayant Biswas, IIFM, Bhopal

Friday, May 12, 2006

TRIBE, CASTE AND THE UNRESERVED INDIGNITY

Friends,

The issue of caste-based reservations has again hit headlines in the ‘national’ media, and the honour and dignity of all communities who deserve equal opportunity – SC, ST, OBC is at stake. The ‘nation’ and its government are more than 30 years late in implementing the guidelines of the Mandal Commission Report, but even today the upper-caste ‘nation’ is unwilling to let go of its privileges.

To make it worse the issue of debate in the ‘national’ media has become – ‘Why should we give reservations and equal opportunity to the lazy and imbecile SC, ST and OBC groups? The very dignity of the SC, ST and OBC students is at stake. Every morning (if you still bother to read the newspapers) we are told in a very nasty language that ‘we are applying brakes to the nation’, ‘we are incapable of anything worthwhile’, ‘we will become murderers instead of doctors’, ‘we are not mentally equipped to gain higher education’. Every day a few dozen upper caste boys and girls, every single news channel, and every single newspaper trample upon our dignity with their feet, and the ‘nation’ watches them do it with much happiness. The national media has shown its true middle class, upper caste colour, and has blacked out any pro-reservation rally from media coverage.

There is a conspiracy on the part of the double-mouthed and fork-tongued creatures called upper castes. While, in one voice (through the Govt. of India (GoI)) the upper castes do a charitable act by throwing the roti of reservation at us, with their second voice – the media, the dalal of hate, they tell us that this roti is being thrown at the hungry dogs who are the SC, ST and OBC communities.

The inherent Brahminical bias of the ‘nation’ of India has been thoroughly exposed over the past one month or so. At this point we would like to ask the GoI that instead of having reservations for the needy social segments of our society, we should have reservations for the rich and the affluent. We propose that the GoI should reserve a total maximum of 15% seats, in proportion of their population, for the forward castes (whether Brahmins, Kshatriyas or Baniyas) of India in education and employment! Its not the fault of the SC, ST or OBC communities that the GoI is unwilling to do so.

We, the undersigned, believe that affirmative action (e.g., reservations) is only the first step in an attempt to bring social justice and equality in this country. Its more important to change the Upper Caste mentality which has not changed for the past 2000 years. The ‘national’ media and the GoI still believe that the SC, ST and OBC communities are inferior to the so called ‘upper’ castes. Only the way of saying that has changed. Today we are inferior because we lack merit and efficiency and therefore do not belong to the ‘nation’, while earlier we were unclean and impure and therefore did not belong to the samaj.
It is required at this moment that the SC, ST and OBC communities stand up and stop this campaign of hate that strikes at our very dignity. It is not a question of being SC, ST or OBC today. The ‘national’ media is calling all of us inferior – whether you are a Pasmanda Muslim of Bihar, Jat student from Rajasthan or UP, a Mang student from Maharashtra, a Dhobi student from Bihar, a Kuki student from Mizoram or a Meitei student from Manipur, or an Ezhava from Kerala does not matter. It’s an attack on the dignity of all of us. Sitting back in our rooms and waiting for the ‘nation’ or the political parties to take the lead in saving us from the barrage of abuses hurled at us every morning in our newspapers and TVs is as good as dreaming.

If we do not do bother about our honour and dignity, who will?

Signed/-
Vikas Rathee, Sisir basumatari, Shamuel Tharu, Ramlal Singh, Harshita Chowdhry, Anoop Kumar, A Vinoth Raja, Jilangamba, Rubu Mamung, milind Awad, Hari Babu