Friday, March 29, 2013

Technology and Indian social reality

Dear All
I came accross some analysis about why Indian social reality has not
changed much, despite the increasing advancement in technology. I
find it amazing that such a simple thing is not obvious to people.The truth is that Indian democracy and markets are not
representative or inclusive enough. While the system is changing
marginally, it remains a well organized, well oiled machine
preserving the hegemony of a few communities, over the rest. It is
not organized around merit, whatever people may have told you or you
may have told others.So technology is a tool of exploitation in India. It is a tool to
ensure that the "business models" of the dominant communities win over
the "business models" of the depressed communities in market competition, thereby
subjugating the latter. And since the depressed communities are denied access to
capital/leadership-learning/technical resources, they are never able
to rise up and change the hegemonies.Nevertheless Democracy and markets have unique power to enable tiny
chinks to expand and I am hopeful that it will enable a change in
the superstructure of the Indian nation over the next 50 years.
Fortunately the same things that enabled the Indian dominant communities to move
out of the country and build their capabilities and confidence to
compete globally will work for those who are rising in education and
training....Well and the truth is that the situation is not too different world
over. Technology and science are what humanity makes of them. The
real battles are always fought inside human minds. The external
realities merely reflest the implications.Pratap Tambay

Capitalism and Social Discrimination

Dear All,

Both, capitalism and socialism are vulnerable to social
discrimination, but the operating mechanism differs. Under market
economies, I have noticed that the following
1. Inefficient Markets
In inequal economies, discrimination operates through demand and
supply. Essentially sellers from discriminated communities get bad
pricing for their products/services. Their products/services are
bought by the "market", if similar products/services are not
at good price or volume through vendors from other communities. Of
course, in extreme cases in India, markets themselves can be
segmented, since customers themselves are segmented. In fact,
economies can exist in some regions with inter-linkages controlled
the non-discriminated communities.
2. Supply chain discrimination
Supply chain units closer to the markets are hard to discriminate
against, if markets are efficient. But for those further down the
supply chain, dog-in-the-manger type approaches by those ahead of
in the supply chain are not uncommon. Another technique is to take
innovation value and create competition through tying up with other
suppliers from own community. These new suppliers are then given the
the knowledge taken/stolen from the discriminated community. This is
espescially true in those business areas, where the intellectual
property rights are more important then the non-intellectual
rights in the generation of business value through some
3. Labour market discrimination
Labour market discrimination is too common and is reasonably well
understood. Essentially those without recourse are exploited by
them less and giving them poor working conditions by threatening
with changes in production technique and/or usage of labour from
cheaper areas. Of course paying, promoting, rewarding differentially
for same work is also very common.
4. Capital market discrimination
While the essential theme remains same. Access to capital still
remains the source of all ills. One would expect that capital would
always flow to those people, who can use it better. This is true, if
such people are aware and active. But subjugated and exploited
communities are structually unable to separate themselves from their
day to day realities and take on the risk of gestation periods in
positive NPV projects. So they end up selling their thoughts, words
and actions to enable their selves to survive. In fact they tend to
lose shame and prefer to stay entombed in their miseries, since
histories have taught them that resistance is futile. They lose
strength and "karma-rebirth" theory also encourages passive learned
helplessness and ritual action. It is only by increasing their moral
strengths, that they might be able to start with small enterprises
initially. Dhamma is one tool to stop the learned helplessness and
increase self-reliance.
In each of the above, the pre-existing social networks of the
individuals is a key factor. The exact nature of a node and the
nature of the relationship between two nodes may vary.
If political, economic and social democracy are viewed through the
lens of such a social network analysis, it is easy to understand
why "political democracy is a farce without social and economic

Black Money and Ambedkarite Nationalism

Dear All,

In multiple forums, I have heard about the money possessed by
Temples as against the scale of the Indian budget. Speakers sought
to highlight the scale of economic inequality. One similar statistic
is the scale of black money in India.
I recently concluded a deal to sell a house in Chembur mumbai and in
the process was made aware of the scale of black money in India.
Black money is money stolen from Government. If the relevant tax
were to be paid to the government, then the government can
potentially fund schools and loans for dalits. So black money is
money stolen from the rural and urban poor, who have little money,
black or white.
The spiritual sanction under hinduism to a dual life (separate
practical life and spiritual life) is the source of this moral
degradation where corrupt people sleep happily as long as they
follow brahminic rituals. To me hindu dualilty is the cause of
creation and sustenance of the large scale of black money in India.
I have seen many middle class folk (including friends and relatives)
promote black money for small and immediate private benefit despite
its large social cost. It is due to this selfish acceptance of black
money at a personal level, that the moral strength of the Indian
population in resisting the high level of corruption and black money
has weakened.
Ambedkarite nation does not have much money, black or white. At the
economic level, those creating or sustaining black money are the
enemies of Ambedkarites. It is they who enable non-Ambedkarites to
continue the current situation for their selfish interests. It is
they who daily sell out Ambedkarite interests to finance their
personal benefits.
At a personal level, I know that due to being an Ambedkarite I wont
be able to sleep well if I create and sustain black money. We ALONE
have a direct reason to not want black money. The minute an
Ambedkarite accepts black money, he/she makes the movement
vulnerable to hijacking and manipulation by those who control flows
and keep track of black money.

Gandhi and Ambedkar

> *********
> Gandhi was conscious of the ill effects
> of the pernicious caste system, but he wanted meaningful reform
> within the totality of the entire Hindu society whereas Ambedkar
> highlighting a sectoral problem by promoting separatism without any
> framework of long-term integration of the depressed classes with
> upper castes.
> *********
Periodically questions like the above are raised about Dr. Ambedkar's
committment to
India as a nation. This question keeps coming up in many forms in many
forums. The above
form is a moderate one. Shourie was an extreme one.To answer this question, We must articulate Ambedkarite Nationalism
more crisply.
Today India is comprised of 3 nations. A golwalkar nation, a gandhian
nation and an Ambedkarite Nation. The Gandhian nation is dying and has
managed to survive since independence by hoodwinking the Ambedkarite
nation. Answering the question involves defining how Ambedkarite
nationalism is a superset of Gandhian thinking. We must
define what it is that an Ambedkarite PM will do which a
non-Ambedkarite PM will never do. It will help in "decimating" the
Gandian nation.
The truth about Gandhi was that he was the biggest hypocrite that the
country ever saw. He did not want to do unto Ambedkarite masses as he
wanted the british to do unto his masses. This segmented morality
endemic to Hinduism is oppressive to those who suffer under it, while
enabling beneficiaries to sleep well and feel morally upright in their
while pain, hunger and powerlessness cries loudly right outside their
homes.The very nature of vote bank (i.e. Gandhian i.e. Congressi) politics is
that while meeting the short term interests of those who bring rural
poor into urban areas and settle them there to create a zhopadpatti
vote bank, it also creates a longer term strategic geo-demographic
change in the polity. As the newly settled communities rises in
education and financial/employment stability, it mutates. Newer
generations ask inconvenient questions and are relatively better
equiped to impose preferred answers through the ballot box.
Gandhian politics (read Congress), while indulging in vote bank
politics became dependent on the Ambedkarite polity for its political
survival. As the Ambedkarite nation now rises, the
Gandhian nation is capsizing. Rahul Gandhi will never become PM. Rajiv
Gandhi, Narsimha rao and VP singh opened the doors to large scale
change in the polity as described above. I expect the Congress to
wither away and/or take on Ambedkarite colour, if the economic
interests it safeguards want to preserve some share of political power
at centre and state. Today Maharastra is a political vaccumn, since Bal
Thakarey and Sharad Pawar are close to the end of their respective
political careers. And there is no one yet to fill the Gap. The
political benefits of decimating the Gandhian nation will be immense.Ambedkar is a superset of Gandhi. The problem with dalit politics is
that the language of hatred easily helps non-dalits to close their
minds to Ambedkarite evangelism which will help them see this. It is
now necessary and fortunately possible (since volumes of Ambedkar are
easily available from Maharastra government) to explain Ambedkarite
nationalism to the country and to restore Dr. Ambedkar to his rightful
position as a leader not merely limited to a pathetic Gandhian vision,
but a much more powerful visionary (as described by the philosopher of
science, Meera Nanda in "prophets facing backwards" - search on google
for the book) equipped to radically transform and improve India.RegardsPratap

Nasscomm, Rahul Bajaj and Dalits

The nasscom people do not even acknowledge caste discrimination, much
less provide a link similar to "women in IT" to provide proof. They
ignore the need to prevent "caste discrimination" in the industry. The
words caste, dalit and dalits do not return any material on their
website. Their caste prejudice shows.
 Read Gail Omvedts article about "dalits in the world of IT". Have you
come accross any article by the brahminic media yet on the number of
dalits in the world of IT. The hypothetical statements of the Rahul
Bajaj's and Narayanmurthy regarding this reek of presumptive caste arrogance and a
total lack of sensitivity to the Indian social reality. Rahul Bajaj in particular had no qualms in asking for protection from
"stronger MNC companies" as part of his Bombay club, but he loudly
proclaims now that the government should strengthen "strong people" so
that they can help the weak... When he is losing is position, he wants
protection, but when it is a question of his position coming into
threat, his views are dramatically different. No surprise that he keeps
talking about the association of his family with Gandhi. Read the
following Bajaj wants a level playing field to battle with MNC's. But he is
severely restricted in his ability to understand that dalits need a
level playing field, against communities which have lot more

Ambedkars Nationalism: In the finest of India's traditions

Many of you misunderstand Dr. Ambedkar. I hope the following two
articles will help you re-visit your understanding of Dr. Ambedkar and
his nationalism.The following essay describes Dr. Ambedkars nationalism and relates it
to the hindutva movement. To those who prefer more formal RSS
literature, I recommend Dattopant Thengdi's book on Ambedkar. following essay describes Dr. Ambedkars nationalism and relates it
to the Indian freedom struggle. The book by Gail Omvedt, whose link I
posted is also useful to understand the committment of Dr. Ambedkar to
his nationalism. you find a better reconciliation of the best of Indian and western
tradition ... let me know.Due to the fact of being born untouchable, Dr. Ambedkars experience of
India was different from many of you and even me. I benefitted from his
contribution and have had a better life than I would have had if he had
never existed. His western learning and yet his resort to Indian
tradition of buddhism for his people, his massive contribution to the
life of Indians (Indian democracy, hindu society, women in general,
labor class, etc), his multiple life-long friendships with people from
all communites and the fact that he never never was associated with any
party which defined itself with any small segment/community are all
visible proof of his love of India.I would love to hear from people who want to hear more about
him...whichever persuasion they come from...hindutva, congress, commie,
dalit, whatever. Dr. Ambedkar was larger than such labels, as all true
leaders always are. Sadly it has been the failing of the dalits, who
have caused him to be viewed as a sectarian leader through excessive
mis-projections of only parts of him, particularly his strong criticism
of the ills of hinduism.Let us dedicate ourselves to creating a better India, comfortable with
its myriad traditions, confident of mastering its own ills and helping
to improve the globe for all humanity.RegardsPratap

Need for affirmative actions in private sector

Hi All,
I am IITB B.Tech. 1992 and IISc. M.Sc.(Engg) in Management 1996. I
studied on reservation but my work life is fully in private sector
and I am doing fine.I think that Affirmative action in employment, enterprise, financing
and public procurement in government, public and private sectors is
very much called for. My own 10+ years of work experience in Mumbai
and Bangalore has been that while caste based discrimination does
not operate explicitly, it exists in substantial measure and
operates in subtle hidden ways. Reservation as a solution like in
government employment is undesirable, but US style affirmative
action programmes are much needed to correct the diversity imbalance
at most levels in Indian private sector. In UK, where I am based
now, there is a annual disclosure of gradewide ethnic diversity as
part of the financial statements. That might be one option. The
mechanism of discrimination in India is subtler but discrimination
exists in a measure stonger than many believe. The systematic denial
of attempts to create data, under the excuse of preventing animosity
is typical of Indias traditional approach of hiding the problems of
20% of its population under the carpet.The problem of economic re-distribution to recently "on-paper
equalised" interest groups is complex and not unlike the problem
faced by South Africa post-Aparthied. You just have to see the
solutions they are exploring to understand the insincerity of the
Indian elite. Perhaps the reason is that the hiterto disadvantaged
are in power in South Africa, while the Indian upper caste elite is
confident that they are and will stay in power. Furtunately the
situation is changing and the power equations are changing and are
set to alter Indian political reality over time. Hiding caste in all
places except marriage advertisements does not eliminate its 3000
year capability to divide people and sustain inequitable partitions
of the population and power.Handing out some dole is no longer enough. Power sharing in
percentage of the population is needed. The pune pact made the
elections meaningless for the depressed classes. The current
fragmentation of the polity and rising education/enterprise in
depressed classes is triggering forces which will eventually change
the power balance. Please substantiate any arguments with raw data
about caste and economic status. Whatever Amartya sen may say about
argumentative Indians, arguments among unequals tend to assume lot
of things which should not be assumed and so should always be
conducted with the support of raw data for the arguments to have any
meaning and utility. The systematic non-creation of data about caste
and social status under spurious "arguments" is the key symptom of
the mischief in the social mind of upper caste indians.Let us stop hypocrisy. I (and we Ambedkarites in particular) are no
longer fooled by the web of words/beliefs as a shroud over our
living dead bodies.RegardsPratap

Dalit human rights

Dear All,
If India does not improve its dalit human right situation, if the laws
for safeguarding these rights of dalits and the caste discrimination in
public life do not work, then dalits will drift into the clutches of
those who advocate violence and question the legitimacy of the Indian
nation itself. Like swami Agnivesh has said publicly there is an urgent
need to fight a new battle to free India. The current battle is being
fought through the ballot boxes, but if one party goes outside the
democractic process continuously, then the other party will have no
choice to do the same.Fighting for human rights prevails over national interest.Every sane person world over understands this. International law and
opinion understands this.Hindutva hotheads who do not understand this have even threatened to kill me
for saying this. So I will say it again and again. I prefer death to
speaking the truth. Human rights are more important than any religion,
any nation. Violation of human rights is crime against God,
religion,country and humanity.With love towards all and malice towards none.RegardsPratap

Ambedkarite manifesto of 1951: Capitalism

Dear All,

Dr. Ambedkar is frequently painted as a communist, which he never was
(see his essay on Buddha or Karl Marx for his critique of Marx and
communism and his espousal of buddhism as the best way ahead - a
religion admired even by Vivekananda as the flower of hinduism)
Dr. Ambedkar is mostly understood as being in favor of state socialism,a kind of democratic socialism with a large government and public
sector and a tiny private sector.
But this is gross misunderstanding of the vision of Dr. Ambedkar, whichkept evolving over this life. Despite, the positive evidence coming
from the communist states being more than the negative evidence, Dr.
Ambedkar was quick to visualise the implications of both more correctlyand adjust his own vision for India accordingly.
His opposition to nehruvian socialism and advocation of a larger
private sector, where appropriate instead of a formulaic acceptance or
rejection of large scale nationalisation or privatisation comes throughvery clearly from the manifesto of the "scheduled caste federation",
the dalit party which became "The republican party of India" later.
Clearly his formulation is the formulation that India finally moved in
the 1990's. Imagine if the nation had understood and backed my Messiah,on his merits instead of ignoring him as a dalit leader, where would webe today. If he had won the elections and implemented his manifesto, wewould already be a first world country.

Stopping internal colonisation of dalits: Conversions

Dear All,
There is an urgent need to protect the rights of dalit hindu adults to
convert to other religions. It is their only way of exposing the pain
that the hindus put them into. Even that way of resistence is sought to
be throttled with force. And there is no effort to bring about
substantial change in the situation which causes their pain. Mere token
changes are offered and substantial change is claimed.The nonsense perpetuated by haughty sanatanis and brahmins who seek to
continue the internal colonialisation of dalit hindus will not change
unless dalits manage to achieve a say in political power on their own.
Dalits need to move towards those forces which provide executive
responsibility at the very top in Indian democracy and use power to
bring about the changes they seek. One can awaken those that actually
sleep. It is not possible to awaken those who merely act like they are
asleep.Any force which seeks to break the economic, social, political chains
of the dalit hindus need to be strengtened to win freedom for the
Ambedkarite nation from the oppressive clutches of the (non-Dattopant
Thengdi-segment of) hindutva nation. Bull-shitters from
non-Dattopant-Thengdi-segment of hindutva, be warned. The hindutva
nation you think you live in is also internally divided and will divide
further unless you look within and repair your sinking boat.The sheer inhuman way I have been treated
(abused/unneccessarily-maligned/credentials-questioned) on multiple forums,
despite not using a single bad word or not wishing ill for any hindu
and the systematic attempt to continuously abuse me is pathetic. I will
spend my life to make sure that these bull-shitters do not win. They
misunderstand hindutva, they misunderstand hinduism, they misunderstand
Ambedkar, they misunderstand India, they misunderstand democracy, they
misunderstand simple human values. They don't know how to talk, how to
treat people equally. It would be utterly tragic if such bull-shitters
were to take over India through their disinformation campaigns. I am
with the Meera Nandas, Michael Witzels of the world to prevent hindutva
from spreading its nonsense any more. Hereon I have decided not to
engage with any bull-shitter who does not know how to talk to peer and
equal Indians and who refuse to read before they write. These
bull-shitters are disgracing the nation that I love.Unfortunately the fence-sitting hindus who have not spoken up yet,
through their toleration of this disgracing of the nation are harming
the highest traditions of the nation.I request all thinking Indians to speak up for or against my views
stated above. Atleast I will know whether I love an illusion of India
or whether the India I understand and love actually exists.Please speak upRegardsPratap

Conversions and reservations

Dear All logic that those who convert cannot get reservations is purposeful
flawed thinking. A few points to note regarding conversions and
reservations.1. Change of religion does not change the past and the impact of the
past-discrimination on the present individual. At best the time
required to come out of the impact reduces2. The real purpose of anti-conversion laws is political. It aims to
preserve the hegemony of hindu elite over the hindu majority, by
keeping others from wanting to help improve the situation of the hindu
dalits. Essentially the hindu elite is afraid that if hindu dalits
convert, then the ballox boxes will start telling a different story and
the growth in the confidence of dalits in their own abilities will
create a threat to the unfairly high social economic and political
power of the hindu elite due to the legacy of caste disrimination.3. Opposing reservations to converts aims to reduce the pressure to
increase the ambit of affirmative actions. Non-hindu dalits have higher
confidence in their ability to bring about change and are unafraid to
ask for radical change, while hindu harijans are ok with crumbs thrown
by their feudal hindu elite masters.The current approach to conversions and to "reservations for converted"
is a dog in the manger type behavior by the hindu elite. Neither will
they initiate radical change, nor will they let other initiate it. They
want to retain the status quo in terms of their hegemony over India.RegardsPratap

Disclosure of diversity of our institutions

India needs to be more open about disclosing actual diversity to
prevent one segment of the population (gender, caste, religion, ...)
from cornering important positions in its government, public and
private institutions. Our civil society needs to understand that this
is in the best interest of India.
Hiding such data and preventing its collection reeks of a conspiracy to
perpetuate hegemonies.Certificates/opinions of "admirable" people are not a substitute for
opinions based on replicable analysis of reliable data. the hypocrisy.

Win Win solutions to the caste problem

Throughout history battles have been fought to control and impose
ownership over resources like land labor and capital. Those who win
such wars derive rents from their lower cost of utilising these
resources to generate profits and become more powerful over time due
to increase in their personal ownership over the total pool of land,
labor and capital. Competition tends to become less and less fair
for those who start late on the entreprenership. Innovation is the
only capitalistic tool to change the social ordering. The one who
manages to innovate best at least cost succeeds most in changing the
social ordering.
Most theories state that some kind of violent confrontations were
lost by dalits and the economic and social organisation imposed
over them by the winners impoverished them and marked the winners as
special aristocrats.The idiotic theories claims that dalits chose to
clean shit voluntarily and brahmins chose voluntarily to focus on
learning. These theories are not accepted by any sensible people.So caste based reservation was self awarded in the past by imposing
it through violence in the past.Now that we are in a democracy, the aim ought to make the playing
field level, so that dalit entrepreneuers have atleast as much shot
at changing the social and economic order by creating business value
through innovation. Secondly the objective should be to grow the
economy, else the battle of the ballot boxes will be limited to who
controls how much of a fixed size pool of resources or entitlements.
And if the incremental growth is distributed more to dalits, then it
will reduce the potential for violent confrontations and enable to
come to an equal level over time, without hurting the interests of
non-dalits.Hence dalits need to be involved and enabled in the creation of new
wealth. Investment in their education and in their enterprises will
create value for the whole society.That is the only win-win solution to India's problems. All the other
solutions are win-lose or enrich-impoverish solutions with potential
for violence.

Dalit massacres and Jallianwalla baug: Questions from Rang De Basanti
Why does Tsundur and other dalit massacres not appear in Indian movies? Why should dalits cry
over Jalianwalabaug when Tsundurs continue to happen?The movie "Rang De Basanti" raised this simple question in my mind.Is India free yet?

What should Indian Nationalism mean for dalits?

Dear All,
I notice a continuous stream of accusations at dalits as anti-
national. I want to present a dalit viewpoint on India's post-
independence reality and seek your views on this.Despite their horrible pre-independence conditions, dalits chose to
align with India instead of choosing yet another partition. Dr.
Ambedkars visionary first speech in the constituent assembly clearly
proclaims the nationalistic fervour of dalits. This speech can be
reviewed from the following link after the section of Jayakars
The present system of reservations was created by Congress as a
compensation for Dr. Ambedkars demand for separate electorates.
Dalits continue to bear the results of Gandhi's blackmail of
Ambedkar into signing the pune pact which gives them stooges of non-
dalits as representatives.Indias post-independence development strategy has resulted in an
upper caste oligopoly of value chains in the private sector. This
oligopoly includes manuvadis christians and muslims too. This
oligopoly consciously and unconsciously discriminates against dalits
and relegates them to low value jobs/businessses. Due to this the
economic growth of India has increased the inequality in India
instead of reducing it. Unless dalits are enabled and empowered to
participate in the economic growth, the economic growth of India
will continue to increase the inequality rather than reduce it.In the 2001 census there was a detailed section on the condition of
dalits. The situation of dalits is horrible as described in that
document. The following analysis is based on this section and based
on analysis of data and articles in the media.Just 10% of dalits work in government, and public sector. 90% dalit
dalits work in organised and unorganised private sector. For these
90%, literacy, property ownership, healthcare, insurance, finance or
even non-discriminated access and participation in social resources
and social life in general remains marginal. While the situation has
improved in urban areas, the evidence from rural areas is
horrifying.Despite independence, masaccres like Gohana, Jhajjhar, Tsundur and
many others go practically unpunished and even uncried for compared
to the long gone Jallianwala baug massacre which is posited by
Indian media as something that all Indians are supposed to cry over.
Dalit viewpoints are inadequately represented or misrepresented by
the media, where dalits are scare in ownership and management.Elections are rarely free, fair and non-violent, the media is
hostile to dalit viewpoints due to lack of dalits among media owners
and managers, illiteracy and poverty of dalits is used to misguide
them, the pune pact ensures that radical dalits never get elected
and only subservient dalits get elected.The courts too have recently slid into the support of non-secular
ideologies hostile eventually of the basic principles of the
constitution. The Obiter dicta of Justice Dharmadhikari posted on
this group is a recent example.The economic dependence of dalits on non-dalits continues due to no
change in rural areas. The executive starting from elected
representatives and ministers down to lower level functionaries too
have become aligned with upper caste elites and consume the major
portion of development funding as confessed by Rajiv Gandhi.But non-dalits continue to be hostile to ANYONE FROM ANYWHERE who
seeks to enable and empower dalits. If Christians seek to enable and
empower dalits in exchange for conversions, manuvadi hindus call
them anti-national and seek to stop them. Same is true about
Muslims. If dalits seek help of USA, US and UN in enabling and
empowering themselves, because Indians and India have not enabled
and empowered them such dalits are labeled anti-national.If 90% dalits not got much out of independence, what is the exact
expectation of those who have benefitted out of India's independence
from them? What should India mean to them according to Indians like
you? Is there any substantial freedom for dalits in this context,
defined as Amartya sen does? What then should being Indian mean to
dalits according to Indians like you?I raise this question with you as to "what should Indian nationalism
mean for dalits". As a dalit, I sincerely seek your views on
this question which has bothered me for years.RegardsPratap

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dalits in private sector and MNC companies

Dear All

Many MNC subsidiaries and outsourcing partners based in India will
shortly face pressure to incorporate measures to address the absence of
dalits among their employees. The process has started. Newer norms (and
sometimes mandatory regulations) like the Ambedkar principles of the
IDSN (see for a flavor) are being raised in board meetings
of MNCs by their own institutional investors and by activist individual
investors. The situation right now is that their awareness of the
situation and the need to act is growing. Expect action in the not so
distant future. Governments around the world too are supporting the
need for corporates to comply with global norms (UN compact for
example) that many of them have signed up for. Lenders/Donors are
beginning to be aware of the diversion happening in money sent to India
and the injustice being perpetuated in the distribution of the positive
effects of the money.

Corporate India (including Nasscomm) does not want to discover and talk
about dalits like the senior level dalits in Indian private and MNC
companies...and have a section like "women in IT" to celebrate the
potential of dalits and document the successes of Indias
reservation/affirmative-action policy. The hidden apartheid against
dalits openly being themselves in the Indian corporates is high. Dalits
are expected to be extremely docile and lie in a corner, take what is
thrown at them and not seek a share of corporate power.

The conspiracy of ignoring dalit achievement in Indian private sector
aims to perpetuate the myth that dalits are incapable.

The achievements of dalits like me are proof enough of the benefits of
investing in dalits by facilitating their education, employment and
enteprise. Today there are multiple companies which have benefitted
from the value I created as their employee. Of course, the fact that I
was paid proportionately low to my contribution in the final analysis
is a failing of Indian corporate culture, but atleast I had the
opportunity to experiment with what I could achieve at the risk of
someone else. That opportunity itself is denied to those who lack the
social networks to find the right jobs/financing, get the right advice
suitable to their individual talents/weakness. So the confidence
required to launch enterprises is scarce. And yet the expectation is
that dalits should pick themselves up and start running.

Without helping dalits to stand up and start walking, the expectation
of many non-dalits is that the dalit community should immediately start
running at globally competitive levels. And when they say this, they
conveniently forget the justification for why Rahul Bajaj needs a
"level playing field".

There is unjust pressure to "be part of the team", where in the "coffee
table discussions", the dominant castes summarily dismiss dalit
viewpoints and where the level of hatred easily subjugates any desire
to actively argue the case of the dalits. And if some dalit does argue
the case actively, he is quickly "handled" and branded as "not being a
team player". This brand of subjugation is a tactic to keep dalits
silent and prevent them from raising their voices against the dominant
viewpoints and exploitative structures preventing dalits from growing
out of their miseries. Discussions about dalits are conducted in pomp
by non-dalits and they gloat about the glories of how they are the
saviors of dalits. And if dalits are chosen, then either subservient
dalits or ignorant dalits are chosen as representatives of dalits,
thereby denying representation in fact. The pune pact is the most
insidious way of denying representation to 20% of the population.

Indian private sector has a long distance to travel. Its views of
itself are far from reality. Its public utterances of fairness are
false. Its hypocrisy and claims moral uprightness is a blot on the
public face of India given the reality which is getting exposed through
the global media.

Infosys is a good thing to happen in India. I am one of those, who
spurred on by Infosys, was part of launch and sale of a company. I do agree that
Narayanamurty did some good. But did he really do anything about being
inclusive. His gandhian attitude of seeking Americans to open their
markets, while closing the doors on dalits in implicit manners is a
pain. The PR machinery of Infosys has'nt been able to showcase "dalits
in Infosys" yet. There are dalits in Infosys. But Infosys has a brahmin
dominated culture. Personally I have actively
avoided it for years. I made my career by sticking with smaller
companies, where work would matter more than my caste, where any
discrimination would be immediately visible. While larger companies
like TCS have hired and promoted dalits to senior levels, their
insistence on staying totally mum about the number of dalit employees
is retrograde.

Many Indians believe that once dalits have been accomodated into the
corporate hierarchy, then they should get co-opted into the thinking of
non-dalits. The truth is that retaining ones identity is important in
the case of dalits for multiple reasons.
1. To provide visible role models
2. To measure progress of dalits objectively and not subjectively based

on hand waving hypothesis.
3. To provide representation to views of other dalits (dalit investors,

dalit potential employees, dalit customers, etc)

The Gandhian insistence of losing ones identity and mixing up is a
tactic to divest the dalits of their transformative potential. If they
do not leave their identities, they raise questions inside and outside
the company, whether they want to raise them or not. That is the reason

why companies want dalits to remain invisible. That is the reason, why
despite so many years of reservations, there are too few dalits visible
at senior levels. There are some who have been co-opted into silence
and live their lives hidden and subservient to the interests of those
in power.

If Infosys thinks it is gods gift to mankind, then let it showcase
senior level dalits. How come, despite so many years of reservations at
IIT and IIM, they still have'nt managed to attract one senior employee,
who happens to be dalit? Their claimed moral uprightness about dalit
employees having "equal opportunity" inside Infosys is hog-wash to me.
The proof will be show-casing "dalits at Infosys" like the Nass-com
website which showcases "women in IT".



Sunday, March 17, 2013

Why is social equality important?

If society does not have equality of opportunity for all segments, then society will be less stable. Even if a particular segment were to be unable to challenge and threaten the hegemony of the dominant segments at a given point of time, the elite from that segment will organise and pose the said challenge and threat as soon as it becomes possible. If we decide to live in a police state, where social inequality is enforced with violence by the state, it will result in social lives vulnerable to acts of violence by those suffering from the inequality and state violence.

As India becomes more unequal than before economically, the overlap of social inequality and rising economic inequality make for a very virulent mixture. Even a animal turns hostile, when its life is threatened. As the livelihoods of masses are lost to the march of the exploitative capitalism taking root in India, as the ability of masses to extricate themselves from their respective circles of common fate wanes, the rise of maoist terrorism and the rise of violence against the socially and economically backward sections of society are not surprising. I am surprised that despite the data to the contrary, many Indians continue to believe that India is improving.

I think that the pressure on socially and economically backward segments of the population to act with violence rises as their enlightenment through education rises, as the rights granted to them on paper are not granted to them in practice (i.e. lack of proper jurisprudence about related laws making rights unenforceable) and as reasonable opportunities to make a living are not made available to them due to lopsided (purposefully) development. This does not bode well for peace and prosperity. Indias lopsided economic development is building up forces which if not addressed are bound to create violence against injustice and large hurdles in further development, unless proper jurisprudence is established and the model of development is changed to a less lopsided one.

Gujarat is currently posited as the right model of development. Maybe it is, may be not. Any model which enriches one segment of population which impowerishing others sounds great in the short run if the enriched section is in control of the media singing paeans to the model of development. But it is only in the medium term that the stresses and lopsidedness becomes more visible and those whose destinies have been looted unleash their fury on the future of the said model of development. While it  is true that it is difficult to please all the people all the time, it is necessary to think about the longer time. Increasing the pressure at the bottom of the pyramid too much is far too dangerous. The pyramid could topple over.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Public dalits in Indian private sector

There is reservation for dalits in Indian government and public sectors, yet the number of dalits in top positions in government and public sector is tiny. A glass ceiling prevents dalits from rising to these top positions in the sector where there is special protection. The situation in the private sector is worse, where unless dalits hide their dalit-ness, the risk of discrimination is high. In multiple legal judgements, courts seek to take a legal view ignoring the dalit discrimination aspect of the case. This national strategy of  pushing dalit identity underground in social life and related legal judgements is designed to  prevent emergence of related jurisprudence, which (rather than laws on paper) will improve representation of dalits in public and private sectors. It reflects how scared non-dalit India is of dalits like Ambedkar who can stand up to them in every way.

Essentially if you are dalit and want to be employed, you have to be content with khalasi class jobs, unless you "fit" in. By this "fit" in, I allude the mysterious way in which conscious/unconscious stooges of non-dalits are placed into positions which matter. Dalits confortable with their dalit identity seeking to relate to non-dalits without hiding their dalit identity somehow do not rise to the top. Most of the debates on TV and elsewhere choose either these stooges to represent views of dalits in matters of importance, or they doctor the process (like in the Greatest Indian competition) to generate specific outcomes. Modern India is yet to come to terms with dalits, who are building themselves in similar ways as Ambedkar built himself into a stellar Indian.

The taboo on caste is a mechanism to sustain the process of exclusion of dalits in the Indian public sphere. As the ability of dalits to weild the tools of science and speak for themselves rises, more and more creative means are being invented to sustain the exclusion. For example, what is the national justification for a national HRD strategy which does not invest in their education and employment of dalits into the outsourcing sector, thereby increasing the ability of India  to provide cheaper services than other outsourcing destinations? If non-dalits participants have become too costly to provide current services at the cost point required by western customers, why not bring dalit participants who will be willing to work at the required cost points? Why can't our national policies be aligned to make this happen?

The reason this cannot happen, is that non-dalit India does not want to lose its stranglehold on the destinies of dalit India. If more and more dalits break out of the dependency on non-dalits, non-dalits will not be able to dominate dalits the way they have. So they are indulging in this dog-in-the-manger type of behaviour.
Pain, Hunger and Powerlessness

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Reviewing reservation policy

I fully agree. Some "creamy layer" needs to be defined right away. Itoo have seen misusers of the policy. BTW I have also seen pseudo-dalits (non-dalits with dalit certificates) claim reservations. Iwonder whether we should first focus on weeding these imposters out.But I think that till all the reserved seats are filled atleast once,there is no need to review the reservations policy for present/futuregeneration.

Self respect, career risk: Dalit Identity

I agree that we must comfortable about our identities. I agree thateven if that puts careers at risk, it is neccessary for self respect.But I feel that a need to shout out one's past identity is also aninferiority complex in most situations. Instead of that, I guess thatinvolving oneself publicly in buddhist causes makes a betterstatement. Its best to never say anything to anyone about identityunless one feels that it is neccessary and/or useful. Its better tobe comfortable and illustrate through thought word and action. Itworks for me and I have'nt encountered any major problems yet.Educated dalits should make themselves visible and audible at publicbuddhist forums. I have aligned myself with sarvodaya buddha vihar,Chembur and have had two functions at home by Bhikkus from there. Ialso try to attend their programmes and try to go there for prayerperiodically. I have also been trying to attend buddhist programmes.Its my way of making a statement. I also donate ... but that is myhidden statement ... to myself only

Dalit social science?

My readings of anthropology literature tell me that most expertsconcede the utility of the sanskritization concept in explainingsocial reality. If Bro. Vijay is right then, Mr. M.N.Srinivas hasmanaged to hoodwink many professional anthropologists around theworld for around 40 years. That seems unlikely to me.There are few ways to disprove scientific theories likesanskritization1. Methodological or data incorrectness/inconsistency can be used todebunk the original studies and later validatory studies, whichestablished the concept.2. Come up with an alternative concept, which explains old and newdata adequatelyIf we do not disprove the theory in the above manner, then tillanthropologists finds data inconsistent with the sanskritizationtheory, we will have to bear with the "sanskritization" theory.Merely pointing out caste biases of academics without doing the abovewill lead to creation of dalit anthropology, dalit sociology, daliteconomics, .... I don't think that that is good for us.

Sanskritization, Anglicisation or Modernisation

I read the riddle number 1. Fortunately its available online. Itessentially means that it is difficult to define what a hindu is. Itmade me very happy that its easy to define buddhism (whatever is inpali canon of Theravada). But it did not help me understand, why abuddhist leader should not participate in a non-buddhist publicfunction conducted by his non-buddhist followers. Please send mecontact details of Mr Raja Dhale. I am eager to meet someone whom youregard as an expert in Ambedkarism and Buddhism.I have studied Anthropology. I got around 220/400 in the IAS mains init, which is considered high. I also own a many books inAnthropology, with a focus on caste related topics, collected overthe last 15 years. More over MN Srinivas worked at NIAS, which was inIISc Campus in 1995. I met him there in 1995 and argued with himabout sanskritization. I am thorough with the key concepts relevantto analysis of caste, including sanskritization.The concept of sanskritization implies that all dalits want tosanskritize and hence demeans them. MNS replied that he was reportingthings as they were and not as they should be. MNS's definitive workon sanskritization seemed to allow dalits only sanskritization andanglicization as means of upward social mobility.Sanskritization is what "dalits" do. Sanskritization by dalits doesnot change hinduism, beyond adding one "myth", at best. Theassimilative efforts that I spoke about are efforts of hinduism tomodify itself. I did not invent the idea that hinduism modifieditself to incorporate buddhist elements. Much of dalit literaturesays the same thing.Anthropological literature also talks about modernization as one moremeans of upward social mobility. It is different from Sanskritizationand Anglicization. I have already explained Sanskrization as I haveread ( an attempt to become like "Them-hindus"). Anglicization, asdefined in the literature is "killing ones past/tradition" and takingon a totally unrelated "English" (typically) life style andtradition. This means changing food habits, clothing, language, etcto become like "Them-english". In this context, Anthropologicalliterature defines "Modernization" as selecting/interpreting fromones own past and (in result) creating a present (and thereby) afuture, which ensures continuity and change. This ensuresrejevunation of traditions as well as ensures their cleanup such thatthey are not in conflict with the day to day realities (at thought,speech, action levels) of the present. Essentially Modernization isan attempt to retain ones identity (and also clean it up).To me Ambedkari Buddhism is an attempt to modernize us, the dalits.Dr. Ambedkars book essentially "modernized" buddhism by changing itsfocus from a liberator of individuals to a liberator of communities.World buddhism now has a new category of buddhist people (in andoutside India) who follow "engaged buddhism", a buddhism, which isengaged in social upliftment.

Struggle for identity: case of tribals

The struggle for identity of a minority is linked to the economics ofthe society that the minority is part of. It is now possible to havea purely tribal government in power over the Jharkhand area. Comingto power is the key to changing the economic structure of the societyin the Jharkhand area. Once tribals come to power, they can safeguard their identities...irrespective of the BJPs of the world.Tribals from/in Jharkhand know their problems better thananyone else. The ideology and strategy for the political quest of thetribals should ideally germinate out of the pains and problems of thetribals themselves. Only then it will have the emotional pullrequired to bring the tribals to power.

Dalit intellectuals and ideology

I observe that most Dalit intellectuals have a fixation with thepast. At best, I have seen people analysing present trends andexplaining them. I have hardly seen any relevant crystal gazing andagenda creation.As per Ambedkar (who thought far ahead of even Gramsci), ideologyformation was not relegated to intellectuals. He wanted everyone(including the last man in the queue) to educate himself ( understandthe surrounding reality) and then modify it through organisedagitation.Given that Ambedkars vision was conceived in the Nehruvian era and hedid not have enough time to detail it, it befalls us to evolve andelaborate a more detailed vision as a guideline to action. The Bhopaldeclaration and a few other similar international attempts are theonly ones that merit attention.In the absence of such action plans, the emphasis on symbolicvictories (Marathwada univ. et al) and ritualistic defiances ofbrahmanic hegemony (memorial burning of the irrelevant manusmruti)prevails. Given that Ambedkars constitution exists, manusmriti (theold constitution) is less relevant to our common future.I have read Dr. Teltumbde's analysis of relevance of Globalization toDalits. Perhaps I did not understand it adequately. But I found itjingoistic and presumptive. Nevertheless I long for similar stuff. Wehave to start somewhere. Maybe such fora exist. I wish to participatein them. Can the elders on this list assemble a list of requiredreading for people like me?We have to be able to defend ourselves in the mainstream in theirlanguage. In the academic journals and in the chat shows and in theTV serials...