http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Articleshow.asp?art_id=4210571

Members of secret sect eat human flesh

SHAIK AHMED ALI

TIMES NEWS NETWORK [ TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2002 2:20:08 AM ]

HYDERABAD: In what could be termed as an advanced form of banamati or sifli ilm, members of a nameless sect have made eating human flesh a part of the pujas they perform to find hidden treasures.

The human flesh comes in a package along with other articles required for a special puja. The samagri, as the package is called, which includes a 100 gm piece of roasted human flesh, is reportedly supplied to members of the sect through some agents in Hyderabad. "Maas to samagri ke sath hi aati hai (the flesh comes with the samagri)," Boudhey, a member of the secret sect, told The Times of India.

Boudhey is presently involved in a puja on the periphery of Dadgi village in Humnabad taluk of Bidar district. Though the sect is still in the initial stages of formation, its practices are considered much more dangerous than banamati and sifli ilm, the two notorious forms of black magic in the area that falls in the erstwhile Hyderabad state. Most of the members of this new sect reportedly hail from Hyderabad, Medak and Bidar districts.

But as the special puja must be performed only at a secluded place, they hire houses in small villages in Medak and Bidar districts. Most times, they are forced to leave the place once the villagers learn about their activities. In some instances, alleged performers of this weird ritual have been killed by villagers on suspicion of being practitioners of banamati.

Since 1999, seven such suspected practitioners were killed by villagers in Medak district while 12 others were forced to leave the villages. Despite resistance, followers of new sect manage to rent small houses to perform the puja. The 40-day ritual, it is learnt, starts on a new moon day which falls on a Sunday. At the conclusion of the puja, they believe, a supernatural figure that looks exactly like the person performing the puja appears and leads him to the hidden treasure.

But to ensure success in the puja the ritual performer has to eat human flesh. If he fails in the first attempt, another puja of the same duration is conducted, this time with a greater quantity of flesh.

The first incident that gave rise to suspicions of human flesh-eating practice came to light about six months ago in Hallargaon village in Bidar district. Some villagers stormed the house of a person in the village on suspicion that he was practising `banamati. They were shocked to find a few human bones and pieces of roasted flesh. "He was an outsider and he never returned to the village," Abdul Haneef, a villager said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=4208341

City graveyards source of human flesh

TIMES NEWS NETWORK [ TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2002

HYDERABAD: Some graveyards in Hyderabad appear to be the possible sources of human flesh supplied to members of a secret sect for use in its voodoo rituals to find hidden treasures.

One gang is suspected to be involved in exhuming newly buried bodies from various graveyards in the twin cities.These bodies are supplied to those indulging in the rites of this secret sect. The human flesh forms part of samagri, which also includes vermilion, lime and a mixture of ood and lobaan, both varieties of incense. It is learnt that at least one body per month is exhumed in this fashion.

One such case in which the body of a sixyear-old girl was exhumed from the Amberpet Hindu burial ground came to light in May 2001.The girl, Usha, who died after an illness at the Niloufer Hospital was buried in the Amberpet burial ground on May 26, 2001. But when her father Srinivas Goud went to the grave the next day, it was found dug open with the body missing. Subsequently, the Kachiguda police arrested the watchman of the burial ground,Yadaiah.

Though Yadaiah admitted to having exhumed the body, he did not reveal what he did with it. The police could not trace the girl's body despite searching for it in the neighbourhood of the burial ground and also after cleaning a 2-km stretch of the Amberpet nala up to the Musi river.

Having failed to trace the body,Yadaiah was declared insane for giving contradictory statements about the whereabouts of the body.Yadaiah was later referred to a hospital and then let off on bail. It is learnt that since his release on bail Yadaiah has gone back to his village in Mahabubnagar. The fate of the body continues to be a mystery to date.

According to one practitioner who claims to `treat' the so-called banamati cases, exhumation of bodies "takes hardly an hour from a fresh grave and within the same amount of time it can be closed in such a manner as to give no one any doubt about the absence of the body."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_ID=4312124

Reservations in private sector urged

TIMES NEWS NETWORK [ WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2002

HYDERABAD: Speakers at a seminar on "Constitution, untouchability and modernity" at the Hyderabad Central University focussed on the need for extending the reservation policy for SC/ST and backward classes to the private sector and called for the implementation of Punnaiah committee report.

In his inaugural address the Hyderabad Central University head of the department of physics, Prof A K Bhatnagar said despite the legal rights and guarantees accorded in the Constitution for the backward castes, unless there is a change in the mindset of the people nothing substantial could be achieved.

With privatisation and globalisation the Dalit youth will remain jobless unless the reservation system is extended to private sector, said MLA Swami Das. Comparing the multi-national corporations to that of the early feudal lords, Swami argued that they discriminate the backward section depriving them of jobs.

An MLA from Kurnool constituency A Mareppa demanded the release of the budget earmarked for the SC/ST and backward classes. He said sufficient funds should be granted to the Dalit students pursuing postgraduate courses, so that they could also meet their mess charges.

"Shristilo andaru samaaname, pratiokkarulu undu okka jyothi" (all are equal at the time of creation and every individual has an inner light)", he said. It was the lack of opportunities that a few remained backward, he added.

The reservation of jobs in private sector and implementation of the Punnaiah Committee recommendations for SC/ST reservations should be totally implemented, MLA from Gopalpuram, Babaji Rao said.

Another MLA Dosapatti Gopal was of the view that apart from reservation of jobs for the backward community, casteism should be abolished so that all could breath fresh air.

He said it was the question of caste which differentiates and discriminates people and that needs to be deleted.

Though B R Ambedkar had drafted the Constitution conferring legal rights of equality and abolition of untouchability, it was the efforts of Babu Jagjivan Ram and Mahatma Gandhi that it took off and one should not forget that, he said.

MLA M Tippeswamy called for the integration of all the 259 sub-sects within the Dalits to achieve their common goals.

Commensurate with the rise in SC/ST population by 5 per cent, he demanded the increase in the number of MLA seats reserved for Dalits in the state from 39 to 45.

http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/op/stories/2002031900060100.htm

Crime in Chennai

Children in slums are vulnerable to crime because of their poverty and illiteracy. Juveniles in such areas should be prevented from becoming members of criminal gangs through various welfare programmes.

ORGANISED CRIME is on the rise in Chennai. Recent murders in the city have either been a fallout of inter-gang rivalry or mercenary killings. In the last few months at least five prominent gangsters were slain. A social worker was murdered recently in broad daylight and in public view. According to reports, the victim had mobilised public opinion against local goons and reportedly paid the price for it.

Recent killings have shown that gangsters are not just organised, but meticulous in their operations. It also gives an indication of the extent of planning that goes into the execution of a crime. One need not be surprised. This writer's doctoral thesis on `Organised crime a study of criminal gangs in Chennai,' studied 59 criminal gangs and 341 criminals who share 1351 police cases between them. The study revealed that gangs have hierarchy, territorial limits, and strike strategic alliances. Coupled with his personal experience in dealing with many of these gangs as Deputy Commissioner (North Madras) several years ago, it was an eye-opener on the shady underworld of Chennai.

Chennai may not be as bad as Mumbai, where the mafia has a large presence. It is a fact though that many gangs have emerged in Chennai in the last few years. These gangs indulge in various crimes like mercenary killings, robbery, theft, dacoity, bootlegging and drug peddling.

Mercenaries: Mercenary gangs comprise hardened criminals, who murder for money and undertake criminal jobs like assaulting, disfiguring, maiming, and kidnapping of people. They loot and destroy property on assignment and their fee depends on the nature of the job and the number of persons employed to carry out the task.

These gangs have organisational structure, territorial limits and a code of conduct. They possess unlicensed arms and ammunition. They use the latest communication gadgets to stay in touch with each other. They monitor the movements of the police and also their rivals. The gangs hold periodical performance evaluation and review meetings, in true corporate style to keep its members on their toes. The gangsters do their homework thoroughly and shadow their target for days before striking.

A lot of planning goes into a killing. Broadly, there are three stages of operation involved, namely surveillance, planning, organising and execution. The methods employed could be straight or ingenious. It could be shooting, stabbing or a hit and run. Total secrecy is maintained during the killing and gangsters generally wear masks to conceal identity and do not address each other by names. When they are not killing, these gangsters go as henchmen behind politicians, or caste groups or trade unions to supplement their income. These gangsters resort to kidnapping, extortion and bootlegging also.

Theft: The gangs involved in committing offences like theft, robbery and burglary are equally well organised and have separate `departments' for purposes of surveillance, planning, organising and execution. The gangs have informers for collection of information, executors to conduct operation and middle agents to dispose of the stolen property. Auto drivers, taxi drivers, servants and servant maids are retained as informers. These gangs also engage some of their informers in banks, markets and cash rich places. For example, the gang would strike on receiving information that the occupants of a house are away or that there are only elderly occupants, who are soft targets for housebreaking.

Prostitution: Prostitution is well organised and finely networked, though there are still individual operators and streetwalkers, who fetch clients from the roads. One good example of well-organised prostitution is brothel dens. At the helm of affairs in these brothels is a `madam,' often a woman who is the in-charge or manager of the brothel house. Other characters at the brothel are pimps, procurers and prostitutes. It must be admitted that police and other law enforcement agencies have contributed to some extent in safeguarding the business.

Bootleggers and drug traffickers: The main activities in bootlegging involve distillation, transportation and marketing. The top brass of the gang decides on the quantity to be distilled or procured depending upon various factors such as the heat turned on by police at a given time. A group of strong men gives protection at all levels from the distillation point to the selling units and also during transit and transportation of the illicit goods. Smaller gangs usually outsource protection.

The drug gangs operate in three layers, with the top layer comprising key members of the gang keeping themselves away from the frontline staff. The high level group, which consists of the leader, assistant or the second in command and patrons of the gang, involves itself in planning, organising, expansion and diversification of their illicit enterprise. The middle level group, which consists of the personal informer of the leader, procurers, distributors and the personal guards, works directly under the command of the headquarters. The lower level sells the drugs. Arrest of these men alone is not enough to bust the racket.

Recommendations

The following are some suggestions to control organised crime in Chennai:

1. A separate wing should be created exclusively to deal with organised criminal gangs. The wing should have separate units with expertise on investigation, intelligence, reformation and computer technology.

2. A separate Act may be enacted in Tamil Nadu on the lines of the Maharashtra's Control of Organised Crime Ordinance 1999. This should have tough provisions like death sentence, life term, minimum fine of Rs. 5 lakhs, permission to the police to intercept wire, electronic or oral communication admissible as evidence against the accused, long term of custody than provided in Cr. P.C.

3. All cases should be tried quickly and the accused should be imprisoned at the earliest. For this purpose, a court exclusively to deal with organised crime should be established.

4. Most witnesses do not depose before the court out of fear of the gangs resulting in acquittals for hardened criminals. Heavy security should be given to witnesses during the period of trial and also in its aftermath. In-camera recording of witness statements by the special judges should be provided in the new Act.

5. The acquisition of properties, and assets by the criminal should be verified then and there. The Customs, IT authorities and Enforcement authorities should be made to take action simultaneously. Investigation should expose investments of the criminals in various fictitious and proxy names.

6. The criminal-politician nexus should be broken. Communal patronage to criminals should be exposed.

7. Sources of income of the gangs by illegal activities should be curtailed by taking quick and prompt action on the illegal activities such as sale of weapons/arms, forcible eviction of tenants, extortion, etc.

8. Community policing should be organised in the neighbourhoods where theft, robbery and dacoity occur frequently.

9. Children in slums are vulnerable to crime because of their poverty and illiteracy. Hence, crime prone slum neighbourhood areas should be identified and juveniles in that area should be prevented from becoming members of the criminal gangs through various welfare programmes. For this purpose the existing `Boys Clubs' scheme should be revamped and implemented effectively.

C.K. GANDHIRAJAN

Deputy Inspector General of Police, Railways, Chennai

Tribals' warfare shakes policemen

TIMES NEWS NETWORK [ WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2002 ]

VADODARA: The clock has turned back to medieval times in this district. Numbers are counted as strength, bows and arrows are the main weapons and hills and ravines are the strategic locations to mount an attack on the enemy.

After a week of skirmishes with tribals, resorting to medieval or perhaps primitive warfare tactics, 59 policemen are left injured, two men dead, several houses charred, vehicles torched and shops looted.

It was not the 12 bore guns of the tribals that distressed the police and harassed their targets, but their traditional weapons, deft usage and surprise attacks that left police and the public vulnerable for most of the time last week.

Tribal hordes appeared from the woods, made strange scarry noises, rained arrows, pelted stones and vanished into thin air after inflicting damage.

"They appeared from nowhere and started shooting arrows. Later, gunshots were heard and we told our men to take positions. They made noises as if communicating among themselves and when we strengthened the defences, they vanished as fast as they had appeared," Jha said.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/secon3.asp?cat=\opd2&d=oped

Missing the benefits of education

Arvind Koshal

The lives of Dalit leaders like Kanshi Ram, Ram Vilas Paswan and Mayawati have one thing in common - all of them have an older member of the family who broke away from conditions of rural poverty and landless labourers. Poverty alleviation programmes initiated and implemented by governments may have given temporary relief. Except in West Bengal, land reforms have made no impact or have provided marginal lands, which yield hardly much owing to a lack of means to make them fertile.

Labourers crowding the roofs of trains from Bihar and UP to Punjab during harvest bear witness to abject poverty of the landless in the Indian countryside. The growth of trade and industries around towns have drawn able-bodied poor who have left their families behind and a "moneyorder economy" has got created. Whereas on the one hand Dalit villages are being deserted, the industrial and metropolitan towns are bursting at the seams. Most of them are employed in the unregulated sector and receive minimum wages and do not bring home much saving when they return. The few who are fortunate enough to receive education are absorbed in petty Government jobs. Odds are against the Dalits to throw up leaders in the countryside.

Education and franchise have brought about some change of attitude among the Dalits. Education engenders self-confidence, franchise makes the Dalits wanted and wooed. Free but inefficient education that is available to the Dalits stands nowhere near the efficient and expensive education available to the rural rich and the urban middle and upper class. Under the Panchayati Raj, some elective posts are reserved for the dalits and women, but in nine cases out of ten, people of the advantaged class fight elections on behalf of the Dalits and women, and wield powers by proxy. Where the Dalits assert, violence takes place. A sad realisation in India is that the state is the biggest enemy of the poor. The state apparatus fails to deliver the welfare benefits it is legally charged to distribute and its policemen are a routine source of bullying, extortion and outright violence against the poor.

Whatever be the claims made by governments, the Dalits are not getting the benefits of education. Even if they do reach the precincts of a school, they drop out before reaching a critical level of literacy. The syllabi at schools are also not conducive for creating awareness among the Dalits about their predicament. They should be "conscientised", a term coined by Paulo Freire, a Brazilian activist, meaning, conscience-building among the deprived sections of society. In order to conscientise, some special schools need to be opened. The syllabus of these schools should revolve round the following points:

One, that the Dalits are not the cause of their present state of predicament; two, the Dalits have to be at the centre of development and not on the periphery as they have been for 54 years; three, that change is possible; four, that Dalit aspiration levels have to be raised. Finally, the education of the Dalits cannot be neutral, as it has to be tuned to the objectives enumerated above. The state constituted as it is cannot provide value education. Hence for the uplift of the Dalits, voluntary effort is needed. It is here, that during the British period, provisions of Compulsory Education Act were enforced and compulsory schools were started. After Independence, the scheme of compulsory education was deliberately scrapped leading to the fall in the number of school going children. Compulsory education should be re-enforced.

Dalit students should be provided general education in all the common subjects. Emphasis should be laid on social sciences and for this a special course ought to be prepared by Dalit intellectuals making a comparative study with social science as prescribed by the Government. In the same way Dalit literature, art and theatre should also be taught. This will generate confidence in them and they will come to know about their unsung past which in turn will help them shed their age-old complexes.

The Dalits should be given adequate grounding in social, political and economic philosophy of Ambedkar so that they are imbued with democratic norms and do not fall prey to RSS and its NGOs that have created much social unrest all over India. In Ranchi, there is a college for the training of Christian tribals to become priests. Thirty matriculates are taken each year. For 12 years they are taught Christian theology, philosophy, history, economics and comparative religion. After 12 years of grind, hardly one or two take the sacrament of priesthood and the trainers call it a "good success". Similarly, even if one or two Dalit students assume the political leadership of their community; it should be deemed a good success. Others may take up jobs and even then the effort should be deemed worthwhile.

It is a pity that among 150 millions Dalits in the country, only three popular Dalit leaders at the national level have emerged in contemporary politics. Had there been attempts by the state (dominated by upper class Hindus) to educate the Dalits, the scenario today would have been different. The reservation policy has provided little relief but due to lack of proper implementation and lower literacy rate among the Dalits, a large number of jobs remain vacant. With the emergence of Dalit politics, the Dalits are asserting themselves and are gaining in confidence. The result of Assembly elections in UP is a reflection of Dalit assertion.

http://deccan.com/regional

18-year-old girl raped, murdered

Karimnagar, March 19: In a gruesome incident, an 18-year-old girl was sexually assaulted and killed on the banks of Kakatiya canal in the mandal on Monday night.

According to sources, the body was found between the villages of Nagunur and Rukmapur. The victim wore green colour Punjabi dress and there were bruises on her body. There were also many indications in the place that a scuffle occurred between the victim and the assailants.

Karimnagar DSP Buchhiram Reddy, rural CI Laxmikanta Rao and rural SI D Narsaiah rushed to the spot.

A dog squad was pressed into investigation. A receipt of a ready made shop was found near the victim. The body was shifted to Karimnagar government hospital for post mortem.

The Karimnagar rural CI said a case was registered and investigation is on. The incident created sensation in the area with villagers of Nagunur and Rukmapur thronged the place.

pKarimnagar District SC, ST development union district publicity secretaries Rajagopal and Komuraiah and, secretary Venkateswarlu demanded that the stern action be taken against the assailants, who forced a contract teacher Sarada to commit suicide after sexually assaulting her. Speaking to reporters here on Tuesday, they warned that a State-wide agitation would be launched if action was not taken on the accused. They said the incident was a blot on the society.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2002/20020320/punjab

Bank recruitment on `fake' caste certificates

Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 19

More than 200 recruitment are alleged to have been made by a bank by submitting fake caste certificates.

Flouting the recruitment procedure, most of the appointments were made solely on the submission of caste certificates. The BSP has also raised the issue and alleged that "almost all these candidates are in some way related to some high-ups in banks or have got the job on some financial consideration". Consequently, more than 200 candidates were inducted into the banking services, Mr Mohan Singh Bagowalia, BSP, Secretary Punjab, alleged.

In a letter to the Union Finance Minister, Union Law Minister and Chief Justice of India, the BSP alleged that castes shown by the candidates did not appear in the order of Schedule 1950 as per the bank record. Mr H.K. Parekh, Joint Zonal Officer of the bank, said the bank had no knowledge of the alleged dealings.

Five reasons to ban Hindutva forces

By D Gopi (daragopi@satyam.net.in)

If the Indian government has any secular credibility, it must ban the Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Viswa Hindu Parishad, the Bhajarang Dal and other Hindutva outfits once for all. The country can be safe only if these right wings are banned. The message from Ahmadabad (Gujarath), New Delhi, Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh), Bhubaneswar (Orissa) and Bangalore (Karnataka), is clear that unless these outfits are prohibited from public life, the safety of common man and the security of the nation continues to be in danger.

The Ayodhya drama unfolded only after the nation had undergone tension with people, particularly the minorities living in fear and running for life. Before that there was brutal killing of Muslim minorities in Ahmadabad by the Sangh Parivar forces. Then there was these Hindutva forces creating tension in Ayodhya in the name of Ram temple. As these incidents unfolded one after the other, there was an attack on Orissa State Assembly by the VHP, Bhajrang Dal and Durga Vahini forces. Be it BJP, VHP, Bhajarang Dal or Durga Vahini, they have their roots in the RSS. And the mother wing had clearly come out with a resolution at Bangalore stating that the Minorities in the country are not safe, unless they accepted the supremacy of the majority Hindus.

The right wing leaders from across the country met in Bangalore and categorically asked the Indian Minorities to surrender to the Hindutva. They have openly said that the "real safety of the Minorities lies in the goodwill of the majority" (read Hindus). There is no ambiguity. The message is very clear and it has come close on the heels of the Hindu fundamentalists making mockery of things at Ayodhya in the name of building Ram temple.

These five reasons are enough to ban the Hindutva forces in the country; unseat the Hindutva government in New Delhi and provide security for the lives of the Minorities.

1.. The BJP government in Gujarath had allowed the Hindutva forces to chase and char Minorities to death at Ahmadabad. Hundreds of Muslims, including a former MP, were killed mercilessly. They call it retaliation to the attack on the train. While condemning the incident, the Dalits and secular forces of this nation have one question to the Gujarath BJP government - Can the government allow people to take vengeance? In fact, the Gujarath BJP government had instructed the local police to remain mute spectators to the massacre of minorities by the Hindutva forces. This proves that under the BJP rules, the nation is not safe.

2.. Ayodhya is the most ugly drama that these Hindutva forces are presenting to the civilised world. In the name of faith, religion and God, they have become criminals. These religious criminals and communal terrorists have brought the entire administration in the country to a standstill. They created tension across the length and breadth of the nation by declaring that no law would stop them. The large force mobilised by them from different States was nothing but in violation of the law of the land. They declared that their faith was against the law of the land and thus conspired against the Constitution of this country - like any terrorist outfit.

3.. The government in Delhi had sought permission from the Supreme Court to conduct puja at Ayodhya. The government heading this secular nation pleads for one particular religion, while the citizens of other faiths were living in tension scared by the Hindutva forces. Heading the world's largest democratic nation, the government had taken the side of the Hindutva forces. The BJP government in Delhi had its compulsions - threats from the Hindutva outfits who are the strength and weakness of the leadership in Delhi.

4.. Nation condemned the attack on Parliament by some terrorist outfits on December 11, 2001. Every political party condemned the incident and the nation stood by the government in fighting against terrorism. But, before the broken walls of Parliament were repaired, the Hindutva forces have attacked the Orissa State Assembly on March 16, 2002, raising slogans. The government should not leave the perpetrators of this crime, just because they belong to the majority Hindu faith. Crime is a crime and the government has to deal with it with iron hand. One can imagine what kind of a fuss that these Hindutva rulers could have created if the attack was by some Muslim group. They don't deserve any patronisation and they are to be punished severely.

5.. The three-day marathon session of the RSS at Bangalore from March 15 to 17, 2002, has given a clear message to the Minorities in the country, unmasking the secular face of the nation. The RSS leadership had sought to reiterate its philosophy, which was well described by its founders Veer Savarkar (in 1939) and M S Golwalkar (in 1947). "Non-Hindu people in Hindustan must adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but glorification of the Hindu race and culture. they must cease to be foreigners or may stay in the country wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment, not even citizen rights." (We or Our Nationhood Defined, Nagpur, 1947. Pages 55-56)

This message of the RSS is very clear. The Minorities of this nation have no rights and they are not even citizens of this nation. They have to keep the majority Hindus in good humor and win their goodwill, if at all the Muslims, Christians and other Minorities want to survive.

This message is a clear violation of the secular commitment of the Constitution. We've heard the terrorist outfits across the boarder or in the forests of Andhra, Orissa, Maharastra and West Bengal give similar resolutions. When these outfits are banned and prohibited, well, the RSS too, which had given the anti-national call to the people, should be banned. All its frontal wings, including the BJP, should be banned. There should be a secular government in Delhi to protect the lives of the Minorities from these Hindu fundamental and terrorist forces.

http://www.hinduonnet.com/stories/2002031800481000.htm

Ayodhya: what stakes do OBCs have?

By Kancha Ilaiah

The OBCs are a directionless social force available to be used by the Hindutva forces as muscle power.

THE muscle power for the Ayodhya temple campaign is mobilised mainly from among the Other Backward Classes (OBCs). But the Sangh Parivar has no programme to change their location in the Brahminic civil society. In terms of religious life, the Schedules Castes are looking towards Buddhism and Christianity. But the OBCs are a directionless social force available to be used by the Hindutva forces as muscle power. They did this at the time of demolishing the Babri Masjid, now they are mobilising them to build the contentious Ram temple and more particularly at the time of riots such as the one created in Gujarat. What stakes do the OBCs have to put their lives, fortunes and energies into an issue such as Ayodhya?

In the post-Babri Masjid destruction period, liberal writers pointed out how the OBCs were in the lead of the rioting and property destruction squads formed by the Hindutva forces? The jail records show that hardly any upper caste youth has gone to jail in riot cases and that most under trial were/are OBCs and Muslims. Muslims and Christians have come to see the OBCs as a mercenary social force. The OBCs are unable to get English education as the top missionary schools have no positive opinion about them. As an OBC, I am terribly disturbed by this situation.

The upper caste forces under the overall supervision of the Sangh Parivar leadership, that essentially comes from the dwija castes, conducts the Ayodhya temple agitation. The Sant Sabha, the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas and by and large all Parivar organisations are headed by the upper castes. The OBCs are not eligible to be part of the leadership of the Sant Sabha or the RJN. The top leadership of the VHP Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore and Praveen Togadia comes from the dwija social force. The OBCs as of now have only the right to enter temples. They neither have the right to dwijahood nor the right to head any Hindu organisation. In other words, the classical social position of Sudras the largest number being OBCs has not changed.

If we look at the ownership of top industry, business and the vast service sector, all of them are in the hands of the dwija castes in general; the control of the urban economy is in the hands of the Sangh Parivar forces in particular. The presence of Muslims and Christians in the industrial economy is marginal. What is the presence of OBCs in industrial property ownership, employment, in what can be called the Hindu economy? It can be safely said, marginal. If they too are Hindus as the dwijas are, why do they not get a share in the entire industrial property. Why does caste-based ownership exist? The OBCs have not been given any share in industry, business and service sectors which are operating as Hindu economic structures? Giriraj Kishore, just before the Durban conference, is on record as saying that Hindu society cannot afford to do away with the caste system. According to him, the notion of equal rights to all castes will violate the basic rights of upper castes. Not only that, all the upper caste leaders of the Sangh Parivar the VHP more openly than others opposed the principle of reservation to OBCs.

What is the presence of OBCs even as employees in industry, shops and software companies owned by the Sangh Parivar industrialists, businessmen? The Sangh Parivar upper caste social force opposed the entry of OBCs both in the Government sector and private sector during the Mandal agitation. In fact, the Ram temple issue was forced on the nation to divert the Mandal movement. Even now, who is opposing the notion of reservation in the private sector? It is the Sangh Parivar because its adherents control a lot of private industry. Why then are the OBCs participating in the Ayodhya issue where more blood is likely to flow? In no other struggle has so much blood been spilt in the country since Independence most of the blood is that of OBCs and Muslims. The BJP came to power based on the blood spilt at the time of the destruction of the Babri Masjid. But who became the top Cabinet Ministers in the Vajpayee Government? No OBC could become a Minister of high importance. In spite of this experience, the OBCs are marching into Ayodhya. Why?

The OBC population has the highest number of unemployed who provide the muscle power for small benefits offered. By and large, OBC youth have been left out of modern English education and their presence in the diaspora is minimal. Their presence in the computer economy is also marginal. The Hindutva organisations that command dollar money have not started good educational institutions for the OBCs. The few top English medium schools their sympathisers run do not admit OBC children. For purposes such as the Ramjanmabhoomi movement, the OBCs are treated as Hindus but when it comes to the question of modernising them they are the `others'.

In keeping the OBC youth uneducated and unemployed, a reserve army of lumpens remains readily available for use by the Hindutva forces. But no OBC who participates in the temple campaign can ever hope to become a priest in the Ram temple at Ayodhya nor can he hope to command any social respect. The sants command so much power today that the PMO is at their beck and call. The OBCs do not have that kind of respect.

Of late, OBC children are being admitted into Saraswati Shishu Mandirs more to give them the training to become Hindu militants. The children of top Sangh Parivar leaders get good English education to become future NRIs. They become "patriots from abroad" and finance temple construction, whereas the OBC youth have to perform the physical rioting. In the process, their small economies get ruined.

In the increasing process of privatisation, those few OBCs who are educated do not get jobs in Hindu industry or in Hindu temples. The normally available casual labour is no longer there as upper caste Hindu contractors perform all those tasks with their cranes, tractors, bulldozers and so on.

What is left for the OBC youth is getting hired for carrying pillars for temples and participating in riots for a small payment. If they go to jail, which serves somewhat better food than in their homes, life goes on. Thus, a commitment to Hindutva is a forced commitment of the belly.

The Hindutva economy has deliberately trapped them into this dragnet. One can see some OBC youth with huge tilaks on their foreheads becoming street toughs or small leaders in the mohallas.

The VHP leaders have no problem with this kind of growth of OBC youth. They collect small amounts of money for festivals and some of them keep roaming about on motorcycles. If they do not aspire for air travel, imported cars and good English education, as the top Hindutva leaders do for their children, their nationalism and dharma are considered intact.

The top dwija castes are getting everything without suffering and that is what dharmic Hinduism is. Let the OBCs think. Should their children be like that forever?


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Published on: March 21, 2002
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