Thursday, May 8, 2014

"fake OBC" is not the "real" problem

There are enough real evils associated with caste based discrimination which are never addressed by our elites. Instead the "caste card" is played out for the following three main reasons of which the last is the least excusable:

1) Reservations for a powerful voting block. Now even the prosperous groups like Jats, Marathas and many others are demanding reservations.
2) Win marginal votes (by demanding caste loyalty) or win by dividing marginal votes.
3) Win brownie points in a debate. This is equivalent to the "check your privilege" shouting match that is presently going on in the West. Regardless of the actual facts of oppression, if you are from a "lower caste" you can always win points by claiming to speak on behalf of all of the oppressed, including the people you have oppressed yourself.

As we have said before: the actual problem is the fake humanity on display. People are suffering while the pols are squabbling amongst themselves and the elites are content with writing angry, pitiful letters to the Editor. If you are confused and actually want to do some good, stop with the "bak-bak" and join Medha Patkar (or any other reputed NGO) and help the people who truly need your help. And yes, they will be grateful to you for not posturing.
Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil on Thursday accused chief minister Narendra Modi of being a "fake OBC" and claimed that the 'Modh Ghanchi-Teli' caste, to which he belongs, was actually included in the OBC list only after Modi became chief minister in 2001. Gujarat government immediately rushed to Modi's defense and refuted Gohil's claim.

Gohil, a former leader of opposition in the Gujarat assembly, released a copy of a Gujarat government circular dated January 1, 2002, to claim that Modi "manipulated" records to bring his caste into the OBC list.

"Of late, the Gujarat CM has been indulging in low level political gimmickry. He has been desperately trying to invoke his OBC status and garner sympathy. Modi does not belong to OBC as he has been claiming. He belongs to rich and prosperous Modh Ghanchis who were never given any kind of reservation nor were included in OBCs before Modi became CM. In the way encounters were fake in Gujarat, Modi is also a fake OBC," Gohil said.

State finance minister Nitin Patel, also the state government spokesperson, accused Gohil of misleading the people of the country. He said the Modh Ghanchi community was included in OBC list of Gujarat under Baxi Commission norms by the state Social Justice & Empowerment department's Government Resolution (GR) on 25-07-1994 while Chhabildas Mehta was chief minister. Patel said Gohil himself was a minister in that government.

Patel said government of India included Modh Ghanchi community by notification in extraordinary gazette no. 246 dated 06-09-2001 (one month before Modi became CM). He said after the inclusion of the Modh Ghanchi community in the central OBC list, the Gujarat Government's Social Justice & Empowerment department issued revised central OBC list in January 2002, which Gohil is referring to.

Retired officer K G Vanzara, who was director of the department then, also corroborated the fact that Modi Ghanchis were included in the OBC list in 1994. Vanzara told TOI that though Modh Ghanchis, or oil millers, were not named in the first list of 82 OBC communities in Gujarat in 1978, they were part of the 38 communities which were added to the list in 1994.

Gujarat Congress has claimed that BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi does not belong to the 'Other Backward Castes' (OBC) as he has claimed nationwide for political gains.

Gohil claimed that, "The government resolution dated: 1/1/2002 presented before the media established that Modi manipulated government records and included his caste, Modh Ghanchi, in the OBC list."

Gohil had also quoted from the authentic Gujarati lexicon 'Bhagvadgomandal', which says that Modhs are rich people living in a particular village. "Gandhiji was a Modh Vanik," he said. "Modh is an adjective showing the prosperity of a particular caste or community."

"By acquiring OBC status for his selfish motives, Modi has in fact encroached on the rights of OBCs," Gohil said. "Modi is a man born into an upper caste and is indulging in low-level politics."

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