Memoranda for Submission to the Chief Ministers of the Two Telugu States.


Populism Promotes and Perpetuates Caste

Dt:  13/3/19

Populism Promotes and Perpetuates Caste

Dr T H Chowdary*



The  Constitution  enabled the  provision of  reservations  for SCs (Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism) and STs  and also envisaged reservations for backward classes. The Mandal Commission  (1970-‘80) could not  find any  reasonable basis  for  social and  educational  backwardness  recommended  caste itself class. The  3,743 castes constituting  52% of population as  per 1931 census were termed backward classes. Since equating  class with caste,  numerous  non-SC, non-ST  caste populations have been agitating  to be classified as backward castes  and even as schedule  castes and are  demanding to increase the  reservation  quota. Castes were based upon profession. Now every citizen is free to choose  his profession. If one is continuing in the traditional profession related to his caste, it is  because he has not equipped  himself to take any other profession, whether it be government service or any business or art. 


2. However, with the rise and rise of regional parties,  many of them based on caste groups (some entirely on the basis of caste) are demanding  and getting caste-designated welfare and other benefits and entitlements. Political parties ever hungry for votes, are yielding to these pressures and therefore taking the numerical strength of the caste as the basis  for putting up candidates for elective posts. Governments are creating state -funded welfare corporations for


specific castes. And this is in addition to special welfare funding to non-Hindus ie Muslims and  Christians.  Converts to Christianity are taking their former  caste into their  new religion.  And despite  conversion,  they are  wanting  the benefits of their  pre-conversion  caste. These measures  espoused  and practised by parties and  governments run by such parties are  perpetuating castes. Those  who could not quit their  traditional profession, are helped by providing them tools, implements and  subsidies and pensions.  The Telugu states, Andhra Pradesh especially, are examples of state-aid for perpetuation of castes .


3. Notwithstanding movements by Ramanujacharya (1100AD) and subsequent   saintly persons  from different  castes   and  political leaders like Dr Ambedkar and Gandhi striving to eradicate caste, the present  crop of political leaders are resorting to  every possible measure to perpetuate  caste, although  caste is no barrier for the  choice of profession.  One new development is rivalry between the castes for  what they  consider as adequate welfare  and representation and so   inter-caste strife. Perpetuation of caste is the  tragic consequence of   populist politics and instability and  strife in the society. Islam and Christianity which profess that there  are no  castes in their religions are also asserting that among their  followers  there are castee. And so they want to be  included in the caste classification  to merit reservation.  The continuation of  reservations depends solely on perpetuation of caste. (437 words) .




NB:  What remain to be  promised:

a)      AP government will fix a spouse (wife or husband) for every person who is not getting one

b)      AP government will establish Santana Saafalya Kendras to help infertile couples to have children

c)      AP government will establish “Surrogacy Farms” to help working women to have  children outside their  womb

d)     AP government will establish Langars-free food centers for all poor people(voters)

e)      AP government will distribute degree certificates for people