Thursday, June 3, 2010

Count that caveat

Professor Satish Deshpand’s conviction on caste-dooms:

  • Nehruvian India squandered a historic window of opportunity. By limiting itself to ‘abolishing’ caste formally, it turned a blind eye to the perpetuation and deepening of substantive caste inequalities.
  • Designed to fail, this 60-year experiment has done so in a spectacular fashion. Its crowning achievement is that the country is split into two warring camps. On one side is the upper caste elite, the minority group that has leveraged its caste privileges to maximum effect under the cover of caste blindness, and thanks to the same policy, now believes itself to be caste-less .
  • On the other side is the vast majority of the so-called ‘lower’ castes, which, having been massively shortchanged by six decades of supposedly caste-blind development, now insists that caste is all-important and all talk of abolishing caste is mere humbug.

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