Recently, two videos of prominent Hindu religious personalities have gone viral for their casteist purports. When the masses are quick to debunk the existence and gravity of caste in the present age, the videos provide a reality check on the deep-entrenchment of the caste question in the Indian society.

“I am an Agnihotri Brahmin. They said Baba ji, you are OBC. OBC aisi taisi karayein. I have read 4 vedas I am Chaturvedi Brahmin.” After this viral video, Yoga guru and Patanjali founder Baba Ramdev has been under fire for his casteist remarks against the OBC community. A Patanjali Boycott movement also trended following this incident. In a follow up video, a reporter sneakily tried to save his face by asking the question, “You said Owaisi ki aisi ki taisi… OBC ki aisi ki taisi,” to which Ramdev immediately jumped on the opportunity to reply Owaisi! (Asaduddin Owaisi) He’s not right in the head. He and his ancestors have been anti-national. I did not say anything about OBC people.”

Another video of Shankaracharya Swami Avnimukteshwaranand’s comments on the inauguration of the Ram Mandir has gone viral, where he says “After the purification of the Ram Mandir, if the construction workers (shudras, dalits) enter again, the temple will become polluted (ashuddh).” In a second video, Shankaracharya has reiterated his Brahmin caste repeatedly “Only a Brahmin can be a Sanyasi. If I am not Brahmin, then what is the point?  I will quit if my Brahmin Caste is not proven. The Hindu Samaj will bash me for lying.”

What do we infer from these comments of two prominent figures that have significant influence in the Hindu community? Perhaps, that the idea of Hindu unity against other forces that has been steadily gaining popularity is merely a façade. Despite attempts to unite the Hindus in a singular unified fabric by dodging the ‘caste’ bullet in all dialogues, these comments are quick to slip the mask and open our eyes to the reality. That caste is still relevant, perhaps more relevant than ever due to its clever manipulation in the political scenario is a hard pill to swallow by both people from the upper-castes and the oppressed castes who are being denied affirmative action, yet mobilised for their identity.

The need to reiterate your upper caste hierarchal social standing is a reminder that no matter how much dismissal there has been regarding the importance of caste in present times, caste is never going away. It may hide under the guise of positive strides and increased representation in the political sphere, but the oppressive character of the system shows up through the crevices. It takes the form of casual casteist remarks, dropping casteist slurs in conversations, targeting quota students, calling an end to the reservation system, and other forms of institutional casteism. The irony that the craftsmen of the extravagant Temple are being dismissed as ‘pollutants’, then subtly being denied access to their art through the comments of a revered upper-caste custodian of the Hindu religion, speaks volumes. While the unexpected remark directed at Owaisi may appear absurd, it is essential to delve into the implications of Baba Ramdev’s comments. Baba Ramdev, who is known for his extensive ties with right-wing political groups and enjoys substantial support within that sphere, made a concerted effort to distance himself from the OBC label. In doing so, he took a swipe at the community while emphasising his ‘Brahmin’ identity. This sequence of events speaks volumes about the larger meaning which he stands for.

Targeted crimes and discrimination against the oppressed castes is still prevalent and rampant.  Despite this, in current times there has been an erasure of the systematic oppression instigated by the caste system. While columnists like Tavleen Singh, an Upper Caste woman, cries for reservation to be scrapped and writes that reservation “Should not be available to those who belong to the OBC (Other Backward Caste) category. They do not need it. Anyone who knows rural India slightly knows that these ‘backward’ castes are not backward at all. In the Hindi heartland, they sit at the top. The Prime Minister himself admits proudly to being OBC,” what she fails to see is that reservation has never been a poverty alleviation programme, it has been about representation and equality of opportunities and must continue as long as subjugation on caste persists. Aditi Narayani Paswan’s article is an apt response to Tavleen and many more such privileged people who continue to minimise the forces of caste in present times, “We must realise how caste is embedded in our lives and how deeply entrenched it is in our consciousness. We must seek answers to why all the ragpickers and sanitation workers invariably belong to one caste and why the judiciary belongs to descendants of a few castes or families before we start to question reservation — the only line of defence for the marginalised sections of our society. It is because of reservation that we find Dalits, STs and OBCs’ names on the houses along Lutyens.”

Or as an extension to Aditi’s idea, how Baba Ramdev and Shankaracharya are both insistent on asserting their Brahminical identity, and let their casteism unveil in the celebration of a united Hindu identity.


Read also: Hamare Ghar mai toh yeh sab Nahi Hota

Featured Image Source: The Quint

Sarah Nautiyal

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The party members of Chathra Yuva Sangharsh Samithi (CYSS) protested in front of the Arts Faculty today. They demanded a reduction of fees and, hostel facilities for the he OBC and EWS category students.

CYSS, the student wing of Aam Aadmi Party, held a protest in the Arts Faculty. The protest began at 11:30 in the morning continued till three in the afternoon. The protest saw many party workers with banners and posters, shouting various kinds of slogans. 

The march was being led by, Delhi-region State President, Mr. Sumit Yadav. The protest was organised against the fee hike in various colleges and the lack of admissions of students of OBC students postgraduate hostels. It aldo focused on the provision of admissions to OBC and EWS category students in law and other postgraduate courses.

The University had recently increased the fee in various colleges like Mata Sundari. The lack of reservations has been an issue in the University of Delhi (DU) hostels where students are given seats on rank and vacancy basis making it impossible for students of reserved categories to secure admissions in hostels.

However, other than these issues, the issue of a young Muslim girl wanting to seek admission was also raised. 

Afshan, a postgraduate aspirant, wanted to seek admission in DU after completing her graduation from Zakhir Hussain College. She believes that she was prohibited from giving her entrance because of her name which indicated she was a Muslim. 

In addressing the gathering and DU Beat, Afshan said in her speech, translated from Hindi here- “I graduated a year back in 2018 from the University, people here say things like ‘Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao’ yet I have been struggling for two years now for getting my admission done. There was a girl in Unnao who was silenced for asking justice and that’s what they are doing to me. I wanted justice for my education and my leg shivers stating what they’ve done to me. I’ve been blackmailed and told they will ruin my documents as well. I filed a complaint, yet there is no investigation. They say they’ll abduct me. I feel shivers down my spine.” 

She later tried to get in the conference hall of the University, yet she was stopped. There were policewomen ready to tackle her. After a long quarrel, she was finally admitted in the conference hall.  

Later, DU Beat interviewed Mr. Sumit Yadav, Delhi-region State President. He stated, “DU is considered one of the best institutions in the country. All the students across the country even people from rural places of Delhi like Najafgarh choose DU because they get a great education at lower price. Now due to privatisation, they’ve increased the prizes. Our party has always been against privatisation and we’ve been raising our voices for the same.”

The various slogans shouted out were “Chhatro par ab reham, karo fees hamari kam karo ( Have some mercy on the students, reduce fees now)” and “Rehne ko awas chahiye humko Chathrawas chahiye (We need shelter to stay, we need students to have homes)”. They also had slogans critiquing the Vice Chancellor’s inability to provide adequate hostel facilities.

The Party members marched towards gate number four but were stopped by the guards and were not permitted to cross. The situation turned hostile when members tried to climb the gates and cross it over. The guards were forced to push them back. 

“We are protesting here against the fee hike in various colleges which has been implemented this year, that is from ten thousand to twenty-five thousand rupees. It deters students from poor backgrounds from courses diversity courses  as they cannot afford such high fees. We are also protesting again courses as of hostel facilities because of which students are exploited by PG owners to pay very high fees,” said Mr. Hariom Prabhakar who is the General Secretary of CYSS, while in conversation with DU Beat.

Feature Image Credits: Stephen Mathew for DU Beat

Stephen Mathew

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Chhavi Bahmba 

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The University Grants Commission clearly mentions that there will be reservation for the candidates from the OBC category in the hostels. However, most of the postgraduate hostels do not notify or implement the stipulated reservation policy.

The University of Delhi (DU) has come under the scrutiny of students due to the inability of the authorities to provide reservations to candidates from the Other Backward Classes (OBC) quota in hostels. The University has a number of hostels under its fold namely D.S. Kothari Hostel, Gwyer Hall, Jubilee Hall, Mansarover Hall, Post Graduate Men’s Hostel, and VKRV Rao.

A group of students from the University came together against this mismanagement and have demanded reservation rights to the OBC category in hostel accommodations. The University Grants Commission (UGC) had circulated the Central Educational Institutions  Reservation in Admission) Act 2006 and Amendment Act, 2012 to all central educational institutions directing them to reservation provisions including the admission of OBC students to these institutions.

However, most of the hostel notifications do not mention OBC reservations for the postgraduate students in DU. Satchit, a student of Cluster Innovation Centre, and a resident of Post Graduate Men’s Hostel spoke to DU Beat about this matter. He said, “My department provides five seats to be allotted in the hostel- two seats for  candidates belonging to the general category, two for candidates from the OBC quota, and one for SC/ST candidate. But the hostels do not have reservations per day. The department provides reservation from their end, but the hostels have no such policy. Thus, even if an OBC student has been allotted a hostel seat, he may not necessarily get it.”

According to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), the University Grants Commission  has issues instruction to all the grant-in-aid institutions, funded by the Government except minority institutions under Article 30(1) of the Constitution of India to implement 27% reservation for the OBC candidates.

“As per the information available with the Ministry, during 2015-16, 22 out of 40 Central Universities have successfully achieved the prescribed percentage of student intake from OBC Community,” the MHRD  told the Parliament two years ago.

The Ministry further added, “All Indian Institutes of Technology/National Institutes of Technology/Indian Institutes of Information Technology achieved the stipulated 27 % intake of OBC students. Further, 13 Indian Institutes of Management out of 19 and 22 out of 31 National Institutes of Technology recorded more than the stipulated 27% student intake.”

“The Ministry of Human Resource Development through UGC instructs Universities/Institutions to furnish periodic reports on the implementation of reservation guidelines for OBCs for admissions to courses at all level and Hostel accommodation for students,” it said.

(With inputs from NDTV)

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat

Stephen Mathew

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In order to fill up the vacant seats in the reserved categories, DU’s Special Drive will consider cases of those who were left out, after the fourth cut-off.

While admissions to the unreserved seats in the University of Delhi (DU) fast drawing to an end after the release of the fourth cut-offs on July 13th 2019, the varsity has decided to conduct a Special Drive of admissions to fill up the seats in the Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), and Economically Weaker Section (EWS) categories of the reserved seats. 


One of the most prestigious academic institutions of the country, DU has received a total of 2.6 Lakh applications to its undergraduate courses for the 2019-2020 academic intake. Of these, around 1.5 Lakh applicants are from the unreserved category and the number of aspirants in the SC, ST, and EWS categories are around 34000, 7000, and 9000 respectively. 


Academic Council Member Rasal Singh told the New Indian Express that during the Special Drive, the University will consider cases of those reserved applicants who were left out, “For someone who met the criteria in the first list but didn’t come up for admissions, the University will reopen the window. This particularly benefits outstation candidates, who are at times, unaware and miss the opportunity,” he said. Albeit, the University rules say that those who meet the criteria in the initial lists and don’t come for admission are not eligible in the subsequent lists. 


“If seats go vacant, we go for such drives. We announce the number of seats available. If you have applied and are still interested, we call a list solely for the reserved categories. There are special cut-offs for the colleges and courses available,” Sukanta Dutta, Officer on Special Duty- Admissions, said in an interview to the leading daily. 


Since the new academic session is all set to begin on July 20th 2019, the University is all set to finish admissions to vacant seats well in advance. 


Image Credits: Livemint 


Bhavya Pandey 


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The Delhi High Court has passed the plea filed by Mata Sundari College for Women to allow the four minority colleges to exempt the 27% reserved seats for the students from Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.

The minority colleges include Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College, Guru Gobind Singh College, and Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa College including Mata Sundari College for Women. These colleges come under Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), constituted under the Delhi Sikh Gurdwaras Act.

In August 2011, the above mentioned colleges won minority status which allowed them to exempt 50% reservation from other categories. Earlier this week Mata Sundari College for Women appealed to the High Court to exempt the 27% OBC quota.

In response to why only the OBC quota has been removed, Dr. Kawaljit Kaur, principal of the college said, “It is the order of the court. As the minority status has not been confirmed yet, we had to seek for the exemption from the court for the OBC quota. As of now, only temporary relief has been given to the college only for this year. Till now, we have not received any order in written from the court. We have only read about this in the newspaper.”

According to her, the OBC reservation should not be applicable to the minority institutions because their management is seeking for a minority status under which 50% can be reserved for their own minority but the college does not plan to remove SC/ST quota.“We have been admitting SC/ST and People with disability (PWD) students all this time and we will continue this practice.” She said.

Since the 27% seats from the OBC quota have been exempted, Dr. Kawaljit Kaur said that these seats will now be distributed among the General category candidates.“Since it has not been confirmed, we will be admitting minority students with a little relaxation in their marks as per the previous years.” She added.

Graphic Credits :- Sahil Jain

Every passing year, securing admission in good colleges is getting tougher and tougher. Not for everyone though. If you happen to belong to any of the numerous communities deemed to be underprivileged (SC, OBC etc), all the skill that you’ll require is that of correctly filing a form.

The reservation system has received fervent criticism from all corners but can a country which has historically discriminated against certain minority groups afford not to provide them with opportunities for bettering their status? Or is it that reservations are the wrong way to go about uplifting minorities.

This week, Juxtapose sets the jury out on whether the reservation system is good for the country as a whole. So what are you waiting for? Scroll down and voice your opinions.

Juxtapose: Are reservations in colleges justified?
Show of Hands:
Justified: 2
Not Justified: 8
The Arguments:

1. Thangchungnung Mangte, Not Justified
I do have a great respect for the founding fathers of our constitution and their empathy towards the underprivileged sections of our society who were discriminated and exploited for hundreds of years. However, if we want to help those people to be able to grow and improve their condition, the very basis of granting reservation should be on the basis of a person’s economic condition. Giving reservation to a caste, tribe etc. will only help those, who are already doing well. A poor dalit or a tribal hardly gets to use the benefit of reservation granted to his/her tribe or caste and instead it is used more by the sons & daughters of, let’s say for example, an IAS officer.

2. Vikas Jaipuria, Not Justified
The ideal situation should have been: Merit alone triumphs! Having sat on a hunger strike when I was in class 8 in AIIMS when this debate broke out in 2006, I have seen the agitation from close quarters. This is a paralytic policy decision, which is far from the principles of equality espoused by our constitution. Sure the weaker sections and minority should be uplifted, but providing reservation in higher education is not the correct means. The government should have created better infrastructure in primary/higher secondary schools in small towns/backward areas. It should have extended the benefit of its social schemes by bringing more OBC’s/SC’S/ST’s under its net. The true effects of this paralytic decision is more evident in DU – OBC’s/SC’s/ST’s from well of families are sitting in top colleges with less than qualifying marks, while hard working students of General category who slogged their ass in class XII are precluded admission (even if they fall short of cutoff by a small whisker!). And we all know in a country like ours where bribing public officials is a cakewalk, no wonder you can get yourself made a fake SC/ST/OBC certificate.

3. Ankita Mukhopadhyay (LSR), Justified
When Dr. B.R Ambedkar formulated the Constitution, little did he foresee the uproar that his policy of reservation for minorities would create once education and literacy became a prime concern for most households in India. I think reservation for minorities is justified, provided there is an income bracket to justify their need for reservation. Reservation has come into the limelight today because of the UPA government’s policy to give preference to the minorities in order to garner more votes. The issue of reservation shouldn’t be a politically contentious issue; it should be more of a moral issue.
People belonging to the Scheduled castes and tribes are still discriminated against today in the villages, and even if a person belonging to the SC/ST or OBC category manages to break the mould and succeed in the corporate segment or any other sector, he/she is always looked down upon by the general candidates as an academically weaker peer. I agree that there are many general category candidates out there who lose out on a seat because of reservation, and economically backward general candidates face a bleak future due to no government support for them, but we should also look into the historical origins of this caste problem. The government should change its policy, and instead of demarcating lower cut offs or marks for SC/ST and OBC candidates, they should evaluate them on an equal level, barring only the fact that they have a quota for themselves. One should look for a solution to the problem, not ponder over it needlessly. We should learn from our forefathers and not continue repeating the mistakes that they committed hundreds of years back.

4. Riddhi Dayal (Sri Venkatswara College), Justified
I think reservation was a justifiable means to be used in the scenario of the caste-system in India, and many people have actually benefited from the same. Therefore, to completely write-off reservation is unjustified. Many students had a problem with the fact that General Category seats would be reduced in number due to reservation, however, that was taken care of by the court order that stated that the total number of seats would be increased to incorporate reserved seats while keeping General category seats constant. Thus, I don’t think its really a big deal.
However, I’d like to clarify that I don’t believe reservation should be continued indefinitely. As with all policies, it should be in practice till one reaches the stage of emancipation of the downtrodden and then be discontinued.
The Verdict: Reservations are neither justified nor beneficial.