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Reviewing the Manifesto : I

Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
While reading the updated manifesto, I found a piece I thought I should send
my reaction about. Here is the original piece :

"2.1   	Phasing out the reservation system: The  role and shape of  the
reservation policy needs to be well understood. Given the unfortunate
persistence of social  discrimination against certain citizens based on
social status  determined by birth within the Hindu religion, it is
necessary for the relevant religious leaders to work toward complete
abolition of the caste system, which would then facilitate the early
elimination of  compensatory discrimination practiced by the state. A three
pronged strategy to move this issue  forward will be adopted:
a)     	Investment will be made in areas that have a long term impact on the
welfare of the  weaker sections of the society. "

I know that it is very difficult subject to tackle, and each side can make a
compelling case for or against caste based reservation policy. 

My concern here is  "...relevant religious leaders .." :
Based on my understanding of Hindu religion, there are no relevant religious
leaders of Hindu religion unlike Pope John Paul of Catholicism, neither is
there anything like central Roman Authority which might otherwise govern the
rules of Hindu religion. Although the Shankaracharyas of various Math's do
have some authority with which they can speak, but there are more Hindus who
don't care to follow Vishwa Hindu Parishad or Acharya Giriraj Kishor (who by
the way advocates Sati Pratha!). 

Indian political system should not concern itself with whether or not Hindu
religion wishes to "Abolish Caste System", what it definitely has a role in
is to ensure nobody gets discriminated against because of carrying some
caste or religious labels. I know that it would be nice to not have caste
system in India, but I can only guarantee to persuade my own parents and
siblings not to discriminate people on the basis of their caste. To ask them
to not recognize caste would be impossible, and in fact, to an extent
violating their right to possess their own beliefs. I would let that be
taken care of by social reformers. 

Another point in this section a) is on the term "weaker sections". I think
the term "weaker section" needs to be defined more clearly by the policy
makers just for the purposes of policy formulations and nothing else. Even
though it may look like "weaker sections" are "lower caste" people, if the
"weaker section" is defined in economic and educational awareness terms, you
make progress, find ways to include all of those who need help, irrespective
of their religion or caste, while you also get the incentive to move people
out of poverty and ignorance, thereby allowing others who need help to enjoy
the incentives and benefits and graduate out of their miserable situations.
Meddling into fixing "caste consciousness" is not going to take the policy
makers anywhere. We should try to learn something from our fifty year

If you define "weaker section" in economic and educational backwardness
sense, then you automatically cover all those who you intend to serve by
caste based reservation without getting into the vicious circle. 

The problem is policy makers in India are masters of copying and don't want
to take the pains to find some original solutions for their very original
problems. Caste based reservations were simply copied from the affirmative
action plans which provide racial preference to blacks in the United States.
First of all, India is not as back and white as the United States. Secondly,
Indian Caste problems are not the same as that of the black slaves who were
brought in and kept here by force for centuries, neither are different caste
people so different in appearance as a black would differ from a white

To discriminate is human. However, if you see the difference right in front
of you, as in black and white, your eyes might discriminate and you may act
differently unless there are consequences, and hence came the affirmative
action and other such things. However, caste discrimination cannot be
treated that way, and it was a mistake to apply affirmative action to fix
caste problem. Please remember, divergence of views will always be there in
the society, and that ought to be celebrated. The State should have no
business telling people what to believe in and what not to believe in.
However it should ensure that freedom and liberty of one citizen is not
affected by exercise of free speech by others, and that's clearly a law and
order problem and very simple to deal with. Allow people to believe whatever
they want, but don't let them abuse others or discriminate against others.

Thank You. 

Umesh Tiwari

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