“The Dalit Defence” is increasingly becoming the ultimate move on the chessboard of Indian public life. Those charged of corruption, malfeasance, rape, murder and other misdemeanours claim shelter behind the nearly impenetrable shield of “harassment” by the power elites aka upper castes.
Twice in recent months “The Dalit Defence” has been played masterfully, first by “supporters” of the tainted chief justice of the Karnataka high court, P.D. Dinakaran. When charges of landgrabbing (ironically of land belonging largely to Dalits) were levelled against him to block his elevation to the Supreme Court, the Dravida Kazhagam sprang to his support.
“The real agenda is to prevent a member of a backward community from entering the ‘sanctum sanctorum’, now a monopoly of the upper castes,” K. Veeramani, general secretary of Dravida Kazhagam, the parent organisation of the DMK, was quoted as saying.
“The Dalit Defence” has now been moved by the Tamil Nadu chief minister, M. Karunanidhi again. When his partyman and Union telecom minister A. Raja is facing charges of corruption of astounding proportions in the auction of 2G spectrum, the DMK supremo has blamed opposition parties seeking his resignation for targetting him because he is a Dalit.
“Raja is a Dalit. That is why dominant forces are levelling malicious charges against him,” he said when asked for his comments on the opposition demands for his resignation in the wake of allegations of scam in 2G Spectrum allocation.
Questions: Are Dalits being unfairly targetted by the dominant communities even after half a century of constitutional guarantees? Or is “The Dalit Defence” just a fig leaf? Are Dalits incapable of misdemeanours? Or should we turn a blind eye merely because dominant communities have been doing it for a long time?
Does “The Dalit Defence” work in its intended constituency? Or are Dalits being taken for a ride by wily politicians and political parties?
Also read: Should IAS, IPS officers play politics on the side?
In PC age, is nothing about the Manusmriti right?
Should Abdul Kalam say sorry to Dalits on I-Day?
I remember a marking I saw in a public urinary near commercial street in early 90s. There were two horizontal lines drawn.
Next to top Horizontal line it was written – If you can pee above this line, please come and join the Fire Department. Next to Bottom Horizontal line it was written – If you Are SC/ST and can pee above this line, come join the Fire Department. It was funny then…
But, After about 20 years, our politicians (and even our Chief Justice) seems to think a line needs to be drawn to distinguish corruption by Dalits as well…
A mere hint of impropriety is sufficient for Getting rid of Tharoor, but a clear case of causing huge loss to exchequer is pardonable if you are a Dalit!!
Wah! We are like this only!
Dalits are above law in our land. This is all our own undoing. The rob the public and hide behind their Dalit identity. Instead of growing forward we are moving backwards. Our so called caretakers the politicians do not realise this. If things go as it is now we will not have any thing to eat or drink. The kith and kin of the politicians will also face the same problem, they have to eat only money. It is high time that they also thought about the future of their off spring.
Do not play politics, look for the development of the country, save natural resources. Instead of trying to bring the Dalits on par with the others, you are only taking the others to the level of the Dalits. Our present politicians are attempting to take the Muslims also in this line. Beware!!
Is Dinakaran the only judge deemed corrupt by our morally upright media and the cheddi gangsters?
Is raja the only corrupt minister in the UPA for the honest to innocent upright citizens???
If not, then why the selective targeting?? is it coz they are competing on equal terms!!(ofcourse in looting)
You are absolutely right. We need a more lenient legal system for the ‘reserved.’ Min 10k crores to be considered for a corruption case, atleast 2 murders to be arrested for a murder case etc …
Question asked: Dalits being taken for a ride?
The question to be asked: Is the nation being taken for a ride in the name of Dalits/Minorities.
What are the charges against honorable minister mr. A Raja? Loss to the exchequer or incompetence or corruption or
There is a price discovery exercise going on right now for 3g. The wacky bids we are seeing will help GOI to get at the most 50,000 Crores. How much GOI would have got for 2g?
IMO, the companies which will get 3g licenses will have ugliest possible balance sheets. Can you imagine 10,000 Crores debt just to pay the license fees.
>A Raja? Loss to the exchequer or incompetence or corruption or
It is all of the above.
-> He caused a loss to exchequer, by using the pricing of 2001 in 2007 (Can you buy any resource at the same price today?)
-> He was incompetent, because he didn’t do a due diligence on the right models and take right advice – and went against the advice of PM of this country.
-> He was corrupt, because he abruptly changed the first-come first serve list, and let a few folks of his choice benefit. It is matter of public record now that a lobbyist was also involved and they got to know the news of the queue being opened before anyone else..
Corruption is not only when you catch someone taking the money, it is also when someone was in a position to influenece a decision and does so.
>Can you imagine 10,000 Crores debt just to pay the license fees.
Yes, I can! This is what the Companies do. They raise finance to run a business. Some work some don’t.
On the contrary – Can you imagine the kind of windfall profits some 2G license holders have made? They don’t have any intention of using those licenses. They just got a resource from govt. at throw away price, and they’ll sell their company at the actual price.
Lets not be foolish here.
Pramod Mahajan did the same and got stocks in Reliance Com. In fact, his brother praveen even got a job. All matter of record now. But, all that came out after BJP was booted out. So there was no uproar.
Sukhram did make huge amounts in 1995/96, and that led to his downfall (well in a way).
Why should A.Raja be any different?
hahaha hardly 10% all indian population was able to suppress others.
They must be really creative people of their times. they really must be the leaders. while rest of 90% of the population must be really dumb and devoid of brains. it is really wonder how only 10% of indian population was able to dominate the rest of 90% indians. really want to go back in older times to see how they did it. what strategies they used and how good they were at leading others.
The question is why the media only select these leaders into symbols of corruption, as if no one else corrupt??
In India corruption is the way of life, particularly government offices. Last month went to sub-registrar office, Man do they expect or demand as entitlement for the work they are payed. everything is open, not even a effort is made to conceal. I am sure those scums, would also be enraged of the raja and dinakaran corruption, when they read.
where is pawar, sukhram, kamal nath, sheila dixit, vasundara, et el. Not to forget Dr. yeddy with his bums reddy and naidu?? Bestowing satviks on the scums???
A. Raja is different. He is one of the best ministers in this cabinet for aam admi. 2g is a service predominantly used by aam admi, hence lesser the license fee it is better for aam admi. In the best interest of the country, I hope Rajaji will scrap this entire 3g auction tamasha and reverts to 2g license procedure he followed earlier, which IMO was fair and transparent.
>2g is a service predominantly used by aam admi, hence lesser the license fee it is better for aam admi.
You must be living in some other planet or society.
Check what the 2g sale did. Unitech, a Builder, got the spectrum at dirt cheap price, though it only had a company in paper, and wasn’t offering the service anywhere in India. Another company called Swan got the license too (again at bargain basement prices).
Unitech Sold the stake in its company to Telnor and Swan sold stake to Etisalat, to set up the services. Guess at what rates?
The actual market rates of the Spectrum!! It got a windfall benefit for the license it was holding.
The company which will thus offer the service did not get the spectrum at a cheap cost at all. It still needs to charge the user at a high rate to make profit.
An analogy would be for Karnataka govt. to acquire some 10,000acre land, somewhere around electronic city at the rates that were prevailing in 2001 and provide it at same rate to some favored industrialists. Since they got the land cheap, I am sure they’d sell their services cheap isn’t it??
Is it that difficult to understand?
>hahaha hardly 10% all indian population was able to suppress others.
It is a myth propagated that it was the upper castes who subjugated the lower castes. The reality is it is the lower caste, which kept their kin subjugated.
Just get a list of Dynasties that ruled India, and check their caste, you’ll know what I say is true..
>If not, then why the selective targeting?? is it coz they are competing on equal terms!!(ofcourse in looting)
In every instance of perceivable impropriety, the media has raised the voice. You think Shashi Tharoor was lower caste?
If Halappa’s defence is that he is a satvik, when why not Raja’s defence that he is a dalit?
What interests me is the paucity of comments here on this explosive issue and the tentative nature of many of those comments. If the topic has become so powerful that it can stifle a long, healthy debate, we have much to fear.
Only a just society can claim respect, that is to say Indian society is obligated to try to ameliorate the condition of historically disenfranchised members of certain communities. However, to make entire communities beneficiaries of poorly conceived and worse executed affirmative action is to condescend to them, implying that not many among them are capable of rising to the top without government intervention. I hope our ST/SC brothers and sisters can see this insult. Of course, then there is the irony of a government created caste–SC/ST, a new addition to our caste- bedevilled society.
Tell me what to make of this situation: Some members of the governmentally protected groups object to being called “Dalits,” because to them it sounds like a reminder of where they have been for so long. Then there are government officials from those communities who demand their subordinates address them as “thaavu” and not “neevu.”
How many Dalit officials have been stung by the ragtag band of the Lokayuktha and what action has been taken for acquiring wealth disproportionate to their known income? I do respect the argument that inaction is the rule in the case of most influential grafty officials, regardless of caste affiliations, but while non-Dalit grama lekkigas or gumasthas are prosecuted in cases involving the thousands, how do those who are said to have garnered money in the crores go scotfree and live to enjoy their enormous wealth?
you are actually correct. With 3g the gov’t is getting more money, but where will it eventually go? May be 10% of the amount will be useful for the people while the rest of the money will go down the corruption,wastage and entitlement drain. Whereas with 2g, the companies (Raja, and Kuruda family included) made boat load of money, but they can still cut prices massively and still make their margins, so in the end the aam admi is winning. The insane amounts makes me quite skeptical about the success of 3G, atleast in the next 3-4 years when compared to the 2G. Even the chinese have resorted to subsidising 3G services like mobile TV to help its uptake.
A revenue sharing or a royalty based system would have much more sense I feel.
>but they can still cut prices massively and still make their margins
This statement betrays lack of understanding of competitive landscape.
Companies never charge on the basis of Cost+ formula. They always charge an amount that they think is affordable to the customer, and something that they can ‘get away’ with, or can work with over a period of time.
Most often the operative principle is that of “price elasticity of demand” – quantity demanded of a good or service to a change in its price. If the demand changes only marginally with a change in price, then pricing is likely to be high, as potential for profit in such a commodity is high. Any monopoly gets away by charging high due to this fact. Think Microsoft – Windows costs a bomb, not because it’s input costs are high, but because Microsoft knows it can get away with an amount.
There is also another principle – ‘Paradox of value’ also known as Water-Diamond paradox. Water has infinitely higher intrinsic value than Diamond, but Diamond is the one that’s more expensive.
Pricing of a service is rather complex, and the value someone is willing to pay for spectrum, counts on many economic principles in arriving at the value of spectrum.
>will go down the corruption,wastage and entitlement drain
This again is a wrong understanding of economy. Govt. gets the money it wants one way or the other. It either gets it through its natural resources, like in the case of Gulf countries, or through taxes – or a mix.
If Govt. doesn’t get the 50,000crores it lost due to Raja’s corruption, it’ll get that money from your and my pocket.
>Indian society is obligated to try to ameliorate the condition of historically disenfranchised members of certain communities
This is absolutely right. I always felt that it is the responsibility of govt. to provide succor to people in distress. May be even class of people, who can be accurately be identified to be in distress.
But, how does this work? Why would sons of Karunanidhi need any kind of help from Govt? Why an A.Raja needs the protection or reservations? These folks have practically ruled a state for most of 50 years.
If people opposed Manu smriti (rightly), for making birth as a criteria for social standing, how are they any different in making birth as a criteria for reservation and other benefits??
Nobody cuts prices unless they have to :) Lot of competition == companies forced to cut prices to retain their market share. What I wanted to say was the lower prices for 2g licenses just made the ‘price elasticity of demand’ very elastic.
Your understanding of the economy+politics seems to be very naive. In current economy gov’t can’t raise taxes even if they should , check out what is happening in Greece if you need a hint. If they didnt get money thru license fees (i.e raising money thru selling resource) they would have been forced to do some much needed divestment as that is the least politically expensive revenue stream.
India is a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic says our constitution. Among these ‘republic’ is the least useful for the ruling class and hence easily trampled over, while ‘secular,democratic and socialist’ are the most useful and hence cleverly manipulated.
The perpetual affirmative action also has some type of ‘benefit-detriment elasticity’ for the ruling class, but so far it appears to be extremely elastic.
I agree with Daily Bread. In most other countries where spectrum is auctioned the mobile phone rates are horrendously expensive. You just have to compare them with Indian rates to see the difference. This despite the comparatively smaller success of ad revenue and value added services revenue in the Indian market.
Maybe they should have screened the potential licensees and checked for capacity to develop and provide services. They could perhaps add a clause saying the license may be revoked if the development isn’t made in such time. That will ensure unitech and swan types cannot fool around.
Elasticity here means that two classes of the populace, the government and its wards, are acquiring assets without any accountability to a third party, the payer of taxesand indirect owner of national property.
>Your understanding of the economy+politics seems to be very naive.
Politics – may be. But studied economics as part of my MBA. I have some reasonable understanding of theory, if not practice.
Neverthless – I suspect neither of us are experts to call the other naive… ;)
>in current economy gov’t can’t raise taxes even if they should
This is not true. We have had tax increase this year on many commodities. Service tax has been expanded to include homes. Govt. keeps thinking up new ways to earn revenue thru taxation.
>lot of competition == companies forced to cut prices
But, Spectrum is a limited resource and needs to be priced and regulated. Just as oil fields or mines are. Otherwise a few will benefit enormously at the cost of the ‘people’ as is happening in Mining – as has happened in 2g spectrum allocation.
>forced to do some much needed divestment
It amounts to same thing. Going by your logic, why not give away NTPC to a private investor, surely he’d be able to price the power lower if he got the power company low?? :)
Irresponsible politicians will find a way to spend money, which ever way they have to raise it. Giving away a huge chunk of money to a select few does not in anyway diminish states capacity to spend. In fact, worst case scenario – they’ll borrow money or print money.
It is better to price the resources owned by govt. to a market determined price rather than ‘raja’ determined price.
>where spectrum is auctioned the mobile phone rates are horrendously expensive
Most countries where phone rates are expensive is because of crazy operational models, pushing up costs, not due to spectrum pricing alone.
If in India the costs seem cheap it is because of operational efficiency and costs being lower.
In reality, if you take per-capita income vs average monthly bill on mobile, India will be one of the most expensive countries.