TELANGANA: Is Power Only Meant for Those Who Enjoy Reservation on Property?

S Veeraiah

THE people charmed by Manu are concerned about miracles but are not bothered by the sufferings of people. Rulers who talk about yagnas, pushkaras and holy places are not worried about the people who toil day and night to fill their stomachs. They will not talk about caste discrimination, caste domination or equity and justice. Those who have been enjoying reservation on property for generations together, will naturally be influenced by Manuvad and not by humanitarian concerns. The wild animal that has had a taste of human blood will always attack and will never extend the hand of love and affection. That’s why we have to doubt the affection poured by the ruling classes on the oppressed people. Ruling classes treat people like sheep and they believe that people trust them blindly like sheep. People’s innocence is their capital. They want to have control on their intelligence and want them to remain ignorant. They cannot tolerate if people come together and struggle against economic exploitation and social oppression. They will have sleepless nights if people move on struggle path. If bahujans open their eyes, they will become nervous. They will try all tricks to cheat and appease the bahujans who are exploited economically and socially. They will reserve huge properties for themselves and will then chant daily about reservations in education and jobs and in  legislative bodies for bahujans.  They feel that reservation on property is their birth right. All other reservations, they feel, are given as charity with generosity and sympathy. They also feel that property being reserved for them is development and growth, but other reservations are impediments to growth and progress. The amount needed for the welfare of sanitation workers is Rs 9000 crore while almost the same amount was evaded by Vijay Mallya. Nirav Modi loots Rs 11, 400 crores of public money.  Water will flow in abundance for golf courses and gated communities but tribal and rural poor have to walk miles to fetch a pail of water.  All this is because of the right they have on property.



Ruling classes are adept in using people and deserting them. They pretend love. They shower pity and kindness. They also talk about right to property for all. They will also agree to share a little bit of property. But they will never ever agree to distribute land and property to the poor and shed their control on property and wealth. They will be inclined to help a few chosen ones but not all the people. They may appreciate if some of the bahujans are able to run small industries or take up some contracts. Equitable distribution of wealth will ensure self-respect to all. It is nothing but opportunism if a few among the poor are appeased. The former ensures treating all people equally and the latter is nothing but using people. Manuvad wants the oppressed to toe the line of the ruling classes. Manuvad will never accept self-respect of the oppressed.


 They treat inequalities in property relations as their right. Questioning this inequity is intolerable to them. The graded and hierarchical nature of caste system gives them an opportunity to continue these inequitable relations in property. It is because of this they protect the caste system. The dominance they have on wealth and property is useful for them in continuing the system. The poor will not be allowed to work in farms if they question caste discrimination. They will be sent out of the village or there will be a social boycott if people question the domination perpetuated in the name of the village development committees. The poor in villages and bastis fall in line to their dominance as they do not have any property to support them. They have to depend on the dominant forces for employment and sustenance. Taking this as an opportunity, workers are divided in the name of caste. Dalits are isolated. Landlords will lose all their strength and power if they lose control on their land. Workers will get empowered then. Caste is used to break the unity of the workers. If all workers come together, the control of capitalists will be weakened. So capitalists also use caste to divide people. Rulers also will not speak about distribution of land. In Telangana, the promise of three acre land for each dalit family is kept pending as the government has no intention of implementing the election promise. The slogan of dismantling the walls of caste and the slogan that all those who are exploited economically and socially oppressed are bahujans, will naturally make them jittery and nervous. In the name of Manu, the dominant castes punished the socially oppressed castes if they owned land and property.  The issue of reservations has come because of this only. The dominant forces wanted reservations for themselves in land and property. Their complete control on the wealth and property has resulted in the demand for reservations for the socially backward castes. Reservation on property for a few sections is Manuvad. In democracy there is political reservation.  This is also for a few. Equality means not having any reservations for any one in any arena. This equality should start with breaking the reservations and monopoly that few sections have on land and wealth. This will gradually evolve into a situation where nobody needs any reservation.The dominant forces are not ready to give up their control on wealth and property. They will do anything to protect their control on wealth and property. Caste is their weapon to divide people and incite differences among oppressed people. In the past they fomented anti-reservation agitations and now they are agitating for inclusion of upper castes in the OBC category. They are provoking people to demand recognition of certain BC categories as MBCs.


Bahujans have numerous problems. There is the issue of hunger and there is also the issue of self-respect. Which is important is another problem. But both are important. You cannot have respect as long as you are in the stage of begging. Self-respect will not come by requesting. It has to arise as a matter of right. It will come through struggles. The dominant forces will always be ready to give something for the people who plead. Congress, BJP, TDP and TRS did the same thing. They want people to beg and this is a feudal mind-set.  Like kings who have given away "agraharas" and like the generous landlords who donated some of their possessions, these parties when in government dole out some benefits and opportunities to the poor and the oppressed.  The begging hand will always be below the hand that gives. But those who are on struggle will be on an equal footing. Wealth belongs to all. All should become partners in the production process. In the name of caste, no one should have the privilege of enjoying the benefits without doing any work. There should not be any chance to exploit in the name of class also. This is the alternative people need now. The dominant forces are afraid because the unity of the bahujans will lead to the demand for this alternative. They do not like Bahujan Left Front (BLF) for this reason.


Some people ask whether it is possible to get power without the support of the upper castes. This is true, if one wants to continue the caste system. This is also needed for those political forces who will benefit by caste division of society. Now caste is needed by the dominant classes only. Caste is an obstacle for the bahujans. All those who are economically exploited and all those who are socially oppressed are bahujans. All those who stand by the struggles of the bahujans are their friends. The dominant forces will be annoyed if one talks about caste discrimination and equitable justice. They want caste to be determined by birth. They want to isolate the dalits in the graded and hierarchical caste system. But bahujans are not innocent now and they will not tie themselves to get isolated from others. They know that a member of an illustrious brahmin family was part of the group which burnt the Manusmrithi under the leadership of Dr Ambedkar. They know that some brahmin families stood in solidarity with Phule. If something good is called Mala (dalit), then I will be Mala (dalit) – these words of Gurajada, the famous Telugu poet are remembered today. People still remember Suravaram Prathap Reddy who was the president of Madiga (Dalit) Sangam. Many people who wrote history from the working class perspective and who construed philosophy from the working class angle, come from brahmin families.

Many from the upper castes participated in the glorious Telangana armed struggle which was waged for land, food and for liberation from bonded labour. Dasarathi Krishnamacharya who languished in jail and Dasarathi Rangacharya who participated in the Telangana peasant armed struggle came from brahmin families. Brahmin, vysya, reddy and kamma - many from these upper castes forgot their caste identities and participated in these struggles of the past. That is why irrespective of the caste that comes by birth, all those who are exploited economically and supressed socially are bahujans. One maybe born in a dalit family but he may not be sympathetic to the cause of the workers and toilers.  Ramnath Kovind comes from a dalit family. He became the president of India as a candidate of the BJP which totally supports the ideas of Manu. People like Udit Raj who preach sermons for dalits are today with the BJP. Can people who are born as dalits and are with the BJP be called as bahujans? Bahujans today know their friends and they also know their enemies. So today we have to unify all those who are exploited economically. We have to walk together with those who are socially oppressed. This has to be done in every village.  This should happen in every basti and street. There should be a clarion call for this in every village. Struggle will definitely give us victory. This struggle can be a peoples' struggle or this can also be an electoral struggle. We have to understand that appointment of Justice Punnaiah commission was the result of our struggle against caste discrimination. The SC/ ST sub-plan was also the result of these struggles only. The Telangana bahujans struggled for entry into temples and fought against the two glass system. This is the heartbeat of the weak and the poor. Now bahujan heart beat is responding politically too. These political responses have come forward in the form of the Bahujana Left Front.

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