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Deprivation tales
Posted:Feb 17, 2017
 
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The Jat agitation for quotas is back on the streets of Haryana, with additional demands for withdrawal of charges against those booked for the protests last year. The young leader of the Patidar agitation, Hardik Patel, following his long jail term and exile, appears all set for a bigger and more fiery political role, with his plans to campaign for the Shiv Sena in the upcoming Mumbai civic polls, and the Shiv Sena promoting him as its future chief ministerial candidate in Gujarat. The latter quarter of 2016 witnessed a spate of “Maratha Kranti Muk Morchas” across the state — massive silent marches by the Maratha community, reiterating the demand to be designated as one of the Other Backward Classes (OBC), along with additional demands, such as scrapping of the Prevention of Atrocities (against Scheduled Caste-Scheduled Tribes) Act. Thus, the articulation of the demand by powerful groups to be considered “backward”, based on the narrative of deprivation, marginalisation and hurt, continues to be a major issue that is unlikely to die down any time soon.
 
In a first of its kind exercise, we analyse large-scale data from the India Human Development Survey (IHDS), and compare Patels, Marathas and Jats to other major groups — Brahmins, Other Forward Castes (FCs), existing OBCs and SC-STs — in their respective states. How “backward” are the three jatis in relation to the other groups in their states? We find that these three jatis are closer to the socio-economically dominant caste groups (Brahmins and Other FCs) in their respective states on a variety of indicators — such as per capita consumption expenditure (PCCE), poverty status, educational attainment and occupational status — compared to the existing disadvantaged groups of the OBCs, Dalits, and Adivasis (SC-STs). 
 
Read more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/jat-agitation-haryana-quota-reservation-patidar-hardik-patel-4528880/
 
Indian Express, February 17, 2017
 
 
 
 
 
 
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