Posts Tagged ‘Praful Bidwai’

‘Communalism originated from the upper classes’

2 June 2008

Columnist Praful Bidwai at the 90th birthday celebrations of Marxist B.V. Kakkilaya in Mangalore, on Sunday, quoted in The Hindu:

“Communal attitude developed among the aristocratic and upper castes in the country as a reaction to modernity…

“As liberalism, socialism and gender equality began to spread during the 19th century, it put people at the top of the hierarchy in a vulnerable position. Modernity brought with it certain irreverence for established hierarchies. Suddenly, the actions of the all-powerful were not beyond question. It made them vulnerable.

“Reason demanded that there should be equality and demolition of feudalism. And that is exactly why the upper caste or class could not tolerate reason. As a reaction, they steeped themselves further into the practice of an orthodox brand of religion that preached inequality and oppression.”

Read the full article: Communalism originated from the upper classes

Should IAS, IPS officers play politics on the side?

23 April 2008

Sixteen years ago, a tsunami broke out in chai cups when the columnist Praful Bidwai revealed that celebrations had broken out among IAS candidates undergoing training at the National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie, when news came in from Ayodhya that the Babri masjid had been felled.

The implications of such ideologically inclined candidates eventually laying their hands on the levers of power across the length and breadth were debated before, as usual, it was business as usual.

But there was no such debate when Vijaya Karnataka carried a front-page story late last year, at the height of the political tragicomedy, that Dalit IAS and IPS officers had held a “secret” meeting where they had decided to “lobby” for Mallikarjuna Kharge, a Dalit, as chief minister.

There were hints of the officers deciding to raise money to make this possible. How they planned to do all this was of course left to the imagination.

Probably it is a reflection of the intellectual vacuum in the State or probably an indication of the political correctness that has gripped the intelligentsia, but given the tone and tenor of the VK report, not to speak of the ideological motivations of those behind it, it did not proceed further from there.

There was even a question mark about the “truthiness” of the meeting and the report.

But now, Subhash Bharani, the 1975-batch IPS officer who left the service to join the Congress and then left the Congress to join the BJP in the space of a few days, has laid bare the details. There was, indeed, he confirms, such meetings (meaning, there was more than the one VK reported).

“What is wrong if Dalit officials favour a person belonging to their community for the Chief Minister’s post? Are IPS officials and Government officers belonging to Dalit community not entitled to hold political views? As far as I know, there is no clause in the Service Rules that prohibits government servants from [doing] this”, the BJP’s candidate from T. Narasipur said at a media conference yesterday.

“There is nothing wrong if Dalits hold such meetings. It may not be appropriate for other communities to hold such meetings.”

Nothing wrong if serving and aspiring officers have such covert and overt political and ideological ambitions? Nothing wrong if serving and aspiring officers openly or even secretly show their leanings? Nothing wrong if serving and aspiring officers gravitate to each other on the basis of caste, region, religion, language?

Nothing wrong if Dalits do it?