Skip to main content

Forward caste inequality-within "higher" than SC, ST, OBC, led to Jat, Patidar protests

By Rajiv Shah
A recent research paper, published the Paris School of Economics’ World Inequality Lab, suggests that the inequality within the forward caste (FC) group in India is the highest compared to what it is among scheduled castes (SC), scheduled tribes and other backward classes (OBC). The paper, authored by Nitin Kumar Bharti, points out that the inequality “within FC has increased and it is potentially one of the reasons behind uneasiness among certain FC groups in country and their demand for OBC status.”
The data analysed by Bharti suggests a clear pattern: Thus, in 2002, the wealth of the bottom 50% FC group between 2002 and 2012 went down from 9.25% to 6% of the top 10% of FC group. On the other hand, the wealth of the bottom ST 50% of the ST group during the same period went down from 11.75% to 9.5%; of SC group went down from 11.5% to 10.5%; and of OBC group went down from 9.75% to 8.75%.
Bharti says, “Bottom 50% of the population has lost 2-4 pp within all the caste categories. The major decline of their share in FC followed by ST, OBC and SC and Muslims.”
While Bharti wrote the paper in November 2018, before before the Government of India’s controversial decision to provide 10% reservation to the economically weaker sections (EWS) to the FC group, his analysis suggests, the increasing intra-caste inequality within the group was a major reason behind it.
Analysing data obtained from the National Sample Survey-All India Debt and Investment Survey and the Indian Human Development Survey for different years, Bharti explains several FC groups'  efforts to “gain access into reservation benefits” in this context.
Wealth share in lower deciles within different caste groups
The paper says, “Jat, an agrarian community from North India, are demanding the OBC status in Central government list of OBC. Patidar (people with well known surnames Patel) group in 2015, started agitation for similar demand which became the central issue in 2017 state’s election. The surprising demand for OBC from these communities can be rationalized through the close threshold ownership and a sense of competition for scarce resources.”
Suggests Bharti, a major reason for sharp within-caste differentiation in FC is, the upper groups gained, while the lower groups failed.
He says, “Top 1% within FC owned almost 13.6% of the total FC wealth in 2002 which increased to 29.4% in 2012. Top 5% owned 32% in 2002 which increased to 47.6% in 2012. And top 10% now owns 60% of the total FC wealth.” He adds, this suggests “inequality within FC group is the highest”, though adding, “This is a drastic change in ten years which needs more enquiry.”
Bharti continues, “We see a very high within caste inequality which has increased from 2002-2012. It hints that treating these big administrative castes as homogeneous groups is far from reality”, adding, “The major gain is in the top decile and a minor gain in the bottom decile within every caste.”
If categorized in 5 brackets from poorest to richest, says Bharti, “We see that 50% of the Brahmin, 31% of Rajputs, 44% of Bania and 57% of Kayasth fall in richest category. For other caste groups only 5% ST, 10% SC,16% OBC,17% Muslims fall in richest category.”
Stating that “the divide between FC and rest of the caste is more prominent in 2012 than before”, Bharti says, “Interestingly within ST the allocation of wealth to top 1%, top 5% and top 10% population increased than that of in SC in 2012 which was opposite three decades earlier.”
He adds, “Within ST, top 10% of share increased from 40.3% in 1991 to 51.4% in 2012... Top 10% of SC share increased from 43.6% in 1991 to 46.7% in 2012...” And “within OBC, top 10% share increased from 46.2% in 2002 to 52% in 2012.”

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Now, top Gujarat "litterateur" close to Modi says: Godse was patriot, so was Gandhi

By Rajiv Shah
A little over a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Thakur for calling Nathuram Godse a patriot saying he would never forgive her for the remark, a top Sangh Parivar ideologue, known to close to Modi in Gujarat, has supported her, saying her statement should be seen “within a context.” Thakur won from Bhopal by more than 3.5 lakh votes defeating her nearest rival, veteran Congressman and ex-Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.

Opposition refuses to legally challenge EVMs amidst plans of "back to ballot" protest

Counterview Desk
Even as opposition to the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) allegedly to rig polls is growing, a group of prominent citizens who have come together to form the EVM Virodhi Rashtriya Jan Andolan has controversially called for a national protest against EVMs on May 30, demanding future elections should be held only on ballot paper.

When a Pak scribe said Modi has 'proved' Jinnah’s two nation theory right...

By Zafar Agha*
It was around nine in the morning on May 24, 2019, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed the Lok Sabha with 300-plus MPs. It was a call from a journalist friend, Muzamal Suhrawardy, from Lahore, Pakistan. I ignored the call. We liberals had a depressing day the previous evening as the opposition to Modi and BJP collapsed. The results belied reports from the ground and even assessments made by colleagues.

It's now official: Akshay Kumar has not been conferred honorary Canadian citizenship

By Our Representative
It is now official. Super-star Akshay Kumar has not been conferred any honorary citizenship by Canadian authorities, as claimed by him ahead of the 2019 elections. In reply to a query by Roshan Shah, who is a Canadian citizen living in Waterloo, Ontario, and belongs to Ahmedabad, the country’s authorities dealing with issues related with immigration, refugees and citizenship in Canada have said that only six persons have so far been granted honorary citizenship.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

If EC's credibility is under question, shouldn't one "assume" EVMs might be tampered?

Counterview Desk
Gauhar Raza, scientist, documentary film maker and poet; senior human rights activist Shabnam Hashmi of the Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD); military veteran Major Priyadarshi Chowdhury (retd); and Sucheta De and Sandeep Saurav of the All India Students' Association (AISA), have asked “individuals, organisations and people's movements” to send their endorsement to an appeal they have prepared on Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).

Govt of India overestimated GDP by 2.5%, must restore reputational damage: Ex-CEA

By Rajiv Shah
Top economist Arvind Subramanian has said that changes brought about by the Government of India in data sources and methodology for estimating the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) since 2011-12 “has led to a significant overestimation of growth”. While official estimates place annual average GDP growth between 2011-12 and 2016-17 at about 7 percent, the actual growth may have been 4½ percent, ranging from 3 ½ to 5 ½ percent during the period, he adds.

Common thread of Modi, political Hinduism, nationalism? 'Contest' of ideas isn't over

By Salman Khurshid*
Losing the 2019 election and that too in a somewhat extreme manner has confronted us with unexpected challenges: Our leadership has naturally taken it very hard and to heart but with suggested options that we cannot imagine or contemplate. Hopefully the emotions will settle soon and give us the direction to pick up the pieces and march again.

Will minorities in India be 2nd class citizens? Wake up call: Be a 'communicating' Church

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
India today is at a defining moment of her history. There is so much that has taken place in the past five years (and particularly in the last ten days)- that several citizens of the country are genuinely concerned about the future of the country! Will democracy survive? Will key elements of the Constitution be changed?