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

Impact of state repression? Kashmir's 65% people prefer independence: Cambridge study

By Rajiv Shah 
Even as the Government of India’s controversial move to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) into two union territories is not only refusing to down die but has acquired international dimensions, a recent study, published by the Cambridge University Press, has claimed “pro-independence attitudes” among that 65% of Kashmiris, warning, this sentiment worsens when the state machinery resorts “repressive violence”.

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.

Dholera 'inundated': Gujarat govt tries selling low lying area as top smart city site

Counterview Desk
Even as the Dholera Special Investment Region Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA) of the Gujarat government was busy organising a junket for Gujarat-based journalists for the area sought to be sold as an ideal special investment region (SIR) for industrialists, well-known farmers' activist Sagar Rabari has wondered why no investor has so far agreed to put in money in an area situated in Ahmedabad district along the Gulf of Khambhat.

Congress' anti-democratic laws led to Modi govt's 'Constitutional' changes: Scholars

Counterview Desk
A large number of academics* said to be belonging to several Indian and international institutions, even as taking strong exception to the Narendra Modi government's alleged move to amend the Constitution through "illegitimate" means, have taken strong exception to their colleagues in academia who we have become "all too accustomed to adopting a calculated silence in the face of such indignities."

Kashmir normal? Schoolboys, teenagers being arbitrarily picked up, detained: Report

Counterview Desk
A four-person team, consisting of Jean Dr├Ęze, well-known development economist; Kavita Krishnan, who is with the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist); Maimoona Mollah of the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA); and Vimal Bhai of the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), back from a five-day fact-finding mission (August 9-13) from Kashmir, has said that people they spoke to “expressed their pain, anger, and sense of betrayal against the Government of India.”
In a report, “Kashmir Caged”, released along with a short eight-minute film, they said, the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A, dissolution of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), and bifurcating it into two Union Territories, is not being supported by anyone they met, except for BJP spokesperson on Kashmir affairs Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, who claimed 46% vote share in J&K.
Excerpts from the report: When our flight landed, and the airlines staff announced that passeng…

Modi's Gujarati mind? Why govt move to 'sell-off' defence PSUs isn't in national interest

By Sandeep Pandey*
The Standing Committee on Defence, 2017-18, of the 16th Lok Sabha highlights the idea of Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured). The Committee expressed concern over the import content of equipments produced and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories (OFs) and defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) because of the dependence it creates for military hardware on foreign suppliers.

Central Gujarat effluent channel 'releasing' highly polluted industrial wastewater: PM told

Counterview Desk
Senior environmentalists of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), Vadodara, Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant, in an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Gujarat chief minister, the Gujarat chief secretary, and senior Government of India and Gujarat government officials dealing with environment, pollution and climate change have said that the authorities’ response their pleas to take action against the leakages and flow of polluted wastewater from the effluent channels of Central Gujarat industrial areas has met with complete inertia.

Can't go to court with RTI information, rule Ahmedabad authorities: Kankaria accident

By Pankti Jog*
In a shocking reply to an application filed by me, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities have said that the information provided under the Right to Information (RT) Act should be used in court or in a judicial process. The Act is known to be a major tool that enables citizens to seek certified copies of documents, records from any public authority of state and Central government within 30 days, as per provisions of the Act.

Quit India Movement 'betrayal' and dubious role of Hindu Mahasabha, RSS leaders

By Shamsul Islam*
After the recent guillotine of Article 370, Hindutva ideologue Ram Madhav, while celebrating the occasion stated that it was honouring of the sacrifices of Dr Shyam Prasad Mukherjee and thousands others who laid down their lives for its removal. It is to be noted that Dr Mukherjee was a cadre of RSS and was groomed into a Hindutva leader by another Hindutva icon, VD Savarkar.

Strategy for united struggle against Hindutva 'fascism': Ideological silence is 'no option'

By Dr Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
Electoral alliance and opportunism of national and regional political parties, neoliberal economic marginalisation and soft secular Hindutva line pandering to Hindu majoritarianism laid the foundation of Hindutva fascism in post-colonial India.