society caste & corruption COMMENTS
Caste has nothing to do with graft. Even so, Nandy must be heard.

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Daily Mail
Feb 25, 2013
In the Court of Unreason

Power, and not caste, decides an individual’s corruption pot­­­ential (Varna of Money, Feb 11). Dalit leaders should fight to protect their rights but I wish they were magnanimous eno­ugh to allow for the freedom of tho­ught of someone like Nandy. Why not counter a wrong view by making the right arguments based on reason rather than action under a draconian law?

Narendra M. Apte, Pune

The comparison with Akhand Pratap Singh and Neera Yadav does not serve the story. Neera is a Brahmin who married a Yadav and reaped a rich harvest.

Sanket Biswas, Calcutta

The one instance of Chandan Basu shows the double standards among Bengalis.

Surya Sharma, Calcutta

The Suresh Kalmadi picture was captioned “arrested for the CAG scam”. CWG, I presume, unless the man’s been messing with our national auditors too.

Ashfaq, on e-mail

Indian sociology is identity-driven and ends up strengthening the very same identity politics which needs to be checked in India.

Bahu Virupaksha, Pondicherry

It will be interesting if the caste-corruption study was conducted taking into account political affiliations and ideological perspectives.

Hari, Chennai

Feb 02, 2013
01:06 PM

  Surely, Raja should not be seen as an icon, only because he is a Dalit. It is wrong, even if very urbane people, in New Delhi, not Raja are thought of committing fraud, being ministers in the govt. I mean, I did find it a folly, in the mind, when I considered that Raja became minister, because he did not know, he was going to be asked to explain why money was not earned or expended, to the extent supposed, and that political identities were supposed to benefit, when money was not earned or expended. I think, the Supreme Court aquitted Mr. Raja. People might be persistent, and ask, if he did not know, when he was minister, about what he should know. Who may I ask, feels enthused, not to consider political service, but also to consider what society is all about? 

Aditya Mookerjee
Belgaum, India
Feb 02, 2013
02:49 PM

“If there is ‘Reservation Policy’ in every sector of the society what’s the harm is some Scams & Embezzlements too are taken in the ambit of ‘Reservation’ to benefit certain people?”

Rajneesh Batra
New Delhi, India
Feb 02, 2013
07:15 PM

 The article makes some good points and then some banal ones like 

"There is general agreement now among scholars that most of these groups were notified (habitual criminals) because they were rebellious and had taken part in the uprising of 1857."

Now that statement has no historical accuracy or merit. Zero. Its as banal as Nandi statements.

Gurudev Shorey
Houston, United States
Feb 02, 2013
09:18 PM

All this only goes to prove that the so called backward castes are not really backward, and that they use politics to strong arm their way into reservations.

Reservations do not have a basis or credibility in this day and age.

Male Unblocked
Chennai, India
Feb 02, 2013
11:10 PM

Why does the media shy away to focus on Sukh Ram, a former telecom minister?   

Akhand Pratap Singh indeed in the perception as well as voting results of IAS cadre of  UP was the most currpt. However, Neera Yadav, I guess, is not backward. She is a Brahman, who married a Yadav and reaped a rich harvest. 

Arvind Joshi and his wife Tinu (?) Joshi, both IAS, MP cadre made 300 millions. I know the case of an IAS offier who fled with 80 lakhs of Bihar State Financial Corporation from Patna. However few years later he returned and joined the job. When Jharkhand was created he went over to the new state and finally retired as its Chief Secretary. Another to eually corrupt ended up as Chief Secretary, Jharkhand. The first was  a Mishra, the other a Sharma. Uttam may be able to place them with his experience in Patna as well as Ranchi.

Biswanath Das, a scheduled caste MP, Asansole, after his tenure in Parliament (Lok Sabha) went back to Asansole and lived rest of his life with earning from a teastall he started.

Ashish Nandy should explain how did he co-relate caste with corruption. The connotation of corruption must be stood and explained in broader context. It must include depravity, immorality, perversion, etc.   

Sanket Biswas
Kolkata, India
Feb 03, 2013
02:39 AM

 There is Mr Amitabha Bachan also on that list. lol. Its a curious list .

Statutory warning: Reading this, in whole or in part, may cause some people in some places to take offence to some lines and may lead to hurt sentiments.Any hurt, real or imaginary , thus felt, is a mere coincidence and does not bear any resemblence to the intent of the author.

Gurudev Shorey
Houston, United States
Feb 03, 2013
12:07 PM

 Sengupta contradicts himself by saying, ' even so Nundy must be heard'. In this context, the best critique is available in the article "Nandy’s pigheadedness" by Ravi Shanker Kapoor in .

Excerpts : The unedifying spectacles Ashis Nandy’s stupid remarks have generated are as much symptomatic of the perversity of public discourse as of the pettiness of politicking. On the face of it, his statement seems to indicate that dementia has afflicted the academic. But a little analysis will show that dementia is the logical culmination of the axioms, lemmas, theorems, and theories that infest academics in our country.

Nandy is not worried about the rot; like a pig happy in mud, he actually relishes in it. As long as the equalizing corruption persists, he said, “I have hope for the Republic.”

Shyamal Barua
Kolkata, India
Feb 03, 2013
01:13 PM

 Indian sociology is identity driven and ends up strengthening the very identity politics whoch needs to be checked in India. While there is no empirical evidence to show that caste and corruption is interrelated, there is evidence to demonstrate that the mege scams of mordern times are linked to dynastic parties which have strong identity roots.

Bahu Virupaksha
Pondicherry, India
Feb 03, 2013
02:26 PM

Why has the writer avoided mentioning Rahul Gandhi of Bofors scam fame?Why has he not mentioned Sonia Gandhi known to have huge black money abroad,while including L.K.Advani who has been found to be totally innocent in hawal case?

Bangalore, India
Feb 03, 2013
03:49 PM

 But if someone expects a Dalit to be people friendly or very committed to serve poor people just because these people came from dire poverty, you are mistaken. Dalit politicians or beurocrats are much as cruel, unsympathetic, and indifferent to the plight of the poor as anyone else.

And also an extremely poor person working in a cash rich company would have very high motivation to be corrupt than an employee coming from very rich family background.

bowenpalle venuraja gopal rao.
warangal, india
Feb 03, 2013
04:55 PM

9D-102,Should read Rajiv Gandhi of Bofors scam and not Rahul Gandhi.

Bangalore, India
Feb 03, 2013
04:59 PM

It will be intersting if the study was conducted around political affiliations and ideological perspectives.

chennai, India
Feb 03, 2013
05:22 PM

 Power, and not caste, decides individual’s ability to make money in an illegal way. Yes, caste is not a factor in corruption and Mr. Ashis Nandy is wrong. But it is also true that in the name of caste, protection from penal action is definitely sought and given to the corrupt ministers from Dalit communities as it is given to ministers from other powerful communities.
As regards the Dalits’ opposition to Nandy, it is more based on their current political power and not on power of reason. I wish to say that Dalit leaders should fight not only to protect their rights but also for freedom of thought of individuals like Ashish Nandy who may be having a wrong viewpoint. Is it not better to counter a wrong viewpoint by making right arguments based on reason than by demanding action under a draconian law?

Narendra M Apte
Pune, India
Feb 04, 2013
12:09 AM

India is consistently ranked one of the most corrupt countries in earth. And this is the country where bureacracy in the government, senior officals in priviate sector and even leadership of main political parties (Congress, BJP) is dominated by the upper castes. Still the lower castes - SC/ST/OBCs, are blamed for all the ills! 

Phoenix, United States
Feb 04, 2013
07:08 AM


Rajesh, very well said!

Sometimes I don't know how they say what they say with a straight face.

It is like Germans blaming  Jews for the wars, but wait ...

Oh well, world really is alice in wonderland show.

hitesh brahmbhatt
san diego, United States
Feb 04, 2013
10:45 AM

Sticking to the title of this write up, which is "Varna",
"Varna Of Money"

I too shall say there is little relation between Varna and Corruption.
The Brahmins: the advisers, teachers, etc are known to do things for little extra money. (not the "Brahm Janati Brahmanah, but the "guna-karma-vibhagasah" one)
The Kshtriya: the administrators, the politicians ..... do I need to say more?
The Vaisya: Well, businessmen around the world are known to be best example of morality.
Ah the Sudra, the poor tax paying working class, the aam-adami are forced to indulge into the corruption they might do.

But no, it is the Caste (Jati) as subtitle suggests.
Caste has nothing to do with graft.
Uttam did uttam work. There isn't any difference really.

Even so, Nandy must be heard.
Are you kidding me. Nandy's of the world are heard more than they deserved to be. Stop playing victim.

Santosh Gairola
Hsinchu, Taiwan
Feb 04, 2013
03:17 PM

Small correction!
Ahem... Caste=Jati or in a vague way, Gotra.
caste not =Varna.
There are many 'castes' that in the past claimed certain varnas, then on another occasion a different one.
Hence, we find the existence of the same last names and claims of the same mythological descent/lineage between people who are thought of as belonging to different varnas.

Just Joe King
Gotham, India
Feb 05, 2013
07:07 AM

Nandi's statistics can also mean corruption by higher castes are overlooked and corruption by lower castes are targetted.

Surya Sharma
Kolkata, India
Feb 05, 2013
07:32 AM

“Nandy conveniently forgets the case of Chandan Basu, the son of Jyoti Basu, who moved from being a clerk to an industrialist during the years of Communist rule in the state,”

- Regarding double-standars in Bongs, ki aar bolbo!

Surya Sharma
Kolkata, India
Feb 06, 2013
02:49 AM

Its simple ... in India it costs a lot of money to run a political party and fight the elections running into thousands of crores. Money doesn't grow on trees. Those big shots who "donate" money to political outfits dont give free lunches. They want it back with interest. That comes in terms of subsidised govt contracts and tenders. Those subsidy costs end up in the pockets of Netas and Babus - the core of the corruption in India.

Dalit, Brahman, SC, ST, Khatri, Bania, Thakur, Rajout, Jat, you name it, they are all in it to make money when they win the elections and come in power. Those who were once down trodden have a special grudge. Their leaders who promised them heaven get away with millions because after they have cast their their vote they are left nothing but with a false pride of looking at sand stone statues and elephants ...  

The Contrarian
London, United Kingdom
Feb 09, 2013
12:29 PM

 'Power corrupts and ultimate power corrupts
ultimately. Wheather its Raja or Sukram the
verna of money tempts. But If one believes in
Dharma that's Values the temptation recedes.

Why did 'outlook' printed Raja's photo in this
story so prominently? Still one is proved, he is
innocent. That's Basic ethics.

pattambi, India


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