What Nandy probably meant was this -
Dalit/OBC corruption is disproportionately large with reference to their representation in position of power (politics and bureaucracy), and hence corruption, compared to the FC. More visible Dalit/OBC corruption is a positive sign since it points to their increased empowerment.
Having said so quite explicitly, Nandy is now desperately trying to wriggle out of the situation. If he is really speaking in favour the Dalit/OBC, looking at all the brickbats he is getting from them, he is certainly not speaking their language. How can you be speaking for them, if you can't make them understand what you are saying?
Ashish Nandy made a very valid point.
Our corruption doesn't look very corrupt. Only their corruption does.
But I disagree with his conclusion. We may not ever realize a zero-corruption state, but we should nevertheless aim in that direction. A fundamental step in that direction is how to bring about true equality in India, that includes addressing the inequality between the haves and the have-nots of the underprivileged castes and classes.
Encouraging corruption will only exacerbate the inequality. The countries that should be looked up as role-models are North European countries which are very egalitarian, but also very low on corruption. The example of Singapore is tangential to the discussion.
Mr. Arun Maheshwari, the reason why Dalits are in a situation, not exactly good, as a community, is because the other social order made laws, as anyone could become a Dalit, and if Dalits are not Dalits, then no one can become a Dalit. This seems to be the social reality. Otherwise, Ms. Sheila Dixit doesn't seem to ask the caste of the homeless in New Delhi, and it wouldn't matter, anyhow, because it shouldn't matter now.
The idea that I get is, that people generally have an idea, among certain circles. Which is, if there were two people, with one piece of bread, one might give the other, or one might take the bread. The second person, eventually keeps on taking bread, even when not hungry, and reaches a sense of brevity and importance, after a considerable time passes. This is what it seems. The Dalits are certainly not the second type. Would you want them to be? I mean, if an urbane politician from New Delhi is thought of as corrupt, and when A. Raja was perceived as corrupt by others, people say A. Raja used poverty as an excuse to embezzle money in a way, where money was gained, not in the cost or selling of a resource, but because the money gained was associated with the resource, nonetheless. This seems to be not what is normal as a practice, and there is no law for it. Money can change hands, without any buying and selling. We don't look good, when we say these things. We don't bother if we are given one or ten rupees more or less, in shops, if we don't have change. How in imagination, can we level such charges against a Union Minister, when he is in power? We don't want such allegations against ourselves. Why should we want a situation, where everyone is in such a situation?
Ashis Nandy should dumb down his philosophical arguments for mortals like me. I initially took what he said about SCs/STs/OBCs in relation to corruption literally, and found it casteist. It shouldn't be like Hindu philosophy which goes over the heads of the masses.
Anwaar .... yes I am no longer as optimistic as I was a few years ago or 17 years ago when I decided to call Desh as home. Personally, for me the competition is not the neighborhood. So if we are somehow better than the neigbhorhood it doesn't excite me. That I believe is setting our sights way too low or accepting we can't do better.
For me the competition is US and the Asia to the east of us (note I am even saying UK or Europe because their time is over - their choice is a slow decline, seemingly maintain their position or faster decline).
You sound despondent, but in the same JLF debate what got maximum applause was when one of the speakers asserted that despite everything none of us would choose to move to any other country in the neighborhood.
Yep .... Anwaar - what he said is debatable .... of course it was said in a debate anyways but in no way criminal. Unfortunately, we have some very silly laws (with supposedly nice intentions) and they will be misused to harass and they make it criminal. The propensity of misuse becomes more when all democracy becomes is a ritual of elections, games of numbers and hence vote banks.
In a very ironic sort of way he might have to bribe his way thru this to avoid if nothing else the harrassment of travelling to all sorts of location for cases filed and spending some time in hell holes (jails).
The larger point he was making is true and observed in many cultures not just ours .... that the historically oppressed when they start shedding the weight of oppression pick up many of the non-redeeming traits of the oppressor but not necessarily the redeeming aspects (or the aspects that evolve where the oppressor changes and moves on whereas the oppressed pick up those very traits). In our culture this seems particularly bad when you see Lalus, Mulayam and Mayawati become the role models and signs of change for the better. It is as if the oppressed form their own heirarchies with a creamy layer developing.
Churn - of course we are churning but most times I think our churn isn't going to get us to a better place. Or may be it is a case of the churn will first make it worse but then get better - my hope not because I believe it but what else to do for staying sane. As I have said many times, I am just hoping and hoping that Democracy is a Catalytic Mechanism (refer to Catalytic Mechanisms in HBR), which within itself embeds the seeds of its success and so as long as one keeps practicing it, eventually it will bear fruits and you will get to a better place. That is at least one thing going right for us - we keep practising democracy even if in a flawed manner and even if limited to the spectacle of elections. It is now irreversible and note with the ECs help it has become much more fair.
Okay i get it now. He says that it seems that the OBC's etc are more corrupt and he thinks that's a good thing for the country if the poorer sections are more corrupt.
Okay, so the 'more corrupt' should no more throw stones or get hysterical here. Mr Nandi loves you all and would be happier if you were even more corrupt , because more corrupt you ( the poorer sections/OBC's etc ) are the better it's for the country.
Well I can now laugh at the predicament Mr Nandi faces. Maybe he was trying to be too clever.
> 'Our corruption doesn’t look that corrupt, their corruption does.'
Isn't that the truth? What Ashis Nandy said may have been wise or unwise, but it definitely was not criminal.
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