Do the Patels want reservation or a crisis?

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All these castes adding suffixes such as Patel, Choudhary, Reddy and Rao to their names historically was done in the process of Kshatriyaisation (in essence Hinduisation) of themselves because that was the trend in the early years of Independence. In other words, what I said in my book, Why I am not a Hindu, is that they became a neo-Kshatriya class with their hatred earlier towards SCs and STs and now they have developed some amount of hatred towards the upcoming OBCs, who are entering the central- and state services. But they could not compete with the Brahmin, Baniya and Kshatriya youth in learning English and moving into the steel frame IAS (Indian Administrative Service) of India. As a result of this, now one can see even in the Gujarat-centred central government in Delhi that the Brahmins and Baniyas are more visible but Patels are hardly present. Patels think that “Gujarat” means “they” and “they” means “Gujarat”. However, their presence in the all-India civil services is almost nil. Now, they realised that all their Patidari life in Gujarat and motel- industrial ownership in Europe and the United States have no relevance in the Indian bureaucratic set-up. I do not think that there is a single, sophisticated, English-speaking diplomat from the Patel community of India. This is really a problem for the Shudra upper castes of India.

English and the higher administrative structure are mainly with the Brahmins and Baniyas (including Jains) and some Dalit officers or leaders of south India. The Shudra upper castes are in real estate and also in mediocre education businesses. This does not give them the necessary sophistication required in a globalised life.

Honestly speaking, Modi himself must be struggling to handle the Englisheducated and culturally-hegemonic administrative structures of India. He is not in the least what PV Narasimha Rao was to Delhi and diplomacy. To succeed in Delhi, mass speeches in Hindi are not enough.

Now, the Shudra upper castes have realised that the Mandalisation process, which they opposed during the VP Singh period, is providing a competing window even with Brahmins and Baniyas in the process of their work in the civil services. The Shudra upper-caste children compete with Brahmins and Baniyas in the general quota and when they lose that game, they slip into non-English speaking business or agrarian occupation. Take, for example, the Meenas (tribals) of Rajasthan and Gujarat who produced a better English-knowing, sophisticated bureaucratic class than the Patels or the Gujjars of those states. State power provides a different aura than just money.

The BJP does not know how to handle the Patel or upper-caste reservation movement because it promised them a review of reservation itself. If it does any such thing in Delhi, the OBC MPs of all states will revolt. The Modi government will face a bigger crisis. This is where the greatness of BR Ambedkar, who innovated the reservation system, lies and it can create a crisis in the caste system itself.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) are supporting the movement but the BJP is not. However, this is not like the Ram Temple issue. Of course, if they give Patels reservation in Gujarat, as the Congress did in Maharashtra with regard to Marathas, the courts can take it away. The Indian judiciary has been, thus, saving many governments from a much more deeper crisis. But that will also be seen as ditching them and going back on the promise made within the ranks of the BJP. Let us see how it resolves.

However, the Shudra upper-caste arrogance that we do not care for English and reservation is being washed in the streets of every state.

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