Reflections on Backward Classes

In the first chapter, the writer probes the origin of Backward classes and classifies it. He traces the origin of the Backward classes to the period when humans evolved from animals.

Sajiv Khudshah’s book ‘Adhunik Bharat Mein Picchda Varga – Purvagraha, Mithak Evum Vasviktaein’ (Backward classes in modern India – biases, myths and realities) analyses the Backward classes in four chapters. The book probes the Backward classes in the context of Ambedkarite ideology. The writer also says that the book is also a research project for which he has collected quite a large amount of research material.

In the first chapter, the writer probes the origin of Backward classes and classifies it. He traces the origin of the Backward classes to the period when humans evolved from animals. Subsequently, he discusses the issue with reference to scientific facts and religious beliefs. He has classified the castes into productive and non-productive. He argues that they were classified into touchables and untouchables on the basis of their productive value.

After a detailed exposition on the origin of the Backward classes in the first chapter, in the second chapter, the writer focusses on controversies related to caste and gotra and on Hinduisation. In the course of his research, the writer encountered the fact that in the books and writings of these castes, claims of belonging to a higher caste have been made on the basis of religious texts. It is also said that members of the Backward classes are the illegitimate children of upper castes.

The book also refers to the origin of ‘gotra’ but then, the ‘gotras’ of Forward and Backward classes are the same. As part of his analysis of caste, he also tries to probe the caste of Gautam Buddha. The writer puts a question mark on inclusion into upper class on the basis of ‘gotra’. Notwithstanding social reformers like Sant Kabir, Sant Sena, Mahatma Phule, Periyar and Namdev, why does this class continue to be Backward? While discussing the Reservation system, Sanjiv Khudshah gives the official list of different castes and also talks of the castes which are eager to wriggle into the list. The list of castes included among the Backward classes is informative. The problems of the Backward classes and their movements have been studied very carefully in this book.

 

Adhunik Bharat Mein Pichda Varga – Pruvagraha, Mithak evum Vastviktaien
Sanjiv Khudshah : Shilpayan, Shahdara, Delhi

 

 

 

 

Published in the January 2013 issue of the Forward Press magazine


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