The Continuing Saga of Goa’s Reservations Scam

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By AMITA KANEKAR

 

Since 2014, when a reservation scam at Goa University hit the headlines, there has been some effort on the part of citizens to get the reservations policy, as mandated by the Constitution, implemented in Goa. But 3 years down the line, as a recent petition to the University from the Social Justice Action Committee (SJAC) shows, things haven’t changed. The problem is that, behind Goa’s liberal and cosmopolitan bonhomie, is a brahmanical society, alive and kicking. Caste-based reservations are supposed to ensure representation of all communities, and especially traditionally discriminated-against ones, in government and educational institutions. But not only does the establishment, dominated as it is by upper castes, refuse to implement the law, it tries to brainwash us with a lot of propaganda about how reservations run counter to merit.

 

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Demonetisation, both Economic and Social

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By AMITA KANEKAR

 

It seems to be Achche Din for attacks on the citizen, economic as well as social, open as well as insidious. The open one is of course the demonetisation of currency. In 50 days there will be a new India, claims the Prime Minister; the ATMs will take 21 days to function normally, say the banks. Such is the gap between the hot air spouted by our leaders, and the situation that is actually killing people on the ground. Enough people—including even the BJP itself in its earlier avatar as opposition to the Congress government’s small demonetisation attempt—have pointed out that demonetisation never fulfils its purported aim of attacking the black economy; what it does do however is to attack the poor. The real aims of demonetisation are reported to be actually something else: to provide a shot of income to banks that were critically in the red, and also to upset the cash calculations of other parties for the oncoming elections.

 

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Goa’s Reservation Scam, Part 2

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By AMITA KANEKAR

 

My last column was on how the system of caste-based reservations, which is supposed to ensure representation of all communities in government and education, is consistently subverted in Goa. This is commonly done by fudging the reservation rosters (which contain each department’s record of implementation, on a post by post basis), or by not following the proper procedures in recruitment, admissions, advertisement, etc, or by simply acting as if reservations don’t apply.

 

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Goa’s Reservation Scam, Part 1

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By AMITA KANEKAR

 

scamalertGoa’s decent social indicators and liberal appearance—compared to much of India—actually hide a huge social scam: the widespread failure to implement caste-based reservations across government bodies and educational institutions. According to a petition submitted on 10/06/2016 to the Governor, and signed by more than 50 citizens (including this writer), the government of Goa is ‘blatantly, callously and illegally not implementing important provisions [of the law] which ensure inclusion of marginalized sections of the population in public sector education and employment’.

 

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Universities or Agraharams?

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By AMITA KANEKAR

 

In the wake of the widespread anger over the death of the Dalit PhD scholar Rohit Vemula at the University of Hyderabad, many excuses have been proffered to divert attention away from caste. One of these is about the so-called ‘Decline of the University’. But were Indian universities really ever, as we are told, liberal institutions concerned with excellence, bursting with secular ideals, and open to, if not welcoming of, dissent?

 

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