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May 2013
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920 LESSON 15-05-2013 WEDNESDAY-FREE ONLINE eNālāndā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY Mahavagga 46 Campeyyakkhandhakaü Pali English Sinhala MISUSE OF EVM _ PART - 6 Private Tutor Small Business Idea The Pros and Cons of Starting a Private Tutoring Business
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920 LESSON 15-05-2013 WEDNESDAY-FREE ONLINE  eNālāndā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY








Private Tutor Small Business Idea

The Pros and Cons of Starting a Private Tutoring Business

Summer may be the perfect time to start a small business as a private tutor. This is a great business idea
for teachers or anyone with teaching experience and exceptional
knowledge in a specific area. Successful tutors also have a passion for
helping others.

The Pros

While many private tutors are successful on a part-time basis,
supplementing their regular income, private tutoring can also make a
great small business. Here are some of the reasons that tutoring may be
the business for you:

  • There will always be students who can benefit from individual help.
  • Start-up costs are minimal.
  • You can teach anything as a tutor, from math, to exam prep, to piano.
  • You can build upon relationships you already have in your community.
  • Word of mouth can help you grow your business at a fast pace.

The Cons

Potential challenges of starting a private tutoring business can include:

  • You may face increased liability if you conduct tutoring sessions in your home.
  • It can be a challenge to line up enough business to carry you through school breaks.
  • You need to be exceptionally patient and work will with children.
  • When you do a good job, your clients may not have a need for your services any longer.
  • You need well-rounded knowledge and experience.
  • You may be competing with the school’s own tutoring program or recommendations.

Recommended Resources

On Tue, May 14, 2013 at 5:59 PM, political power DMM
<> wrote:
Assembly Elections are over. Congress won the state. BJP got a shock
treatment from Yedurappa’s KJP. Janata Dal (S) bettered its position. It
is all because of misuse of EVM  while the BSP is marching ahead or the
caravan will never  back since it is a movement that will be there as
long as there is caste discriminatve source of bias. Tampering of EVM is
responsible as the Superior Court

has ordered the replacement of all EVMs.

Kanshramji referred to people
like you as Chamchas. This is the thinking of slaves of the ruling
castes which is dreaming to curb MASTER KEY being acquired by BSP. These
chelas, stooges, bootlickers can never stop BSP acquiring the MASTER
KEY. These Chamchas are mushrooms that come during a rain and vanishes
later. Likewise during election they come up and after elections they
vanish like poisonous mushrooms.


NOW Strengthen Our Intensive National Campaign to “HAND OVER MASTER KEY MAYAWATI - SAVE PRABUDDHA BHARATH”

On Tue, May 14, 2013 at 5:59 PM, political power DMM
<> wrote:
Assembly Elections are over. Congress won the state. BJP got a shock
treatment from Yedurappa’s KJP. Janata Dal (S) bettered its position. It
is all because of misuse of EVM  while the BSP is marching ahead or the
caravan will never  back since it is a movement that will be there as
long as there is caste discriminatve source of bias. Tampering of EVM is
responsible as the Superior Court

has ordered the replacement of all EVMs.

Kanshramji referred to people
like you as Chamchas. This is the thinking of slaves of the ruling
castes which is dreaming to curb MASTER KEY being acquired by BSP. These
chelas, stooges, bootlickers can never stop BSP acquiring the MASTER
KEY. These Chamchas are mushrooms that come during a rain and vanishes
later. Likewise during election they come up and after elections they
vanish like poisonous mushrooms.



RESEARCH on Misuse of EVM machines

New voter verifiable paper trail (VVPT) machines to replace the EVMs,
following doubts that it could be tampered.Voting Machines are
“Calculators which can be manipulated by computer softwares”.  New
Machines are ordered by EC, where a paper slip will come out with EVM
voting which will be then deposited in a box. What is the use? Paper
Slip will show that voter has casted vote for “Party A”, but calculator
software will add vote to “Party B”! The Computers are programmable. No
use for such fake paper slips.

A Chip can be inserted that “Party A” should get +1 more vote than “Party B” no matter what may be the actual voting.

These are called “Overwriting Commands”. Computers are computers. They can be programmed and re-programmed.

Party and Election Commission of India disregards truth and insist on
use of EVM machines in Elections. They are source of discriminative
Caste bias.

In Superior Courts it  has been demonstrated how
these computers can be manipulated and how it can be pre-programmed to
make sure victory to one candidate during election. The EVM machines
have killed Democracy and have all the potentials to do so.

and Other Election Candidates have some Constitutional Rights which are
being violated by use of EVM machines. Open Source Code is not being
made public. People have right under Art 21 to live a life of Dignity.
You cannot live a life of Dignity without free and fair elections.

Courts have to be further convinced that they have jurisdiction to pass
orders which are being asked, and it is practicable and desirable to
issue such prohibitory orders. It is DUTY of Court to uphold
Constitution by passing such prohibitory orders. Election Commission is a
Governmet body and hence if it acts arbitrarily it violates Art.14.

Election Commission does not ADMIT that machines are capable of
manipulation, it acts arbitrarily and its Decision Process is vitiated.
The Decision is Liable to be struck down on ground that the important
components are kept out from decision making process.

It is Duty
of Court to protect Basic Structure of Constitution. If Fair Elections
are replaced with Manipulatable Elections, the Basic Structure of
Constitution is DESTROYED. So it is Duty of Court to ban EVM machines.
The Superior Courts of Most democratic countries have already banned
such use.

The Court can strike down such arbitrary policy and decisions of EC.

must first of all ADMIT that EVMs can be manipulated… Only thereafter
it should further satisfy courts about what steps are taken by it to
prevent manipulations.

Apart from Rights of People, there are
Rights of Other Contesting Candidates to be considered. Where will they
appeal for a re-count? How can it be done on same manipulated EVM

Original method of ballot paper voting and counting in
presence of representatives of Candidates, is still the best method as
recognized by US, UK, Germany etc countries.

Are our Courts powerful enough to take call and ban EVM machines which are already banned in other countries?

We have to see. Laws of other countries not applicable to India.

Our courts and our democracy are passing through a process.

It is  hoped supporters succeed in their efforts to liberate country from Manipulative EVM machines.


Misuse of EVM machines- Part  2

Aussies Do It Right: E-Voting

critics in the United States grow more concerned each day about the
insecurity of electronic voting machines, Australians designed a system
two years ago that addressed and eased most of those concerns: They
chose to make the software running their system completely open to
public scrutiny.

Although a private Australian company designed the
system, it was based on specifications set by independent election
officials, who posted the code on the Internet for all to see and
evaluate. What’s more, it was accomplished from concept to product in
six months. It went through a trial run in a state election in 2001.

Critics say the development process is a model for how electronic voting machines should be made in the United States.
eVACS, or Electronic Voting and Counting System, the system was created
by a company called Software Improvements to run on Linux, an
open-source operating system available on the Internet.
Open-Source E-Voting Heads West
Kim Zetter  01.21.04
California college student is planning to develop a new electronic
voting system based on open-source software created in Australia.
Ritchie was one of dozens of activists who appeared in Sacramento last
Thursday before the California secretary of state’s Voting Systems Panel
to express criticism of e-voting systems currently being used in the
United States.
Ritchie, a 19-year-old political science and math
student at the University of California at Davis, told the panel that he
was launching the nonprofit Open Vote Foundation, which plans to modify
the Australian code to meet California election standards and offer it
free to any voting vendors that want to implement it in their systems.
Improvements, the Australian company that created the system, owns the
copyright to the program but has distributed the source code online
under a general public license, which means anyone can use it.
Australian system, called Electronic Voting and Counting System, or
eVACS, was used in an election in the Australian Capital Territory in
2001. It will be used there again this year.
Unlike U.S. voting
systems, which use proprietary, secret software written by private
companies, the Aussie system was created by Software Improvements in
conjunction with an independent government body. The government placed
draft and final versions of the source code on the Internet so the
public could review it and provide comments.
The system took only six
months to create and runs on Linux, an open-source operating system
that also is in the public domain for anyone to use.
Ritchie plans to
modify eVACS to include a voter-verified paper audit trail, or VVPAT,
which California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley mandated must be
included with all e-voting machines by July 2006.
The VVPAT would let
voters independently verify that the machine cast their ballot
correctly before the paper receipt goes into a secure ballot box to
serve as a backup of the e-votes.
Ritchie’s group plans to build the
system for California first and then offer it to vendors to modify it
for use in other states. He said several computer experts have expressed
interest in helping to write and review the code. He also expects
vendors, in keeping with the open-source ideology, will let the public
see any modifications they make to the code.
“The goal of the
foundation is to oversee the project and tell the programmers what they
need to do according to California law, and then to build a prototype
machine,” he said.
Ritchie’s group isn’t the first to develop an
open-source voting system in the United States. The Open Voting
Consortium, led by Alan Dechert, a software test engineer and
application developer, began plans in 2000 for a free-software voting
system using simple personal computers. Dechert worked for the past
three years to collect a team of experts, meet with California election
officials and test a prototype.
The consortium’s system was supposed
to be ready for testing last October, but is behind schedule. It expects
to have the demo model ready next month and be fully operational with a
certified system by 2005.
Ritchie said the Open Vote Foundation can
create its system at a much lower cost than private vendors, since it
will use volunteer programmers, and the materials for building a voting
machine are not expensive.
“The major cost with voting machines is in development and support contracts,” Ritchie said.
said U.S. voting systems are too expensive. He joked to the panel that
Florida’s Broward County spent $17.2 million on touch-screen voting
machines, “and they all suck…. You give me $17.1 million, I’ll take
the Australian code (and) make a machine that doesn’t suck.”
The average cost of an e-voting terminal in the United States is $3,000.
Australian system cost $125,000 to develop and implement the software,
and about $75,000 for the 80 machines running it in polling places
distributed around the Australian Capital Territory. The machines, which
were standard off-the-shelf PCs, cost the government the equivalent of
about $750 each.
Matt Quinn, lead engineer for Software Improvement’s voting system, was pleased to hear about Ritchie’s plan.
market’s big enough for Diebold, Sequoia and ES&S (the three top
voting machine makers); and it’s certainly big enough for more than one
free-software offering,” he said. “Obviously I’d like our system to be
successful, but there’s certainly no reason why no other systems
couldn’t be successful, too. I think it’s about time.”
Some voting
activists say all voting code should be open source so the public can
ensure that the code is doing what it’s supposed to do and doesn’t
contain security flaws.
But Rebecca Mercuri, a computing expert on
e-voting machines and a research fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy
School of Government, said that open source alone is not a panacea for
the fundamental security problem with computers — which is that there
is no way to confirm that the software is doing only what it’s designed
to do and not something else.
“A crappy open-source system that can
be modified readily is no better than a closed-source system. In fact it
could be worse,” she said. “When you have open-source software, people
can modify it and change it however they want.”
Mercuri said
open-source systems give people a false sense of security because
malicious code that could alter an election still can be installed in
the operating system on which the voting program is running or in the
compiling programs that turn source code into an operational program.
more, election officials have to make sure the system is implemented
correctly, and have to find some way to ensure that all of the code they
review is actually the code that runs on the system.
Pointing to
recent events in California where Diebold Election Systems placed
uncertified software in 17 counties without the state knowing it,
Mercuri said that “open source provides no additional protection from
people who are intent on putting uncertified software in machines used
in an election.”
But even with extra precautions, she said, there
still is no way to catch all types of sophisticated Trojan horses that
might be slipped into code.
This is why Mercuri was one of the first
computing experts to stress the need for a voter-verified paper audit
trail to provide a backup for votes.
“Open source provides some layer
of protection, but that doesn’t mean you can remove other security
mechanisms, such as the ability to do an independent recount with the
system,” Mercuri said.
Software Improvement’s Quinn agreed. The
company initially built its system to offer a VVPAT, but the Australian
Capital Territory opted not to use the option, due to increased cost.
To read Wired News’ complete coverage of e-voting, visit the Machine Politics section.

Misuse of EVM machines- Part 
  - 3

voter verifiable paper trail (VVPT) machines to replace the EVMs,
following doubts that it could be tampered.Voting Machines are
“Calculators which can be manipulated by computer softwares”.  New
Machines are ordered by EC, where a paper slip will come out with EVM
voting which will be then deposited in a box. What is the use? Paper
Slip will show that voter has casted vote for “Party A”, but calculator
software will add vote to “Party B”! The Computers are programmable. No
use for such fake paper slips. In Superior Courts it  has been
demonstrated how these computers can be manipulated and how it can be
pre-programmed to make sure victory to one candidate during election.
The EVM machines have killed Democracy and have all the potentials to do
Under such circumstances the following exposure by media
had no relavance during the last Karnataka Assembly Elections 2013 where
the Congress won and the trend will continue in the forth coming
General Elections until the Superior Court and the upholders of
Democracy including the free and fair media.

Verified Voting

The Verifier

Election Equipment 2012

See states’ use of:
Legend - Polling Place Equipment
     Paper Ballot
     Paper Ballot and Punch Card
     Mixed Paper Ballot and DREs with VVPAT
     DREs with VVPAT
     Mixed Paper Ballot and DREs with and without VVPAT
     Mixed Paper Ballot and DREs without VVPAT
     DREs without VVPAT
VVPAT = Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail Printers
DRE = Direct-recording Electronic
Customize your search for jurisdictions (counties and municipalities) that use different types and models of voting equipment:
(use alt/left click to select more than one choice)

Equipment Used for:

In Selected States:

Type of voting equipment:

Equipment vendor:


Paper record:

Results per page:

Please note: If you have any
questions about the number of jurisdictions and registered voters using
types and models of equipment please contact us directly.

Voting Equipment in the United States

In an age of electronic banking and
online college degrees, why hasn’t the rest of the nation gone to voting
on touchscreen computers? The reason is simple and resonates with the
contentious debate that has yet to be resolved after at least 15 years
of wrangling over the issue of electronic voting. No one has yet figured
out a straightforward method of ensuring that one of the most revered
democratic institutions—in this case, electing a U.S. president—can be
double checked for fraud, particularly when paperless e-voting systems
are used.”
 - Scientific American, Jan. 9, 2012

Today’s political climate is riven with discontent and mistrust of the institutions of government,
yet apart from public discourse, the vote is still how we make our will known. Mistrust in
lawmakers or institutions may be nearly endemic, but we still rely on the principle that they can
be voted out. When our voting systems fail though, voters lose trust in the electoral process,
and that is corrosive. Without that trust, our democracy could crumble. In such an environment,
it is of critical importance that we safeguard that most fundamental part of who we are as
Americans – our democracy – by ensuring voting systems work properly and that it is possible
for those responsible for operating our elections to demonstrate to the public that their votes
indeed are being captured and counted as they intended, and that the outcomes are correct.
The U.S. election system faces unprecedented tests this November, and beyond. Among
those tests are overt challenges to the full participation of all eligible voters. But there are also
serious fault lines in the landscape of democracy, some of which are not visible but which
threaten nonetheless. Many of these tests will become visible in the last yard of the voting
process—the final step that occurs after other obstacles to voting are overcome, where the will of
the voters must be captured and counted. That last yard is where the voter actually has the
opportunity to mark and cast a ballot, and where the ballots are collected and counted, and
ideally, where the systems that tally our votes are checked to make sure they work as they
should. This is where the intersection of technology and democracy occurs. Challenges to
voters’ rights in that last yard derive from problems caused by the deployment and use of
inadequate voting systems, and exacerbated by insufficient checks on the accuracy of the

Far too many states use unreliable and insecure electronic voting machines, and many
have made their situation worse by adding some forms of Internet voting
for some voters,which cannot be checked for accuracy at all. Even in
states where verifiable systems are used,
too often the check on the voting system’s function and accuracy is not done. In 2012, the
voting systems now in use are aging; resources are severely impacted by the state of the
economy over the past several years; shortages of both equipment and human resources are
likely. After all the effort necessary to overcome the other hurdles to casting a ballot, it is
patently unfair that once you get to the ballot box, that the ballot itself fails you. Taken together,
these problems threaten to silently disenfranchise voters, potentially in sufficient numbers to
alter outcomes.

Overview of Voting Equipment

Four basic types of voting equipment are used in US elections.
Optical Scan Paper Ballot Systems (including both marksense and digital image scanners), in
which voters mark paper ballots that are subsequently tabulated by scanning devices. On most
optical scan ballots voters indicate their selections by filling in an oval (on ES&S and
Premier/Diebold ballots), completing an arrow (Sequoia ballots), or filling in a box (Hart Intercivic
ballots.) Ballots may be either scanned on precinct-based optical scan systems in the polling
place (Precinct Count) or collected in a ballot box to be scanned at a central location (Central

Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) Systems, in which using one of three basic interfaces
(pushbutton, touchscreen or dial) voters record their votes directly into computer memory. The
choices are stored in DREs via a memory cartridge, diskette or smart
card and added to the choices of all other voters. An alphabetic
keyboard is typically provided with the entry device
to allow for the possibility of write-in votes, though with older models this is still done manually.
DRE systems can be distinguished generally by the interface through which the voter indicate
her selections. The first generation of DREs used a push-button interface, while later systems
use a touchscreen interface. The Hart Intercivic eSlate uses a dial interface. Some DREs can
be equipped with Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) printers that allow the voter to
confirm their selections on an independent paper record before recording their votes into
computer memory. This paper record is preserved and, depending on State election codes,
made available in the event of an audit or recount.

Ballot Marking Devices and Systems provide an interface to assist voters with disabilities in
marking a paper ballot, which is then scanned or counted manually. Most ballot marking devices
provide a touchscreen interface together with audio and other accessibility features similar to
those provided with DREs, but rather than recording the vote directly into computer memory, the
voter’s selections are indicated through a marking a paper ballot, which is then scanned or
counted manually.

Punch Card Voting Systems Punchcard systems employ a card (or cards) and a small
clipboard-sized device for recording votes. Voters punch holes in the cards (with a supplied
punch device) opposite their candidate or ballot issue choice. After voting, the voter may place
the ballot in a ballot box, or the ballot may be fed into a computer vote-tabulating device at the
precinct. Four Idaho counties still use Votomatic Punch Card Voting System in the November
2012 election.

Mechanical Lever Voting Machines First introduced in the 1890s, mechanical lever machines
were used in many States during the 20th Century. As recently as 1996, mechanical lever
machines were used by 20.7% of registered voters in the United States. Since 2010, no
mechanical lever voting machines are used in US elections.

Hand Counted Paper Ballots A significant number of jurisdictions manually count paper ballots
cast in polling places by hand and even more count absentees and/or provisional ballots by
hand. While not a type of “voting equipment”, beyond the pen or pencil used by the voter to
mark the ballot, many of the issues of ballot design and voter intent that effect all voting systems
are relevant to hand counted paper ballots as well.
Voting Stages

Not all votes are cast in traditional polling places on Election Day - an increasing number of
voters vote absentee by mail or at in-person early voting facilities. All jurisdictions now provide
equipment for voters with disabilities. Most jurisdictions use
different voting systems for these different voting stages.

Polling Place Voting In American elections, the majority of votes are cast in polling places.
There are essentially two methods used to capture the voter’s selections: a paper ballot marked
by the voter, either physically or through the use of an assistive ballot-marking device, or a
software interface in which votes are recorded directly into computer memory. Most paper
ballots cast are tabulated by optical scanners, though there a significant number of jurisdictions
that count paper ballots cast at polling places manually.

Accessible Voting The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) required that every polling
place provide voting equipment with assistive features for voters with disabilities. Jurisdictions
have adopted different approches to meeting this requirement. Some have opted the exclusive
use of direct recording electronic (DRE) systems for all polling place voters. Others have chosen
to have “Mixed” systems, with both an optical scan paper ballot system and a DRE system
available in each polling place. Some such jurisdictions limit the use of the DRE primarily to
voters with disabilities while others allow all voters to choose between the two systems
available. A third approach to meeting the accessibility requirements of HAVA through the use
of Ballot Marking Devices or Systems. These systems allow voters with disabilities to mark a
paper ballot that is then counted along with the other paper ballots cast in the polling place.
Early Voting In recent years many, but not all, States provide for in-person Early Voting. For a
period a days or weeks prior to the official Election Day (the period varies from State to State)
voters have the option of visiting a central location (typically the county election officials office
or, in larger jurisdictions, satellite vote centers) to cast their vote. Most jurisdictions use the
same voting equipment for the early voting period that are used in polling places on election day
but not all.

Absentee Voting Absentee Voting is available in every State. In some States there are
restrictions on who can vote by mail and two States (Oregon and Washington) conduct elections
using only mail ballots. Most jurisdictions tabulate absentee ballots with optical scanners - either
high volume “Central Count” systems or smaller “Precinct Count” scanners. A small but
significant number of jurisdictions count absentee ballots manually. Some jurisdictions transfer
the votes cast by voters on absentee paper ballots onto DRE systems rather than tabulating the
ballot by scanning or manual counting.

Provisional Ballots The Help America Vote Act of 2002 established that a voter could cast a
provisional ballot if he or she believes that they are entitled to vote. A provisional ballot is cast
when: the voter refuses to show a photo ID if required, the voter’s name does not appear on the
voter roll for the given precinct, the voter’s registration contains inaccurate or out-dated
information such as the wrong address or a misspelled name. or the voter’s ballot has already
been recorded. Whether a provisional ballot is counted is contingent upon the verification of that
voter’s eligibility. Many voters do not realize that the provisional ballot is not counted until 7–10
days after election so their vote does not affect the calling of the states to different candidates.
Once the provisional ballot is determined to be valid it is counted with a scanner or manually.

A Brief History Voting Machines in the US

(From Douglas Jones, Brief Illustrated History of Voting) The conduct of elections has changed
in many ways over the past 200 years. The extent of these changes is nicely illustrated by a
comparison of today’s voting practices with those illustrated in George Caleb Bingham’s
painting, The County Election (left - click to enlarge). In addition to being a noteworthy artist,
Bingham was a successful politician; this painting shows a polling place on the steps of the
courthouse in Saline County, Missouri, in 1846. In this painting, we see the judge (top center)
administering an oath to a voter. The voter (in red) is swearing, with his hand on the bible, that
he is entitled to vote and has not already done so. There was no system of voter registration, so
this oath and the possibility that the judge or someone else in the vicinity of the polls might
recognize him if he came back was all that prevented a voter from voting again and again.
There was no right to a secret ballot; having been sworn in, the voter simply called out his
choices to the election clerks who sit on the porch behind the judge tallying the vote. Each clerk
has a pollbook in which he writes the voter’s name and records his votes; multiple pollbooks
were a common defense against clerical error. There are several people in the painting holding
paper tickets in their hands. We know that these were not paper ballots because Missouri
continued to use voice voting until 1863. In a general election, however, many voters might
wanted to bring their own notes to the polling place. Campaigning at
the polling place was legal and common. The man in blue tipping his hat
to the voter immediately behind the man
taking the oath is one of the candidates in this election, E. D. Sappington, who lost to Bingham
by one vote. He’s handing out his calling cards so that people can easily read off his name to
vote for him.

Voice votes offer modest protection against fraudulent vote counts: An observer can easily
maintain an independent tally of the votes, and since there is no ballot box, it cannot be stuffed.
On the other hand, the lack of privacy means that voters are open to bribery and intimidation; an
employer can easily demand, for example, that his employees vote as required, and a crook can
easily offer to pay a voter if he votes a certain way.

A Brief Illustrated History of Voting

Part of

the Voting and Elections web pages

Douglas W. Jones


Department of Computer Science

Copyright ©
2001, updated 2003.
This work may be transmitted or stored in electronic form on any
computer attached to the Internet or World Wide Web so long as this
notice is included in the copy. Individuals may make single copies
for their own use. All other rights are reserved.

– Work in Progress –


  1. Before Ballots
  2. The First Ballots
  3. Paper Ballots
  4. The Chartist Demand for a Secret Ballot
  5. The Australian Paper Ballot
  6. Lever Voting Machines
  7. Punched Cards for Voting
  8. Optical Mark-Sense Scanners
  9. Direct Recording Voting Machines

Before Ballots

Nobody pretends that democracy is perfect or at all wise. Indeed,
it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government
except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

(Winston Churchill, November 11, 1947)

Figure 1:  The County Election (detail)
by George Caleb Bingham.


 [painting of a crowded polling place]

The conduct of elections has changed in many ways over the past 200 years.
The extent of these changes is nicely illustrated by a comparison of
today’s voting practices with those illustrated in George Caleb Bingham’s
painting, The County Election (Figure 1).
In addition to being a noteworthy artist, Bingham was a successful
politician; this painting shows a polling place on the steps of the
courthouse in Saline County, Missouri, in 1846.

In this painting, we see the judge (top center) administering an oath to
a voter. The voter (in red) is swearing, with his hand on the bible, that
he is entitled to vote and has not already done so. There was no system
of voter registration, so this oath and the possibility that the judge or
someone else in the vicinity of the polls might recognize him if he
came back was all that prevented a voter from voting again and again.

There was no right to a secret ballot; having been sworn in, the voter
simply called out his choices to the election clerks who sit on
the porch behind the judge tallying the vote. Each clerk has a pollbook
in which he writes the voter’s name and records his votes; multiple pollbooks
were a common defense against clerical error.
There are several people in
the painting holding paper tickets in their hands. We know that these were
not paper ballots because Missouri continued to use voice voting until
1863. In a general election, however, many voters might have wanted to bring
their own notes to the polling place.

Campaigning at the polling place was legal and common. The
man in blue tipping his hat to the voter immediately behind the man taking
the oath is one of the candidates in this election, E. D. Sappington,
who lost to Bingham by one vote. He’s handing out his calling cards so that
people can easily read off his name to vote for him.

Voice votes offer modest protection against fraudulent vote counts: An
observer can easily maintain an independent tally of the votes,
and since there is no ballot box, it cannot be stuffed. On the other
hand, the lack of privacy means that voters are open to bribery and
intimidation; an employer can easily demand, for example, that his employees
vote as required, and a crook can easily offer to pay a voter if he votes
a certain way.

Kurt Hyde has sent me a
scan of a page
of a pollbooks in his collection from Bond County, Illinois;
this contains the clerical records of a viva-voce election of the type shown in
Bingham’s painting. Candidate names are written across the top of the page,
while voter names are written down the left hand side as the voters arrive to
vote. Instead of tick marks to record votes, the clerk has written in
the running vote total as each vote is cast. Kurt Hyde reports that most of
the pollbooks in his collection reflect this practice.

The First Ballots

One man shall have one vote.

(John Cartwright, 1780)

The word ballot has been described as being derived from the diminuitive form
of the word ball in
Italian, ballota, and in fact, many early ballots were small balls.
In classical Greek, however, the root is the verb for casting or throwing;
indeed, we cast ballots, but the Greeks did not read this word as requiring
that they be round balls.
In ancient Athens, votes were taken by issuing clay or metal tokens
to each voter, and the voter would vote by depositing the appropriate token
in the appropriate ballot box, or perhaps in a clay pot that served as a
ballot box.

Since the renessance, secret societies such as the Masons have used identical
round balls as ballots.
The phrase to blackball someone comes from this usage. In a vote to
admit someone to a secret society, each member was traditionally given a
white ball and a black ball. Depositing the white ball in the
ballot box was a vote for the candidate’s membership, while depositing the
black ball was a vote against the candidate. It follows that to blackball
someone meant to vote to exclude them from the organization or to campaign
for their exclusion in an upcoming vote.

In the late 19th century, many early developers of voting machines
continued to interpret laws requiring that election be by ballot as the
requirement that elections be carried out by the use of little balls, so many
early voting machines operated by depositing small balls in the appropriate
containers as each voter cast a vote. The purpose of the mechanism was to
prevent a voter from casting more than the allowed number of votes in each
race, and to maintain separate ballot containers for each of the many
candidates in each of the many races races in an election.

Paper Ballots

The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot
for President and Vice-President …; they shall name in their ballots
the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots, the person
voted for as Vice-President, …

(12th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution,
ratified June 15, 1804)

Figure 2:  Ballot from an 1839 general election
in Iowa Territory


 [photo of a general election ballot]

The first use of paper ballots to conduct an election appears to have been
in Rome in 139 BCE, and the first use of paper ballots in the United States
was in 1629 to select a pastor for the Salem Church.

By the time the 12th Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed,
it is clear that the term ballot was routinely taken to refer to a slip of
paper on which were written the names of candidates for office. The very
fact that the 12th amendment requires the use of separate ballots to elect
the President and Vice-President implies that the use of one ballot to elect
candidates to more than one office was understood at the time. Of course,
this amendment applied only to the electoral college and not to voting by
the electorate at large.

The Tennessee Acts of 1796, chapter IX section 3 gave the following
definition: “[A ballot is] a ticket or scroll of paper, purporting
to express the voter’s choice, given by the voter to the officer or person
holding an election, to be put into the ballot box.”

These early paper ballots were no more than slips of paper
provided by the voters themselves, although it was not long before
candidates or political parties began to provide preprinted ballots.
This innovation was not always welcome. It took a state supreme court
decision in Massachusetts (Henshaw v. Foster) in 1829 to legalize this
practice in that state. It took a constitutional amendment in Connecticut,
in 1844.

The example shown in Figure 2
was apparently provided by Francis Gehon, a candidate for nonvoting
territorial delegate to the United States Congress in the 1839 Iowa
territorial election; the torn edges suggest that this ballot may
have been printed as an advertisement in the newspaper. This ballot
includes write-in blanks for the other offices in the election,
the territorial house of representatives and various county offices.
The printer omitted the office of Sheriff from the ballot, so the voter
wrote this in at the very bottom.

This form of paper ballot makes it very difficult to reconcile several
requirements that we usually take for granted, the right to privacy, the
requirement that the voter not disclose his or her vote, and the requirement
that no voter deposit more than one ballot in the box.

To maintain voter privacy, we must allow voters the right to insert their
own ballots into the ballot box. Doing this, however, raises the possibility
that a voter might deposit a handful of ballots. If we require voters to give
their ballots to a polling place official, the official might read the
ballot in the process of unfolding it to determine if other ballots have
been cleverly concealed inside, or a dishonest official might add other
ballots to the box.

If a voter wants to disclose his votes, he may easily sign the ballot,
and if we disallow this with rules that require signed ballots to be rejected
in the count, the voter may simply arrange to use distinctive paper or a
distinctive style of writing in order to identify his ballot to someone
observing the count. Political parties quickly mastered the art of
printing ballots on distinctive paper so that all voters using a party’s
ballot could be easily identified.

Figure 3:  Ballot from an 1880 municipal election in Iowa


 [photo of a partisan municipal ballot]

Despite these serious problems, this style of voting on paper ballots remained
the rule into the late 19th century. By the mid 19th century, it was standard
for each political party in the United States to print a party ticket
that listed all of the offices in the election, along with the candidates
endorsed by that party. The word ticket was used because they
resembled railroad tickets in size and printing style.
The municipal election ticket shown in
in Figure 3 was printed by a local Republican party.

Voters in this era were allowed to write out their own ballots, longhand,
but the parties encouraged them to use the party ticket as a ballot.
So long as a party representative got to a voter in advance to give him that
party’s ticket, voting a straight party ticket was easy. A voter who
wished to split his ticket, that is to vote for candidates from more than
one party, could write out the entire ballot longhand, or he could
could cross out the candidates he didn’t like on one party’s ticket and
write in the names of the candidates he preferred.

Figure 4:  Ballot from an 1888 general election in Iowa


 [photo of a partisan general election ballot]

By the 1880’s, the parties had learned to format ballots to make it difficult
to vote a spit ticket. The idea is quite simple: arrange the layout of the
ticket so that a voter who crosses out a candidates name on the party
ticket will have no space left to write in the name of any other candidate.
Figure 4 illustrates a general election ticket formatted this way. Where the
example in Figure 3 had ample space under each candidate name to write in a
substitute name, this example has almost no space, except for the write-in
blank for county treasurer, where the party had no nominee.

A striking feature of the ballot in Figure 4 is that the
typography, below the ballot title, is deliberately difficult to read.
From the party’s perspective, printing a ballot that invited close reading
ammounted to an invitation to strike-out names and write in alternatives.
The parties wanted voters to be loyal to the party, not the specific
candidates, so the party name was always easy to pick out and read.

Of course, the typography of the ballot could not be arbitrarily unreadalbe,
the ballot had to be legible enough to tally. On the other hand, with
party tickets, it is not necessary to closely read each ballot; instead,
each ticket style need only be closely read once. The first step in the
tally is to sort the ballots by ticket style; then, all ballots of a
particular style would be counted, along with the number of strike-outs
for each office on that ticket. Candidates on that ticket would then be
credited with the number of tickets less the number of strikeouts. Finally,
all write-ins, manuscript ballots and handwritten additions to ballots
would be counted.

The examples shown here are all printed on inexpensive paper - generally
newsprint, but in large urban areas, it was very common for parties to
print their tickets on distinctive paper. This had only one purpose, to
make it very easy for a party observer at the polling place to note which
party’s ballot each voter was using. Ballot box stuffing was extremely
common in many jurisdictions, and to prevent this, it was common to
demand that ballot boxes be transparent, thus making it completely
impossible for a voter to hide the color of the ballot being deposited.

For an excellent discussion of the extent of vote fraud using such paper
ballots, see the paper
Harrison Count Methods: Election Fraud in Late 19th Century Texas
by Worth Robert Miller, Locus: Regional and Local History 7, 2
(Spring 1995), 111-28.

One of the best references on the pre-technological history of elections is
Election Administration in the United States by Joseph P. Harris,
published by the Brookings Institution in 1934. The book The American
by Spencer D. Albright, published by the American Council on Public
Affairs in 1942 is a much shorter work filled with extremely useful history
but with very little of the critical content that makes Harris’ book so

The Chartist Demand for a Secret Ballot

In 1838, the London Working Men’s Association published
The People’s Charter. The association represented the first
mass working class labor movement in the world, and its members can
be counted as radical revolutionaries. Today, however, the demands
of the chartists, as they came to be known, seem remarkably tame. They
are, in fact, at the very foundation of essentially all modern democracies,
as outlined in the full title for the charter:

The People’s Charter: Being the outline of an act to provide for
the just representation of the people of Great Britain in the Commons
house of Parliament; embracing the principles of universal suffrage,
no property qualification [for the right to vote], annual parliaments,
equal representation, payment of members [of parliament], and vote by
ballot, prepared by a committee of twelve persons, six members of
parliament and six members of the London Working Men’s Association, and
addressed to the United Kingdom.
– Quoted from an
of the People’s Charter

Figure 5:  The Chartist proposal for polling-place
organization and a voting machine from the
of the People’s Charter.

 [photo of a partisan general election ballot]

A remarkable feature of the Chartist demand was that one page of each
Chartist pamphlet was a diagram of a polling place that included use
of a voting machine, along with two schedules. Schedule A described the
features of the polling place, including a description of the rolls of
each of the people shown in the woodcut. Schedule B described the
voting machine, described as a ballot box. The Chartists attributed
their ballot box design to Benjamin Jolly of 19 York Street, Bath.

Voters using Jolly’s voting machine were to vote by dropping a brass ball
(the ballot)
into one of the holes in the top of the machine. Each hole was to be
marked with a candidate’s name. The ball, on passing through the machine,
would advance a clockwork counter one step before dropping into a tray
on the front of the machine, in clear view of the election judges. During
the election, the counters would be sealed behind a closed door, so
nobody could see the count until the polls closed, and the voter would
vote behind a partition, so nobody could see which hole the ball was
dropped into. If a voter brought an extra ball into the polling place,
the judges would see two balls falling into the tray.

The Australian Paper Ballot

It’s not the voting that’s democracy, it’s the counting.

(Tom Stoppard, British playwright, 1972)

You won the election, but I won the count.

(Anastasio Somoza, Dictator, 1977)

Figure 5:  Australian Ballot from an 1893 Iowa City
municipal election


 [photo of a partisan general election ballot]

Concern about vote fraud and voter privacy was not restricted to England
and the United States.
One of the most important innovations in voting technology came
about in Australia. In 1858, an election was held in the state of
Victoria using
standardized paper ballots that listed all candidates for office. These
ballots were printed at government expense and distributed to the voters
at the polling place, one per voter. This system, while obvious in
retrospect, was sufficiently innovative that it came to be known as the
Australian secret ballot.

The Chartists had significant influence in Australia, and several of the
Australian states had been experimenting with how to reduce the Chartist
demand for secret ballots into practical form. All of the Australian
experiments substituted printed ballots and a simple ballot box for the
voting machine the Chartists proposed, but it is the Victorian model that
later came to be seen as definitive.

Today, the Australian ballot seems so natural that we take it for granted
as ancient technology, and in much of the world, it is so firmly entrenched
that replacing it with mechanical or electronic voting machines is unthinkable.
Nonetheless, the benefits of the Australian ballot were not
obvious at the time it was introduced. Use of this technology requires,
after all, a special print run at government expense, plus the cost of
secure ballot storage and transport.

In the United States, it is likely that the widespread fraud reported in
the general election of 1884 was the major impetus behind the first adoption
of new voting methods in 1888, but this level of fraud would probably have
gone unnoticed if it hadn’t been for the election upset of 1876. In that
year, Rutheford B. Hayes won an majority of the electoral vote with only
a minority of the popular vote, and just as with the 2000 general election,
this focused popular attention on the problems with the election methods
then in use. The hearings into Boss Tweed’s dealings in New York, published
in 1878 are likely to have been another contributing factor; there, Tweed
admitted quite openly to completely ignoring the ballots and having his
ward bosses simply announce the requested result.

So, it was in 1888 that the Australian ballot was first used in the United
States, in New York and Massachusetts, and it was also in 1888 that the
lever voting machine was first used. The example Australian ballot shown
in Figure 5 allows straight-party voting by a single X
in the circle by the party name at the top of the column, or a split ticket
vote by marking an X in the box by an individual candidate name.

Figure 6:  Australian Ballot from a 1916
Democratic primary in South Carolina.


 [photo of a scratch-out primary ballot]

The move to the Australian ballot was not instantaneous. Texas and
Connecticut moved by gradual reform of the partisan ballot, completing
their changes in 1905 and 1909.
Missouri experimented with the Australian ballot but reverted to
partisan ballots until 1921.
New Mexico finished a gradual migration from partisan ballots in 1927.
North Carolina only required that all counties use the Australian ballot
in 1929.
By 1940, Delaware still had a mixed system where partisan distribution
of ballots was still allowed outside the polling place, and South Carolina
was still voting on partisan ballots, although their size, color and
typography were strictly regulated.

While most Australian ballots ask the voter to mark an X or checkmark in
the voting target beside the candidate’s name, where the target is either
a box or a circle, the original form of this ballot asked the voter to scratch
out the names of all but the preferred candidates. The use of an X mark to vote
for a candidate was introduced in West Australia in 1877. The older pattern
persisted for many years in a number of Southern states, most
notably Arkansas. The example in Figure 6 illustrates this.

The scratch-out ballot variant would have appeared quite natural
to those accustomed to voting with party ticket ballots where
voters could scratch out the names of the party nominees they did not support.
There is nothing particularly wrong
with this variant, but when a juristiction changes from this rule to the
more common mark-in-target rule, there are special voter education problems.

Corrupt politicians and political machines have always been quick to search
out and exploit the weaknesses of new voting methods, and it was not long
before the weakness of the Australian ballot was uncovered. Properly
administered, the Australian ballot does indeed make it very difficult for
voters to cast multiple votes or for a dishonest election administration
to stuff the ballot box, but the greatest weakness of the Australian ballot
lies in how votes are counted.

This weakness was the focus of the Supreme Court decision that followed the
2000 general election. The Australian ballot requires a subjective
interpretation of each mark on the ballot, so if corrupt officials cannot
control the ballots that land in the ballot box, they may still try to
control how they are counted. Typical counting procedures attempt to prevent
this, first by allowing observers at the count so that any bias will be out
in the open, and second, by requiring that each tally team be composed of
representatives of opposing parties, each monitoring the other. Even with
these precautions, a corrupt election administration can introduce bias into
the count by manipulating the makeup of the tally teams and by instituting
carefully crafted objective standards governing what marks on
the ballot count as votes.

The Michigan law current today (2001, see MCL 168.803) provides an excellent
example of “an objective and uniform standard” that allows such a biased count.
This law requires that each vote be made with either an X or a checkmark, where
the intersection of the X or the corner of the checkmark is within or on the
border of the box provided on the ballot.

This standard seems excellent, but as a consequence, many marks a voter could
make on the ballot that express clear and obvious intent are disallowed.
A hurried checkmark where the vertex is rounded and not sharp, or an X or check
that is obviously intended to be in a particlar box but is just outside that
box may, under these rules, be discounted.

If an entrenched political machine wishes to remain in power even when their
support from the voters is questionable, all they need to do is assure that
their representatives on each tally team are well trained in the selective
exclusion of votes for the opposition using these rules, while the
representatives for the opposition selected for each tally team are relatively
niave and generally willing to accept the obvious intent of voters. By the
time the oppostion members of the tally team understand the game that is being
played, it is likely that they will have already lost the election.

The problems with the Australian Paper ballot can largely be overcome by
strict accounting requirements, specifically, by the requirement that the
official election canvass include not only the counts of the votes that all
agreed were acceptable votes for one or another candidate, but also counts
of the numbers of undervotes and votes not counted because of improper
marking. If the latter number exceeds the margin of victory of the winning
candidate, there is good reason to request a careful recount, and if these
numbers add up to a number in excess of the number of voters who came to
the polls, a ballot box has been stuffed.

A properly administered Australian paper ballot sets an extremely high
standard that any competing election technology must match, but in a general
election such as those in the United States, where a single ballot may
include over 50 individual candidates and questions on the ballot, hand
counting can be a very expensive proposition.

Lever Voting Machines

the right to vote today is far more than the right to pull that lever on
election day. It is the right to an equal and meaningful vote, which
includes the right to equal and meaningful participation.

(John C. Bonifaz to the House Judiciary Committee,
May 5, 1999)

The Myers Automatic Booth lever voting machines was first used in 1892
in Lockport, New York, and lever machines descended from this were slowly
adopted across the country. In the words of Jacob H. Myers, this machine
was designed to “protect mechanically the voter from rascaldom, and make
the process of casting the ballot perfectly plain, simple and secret.”

By the 1930’s, essentially all of
the nation’s larger urban centers had adopted lever voting machines,
and in the election of 1944, Automatic Voting Machine Corporation
advertising claimed that 12 million voters used their machines.
In states such as Iowa, smaller rural counties never abandoned
hand-counted Australian paper ballots.
In other states, particularly where there were serious charges
of election fraud in the first half of the 20th century, lever voting
machines were installed statewide. This happened in Louisiana, for example,
in the 1950’s.

In the 1890’s, lever voting machines were on the cutting edge of technology,
with more moving parts than almost anything else being made. As such, they
were as much of a high-tech solution to the problem of running an honest
election as computer-tabulated punched cards in the 1960’s or direct-recording
electronic voting machines in the 1990’s.

Figure 7:  Patent illustration for a lever voting


 [a lever voting machine and booth]

Two manufacturers split the market for lever voting machines,
and AVM (Automatic Voting Machines); the latter company is the direct
descendant of Jacob H. Myers original company, organized in 1895.
Ransom F. Shoup made a number of improvements to lever voting machines
between 1929 and 1975. Figure 7 shows an early Shoup machine; like most
of its successors, this included a substantial voting booth, yet it could
be collapsed into a package that was relatively easy to transport and store.

The most visible difference between the AVM and Shoup machines
was in ballot layout: Both used a tabular ballot layout, with
the lever at the intersection of a particular row and column used to record
a vote for a particular party’s candidate for a particular office;
in the Shoup machine, one column is assigned to each party and one row to
each office, while in the AVM machine, the role of rows and columns is

Lever voting machines were so pervasive by the mid 20th century that most
of us born in midcentury grew up assuming that all voting
machines were and would always be lever machines. Today, although they
have been out of production since 1982, these machines are still in
extremely widespread use. They completely eliminate most of the approaches
to manipulating the vote count that were endemic a century ago, and they
can easily be configured to handle a complex general election ballot.

A lever voting machine completely eliminates all questions of ballot
interpretation. At the time the voter opens the machine’s curtain to
leave the voting machine, it adds one to the counter behind each lever
that was pulled down by the voter, and then it resets all the levers.
The lever voting machines of the mid 20th century included interlocks
to prevent a voter from overvoting — that is, voting for more than one
candidate in a race, and the voting booths that were integral to the
machines offered what most voters considered excellent privacy.

Unfortunately, the mechanism of a lever voting machine maintains no
independent record of each voter’s ballot. Instead, the only record of
a vote is the count maintained on the mechanical register behind each
voting lever, where each register has a mechanism comparable to the
odometer in a car. Not only is this vulnerable to tampering by the
technicians who maintain the machine, but it means that the machine
has an immense number of moving parts that are subject to wear and very
difficult to completely test.

Roy G. Saltman has noted that the number 99 shows up in the vote totals
on lever machines significantly more frequently than would be expected
if vote totals were randomly distributed — that is, the number of 99’s
is noticably different from the number of 98’s or 100’s. The probable
explanation is that it takes more force to turn the vote counting wheels
in a lever machine from 99 to 100, and therefore, if the counter is going
to jam, it is more likely to jam at 99. The fact that this is a frequent
occurance in vote totals reported from lever machines is empirical evidence
that the lever machines that have been used in real elections are, in fact,
inadequately maintained and that this results in the loss of a significant
number of votes. Exhaustive pre-election testing would be expected to detect
these jams, but exhaustive testing of a mechanism as complex as a lever
voting machine is very time consuming, and performing such tests on every
voting machine prior to every election would be prohibitively expensive.

Punched Cards for Voting

… one card for every individual enumerated, in which holes are punched
according to various possible answers to questions contained in the schedule.

(F. H. Wines, The Census of 1900,
National Geographic Jan. 1900)

The standard punched card, originally invented by

Herman Hollerith
was first used for vital statistics tabulation by the Baltimore Board of
Health. After this trial use, punched cards were
adopted for use in the 1890 census. Hollerith wasn’t working in a vacuum.
His idea for using punched cards for data processing came after he’d seen
the punched cards used to control Jaquard looms.

developed pre-scored punched cards and the Port-A-Punch card punch.
In the early 1960’s, two professors at the University of California at Berkeley
adapted this for voting.
Joseph P. Harris
, from the political science department, had the
idea, and sought help from William Rouverol, of the mechanical engineering
department. They made several improvements to the Port-A-Punch,
patented them, and formed Harris Votomatic, Inc. to sell the result.
After a large-scale trial at the Oregon State Fair, the system was used
in primaries in Fulton and DeKalb Counties, Georgia;
By the general election that fall, several counties
in Oregon and California had moved to this new technology, and things
looked promising enough that, in 1965, IBM bought the company.

Figure 8:  A Votomatic Ballot, minus the ballot stub


 [235 position Votomatic ballot]

The Votomatic ballot shown in Figure 8 has 235 voting positions. Other
ballot layouts support 228 and 235 voting positons. No matter what the
layout, the preprinted information on the Votomatic ballot contains little
more than voting-position numbers. The actual names of candidates and
the text of ballot questions is not printed on these ballots, but rather,
must be provided elsewhere, either on the ballot label attached to the
Votomatic machine, or in a booklet provided with the ballot when it is used
for absentee voting.

Figure 9:  A Votomatic voting machine


 [photo of a Votomatic voting machine]

The Votomatic machine shown in Figure 9 is essentially the same as the original
IBM Portapunch, mounted vertically in a panel that is designed to
be integrated into a voting booth. The entire booth, consisting of
the machine itself, plus sides, back and legs. These booths are well
enough designed that many jurisdictions that have abandoned the Votomatic
ballot have retained the booths, replacing the Votomatic machine with a
tabletop that can be used with their newer voting system.

The Votomatic ballot is pre-scored at each voting position so that punching
with a stylus through that position into an appropriate backing will remove
a rectangle of chad, leaving a hole that is counted as a vote. The backing
used inside the Votomatic machine is a complex structure of elastomeric
strips, and the stylus has a relatively comfortable handle on it. When used
for absentee voting, a disposable styrofoam sheet is generally used as backing,
and in some jurisdictions, the stylus for absentee ballots is an unbent

The ballot card is held in proper alignment in the Votomatic machine by
holes in the ballot stub that fit over pins at the top of the machine.
When the ballot is inserted in the machine, the face of the machine
completely covers the ballot, with the exception of small holes over
those voting positions relevant to the current election. The pages of
the ballot label are hinged to the face of the machine; when the book
made up by the pages of the ballot label is open, one column of voting
positions on the ballot is exposed. The ballot label mounted on the
machine shown in Figure 9 is a replica of the first two pages of the
notorious “butterfly ballot” used in Palm Beach County Florida during
the 2000 general election.

Figure 10:  A Data Punch voting machine
with ballot.


 [photo of a Datapunch voting machine]

IBM got out of the Votomatic business in 1969, after problems with this
technology began coming to light. Later Votomatic machines (including the
one pictured) were made by Computer Election Services Inc. and several other
IBM licencees. CESI was later absorbed into Election Systems and Software.
Similar mechanisms were made under the Data-Punch trademark
by Election Data Corporation of St. Charles, Illinois.

The example Data-Punch machine shown in Figure 10 is far closer to the original
IBM Portapunch than the Votomatic machine in Figure 9. Unlike the latter, it
is not integrated into the voting booth, but rather, can be used loose on a
desktop. This machine in Figure 10 has has a full book of ballot labels
mounted on it, but they are generic pages with only the positon numbers
printed on them. Both the ballot cards and the hinged ballot label holders
used with this machine are completely compatible with those of the Votomatic
machine, and in some jurisdictions, both machines have been used

The Data-Punch machine in Figure 10 has a 228 position Votomatic ballot
inserted in it, and the punching stylus has been pushed through voting
position 72. Note how the alignment holes in the ballot stub fit
over the red alignment pins on the machine. The actual punched-card
portion of the ballot is entirely hidden inside the machine; only the
tear-off stub is visible. In addition to the alignment holes, the stub
also contains a blank for write-in votes, and when the stub is folded
over along the perforations that separate it from the ballot, it serves
as a privacy cover, hiding both the write-in votes, if any, and any holes
that have been punched.

At the far end of the ballot stub is a small tear-off tab.
The details of how this is used vary from one jurisdiction to
another, but the following is typical: the tear-off tab is
serial numbered; the number on the tab is recorded when the ballot is
issued to the voter, and after the voter has voted, the tab is checked
against the pollbook to see that the voter is returning the same ballot
that was issued. This is a defense agains chain voting, a vote buying
scheme in which a crook gives the voter a pre-voted ballot, the voter
votes that ballot, and then after leaving the polling place, sells his blank
ballot to the crook, who votes it and then gives it to the next willing

Once the tab has been used to verify that a voted ballot is legitimate,
it is torn off and the ballot, with the stub still folded over to hide
the votes, is deposited in the ballot box. When the time comes to count
the ballots, the stubs are unfolded and any ballots that contain write-in
votes are separated so that the write-ins can be hand-tabulated. The ballots
are then separated from the stubs and stacked for tabulation. The tabulation
may be done either by a computer equipped with a standard punched-card
reader or by an electromechanical punched-card tabulating machine.

Figure 11:  A Votomatic ballot seen from the back


 [close up of a Votomatic ballot]

Problems with Votomatic technology have been known since the late 1960’s.
It is common to notice a few pieces of chad accumulating in areas where
Votomatic ballots are being processed, and each of these may represent
a vote added to some candidates total by accident. Roy Saltman of the
National Bureau of Standards published several reports in the mid 1980’s
calling for the abandonment of Votomatic technology because of these and
other problems, but these reports were ignored by all but a few.

It was not until the general election of November 2000 that problems with
the Votomatic voting technology became the subject of widespread public
discussion. The focus of much of this discussion was dimpled chad;
Figure 11 shows a cleanly punched hole and a dimple in a 228 position
Votomatic ballot. It is noteworthy that 12 punch positions on the
228 position ballot are directly over internal braces inside the Votomatic
mechanism, and that these positions are particularly prone to the
development of chad jams that may prevent clean punching in those positions.

The problem with such dimples during a hand recount is that, unlike the case
with the classic Australian ballot, it is difficult for a human looking at
such a dimple to determine the voter’s intent. Every literate person has had
years of experience evaluating pencil marks on paper, but very few people have
had more than passing exposure to the problems of evaluating bits of chad.
It is possible but unlikely that a dimple could be caused by voter hesitation,
where the stylus was gently pushed against that voting position and then
withdrawn. It is also possible but unlikely that the voter pushed hard
enough to create a clean punch while there was something obstructing the hole.
It is possible to distinguish between these two cases by microscopic
examination using of the back of the dimple, but few have the expertise to
do this.

Figure 12:  A DataVote ballot


 [a datavote ballot]

There is another punched card voting technology that has proven to be far
less troublesome than the Votomatic. This is the DataVote system.
Unlike Votomatic ballots, DataVote ballots must be specially printed for
each election, with the candidate names printed by each punching position.
This limits Datavote ballots are punched in only two columns of punching
positions along the two edges of the ballot, with the remainder of the space
reserved for ballot text. Each ballot can hold, in theory, about 70
voting positions (35 per column) but to avoid cramped presentation, the normal
practice is to double or tripple space candidate names, so the effective
capacity of a single DataVote ballot is much smaller. In a typical
general election in the United States,

When used to cast absentee votes, DataVote ballots are prescored, just like
Votomatic ballots. When used in the polling place, DataVote ballots are
punched using an inexpensive formed sheet-metal punching fixture that
holds the ballot in alignment and cleanly punches a hole. Although voters
need some training to learn to align the punch properly, this system avoids
all of the chad problems of the Votomatic and has performed very well in the
small fraction of all jurisdictions that have used it.

Optical Mark-Sense Scanners

Mark-sense scanning has its roots in the world of standardized testing.
introduced the

Type 805 Test Scoring Machine
sensing graphite pencil marks on paper by their electrical conductivity.
These were used for the first generation of machine-scored educational
tests, most notably the SAT. This remained in use into the 1950’s.

Optical mark-sense scanning was developed as an alternative to IBM’s
electrical system. IBM had explored optical mark sensing in years earlier,
but Professor E. F. Lindquist of the University
of Iowa developed the ACT exam and directed the development of the first
practical optical mark-sense test scoring machines in the mid 1950’s.
The rights to this technology were sold to Westinghouse Learning Corporation
in 1968, and in 1974, Robert J. Urosevich of the Klopp Printing Company
visited the Westinghouse offices in Iowa City and initiated Westinghouse’s
experiments with using their mark-sense tabulators to scan ballots.

The first use of mark-sense ballots was in 1962, in Kern City, California,
using a mark-sense system developed by the Norden Division of United Aircraft
and the City of Los Angeles. Development of this 15,000 pound system began in
1958 and commercialized as the Coleman and later Gyrex Vote Tally System.
The system remained in use in Orange County for over a decade. The system
also saw use in Oregon, Ohio and North Carolina.

Another early development was the Votronic ballot tabulator, an optical
mark-sense voting system that was used in San Diego in 1964 and was used in
many California counties in 1968, and also approved for use in Ohio.
When compared to earlier scanners, the Votronic was small and easy to
operate. Although originally incorporated as Votronic Corporation, Cubic
Corporation adsorbed the company in 1964.
This was the first
vendor to sell reasonable numbers of mark-sense ballot tabulators.

The Westinghouse system, based on the Westinghouse Learning Corporation
M-600 page scanner, was developed in conjunction with Data Mark Systems and
was first used for an election in Douglas City Nebraska in 1976. In 1979,
American Information Systems emerged from the ashes of this venture and
in 1982, the AIS model 315 central-count ballot tabulator saw its first
official use in several Nebraska counties. In 1997, AIS was reorganized
as Election Systems and Software after merger with Business Records


ES&S 150 Central Count Scanner

The ballot scanner shown here, made by Election Systems and Software
is typical of central-count optical mark sense
systems. The model 150 and 550 differ in speed; the 150 is slower, suitable
for small counties and for processing absentee ballots that have been
folded for mailing, while the 550 and later 650 are faster, more appropriate
for large counties.

In use, ballots to be counted are loaded on the tray to the right
(shown with a few ballots in place) and then they are automatically fed
through the reader mechanism and ejected into the output tray on the left.
The scanner includes, within its body, a complete computer system, and
it sits on a wheeled cart that also holds a printer and supplies.


Optech Eagle (ES&S)

The Optech IIIP Eagle originally made Business Records Corporation and later
(as a result of merger and an antitrust decision) by both Sequoia Voting
Systems and by Election Systems and Software
is typical of modern precinct-count optical mark-sense
ballot scanning systems. The machine in the photo consists of two major
parts, the ballot box (blue) and the head (white). The box is just that, a
secure container for the ballots the machine has counted, while the head
contains the scanner and electronics.

The ballot box on the Eagle and most other precinct-count ballot tabulating
machines contains three compartments. One compartment holds ballots that
were not scanned by the machine. This compartment is considered an emergency
feature; it is intended that it be used only if the scanner does not work,
and in normal use, it is sealed shut. After the polls are closed, any ballots
deposited in this compartment are typically fed through a working scanner
by the precinct election workers or they are subject to a hand count.

Ballots are diverted into one or the other of the two remaining compartments
inside the ballot box by a software controlled diverter mechanism. One
compartment is for ballots that do not require human inspection, while the
other is for ballots that must be hand inspected, for example, those
containing write-in votes.

Direct Recording Electronic Voting Machines

The first proposals for electrical vote recording date back to the mid
19th century. In 1850, Albert Henderson patented an electrochemical vote
recorder for legislative roll-call votes (U.S. Patent 7,521). This system
allowed legislators to vote by holding down either the aye or
nay telegraph key on their desk to remotely print their name
in either the aye or nay column on a piece of damp blotter
paper that served as the official record of the vote. Edison refined this
idea in his 1869 patent by adding electromechanical counters to count the
votes (U.S. Patent 90,646), and in 1898, Frank S. Wood proposed a push-button
paperless electrical voting machine for use in polling places
(U.S. Patent 616,174).

Occasional patents for such machinery continued to be filed over the next
70 years, but none of these appear to have come to anything until
McKay, Ziebold, Kirby et al developed their electronic voting machine
in 1974 (U.S. Patent 3,793,505). This machine, known commercially as the
Video Voter, was first used in real elections in 1975, in Streamwood and
Woodstock Illinois. Following these demonstrations, several Illinois counties
purchased the system and used it between 1976 and 1980, approximately.
This system was probably the first direct-recording electronic voting system
to be used in a real election.


Electrovote 2000 (Fidlar)

The Electrovote 2000 voting machine sold by Fidlar-Doubleday (formerly
Fidlar and Chambers) is a wedge shaped affair, basically
an IBM PC compatable with a touch screen, packaged for voting, with
a secure case that prevents keyboard or mouse from being plugged in while
it is in the polling place. The machine plugs into a network hub that
also includes a UPS (uninterruptable power supply, including battery pack),
and sits in a voting booth that is little more than a table with a corrugated
plastic privacy screen — this is a bare minimum voting booth, but the
flat panel display screen on the voting machine has very poor off axis
viewing, so the privacy is a bit better than the minimal booth suggests.
The machine in this photo was on when the picture was taken, with a ballot
displayed on the screen, black text on a white background.

The Global Election Systems Model 100 Electronic Ballot Station is quite
similar looking, with many of the same features. To the voter, the most
visible difference is that it incorporates a smartcard interface. With
the EV2000, the polling place worker enables the machine with an ID code
entered on the screen, while with the EBS100, each voter is given a smartcard
that is good for one use.



The Microvote Electronic Voting Computer represents an older generation of
direct recording electronic voting machines. This uses push-buttons adjacent
to each ballot item to cast votes, with a light by each button giving
positive feedback that the vote has been registered. The ballot issues are
printed on a paper ballot label that is protected behind a window between the
rows of buttons, and the machine itself opens up and assembles into a voting
booth, just as the classic lever machines did - the side privacy panels
of the machine in the photo were folded into the lid at the time, in order
to allow greater visibility during a demonstration of the machine.

The Microvote machine has only 64 buttons, and many elections would require
significantly more than this if the full ballot were to be displayed at once.
Microvote has a patented “ballot paging system” that allows a ballot with
up to 512 candidates or positions on issues to be divided into 8 pages for
presentation. The ballot label is printed on a single scroll, with the pages
printed side-by-side, and the machine contains a motor drive that advances
the scroll to the left or right as the voter works through the issues on the

I am indebted to Laura Rigal for her suggestion that Bingham’s County Election
(Figure 1) would be a good illustration. This painting was made in 1851-52,
and this particular version of the painting is from the St. Louis Art Museum;
Bingham produced a second version (without the dark figure directly under
the judge flipping a coin) and he commissioned an engraving that was sold

All of the 19th century ballots shown here are in the Special Collections
department of the Iowa State Historical Society Library in Iowa City.
The ballot in Figure 3 is from the Dolliver papersa the ballot in
Figure 4 is from the Larrabee papers.
The digital images were made by the author.

The ballot in Figure 6 is from the personal collection of
Jim Dowling of Sac City, IA; he purchased it in 1997 from an antique
dealer near Savanah GA. There are Richland Counties in several states,
but John Wolff Crews, 1890-1962, was a prominant
South Carolina Legislator and Jurist and almost certainly the John W. Crews
listed as a candidate on this ballot.
The digital images were made by the author.

The Data Punch and Votomatic ballots and voting systems shown here are
from the author’s collection. The digital image in Figure 7 was made
by the author; those in Figures 9, 10 and 11 were made by Ted Herman.

The DataVote ballot in Figure 12 is from the collection of Kurt Hyde.

I am indebted to Todd Urosevich of Election Systems and Software for
his help with the early history of mark-sense voting systems. Herb Deutsch
at ES&S has also been very helpful, particularly with regard to the early
history of DRE voting systems.

The History of Voting Machines
offers an interesting history of voting.

Elon Hasson’s paper,

How secret is your Vote?
is a useful survey of many related issues.
This was a student paper in
Lydia Loren’s fall 1999 course,
Cyberspace Law
at Lewis and Clark College.


voter verifiable paper trail (VVPT) machines to replace the EVMs,
following doubts that it could be tampered.Voting Machines are
“Calculators which can be manipulated by computer softwares”.  New
Machines are ordered by EC, where a paper slip will come out with EVM
voting which will be then deposited in a box. What is the use? Paper
Slip will show that voter has casted vote for “Party A”, but calculator
software will add vote to “Party B”! The Computers are programmable. No
use for such fake paper slips. In Superior Courts it  has been
demonstrated how these computers can be manipulated and how it can be
pre-programmed to make sure victory to one candidate during election.
The EVM machines have killed Democracy and have all the potentials to do
Under such circumstances the following exposure by media
had no relavance during the last Karnataka Assembly Elections 2013 where
the Congress won and the trend will continue in the forth coming
General Elections until the Superior Court and the upholders of
Democracy including the free and fair media.
Maintaining Voter Confidence.
Enhancing the Voting Experience.
and thank you for visiting our website! At Election Systems &
Software, we recognize the incredible responsibility we have to voters
around the world, so we hold ourselves to the highest standard. We’re
very proud of and take seriously our role in democracy. Maintaining
voter confidence - and enhancing the voting experience - is the core
mission of our company.
For more than three decades, ES&S has had
a successful track record of producing quality results. We support
thousands of elections every year and are proven experts you can rely
on, every day. In fact, in 2012, ES&S supported more than 7,300
election events in the U.S., representing 67.6 million registered voters

      MISUSE OF EVM _ PART - 5
New voter verifiable paper trail (VVPT) machines to replace the EVMs,
following doubts that it could be tampered.Voting Machines are
“Calculators which can be manipulated by computer softwares”.  New
Machines are ordered by EC, where a paper slip will come out with EVM
voting which will be then deposited in a box. What is the use? Paper
Slip will show that voter has casted vote for “Party A”, but calculator
software will add vote to “Party B”! The Computers are programmable. No
use for such fake paper slips. In Superior Courts it  has been
demonstrated how these computers can be manipulated and how it can be
pre-programmed to make sure victory to one candidate during election.
The EVM machines have killed Democracy and have all the potentials to do
so. The ruling castes are manipulating EVMs to make sure victory to
them depriving the dippressed classes  to enable them to acquire the
MASTER KEY that can unlock all doors of progress to the entire people.
Under such circumstances the following exposure by media had no
relevance during the last Karnataka Assembly Elections 2013 where the
Congress won and the trend will continue in the forth coming General
Elections until the Superior Court and the upholders of Democracy
including the free and fair media.    •

Transparency and Access to Source Code in Electronic Voting

Joseph Lorenzo Hall,
School of Information, University of California at Berkeley


examine the potential role of source code disclosure and open source
code requirements in promoting technical improvements and increasing
transparency of voting systems. We describe the “enclosure of
transparency'’ of voting technology that has occurred over the course of
United States’ electoral history, the implications that source code
disclosure has for transparency, the negative effects that enclosing
transparency has had at different levels and the regulatory and
legislative efforts to increase access to source code. We then look at
the benefits and risks of open and disclosed source code regimes for
voting systems, efforts to provide open source voting systems, existing
open source business models that might translate to the voting systems
context, regulatory and market barriers to disclosed or open source code
in voting systems and alternatives that might exist outside of public
disclosure of source code. We conclude that disclosure of full system
source code to qualified individuals will promote technical improvements
in voting systems while limiting some of the potential risks associated
with full public disclosure.

1 Introduction

like many aspects of society in the United States, have changed
dramatically over the course of history. With the growth of urban areas
during the last century, and passage of various federal and state laws
that specify increased electoral enfranchisement of citizens, we are
placing greater and greater demands upon voting technology and election
administration. In the past few decades we have started to use computers
and networking to further increase efficiency. The most fundamental act
of our democracy — the mechanics of casting and counting ballots on
election day — that initially took place in plain sight and was fully
comprehensible to the franchise now takes place within machines that
foreclose observation and obscure this formerly fully comprehensible
act. An electoral system that was once highly transparent — supporting
public scrutiny and ease of understanding its functions and policies —
has undergone an “enclosure of transparency'’. That is, much like the
enclosure movement in English history where public land was increasingly
privatized, the requirements to which we hold our voting technologies
have resulted in a gradual “fencing in'’ of transparency.1Voting system
software is one of the most opaque aspects of electronic voting as it
is large, complex and generally unavailable for inspection.
Unsurprisingly, academics, activists, election officials and
commentators have called for increased access to, and heightened
examination of the source code that powers election systems. Efforts to
increase access and scrutiny range from source code escrow
requirements,2 independent code reviews,3 system performance testing,4
required disclosure of source code to requirements that systems use open
source code.5

Efforts to
broaden the number of individuals with access to the source code of
election technology are part of a larger project of increasing the
trustworthiness of electronic election systems. This larger project
focuses on both technical improvements that increase security, accuracy,
privacy, reliability, usability and reforms — at some level
independent of technical improvements — that instill confidence in the
voting public by facilitating public oversight, comprehension, access
and accountability. As such, calls for source code disclosure to the
public or to a set of independent experts should be measured along a
number of related but independent axes:

    •    What role could access to voting system source code play in increasing the transparency of voting systems?
    •    What are the risks and benefits of open source and disclosed source regimes for security and the market?

•    If open source code offers measurable benefits, what regulatory
and marketplace barriers exist to the development of open source
software in the voting systems environment?

    •    What business methods from the landscape of open source software may translate to voting systems?
•    Are there alternatives to public disclosure of code or open source
code requirements that might yield similar benefits in technology
performance and increased transparency, but minimize potential risks
posed by source code disclosure?

paper examines the potential role of source code disclosure and open
source code requirements in promoting technical improvements and
increasing transparency of voting systems. Section  defines what we mean
by transparency and then elaborates on the concept of the “enclosure
of transparency'’ of voting technology. Section  explores what
implications source code disclosure might have for values associated
with transparency. Section  details the negative effects that the
enclosure of transparency has had at various levels. Section  reviews
recent efforts to increase the capacity for public scrutiny of voting
systems through disclosed and open source code regulation and
legislation. Section  examines the benefits and risks of open and
disclosed source code regimes in the voting systems context and
considers additional issues posed where access rules are driven by
regulation rather than the market. Section  reviews past and current
efforts to provide open source voting systems and contemplates which
existing open source business models might translate to the voting
systems context. Section  then considers regulatory and market barriers
to disclosed or open source code voting systems. Section  reviews what
transparency and trustworthy-promoting alternatives might exist outside
of public disclosure of source code.

conclude that disclosure of full system source code to qualified
individuals will promote technical improvements in voting systems while
limiting some of the potential risks associated with full public
disclosure. Acknowledging that this form of limited source code
disclosure does not support general public scrutiny of source code, and
therefore does not fully promote the transparency goals that we have
articulated, we note that in a public source code disclosure or open
source code model most members of the public will be unable to engage in
independent analysis of the source code and will need to rely on
independent, hopefully trusted and trustworthy, experts. Given the
potential risks posed by broad public disclosure of election system
source code, we conclude that moving incrementally in this area is both a
more realistic goal and the prudent course given that it will yield
many benefits, greatly minimizes potential risks and provides an
opportunity to fully evaluate the benefits and risks in this setting.

My Dear Co-Strivers,

The anaysis of an election result cannot stop  only with
comparision of  no. of votes earned over various elections.

Then ! what else ?

HAVES - who desire to uplift the downtrodden and desperate needy,will
not only look at votes but analyse many things. They are the following:

* Social variations occuring over years,
* Political splits,alignments ,realignments and their influence.
* Geograghical reformation of Electorates,
* Formation of new Districts,Taluks and Panchayats,
* Influence of various political and religious leaders,
* Eductional scenario in the state,
* Economic status of people,
* Election issues in a given Election
* Relevant National issues , 
* Geo positional discriminations
* Organisation,activities,Progams and Schemes of our party,
* etc,etc

With out these hard analysis, commenting only by the votes undermines our ability,
and intentions.It questions the very basics of why are we here?  and
What are we trying to reach to ?
It does not seem to be constructive,
yet gives an impression of self bombing.
 It supports strengthen the hands of others to weaken 
our initiative and effort, may be ultimately
decimate us to nothing as willed by the HAVE NOTS.

Despite such daceitful comments, I am sure 
we will. we shall and we must strive hard.harder and hardest
till we secure  the all important KEY.
We will not  cowdown to such comments and
We will not  slacken our  efforts, come what may.

Food for thought,


the following truth Congress won in Karnataka Elections 2013 because of
the discriminative source of caste bias of the ruling castes:

The Election
Commission will meet all recognised political parties on May 10 to seek
their consent for the new voter verifiable paper trail (VVPT) machines
to replace the EVMs, following doubts that it could be tampered.

Appearing for the Centre, Attorney General GE Vahanvati informed a
Bench of Justices P Sathasivam and Ranjan Gogoi that the process of
amendment was “underway”. In response to a letter written by EC on March
28, 2013, the Legislative Department of the Law Ministry had begun the
work of preparing amendments to the Rules, which would be placed before
the Parliament.

The Bench exclaimed, “We are happy that it has finally materialised.
Now what remains is when we are to implement it.” All parties were in support of
introducing the VVPT machines.

2. EC must not practice Caste Discriminative source of bias by
draping the ELEPHANT symbol that too with the trunk raised above and
SC/ST/OBC leaders statues during UP Assembly elections and never draped
NATIONAL FLOWER LOTUS symbol and statues of BJP leaders during Karnataka
Election 2013. And during the coming general elections EC must drape
all the HAND symbol and Congress leaders statues for level playing

3. EC have allotted NATIONAL FLOWER LOTUS to BJP and sacred RELIGIOUS
HAND used by astrologers and Islam to Congress. Both must be frozen.

4. EC must take all the (VVPT) machines door to door along with the
agents of parties as it is done for collecting electricity and water
bill and also make provisions to cast votes online.

Photo: jai bheem ji ......mittro~~~~~baba saheb mashiha the bhartiye samaaj ke liye unhone jo rah dikhai hai agar hum us rah par sachche man se chle to har manzil khud b khud mil jaayegi..bolo jai jai bheem ji


I ) Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar on Reservation
“Reservation demand is for protection against aggressive communalism of
ruling class who wants to dominate the servile/depressed classes in
field of life.”

II) Cchatrapati Shahu Maharaj showed how Reservation is essential

One day a Brahmin employee of Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj asked,
“Reservation is not important. If it is really important then explain
and convince it”. Then Shahu Maharaj took him to farm house where herd
of horses was existing. Shahu Maharaj asked his servant to bring wet
gram/bhijalele chane/harbhare. Accordingly a pot of wet gram was
brought. Then Shahu Maharaj himself threw the whole grams in ring i.e.
towards the horse’s herd. Shahu Maharaj told the Brahmin employee wait
and watch the movement of horses. It was naturally observed that the
powerful horses in the ring captured the food material - wet gram and
the powerful horses didn’t allow the weak and ill horses to eat the
gram. Powerful horses kept all the way the weak/ill horses away by
beating with heating their heads to the weak/ill horse. Finally the
result was that Weak/ill horses remained without food, whereas the
powerful horses ate whole gram food.

After completion of the incidence Shahu Maharaj told the Brahmin
employee, “This is the incidence as to why owner has to keep some food
separate to the weak/ill/ small horses so that all horses including
powerful and weak horses will be fed”. And so is the case, as to why
Reservation is unavoidable and very essential to the weaker sections of
the society/state of Kolhapur. This is the Social Justice. Yes,
subsequently Cchatrapati Shahu Maharaj had made all out efforts, also
gone to England and got the law passed i.e. 50% reservations achieved
and implemented in his Kolhapur State on 26th July 1902.

Landmark win for SC/STs as UK bans caste bias

the United Kingdom have recorded a landmark victory after the British
parliament finally agreed to outlaw caste discrimination.

a major U-turn, the House of
Commons, which had earlier trashed an amendment to include caste among
other forms of discrimination, on Tuesday voted for legal protection for
the four lakh SC/STs living in the UK.

makes the UK the first country outside South Asia to legislate against
caste discrimination. On Wednesday business secretary Vince Cables said
“caste is to be outlawed in the UK”.

Jo Swinson, the equalities minister, told the House of Commons the

government recognized that caste discrimination
existed in the United Kingdom and it was “unacceptable”. She said “very
strong views have been expressed in the Lords on this matter and we
have reconsidered our position and agreed to introduce caste-related
legislation”. “We hope that this decision will serve as an example to
other countries,” said Rikke Nohrlind, coordinator of the International
SC/ST Solidarity Network. “Caste discrimination is a global issue,
affecting hundreds of millions of people in many parts of the world.”

House of Lords had voted twice in support of the amendment, but the
House of Commons had had reservations against it. MPs on Tuesday
overturned their earlier decision and decided that caste would in future
be treated as “an aspect of race”.

amendment is
part of the Equality Act 2010. Till now, the Act prohibited race
discrimination, harassment and victimisation in the workplace. The
definition of “race” within the Act includes colour, nationality, ethnic
or national origin but does not specifically refer to caste.

MP Richard Fuller said “caste discrimination in the workplace is wrong
and the people who suffer from it deserve legal protection”. The issue
has divided the Indian diaspora in
the UK. While groups like Caste Watch UK had been rallying to urge MPs
to introduce legal protection for those from traditionally lower-caste
backgrounds, the Hindu Alliance has called for a boycott of the
amendment. According to the 2011 census, there are 816,633 Hindus based
in the UK.

than 1,200 families were evicted from EWS quarters spread across
more than 15 acres at Ejipura in January this year to facilitate he BBMP
take up construction of a residential complex and a mall with a private
company. Several forced e
vacuees still live on footpaths in the
vicinity of the erstwhile shanty town.Many parts of the City did not
have basic amenities.There are many areas without basic necessities.

SARVA SAMAJ demands for the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in the
wake of his government’s alleged attempt to influence the Central Bureau
of Investigation (CBI) report on its investigation into how coal fields
were allotted. Countryshould be told as to whether from PMO (Prime
Minister’s office) by certain officers, certain suggestions were given
in a shape of e-mail to improve, correct or weaken the purport of the
affidavit supposedly to be filed by the CBI. Seeks resignation of Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh as well as Union Minister of Law and Justice,
Ashwani Kumar on the issue of influencing the report on coal scam.PMO
(Prime Minister’s office) pressurised the federal probe agency, Central
Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to tone down coal scam report that it
submitted to the Supreme Court.Law Minister Ashwani Kumar met the
Director of CBI, Ranjit Sinha, asking for changes in the CBI’s report on
the coal scam, to be submitted in the Supreme Court.Coalfields were
allocated without a transparent bidding process, causing a loss of 1. 86
lakh crores to the public exchequer.Dr Manmohan Singh, was holding the
portfolio of Coal Ministry from 2006 to 2009 when most of the
allocations were made.
Former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in the 2G spectrum scam and
on telecom scam of 2G spectrum allocation leaked to the media gave
clean chit to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the then Home (interior)
Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram needs launch of a nationwide campaign
to expose both UPA and NDA governments in the larger interest of the
nation as
The Only Hope of the
Nation is Elephant of BSP!
People are just fed up
with UPA & NDA!
BSP must capture the MASTER KEY !
For Mayawati!
For equal distribution of wealth of this country to SARVA SAMAJ i.e.,
for SC/ST/OBC/Minorities and poor upper castes for peace,welfare and
happiness of the entire people and not just for corporate interests and
in humanists.

Whenever a Scheduled Caste/Tribe becomes eligible for
his/her higher promotion false cases are being booked against them to
deprive them of their promotions and to promote their juniors who are
non-SC/STs who dont have the benefit of reservation. This is going on in
Central and State Govt and PSUs. Like wise Ms Mayawati is now eligible
to become the Prime Minister of this country who travels by Charted
planes which is not tolerated by the non SC/ST rulers who are ruling
this country.
The Election Commission is not a holy cow.
Congress candidate had complained that the party took money from
candidates worth crores. When Sonia came to Karnataka the EC did not
register any case against her. There are allegations against Advani for
taking bribe from Yediurappa. The EC did not register any case against
Advani when he came to Karnataka. No case had been registered against
Sushma Suraj.

are specific instances of corruption in the United Progressive
Alliance government at the Centre related to 2G, defence helicopter
deal, coal scam and employment guarantee scheme. while indulging in
massive corruption was only achievement of the Bharatiya Janata Party
government in Karnataka. BJP model of governance was synonymous with
corruption.The “party with difference” was solely responsible for
illegal mining in
Karnataka that had reportedly caused a loss of over Rs. 15,000 crore to
the exchequer. Bharatiya Janata Party’s Karnataka leadership is “the
masters of corruption”. BJP regime had set a “world record in
corruption” and framed laws and
policies not for the common people, but for mining barons in Bellary.
“In the last elections, two brothers were given the responsibility to
elect 40 MLAs, and later they were allowed to loot natural resources.”
Under the BJP government, “Employment avenues have shrunk and corruption
at all levels has damaged the reputation of the State.

Samaj Party (BSP), Mayawati, has charged the Election Commission with
perpetrating a culture of caste bias after she was recently frisked in
poll-bound Karnataka which means that BSP treading on the right path.
This is not tolerated by the manuvadis which believes in 1st,2nd,3rd,4th
rate athmas (souls) and that the SC/STs have no soul and they can
indulge in all sorts of discrimination. But the Buddha never believed in
any soul. He said all are equal. That is the reason why Dr.B.R.
Ambedkar wanted all discriminated people to return back to Buddhism for
self respect, peace, welfare and happiness. The discriminative and
source of bias of EC instead of freezing the National Flower Lotus and
religious Hand symbol used by gods’ pedestals, astrologers and Islam and
draping all the symbols and statues of UPA and NDA ruling in the Center
and Karnataka State as done in Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections for
level playing field in indulging in such discriminative source of bias
in order to save UPA and NDA’s sagging image because of corruption,
inflation, in human and non development of the nation. The EC must also
make public the open source code of EVMs which they will not do to
protect the casteist and communal UPA and NDA who support the corporates
and the biased media who are responsible of high inflation and lack of
drinking water, uninterrupted power supply social boycott of the
downtrodden. that is the reason for the British parliament’s decision to
recognize the existence of caste alongside race as a form of
discrimination and sources of bias should be equated. All Democratic
countries, fearless media and UN to support Bahujan Samaj Party to
acquire the MASTER KEY for peace, welfare and happiness by distributing
the wealth of the country equally among all sections of the society
including SC/ST/OBC/Minorities and Poor Upper castes to attain Eternal
Bliss as Final Goal, since all the ruling parties such as UPA, NDA and
other regional parties believing in athmas failed to do so. It must give
a strong push to portray caste as a global phenomenon like race,and it
should be a subject of policy at international fora like the United

the above mentioned parties are incapable of giving good governance
with their discriminative source of bias supporting the corporates and
upper castes. good governance includes distribution of healthy deeds,
land to the tillers and uninterrupted irrigation to the farmers. Free
Education to all the children up to an age of 14. Government loan to all
youth who wish to start their own business and trade. Corrupt free
government employees who are efficient for providing good governance as
enshrined in the Constitution.


The Buddha explained how to handle insult and maintain compassion. One day
Buddha was walking through a village. A very angry and rude young man came up
and began insulting him.

“You have no right teaching others,” he shouted. “You are as stupid as everyone
else. You are nothing but a fake.”

Buddha was not upset by these insults. Instead he asked the young man “Tell me,
if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom does
the gift belong?”

The man was surprised to be asked such a strange question and answered, “It
would belong to me, because I bought the gift.”

The Buddha smiled and said, “That is correct, and it is exactly the same with
your anger. If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then the
anger falls back on you. You are then the only one who becomes unhappy, not me.
All you have done is hurt yourself.”

“If you want to stop hurting yourself, you must get rid of your anger and
become loving instead. When you hate others, you yourself become unhappy, but
when you love others, everyone is happy.”

The young man listened closely to these wise words of the Buddha. “You are
right, Enlightened One, “he said. “Please teach me the path of love. I wish to
become your follower.”

The Buddha answered kindly, “Of course. I teach anyone who truly wants to
learn. Come with me.”

Beautiful Quotes:
If you are right then there is no need to get angry and if you are wrong then
you don’t have any right to get angry.
Patience with family is love, patience with others is respect, patience with
self is confidence, and patience with Buddha is faith.
Never Think Hard about PAST, it brings Tears…
Don’t Think more about FUTURE, it brings Fears…
Live this Moment with a Smile, it brings Cheers.!!!!
Search a beautiful heart not a beautiful face.
Beautiful things are not always good but good things are always beautiful.

Congress has been ruling
in the Centre and States for more than 60 years.Why did they not give
rice for Re.1 per Kg all these years. First of all have they made
education free as directed in the Constitution? Leave alone promising
free laptops can they promise to give Internet connections which costs
Rs1000/- per month to all these laptops. Students will only sell these
laptops as they did in Uttar Pradesh.Congress or the BJP never even
attempted to distribute healthy seeds, land to the tillers and
uninterrupted irrigation to the farmers. Government loans were not given
to youths to start their own trade and business. Government servants
were corrupt and were not asked by these parties to be loyal and
efficient for their good governance. Hence

The Only Hope of the Nation is Elephant of BSP!

People are just fed up
with Congress, other regional parties JDS, BSR, KJP and BJP!

After 15
opposition members of the 2G JPC told Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar they had no confidence in its chairman P.C. Chacko, the Congress members  demanded three BJP MPs be removed from the panel or debarred from voting due to conflict of interest.
“We have urged the speaker to remove three BJP members - Ravi Shankar Prasad, Yashwant Sinha and Jaswant Singh
- from the JPC or debar them from voting as they were either telecom
ministers or were part of a group of ministers on the issue during the
NDA rule (1998-2004) and there would be a conflict of interest if the
draft report would be discussed and finalised in their presence,”

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members are miffed as the draft report
states the government incurred losses worth over Rs.40,000 core during
the NDA rule under then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar's Annihilation of Caste





Truth as Truth and Untruth as Untruth




1.     Preface to the Second

2.     Preface to the
Third Edition

3.     Prologue

4.     Speech Prepared
By Dr. B. R. Ambedkar

5.     Appendix I :  A
Vindication Of Caste By Mahatma Gandhi

6.     Appendix  II :
A Reply To The Mahatma By Dr. B. R.




The speech prepared by me for the Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal of Lahore
has had an astonishingly warm reception from the Hindu public for whom it was primarily
intended. The English edition of one thousand five hundred
was exhausted within two months of its publication. It is translated into Gujarati and Tamil. It is being translated in Marathi, Hindi, Punjabi and Malayalam. The demand for the English text still continues
unabated. To satisfy this demand it has become necessary to issue a Second Edition.
Considerations of history and effectiveness of appeal have led me to retain the original
form of the essay—namely the speech form—-although I was asked to recast it in
the form of a direct narrative. To this edition I have added two appendices. I have
collected in Appendix I the two articles written by Mr. Gandhi
by way of review of my speech in the Harijan, and his letter to Mr. Sant Ram, a member of the Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal. In Appendix II,
I have printed my views in reply to the articles of Mr. Gandhi collected in Appendix 1.
Besides Mr. Gandhi many others have adversely criticised my views as expressed in my
speech. But I have felt that in taking notice of such adverse comments
I should limit myself to Mr. Gandhi. This I have done not because what he has said is so
weighty as to deserve a reply but because to many a Hindu he is an oracle, so great that
when he opens his lips it is expected that the argument must close and no dog must bark.
But the world owes much to rebels who would dare to argue in the face of the pontiff and
insist that he is not infallible. I do not care for the credit which every progressive
society must give to its rebels. I shall be satisfied if I make the Hindus realize that
they are the sick men of India and that their sickness is causing danger to the health and
happiness of other Indians.



The Second edition
of this Essay appeared in 1937, and was exhausted within a very short period. A new
edition has been in demand for a long time. It was my
intention to recast the essay so as to incorporate into it another essay of mine called Castes in India,
their Origin and their Mechanism
“, which appeared
in the issue of the Indian Antiquary Journal for May 1917. But as I could not find time,
and as there is very little prospect of my being able to do so and as the demand for it
from the public is very insistent, I am content to let this be a mere reprint of the
Second edition.

I am glad to find that this essay has become so
popular, and I hope that it will serve the purpose for which it was intended.
22, Prithwiraj Road

New Delhi 1st December 1944              


On December 12, 1935, I received the following
letter from Mr. Sant Ram, the Secretary of the Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal :


My dear Doctor Saheb,

Many thanks for your kind letter of the 5th
December. I have released it for press without your
permission for which I beg your pardon, as I saw no harm in
giving it publicity. You are a great thinker, and it is my well-considered opinion that
none else has studied the problem of Caste so deeply as you have. I have always benefited
myself and our Mandal from your ideas. I have explained and preached it in the Kranti many times and
I have even lectured on it in many Conferences. I am now very anxious to read the
exposition of your new formula— It is not
possible to break Caste without annihilating the religious notions on which it, the Caste
system, is founded.” Please do explain it at length at
your earliest convenience, so that we may take up the idea and emphasise it from press and
platform. At present, it is not fully clear to me.

*         *          *

Our Executive Committee persists in having you
as our President for our Annual Conference. We can change our dates to accommodate
your convenience. Independent Harijans of Punjab are very
much desirous to meet you and discuss with you their plans. So if you kindly accept our
request and come to Lahore to preside over the Conference it
will serve double purpose. We will invite Harijan leaders of
all shades of opinion and you will get an opportunity of giving your ideas to them.

The Mandal has deputed our Assistant Secretary,
Mr. Indra Singh, to meet you
at Bombay in Xmas and discuss with you the whole situation
with a view to persuade you to please accept our request.


The Jat-Pat-Todak
Mandal, I was given to understand, to be an organization of
Caste Hindu Social Reformers, with the one and only aim, namely to eradicate the Caste
System from amongst the Hindus. As a rule, I do not like to take any part in a movement
which is carried on by the Caste Hindus. Their attitude towards social reform is so
different from mine that I have found it difficult to pull on with them. Indeed, I find
their company quite uncongenial to me on account of our differences of opinion. Therefore
when the Mandal first approached me I declined their
invitation to preside. The Mandal, however, would not take a refusal from me and sent down
one of its members to Bombay to press me to accept the invitation. In the end I agreed to
preside. The Annual Conference was to be held at Lahore, the headquarters of the Mandal.
The Conference was to meet in Easter but was subsequently postponed to the middle of May
1936. The Reception Committee of the Mandal has now cancelled the Conference. The notice
of cancellation came long after my Presidential address had been printed. The copies of
this address are now lying with me. As I did not get an opportunity to deliver the address
from the presidential chair the public has not had an opportunity to know my views on the
problems created by the Caste System. To let the public know them and also to dispose of
the printed copies which are lying on my hand, I have decided to put the printed copies of
the address in the market. The accompanying pages contain
the text of that address.

The public will be curious to know what led to the cancellation of my
appointment as the President of the Conference. At the start, a dispute arose over the
printing of the address. I desired that the address should be printed in Bombay. The
Mandal wished that it should be printed in Lahore on the ground of economy. I did not
agree and insisted upon having it printed in Bombay. Instead of agreeing to my proposition
I received a letter signed by several members of the Mandal from which I give the
following extract :




Revered Dr. Ji,

Your letter of the 24th instant addressee to Sjt. Sant Ram has been shown to
us. We were a little disappointed to read it. Perhaps you are not fully aware of the
situation that has arisen here. Almost all the Hindus in the Punjab are against your being
invited to this province. The Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal has been
subjected to the bitterest criticism and has received censorious rebuke from all quarters.
All the Hindu leaders among whom being Bhai Parmanand, M-L.A. (Ex-President, Hindu Maha Sabha), Mahatma Hans Raj, Dr. Gokal Chand Narang, Minister for
Local Self-Government, Raja Narendra Nath, M.L.C. etc., have dissociated
themselves from this step of the Mandal.

Despite all this
the runners of the Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal (the leading figure being Sjt. Sant Ram) are
determined to wade through thick and thin but would not give up the idea of your
presidentship. The Mandal has earned a bad name.

*        *        *        *

Under the circumstances it becomes your duty to
co-operate with the Mandal. On the one hand, they are being put to so much trouble and
hardship by the Hindus and if on the other hand you too augment their difficulties it will
be a most sad coincidence of bad luck for them.

We hope you will think over the matter and do
what is good for us all.

*         *         *         *

This letter puzzled me greatly. I could not
understand why the Mandal should displease me for the sake of a few rupees in the matter
of printing the address. Secondly, I could not believe that
men like Sir Gokal Chand Narang had really resigned as a protest against my selection as President because I had
received the following letter from Sir Gokal Chand himself :


5 Montgomery Road




Dear Doctor Ambedkar,

I am glad to learn from the workers of the Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal that you have agreed to preside at their
next anniversary to be held at Lahore during the Easter holidays,
it will give me much pleasure if you stay with me while you are at Lahore. More when we

Yours sincerely,

G. C. narang


Whatever be the truth I did not yield to this
pressure. But even when the Mandal found that I was insisting upon having my address
printed in Bombay instead of agreeing to my proposal the Mandal sent me a wire that they
were sending Mr. Har Bhagwan
to Bombay to talk over matters personally Mr. Har Bhagwan came to Bombay on the 9th of April. When
I met Mr. Har Bhagwan I found that he had nothing to say regarding the issue. Indeed he
was so unconcerned regarding the printing of the address, whether it should be printed in
Bombay or in Lahore, that he did not even mention it in the course of our conversation.
All that he was anxious for was to know the contents of the address. I was then convinced
that in getting the address printed in Lahore the main object of the Mandal was not to
save money but to get at the contents of the address. I gave him a copy. He did not feel
very happy with some parts of it. He returned to Lahore. From Lahore, he wrote to me

the following letter :



dated April 14, 1936


My dear Doctor Sahib,

Since my arrival from Bombay, on the 12th, I
have been indisposed owing to my having not slept
continuously for 5 or 6 nights, which were spent in the
train. Reaching here I came to know that you had come to Amritsar. I would have seen you there if I were well enough to go
about. I have made over your address to Mr. Sant Ram for
translation and he has liked it very much, but he is not sure whether it could be
translated by him for printing before the 25th. In any case, it would
have a wide publicity and we are sure it would wake the Hindus up from their slumber.

The passage I pointed out to you at Bombay has
been read by some of our friends with a little misgiving, and those of us who would like
to see the Conference terminate without any untoward incident would prefer that at least
the word Veda be
left out for the time being. I leave this to your good sense. I hope, however, in your
concluding paragraphs you will make it clear that the views expressed in the address are
your own and that the responsibility does not lie on the Mandal.
I hope, you will not mind this statement of mine and would let us have 1,000 copies of the
address, for which we shall, of course, pay. To this effect I have sent you a telegram
today. A cheque of Rs. 100 is enclosed herewith which kindly
acknowledge, and send us your bills in due time.

I have called a meeting of the Reception
Committee and shall communicate their decision to you immediately. In the meantime kindly
accept my heartfelt thanks for the kindness shown to me and the great pains taken by you
in the preparation of your address. You have really put us under a heavy debt of

Yours sincerely,

har bhagwan

send the copies of the address by passenger train as soon as it is printed, so that copies
may be sent to the Press for publication.

Accordingly I handed over my manuscript to the
printer with an order to print 1,000 copies. Eight days later, I received another letter
from Mr. Har Bhagwan which I
reproduce below :





Dear Dr. Ambedkar,

We are in receipt of your telegram and letter,
for which kindly accept our thanks. In accordance with your
desire, we have again postponed our Conference, but feel that it would have been much
better to have it on the 25th and 26th, as the weather is growing warmer and warmer every
day in the Punjab. In the middle of May it would be fairly hot, and the sittings in the
day time would not be very pleasant and comfortable. However, we shall try our best to do all we can to make things as comfortable as possible,
if it is held in the middle of May.

There is, however, one thing that we have been
compelled to bring to your kind attention. You will remember
that when I pointed out to you the misgivings entertained by
some of our people regarding your declaration on the subject of change of religion, you
told me that it was undoubtedly outside the scope of the Mandal
and that you had no intention to say anything from our platform in that connection. At the
same time when the manuscript of your address was handed to me you assured me that that
was the main portion of your address and that there were only two or three concluding
paragraphs that you wanted to add. On receipt of the second instalment of your address we have been taken by surprise, as that
would make it so lengthy, that we are afraid, very few people would read the whole of it.
Besides that you have more than once stated in your address that you had decided to walk
out of the fold of the Hindus and that that was your last
address as a Hindu. You have also unnecessarily attacked the morality and reasonableness
of the Vedas and
other religious books of the Hindus, and have at length dwelt upon the technical side of
Hindu religion, which has absolutely no connection with the problem at issue, so much so
that some of the passages have become irrelevant and off the
point. We would have been very pleased if you had confined your address to that portion
given to me, or if an addition was necessary, it would have been limited to what you had
written on Brahminism etc. The last portion which deals with
the complete annihilation of Hindu religion and doubts the morality of the sacred books of
the Hindus as well as a hint about your intention to leave
the Hindu fold does not seem to me to be relevant.

I would therefore most
humbly request you on behalf of the people responsible for
the Conference to leave out the passages referred to above,
and close the address with what was given to me or add a few paragraphs on Brahminism. We
doubt the wisdom of making the address unnecessarily provocative and pinching. There are
several of us who subscribe to your feelings and would very much want to be under your
banner for remodelling of the Hindu religion. If you had decided to get together persons
of your cult I can assure you a large number would have joined your army of reformers from
the Punjab.

In fact, we thought you would give us a lead in
the destruction of the evil of caste system, especially when you have studied the subject
so thoroughly, and strengthen our hands by bringing about a revolution and making yourself
as a nucleus in the gigantic effort, but declaration of the
nature made by you when repeated loses its power, and
becomes a hackneyed term. Under the circumstances, I would request you to consider the
whole matter and make your address more effective by saying that you would be glad to take
a leading part in the destruction of the caste system if the Hindus are willing to work in
right earnest toward that end, even if they had to forsake
their kith and kin and the religious notions. In case you do so, I am sanguine that you would find a ready response from the Punjab in such an

I shall be grateful if you will help us at this
juncture as we have already undergone much expenditure and have been put to suspense, and let us know by the return
of post that you have condescended to limit your address as above. In case, you still
insist upon the printing of the address in toto, we very much regret it would not be possible—rather advisable for us to hold the Conference, and
would prefer to postpone it sine die, although
by doing so we shall be losing the goodwill of the people because of the repeated
postponements. We should, however, like to point out that you have carved a niche in our
hearts by writing such a wonderful treatise on the caste system, which excels all other
treatises so far written and will prove to be a valuable heritage, so to say. We shall be
ever indebted to you for the pains taken by you in its preparation.

Thanking you very much for your kindness and
with best wishes.

I am,

Yours sincerely,

har bhagwan


To this letter I sent the following reply :

27th April 1936

Dear Mr. Har Bhagwan,

I am in receipt of your letter of the 22nd April. I note with regret that the Reception Commitiee of the Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal would prefer to
postpone the Conference sine die “ if I
insisted upon printing the address in toto. In
reply I have to inform you that I also would prefer to have the Conference
cancelled—1 do not like to use vague terms—if the Mandal insisted upon having my
address pruned to suit its circumstances. You may not like my decision. But I cannot give
up, for the sake of the honour of presiding over the
Conference, the liberty which every President must have in the preparation of the address.
I cannot give up for the sake of pleasing the Mandal the
duty which every President owes to the Conference over which
he presides to give it a lead which he thinks right and proper. The issue is one of
principle and I feel I must do nothing to compromise it in any way.

I would not have entered into any controversy
as regards the propriety of the decision taken by the Reception Committee. But as you have
given certain reasons which appear to throw the blame on me. I am bound to answer them. In the first place, I must dispel the notion that the
views contained in that part of the address to which objection has been taken by the
Committee have come to the Mandal as a surprise. Mr. Sant
Ram, I am sure, will bear me out when I say that in reply to one of his letters I had said
that the real method of breaking up the Caste System was not to bring about inter-caste dinners and inter-caste
marriages but to destroy the religious notions on which Caste was founded and that Mr.
Sant Ram in return asked me to explain what he said was a
novel point of view. It was in response to this invitation from Mr. Sant Ram that I thought I ought to elaborate in my address what
I had stated in a sentence in my letter to him. You cannot, therefore, say that the views
expressed are new. At any rate, they are not new to Mr. Sant Ram who is the moving spirit
and the leading light of your Mandal.
But I go further and say that I wrote this part of my address
not merely because I felt it desirable to do so. I wrote it
because I thought that it was absolutely necessary to
complete the argument. I am amazed to read that you characterize the portion of the speech to which your Committee objects as irrelevant and off the
point “. You will allow me to say that I am a lawyer
and I know the rules of relevancy as well as any member of
your Committee. I most emphatically maintain that the portion objected to is not only most
relevant but is also important. It is in that part of the
address that I have discussed the ways and means of breaking up the Caste System. It may
be that the conclusion I have arrived at as to the best method of destroying Caste is
startling and painful. You are entitled to say that my analysis is wrong. But you cannot
say that in an address which deals with the problem of Caste
it is not open to me to discuss how Caste can be destroyed.

Your other complaint relates to the length of
the address. I have pleaded guilty to the charge in the address itself. But, who is really
responsible for this ? I fear you have come rather late on
the scene. Otherwise you would have known that originally I had planned to write a short
address for my own convenience as I had neither the time nor the energy to engage myself
in the preparation of an elaborate thesis. It was the Mandal who asked me to deal with the
subject exhaustively and it was the Mandal which sent down to me a list of questions
relating to the Caste System and asked me to answer them in
the body of my address as they were questions which were
often raised in the controversy between the Mandal and its opponents and which the Mandal
found difficult to answer satisfactorily. It was in trying to meet the wishes of the
Mandal in this respect that the address has grown to the length to which it has. In view
of what I have said I am sure you will agree that the fault respecting length of the
address is not mine.

I did not expect that your Mandal would be so
upset because I have spoken of the destruction of Hindu Religion. I thought it was only
fools who were afraid of words. But lest there should be any misapprehension in the minds
of the people I have taken great pains to explain what I mean by religion and destruction
of religion. I am sure that nobody on reading my address could possibly misunderstand me.
That your Mandal should have taken a fright at mere words as destruction
of religion etc.” notwithstanding
the explanation that accompanies .them does not raise the Mandal in my estimation. One cannot have any respect or regard for men who take
the position of the Reformer and then refuse even to see the logical consequences of that
position, let alone following them out in action.

You will agree that I have never accepted to be
limited in any way in the preparation of my address and the
question as to what the address should or should not contain was never even discussed
between myself and the Mandal. I had always taken for
granted that I was free to express in the address such views
as I held on the subject Indeed until, you came to Bombay on the 9th April the Mandal did
not know what sort of an address I was preparing. It was when you came to Bombay that I
voluntarily told you that I had no desire to use your platform from which to advocate my
views regarding change of religion by the Depressed Classes. I think I have scrupulously
kept that promise in the preparation of the address. Beyond a passing reference of an indirect character
where I say that I am sorry I will not be here. . . etc.”
I have said nothing about the subject in my address. When I see you object even to such a
passing and so indirect a reference, I feel bound to ask ;
did you think that in agreeing to preside over your Conference I would be agreeing to
suspend or to give up my views regarding change of faith by the Depressed Classes ? If you did think so I must tell you that I am in no way
responsible for such a mistake on your part. If any of you had even hinted to me that in
exchange for the honour you were doing me by electing as President, I was to abjure my
faith in my programme of conversion, I would have told you
in quite plain terms that I cared more for my faith than for any honour from you.

After your letter of the 14th, this letter of
yours comes as a surprize to me. I am sure that any one who
reads them will feel the same. I cannot account for this sudden volte face on the part of the Reception Committee.
There is no difference in substance between the rough draft which was before the Committee
when you wrote your letter of the 14th and the final draft
on which the decision of the Committee communicated to me in your letter under reply was
taken. You cannot point out a single new idea in the final draft which is not contained in
the earlier draft. The ideas are the same. The only difference is that they have been
worked out in greater detail in the final draft. If there was anything to object to in the
address you could have said so on the 14th. But you did not. On the contrary you asked me
to print off 1,000 copies leaving me the liberty to accept
or not the verbal changes which you suggested. Accordingly I got 1,000 copies printed
which are now lying with me. Eight days later you write to say that you object to the
address and that if it is not amended the Conference will be cancelled. You ought to have
known that there was no hope of any alteration being made in the address. I told you when
you were in Bombay that I would not alter a comma, that I would not allow any censorship
over my address and that you would have to accept the address as it came from me. I also
told you that the responsibility. for the views expressed in the address was entirely mine
and if they were not liked by the Conference I would not mind at all if the Conference
passed a resolution condemning them. So anxious was I to relieve your Mandal from having
to assume responsibility for my views and also with the object of not getting myself entangled by too intimate an
association with your Conference, I suggested to you that I
desired to have my address treated as a sort of an inaugural address and not as a
Presidential address and that the Mandal should find some
one else to preside over the Conference, and deal with the resolutions. Nobody could have
been better placed to take a decision on the 14th than your Committee. The Committee
failed to do that and in the meantime cost of printing has been incurred which, I am sure,
with a little more firmness on the part of your Committee could have been saved.

I feel sure that the views expressed in my
address have little to do with the decision of your Committee. I have reasons to believe
that my presence at the Sikh Prachar Conference held at Amritsar has had a good deal to do with the decision of the
Committee. Nothing else can satisfactorily explain the sudden volte face shown by the Committee between the 14th
and the 22nd April. I must not however prolong this controversy and must request you to
announce immediately that the Session of the Conference which was to meet under my
Presidentship is cancelled. All the grace has by now run out and I shall not consent to
preside even if your Committee agreed to accept my address
as it is- in toto. I thank you for your appreciation of the pains I have taken in the preparation of the address. I certainly have profited by the
labour if no one else docs. My only regret is that I was put to such hard labour at a time when my health was not equal to the strain it has caused.

Yours sincerely,

B. R. ambedkar


This correspondence will disclose the reasons which have led to the
cancellation by the Mandal of my appointment as President and the reader will be in a
position to lay the blame where it ought properly to belong. This is I believe the first
time when the appointment of a President is cancelled by the Reception Committee because
it does not approve of the views of the President. But whether that is so or not, this is
certainly the first time in my life to have been invited to preside over a Conference of
Caste Hindus. I am sorry that it has ended in a tragedy. But what can any one expect from
a relationship so tragic as the relationship between the reforming sect of Caste Hindus
and the self-respecting sect of Untouchables where the former have no desire to alienate
their orthodox fellows and the latter have no alternative
but to insist upon reform being carried out ?


Bombay 14 15th May 1936                                          


    Dr. B. R. Ambedkar


    The 1936 Annual Conference of the Jat-Pat-Todak
    Mandal of Lahore


    to the cancellation of the Conference by the Reception Committee on the ground that the
    views expressed in the Speech would be unbearable to the Conference


    I am really sorry for the members of the
    Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal who have so very kindly invited me to preside over this Conference. I
    am sure they will be asked many questions for having selected me as the President. The
    Mandal will be asked to explain as to why it has imported a man from Bombay to preside
    over a function which is held in Lahore. I believe the Mandal could easily have found some
    one better qualified than myself to preside on the occasion. I have criticised the Hindus.
    I have questioned the authority of the Mahatma whom they revere. They hate me. To them I
    am a snake in their garden. The Mandal will no doubt be asked by the politically-minded
    Hindus to explain why it has called me to fill this place of honour. It is an act of great
    daring. I shall not be surprised if some political Hindus regard it as an insult. This
    selection of mine cannot certainly please the ordinary religiously-minded Hindus. The
    Mandal may be asked to explain why it has disobeyed the Shastric injunction in selecting the President.
    Accoding to the Shastras the Brahmin is
    appointed to be the Guru for the three Varnas,
    varnanam bramhano garu, is a direction of the Shastras.
    The Mandal therefore knows from whom a Hindu should take his lessons and from whom he
    should not. The Shastras do not permit a Hindu
    to accept any one as his Guru merely because he is well versed. This is made very clear by
    Ramdas, a Brahmin saint from Maharashtra, who is alleged to have inspired Shivaji to
    establish a Hindu Raj. In his Dasbodh, a
    socio-politico-religious treatise in Marathi verse Ramdas
    asks, addressing the Hindus, can we accept an Antyaja to be our Guru because he is a
    Pandit (i.e. learned) and gives an answer in the
    negative. What replies to give to these questions is a matter which I must leave to the
    Mandal. The Mandal knows best the reasons which led it to travel to Bombay to select a
    president, to fix upon a man so repugnant to the Hindus and to descend so low in the scale
    as to select an Antyaja— an untouchable—to address an audience of the Savarnas. As for myself you will allow me to say
    that I have accepted the invitation much against my will and also against the will of many
    my fellow untouchables. I know that the Hindus are sick of me. I know
    that I am not a persona grata with them. Knowing all this I have
    deliberately kept myself away from them. I have no desire to inflict myself upon them. I
    have been giving expression to my views from my own platform. This has already caused a
    great deal of heartburning and irritation. I have no desire to ascend the platform of the
    Hindus to do within their sight what I have been doing within their hearing. If I am here
    it is because of your choice and not because of my wish. Yours is a cause of social
    reform. That cause has always made an appeal to me and it is because of this that I felt I
    ought not to refuse an opportunity of helping the cause especially when you think that I
    can help it. Whether what I am going to say today will help you in any way to solve the
    problem you are grappling with is for you to judge. All I hope to do is to place before
    you my views on the problem.

  • The path of social reform like the path to
    heaven at any rate in India, is strewn with many difficulties. Social reform in India has
    few friends and many critics. The critics fall into two distinct classes. One class
    consists of political reformers and the other of the socialists.

    It was at one time recognized that without
    social efficiency no permanent progress in the other fields of activity was possible, that
    owing to mischief wrought by the evil customs, Hindu Society was not in a state of
    efficiency and that ceaseless efforts must be made to eradicate these evils. It was due to
    the recognition of this fact that the birth of the National Congress was accompanied by
    the foundation of the Social Conference. While the Congress was concerned with defining
    the weak points in the political organisation of the country, the Social Conference was
    engaged in removing the weak points in the social organisation of the Hindu Society. For
    some time the Congress and the Conference worked as two wings of one common activity and
    they held their annual sessions in the same pandal. But soon the two wings developed into
    two parties, a Political Reform Party and a Social Reform Party, between whom there raged
    a fierce controversy. The Political Reform Party supported the National Congress and
    Social Reform Party supported the Social Conference. The two bodies thus became two
    hostile camps. The point at issue was whether social reform should precede political
    reform. For a decade the forces were evenly balanced and the battle was fought without
    victory to either side. It was however evident that the fortunes of the; Social Conference
    were ebbing fast. The gentlemen who presided over the sessions of the Social Conference
    lamented that the majority of the educated Hindus were for political advancement and
    indifferent to social reform and that while the number of those who attended the Congress
    was very large and the number who did not attend but who sympathized with it even larger,
    the number of those who attended the Social Conference was very much smaller. This
    indifference, this thinning of its ranks was soon followed by active hostility from the
    politicians. Under the leadership of the late Mr. Tilak, the courtesy with which the
    Congress allowed the Social Conference the use of its pandal was withdrawn and the spirit
    of enmity went to such a pitch that when the Social Conference desired to erect its own
    pandal a threat to burn the pandal was held out by its opponents. Thus in course of time
    the party in favour of political reform won and the Social Conference vanished and was
    forgotten. The speech, delivered by Mr. W. C. Bonnerji in 1892 at Allahabad as President
    of the eighth session of the Congress, sounds like a funeral oration at the death of the
    Social Conference and is so typical of the Congress attitude that I venture to quote from
    it the following extract. Mr. Bonnerji said :

    ” I for one have no patience with those
    who saw we shall not be fit for political reform until we reform our social system. I fail
    to see any connection between the two. . .Are we not fit (for political reform) because
    our widows remain unmarried and our girls are given in marriage earlier than in other
    countries ? because our wives and daughters do not drive about with us visiting our
    friends? because we do not send our daughters to Oxford and Cambridge ? ” (Cheers)’

    I have stated the case for political reform as
    put by Mr. Bonnerji. There were many who are happy that the victory went to the Congress.
    But those who believe in the importance of social reform may ask, is the argument such as
    that of Mr. Bonnerji final ? Does it prove that the victory went to those who were in the
    right ? Does it prove conclusively that social reform has no bearing on political reform ?
    It will help us to understand the matter if I state the other side of the case. I will
    draw upon the treatment of the untouchables for my facts.

    Under the rule of the Peshwas in the Maratha
    country the untouchable was not allowed to use the public streets if a Hindu was coming
    along lest he should pollute the Hindu by his shadow. The untouchable was required to have
    a black thread either on his wrist or in his neck as a sign or a mark to prevent the
    Hindus from getting themselves polluted by his touch through mistake. In Poona, the
    capital of the Peshwa, the untouchable was required to carry, strung from his waist, a
    broom to sweep away from behind the dust he treaded on lest a Hindu walking on the same
    should be polluted. In Poona, the untouchable was required to carry an earthen pot, hung
    in his neck wherever he went, for holding his spit lest his spit falling on earth should
    pollute a Hindu who might unknowingly happen to tread on it. Let me take more recent
    facts. The tyranny practised by the Hindus upon the Balais, an untouchable community in
    Central India, will serve my purpose. You will find a report of this in the Times of India of 4th January 1928. “The
    correspondent of the Times of India reported
    that high caste Hindus, viz. Kalotas, Rajputs and Brahmins including the Patels and
    Patwaris of villages of Kanaria, Bicholi-Hafsi, Bicholi-Mardana and of about 15 other
    villages in the Indore djistrict (of the Indore State) informed the Balais of their
    respective villages that if they wished to live among them they must conform to the
    following rules :

    (1) Balais must not wear gold-lace-bordered

    (2) They must not wear dhotis with coloured or
    fancy borders.

    (3) They must convey intimation of the death of
    any Hindu to relatives of the deceased—no matter how far away these relatives may be

    (4) In all Hindu marriages, Balais must play
    music before the processions and during the marriage.

    (5) Balai women must not wear gold or silver
    ornaments; they must not wear fancy gowns or jackets.

    (6) Balai women must attend all cases of
    confinement of Hindu women.

    (7) Balais must render services without
    demanding remuneration and must accept whatever a Hindu is pleased to give.

    (8) If the Balais do not agree to abide by
    these terms they must clear out of the villages. The Balais refused to comply; and the
    Hindu element proceeded against them. Balais were not allowed to get water from the
    village wells; they were not allowed to let go their cattle to graze. Balais were
    prohibited from passing through land owned by a Hindu, so that if the field of a Balai was
    surrounded by fields owned by Hindus, the Balai could have no access to his own field. The
    Hindus also let their cattle graze down the fields of Balais. The Balais submitted
    petitions to the Darbar against these persecutions ; but as they could get no timely
    relief, and the oppression continued, hundreds of Balais with their wives and children
    were obliged to abandon their homes in which their ancestors lived for generations and to
    migrate to adjoining States, viz. to villages in Dhar, Dewas, Bagli, Bhopal, Gwalior and
    other States. What happened to them in their new homes may for the present be left out of
    our consideration. The incident at Kavitha in Gujarat happened only last year. The Hindus
    of Kavitha ordered the untouchables not to insist upon sending their children to the
    common village school maintained by Government. What sufferings the untouchables of
    Kavitha had to undergo for daring to exercise a civic right against the wishes of the
    Hindus is too well known to need detailed description. Another instance occurred in the
    village of Zanu in the Ahmedabad district of Gujarat. In November 1935 some untouchable
    women of well-to-do families started fetching water in metal pots. The Hindus looked upon
    the use of metal pots by untouchables as an affront to their dignity and assaulted the
    untouchable women for their impudence. A most recent event is reported from the village
    Chakwara in Jaipur State. It seems from the reports that have appeared in the newspapers
    that an untouchable of Chakwara who had returned from a pilgrimage had arranged to give a
    dinner to his fellow untouchables of the village as an act of religious piety. The host
    desired to treat the guests to a sumptuous meal and the items served included ghee (butter) also. But while the assembly of
    untouchables was engaged in partaking of the food, the Hindus in their hundred, armed with
    lathis, rushed to the scene, despoiled the food and belaboured the untouchables who left
    the food they were served with and ran away for their lives. And why was this murderous
    assault committed on defenceless untouchables ? The reason given is that the untouchable
    host was impudent enough to serve ghee and his untouchable guests were foolish enough to
    taste it. Ghee is undoubtedly a luxury for the rich. But no one would think that
    consumption of ghee was a mark of high social status. The Hindus of Chakwara thought
    otherwise and in righteous indignation avenged themselves for the wrong done to them by
    the untouchables, who insulted them by treating ghee as an item of their food which they
    ought to have known could not be theirs, consistently with the dignity of the Hindus. This
    means that an untouchable must not use ghee even if he can afford to buy it, since it is
    an act of arrogance towards the Hindus. This happened on or about the 1st of April 1936 !

    Having stated the facts, let me now state the
    case for social reform. In doing this, I will follow Mr. Bonnerji, as nearly as I can and
    ask the political-minded Hindus ” Are you fit for political power even though you do
    not allow a large class of your own countrymen like the untouchables to use public school
    ? Are you fit for political power even though you do not allow them the use of public
    wells ? Are you fit for political power even though you do not allow them the use of
    public streets ? Are you fit for political power even though you do not allow them to wear
    what apparel or ornaments they like ? Are you fit for political power even though you do
    not allow them to eat any food they like ? ” I can ask a string of such questions.
    But these will suffice, I wonder what would have been the reply of Mr. Bonnerji. I am sure
    no sensible man will have the courage to give an affirmative answer. Every Congressman who
    repeats the dogma of Mill that one country is not fit to rule another country must admit
    that one class is not fit to rule another class.

    How is it then that the Social Reform Party
    last the battle ? To understand this correctly it is necessary, to take note of the kind
    of social reform which the reformers were agitating for. In this connection it is
    necessary to make a distinction between social reform in the sense of the reform of the
    Hindu Family and social reform in the sense of the reorganization and reconstruction of
    the Hindu Society. The former has relation to widow remarriage, child marriage etc., while
    the latter relates to the abolition of the Caste System. The Social Conference was a body
    which mainly concerned itself with the reform of the high caste Hindu Family. It consisted
    mostly of enlightened high caste Hindus who did
    not feel the necessity for agitating for the abolition of caste or had not the courage to
    agitate for it. They felt quite naturally a greater urge to remove such evils as enforced
    widowhood, child marriages etc., evils which prevailed among them and which were
    personally felt by them. They did not stand up for the reform of the Hindu society. The
    battle that was fought centered round the question of the reform of the family. It did not
    relate to the social reform in the sense of the break-up of the caste system. It was never
    put in issue by the reformers. That is the reason why the Social Reform Party lost.

    I am aware that this argument cannot alter the fact that political reform did
    in fact gain precedence over social reform. But the argument has this much value if not
    more. It explains why social reformers lost the battle. It also helps us to understand how
    limited was the victory which the Political Reform Party obtained over the Social Reform
    Party and that the view that social reform need not precede political reform is a view
    which may stand only when by social reform is meant the reform of the family. That
    political reform cannot with impunity take precedence over social reform in the sense of
    reconstruction of society is a thesis which, I am sure, cannot be controverted. That the
    makers of political constitutions must take account of social forces is a fact which is
    recognized by no less a person than Ferdinand Lassalle, the friend and co-worker of Karl
    Marx. In addressing a Prussian audience in 1862 Lassalle said :

    ” The
    constitutional questions are in the first instance not questions of right but questions of
    might. The actual constitution of a country has its existence only in the actual condition
    of force which exists in the country : hence political constitutions have value and
    permanence only when they accurately express those conditions of forces which exist in
    practice within a society”

    But it is not necessary to go to Prussia. There
    is evidence at home. What is the significance of the Communal Award with its allocation of
    political power in defined proportions to diverse classes and communities ? In my view,
    its significance lies in this that political constitution must take note of social
    organisation. It shows that the politicians who denied that the social problem in India
    had any bearing on the political problem were forced to reckon with the social problem in
    devising the constitution. The Communal Award is so to say the nemesis following upon the
    indifference and neglect of social reform. It is a victory for the Social Reform Party
    which shows that though defeated they were in the right in insisting upon the importance
    of social reform. Many, I know, will not accept this finding. The view is current, and it
    is pleasant to believe in it, that the Communal Award is unnatural and that it is the
    result of an unholy alliance between the minorities and the bureaucracy. I do not wish to
    rely on the Communal Award as a piece of evidence to support my contention if it is said
    that it is not good evidence. Let us turn to Ireland. What does the history of Irish Home
    Rule show ? It is well-known that in the course of the negotiations between the
    representatives of Ulster and Southern Ireland, Mr. Redmond, the representative of
    Southern Ireland, in order to bring Ulster in a Home Rule Constitution common to the whole
    of Ireland said to the representatives of Ulster : ” Ask any political safeguards you
    like and you shall have them.” What was the reply that Ulstermen gave ? Their reply
    was ” Damn your safeguards, we don’t want to be ruled by you on any terms.”
    People who blame the minorities in India ought to consider what would have happened to the
    political aspirations of the majority if the minorities had taken the attitude which
    Ulster took. Judged by the attitude of Ulster to Irish Home Rule, is it noting that the
    minorities agreed to be ruled by the majority which has not shown much sense of
    statesmanship, provided some safeguards were devised for them ? But this is only
    incidental. The main question is why did Ulster take this attitude ? The only answer I can
    give is that there was a social problem between Ulster and Southern Ireland the problem
    between Catholics and Protestants, essentially a problem of Caste. That Home Rule in
    Ireland would be Rome Rule was the way in which the Ulstermen had framed their answer. But
    that is only another way of stating that it was the social problem of Caste between the
    Catholics and Protestants, which prevented the solution of the political problem. This
    evidence again is sure to be challenged. It will be urged that here too the hand of the
    Imperialist was at work. But my resources are not exhausted. I will give evidence from the
    History of Rome. Here no one can say that any evil genius was at work. Any one who has
    studied the History of Rome will know that the Republican Constitution of Rome bore marks
    having strong resemblance to the Communal Award. When the kingship in Rome was abolished,
    the Kingly power or the Imperium was divided
    between the Consuls and the Pontifex Maximus. In the Consuls was vested the secular
    authority of the King, while the latter took over the religious authority of King. This
    Republican Constitution had provided that, of the two Consuls one was to be Patrician and
    the other Plebian. The same constitution had also provided that, of the Priests under the
    Pontifex Maximus, half were to be Plebians and the other half Patricians. Why is it that
    the Republican Constitution of Rome had these provisions which, as I said, resemble so
    strongly the provisions of the Communal Award ? The only answer one can get is that the
    Constitution of Republican Rome had to take account of the social division between the
    Patricians and the Plebians, who formed two distinct castes. To sum up, let political
    reformers turn to any direction they like, they will find that in the making of a
    constitution, they cannot ignore the problem arising out of the prevailing social order.

    The illustrations which I have taken in support
    of the proposition that social and religious problems have a bearing on political
    constitutions seem to be too particular. Perhaps they are. But it should not be supposed
    that the bearing of the one on the other is limited. On the other hand one can say that
    generally speaking History bears out the proposition that political revolutions have
    always been preceded by social and religious revolutions.

    The religious Reformation started by Luther was
    the precursor of the political emancipation of the European people. In England Puritanism
    led to the establishment of political liberty. Puritanism founded the new world. It was
    Puritanism which won the war of American Independence and Puritanism was a religious
    movement. The same is true of the Muslim Empire. Before the Arabs became a political power
    they had undergone a thorough religious revolution started by the Prophet Mohammad. Even
    Indian History supports the same conclusion. The political revolution led by Chandragupta
    was preceded by the religious and social revolution of Buddha. The political revolution
    led by Shivaji was preceded by the religious and social reform brought about by the saints
    of Maharashtra. The political revolution of the Sikhs was preceded by the religious and
    social revolution led by Guru Nanak. It is unnecessary to add more illustrations. These
    will suffice to show that the emancipation of the mind and the soul is a necessary
    preliminary for the political expansion of the people.

  • Ill

    Let me now turn to the Socialists. Can the
    Socialists ignore the problem arising out of the social order ? The Socialists of India
    following their fellows in Europe are seeking to apply the economic interpretation of
    history to the facts of India. They propound that man is an economic creature, that his
    activities and aspirations are bound by economic facts, that property is the only source
    of power. They, therefore, preach that political and social reforms are but gigantic
    illusions and that economic reform by equalization of property must have precedence over
    every other kind of reform. One may join issue on every one of these premises on which
    rests the Socialists’ case for economic reform having priority over every other kind of
    reform. One may contend that economic motive is not the only motive by which man is
    actuated. That economic power is the only kind of power no student of human society can
    accept. That the social status of an individual by itself often becomes a source of power
    and authority is made clear by the sway which the Mahatmos have held over the common man.
    Why do millionaires in India obey penniless Sadhus and Fakirs ? Why do millions of paupers
    in India sell their trifling trinkets which constitute their only wealth and go to Benares
    and Mecca ? That, religion is the source of power is illustrated by the history of India
    where the priest holds a sway over the common man often greater than the magistrate and
    where everything, even such things as strikes and elections, so easily take a religious
    turn and can so easily be given a religious twist. Take the case of the Plebians of Rome
    as a further illustration of the power of religion over man. It throws great light on this
    point. The Plebs had fought for a share in the supreme executive under the Roman Republic
    and had secured the appointment of a Plebian Consul elected by a separate electorate
    constituted by the Commitia Centuriata, which
    was an assembly of Piebians. They wanted a Consul of their own because they felt that the
    Patrician Consuls used to discriminate against the Plebians in carrying on the
    administration. They had apparently obtained a great gain because under the Republican
    Constitution of Rome one Consul had the power of vetoing an act of the other Consul. But
    did they in fact gain anything ? The answer to this question must be in the negative. The
    Plebians never could get a Plebian Consul who could be said to be a strong man and who
    could act independently of the Patrician Consul. In the ordinary course of things the
    Plebians should have got a strong Plebian Consul in view of the fact that his election was
    to be by a separate electorate of Plebians. The question is why did they fail in getting a
    strong Plebian to officiate as their Consul? The answer to this question reveals the
    dominion which religion exercises over the minds of men. It was an accepted creed of the
    whole Roman populus that no official could
    enter upon the duties of his office unless the Oracle of Delphi declared that he was
    acceptable to the Goddess. The priests who were in charge of the temple of the Goddess of
    Delphi were all Patricians. Whenever therefore the Plebians elected a Consul who was known
    to be a strong party man opposed to the Patricians or ” communal ” to use the
    term that is current in India, the Oracle invariably declared that he was not acceptable
    to the Goddess. This is how the Plebians were cheated out of their rights. But what is
    worthy of note is that the Plebians permitted themselves to be thus cheated because they
    too like the Patricians, held firmly the belief that the approval of the Goddess was a
    condition precedent to the taking charge by an official of his duties and that election by
    the people was not enough. If the Plebians had contended that election was enough and that
    the approval by the Goddess was not necessary they would have derived the fullest benefit
    from the political right which they had obtained. But they did not. They agreed to elect
    another, less suitable to themselves but more suitable to the Goddess which in fact meant
    more amenable to the Patricians. Rather than give up religion, the Plebians give up
    material gain for which they had fought so hard. Does this not show that religion can be a
    source of power as great as money if not greater ? The fallacy of the Socialists lies in
    supposing that because in the present stage of European Society property as a source of
    power is predominant, that the same is true of India or that the same was true of Europe
    in the past. Religion, social status and property are all sources of power and authority,
    which one man has, to control the liberty of another. One is predominant at one stage; the
    other is predominant at another stage. That is the only difference. If liberty is the
    ideal, if liberty means the destruction of the dominion which one man holds over another
    then obviously it cannot be insisted upon that economic reform must be the one kind of
    reform worthy of pursuit. If the source of power and dominion is at any given time or in
    any given society social and religious then social reform and religious reform must be
    accepted as the necessary sort of reform.

    One can thus attack the doctrine of Economic
    Interpretation of History adopted by the Socialists of India. But I recognize that
    economic interpretation of history is not necessary for the validity of the Socialist
    contention that equalization of property is the only real reform and that it must precede
    everything else. However, what I like to ask the Socialists is this : Can you have
    economic reform without first bringing about a reform of the social order ? The Socialists
    of India do not seem to have considered this question. I do not wish to do them an
    injustice. I give below a quotation from a letter which a prominent Socialist wrote a few
    days ago to a friend of mine in which he said, ” I do not believe that we can build
    up a free society in India so long as there is a trace of this ill-treatment and
    suppression of one class by another. Believing as I do in a socialist ideal, inevitably I
    believe in perfect equality in the treatment of various classes and groups. I think that
    Socialism offers the only true remedy for this as well as other problems.” Now the
    question that I like to ask is : Is it enough for a Socialist to say, ” I believe in
    perfect equality in the treatment of the various classes ? ” To say that such a
    belief is enough is to disclose a complete lack of understanding of what is involved in
    Socialism. If Socialism is a practical programme and is not merely an ideal, distant and
    far off, the question for a Socialist is not whether he believes in equality. The question
    for him is whether he minds one class
    ill-treating and suppressing another class as a matter of system, as a matter of principle
    and thus allow tyranny and oppression to continue to divide one class from another. Let me
    analyse the factors that are involved in the realization of Socialism in order to explain
    fully my point. Now it is obvious that the economic reform contemplated by the Socialists
    cannot come about unless there is a revolution resulting in the seizure of power. That
    seizure of power must be by a proletariat. The first question I ask is : Will the
    proletariat of India combine to bring about this revolution ? What will move men to such
    an action ? It seems to me that other things being equal the only thing that will move one
    man to take such an action is the feeling that other man with whom he is acting are
    actuated by feeling of equality and fraternity and above all of justice. Men will not join
    in a revolution for the equalization of property unless they know that after the
    revolution is achieved they will be treated equally and that there will be no
    discrimination of caste and creed. The assurance of a socialist leading the revolution
    that he does not believe in caste, I am sure, will not suffice. The assurance must be the
    assurance proceeding from much deeper foundation, namely, the mental attitude of the
    compatriots towards one another in their spirit of personal equality and fraternity. Can
    it be said that the proletariat of India, poor as it is, recognise no distinctions except
    that of the rich and the poor ? Can it be said that the poor in India recognize no such
    distinctions of caste or creed, high or low ? If the fact is that they do, what unity of
    front can be expected from such a proletariat in its action against the rich ? How can
    there be a revolution if the proletariat cannot present a united front? Suppose for the
    sake of argument that by some freak of fortune a revolution does take place and the
    Socialists come in power, will they not have to deal with the problems created by the
    particular social order prevalent in India ? I can’t see how a Socialist State in India
    can function for a second without having to grapple with the problems created by the
    prejudices which make Indian people observe the distinctions of high and low, clean and
    unclean. If Socialists are not to be content with the mouthing of fine phrases, if the
    Socialists wish to make Socialism a definite reality then they must recognize that the
    problem of social reform is fundamental and that for them there is no escape from it.
    That, the social order prevalent in India is a matter which a Socialist must deal with,
    that unless he does so he cannot achieve his revolution and that if he does achieve it as
    a result of good fortune he will have to grapple with it if he wishes to realize his
    ideal, is a proposition which in my opinion is incontrovertible. He will be compelled to
    take account of caste after revolution if he does not take account of it before
    revolution. This is only another way of saying that, turn in any direction you like, caste
    is the monster that crosses your path. You cannot have political reform, you cannot have
    economic reform, unless you kill this monster.


    It is a pity that Caste even today has its
    defenders. The defences are many. It is defended on the ground that the Caste System is
    but another name for division of labour and if division of labour is a necessary feature
    of every civilized society then it is argued that there is nothing wrong in the Caste
    System. Now the first thing is to be urged against this view is that Caste System is not
    merely division of labour. It is also a division of
    labourers. Civilized society undoubtedly needs division of labour. But in no civilized
    society is division of labour accompanied by this unnatural division of labourers into
    watertight compartments. Caste System is not merely a division of labourers which is quite
    different from division of labour—it is an hierarchy in which the divisions of
    labourers are graded one above the other. In no other country is the division of labour
    accompanied by this gradation of labourers. There is also a third point of criticism
    against this view of the Caste System. This division of labour is not spontaneous; it is
    not based on natural aptitudes. Social and individual efficiency requires us to develop
    the capacity of an individual to the point of competency to choose and to make his own
    career. This principle is violated in the Caste System in so far as it involves an attempt
    to appoint tasks to individuals in advance, selected not on the basis of trained original
    capacities, but on that of the social status of the parents. Looked at from another point
    of view this stratification of occupations which is the result of the Caste System is
    positively pernicious. Industry is never static. It undergoes rapid and abrupt changes.
    With such changes an individual must be free to change his occupation. Without such
    freedom to adjust himself to changing circumstances it would be impossible for him to gain
    his livelihood. Now the Caste System will not allow Hindus to take to occupations where
    they are wanted if they do not belong to them by heredity. If a Hindu is seen to starve
    rather than take to new occupations not assigned to his Caste, the reason is to be found
    in the Caste System. By not permitting readjustment of occupations, caste becomes a direct
    cause of much of the unemployment we see in the country. As a form of division of labour
    the Caste system suffers from another serious defect. The division of labour brought about
    by the Caste System is not a division based on choice. Individual sentiment, individual
    preference has no place in it. It is based on the dogma of predestination. Considerations
    of social efficiency would compel us to recognize that the greatest evil in the industrial
    system is not: so much poverty and the suffering that it involves as the fact that so many
    persons have callings which make no appeal to those who are engaged in them. Such callings
    constantly provoke one to aversion, ill will and the desire to evade. There are many
    occupations in India which on account of the fact that they are regarded as degraded by
    the Hindus provoke those who are engaged in them to aversion. There is a constant desire
    to evade and escape from such occupations which arises solely because of the blighting
    effect which they produce upon those who follow them owing to the slight and stigma cast
    upon them by the Hindu religion. What efficiency can there be in a system under which
    neither men’s hearts nor their minds are in their work? As an economic organization Caste
    is therefore a harmful institution, inasmuch as, it involves the subordination of man’s
    natural powers and inclinations to the exigencies of social rules


    Some have dug a biological trench in defence of
    the Caste System. It is said that the object of Caste was to preserve purity of race and
    purity of blood. Now ethnologists are of opinion that men of pure race exist nowhere and
    that there has been a mixture of all races in all parts of the world. Especially is this
    the case with the people of India. Mr. D. R. Bhandarkar in his paper on Foreign Elements in the Hindu Population has stated
    that ” There is hardly a class, or Caste in India which has not a foreign strain in
    it. There is an admixture of alien blood not only among the warrior classes—the
    Rajputs and the Marathas—but also among the Brahmins who are under the happy delusion
    that they are free from all foreign elements.” The Caste system cannot be said to
    have grown as a means of preventing the admixture of races or as a means of maintaining
    purity of blood. As a matter of fact Caste system came into being long after the different
    races of India had commingled in blood and culture. To hold that distinctions of Castes or
    really distinctions of race and to treat different Castes as though they were so many
    different races is a gross perversion of facts. What racial affinity is there between the
    Brahmin of the Punjab and the Brahmin of Madras ? What racial affinity is there between
    the untouchable of Bengal and the untouchable of Madras ? What racial difference is there
    between the Brahmin of the Punjab and the Chamar of the Punjab ? What racial difference is
    there between the Brahmin of Madras and the Pariah of Madras ? The Brahmin of the Punjab
    is racially of the same stock as the Chamar of the Punjab and the Brahmin of Madras is of
    the same race as the Pariah of Madras. Caste system does not demarcate racial division.
    Caste system is a social division of people of the same race. Assuming it, however, to be
    a case of racial divisions one may ask : What harm could there be if a mixture of races
    and of blood was permitted to take place in India by intermarriages between different
    Castes ? Men are no doubt divided from animals by so deep a distinction that science
    recognizes men and animals as two distinct species. But even scientists who believe in
    purity of races do not assert that the different races constitute different species of
    men. They are only varieties of one and the same species. As such they can interbreed and
    produce an offspring which is capable of breeding and which is not sterile. An immense lot
    of nonsense is talked about heredity and eugenics in defence of the Caste System. Few
    would object to the Caste System if it was in accord with the basic principle of eugenics
    because few can object to the improvement of the race by judicious noting. But one fails
    to understand how the Caste System secures judicious mating. Caste System is a negative
    thing. It merely prohibits persons belonging to different Castes from intermarrying. It is
    not a positive method of selecting which two among a given Caste should marry. If Caste is
    eugenic in origin then the origin of sub-Castes must also be eugenic. But can any one
    seriously maintain that the origin of sub-Castes is eugenic ? I think it would be absurd
    to contend for such a proposition and for a very obvious reason. If Caste means race then
    of sub-Castes cannot mean differences of race because sub-Castes become
    ex hypothesia sub-divisions of one and the same
    race. Consequently the bar against intermarrying and interdining between sub-Castes cannot
    be for the purpose of maintaining purity of race or of blood. If sub-Castes cannot be
    eugenic in origin there cannot be any substance in the contention that Caste is eugenic in
    origin. Again if Caste is eugenic in origin one can understand the bar against
    intermarriage. But what is the purpose of the interdict placed on interdining between
    Castes and sub-Castes alike ? Interdining cannot infect blood and therefore cannot be the
    cause either of the improvement or of deterioration of the race. This shows that Caste has
    no scientific origin and that those who are attempting to give it an eugenic basis are
    trying to support by science what is grossly unscientific. Even today eugenics cannot
    become a practical possibility unless we have definite knowledge regarding the laws of
    heredity. Prof. Bateson in his Mendel’s Principles
    of Heredity says, ” There is nothing in the descent of the higher mental
    qualities to suggest that they follow any single system of transmission. It is likely that
    both they and the more marked developments of physical powers result rather from the
    coincidence of numerous factors than from the possession of any one genetic element.”
    To argue that the Caste System was eugenic in its conception is to attribute to the
    forefathers of present-day Hindus a knowledge of heredity which even the modern scientists
    do not possess. A tree should be judged by the fruits it yields. If caste is eugenic what
    sort of a race of men it should have produced ? Physically speaking the Hindus are a C3
    people. They are a race of Pygmies and dwarfs stunted in stature and wanting in stamina.
    It is a nation 9/1Oths of which is declared to be unfit for military service. This shows
    that the Caste System does not embody the eugenics of modem scientists. It is a social
    system which embodies the arrogance and selfishness of a perverse section of the Hindus
    who were superior enough in social status to set it in fashion and who had authority to
    force it on their inferiors.

  • VI

    Caste does not result in economic efficiency.
    Caste cannot and has not improved the race. Caste has however done one thing. It has
    completely disorganized and demoralized the Hindus.

    The first and foremost thing that must be
    recognized is that Hindu Society is a myth. The name Hindu is itself a foreign name. It
    was given by the Mohammedans to the natives for the purpose of distinguishing themselves.
    It does not occur in any Sanskrit work prior to the Mohammedan invasion. They did not feel
    the necessity of a common name because they had no conception of their having constituted
    a community. Hindu society as such does not exist. It is only a collection of castes. Each
    caste is conscious of its existence. Its survival is the be all and end all of its
    existence. Castes do not even form a federation. A caste has no feeling that it is
    affiliated to other castes except when there is a Hindu-Muslim riot. On all other
    occasions each caste endeavours to segregate itself and to distinguish itself from other
    castes. Each caste not only dines among itself and marries among itself but each caste
    prescribes its own distinctive dress. What other explanation can there be of the
    innumerable styles of dress worn by the men and women of India which so amuse the tourists
    ? Indeed the ideal Hindu must be like a rat living in his own hole refusing to have any
    contact with others. There is an utter lack among the Hindus of what the sociologists call
    ” consciousness of kind “. There is no Hindu consciousness of kind. In every
    Hindu the consciousness that exists is the consciousness of his caste. That is the reason
    why the Hindus cannot be said to form a society or a nation. There are however many
    Indians whose patriotism does not permit them to admit that Indians are not a nation, that
    they are only an amorphous mass of people. They have insisted that underlying the apparent
    diversity there is a fundamental unity which marks the life of the Hindus in as much as
    there is a similarity of habits and customs, beliefs and thoughts which obtain all over
    the continent of India. Similarity in habits and customs, beliefs and thoughts there is.
    But one cannot accept the conclusion that therefore, the Hindus constitute a society. To
    do so is to misunderstand the essentials which go to make up a society. Men do not become
    a society by living in physical proximity any more than a man ceases to be a member of his
    society by living so many miles away from other men. Secondly similarity in habits and
    customs, beliefs and thoughts is not enough to constitute men into society. Things may be
    passed physically from one to another like bricks. In the same way habits and customs,
    beliefs and thoughts of one group may be taken over by another group and there may thus
    appear a similarity between the two. Culture spreads by diffusion and that is why one
    finds similarity between various primitive tribes in the matter of their habits and
    customs, beliefs and thoughts, although they do not live in proximity. But no one could
    say that because there was this similarity the primitive tribes constituted one society.
    is because similarly in certain things is not enough to constitute a
    society. Men constitute a society because they have things
    which they possess in common. To have similar thing is totally different from possessing
    things in common. And the only way by which men can come to possess things in common with
    one another is by being in communication with one another. This is merely another way of
    saying that Society continues to exist by communication indeed in communication. To make
    it concrete, it is not enough if men act in a way which agrees with the acts of others.
    Parallel activity, even if similar, is not sufficient to bind men into a society. This is
    proved by the fact that the festivals observed by the different Castes amongst the Hindus
    are the same. Yet these parallel performances of similar festivals by the different castes
    have not bound them into one integral whole. For that purpose what is necessary is for a
    man to share and participate in a common activity so that the same emotions are aroused in
    him that animate the others. Making the individual a sharer or partner in the associated
    activity so that he feels its success as his success, its failure as his failure is the
    real thing that binds men and makes a society of them. The Caste System prevents common
    activity and by preventing common activity it has prevented the Hindus from becoming a
    society with a unified life and a consciousness of its own being.


    The Hindus often complain of the isolation and
    exclusiveness of a gang or a clique and blame them for anti-social spirit. But they
    conveniently forget that this anti-social spirit is the worst feature of their own Caste
    System. One caste enjoys singing a hymn of hate against another caste as much as the
    Germans did in singing their hymn of hate against the English during the last war. The
    literature of the Hindus is full of caste genealogies in which an attempt is made to give
    a noble origin to one caste and an ignoble origin to other castes. The Sahyadrikhand is a notorious instance of this class
    of literature. This anti-social spirit is not confined to caste alone. It has gone deeper
    and has poisoned the mutual relations of the sub-castes as well. In my province the Golak
    Brahmins, Deorukha Brahmins, Karada Brahmins, Palshe Brahmins and Chitpavan Brahmins, all
    claim to be sub-divisions of the Brahmin Caste. But the anti-social spirit that prevails
    between them is quite as marked and quite as virulent as the anti-social spirit that
    prevails between them and other non-Brahmin castes. There is nothing strange in this. An
    anti-social spirit is found wherever one group has ” interests of its own “
    which shut it out from full interaction with other groups, so that its prevailing purpose
    is protection of what it has got. This anti-social spirit, this spirit of protecting its
    own interests is as much a marked feature of the different castes in their isolation from
    one another as it is of nations in their isolation. The Brahmin’s primary concern is to
    protect ” his interest ” against those of the non-Brahmins and the non-Brahmin’s
    primary concern is to protect their interests against those of the Brahmins. The Hindus,
    therefore, are not merely an assortment of castes but they are so many warring groups each
    living for itself and for its selfish ideal. There is another feature of caste which is
    deplorable. The ancestors of the present-day English fought on one side or the other in
    the wars of the Roses and the Cromwellian War. But the decendents of those who fought on
    the one side do not bear any animosity— any grudge against the descendents of those
    who fought on the other side. The feud is forgotten. But the present-day non-Brahmins
    cannot forgive the present-day Brahmins for the insult their ancestors gave to Shivaji.
    The present-day Kayasthas will not forgive the present-day Brahmins for the infamy cast
    upon their forefathers by the forefathers of the latter. To what is this difference due ?
    Obviously to the Caste System. The existence of Caste and Caste Consciousness has served
    to keep the memory of past feuds between castes green and has prevented solidarity.


    The recent discussion about the excluded and
    partially included areas has served to draw attention to the position of what are called
    the aboriginal tribes in India. They number about 13 millions if not more. Apart from the
    questions whether their exclusion from the new Constitution is proper or improper, the
    fact still remains that these aborigines have remained in their primitive uncivilized
    State in a land which boasts of a civilization thousands of years old. Not only are they
    not civilized but some of them follow pursuits which have led to their being classified as
    criminals. Thirteen millions of people living in the midst of civilization are still in a
    savage state and are leading the life of hereditary criminals! ! But the Hindus have never
    felt ashamed of it. This is a phenomenon which in my view is quite unparalleled. What is
    the cause of this shameful state of affairs ? Why has no attempt been made to civilize
    these aborigines and to lead them to take to a more honourable way of making a living ?
    The Hindus will probably seek to account for this savage state of the aborigines by
    attributing to them congenital stupidity. They will probably not admit that the aborigines
    have remained savages because they had made no effort to civilize them, to give them
    medical aid, to reform them, to make them good citizens. But supposing a Hindu wished to
    do what the Christian missionary is doing for these aborigines, could he have done it ? I
    submit not. Civilizing the aborigines means adopting them as your own, living in their
    midst, and cultivating fellow-feeling, in short loving them. How is it possible for a
    Hindu to do this ? His whole life is one anxious effort to preserve his caste. Caste is
    his precious possession which he must save at any cost. He cannot consent to lose it by
    contact with the aborigines the remnants of the hateful Anary as of the
    Vedic days. Not that a Hindu could not be taught the sense of duty to
    fallen humanity, but
    the trouble is that no amount of sense of duty can enable him to overcome his duty to
    preserve his caste. Caste is, therefore, the real explanation as to why the Hindu has let
    the savage remain a savage in the midst of his civilization without blushing or without
    feeling any sense of remorse or repentance. The Hindu has not realized that these
    aborigines are a source of potential danger. If these savages remain savages they may not
    do any harm to the Hindus. But if they are reclaimed by non-Hindus and converted to their
    faiths they will swell the ranks of the enemies of the Hindus. If this happens the Hindu
    will have to thank himself and his Caste System.


    Not only has the Hindu made no effort for the
    humanitarian cause of civilizing the savages but the higher-caste Hindus have deliberately
    prevented the lower castes who are within the pale of Hinduism from rising to the cultural
    level of the higher castes. 1. will give two instances, one of the Sonars and the other of
    the Pathare Prabhus. Both are communities quite well-known in Maharashtra. Like the rest
    of the communities desiring to raise their status these two communities were at one time
    endeavouring to adopt some of the ways and habits of the Brahmins. The Sonars were styling
    themselves Daivadnya Brahmins and were wearing their ” dhotis ” with folds on
    and using the word namaskar for salutation.
    Both, the folded way of wearing the ” dhoti ” and the namaskar were special to the Brahmins. The Brahmins
    did not like this imitation and this attempt by Sonars to pass off as Brahmins. Under the
    authority of the Peshwas the Brahmins successfully put down this attempt on the part. of
    the Sonars to adopt the ways of the Brahmins. They even got the President of the Councils
    of the East India Company’s settlement in Bombay to issue a. prohibitory order against the
    Sonars residing in Bombay. At one time the Pathare Prabhus had widow-remarriage as a
    custom of their caste. This custom of widow-remarriage was later on looked upon as amark
    of social inferiority by some members of the caste especially because it was contrary to
    the custom prevalent among the Brahmins. With the object of raising the status of their
    community some Pathare Prabhus sought to stop this practice of widow-remarriage that was
    prevalent in their caste. The community was divided into two camps, one for and the other
    against the innovation. The Peshwas took the side of those in favour of widow-remarriage
    and thus virtually prohibited the Pathare Prabhus from following the ways of the Brahmins.
    The Hindus criticise the Mohammedans for having spread their religion by the use of the
    sword. They also ridicule Christianity on the score of the inquisition. But really
    speaking who is better and more worthy of our respect—the Mohammedans and Christians
    who attempted to thrust down the throats of unwilling persons what they regarded as
    necessary for their salvation or the Hindu who would not spread the light, who would
    endeavour to keep others in darkness, who would not consent to share his intellectual and
    social inheritance with those who are ready and willing to make it a part of their own
    make-up ? I have no hesitation in saying that if the Mohammedan has been cruel the Hindu
    has been mean and meanness is worse than cruelty.


    Whether the Hindu religion was or was not a
    missionary religion has been a controversial issue. Some hold the view that it was never a
    missionary religion. Others hold that it was. That the Hindu religion was once a
    missionary religion must be admitted. It could not have spread over the face of India, if
    it was not a missionary religion. That today it is not a missionary religion is also a
    fact which must be accepted. The question therefore is not whether or not the Hindu
    religion was a missionary religion. The real question is why did the Hindu religion cease
    to be a missionary religion ? My answer is this. Hindu religion ceased to be a missionary
    religion when the Caste System grew up among the Hindus. Caste is inconsistent with
    conversion. Inculcation of beliefs and dogmas is not the only problem that is involved in
    conversion. To find a place for the convert in the social life of the community is another
    and a much more important problem that arises in connection with conversion. That problem
    is where to place the convert, in what caste ? It is a problem which must baffle every
    Hindu wishing to make aliens converts to his religion. Unlike the club the membership of a
    caste is not open to all and sundry. The law of caste confines its membership to person
    born in the caste. Castes are autonomous and there is no authority anywhere to compel a
    caste to admit a new-comer to its social life. Hindu Society being a collection of castes
    and each caste being a close corporation there is no place for a convert. Thus it is the
    caste which has prevented the Hindus from expanding and from absorbing other religious
    communities. So long as caste remain, Hindu religion cannot be made a missionary religion
    and Shudhi will be both a folly and a futility.


    The reasons which have made Shudhi impossible for Hindus are also responsible
    for making Sanghatan impossible. The idea
    underlying Sanghalan is to remove from the mind
    of the Hindu that timidity and cowardice which so painfully make him off from the
    Mohammedan and the Sikh and which have led him to adopt the low ways of treachery and
    cunning for protecting himself. The question naturally arises : From where does the Sikh
    or the Mohammedan derive his strength which makes him brave and fearless ? I am sure it is
    not due to relative superiority of physical strength, diet or drill. It is due to the
    strength arising out of the feeling that all Sikhs will come to the rescue of a Sikh when
    he is in danger and that all Mohammedans will rush to save a Muslim if he is attacked. The
    Hindu can derive no such strength. He cannot feel assured that his fellows will come to
    his help. Being one and fated to be alone he remains powerless, develops timidity and
    cowardice and in a fight surrenders or runs away. The Sikh as well as the Muslim stands
    fearless and gives battle because he knows that though one he will not be alone. The
    presence of this belief in the one helps him to hold out and the absence of it in the
    other makes him to give way. If you pursue this matter further and ask what is it that
    enables the Sikh and the Mohammedan to feel so assured and why is the Hindu filled with
    such despair in the matter of help and assistance you will find that the reasons for this
    difference lie in the difference in their associated mode of living. The associated mode
    of life practised by the Sikhs and the Mohammedans produces fellow-feeling. The associated
    mode of life of the Hindus does not. Among Sikhs and Muslims there is a social cement
    which makes them Bhais. Among Hindus there is no
    such cement and one Hindu does not regard another Hindu as his Bhai. This explains why a Sikh says and feels that
    one Sikh, or one Khalsa is equal to Sava Lakh
    men. This explains why one Mohammedan is equal to a crowd of Hindus. This difference is
    a difference due to caste. So long as caste remains, there will be no
    Sanghalan and so long as there is no Sanghatan the Hindu will remain
    weak and meek. The
    Hindus claim to be a very tolerant people. In my opinion this is a mistake. On many
    occasions they can be intolerant and if on some occasions they are tolerant that is
    because they are too weak to oppose or too indifferent to oppose. This indifference of the
    Hindus has become so much a part of their nature that a Hindu will quite meekly tolerate
    insult as well as a wrong. You see amongst them, to use the words of
    Morris, ” The great reading down the little, the strong beating
    down the weak, cruel men fearing not, kind men daring not and wise men caring not.”
    With the Hindu Gods all forbearing, it is not difficult to imagine the pitiable condition
    of the wronged and the oppressed among the Hindus. Indifferentism is the worst kind of
    disease that can infect a people. Why is the Hindu so indifferent? In my opinion this
    indifferentism is the result of Caste System which has made Sanghatan and co-operation even for a good cause


    The assertion by the individual of his own
    opinions and beliefs, his own independence and interest as over against group standards,
    group authority and group interests is the beginning of all reform. But whether the reform
    will continue depends upon what scope the group affords for such individual assertion. If
    the group is tolerant and fair-minded in dealing with such individuals they will continue
    to assert and in the end succeed in converting their fellows. On the other hand if the
    group is intolerant and does not bother about the means it adopts to stifle such
    individuals they will perish and the reform will die out. Now a caste has an unquestioned
    right to excommunicate any man who is guilty of breaking the rules of the caste and when
    it is realized that excommunication involves a complete cesser of social intercourse it
    will be agreed that as a form of punishment there is really little to choose between
    excommunication and death. No wonder individual Hindus have not had the courage to assert
    their independence by breaking the barriers of caste. It is true that man cannot get on
    with his fellows. But it is also true that he cannot do without them. He would like to
    have the society of his fellows on his terms. If be cannot get it on his terms then he
    will be ready to have it on any terms even amounting to complete surrender. This is
    because he cannot do without society. A caste is ever ready to take advantage of the
    helplessness of a man and insist upon complete conformity to its code in letter and in
    spirit. A caste can easily organize itself into a conspiracy to make the life of a
    reformer a hell and if a conspiracy is a crime I do not understand why such a nefarious
    act as an attempt to excommunicate a person for daring to act contrary to the rules of
    caste should not be made an offence punishable in law. But as it is, even law gives each
    caste an autonomy to regulate its membership and punish dissenters with excommunication.
    Caste in the hands of the orthodox has been a powerful weapon for persecuting the reforms
    and for killing all reform.


    The effect of caste on the ethics of the Hindus
    is simply deplorable. Caste has killed public spirit. Caste has destroyed the sense of
    public charity. Caste has made public opinion impossible. A Hindu’s public is his caste.
    His responsibility is only to his caste. His loyalty is restricted only to his caste.
    Virtue has become caste-ridden and morality has become, caste-bound. There is no sympathy
    to the deserving. There is no appreciation of the meritorious. There is no charity to the
    needy. Suffering as such calls for no response. There is charity but it begins with the
    caste and ends with the caste. There is sympathy
    but not for men of other caste. Would a Hindu acknowledge and follow the leadership of a
    great and good man? The case of a Mahatma apart, the answer must be that he will follow a
    leader if he is a man of his caste. A Brahmin will follow a leader only if he is a
    Brahmin, a Kayastha if he is a Kayastha and so on. The capacity to appreciate merits in a
    man apart from his caste does not exist in a Hindu. There is appreciation of virtue but
    only when the man is a fellow caste-man. The whole morality is as bad as tribal morality.
    My caste-man, right or wrong; my caste-man, good or bad. It is not a case of standing by
    virtue and not standing by vice. It is a case of standing or not standing by the caste.
    Have not Hindus committed treason against their country in the interests of their caste?

  • XIV

    I would not be surprised if some of you have
    grown weary listening to this tiresome tale of the sad effects which caste has produced.
    There is nothing new in it. I will therefore turn to the constructive side of the problem.
    What is your ideal society if you do not want caste is a question that is bound to be
    of you. If you ask me, my ideal would be a society based on Liberty,
    Equality and Fraternity. And why not ? What objection can there
    be to Fraternity ? I cannot imagine any. An ideal society should be mobile, should be full
    of channels for conveying a change taking place in one part to other parts. In an ideal
    society there should be many interests consciously communicated and shared. There should
    be varied and free points of contact with other modes of association. In other words there
    must be social endosmosis. This is fraternity, which is only another name for democracy.
    Democracy is not merely a form of Government. It is primarily a mode of associated living,
    of conjoint communicated experience. It is essentially an attitude of respect and
    reverence towards fellowmen. Any objection to Liberty ? Few object to liberty in the sense
    of a right to free movement, in the sense of a right to life and limb. There is no
    objection to liberty in the sense of a right to property, tools and materials as being
    necessary for earning a living to keep the body in due state of health. Why not allow
    liberty to benefit by an effective and competent use of a person’s powers ? The supporters
    of caste who would allow liberty in the sense of a right to life, limb and property, would
    not readily consent to liberty in this sense, inasmuch as it involves liberty to choose
    one’s profession. But to object to this kind of liberty is to perpetuate slavery. For
    slavery does not merely mean a legalized form of subjection. It means a state of society
    in which some men are forced to accept from other the purposes which control their
    conduct. This condition obtains even where there is no slavery in the legal sense. It is
    found where, as in the Caste System, some persons are compelled to carry on certain
    prescribed callings which are not of their choice. Any objection to equality ? This has
    obviously been the most contentious part of the slogan of the French Revolution. The
    objections to equality may be sound and one may have to admit that all men are not equal.
    But what of that ? Equality may be a fiction but nonetheless one must accept it as the
    governing principle. A. man’s power is dependent upon (1) physical heredity, (2) social
    inheritance or endowment in the form of parental care, education, accumulation of
    scientific knowledge, everything which enables him to be more efficient than the savage,
    and finally, (3) on his own efforts. In all these three respects men are undoubtedly
    unequal. But the question is, shall we treat them as unequal because they are unequal ?
    This is a question which the opponents of equality must answer. From the standpoint of the
    individualist it may be just to treat men unequally so far as their efforts are unequal.
    It may be desirable to give as much incentive as possible to the full development of every
    one’s powers. But what would happen if men were treated unequally as they are, in the
    first two respects ? It is obvious that those individuals also in whose favour there is
    birth, education, family name, business connections and inherited wealth would be selected
    in the race. But selection under such circumstances would not be a selection of the able.
    It would be the selection of the privileged. The reason therefore, which forces that in
    the third respect we should treat men unequally demands that in the first two respects we
    should treat men as equally as possible. On the other hand it can be urged that if it is
    good for the social body to get the most out of its members, it can get most out of them
    only by making them equal as far as possible at the very start of the race. That is one
    reason why we cannot escape equality. But there is another reason why we must accept
    equality. A Statesman is concerned with vast numbers of people. He has neither the time
    nor the knowledge to draw fine distinctions and to treat each equitably i.e. according to need or according to capacity.
    However desirable or reasonable an equitable treatment of men may be, humanity is not
    capable of assortment and classification. The statesman, therefore, must follow some rough
    and ready rule and that rough and ready rule is to treat all men alike not because they
    are alike but because classification and assortment is impossible. The doctrine of
    equality is glaringly fallacious but taking all in all it is the only way a statesman can
    proceed in politics which is a severely practical affair and which demands a severely
    practical test.


    But there is a set of reformers who hold out a
    different ideal. They go by the name of the Arya Samajists and their ideal of social
    organization is what is called Chaturvarnya or the division of society into four classes
    instead of the four thousand castes that we have in India. To make it more attractive and
    to disarm opposition the protagonists of Chaturvarnya take great care to point out that
    their Chaturvarnya is based not on birth but on guna
    (worth). At the outset, I must confess that notwithstanding the worth-basis of this
    Chaturvarnya, it is an ideal to which I cannot reconcile myself. In the first place, if
    under the Chaturvarnya of the Arya Samajists an individual is to take his place in the
    Hindu Society according to his worth. I do not understand why the Arya Samajists insist
    upon labelling men as Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra. A learned man would be
    honoured without his being labelled a Brahmin. A soldier would be respected without his
    being designated a Kshatriya. If European society honours its soldiers and its servants
    without giving them permanent labels, why should Hindu Society find it difficult to do so
    is a question, which Arya Samajists have not cared to consider. There is another objection
    to the continuance of these labels. All reform consists in a change in the notions,
    sentiment and mental attitudes of the people towards men and things. It is common
    experience that certain names become associated with certain notions and sentiments, which
    determine a person’s attitude towards men and things. The names, Brahmin, Kshatriya,
    Vaishya and Shudra, are names which are associated with a definite and fixed notion in the
    mind of every Hindu. That notion is that of a hierarchy based on birth. So long as these
    names continue, Hindus will continue to think of the Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and
    Shudra as hierarchical divisions of high and low, based on birth, and act accordingly. The
    Hindu must be made to unlearn all this. But how can this happen if the old labels remain
    and continue to recall to his mind old notions. If new notions are to be inculcated in the
    minds of people it is necessary to give them new names. To continue the old name is to
    make the reform futile. To allow this Chaturvarnya, based on worth to be designated by
    such stinking labels of Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra, indicative of social
    divisions based on birth, is a snare.


    To me this Chaturvarnya with its old labels is
    utterly repellent and my whole being rebels against it. But I do not wish to rest my
    objection to Chaturvarnya on mere grounds of sentiments. There are more solid grounds on
    which I rely for my opposition to it. A close examination of this ideal has convinced me
    that as a system of social organization, Chaturvarnya is impracticable, harmful and has
    turned out to be a miserable failure. From a practical point of view, the system of
    Chaturvarnya raises several difficulties which its protagonists do not seem to have taken
    into account. The principle underlying caste is fundamentally different from the principle
    underlying Varna. Not only are they
    fundamentally different but they are also fundamentally opposed. The former is based on
    worth . How are you going to compel people who have acquired a higher status based on
    birth without reference to their worth to vacate that status ? How are you going to compel
    people to recognize the status due to a man in accordance with his worth, who is occupying
    a lower status based on his birth ? For this you must first break up the caste System, in
    order to be able to establish the Varna system.
    How are you going to reduce the four thousand castes, based oil birth, to the four Varnas, based on worth ? This is the first
    difficulty which the protagonists of the Chaturvarnya must grapple with. There is a second
    difficulty which the protagonists of Chaturvarnya must grapple with, if they wish to make
    the establishment of Chaturvarnya a success.

    Chaturvarnya pre-supposes that you can classify
    people into four definite classes. Is this possible ? In this respect, the ideal of
    Chaturvarnya has, as you will see, a close affinity to the Platonic ideal. To Plato, men
    fell by nature into three classes. In some individuals, he believed mere appetites
    dominated. He assigned them to the labouring and trading classes. Others revealed to him
    that over and above appetites, they have a courageous disposition. He classed them as
    defenders in war and guardians of internal peace. Others showed a capacity to grasp the
    universal reason underlying things. He made them the law-givers of the people. The
    criticism to which Plato’s Republic is subject, is also the criticism which must apply to
    the system of Chaturvarnya, in so far as it proceeds upon the possibility of an accurate
    classification of men into four distinct classes. The chief criticism against Plato is
    that his idea of lumping of individuals into a few sharply marked-off classes is a very
    superficial view of man and his powers. Plato had no perception of the uniqueness of every
    individual, of his incommensurability with others, of each individual forming a class of
    his own. He had no recognition of the infinite diversity of active tendencies and
    combination of tendencies of which an individual is capable. To him, there were types of
    faculties or powers in the individual constitution. All this is demonstrably wrong. Modem
    science has shown that lumping together of individuals into a few sharply marked-off
    classes is a superficial view of man not worthy of serious consideration. Consequently,
    the utilization of the qualities of individuals is incompatible with their stratification
    by classes, since the qualities of individuals are so variable. Chaturvarnya must fail for
    the very reason for which Plato’s Republic must fail, namely that it is not possible to
    pigeon men into holes, according as he belongs to one class or the other. That it is
    impossible to accurately classify people into four definite classes is proved by the fact
    that the original four classes have now become four thousand castes.

    There is a third difficulty in the way of the
    establishment of the system of Chaturvarnya. How are you going to maintain the system of
    Chaturvarnya, supposing it was established ? One important requirement for the successful
    working of Chaturvarnya is the maintenance of the penal system which could maintain it by
    its sanction. The system of Chaturvarnya must perpetually face the problem of the
    transgressor. Unless there is a penalty attached to the act of transgression, men will not
    keep to their respective classes. The whole system will break down, being contrary to
    human nature. Chaturvarnya cannot subsist by its own inherent goodness. It must be
    enforced by law.

    That, without penal sanction the ideal of
    Chaturvarnya cannot be realized, is proved by the story in the Ramayana of Rama killing
    Shambuka. Some people seem to blame Rama because he wantonly and without reason killed
    Shambuka. But to blame Rama for killing Shambuka is to misunderstand the whole situation.
    Ram Raj was a Raj based on Chaturvarnya. As a king, Rama was bound to maintain
    Chaturvarnya. It was his duty therefore to kill Shambuka, the Shudra, who had transgressed
    his class and wanted to be a Brahmin. This is the reason why Rama killed Shambuka. But
    this also shows that penal sanction is necessary for the maintenance of Chaturvarnya. Not
    only penal sanction is necessary, but penalty of death is necessary. That is why Rama did
    not inflict on Shambuka a lesser punishment. That is why Manu-Smriti prescribes such heavy
    sentences as cutting off the tongue or pouring of molten lead in the ears of the Shudra,
    who recites or hears the Veda. The supporters
    of Chaturvarnya must give an assurance that they could successfully classify men and they
    could induce modern society in the twentieth century to reforge the penal sanctions of

    The protagonists of Chaturvarnya do not seem to
    have considered what is to happen to women in their system. Are they also to be divided
    into four classes, Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra? Or are they to be allowed to
    take the status of their husbands. If the status of the woman is to be the consequence of
    marriage what becomes of the underlying principle of Chaturvarnya, namely, that the status
    of a person should be based upon the worth of that person ? If they are to be classified
    according to their worth is their classification to be nominal or real ? If it is to be
    nominal then it is useless and then the protagonists of Chaturvarnya must admit that their
    system does not apply to women. If it is real, are the protagonists of Chaturvarnya
    prepared to follow the logical consequences of applying it to women ? They must be
    prepared to have women priests and women soldiers. Hindu society has grown accustomed to
    women teachers and women barristers. It may grow accustomed to women brewers and women
    butchers. But he would be a bold person, who would say that it will allow women priests
    and women soldiers. But that will be the logical outcome of applying Chaturvarnya to
    women. Given these difficulties, I think no one except a congenital idiot could hope and
    believe in a successful regeneration of the Chaturvarnya.


    Assuming that Chaturvarnya is practicable, I
    contend that it is the most vicious system. That the Brahmins should cultivate knowledge,
    that the Kshatriya should bear arms, that the Vaishya. should trade and that the Shudra
    should serve sounds as though it was a system of division of labour. Whether the theory
    was intended to state that the Shudra need not
    or that whether it was intended to lay down that he must
    not, is an interesting question. The defenders of Chaturvarnya give it the first
    They say, why should the Shudra need trouble to acquire wealth, when
    the three Vamas are there to support him ? Why need the
    Shudra bother to take to education, when there is the Brahmin to whom he can go when the
    occasion for reading or writing arises ? Why need the Shudra worry to arm himself because
    there is the Kshatriya to protect him ? The theory of Chaturvarnya, understood in this
    sense, may be said to look upon the Shudra as the ward and the three Vamas as his guardians. Thus interpreted, it is a
    simple, elevating and alluring theory. Assuming this to be the correct view of the
    underlying conception of Chaturvarnya, it seems to me that the system is neither
    fool-proof nor knave-proof. What is to happen, if the Brahmins, Vaishyas and Kshatriyas
    fail to pursue knowledge, to engage in economic enterprise and to be efficient soldiers
    which are their respective functions ? Contrary-wise, suppose that they discharge their
    functions but flout their duty to the Shudra or to one another, what is to happen to the
    Shudra if the three classes refuse to support him on fair terms or combine to keep him
    down ? Who is to safeguard the interests of the Shudra or for the matter of that of the
    Vaishya and Kshatriya when the person, who is trying to take advantage of his ignorance is
    the Brahmin? Who is to defend the liberty of the Shudra and for the matter of that, of the
    Brahmin and the Vaishya when the person who is robbing him of it is the Kshatriya ?
    Inter-dependence of one class on another class is inevitable. Even dependence of one class
    upon another may sometimes become allowable. But why make one person depend upon another
    in the matter of his vital needs ? Education everyone must have. Means of defence everyone
    must have. These are the paramount requirements of every man for his self-preservation.
    How can the fact that his neighbour is educated and armed help a man who is uneducated and
    disarmed. The whole theory is absurd. These are the questions, which the defenders of
    Chaturvarnya do not seem to be troubled about. But they are very pertinent questions.
    Assuming their conception of Chaturvarnya that the relationship between the different
    classes is that of ward and guardian is the real conception underlying Chaturvarnya, it
    must be admitted that it makes no provision to safeguard the interests of the ward from
    the misdeeds of the guardian. Whether the relationship of guardian and ward was the real
    underlying conception, on which Chaturvarnya was based, there is no doubt that in practice
    the relation was that of master and servants. The three classes, Brahmins, Kshatriyas and
    Vaishyas although not very happy in their mutual relationship managed to work by
    compromise. The Brahmin flattered the Kshatriya and both let the Vaishya live in order to
    be able to live upon him. But the three agreed to beat down the Shudra. He was not allowed
    to acquire wealth lest he should be independent of the three Varncus. He was prohibited from acquiring knowledge
    lest he should keep a steady vigil regarding his interests. He was prohibited from bearing
    lest he should have the means to rebel against their authority. That
    this is how the Shudras were treated by the Tryavarnikas
    is evidenced by the Laws of Manu. There is no code of laws more infamous regarding social
    rights than the Laws of Manu. Any instance from anywhere of social injustice must pale
    before it. Why have the mass of people tolerated the social evils to which they have been
    subjected? There have been social revolutions in other countries of the world. Why have
    there not been social revolutions in India is a question which has incessantly troubled
    me. There is only one answer, which I can give and it is that the lower classes of Hindus
    have been completely disabled for direct action on account of this wretched system of
    Chaturvarnya. They could not bear arms and without arms they could not rebel. They were
    all ploughmen or rather condemned to be ploughmen and they never were allowed to convert
    their ploughshare into swords. They had no bayonets and therefore everyone who chose could
    and did sit upon them. On account of the Chaturvarnya, they could receive no education.
    They could not think out or know the way to their salvation. They were condemned to be
    lowly and not knowing the way of escape and not having the means of escape, they became
    reconciled to eternal servitude, which they accepted as their inescapable fate. It is true
    that even in Europe the strong has not shrunk from the exploitation, nay the spoliation of
    the weak. But in Europe, the strong have never contrived to make the weak helpless against
    exploitation so shamelessly as was the case in India among the Hindus. Social war has been
    raging between the strong and the weak far more violently in Europe than it has ever been
    India. Yet, the weak in Europe has had in his freedom of military
    service his physical weapon, in suffering his political weapon and in
    education his moral weapon. These three weapons for emancipation
    were never withheld by the strong from the weak in Europe. All these weapons were,
    however, denied to the masses in India by Chaturvarnya. There cannot be a more degrading
    system of social organization than the Chaturvarnya. It is the system which deadens,
    paralyses and cripples the people from helpful activity. This is no exaggeration. History
    bears ample evidence. There is only one period in Indian history which is a period of
    freedom, greatness and glory. That is the period of the Mourya Empire. At all other times
    the country suffered from defeat and darkness. But the Mourya period was a period when
    Chaturvarnya was completely annihilated, when the Shudras, who constituted the mass of the
    people, came into their own and became the rulers of the country. The period of defeat and
    darkness is the period when Chaturvarnya flourished to the damnation of the greater part
    of the people of the country.


    Chaturvarnya is not new. It is as old as the Vedas. That is one of the reasons why we are asked
    by the Arya Samajists to consider its claims. Judging from the past as a system of social
    organization, it has been tried and it has failed. How many times have the Brahmins
    annihilated the seed of the Kshatriyas! How many times have the Kshatriyas annihilated the
    Brahmins! The Mahabharata and the Puranas are full of incidents of the strife between the
    Brahmins and the Kshatriyas. They even quarreled over such petty questions as to who
    should salute first, as to who should give way first, the Brahmins or the Kshatriyas, when
    the two met in the street. Not only was the Brahmin an eyesore to die Kshatriya and the
    Kshatriya an eyesore to the Brahmin, it seems that the Kshatriyas had become tyrannical
    and the masses, disarmed as they were under the system of Chaturvarnya, were praying
    Almighty God for relief from their tyranny. The Bhagwat tells us very definitely that
    Krishna had taken Avtar for one sacred purpose and that was to annihilate the Kshatriyas.
    With these instances of rivalry and enmity between the different Vurnas before us, I do not understand how any one
    can hold out Chaturvarnya as an ideal to be aimed at or as a pattern, on which the Hindu
    Society should be remodelled.


    I have dealt with those, who are without you
    and whose hostility to your ideal is quite open. There appear to be others, who are
    neither without you nor with you. I was hesitating whether I should deal with their point
    of view. But on further consideration I have come to the conclusion that I must and that
    for two reasons. Firstly, their attitude to the problem of caste is not merely an attitude
    of neutrality, but is an attitude of aimed neutrality. Secondly, they probably represent a
    considerable body of people. Of these, there is one set which finds nothing peculiar nor
    odious in the Caste System of the Hindus. Such Hindus cite the case of Muslims, Sikhs and
    Christians and find comfort in the fact that they too have castes amongst them. In
    considering this question you must a.t the outset bear in mind that nowhere is human
    society one single whole. It is always plural.
    In the world of action, the individual is one limit and society the other. Between them
    lie all sorts of associative arrangements of lesser and larger scope, families,
    friendship, co-operative associations, business combines, political parties, bands of
    thieves and robbers. These small groups are usually firmly welded together and are often
    as exclusive as castes. They have a narrow and intensive code, which is often anti-social.
    This is true of every society, in Europe as well as in Asia, The question to be asked in
    determining whether a given society is an ideal society ; is not whether there are groups
    in it, because groups exist in all societies. The. questions to be asked in determining
    what is an ideal society are : How numerous and varied are the interests which are
    consciously shared by the groups ? How full and free is the interplay with other forms of
    associations ? Are the forces that separate groups and classes more numerous than the
    forces that unite ? What social significance is attached to this group life ? Is its
    exclusiveness a matter of custom and convenience or is it a matter of religion ? It is in
    the light of these questions that one must decide whether caste among Non-Hindus is the
    same as caste among Hindus. If we apply these considerations to castes among Mohammedans,
    Sikhs and Christians on the one hand and to castes among Hindus on the other, you will
    find that caste among Non-Hindus is fundamentally different from caste among Hindus.
    First, the ties, which consciously make the Hindus hold together, are non-existent, while
    among Non-Hindus there are many that hold them together. The strength of a society depends
    upon the presence of points of contact, possibilities of interaction between different
    groups which exist in it. These are what Carlyle calls ” organic filaments ” i.e. the elastic threads which help to bring the
    disintegrating elements together and to reunite them. There is no integrating farce among
    the Hindus to counteract the disintegration caused by caste. While among the Non-Hindus
    there are plenty of these organic filaments which bind them together. Again it must be
    borne in mind that although there are castes among Non-Hindus, as there are among Hindus,
    caste has not the same social significance for Non-Hindus as it has for Hindus. Ask
    Mohammedan or a Sikh, who he is? He tells you that he is a Mohammedan or a Sikh as the
    case may be. He does not tell you his caste although he has one and you are satisfied with
    his answer. When he tells you that he is a Muslim, you do not proceed to ask him whether
    he is a Shiya or a Suni; Sheikh or Saiyad ; Khatik or Pinjari. When he tells you he is a
    Sikh, you do not ask him whether he is Jat or Roda ; Mazbi or Ramdasi. But you are not
    satisfied, if a person tells you that he is a Hindu. You feel bound to inquire into his
    caste. Why ? Because so essential is caste in the case of a Hindu that without knowing it
    you do not feel sure what sort of a being he is. That caste has not the same social
    significance among Non-Hindus as it has among Hindus is clear if you take into
    consideration the consequences which follow breach of caste. There may be castes among
    Sikhs and Mohammedans but the Sikhs and the Mohammedans will not outcast a Sikh or a
    Mohammedan if he broke his caste. Indeed, the very idea of excommunication is foreign to
    the Sikhs and the Mohammedans. But with the Hindus the case is entirely different. He is
    sure to be outcasted if he broke caste. This shows the difference in the social
    significance of caste to Hindus and Non-Hindus. This is the second point of difference.
    But there is also a third and a more important one. Caste among the non-Hindus has no
    religious consecration; but among the Hindus most decidedly it has. Among the Non-Hindus,
    caste is only a practice, not a sacred institution. They did not originate it. With them
    it is only a survival. They do not regard caste as a religious dogma. Religion compels the
    Hindus to treat isolation and segregation of castes as a virtue. Religion does not compel
    the Non-Hindus to take the same attitude towards caste. If Hindus wish to break caste,
    their religion will come in their way. But it will not be so in the case of Non-Hindus. It
    is, therefore, a dangerous delusion to take comfort in the mere existence of caste among
    Non-Hindus, without caring to know what place caste occupies in their life and whether
    there are other ” organic filaments “, which subordinate the feeling of caste to
    the feeling of community. The sooner the Hindus are cured of this delusion the butter.

    The other set denies that caste presents any
    problem at all for the .Hindus

    to consider. Such Hindus seek comfort in the
    view that the Hindus have survived and take this as a proof of their fitness to survive.
    This point of view is well expressed by Prof. S. Radhakrishnan in his Hindu view of life. Referring to Hinduism he
    says, ” The civilization itself has not, been a short-lived one. its historic records
    date back for over four thousand years and even then it had reached a stage of
    civilization which has continued its unbroken, though at times slow and static, course
    until the present day. It has stood the stress and strain of more than four or five
    millenniums of spiritual thought and experience. Though peoples of different races and
    cultures have been pouring into India from the
    dawn of History, Hinduism has been able to maintain its supremacy and even the
    proselytising creeds backed by political power have not been able to coerce the large
    majority of Hindus to their views. The Hindu culture possesses some vitality which seems
    to be denied to some other more forceful current . It is no more necessary to dissect
    Hinduism than to open a tree to see whether the sap still runs.” The name of Prof.
    Radhakrishnan is big enough to invest with profundity whatever he says and impress the
    minds of his readers. But I must not hesitate to speak out my mind. For, I fear that his
    statement may become the basis of a vicious argument that the fact of survival is proof of
    fitness to survive. It seems to me that the question is. not whether a community lives or
    dies ; the question is on what plane does it live. There are different modes of survival. But all are not equally
    honourable. For an individual as well as for a society, there is a gulf between merely
    living and living worthily. To fight in a battle and to live in glory is one mode. To beat
    a retreat, to surrender and to live the life of a captive is. also a mode of survival. It
    is useless for a Hindu to take comfort in the fact that he and his people have survived.
    What he must consider is what is the quality of their survival. If he does that, I am sure
    he will cease to take pride in the mere fact of survival. A Hindu’s life has been a life
    of continuous defeat and what appears to him to be life everlasting is not living
    everlastingly but is really a life which is perishing everlastingly. It is a mode of
    survival of which every right-minded Hindu, who is not afraid to own up the truth, will
    feel ashamed.


    There is no doubt; in my opinion, that unless
    you change your social order you can achieve little by way of progress. You cannot
    mobilize the community
    either for defence or for offence. You cannot build anything on the foundations of
    caste. You cannot build up a nation, you cannot build up a morality. Anything that you
    will build on the foundations of caste will crack and will never be a whole.

    The only question that remains to be considered
    is—How to bring about the reform of the Hindu
    social order ? How to abolish caste ? This is a question of supreme importance. There
    is a view that in the refarm of caste, the first step to take, is to abolish sub-castes.
    This view is based upon the supposition that there is a greater similarity in manners and
    status between sub-caste than there is between castes. I think, this is an erroneous
    supposition. The Brahmins of Northem and Central India are socially of lower grade, as
    compared with the Brahmins of the Deccan and Southern India. The former are only cooks and
    water-carriers while the latter occupy a high social position. On the other hand, in
    Northern India, the Vaishyas and Kayasthas are intellectually and socially on a par with
    the Brahmins of the Deccan and Southern India. Again, in the matter of food there is no
    similarity between the Brahmins of the Deccan and Southern India, who are vegetarians and
    the Brahmins of Kashmir and Bengal who are non-vegetarians. On the other hand, the
    Brahmins of the- Deccan and Southern India have more in common so far as food is concerned
    with such non-Brahmins as the Gujaratis, Marwaris, Banias and Jains. There is no doubt
    that from the standpoint of making the transit from one caste to another easy, the fusion
    of the Kayasthas of Northern India and the other Non-Brahmins of Southern India with the
    Non-Brahmins of the Deccan and the Dravid country is more practicable than the fusion of
    the Brahmins of the South with the Brahmins of the North. But assuming that the fusion of
    sub-Castes is possible, what guarantee is there that the abolition of sub-Castes will
    necessarily lead to the abolition of Castes ? On the contrary, it may happen that the
    process may stop with the abolition of sub-Castes. In that case, the abolition of
    sub-Castes will only help to strengthen the Castes and make them more powerful and
    therefore more mischievous. This remedy is therefore neither practicable nor effective and
    may easily prove to be a wrong remedy. Another plan of action for the abolition of Caste
    is to begin with inter-caste dinners. This also, in my opinion, is an inadequate remedy.
    There are many Castes which allow inter-dining. But it is a common experience that
    inter-dining has not succeeded in killing the spirit of Caste and the consciousness of
    Caste. I am convinced that the real remedy is inter-marriage. Fusion of blood can alone
    create the feeling of being kith and kin and unless this feeling of kinship, of being
    kindred, becomes paramount the separatist feeling—the feeling of being
    aliens—created by Caste will not vanish. Among the Hindus inter-marriage must
    necessarily be a factor of greater force in social life than it need be in the life of the
    non-Hindus. Where society is already well-knit by other ties, marriage is an ordinary
    incident of life. But where society cut asunder, marriage as a binding force becomes a
    matter of urgent necessity. The real remedy for
    breaking Caste is inter-marriage. Nothing else will serve as the solvent of Caste.
    Your Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal has adopted this line of attack.

    It is a direct and frontal attack, and I
    congratulate you upon a collect diagnosis and more upon your having shown the courage to
    tell the Hindus what is really wrong with them. Political tyranny is nothing compared to
    social tyranny and a reformer, who defies society, is a much more courageous man than a
    politician, who defies Government. You are right in holding that Caste will cease to be an
    operative farce only when inter-dining and inter-marriage have become matters of common
    course. You have located the source of the disease. But is your prescription the right
    prescription for the disease ? Ask yourselves this question ; Why is it that a large
    majority of Hindus do not inter-dine and do not inter-marry ? Why is it that your cause is
    not popular ? There can be only one answer to this question and it is that inter-dining
    and inter-marriage are repugnant to the beliefs and dogmas which the Hindus regard as
    sacred. Caste is not a physical object like a wall of bricks or a line of barbed wire
    which prevents the Hindus from co-mingling and which has, therefore, to be pulled down.
    Caste is a notion, it is a state of the mind. The destruction of Caste does not therefore
    mean the destruction of a physical barrier. It means a notional change. Caste may be bad. Caste may lead
    to conduct so gross as to be called man’s inhumanity to man. All the same, it must be
    recognized that the Hindus observe Caste not because they are inhuman or wrong headed.
    They observe Caste because they are deeply religious. People are not wrong in observing
    Caste. In my view, what is wrong is their religion, which has inculcated this notion of
    Caste. If this is correct, then obviously the enemy, you must grapple with, is not the
    people who observe Caste, but the Shastras which
    teach them this religion of Caste. Criticising and ridiculing people for not inter-dining
    or inter-marrying or occasionally holding inter-caste dinners and celebrating inter-caste
    marriages, is a futile method of achieving the desired end. The real remedy is to destroy
    the belief in the sanctity of the Shastras. How
    do you expect to succeed, if you allow the Shastras
    to continue to mould the beliefs and opinions of the people ? Not to question the
    authority of the Shastras , to permit the people
    to believe in their sanctity and their sanctions and to blame them and to criticise them
    for their acts as being irrational and inhuman is a incongruous way of carrying on social
    reform. Reformers working for the removal of untouchability including Mahatma Gandhi, do
    not seem to realize that the acts of the people are merely the results of their beliefs
    inculcated upon their minds by the Shastras and
    that people will not change their conduct until they cease to believe in the sanctity of
    the Shastras on which their conduct is founded.
    No wonder that such efforts have not produced any results. You also seem to be erring in
    the same way as the reformers working in the cause of removing untouchability. To agitate
    for and to organise inter-caste dinners and inter-caste marriages is like forced feeding
    about by artificial means. Make every man and woman free from the
    thraldom of the Shastras , cleanse their minds of the pernicious
    notions founded on the Shastras, and he or she
    will inter-dine and inter-marry, without your telling him or her to do so.

    It is no use seeking refuge in quibbles. It is
    no use telling people that the Shastras do not
    say what they are believed to say, grammatically read or logically interpreted. What
    matters is how the Shastras have been understood
    by the people. You must take the stand that Buddha took. You must take the stand which
    Guru Nanak took. You must not only discard the Shastras,
    you must deny their authority, as did Buddha and Nanak. You must have courage to tell
    the Hindus, that what is wrong with them is their religion— the religion which has
    produced in them this notion of the sacredness of Caste. Will you show that courage ?

  • XXI

    What are your chances of success ? Social
    reforms fall into different species. There is a species of reform, which does not relate
    to the religious notion of people but is purely secular in character. There is also a
    species of reform, which relates to the religious notions of people. Of such a species of
    reform, there are two varieties. In one, the reform accords with the principles of the
    religion and merely invites people, who have departed from it, to revert to them and to
    follow them. The second is a reform which not only touches the religious principles but is
    diametrically opposed to those principles and invites people to depart from and to discard
    their authority and to act contrary to those principles. Caste is the natural outcome of
    certain religious beliefs which have the sanction of the Shastras, which are believed to contain the command
    of divinely inspired sages who were endowed with a supernatural wisdom and whose commands,
    therefore, cannot be disobeyed without committing sin. The destruction of Caste is a
    reform which falls under the third category. To ask people to give up Caste is to ask them
    to go contrary to their fundamental religious notions. It is obvious that the first and
    second species of reform are easy. But the third is a stupendous task, well nigh
    impossible. The Hindus hold to the sacredness of the social order. Caste has a divine
    basis. You must therefore destroy the sacredness and divinity with which Caste has become
    invested. In the last analysis, this means you must destroy the authority of the Shastras and the Vedas.

    I have emphasized this question of the ways and
    means of destroying Caste, because I think that knowing the proper ways and means is more
    important than knowing the ideal. If you do not know the real ways and means, all your
    shots are sure to be misfires. If my analysis is correct then your task is herculean. You
    alone can say whether you are capable of achieving it.

    Speaking for myself, I see the task to be well
    nigh impossible. Perhaps you would like to know why I think so. Out of the many reasons,
    which have led me to take this view, I will mention some, which I regard much important.
    One of these reasons is the attitude of hostility, which the Brahmins have shown towards
    this question. The Brahmins form the vanguard of the movement for political reform and in
    some cases also of economic reform. But they are not to be found even as camp followers in
    the army raised to break down the barricades of Caste. Is there any hope of the Brahmins
    ever taking up a lead in the future in this matter? I say no. You may ask why ? You may
    argue that there is no reason why Brahmins should continue to shun social reform. You may
    argue that the Brahmins know that the bane of Hindu Society is Caste and as an enlightened
    class could not be expected to be indifferent to its consequences. You may argue that
    there are secular Brahmins and priestly Brahmins and if the latter do not take up the
    cudgels on behalf of those who want to break Caste, the former will. All this of course
    sounds very plausible. But in all this it is forgotten that the break up of the Caste
    system is bound to affect adversely the Brahmin Caste. Having regard to this, is it
    reasonable to expect that the Brahmins will ever consent to lead a movement the ultimate
    result of which is to destroy the power and prestige of the Brahmin Caste ? Is it
    reasonable to expect the secular Brahmins to take part in a movement directed against the
    priestly Brahmins ? In my judgment, it is useless to make a distinction between the
    secular Brahmins and priestly Brahmins. Both are kith and kin. They are two arms of the
    same body and one bound to fight for the existence of the other. In this connection, I am
    reminded of some very pregnant remarks made by Prof. Dicey in his English Constitution. Speaking of the actual
    limitation on the legislative supremacy of Parliament, Dicey says : ” The actual
    exercise of authority by any sovereign whatever, and notably by Parliament, is bounded or
    controlled by two limitations. Of these the one is an external, and the other is an
    internal limitation. The external limit to the real power of a sovereign consists in the
    possibility or certainty that his subjects or a large number of them will disobey or
    resist his laws. . . The internal limit to the exercise of sovereignty arises from the
    nature of the sovereign power itself. Even a despot exercises his powers in accordance
    with his character, which is itself moulded by the circumstance under which he lives,
    including under that head the moral feelings of the time and the society to which he
    belongs. The Sultan could not, if he would, change the religion of the Mohammedan world,
    but even if he could do so, it is in the very highest degree improbable that the head of
    Mohammedanism should wish to overthrow the religion of Mohammed ; the internal check on
    the exercise of the Sultan’s power is at least as strong as the external limitation.
    People sometimes ask the idle question, why the Pope does not introduce this or that
    reform? The true answer is that a revolutionist is not the kind of man who becomes a Pope
    and that a man who becomes a Pope has no wish to be a revolutionist.” I think, these
    remarks apply equally to the Brahmins of India and one can say with equal truth that if a
    man who becomes a Pope has no wish to become a revolutionary, a man who is born a Brahmin
    has much less desire to become a revolutionary. Indeed, to expect a Brahmin to be a
    revolutionary in matters of social reform is as idle as to expect the British Parliament,
    as was said by Leslie Stephen, to pass an Act requiring all blue-eyed babies to be

    Some of you will say that it is a matter of
    small concern whether the Brahmins come forward to lead the movement against Caste or
    whether they do not. To take this view is in my judgment to ignore the part played by the
    intellectual class in the community. Whether you accept the theory of the great man as the
    maker of history or whether you do not, this much you will have to concede that in every
    country the intellectual class is the most influential class, if not the governing class.
    The intellectual class is the class which can foresee, it is the class which can advise
    and give lead. In no country does the mass of the people live the life of intelligent
    thought and action. It is largely imitative and follows the intellectual class. There is
    no exaggeration in saying that the entire destiny of a country depends upon its
    intellectual class. If the intellectual class is honest, independent and disinterested it
    can be trusted to take the initiative and give a proper lead when a crisis arises. It is
    true that intellect by itself is no virtue. It is only a means and the use of means
    depends upon the ends which an intellectual person pursues. An intellectual man can be a
    good man but he can easily be a rogue. Similarly an intellectual class may be a band of
    high-souled persons, ready to help, ready to emancipate erring humanity or it may easily
    be a gang of crooks or a body of advocates of a narrow clique from which it draws its
    support. You may think it a pity that the intellectual class in India is simply another
    name for the Brahmin caste. You may regret that the two are one.; that the existence of
    the intellectual class should be bound with one single caste, that this intellectual class
    should share the interest and the aspirations of that Brahmin caste, which has regarded
    itself the custodian of the interest of that caste, rather than of the interests of the
    country. All this may be very regrettable. But the fact remains, that the Brahmins form
    the intellectual class of the Hindus. It is not only an intellectual class but it is a
    class which is held in great reverence by the rest of the Hindus. The Hindus are taught
    that the Brahmins are Bhudevas (Gods on earth) vernanam brahmnam guruh ! : The Hindus are taught that Brahmins alone
    can be their teachers. Manu says, “If it be asked how it should be with respect to
    points of the Dharma which have not been specially mentioned, the answer is that which
    Brahmins who are Shishthas propound shall doubtless have legal force.” :

    anamnateshu dharmehu katham syaditi
    chedbhveta !

    yam shishta brahnam bruyuh sa dharmah syadashnkitah !!

    When such an intellectual class, which holds
    the rest of the community in its grip, is opposed to the reform of Caste, the chances of
    success in a movement for the break-up of the Caste system appear to me very, very remote.

    The second reason, why I say the task is
    impossible, will be clear if you will bear in mind that the Caste system has two aspects.
    In one of its aspects, it divides men into separate communities. In its second aspect, it
    places these communities in a graded order one above the other in social status. Each
    caste takes its pride and its consolation in the fact that in the scale of castes it is
    above some other caste. As an outward mark of this gradation, there is also a gradation of
    social and religious rights technically spoken of an Ashta-dhikaras and Sanskaras. The higher the grade of a caste, the
    greater the number of these rights and the lower the grade, the lesser their number. Now
    this gradation, this scaling of castes, makes it impossible to organise a common front
    against the Caste System. If a caste claims the right to inter-dine
    and inter-marry with another caste placed above it, it is
    frozen, instantly it is told by mischief-mongers, and there are many Brahmins amongst such
    mischief-mongers, that it will have to concede inter-dining
    and inter-marriage with castes below it ! All are slaves of the Caste System. But all the slaves are
    not equal in status. To excite the proletariat to bring about an economic revolution, Karl Marx told them
    : ” You have nothing to
    lose except your chains.”
    the artful way in which the social and religious rights are distributed
    among the different castes whereby some have more and some
    have less, makes the slogan of Karl Marx quite useless to excite the Hindus against the
    Caste System. Castes form a graded system of sovereignties, high and low, which are jealous of
    status and which know that if a general dissolution came, some of them
    stand to lose more of their prestige and power than others do. You
    cannot, therefore, have a general mobilization of the Hindus, to use a military
    expression, for an attack on the Caste System.


    Can you appeal to reason and ask the Hindus to
    discard Caste as being contrary to reason ? That raises the
    question : Is a Hindu free to follow his reason? Manu has laid down three sanctions to which every Hindu must
    conform in the matter of his behaviour vedah smritih sadacharah uvasy cha priyamatmanah Here
    there is no place for reason to play its part. A Hindu must follow either Veda, Smriti or Sadachar. He cannot
    follow anything else. In the first place how are the texts of the Vedas and Smritis to be
    interpreted whenever any doubt arises regarding their meaning ?
    On this important question the view of Manu is quite definite. He says :

    te moole hetushrashraya dwizah

    sadhubhirbahishkaryo nashtiko vedandikah

    According to this rule, rationalism as a canon
    of interpreting the
    Vedas and Smritis, is absolutely condemned. It is regarded to be as
    wicked as atheism and the punishment provided for
    it is ex-communication. Thus, where a matter is covered by the Veda or the Smriti,
    a Hindu cannot resort to rational thinking. Even when there is a conflict between Vedas and Smritis
    on matters on which they have given a positive injunction,
    the solution is not left to reason. When there is a
    conflict between two Shrutis, both are to be regarded as of equal
    authority. Either of them may be followed. No attempt is to be made to find out which of
    the two accords with reason. This is made clear by Manu:

    shrutidwadham tu
    yatra syaptatra dharvarvudhau smritau

    “When there
    is a conflict between Shruti
    and Sinriti , the Shruti must
    prevail.” But here too, no attempt must be made to find out which of the two accords
    with reason. This is laid down by Manu in the following Shloka :

    vedabahyah snrityo yashch kashch kridrishtah i

    nishphalah prety tamonishtha hi tah smritah ii

    Again, when there is a conflict between two Smritis, the Manu-Smriti must prevail, but no attempt is to be made to find
    out which of the two accords with reason. This is the ruling given by Brihaspati:

    pramanyam hi manoah smritah

    tu ya smritih sa na shashyate

    It is, therefore, clear that in any matter on
    which the Shrutis and Smritis have given a positive direction, a Hindu is
    not free to use his reasoning faculty. The same rule is laid down in the Mahabharat :

    manvo dharmah sango vedashchikitsitam

    chatvari na hantavyani hetubhih

    He must abide by their directions. The Caste
    and Varna are matters, which are dealt with by
    the Vedas and the
    Smritis and consequently, appeal to reason can
    have no effect on a Hindu. So far as Caste and Varna
    are concerned, not only the Shastras do not permit the Hindu to use his
    reason in the decision of the question, but they have taken care to see that no occasion
    left to examine in a rational way the foundations of his belief in
    Caste and Varna. It must be a source of silent amusement to
    many a Non-Hindu to find hundreds and thousands of Hindus breaking Caste on certain
    occasions, such as railway journey and foreign travel and yet endeavouring to maintain
    Caste for the rest of their lives ! The explanation of this
    phenomenon discloses another fetter on the reasoning faculties of the Hindus. Man’s life
    is generally habitual and unreflective. Reflective thought, in the sense of active,
    persistent and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form or knowledge in the
    light of the grounds that support it and further conclusions to which it tends, is quite
    and arises only in a situation which presents a dilemma—a
    Crisis-Railway journeys and foreign travels are really occasions of
    crisis in the life of a Hindu and it is natural to expect a Hindu to ask himself why he
    should maintain Caste at all, if he cannot maintain it at all times. But he does not. He
    breaks Caste at one step and proceeds to observe it at the
    next without raising any question. The reason for this
    astonishing conduct is to be found in the rule of the Shastras, which
    him to maintain Caste as far as possible and to undergo praynschitia
    when he cannot. By this theory of prayaschitta , the Shastras by
    following a
    spirit of compromise have given caste a perpetual lease of
    life and have smothered reflective thought which would have
    otherwise led to the destruction of the notion of Caste.

    There have been many who have worked in the
    cause of the abolition of Caste and Untouchability. Of those, who can be mentioned, Ramanuja,
    Kabir and others stand out prominently. Can you appeal to
    the acts of these reformers and exhort the Hindus to follow them ? It is true that Manu has
    Sadachar (sadachar) as one of the sanctions along with Shruti and
    Smriti. Indeed, Sadachar has been given a higher place than Shastras :

    yen dharmya vadharmamev va

    nityam charitram tadwikirtatam

    according to this, sadachar, whether, it is dharmya or adharmya
    in accordance with Shastras
    or contrary to Shastras,
    must be followed. But what is the meaning of Sadachar ? If any one were to
    suppose that Sadachar means right or good acts i.e. acts of good and righteous men he would find
    himself greatly mistaken. Sadachar does not
    means good acts or acts of good men. It means ancient custom good or bad.
    The following verse makes this clear :

    yasmin deshe ya acharah parmpayakramagatah

    varnani kil sarvesham sa sadachar uchyate

    As though to warn people against the view that Sadachar means good acts or acts of good men and fearing that people
    might understand it that way and follow the acts of good men, the Smrities
    commanded the Hindus in unmistakable terms not to follow even Gods in
    their good deeds, if they are contrary to Shruti, Smrili and Sadachar.
    This may
    sound to be most extraordinary, most perverse, but the. fact remains that na devacharitam charet is
    an injunction, issued to the Hindus by their Shastras. Reason and morality are
    two most powerful weapons in the armoury of a Reformer. To deprive him
    of the use of these weapons is to disable him for action .How are you
    going to break up
    Caste, if people are not free to consider whether it accords with
    reason ? How are you going to
    break up Caste if people are
    not free to consider whether it accords with morality ? The
    wall built around Caste is impregnable and the material, of
    which it is built, contains none of the combustible stuff of reason and morality.
    Add to this the fact that inside this wall stands the army
    Brahmins, who form the intellectual class, Brahmins who are the natural
    leaders of the Hindus, Brahmins who are there not as mere mercenary
    soldiers but as an army fighting
    for its homeland and you will get an idea why I think that breaking-up
    of Caste amongst the Hindus is
    well-nigh impossible. At any rate, it would take ages before a breach is
    made. But whether the doing of the deed takes time
    or whether it can be done quickly, you must not forget that if you wish to bring about &
    breach in the system then you have got to apply the
    dynamite to the Vedas
    and the Shastras,
    which deny any part to reason, to Vedas and Shastras, which deny
    any part to morality. You must destroy the Religion of the Shrutis and the Smritis. Nothing else will avail. This is my
    considered view of the matter.


    Some may not understand what I mean by
    destruction of Religion;
    some may find the idea revolting to them and some may find it revolutionary. Let me therefore explain my position. I do not know
    you draw a distinction between principles and rules. But I do. Not only
    I make a distinction but I say that this distinction is real and
    important. Rules are
    practical ; they are habitual ways of doing things according to prescription. But principles are
    intellectual; they are useful methods of judging things.
    Rules seek to tell an agent just what course of action to
    pursue. Principles do not prescribe a specific course of action. Rules, like cooking
    recipes, do tell just what to do and how to do it. A prinsiple,
    as that of justice, supplies a main head by reference to which he is to
    consider the bearings of his desires and purposes, it guides him in his
    thinking by suggesting to him the important consideration
    which he should bear in mind. This difference between rules
    and principles makes the acts done in pursuit of them different in quality and in content.
    Doing what is said to be,
    good by virtue of a rule and doing good in the light of a principle are two different
    things. The principle may be wrong but the act is conscious and responsible. The rule may be right but the act is mechanical. A
    religious act may not be a correct act but must at least be a responsible act. To permit
    of this responsibility, Religion must mainly be a
    matter of principles only. It cannot be a matter of rules.
    The moment it degenerates into rules it ceases to be Religion, as it kills responsibility
    which is the essence of a truly religious act. What is this
    Hindu Religion ? Is it a set of principles or is it a code of rules ?
    Now the Hindu Religion, as contained in the Vedas
    and the Smritis, is nothing but a mass of
    sacrificial, social, political and sanitary rules and regulations, all mixed up. What is
    called Religion by the Hindus is nothing but a multitude of commands and prohibitions. Religion, in the
    sense of spiritual principles, truly universal, applicable to all races, to all countries,
    to all times, is not to be found in them, and if it is, it does not form the governing
    of a Hindu’s life. That for a Hindu, Dharma means commands and
    prohibitions is clear from the way the word Dharma is used in Vedas and
    the Sinritis and understood by the commentators.
    The word Dharma as used in the Vedas in most
    cases means religious ordinances or rites. Even Jaimini in his Purva-Mimansa
    defines Dharma as “a desirable goal or result that is
    indicated by injunctive (Vedic) passages “.
    To put it in plain language, what the Hindus call Religion is really Law or at best
    legalized class-ethics. Frankly, I refuse to cull this code of ordinances, as Religion.
    The first evil of such a code of ordinances, misrepresented to the people as Religion, is
    that it tends to deprive moral life of freedom and spontaneity
    and to reduce it (for the conscientious at any rate) to a more or less
    anxious and servile conformity to externally imposed rules.
    Under it, there is no loyalty to ideals, there is only conformity
    to commands. But the worst evil of this code of ordinances
    is that the laws it contains must be the same yesterday, today and forever. They are
    iniquitous in that they are not the same for one class as
    another. But this iniquity is made perpetual in that they are
    prescribed to be the same for all generations. The objectionable
    part of such a scheme is not that they are made by certain persons
    called Prophets or Law-givers. The objectionable part is that this code has been invested
    with the character of finality and fixity. Happiness notoriously varies with the
    conditions and circumstances of a person, as well as with
    the conditions of different people and epochs. That being the case, how can humanity
    this code of eternal laws, without being cramped and without being
    crippled ? I have, therefore, no hesitation in saying that such a
    religion must be destroyed and I say, there is nothing irreligious in working for the destruction of such a religion.
    Indeed I hold that it is your bounden duty to tear the
    mask, to remove the misrepresentation that as caused by misnaming this Law as Religion.
    This is an essential step for you. Once you clear the minds of the people of this
    misconception and enable them to realize that what they are told as Religion is not
    Religion but that it is really Law, you will be in a position to urge for its amendment or
    abolition. So long as people look upon it as Religion they will not be ready for a change,
    because the idea of Religion is generally speaking not associated with the idea of change.
    But the idea of law is associated with the idea of change
    and when people come to know that what is called Religion
    is really Law, old and archaic, they will be ready for a change, for people know and
    accept that law can be changed.


    While I condemn a Religion of Rules, I must not be understood to hold the opinion that there is
    no necessity for a religion. On the contrary, I agree with Burke when he says that, “
    True religion is the foundation of society, the basis on which all true Civil Government
    rests, and both their sanction.” Consequently, when I urge that these ancient rules
    of life be annulled, I am anxious that its place shall be taken by a Religion of
    Principles, which alone can lay claim to being a true Religion. Indeed, I am so convinced
    of the necessity of Religion that I feel I ought to tell you in outline what I regard as
    necessary items in this religious reform. The following in my opinion should be the
    cardinal items in this reform : (
    1 ) There should be one and
    only one standard book of Hindu Religion, acceptable to all Hindus and recognized by all
    Hindus. This of course means that all other books of Hindu
    religion such as Vedas, Shastras and Puranas, which are treated as sacred and
    authoritative, must by law cease to be so and the preaching of any doctrine, religious or
    social contained in these books should be penalized. (2) It should be better if priesthood
    among Hindus was abolished. But as this seems to be impossible, the priesthood must at
    least cease to be hereditary. Every person who professes to be a Hindu must be eligible
    for being a priest. It should be provided by law that no Hindu shall be entitled to be a
    priest unless he has passed an examination prescribed by the State and holds a sanad from the State
    permitting him to practise. (3) No ceremony performed by a priest
    who does not hold a sanad shall be deemed to be
    valid in law and it should be made penal for a person who
    has no sanad to officiate as a priest. (4) A
    should be the servant of the State and should be subject to the
    disciplinary action by the State in the matter of his morals,
    beliefs and worship, in addition to his being subject along with other citizens to the
    ordinary law of the land. (5) The number of priests should be limited by law according to
    the requirements of the State as is done in the case of the I.C.S.
    To some, this may sound radical. But to my mind there is nothing revolutionary in this.
    Every profession in India is regulated. Engineers must show proficiency, Doctor must show
    proficiency, Lawyers must show proficiency, before they are allowed to practise their
    professions. During the whole of their career, they must not only obey the law of the
    land, civil as well as criminal, but they must
    also obey the special code of morals prescribed by their respective professions. The
    priest’s is the only profession where proficiency is not required. The profession of a
    Hindu priest is the only profession which is not subject to any code. Mentally a priest
    may be an idiot, physically a priest may be suffering from a foul disease, such as
    syphilis or gonorrheae, morally he may be a wreck. But he
    is fit to officiate at solemn ceremonies, to enter the sanctum sanctorum
    of a Hindu temple and worship the Hindu God. All this
    possible among the Hindus because for a priest it is enough to be born
    in a priestly caste. The whole thing is abominable and is
    due to the fact that the priestly class among Hindus is
    subject neither to law nor to morality. It recognizes no duties. It knows only of rights
    privileges. It is a pest which divinity seems to have let loose on the
    masses for their mental and moral degradation. The priestly class
    must be brought under control by some such legislation as I have outlined above. It will
    prevent it from doing mischief and from misguiding people. It will democratise it by
    throwing it open to every one. It will certainly help to kill the Brahminism and will also
    help to kill Caste, which is nothing but Brahminism incarnate. Brahminism
    is the poison which has spoiled Hinduism. You will succeed in saving Hinduism if you will
    kill Brahminism. There should be no opposition to this reform from any quarter. It should
    be welcomed even by the Arya Samajists,
    because this is merely an application of their own doctrine of guna-karma.

    Whether you do that or you do not, you must give a new doctrinal
    basis to your Religion—a basis that will be in
    with Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, in short, with Democracy. I am
    no authority on the subject. But I am told that for such religious
    principles as will be in consonance with Liberty, Equality and
    Fraternity it may not be necessary for you
    to borrow from foreign sources and that you could draw for such principles on the Upanishads. Whether
    you could do so without a complete remoulding, a considerable scraping
    chipping off the ore they contain , is more than I can say. This means a
    complete change in the fundamental notions of life-it means a complete
    change in the
    values of life. It means a complete change in outlook and in attitude towards
    men and things. It means conversion but if you do not. like
    the word, I will say, it means new life. But a
    new life cannot enter a body that is dead. New life can center only in a new body. The
    old body must die before a new body can come into existence and a new life can enter into it. To put it simply: the old
    must cease to be operative before the new can begin to enliven and to pulsate. This is what I meant when I said you
    must discard the authority of the Shastras and destroy the religion of the Shastras.


    I have kept you too long. It is time I brought this address to a
    close. This would have been a convenient point for me to have stopped.
    But this would probably be my last address to a Hindu audience on a
    subject vitally concerning the Hindus. I would therefore like, before I
    close, to place before the
    Hindus, if they will allow me, some questions which I regard as vital and invite them seriously to consider the same.

    In the first place, the Hindus must consider whether it
    is sufficient to take the placid view of
    the anthropologist that there is nothing to be said about
    the beliefs, habits, morals and outlooks on life, which obtain among the different
    peoples of the world except that they often differ ; or whether it is not necessary to make
    an attempt to find out what kind of morality, beliefs,
    habits and outlook have worked best and have enabled those
    who possessed them to flourish, to go strong, to people the earth and to have dominion over
    it. As is observed by Prof. Carver,
    ” Morality and religion, as the organised expression of moral approval and
    disapproval, must be regarded as factors in the struggle
    for existence as truly as are weapons for offence and
    defence, teeth and claws, horns and hoofs, furs and
    feathers. The social group, community, tribe or nation,
    which develops an unworkable scheme of morality or within
    those social acts which weaken it and unfit it for survival, habitually
    create the sentiment of approval, while those which would strengthen
    enable it to be expanded habitually create the sentiment of
    disapproval, will eventually be eliminated. It is its
    habits of approval or disapproval (these are the results of religion
    and morality) that handicap it, as really as the possession
    of two wings on one side with none on. the other will handicap the colony of flies. It would be as futile in the one case as
    in the other to argue, that one system is just as good as
    another.” Morality and religion, therefore, are not mere matters
    of likes and dislikes. You
    may dislike exceedingly a scheme of morality, which, if universally practised
    within a nation, would make that nation the strongest
    on the face of the earth. Yet in spite of your dislike such a nation
    will become strong. You may like exceedingly a scheme of morality and an
    ideal of justice, which if universally practised within a nation, would
    make it enable to hold its own in the struggle
    with other nations. Yet in spite of your admiration this nation will eventually disappear. The Hindus
    must, therefore, examine their religion
    and then morality in terms
    of their survival value.

    Secondly, the Hindus must consider
    whether they should conserve the whole of their social
    heritage or select what is helpful and transmit to future
    generations only that much and no more. Prof, John Dewey., who was my teacher and to
    whom I owe so much, has said :
    ” Every society gets
    encumbered with what is trivial, with dead wood from the
    and with what is positively perverse… As a society becomes more
    enlightened, it realizes that it is responsible not to conserve and
    transmit, the whole of its existing
    achievements, but only such as make for a better future
    society.” Even Burke in spite of the vehemence with which he opposed the principle
    change embodied in the French Revolution, was compelled to admit that ”
    a State without the means of some change is without the means of its
    Without such means it might even
    risk the loss of that part
    the constitution which it wished the most religiously to preserve, ‘’
    What Burke said of a State applies equally to a society.

    Thirdly, the Hindus must consider whether they must not
    cease to
    worship the past as supplying its ideals. The beautiful effect of this
    worship of the past are best summed up by Prof. Dewey
    when he says : ” An individual can live
    only in the present. The present is not just something which comes after the past ; much less something produced
    by it. It is what life is in leaving
    the past behind it. The study
    of past products will not
    help us to understand the present. A knowledge of the past
    and its heritage is of great significance when it enters into the present, but not otherwise. And the mistake of making
    the-records and remains of the
    past the main material of
    education is that it tends
    to make the past a rival of the present and the present a
    more or less futile imitation of the past.” The principle,
    which makes little of the present
    act of living and growing, naturally looks upon the present
    as empty and upon the future
    as remote. Such a principle is inimical to progress and is
    an hindrance to a strong and a steady current of life.

    Fourthly, the Hindus must consider whether the time has
    not come for them to recognize that there is nothing fixed,
    eternal, nothing sanatan; that everything is changing, that change is
    the law of life for individuals as well as for society.
    In a changing society, there must be a constant revolution of old values and the Hindus must
    realize that if there must
    be standards to measure the acts of men there must also be
    a readiness to revise those standards.

  • XXVI

    I have to confess that this address has become
    too lengthy.
    Whether this fault is compensated to any extent by breadth or depth is a
    matter for you to judge. All I claim is to have told you candidly my
    views. I have little
    to recommend them but some study and a deep concern in your
    destiny. If you will allow me to say, these views are the views of a man, who has been no tool of
    power, no flatterer of greatness. They come from one,
    almost the whole of whose public exertion has been one continuous struggle for liberty for
    poor and for the oppressed and whose only reward has been a continuous
    shower of calumny and abuse from national journals and
    national leaders, for no other reason except that I refuse to join with them in performing
    the miracle—I will not say trick—of liberating
    the oppressed with the gold of the tyrant and raising the poor with the cash of the rich.
    All this may not be enough to commend my views. I think they are not likely to alter
    yours. But whether they do or do not, the responsibility is entirely yours. You must make
    your efforts to uproot Caste, if not in my way, then in
    your way. I am sorry, I will not be with you. I have decided to change. This is not the
    place for giving reasons. But even when I am gone out of
    your fold, I will watch your movement with active sympathy
    and you will have my assistance for what it may be worth.
    Yours is a national cause. Caste is no doubt primarily the breath of the Hindus. But the
    Hindus have fouled the air all over and everybody is infected, Sikh, Muslim and Christian.
    You, therefore, deserve the support of all those who are suffering from this infection,
    Sikh, Muslim and Christian. Yours is more difficult than the other national cause, namely
    Swaraj. In the fight for Swaraj you fight with the whole nation on your side. In this, you
    have to fight against the whole nation and that too, your
    own. But it is more important than Swaraj. There is no use having Swaraj, if you cannot
    defend it. More important than the question of defending Swaraj is the question of defending the Hindus under the
    Swaraj. In my opinion only when the Hindu Society becomes a casteless society that it can
    hope to have strength enough to defend itself. Without such
    internal strength, Swaraj for Hindus may turn out to be only a step towards slavery.
    Good-bye and good wishes for your success.



    (A Reprint of his Articles in the ” Harijan “)

    Ambedkar’s Indictment I

    The readers will
    recall the fact that Dr. Ambedkar was to have presided last
    May at the annual conference of the Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal of Lahore. But the conference itself was cancelled
    because Dr. Ambedkar’s address was found by the Reception
    Committee to be unacceptable. How far a Reception Committee is justified in rejecting a
    President of its choice because of his address that may be
    objectionable to it is open to question. The Committee knew Dr. Ambedkar’s
    views on caste and the Hindu scriptures. They knew also that he had in unequivocal terms
    decided to give up Hinduism. Nothing less than the address
    that Dr. Ambedkar had prepared was to be expected from him.
    The committee appears to have deprived the public of an opportunity of listening to the original views of a man, who has carved
    out for himself a unique position in society. Whatever label he wears in future, Dr.
    Ambedkar is not the man to allow himself to be forgotten.

    Dr. Ambedkar was not going to be beaten by the
    Reception Committee. He has answered their rejection of him by publishing the address at
    his own expense. He has priced it at 8 annas, I would suggest a reduction to 2 annas or at
    least 4 annas.

    No reformer can ignore the address. The
    orthodox will gain by
    reading it. This is not to say that the address is not open to
    objection. It has to be read only because it
    is open to serious objection. Dr. Ambedkar is a challenge to Hinduism. Brought up as a
    educated by a Hindu potentate, he has become so disgusted with the
    so-called Savarna Hindus for the treatment that he and his people have
    received at their hands that he proposes to leave not only them but the very religion that
    is his and their common heritage. He has transferred to that religion, his disgust against
    a part of its professors.

    But this is not to be wondered at. After all, one can only judge a system or
    an institution by the conduct of its representatives. What
    is more. Dr. Ambedkar found that the vast majority of Savarna Hindus had not only
    conducted themselves inhumanly against those of their fellow religionists,
    whom they classed as untouchables, but they had based their conduct on the authority
    of their scriptures, and when he began to search them he had found ample warrant for their
    beliefs in untouchability and all its implications. The
    author of the address has quoted chapter and verse in proof of his three-fold indictment—inhuman conduct itself, the unabashed
    justification for it on the part of the perpetrators, and
    the subsequent discovery that the justification was warranted by their scriptures.

    No Hindu who prizes his faith above life itself can afford to underrate the
    importance of this indictment. Dr Ambedkar is not alone in his disgust
    is its most uncompromising exponent and one of the ablest among them.
    He is certainly the most irreconcilable among them. Thank God, in the
    front rank of the
    leaders, he is singularly alone and
    as yet but a representative of a very small minority. But
    what he says is voiced with more or less vehemence by many leaders belonging to the depressed classes. Only
    latter, for instance Rao Bahadur M. C. Rajah and Dewan Bahadur
    Srinivasan, not only do not threaten to give up Hinduism but find
    enough warmth in it to compensate for the shameful
    persecution to which the vast mass of Harijans are exposed.

    But the fact of many leaders remaining in the Hindu fold
    is no warrant for disregarding what Dr. Ambedkar has to
    say. The Savaraas have to
    correct their belief and their
    conduct. Above all those who are by their learning and influence among the Savarnas
    have to give an authoritative interpretation of the scriptures. The
    questions that Dr. Ambedkar’s indictment suggest are :

    (1) What are the
    scriptures ?

    (2) Are all the printed texts to be regarded as an integral part of them or is any part of them to be rejected as unauthorised
    interpolation ?

    (3) What is the
    answer of such accepted and expurgated scriptures on the
    question of untouchability, caste,
    equality of status, inter-dining and intermarriages ? (These
    have been all examined by Dr. Ambedkar in his address.)

    I must reserve for the
    next issue my own answer to these questions and a statement
    of the (at least some) manifest flaws in Dr. Ambedkar’s

    (Harijan, July II, 1936)


    The Vedas, Upanishads,
    Smritis and Puranas including Ramayana and Mahabharata are the Hindu Scriptures.
    Nor is this a finite list.
    Every age or even. generation has added to the list. It follows, therefore, that everything printed or even found
    handwritten is not scripture. The Smrities for instance-contain much that can never be
    as the word of God. Thus. many of the texts that Dr. Ambedkar quotes
    from the Smritis cannot be accepted as authentic. The scriptures,
    properly so-called,
    can only be concerned with eternal varieties and must
    appeal to any conscience i.e. any heart whose eyes of understanding are
    Nothing can be accepted as the word of God which cannot be tested by
    reason or be capable of being spiritually experienced. And even when you
    have an expurgated edition of the scriptures, you will need their interpretation. Who is
    the best interpreter? Not learned men surely. Learning
    there must be. But religion does not live it. It lives in the experiences of its saints
    and seers, in their lives and sayings. When all the most
    commentators of the scriptures are utterly forgotten, the accumulated
    experience of the sages and saints will abide and be an inspiration
    for ages to come.

    Caste has nothing to do with religion. It is a custom whose origin
    I do not know and do not need to know for the satisfaction of my spiritual hunger. But I
    do know that it is harmful both to spiritual and national growth. Varna and Ashrama are
    institutions which have nothing to do with castes .The law of Varna teaches us that we have each one of us to
    earn our bread by following the ancestral calling. it defines not our rights but our duties. It necessarily has
    reference to callings that are conducive to the welfare of
    humanity and to no other. It also follows that there is no
    calling too low and none too high. Ail are good, lawful and
    absolutely equal in status. The callings of a Brahmin— spiritual teacher—-and a scavenger are equal, and their due performance
    carries equal merit before
    God and at one time seems to have carried identical reward
    before man. Both were entitled to their livelihood and no more. Indeed
    one traces even now in the villages the faint lines of this
    healthy operation of the law. Living in Segaon with its
    population of 600, I do not find a great disparity between
    the earnings of different tradesmen including
    Brahmins. I find too that real Brahmins are to be found even in these degenerate days who
    are living on alms freely
    given to them and are giving freely of what they have of spiritual treasures. It would be wrong
    and improper to judge the law of Varna by its
    caricature in the lives of men who profess to belong to a Varna, whilst they openly commit a breach of its
    only operative rule. Arrogation
    of a superior status by and of the Varna over another is a denial
    of the law. And there is nothing in the law of Varna to warrant a belief in untouchability. (The essence of
    Hinduism is contained in its enunciation of one and only
    God as Truth and its bold acceptance of Ahimsa as the law of the human family.)

    I am aware that my interpretation of Hinduism
    will be disputed by many besides Dr. Ambedkar. That does not affect
    my position. It is an interpretation by which I have lived
    for nearly half a century
    and according to which I have endeavoured to the best of my
    ability to regulate my life.

    In my opinion
    the profound mistake that Dr. Ambedkar
    has made in his address is to pick out the texts of
    doubtful authenticity and value and the state of degraded Hindus who are no fit specimens of the faith they so woefully
    misrepresent. Judged by the standard applied by Dr. Ambedkar, every
    known living faith will probably fail.

    In his able address, the learned Doctor has
    over proved his case. Can a religion that was professed by Chaitanya,
    Jnyandeo, Tukaram, Tiruvailuvar, Rarnkrishna Paramahansa,
    Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Maharshi
    Devendranath Tagore, Vivekanand
    and host of others who might be easily mentioned, so utterly devoid of merit as is made
    out in Dr. Ambedkar’s address ?
    A religion has to be judged not by it’s worst specimens but
    by the best it might have produced. For that and that alone
    can be used as the standard to aspire to, if not to improve
    upon. (Harijan,
    July 18, 1936)



    Shri Sant Ramji of the Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal of Lahore
    wants me to publish the following: ” I have read your
    remarks about Dr. Ambedkar and the Jat-Pat-Todak

    Mandal, Lahore. In that connection I beg to
    submit as follows :

    ” We did
    not invite Dr. Ambedkar
    to preside over our conference because he belonged to the Depressed Classes, for we do not
    distinguish between a touchable and an untouchable Hindu.
    On the contrary our choice fell on him simply because his diagnosis of the fatal disease
    of the Hindu community was the same as ours, i.e.
    he too was of the opinion that caste system was the root cause of the disruption and
    downfall of the Hindus. The subject of the Doctor’s thesis for Doctorate being caste
    system, he has studied the subject thoroughly. Now the object of our conference was to
    persuade the Hindus to annihilate castes but the advice of a non-Hindu in social and
    religious matters can have no effect on them. The Doctor in the supplementary portion of
    his address insisted on saying that that was his last speech as a Hindu, which was
    irrelevant as well as pernicious to the interests of the conference. So we requested him
    to expunge that sentence for he could easily say the same thing on any other occasion. But
    he refused and we saw no utility in making merely a show of our function. In spite of all
    this, I cannot help praising his address which is, as far as I know, the most learned
    thesis on the subject and worth translating into every vernacular of India.

    Moreover, I want to bring to your notice that
    your philosophical difference between Caste and Varna is too subtle
    to be grasped by people in general, because for all
    practical purposes in the Hindu society Caste and Varna
    are one and the same thing, for the function of both of them is one and the same i.e. to restrict inter-caste
    marriages and inter-dining. Your theory of Varnavyavastha is
    impracticable in this age and there is no hope of its revival in the near future. But
    Hindus are slaves of caste and do not want to destroy it. So when you advocate your ideal
    of imaginary Varnavyavastha they find
    justification for clinging to caste. Thus you are doing a great disservice to social
    reform by advocating your imaginary utility of division of Varnas, for it creates hindrance in our way. To
    try to remove untouchability without striking at the root
    of Varnavyavastha is simply to treat the outward
    symptoms of a disease or to draw a line on the surface of
    water. As in the heart of their hearts dvijas do not want to give social equality to
    the so-called touchable and untouchable Shudras, so they refuse to break caste, and give liberal
    donations for the removal of untouchability, simply to
    evade the issue. To seek the help of the Shastras for the removal of untouchability and
    caste is simply to wash mud with mud.”

    The last paragraph of the letter surely cancels
    the first. If the Mandal rejects the help of the Shastras, they do exactly what Dr. Ambedkar does, i.e.
    cease to be Hindus. How then can they object to Dr. Ambedkar’s
    address merely because he said that that was his last
    speech as a Hindu ? The position appears to be wholly
    untenable especially when the Mandal, for which Shri Sant Ram claims to speak, applauds the whole argument of Dr.
    Ambedkar’s address.

    But it is pertinent to ask what the Mandal
    believes if it rejects the Shastras. How can a
    Muslim remain one if he rejects the Quran ,or a Christian remain Christian if he rejects the Bible ? If Caste and Varna
    are convertible terms and if Varna is an integral part of the Shastras which define Hinduism, I do not know how a
    person who rejects Caste i.e. Varna can call
    himself a Hindu.

    Shri Sant Ram likens the Shastras to mud. Dr. Ambedkar has not, so far as
    I remember, given any such picturesque name to the Shastras. I have certainly meant when I have said
    that if Shastras support the existing
    untouchability I should cease to call myself a Hindu. Similarly, if the Shastras support caste as we know it today in all
    its hideousness, I may not call myself or remain a Hindu since I have no scruples about
    interdining or intermarriage. I need not repeat my position
    regarding Shastras
    and their interpretation. I venture to suggest to Shri Sant Ram that it is the only
    rational and correct and morally defensible position and it has ample warrant in Hindu

    (Harijan, August 15,1936)



    I appreciate greatly the honour done me by the Mahatma
    in taking notice in his Harijan
    of the speech on Caste which I had prepared for the Jat Pat Todak Mandal. From a perusal of his
    of my speech it is clear that the Mahatma completely dissents from the
    views I have expressed on the subject of Caste. I am not in the habit of
    entering into controversy with my opponents unless there are special
    reasons which compel me to act otherwise. Had
    my opponent been some mean and obscure person I would not have pursued him. But my
    opponent being the Mahatma himself I feel I must attempt to
    meet the case to the contrary which he has sought to put
    forth. While I appreciate the honour he has done me, I must
    confess to a sense of surprize
    on finding that of all the persons the Mahatma should accuse me of a desire
    to seek publicity as he seems to do when he suggests that in publishing
    the undelivered speech my object was to see that I was not “
    forgotten “. Whatever the Mahatma
    may choose to say my object in publishing the speech was to
    provoke the Hindus to think and take stock of their
    position. I have never hankered for publicity and if I may say so, I have more of it than I wish or
    need. But supposing it was out of the motive of gaining publicity that I printed the
    speech who could cast a stone at me ? Surely not those, who
    like the Mahatma live in glass houses.


    Motive apart, what has the Mahatma to say on the question raised by
    me in the speech ? First of all any one who reads my speech will realize
    the Mahatma has entirely missed the issues raised by me and that the issues he has raised
    not the issues that arise out of what he is pleased to call my
    indictment of the Hindus. The principal points which I have tried to
    out in my speech may be catalogued as follows : (1) That caste has ruined the
    Hindus ; (2) That the reorganization of the Hindu society
    on the basis of Chaturvarnya is impossible because the Varnavym’astha is
    like a leaky pot or like a man running at the nose. It is incapable of sustaining itself
    by its own virtue and has an inherent tendency to degenerate into a caste system unless
    there is a legal sanction behind it which can be enforced against every one transgressing his Varna ; (3) That the
    reorganization of the Hindu Society on the basis of Chaturvarnya is harmful, because the
    effect of the Varnavyavastha is to degrade the masses by denying them
    opportunity to acquire knowledge and to emasculate them by denying them the right to be
    armed ; (4) That the Hindu society must be reorganized on a religious basis which would recognise the
    principles of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity ; (5) That
    order to achieve this object the sense of religious sanctity behind
    Caste and Varna must be destroyed ; (6) That the sanctity of Caste and
    Varna can be destroyed only by discarding the
    divine authority of the Shastras.
    It will be noticed that the questions raised by the Mahatma
    are absolutely beside the point and show that the main
    argument of the speech was lost upon him.


    Let me examine the substance of the points made
    by the Mahatma. The first point made by the Mahatma is that the texts cited by me are not
    authentic. I confess I am no authority on this matter. But I should like to state that the
    texts cited by me are all taken from the writings of the
    late Mr. Tilak who was a recognised authority on the
    Sanskrit language and on the Hindu Shastras. His
    second point is that these Shastras should be interpreted not by the learned
    but the saints and that, as the saints have understood them, the Shastras do not support Caste and Untouchabilty. As regards the
    first point what I like to ask the Mahatma is what does it
    to any one if the texts are interpolations and if they have been
    differently interpreted by the saints ? The masses do not make any
    distinction between texts which
    are genuine and texts which are interpolations. The masses do not know what the texts are.
    They are too illiterate to know the contents of the Shastras. They have believed what they have been told and
    what they have been told is that the Shastras do enjoin as
    a religious duty the observance of Caste and Untouchability.

    With regard to the
    saints, one must admit that howsoever different and elevating their teachings may have
    been as compared to those of the merely learned they have been lamentably
    ineffective. They have been ineffective for two reasons. Firstly, none of the saints
    ever attacked the Caste System. On the contrary, they were
    staunch believers in the System of
    Castes. Most of them lived and died. as members of the castes
    which they respectively belonged. So passionately attached
    was Jnyandeo to his status as a Brahmin that when the Brahmins of Paithan would not admit him to
    their fold he moved heaven and earth to get his status as a Brahmin recognized by the Brahmin fraternity.
    And even the saint Eknath who now figures in the film ” Dharmatma ” as a hero for having shown courage to touch the
    untouchables and dine with them, did so not because he was
    opposed to Caste and Untouchability
    but because he felt that the pollution caused thereby could be washed away by a bath in
    the sacred waters of the river
    Ganges.* [f1]The saints have never according to my study carried on a
    campaign against. Caste and Untouchability.
    They were not concerned with
    the struggle between men. They were concerned with the relation between man and God. They did not preach that all men
    were equal. They preached that all
    men were equal, in the eyes of God a very different and a very innocuous proposition which
    nobody can find difficult to preach or dangerous to believe in. The second reason why the
    teachings of the saints proved ineffective was because the masses have been taught that a
    might break Caste but the common man must not. A saint therefore never
    became an example to follow. He always remained a pious
    man to be honoured. That the masses have remained staunch believers in Caste and Untouchability shows that the
    pious lives and noble sermons of the saints have had no effect on their life and conduct
    as against the teachings of the Shastras. Thus it can be a matter of no
    consolation that there were saints or that there is a Mahatma
    who understands the Shastras
    differently from the learned few or ignorant many. That the masses hold different view of
    the Shastras is fact which should and must be
    with. How is that to be dealt with except by denouncing the authority
    of the Shastras, which continue to govern their conduct,
    is a question which the Mahatma has not considered. But whatever the plan the Mahatma puts
    forth as an effective means to free the masses from the teachings of the Shastras, he must accept that the pious life led
    by one good Samaritan may be very elevating to himself but
    in India, with the attitude the common man has to saints
    and to Mahatmas—to honour but not to follow—one
    cannot make much out of it.


    The third point made by the Mahatma is that a
    religion professed by Chaitanya, Jnyandeo,
    Tukaram, Tiruvalluvar, Rarnkrishna Paramahansa etc.
    cannot be devoid of merit as is made out by me and that a religion has to be judged not by
    its worst specimens but by the best it might have produced.
    I agree with every word of this statement. But I do not quite understand what the Mahatma
    wishes to prove thereby. That religion should be judged not by its worst specimens but by
    its best is true enough but does it dispose of the matter ?
    I say it does not. The question still remains—why the worst
    number so many and the best so few ? To my mind there are
    two conceivable answers to this question : ( 1 ) That the worst by reason of some original perversity of theirs are morally
    uneducable and are therefore incapable of making the remotest approach to the religious ideal. Or (2) That the
    religious ideal is a wholly wrong ideal which has given a wrong moral twist to the lives
    of the many and that the best have become best in spite of the wrong ideal—in fact by
    giving to the wrong twist a turn in the right direction. Of these two explanations I am
    not prepared to accept the first and I am sure that even the Mahatma will not insist upon
    the contrary. To my mind the second is the only logical and reasonable explanation unless
    the Mahatma has a third alternative to explain why the
    worst are so many and the best so few. If the second is the
    only explanation then obviously the argument of the Mahatma that a religion should be
    judged by its best followers carries us nowhere except to pity the lot of the many who
    have gone wrong because they have been made to worship wrong ideals.


    The argument of the Mahatma
    that Hinduism would be tolerable if
    only many were to follow the example of the saints is fallacious for
    another reason. [f.2] By citing the names of such illustrious persons
    as Chaitanya etc. what the Mahatma
    seems to me to suggest in its broadest and simplest form is that Hindu society can be made
    tolerable and even happy without any fundamental change in its structure
    if all the high caste Hindus can be persuaded to follow a high standard of morality in
    their dealings with the low caste Hindus. I am totally opposed to this kind of ideology. I
    can respect those of the caste Hindus who try to realize a
    high social ideal in their life. Without such men India would be an uglier and a less
    happy place to live in than it is. But nonetheless anyone
    who relies on an attempt to turn the members of the caste Hindus into better men by improving
    their personal character is in my judgment wasting his energy and bugging an illusion. Can personal character make the maker of
    armaments a good man, i.e. a man who will sell shells that will not burst and gas
    that will not poison ? If it cannot, how can you accept
    character to make a man loaded with the consciousness of Caste, a good
    man, i.e. a man who would treat his fellows as his
    friends and equals ? To be true to himself he must deal
    with his fellows either as a superior or inferior according
    as the case may be; at any rate, differently from his own
    caste fellows. He can never be expected to deal with his
    as his kinsmen and equals. As a matter of fact, a Hindu does treat all
    those who are not of his Caste as though they were aliens, who
    could be discriminated against with impunity and against whom any fraud or trick may be
    practised without shame. This is to say that there
    be a better or a worse Hindu. But a good Hindu there cannot be. This is
    so not because there is anything wrong with his personal
    character. In fact what is wrong is the entire basis of his relationship to his fellows.
    The best of men cannot be moral if the basis of relationship between them and their
    fellows is fundamentally a wrong relationship. To a slave his master
    may be better or worse. But there cannot be a good master. A good man cannot be a master
    and a master cannot be a good man. The same applies to the relationship between high caste
    and low caste. To a low caste man a high caste man can be better
    or worse as compared to other high caste men. A high caste man cannot be a good man in so
    far as he must have a low caste man to distinguish him as high caste man. It cannot be
    good to a low caste man to be conscious that there is a high caste man above him. I have
    argued in my speech that a society based on Varna
    or Caste is a society which is based on a wrong relationship. I had hoped that the Mahatma
    would attempt to demolish my argument. But instead of doing that he has merely reiterated
    his belief in Chaturvarnya without disclosing the ground on
    which it is based.

  • VI

    Does the Mahatma
    practise what he preaches ? One does not like to make
    personal reference in an argument which is general in its
    application. But when one preaches a decline and holds it as a dogma there is a curiosity to know how
    far he practises what he preaches. It may be that his failure
    to practise is due to the ideal
    being too high. to be attainable; it may be that his
    failure to practise is due to the innate hypocrisy of the man. In any case he exposes his
    conduct to examination and I must not be blamed if I asked
    how far has the Mahatma attempted to realize his ideal in
    his own case. The Mahatma is a Bania
    by birth. His ancestors had abandoned trading in favour of ministership which is a calling
    of the Brahmins. In his own life, before he became a
    Mahatma, when occasion came for him to choose his career he
    preferred law to scales. On abandoning law he became half saint and half politician. He
    has never touched trading which is his ancestral calling. His youngest
    son—I take one who is a faithful follower of his father—born a Vaishya has married a Brahmin’s daughter and has chosen to
    a newspaper magnate. The Mahatma is not known to have condemned him for
    not following his ancestral calling. It may be wrong and uncharitable
    to judge an ideal by its worst specimens. But surely the Mahatma as a specimen has no better and if he even fails to
    realize the ideal then the
    ideal must be an impossible ideal quite opposed to the
    practical instincts of man. Students of Carlyle know that
    he often spoke on a subject before he thought about it. I wonder whether such has not been
    the case with the Mahatma in regard to the subject matter
    of Caste. Otherwise certain
    questions which occur to me would not have escaped him.
    When can a calling be deemed to have become an ancestral
    calling so as to make it binding on a man ? Must man follow
    his ancestral calling even
    it does not suit his capacities, even when it has ceased to be
    profitable ? Must a man live by his ancestral calling even if he finds
    it to be immoral ? If
    every one must pursue his ancestral calling then it must follow that a man must. continue
    to be a pimp because his grandfather was a pimp and a woman must continue to be a
    prostitute because her grandmother was a prostitute. Is the
    Mahatma prepared to accept the logical conclusion of his doctrine ? To me bis ideal of following
    one’s ancestral calling is not only an impossible and
    impractical ideal, but it is also morally an indefensible ideal. VII

    The Mahatma sees great virtue in a Brahmin
    remaining a Brahmin all his life. Leaving aside the fact there are many Brahmins who do
    not like to remain Brahmins ail their lives. What can we
    about those Brahmins who have clung to their ancestral calling of
    priesthood ? Do they do so from any faith in the virtue of the principle
    of ancestral calling or do they do so from motives of
    filthy lucre ? The Mahatma
    does not seem to concern himself with such queries. He is satisfied that these are “
    real Brahmins who are living on alms freely given to them and giving freely what they have of spiritual treasures “.
    This is how a hereditary Brahmin priest appears to the Mahatma—a
    carrier of spiritual treasurers. But another portrait of the hereditary Brahmin can also be drawn. A Brahmin
    can be a priest to Vishnu—the God of Love. He can be a priest to Shankar—the God. of Destruction.
    He can be a priest at Buddha Gaya
    worshipping Buddha—the greatest teacher of mankind who
    taught the noblest doctrine of Love. He also can be a
    to Kali, the Goddess, who must have a daily sacrifice of an animal to
    satisfy her thirst for blood ; He will be a priest of the temple
    of Rama—the Kshatriya
    God! He will also be a priest
    of the Temple of Parshuram,
    the God who took Avatar to destroy the Kshatriyas ! He can be a priest to Bramha, the Creator of
    the world. He can be a priest to a Pir whose God Allah will
    not brook the claim of Bramha to share his spiritual
    dominion over the world ! No
    one can say that this is a picture which is not true to life. If this is a true picture
    one does not know what to say of this capacity to bear loyalties
    to Gods and Goddesses whose attributes are so antagonistic that no honest man can be a
    devotee to all of them. The Hindus rely upon this extraordinary phenomenon as evidence of
    the greatest virtue of their religion—namely
    its catholicity, its spirit of toleration. As against this
    facile view, it can be urged that what is toleration and catholicity may be really nothing more
    creditable than indifference or flaccid latitudinarianism.
    These two attitudes are hard to distinguish in their outer
    seeming. But they are so vitally unlike in their real quality that no one who examines
    them closely can mistake one for the other. That a man is ready to render homage to many
    Gods and Goddesses may be. cited as evidence of his tolerant spirit.. But can it not also be evidence of insincerity born of a
    desire to serve the times ? I am sure that this toleration
    is merely insincerity. If this view is well founded, one may ask what spiritual treasure
    can there be with a person who is ready to be a priest and a devotee to any deity which it
    serves his purpose to worship and to adore ? Not only must
    such a person be deemed to be bankrupt of all spiritual treasures but for him to practice
    so elevating a profession as that of a priest simply
    because it is ancestral, without faith, without belief,
    merely as a mechanical process handed down from. father to son, is not a conservation of virtue; it is really the
    prostitution of a noble profession which is no other than the service of religion.


    Why does the Mahatma
    cling to the theory of every one following his or her
    ancestral calling ? He gives
    his reasons nowhere But there must be some reason although he does not cars to avow it.
    Years ago writing on “
    Caste versus
    Class ” in his Young
    India he argued that Caste System was better than Class System on the ground that
    caste was the best possible adjustment of social stability. If that be the reason why the
    Mahatma clings to the theory of every one following his or her ancestral calling, then he
    is clinging to a false view of social life. Everybody wants social stability and some
    adjustment must be made in the relationship between individuals and classes in order that
    stability may be had. But two things, I am sure nobody wants.
    One thing nobody wants is static relationship, something that is unalterable, something
    that is fixed for all times. Stability is wanted but not at
    the cost of change when change is imperative. Second thing nobody wants is mere
    Adjustment is wanted but not at the sacrifice of social justice. Can it
    be said that the adjustment of social relationship on the basis of
    caste i.e. on the basis
    of each to his hereditary calling avoids these two evils ?
    I am convinced that it does not. Far from being the best possible adjustment I have no
    doubt that it is of the worst possible kind inasmuch as it
    offends against both the canons of social adjustment—namely fluidity and equity.


    Some might think that the Mahatma has made much progress inasmuch as he now only
    believes in Varna and docs not believe in Caste.
    It is true that there was a time when the Mahatma was a full-blooded and a blue-blooded Sanatani Hindu. He believed
    in the Vedas, the
    Upanishads, the Puranas and all that
    goes by the name of Hindu scriptures and therefore in avatars and rebirth. He believed in Caste and
    defended it with the vigour of the orthodox. He condemned the cry for inter-dining, inter-drinking
    and inter-marrying and argued that restraints about inter-dining to a great extent “
    the cultivation of will-power and the conservation of certain social
    virtue “. It is good that he has repudiated this sanctimonious
    nonsense and admitted that caste ” is harmful both to
    spiritual and national growth,” and may be, his son’s marriage outside his caste has
    had something to do with this change of view. But has the
    really progressed ? What is the nature of the Varna for which the
    Mahatma stands ? Is it the Vedic conception as commonly understood and
    preached by Swami Dayanaad Saraswati and his followers, the Arya
    Samajists ? The essence of
    the Vedic
    conception of Varna is the pursuit of a
    calling which is appropriate to one’s natural aptitude. The essence of the Mahatma’s conception of Varna
    is the pursuit of ancestral calling irrespective of natural aptitude. What is the
    difference between Caste and Varna as understood
    the Mahatma? I find none. As defined by the Mahatma, Varna becomes
    merely a different name for Caste for the simple reason that it is the
    same in essence—namely pursuit of ancestral calling. Far from
    making progress the Mahatma has suffered retrogression. By putting this interpretation
    upon the Vedic conception of Varna he has really made ridiculous what was
    sublime. While I reject the Vedic Varnavyavastha for reasons given in the speech I must
    admit that the Vedic theory of Varna as interpreted by Swami Dayanand and some others is a sensible and an inoffensive
    thing. It did not admit birth as a determining factor in fixing the place of an individual
    in society. It only recognized worth. The Mahatma’s view of Varna
    not only makes nonsense of the Vedic
    Varna but it makes it an abominable thing. Varna
    and Caste are two very different concepts. Varna
    is based on the principle of each according to his worth-while Caste is based on the
    principle of each according to his birth. The two are as distinct
    as chalk is from cheese. In fact there is an antithesis between the two. If the Mahatma believes as he does in every
    one following his or her ancestral calling, then most certainly he is advocating the Caste
    System and that in calling it the Varna System
    he is not only guilty of terminologicale inexactitude, but he is causing confusion worse confounded. I am sure that
    his confusion is due to the fact that the Mahatma has no definite and
    clear conception as to what is Varna and what is Caste and as to the
    necessity of
    either for the conservation of Hinduism. He has said and
    one hopes that he will not find some mystic reason to
    his view that caste is not the essence of Hinduism. Does he regard
    Varna as the essence of Hinduism ? One cannot as yet give any
    categorical answer. Readers of
    his article on ” Dr. Ambedkar’s
    Indictment ” will answer “
    No “. In that article he does not say that the dogma
    of Varna is an essential
    part of the creed of Hinduism. Far from making Varna
    the essence of Hinduism he says ” the essence of
    Hinduism is contained in its enunciation of one and only God as Truth and its bold
    of Ahimsa as the law of the human family ” But the readers of his
    article in reply to Mr. Sant Ram will say ” Yes “. In that article he
    says “
    How can a Muslim remain one if he rejects the Qurtan, or a Christian remain
    Christian if he rejects the Bible ? If Caste and Varna are convertible
    terms and if Varna is an integral part of the Shastras which
    define Hinduism I do not know how a person who rejects Caste, i.e. Varna can call himself a Hindu ? ” Why this prevarication
    ? Why does the Mahatma hedge ? Whom does he want to
    ? Has the saint failed to sense the truth ? Or does the politician
    stand in the way of the Saint ? The real reason why the Mahatma is
    suffering from this
    confusion is probably to be traced to two sources. The first is the temperament of the
    He has almost in everything the simplicity of the child with the
    child’s capacity for self-deception. Like a child he can believe in
    anything he wants to
    believe. We must therefore wait till such time as it pleases the Mahatma to abandon his faith in Varna
    as it has pleased him to abandon his faith in Caste. The second source of confusion is the
    double role which the Mahatma wants to play—of a Mahatma and a Politician. As a
    Mahatma he may be trying to spiritualize Politics. Whether he has succeeded in it or not
    Politics have certainly commercialized him. A politician must know that Society cannot
    bear the whole truth and that he must not speak the whole truth;
    if he is speaking the whole truth it is bad for his politics. The reason why the Mahatma
    is always supporting Caste and Varna is because
    he is afraid that if he opposed them he will lose his place in politics. Whatever may be
    the source of this confusion the Mahatma must be told that
    he is deceiving himself and also deceiving the people by preaching Caste under the name of Varna.


    The Mahatma says that the standards I have
    applied to test Hindus
    and Hinduism are too severe and that judged by those standards every
    known living faith will probably fail. The complaint that my standards
    are high may be true. But the question is not whether they
    are high or whether they are low. The question is whether they are the right standards to
    apply. A People and their Religion must be judged by social
    standards based on social ethics. No other standard would
    have any meaning if religion is held to be a necessary good
    for the well-being of the people. Now I maintain that the standards I have applied to test
    Hindus and Hinduism are the most appropriate standards and that I know of none that are
    better. The conclusion that every known religion would fail
    if tested by my standards may be true. But this fact should not give the Mahatma as the
    champion of Hindus and Hinduism a ground for comfort any more than the existence of one madman should give
    comfort to another madman or the existence of one criminal should give comfort to another
    criminal. I like to assure
    the Mahatma that it is not the mere failure of the Hindus
    and Hinduism which has produced in me the feelings of disgust and contempt with which. I am charged. I realize that the world
    a very imperfect world and any one who wants to live in it must bear
    with its imperfections. But while I am. prepared to bear with the
    imperfections and shortcomings of the society in which I may be destined to labour, I feel I should not consent to
    live in a society which cherishes wrong ideals or a society which having right ideals will not consent to
    its social life in conformity with those ideals. If I am disgusted with
    Hindus and Hinduism it is because I am convinced that they
    cherish wrong ideals and live
    a wrong social life. My quarrel with Hindus and Hinduism is
    not over the imperfections of their social conduct. It is much more fundamental. It is
    over their ideals.


    Hindu society seems to me to stand in need of a moral regeneration
    which it is dangerous to postpone. And the question is who can
    determine and control this
    moral regeneration ? Obviously only those who have
    undergone an intellectual regeneration and those who are
    honest enough to have the courage of their convictions born
    of intellectual emancipation. Judged by this standard the Hindu leaders who count are in
    my opinion quite unfit for
    the task. It is impossible to say that they have undergone the preliminary intellectual regeneration. If they had
    undergone an intellectual regeneration
    they would neither delude themselves in the simple way of
    the untaught multitude nor would they take advantage of the
    ignorance of others as one sees them doing. Notwithstanding the
    crumbling state of Hindu society these leaders will nevertheless
    unblushingly appeal
    to ideals of the past which have in every way ceased to have any connection with the present ; which
    however suitable they might
    have been in the days of their origin have now become a warning
    rather than a guide. They still have a mystic respect for the earlier forms which make them disinclined—nay opposed to
    any examination of the foundations of their Society. The Hindu
    masses are cf course
    incredibly heedless in the formation of their beliefs. But so are the Hindu leaders. And what is worse is that.
    These Hindu leaders become filled with an illicit passion
    for their beliefs when any
    one proposes to rob them of their companionship. The Mahatma. is no exception. The Mahatma
    appears not to believe in thinking He prefers to follow the
    saints. Like a conservative with his reverence for consecrated notions
    he is afraid that if he once starts thinking, many ideals
    and institutions to which lie clings
    will be doomed. One must sympathize with him. For every act of independent thinking puts some
    portion of apparently stable world
    in peril. But it is equally
    true that dependence on saints
    cannot lead us to know the truth. The saints are after
    only human beings and as Lord Balfour said , ” the human mind is no
    more a truth finding apparatus than the snout of a pig “. In so far as
    he does think,
    to me he really appears to be prostituting his intelligence
    to find reasons for supporting this archaic social
    structure of the Hindus. He is the most influential apologist of it and therefore the worst enemy of the Hindus.

    Unlike the Mahatma there are Hindu leaders who
    are not content merely to believe and follow. They dare to
    think, and act in, accordance with the result of their
    thinking. But unfortunately they are either a dishonest lot
    or an indifferent lot when it comes to the question of
    giving right guidance to the mass of the people. Almost every Brahmin has
    transgressed the rule of Caste. The number of Brahmins who sell shoes is far greater than those who practise priesthood. Not
    only have the Brahmins given up their ancestral calling of
    priesthood for trading but they have entered trades which, are prohibited to them by the Shaslras. Yet how
    Brahmins who break Caste every day will preach against Caste and
    against the Shastras ? For one honest Brahmin preaching against Caste
    and Shastras because
    his practical instinct and moral conscience cannot support a conviction in them, there are
    hundreds who break Caste and trample upon the Shastras
    day but who are the most fanatic upholders of the theory of Caste and
    the sanctity of the Shastras. Why this duplicity ? Because they feel
    that if the masses are emancipated from the yoke of Caste they would be
    a menace to the power and prestige of the Brahmins as a class. The dishonesty of this intellectual class who would deny
    the masses the fruits of their thinking is a most
    disgraceful phenomenon.

    The Hindus in
    the words of Mathew Arnold are “
    wandering between two worlds, one dead, the other powerless to be born “. What
    are they to do ? The Mahatma
    to ‘whom they appeal for
    guidance does not believe in thinking and can therefore give no guidance which can be said to stand the test of
    experience. The intellectual classes to whom the masses
    look for guidance are either too dishonest or too indifferent
    to educate them in the right direction. We are indeed witnesses to a great tragedy. In the
    face of this tragedy all one can do is to lament and say—such be thy Leaders, O! Hindus.

AYAWATI On March 21

I have been a victim of the misuse of CBI. Be it BJP or Congress, both have misused CBI

New low for the CBI

Given its regime-sensitive approach to politically sensitive cases in the last two decades, this is hardly a surprise.

In this period, it probed cases involving Rajiv Gandhi
in the Bofors scandal and the HDW submarine bribery case, P V Narasimha
Rao in the JMM bribery scandal and the Lakhubhai Pathak cheating case; L
K Advani in the Babri demolition case; Mulayam Singh Yadav, and Lalu Prasad and several Union ministers and leaders in the Jain hawala case.

The Bofors scandal, dealing with the purchase of field guns, boomed for
more than two decades in the political arena before it got buried by
the Delhi High Court in 2005. This was when it quashed charges against
the only available accused, the Hinduja brothers.

had named Rajiv Gandhi in its 1999 charge sheet during the NDA regime.
It also detailed Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi’s role and his
unhindered access to the PM’s residence.

Although CBI was
castigated by HC for going on a wild goose chase and spending over Rs
250 crore of taxpayers’ money, the agency awaited the UPA government’s
nod, which never came. The judgment attained finality and the Bofors
ghost was exorcised after 20 years.

The kickback case in the
HDW deal signed during Rajiv’s rule was registered in 1987. This was
when V P Singh was PM. Many of the accused named in the FIR had been
mentioned in the Bofors FIR. But investigations were closed in 2005.

Rao came close to getting arrested in the Lakhu Bhai Pathak case,
despite CBI not naming him in the charge sheet. It named godman’
Chandraswami and his aide, Mamaji’ K N Agrawal. The trial court made the
former PM a co-accused after it found evidence of Pathak allegedly
handing over money to Chandraswamy on Rao’s assurance . But, there
wasn’t enough to nail Rao or others who were acquitted in 2003. CBI
never went in appeal.

The real scare for Rao came in the JMM
case where it was clear that his government survived a Parliament floor
test in 1993 by buying MPs’ votes. The CBI’s reluctance to stay the
course and inhibition showed by the courts resulted in Rao’s acquittal.

The CBI took up the Babri Masjid case and named 22 top rightwing
leaders, including Advani, who became deputy PM seven years later. In
2010, Allahabad HC discharged Advani and others from conspiracy charges.
Much after the expiry of the time limit for filing an appeal, CBI moved
SC. When the court wanted to know the reasons for delay, it filed an
affidavit which showed how it was acting under the then home minister’s
guidance. More than two decades since, the case is nowhere near

The Jain hawala case, in which leaders from across the political
spectrum were charged by CBI for allegedly receiving ‘political
donations’ , is an example of how not to carry out investigations. In
none of the cases, the CBI could sustain its charge sheet.

Coalgate: Dark clouds hover above Ashwani Kumar, PMO

Supreme Court’s admonition of the government and the CBI for changing
the status report on investigations into ‘Coalgate’ left Congress
red-faced, lengthening the shadow of ’scams’ over the UPA dispensation
and raising the political cost of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s
affection for his law minister Ashwani Kumar.

the court rebuked the argument that the law minister was entitled to
vet the status report, Congress circles were almost unanimous in
acknowledging that Kumar was precariously perched with party general
secretary Janardan Dwivedi saying the court’s views would be respected.
He said Congress “was not one of those who praise the court when
decisions are in our favour and criticize it when the verdict is against
us. We respect the courts”.

There was recognition also
of the growing political risks for Congress from the court hearing, with
Dwivedi candidly acknowledging the setback. “Of course, it is not a
pleasant comment for any dispensation,” he said.

Unlike the
PM’s assertion on Saturday ruling out the law minister’s resignation,
Dwivedi seemed to recognize the fragility of Kumar’s tenure in the
government. “As far as the comments of the SC are concerned, I believe
the final opinion is yet to come and once it comes, an appropriate
decision can be taken,” he said.

In fact, the PM’s own reaction
to the severe strictures from the court on Tuesday did not appear to
shut the door on any possibility. “I have not studied the Supreme
Court’s observations. Whatever action is called for will be taken after
studying it,” Singh said.

Congress sources, however, seemed to
feel that Singh, who handpicked Kumar for the law ministry, will have to
act proactively to stop the creeping shadow of Coalgate from reaching
PMO’s gates.

Party circles have consistently seen what one
source called the law minister’s “diligent proof reading” of CBI’s
status report through the prism of his loyalty to Singh.

(Kumar) looks far more vulnerable than he seemed on April 26 when the
CBI admitted to the court that it was made to show the Coalgate status report to the law ministry along with others,” a senior Cabinet minister said.

CBI’s probe covers the allocation of coal blocks made during the period
when the PM held charge of the coal ministry, and party circles feel
that the law minister must have felt it necessary to cushion the PMO
against any potential source of embarrassment.

However, with
the endeavour boomeranging on the minister and the government as a
whole, Congress circles feel the party leadership must move swiftly to
cap the flames from spreading further.

Party sources maintained
that the initiative for this has to come from the PM himself, as none
in the party will be comfortable broaching the subject with him. Kumar
had a meeting with the PM in the evening.

Senior party leaders
see the severity of the judicial reproach as something which can goad
the PM to let go of Kumar if only for his own sake.

Significantly, the court on Tuesday vowed to go beyond the nature of
changes in the status report to find out who carried those out and to
what end: a resolve which seemed to heighten the sense of urgency in
Congress about putting a lid on the politically haemorrhaging

Law minister wrong in vetting coalgate report: Supreme Court

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday virtually rejected government’s argument that the law minister
was entitled to supervise the drafting of CBI’s report on its
investigations into Coalgate, saying the assertion ran contrary to its
1997 judgment in the Vineet Narain case.

Upset by law minister Ashwani Kumar,
who is not the supervising minister for CBI, summoning and correcting
the agency’s probe status report in the coal scam case, a bench of
Justices R M Lodha, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph cited the 1997
judgment to stress that only the supervising ministry could give broad
policy directions to the CBI regarding a class of cases and seek updates
on the progress of investigation.

“This is being misconstrued
to interfere with the investigation,” the bench said, virtually rebuking
government’s defence that Kumar as law minister was legally competent
to go through CBI’s report and suggest changes.

The CBI reports to the department of personnel and training whose overall charge is with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The bench also said the 1997 judgment allowing the ministry supervising
the CBI to give broad policy directions in certain cases and seek
status of probe did not extend to a case where government functionaries
themselves were the accused.

“How does one reconcile this with
the investigation into allegations against government functionaries?
Does the minister have power to call for progress in investigation? This
frustrates the very purpose,” the bench said.

Ironically, it
was the frustration over the political executive’s moves to scuttle the
probe into cases involving political bigwigs which led the SC in the
1997 judgment to define who among the ministers should have a
supervisory role vis-a-vis the CBI.

While dealing with Vineet
Narain’s PIL, the court realized that mafia and crime syndicates thrived
because of reluctance of law enforcing agencies - police, CBI and
Enforcement Directorate — to act against them because they feared
retributive action from political executive.

As a first step,
the court had desired to free the investigating agencies from the
clutches of political executives, but the then attorney general had put
up a caveat in the form of a note from an individual Union Cabinet
minister. The minister had requested the court to keep in mind the fact
that “ultimate responsibility for functioning of these agencies to
Parliament is that of the concerned minister”.

court said it had never intended to dilute the in-charge minister’s
general power to review working of the agencies and give broad policy
directions regarding their functioning.

“However, all the
powers of the minister are subject to the condition that none of them
would extend to permit the minister to interfere with the course of
investigation and prosecution in any individual case and in that respect
the concerned officers are to be governed entirely by the mandate of
the law and statutory duty cast upon them,” the court had said.

After referring to the Vineet Narain judgment, the bench of Justices
Lodha, Lokur and Joseph said the primary task now was to free the CBI
from the clutches and crutches of political executive and bureaucrats
and restore its past glory.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan,
appearing for petitioner NGO Common Cause, said the two-year fixed
tenure for the CBI director to make him independent of the political
executive too had been subverted by the governments, which lured the CBI
chief with post-retirement gubernatorial posts to make him pliant.

The bench said, “We have to bring clarity in certain paragraphs of the
Vineet Narain judgment. What actually was meant to be achieved but what
has it been understood (by the political class).”

Samaj Party (BSP), Mayawati, has charged the Election Commission with
perpetrating a culture of caste bias after she was recently frisked in
poll-bound Karnataka which means that BSP treading on the right path.
This is not tolerated by the manuvadis which believes in 1st,2nd,3rd,4th
rate athmas (souls) and that the SC/STs have no soul and they can
indulge in all sorts of discrimination. But the Buddha never believed in
any soul. He said all are equal. That is the reason why Dr.B.R.
Ambedkar wanted all discriminated people to return back to Buddhism for
self respect, peace, welfare and happiness. The discriminative and
source of bias of EC instead of freezing the National Flower Lotus and
religious Hand symbol used by gods’ pedestals, astrologers and Islam and
draping all the symbols and statues of UPA and NDA ruling in the Center
and Karnataka State as done in Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections for
level playing field in indulging in such discriminative source of bias
in order to save UPA and NDA’s sagging image because of corruption,
inflation, in human and non development of the nation. The EC must also
make public the open source code of EVMs which they will not do to
protect the casteist and communal UPA and NDA who support the corporates
and the biased media who are responsible of high inflation and lack of
drinking water, uninterrupted power supply social boycott of the
downtrodden. that is the reason for the British parliament’s decision to
recognize the existence of caste alongside race as a form of
discrimination and sources of bias should be equated. All Democratic
countries, fearless media and UN to support Bahujan Samaj Party to
acquire the MASTER KEY for peace, welfare and happiness by distributing
the wealth of the country equally among all sections of the society
including SC/ST/OBC/Minorities and Poor Upper castes to attain Eternal
Bliss as Final Goal, since all the ruling parties such as UPA, NDA and
other regional parties believing in athmas failed to do so. It must give
a strong push to portray caste as a global phenomenon like race,and it
should be a subject of policy at international fora like the United

Casteism equal to racism? UK law holds key

Casteism equal to racism? UK law holds key
laxity by Indian states in dealing with caste issues, as are routinely
reported, could find mention in reports of Western countries and

NEW DELHI: British parliament’s decision to recognize the existence of
caste alongside race as a form of discrimination sources of bias should  be equated. Casteism is worst than Racism. Manuvad
recognise 1st, 2nd,3rd,4th rate athmas(souls) and SC/STs have no soul.
Buddha never believed in any soul. He said all are equal. Therefore
Dr.B.R.Ambedkar reverted back all those who never believed in any soul
to Buddhism. All Democratic countries, fearless media and UN to
support Bahujan Samaj Party to acquire the MASTER KEY for peace, welfare
and happiness by distributing the wealth of the country equally among
all sections of the society including SC/ST/OBC/Minorities and Poor
Upper castes to attain Eternal Bliss as Final Goal, since all the ruling
parties such as UPA, NDA and other regional parties believing in athmas
failed to do so.

It must give a strong push to portray caste as a global
phenomenon like race,and it should  be a subject of policy at international fora like the United Nations.

As the law in the UK became a reality earlier this week, experts said
it would trigger lobbying for similar legal protection in the United
States, Canada, South Africa
and Australia - countries that are more sensitive to human rights
issues and have a strong presence of Indian diaspora, but have little
awareness of caste.

The presence of Hindu/Indian diaspora
and a good chunk of SC/STs is the pre-requisite for such laws to come
into effect. Officials and the civil society said a reluctant House of Commons could be persuaded because of the presence of around four lakh SCs in the UK.

Development has led to glee among civil rights groups.

In the long-term, it could render
India vulnerable as child labour and gender bias did earlier.

Vivek Kumar, a sociologist with the Jawaharlal Nehru
University, said, “The studies on diaspora will have to acknowledge
that caste exists outside India. The new law in the UK has strengthened
claims of academics that caste is not a local problem, but is part of

  “India should take the leadership position to deal
with caste globally. India need not be defensive about it. Indian
constitution barred caste discrimination half a century ago and it has
the best laws to deal with the issue.”

Globalization has been
sending Indians across the world, but in future, experts say, their
movement would be seen as not just of biological entities but also of a
cultural baggage that includes decadent practices.

Cash-for-vote scam

The MPs would have informed the law
enforcement agency and that the accused had twin objectives of
conducting the sting and also taking the illegal gratification. All the
accused have been booked under various provisions of the Prevention of
Corruption Act and for criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code.

The court was hearing the arguments on framing of charges in the cash-for-vote scam
of 2008 to bribe the MPs ahead of the trust vote in which former
Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh, Sudheendra Kulkarni, BJP leader L K
Advani’s former aide, BJP MP Ashok Argal, Suhail Hindustani and Sanjeev
Saxena — Amar Singh’s former aide — are all have been named accused.

The case was registered in
2009 on recommendation by a Parliamentary panel that had probed the
scam. The first charge sheet in the matter was filed in August 2011 in
which all but Argal were named as the accused. Police had accused Amar
Singh and Kulkarni of “conspiring” and “masterminding” the scam to bribe
some MPs ahead of the July 22, 2008, confidence vote in the Lok Sabha.

All the accused have been booked under various provisions of the
Prevention of Corruption Act and for criminal conspiracy under the
Indian Penal Code. The case was registered in 2009 on recommendation by a
Parliamentary panel that had probed the scam.

Mayawati again demands imposition of President’s Rule in UP

New Delhi: BSP supremo
Mayawati on Thursday made a fresh demand for imposition of President’s
rule in Uttar Pradesh in the wake of the controversial remarks made by
some ministers in the Akhilesh Yadav government.

“What more evidence can one look for after this. These kind of
incidents (minister’s remarks) coming to light after our letter to the
Governor vindicates our position. The Governor should not delay action
any further and recommend President’s Rule in the state,” she told
reporters outside Parliament.

Mayawati had last week met Governor B L Joshi and asked him to recommend
President’s rule claiming there was a constitutional crisis in the
state due to poor law and order situation.

UP Textile Minister Shiv Kumar Beria had yesterday triggered a
controversy by saying that no policeman can do anything without his
orders while Social Welfare Minister Ram Murti Verma said no power can
stop crimes in the state and they would continue to happen.

Asked about the reported incursion by China in Ladakh, she said,
“Centre should be serious and timely action should be taken or else the
situation could deteriorate”.

Congress has been ruling
in the Centre and States for more than 60 years.Why did they not give
rice for Re.1 per Kg all these years. First of all have they made
education free as directed in the Constitution? Leave alone promising
free laptops can they promise to give Internet connections which costs
Rs1000/- per month to all these laptops. Students will only sell these
laptops as they did in Uttar Pradesh.Congress or the BJP never even
attempted to distribute healthy seeds, land to the tillers and
uninterrupted irrigation to the farmers. Government loans were not given
to youths to start their own trade and business. Government servants
were corrupt and were not asked by these parties to be loyal and
efficient for their good governance. Hence

The Only Hope of the Nation is Elephant of BSP!

People are just fed up
with Congress, other regional parties JDS, BSR, KJP and BJP!

After 15 opposition members of the 2G JPC told Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar they had no confidence in its chairman P.C. Chacko, the Congress members  demanded three BJP MPs be removed from the panel or debarred from voting due to conflict of interest.
“We have urged the speaker to remove three BJP members - Ravi Shankar Prasad, Yashwant Sinha and Jaswant Singh
- from the JPC or debar them from voting as they were either telecom
ministers or were part of a group of ministers on the issue during the
NDA rule (1998-2004) and there would be a conflict of interest if the
draft report would be discussed and finalised in their presence,”

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members are miffed as the draft report
states the government incurred losses worth over Rs.40,000 core during
the NDA rule under then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

a Scheduled Caste does some thing it is called wrong doing and punished
and if non-Scheduled Castes does the same mistake it is just an error
and escapes. This is un-Constitutional but it is the law of manu where
errorists are allowed to escape.

Congress has been ruling
in the Centre and States for more than 60 years.Why did they not give
rice for Re.1 per Kg all these years. First of all have they made
education free as directed in the Constitution? Leave alone promising
free laptops can they promise to give Internet connections which costs
Rs1000/- per month to all these laptops. Students will only sell these
laptops as they did in Uttar Pradesh.Congress or the BJP never even
attempted to distribute healthy seeds, land to the tillers and
uninterrupted irrigation to the farmers. Government loans were not given
to youths to start their own trade and business. Government servants
were corrupt and were not asked by these parties to be loyal and
efficient for their good governance.

The Only Hope of the Nation is Elephant of BSP!

People are just fed up
with Congress, other regional parties JDS, BSR, KJP and BJP!
 BSP will capture the MASTER KEY !
For Mayawati!

PAID NEWS medias have no self respect. For the sake of advertisement
they violate law of the land and conduct Pre-Poll surveys. Napolean had
once said that he can face two battalions but not two scribes.All
surveys are bull shit.

time many voters may not go for voting as they are fed up with BJP,
Congress, JDS, KJP, BSR because they are all chips of the old coal and
iron blasts and vultures of the same feather flocking together who feed
on the dead bodies of farmers. If again elected these vultures may even
feed on the dead bodies of urbanites because of the ever increasing high

The petition said around 6,000 people have been rendered homeless after
their houses were razed by the developer.

Signature campaign demands their housing rights, says Ejipura land was meant for poor.

Now, candidates launch direct transfer scheme for voters.

It is another innovation from Karnataka that will revolutionise
electoral politics. If the results of the 2008 elections taught
politicians how to circumvent the anti-defection law through Operation
Kamala, 2013 elections have thrown up a direct cash transfer scheme for
bribing voters.

Outgoing Congress MLA for Kanakapura D.K. Shivakumar tops the Midas
charts, followed by two more party colleagues — Priya Krishna and
Santosh Lad.

Congress’ ‘most eligible bachelor’ is worth over Rs 900 cr in the fray from
Govindrajnagar segment. His wealth was
declared at Rs 765 crore in the 2009 Assembly bypoll
son of realtor-politician  who is a sitting MLA from Vijayanagar here.


As many as 57 Congress MLAs, although out of power, reported an average
asset rise of Rs. 13 crore (60 per cent) each. The Janata Dal (Secular)
has reported an average increase of Rs. 11 crore (198 per cent) in
assets of each of its MLAs.

For the Bharatiya Janata Party, its 73 MLAs became 132 per cent richer at an average increase of Rs. 6 crore each.

Other notables are Appachu Ranjan of BJP (Madikeri) whose assets have
grown from Rs. 18.2 lakh to Rs.10.65 crore, excluding the undeclared
value of his six vehicles, jewellery and immoveable property; and S.
Raghu, also of BJP, (C.V. Raman Nagar) from 72.8 lakh to Rs. 31.64 crore
in five years.

Deputy Chief Minister K.S. Eshwarappa owns assets worth
Rs. 4.8 crore, while his wife, Jayalakshmi, owns assets worth Rs. 2.47

Advani is accused of taking money from Yeddyurappa

The ADR-EW team said that this year, 42 of the 48 MLAs with criminal records have returned to the polls.

Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar may find
himself in a spot when the CBI files its affidavit in the Supreme Court
on whether the coalgate report was vetted by the Law Ministry and the

coal mine allocations done in 1993 to 2010 as “unauthorised and
illegal”, a Parliamentary panel on Tuesday suggested scrapping of mines
that have not started production.

The Committee
said it was “astonished” to find that although 195 blocks with 44.23
billion tonnes of reserves were allotted, no estimates for the value of
coal extracted was made by the government. It stressed the need for
introducing a proper mechanism for correct evaluation.

BJP looted Karnataka

Ruling BJP in Karnataka,is accused of “looting” the
state that it would lose the May 5 Karnataka assembly polls.

BJP broke
electoral promises and “the only thing they remembered was how to loot
public money in the state. They have done it. They are past masters in

the government for forgetting its promises of employment, water and
24-hour power supply, he said “last time you made BJP victorious, you
trusted them. They promised you 24-hour power supply, did you get it?
They promised you employment, did you get it? They forgot employment,

BJP was talking about corruption in
Delhi, but gave “Vidhan Sabha seats to two brothers
(mining barons from Bellary Janardhana Reddy and Karunakara Reddy who
are facing corruption cases).”

VVIP chopper deal: CBI freezes bank account of ex-IAF chief

VVIP Helicopter deal 4000 crore scam

Rajasthan stone quarry scam

Farm loan waiver scam

Dental Multicrore scam

The Great Thorium Robbery ?????????? Crores

DLF- Vadra Scam

Coal block allotment scam Rs. 186000 crores

Adarsh Scam - shameless, unpatriotic scam where politicians were
allotted the houses meant for Kargil Martyrs in Jokelal State of Maharashtra.

2G Spectrum Scam 2008 Rs. 176000

Granite stone scam (TN) - 18,000 crores


S-Band Scam

always Lie in pre-polls. Indian voters never give a right answer who
they voted they would adjust to your convenience. Media and money power
did not work in the concluded Urban Elections. Congress won because of
the absence of BSP and the ELEPHANT symbol was not alotted to any
candidate. Now BSP along with SDPI and former Chairman od Backward Class
Commission will do the trick.

So now should looting continue here in cash rich state with the id of the greedy media ?

The BJP has had a history of appropriating figures that had no
ideological linkage with it and were at times even opposed to it. From
Mahatma Gandhi to Bhagat Singh to Vivekananda and BR Ambedkar, the party
has tried to piggyback onto the legacies of many.

[Attachment(s) from Ravinder Singh included below]

LOOT INDIA SIGNALS by Vajpayee, Jaitley,
Yashwant, Mahajan+

April26, 2013


Within hours of taking over
power in 1999
Vajpayee Jaitley, Yashwant, Mahajan and others gave
LOOT INDIA SIGNALS. In my earlier message I had given list of Ten Sins of BJP
NDA that I am repeating here again – just 10 lines explain the MEGA LOOT.


Arun Jaitley had grossly
misled people of India
on 2G Issue.


NDA gave all Different
and Competing Technologies to just Four Major operators – Airtel, Tata, Reliance
and ESSAR-Hutch (Vodafone).


Buy 1 Get 10 Scheme


Along with 2G GSM license
NDA gave
2G CDMA, WLL, Local Copper Line Phones, Broad Band, Internet, DTH, IPTV,
Optic Fiber, VoIP, WIFI, Blue Tooth etc all practically free.


Rs.8 Per Capita Real License Fee 


  Even as Rs.1600 crores with other Free Ten Services comes
to say Rs.160 crores – License fee for 4-5 All India 2G comes to just Rs.800
crores or Rs. 8 Per Capita.


Rs. 5 Per Minute Local Call Charges


LOOT INDIA SIGNAL No. 3 -  In 2006-07 I was charged Rs.550 to Rs.850 for
100 minutes to 140 minute local calls including few minutes to Chandigarh within 250 km
zoning. After new players were introduced in 2008 call rates fell to 0.30p to
0.40p per minute that have now doubled after cancellation of licenses of new 2G


Rs.4800 crores for 4G 20 Mhz Band

SIGNAL No. 4 -
  RIL paid
Rs.4800 crores for 4G 20 Mhz Spectrum that is capable of over 100 mbps data
speed and providing 2G, 3G, 4G services Voice & Data, Broadband, TV and
other services. Thus is cheap comparing with 2G.


$400b Imported Hardware for Telecom & IT


SIGNAL No. 5 -
  95% of the
Hardware and Software for Telecom and IT services were imported. NDA didn’t


NDA Promoted 4-5 Companies & CARTELS


SIGNAL No. 6 -
  NDA in
allowing 4-5 Companies all Telecom and IT Services. Restricting Companies to
either Optic Fiber services or Wireless Technologies or Copper Wire
Technologies India could have Indigenous Hardware Production and ensure healthy

Poor Quality of Service


SIGNAL No. 7 -
  Except DTH
Quality of All Other Services are Very Poor.




SIGNAL No. 8 -
Jaitley, Yashwant, Mahajan+ Allowed Four or Five Families All The Telecom &
IT Services is already explained but ALSO ALLOWED THESE COMPANIES TO THEIR





SIGNAL No. 9 -
  NDA Denied
Bank Credits to Farmers, MSMEs but Promoted Traders, Moneylenders and


When public lost opportunities of Investing in IPOs and acquiring Equity
as Investments – public were made to Invest in Chit Funds, Deposit with
Moneylenders and Satta Bazaar to realize additional Income.


Ravinder Singh

We need better signal

April 02, 2013


India’s telecom sector was a showcase for the success of
economic reforms. When the government opened up the sector in 1994-95 to
private enterprise there were many sceptics of the private sector being put in
control of communications. Within years every critic was proved wrong.

Public sector monopoly had led to a sluggish growth of the sector. India’s
tele-density at the time of opening out was 0.8%. Less than one out of every
100 people had access to a telephone. Contrary to popular perception, mobile
telephones proved to be a boon for the common and weaker sections.

It hugely improved India’s
tele-density. The waiting list became a part of history. Costs were radically
slashed down; linemen were no longer required. Most Indians felt better


There were apparent mistakes
made in the initial years — though made honestly. The licence fees regime could
only ensure costlier telephony. The National Telecom Policy 1999, formulated by
the NDA government, corrected these mistakes. The switch to revenue sharing
reduced the cost to the operator and increased the volumes substantially.

The increased volumes ensured much larger revenue to the government and cheaper
services to the consumers. Technology began to converge between basic
telephony, limited mobility and full mobility. This led to the universal access
licence which was common to both, the basic and mobile services.


Telecom became the most
visible face of the success of economic reforms. They attracted investments,
increased employment and India
became the fastest growing telecom economy in the world offering cheaper

The UPA government inherited this success story of telecom in 2004 and could
only make it better. Regrettably, the entire enthusiasm inherent in the success
story has disappeared. Though services have substantially expanded, there are
no takers for the spectrum auctions now.

Fresh investors are reluctant to look at this sector and those who have
invested in the sector must be regretting the environment in which they
function despite having earned profits. How did this success story turn


The Prime Minister initially
gave the responsibility of the telecom department to a minister who apparently
had a conflict of interest. Criminal cases against the first telecom minister
of the UPA are under investigation.

After he was dropped, his successor from the same party, the DMK, decided to
run havoc with the department. In 2007-08, spectrum was allocated at rates
determined by the market mechanism of auction in 2001. The sector had hugely
expanded in seven years and the value of the spectrum had substantially

Despite being cautioned that the price determined at the time of allocation be
freshly undertaken, either through auction or through indexing, he decided to
allot the spectrum at a rate much less than the market prices. The mode of
allocation was conspiratorial. The goal post was altered halfway through.

The criteria of first-come-first-served was changed to those who pay the entry
fees ahead of others. This information appears to have been leaked out to the
most favoured applicants. The result was disastrous.

The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India shattered confidence in the
credibility of governmental functioning. The CBI had to file chargesheets where
the minister, civil servants and investors were all arrested. The Supreme Court
took the extraordinary step of cancelling the licenses. The biggest success
story of economic reforms had now become a monumental scam.


A third minister was
appointed to look after the telecom department. He wanted to get sadistic
delight out of the fact that scams were not new to the telecom sector under the
UPA government.

He, therefore, selected a judge of his choice to ‘unearth’ an NDA scam. The
judge’s report was sent to the CBI. The CBI has now filed a chargesheet in the
court. The essence of the CBI case relates to the spectrum user charges. When
the service expands, the operators need extra spectrum.

Under the NTP 1999, additional spectrum charges are to be paid for through
revenue sharing. The policy framed in 2001-02 was that on 4.4 MHz, the initial
start up spectrum, a 2% user charge would be paid; up to 6.2 MHz, a 3% user
charge will be paid, and for the entire slab from 6.2 MHz to 10 MHz, the charge
would be 4%. The entire allegation against the NDA is as to why the slab between
6.2 MHz and 10 MHz was not broken in two, and between 8 MHz to 10 MHz, why an
extra 1% charge was not levied.


The spectrum user charges
are a tariff fixation. Tariff fixation is an executive function. The executive
at a given point of time considers various factors while increasing or reducing
tariff or while determining the size of the slabs on which a particular tariff
is charged. There is no scientific rationale on which this can be done.

Tariffs are fixed on a commercial assessment of the market conditions. The
underlying consideration has to be the promotion of the sector. An
administrator may well feel that lower tariff can reduce costs and increase the
volumes and hence benefit both, the sector and revenues.

In this case, slabs could have been fixed keeping in mind the parity between
the basic and limited mobility. Subsequent reports of the Telecom Regulatory
Authority of India appear to have accepted the principle on which these tariffs
were fixed.

If tariff fixation becomes a ground for invoking the Prevention of Corruption
Act, clauses such as causing wrongful loss to revenue, every finance minister
who reduces the customs or excise duty in the Budget may be subject to such an

The CBI chargesheet names my then colleague, Pramod Mahajan, as a conspirator
in tariff fixation. Since he is no more, he obviously cannot be prosecuted. As
a member of the then government, I feel obliged, after examining the charge
against him, to suggest that the charge is absolutely ill-founded and baseless.

The telecom story is a case
where the UPA government and the prime minister have a lot to introspect.
Having inherited a showcase success story, the first minister appointed by the
UPA conflicted his personal interest with that of the sector.

His successor got trapped in his own shenanigans. The third minister set out to
teach the NDA a lesson. Former civil servants and investors have become his
victims. In the process he has damaged the sector, further adding to its

Oustees petition poll candidate Garudachar

The petition said around 6,000 people have been rendered homeless after their houses were razed by the developer. File photo: V.Sreenivasa Murthy

The petition said around 6,000 people have been rendered homeless after
their houses were razed by the developer.

Signature campaign demands their housing rights, says Ejipura land was meant for poor

The evicted residents of Economically Weaker Sections
(EWS) shantytown in Ejipura, accompanied by citizens and rights
activists, delivered a petition with more than 11,000 signatures,
demanding their housing rights.

The signatures were
collected through an online campaign. The petition was handed over to
Uday Garudachar, managing director of Maverick Holdings Pvt. Ltd., at
his office in Garuda Mall here. The developer has entered into a
public-private partnership (PPP) with the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara
Palike (BBMP) to construct a housing complex and a commercial complex on
the 15 acre 22 guntas of prime land in Ejipura.

that the PPP be scrapped, the residents wanted the entire land to be
used solely for a housing project for all those who have been evicted.
The petition said around 6,000 people have been rendered homeless after
their houses were razed by the developer. The residents, the petition
stated, helplessly watched the bulldozers demolishing their houses.

also stated that the land was originally allotted and legally meant for
building houses for citizens belonging to lower socioeconomic groups.
Even months after their homes were demolished, the evicted residents
have not been rehabilitated, rights activists pointed out. After being
rendered homeless, many citizens have lost their livelihood and children
have dropped out from schools, while senior citizens were most

Pointing out that Mr. Garudachar was now
contesting from Chickpet Assembly constituency on a BJP ticket, Karthik
Ranganathan, one of the activists, said: “As somebody aspiring to become
an elected representative, we hope that Mr. Garudachar will realise
that thousands of people do not approve of this project. The PPP should
be scrapped.”

Shweta, activist, said the evicted
residents had been issued biometric cards by the BBMP. They possessed
voters’ identity card and ration cards. “They are rightful residents of
the area. Why were they not consulted before by either the BBMP or the
developer?” Earlier, when the residents and activists went to the mall
to meet Mr. Garudachar, they were refused entry. After a lot of
convincing, the mall management allowed a few people inside. Even after
the petition was handed over to Mr. Garudachar, the management refused
to take any questions from presspersons.

Now, candidates launch direct transfer scheme for voters

It is another innovation from Karnataka that will revolutionise
electoral politics. If the results of the 2008 elections taught
politicians how to circumvent the anti-defection law through Operation
Kamala, 2013 elections have thrown up a direct cash transfer scheme for
bribing voters.

In an attempt to circumvent the election code of
conduct and ensure inducements reach the voters, a political party has
taken bank account numbers of all hopeful “beneficiaries’’.  According
to the plan, after the voting on May 5, each beneficiary will get Rs 500
to Rs 1,000 credited through cash deposits into his or her account. And
nobody can catch them.

A bank officer told Express: “Transaction
of big amounts can be tracket. But Rs 500 or Rs 1000 is credited in cash
into accounts, it is very difficult to track. This is an easy way of
transacting the money without leaving a trace.’’

The procedure
designed by a banker who has joined a political party here, is very
simple: partyworkers have taken the bank account numbers from the voters
in places like Ravivarma Beedi, Thimmappanakoppalu in the city. Party
workers who went door-to-door, instead of handing out cash,  collected
bank details.

The matter came to light when a  party candidate was
stopped for using a vehicle to campaign without getting permission from
the Election Officer. A police source told Express: “When we checked
the vehicle, we found pamphlets and other publicity material. We also
found five note books containing bank accounts.’’

Returning officer Vipul Bansal said, “I will take action if I get clues about this.’’

in Raichur have uncovered another mode of transporting money. “If you
pay a bus driver `500, he will deliver the money box to the
beneficiary,’’ an official said.

The richie rich MLAs

In five years, most MLAs managed to amass crores in assets

Whether they nurtured the turfs that elected them to the State Assembly
in 2008 or not, there is no doubt that most of the outgoing MLAs tended
their own nest eggs exceptionally well.

Now 179 of them are back in the fray, each richer by an average of Rs.
9.27 crore or 88 per cent in the last five years, their ‘mission’
apparently unaccomplished.

Note the way the wealth of some of the re-contesting MLAs has zoomed as
their mandatory declarations show and as analysed by the Association for
Democratic Reforms-Karnataka Election Watch:

Outgoing Congress MLA for Kanakapura D.K. Shivakumar tops the Midas
charts, followed by two more party colleagues — Priya Krishna and
Santosh Lad.


As many as 57 Congress MLAs, although out of power, reported an average
asset rise of Rs. 13 crore (60 per cent) each. The Janata Dal (Secular)
has reported an average increase of Rs. 11 crore (198 per cent) in
assets of each of its MLAs.

For the Bharatiya Janata Party, its 73 MLAs became 132 per cent richer at an average increase of Rs. 6 crore each.

Other notables are Appachu Ranjan of BJP (Madikeri) whose assets have
grown from Rs. 18.2 lakh to Rs.10.65 crore, excluding the undeclared
value of his six vehicles, jewellery and immoveable property; and S.
Raghu, also of BJP, (C.V. Raman Nagar) from 72.8 lakh to Rs. 31.64 crore
in five years.

Reverse flow?

There are exceptions too. C.T. Ravi, B.K. Sangameshwar and Bagali
Sarvabhoum are among eight MLAs who said their assets fell below what
they owned in 2008, observed founder member of ADR and National Election
Watch, Trilochan Sastry, at a news conference here on Tuesday.

According to the 2013 affidavit filed before the State Chief Electoral
Officer, Mr. Ravi has declared 54 per cent drop in his wealth from Rs.
7.85 crore in 2008 to Rs. 3.59 crore. Dr. Sarvabhoum is down to Rs. 3.94
crore (earlier Rs. 8.02 crore) and Mr. Sangameshwar from Rs. 5.83 crore
to Rs. 1.66 crore.

Criminal records

The ADR-EW team said that this year, 42 of the 48 MLAs with criminal records have returned to the polls.

After hate speech row, K S Eshwarappa booked again for inducing voters

Close on the heels of the Election Commission reprimanding Deputy
Chief Minister K S Eshwarappa for violating the model code of conduct in
connection with his alleged hate speech and asked him to be cautious in
future, an FIR has now been filed against him for offering ‘large
amounts’ during ‘arti’ performed by women during his electioneering for
the Karnataka Assembly elections in parts of Shimoga.

“An FIR was lodged yesterday against Eshwarappa for offering
large amounts during ‘arti’.There is video recording and evidence. An
inquiry is on”, Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha told
reporters here this evening.

The act by Eshwarappa, who holds the Rural Development and
Panchyat Raj and Revenue portfolios in the Jagadish Shettar cabinet, and
a former BJP state unit President, allegedly amounts to inducing
prospective voters, EC officials said.

Eshwarappa, seeking re-election from Shimoga, had been booked for
allegedly inciting communal feelings and promoting hatred and ill-will
between different classes in society in a speech on April nine while

Meanwhile, he was today granted anticipatory bail by a local
court in Shimoga on his petition fearing arrest in connection with an
FIR against him for the alleged hate speech.

The relief from the court came on a personal bond of Rs 25,000
and an undertaking that he would follow the Election Code of Conduct for
the May 5 Assembly polls strictly and not make any inflammatory public

Eshwarappa’s assets worth Rs. 4.8 crore

Deputy Chief Minister K.S. Eshwarappa owns assets worth
Rs. 4.8 crore, while his wife, Jayalakshmi, owns assets worth Rs. 2.47

During the 2008 Assembly elections, Mr.
Eshwarappa had declared that the total value of the assets in his
possession was Rs. 3.47 crore and his wife owned assets worth Rs. 68.33

In the affidavit furnished along with the
nomination papers, Mr. Eshwarappa declared that he has four cases
pending in various courts in the State. He is facing a probe by the
Lokayukta police in a disproportionate assets case. A case was booked
against him under Sections 153(A), 295(A) and 298 of Indian Penal Code
and under column 125 of Representation of People Act on charges of
delivering an inflammatory speech at a programme held in the city

Mr. Eshwarappa declared Rs. 1,58,22,833 as
movable assets that includes Rs 50,000 cash, Rs. 42,06, 623 deposited in
various banks, Rs. 99,16,210 invested in various companies and Rs. 10
lakh invested in insurance bonds. He has 300 gm gold and two kg silver,
the total value of which is estimated to be Rs. 6.5 lakh.

immovable assets valued at Rs. 3,22,50,000 include 1.31 acres of
agriculture land in Nidige village valued at Rs 10 lakh, a house at
S.P.M. Road in the city valued at Rs 20 lakh. The present approximate
market value of the non-agriculture land he owns is Rs. 67,50,000. He
has joint claims along with his son over a commercial building in the
city valued at Rs 1 crore and a residential building in Bangalore valued
at Rs 75 lakh. He jointly owns a residential building with his wife in
the city valued at Rs 50 lakh. Ms. Jayalakshmi owns Rs. 1,84,96,128 as
movable assets, including Rs. 30,000 cash in hand and Rs. 1,73,39,522
invested in various companies. She owns 500 gm gold and 5 kg silver the
total value of which is Rs 11.25 lakh.

She has joint claim with her husband over non-agriculture land and a residential building in the city.

Eshwarappa declared that he borrowed Rs. 74,41,073 as loan from various
sources while the financial liabilities of his wife stood at Rs.

Congress’ ‘most eligible bachelor’ is worth over Rs 900 cr in the fray from
Govindrajnagar segment. His wealth was
declared at Rs 765 crore in the 2009 Assembly bypoll
son of realtor-politician  who is a sitting MLA from Vijayanagar here.

Bharatiya Janata Party’s
(BJP) decision to keep its tainted MLAs from contesting in the upcoming
elections has reportedly turned out to be blessing in disguise for their

The party has decided not
to give ticket to its former minister Katta Subramanya Naidu accused of
corruption, tainted MLA Y Sampangi and Krishnaiah Setty facing land scam
charges, as per a report.

Jagadish Kumar, special officer for Naidu, will now represent Naidu’s
constituency Hebbal. Similarly, Venkatesh Gowda, a close aide of Setty
will now contest from Malur instead of the sitting MLA, the report

Sampangi’s mother has also reportedly been given the ticket to contest from KGF

“All in the family”
sounds familiar if one looks at candidates of the May five Assembly
Elections in Karnataka - brothers, children of prominent politicians,
relatives and even father-son.

Take for example, senior Congress leader and former Union Railway
Minister Jaffer Sharief. His son-in-law, is seeking
re-election from Raichur.

Sharief has managed to get ticket for his grand-son, a political novice, in Hebbal segment of the city.

In Soraba in Shimoga district, sons of former Chief Minister late S
Bangarappa -  who are bitter political
rivals, are crossing swords again.

The father-son, the sitting
MLAs, have entered the fray from neighbouring segments of Vijayanagara
and Govindrajnagar in the city.

Union Labour and Employment Minister M Mallikarjuna Kharge has succeeded
in getting ticket for his son,from Chittapur, as also former
Chief Minister N Dharam Singh (Congress) for his son from

The Congress has also given tickets to Jarkiholi brothers - to contest from Yemkanmardi and Gokak, respectively, while
their another brother, who is Minister for Municipal
Administration, has sought re-election on BJP ticket from Arabhavi.

Many multi-millionaires to contest polls in Karnataka

The much-awaited assembly
elections in Karnataka will see several multi-millionaire candidates
from political parties, including the ruling BJP, Congress and JD-S,
contesting against each other in the upcoming polls.

As per reports, several super-rich candidates have been given party
ticket this time making the crucial electoral exercise in the southern
state an interesting affair to watch.

As per reports, JD-S Karnataka unit chief and former chief minister and his wife , who will contest the May 5 Assembly
elections, have together declared assets worth Rs 123 crore.

A JD-S candidate, topped the list of rich candidates in the fray this year.

He has declared assets worth Rs 150.58 crore.

The JD-S is headed by former Prime Minister, who filed his nominations from Yeshvanthpur in Bangalore.

His son, and his wife are contesting from Ramanagaram and Channapatna respectively.

Tourism Minister of the BJP who has assets worth over Rs. 104 crore.

A car freak, contesting from Vijaynagar from mine-rich
Bellary district is stated to possess 25 vehicles including Bentleys,
Mercedes Benzes and Tatra trucks.

He  wears two hats, that of an editor of a newspaper, Ananda Karnataka Daily and a mining baron.

Congress treasurer, who runs a string of
educational institutions in Davanagere and is contesting from Davangere
South, has assets worth over Rs. 67 crore in contrast to his party
president  whose total assets declared are worth Rs. 3.87

A Congress contesting from Sarvagnanagar, has assets
worth Rs. 26.82 crore. Congress has also fielded its councillor from
city corporation,  from Hoodi ward in K R Puram constituency
whose total worth is also over Rs. 26 crore.

As against this, former Chief Minister and Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP)
founder, has declared his assets to be Rs. 5.96 crore,
which is about Rs three crore more than the assets declared by him in
2008 assembly polls, who had to resign as Chief Minister after the Karnataka
Lokayukta indicted him in illegal mining, had to spend some time in
jail in a graft case.

The lingayat strongman’s close aide, (KJP) contesting
from Sorab in Shimoga district, has declared his assets to be worth Rs.
3.52 crore.

Industries Minister, facing corruption cases before
Lokayukta court, has declared his assets at Rs. 28.14 crore. Nirani is
contesting from Bilagi constituency in Raichur district.

Infrastructure strained in Bengaluru

All  areas in the city, residents of all the  wards under BBMP Assembly constituencies  have to put up with problems such
as glacially paced infrastructure works, poor roads, congested
footpaths, garbage and increasing commercialisation.

which was called as the Puniya Bhoomi is home to people belonging to
lower socioeconomic groups, middle class and upper middle class.

Residents, not entirely comfortable with the commercialisation of their
once tranquil localities, complain that it has brought with it associated
problems such as increasing traffic and pollution. The inordinate delay
in infrastructure projects is only compounding the traffic problems.

Several old-timers are troubled with the increasing commercialisation.
“There are malls coming up and taking away business from the small
traders. This has upset the entire economy. With
the boom in real estate and increasing commercialisation, the very
fabric of areas that was once pensioners’ paradise is changing.

Waste management

People are  disappointed with the failure to make Bengaluru a
model city in solid waste management. “When the garbage crisis erupted,
there was enthusiasm initially to solve the problem. The citizens were
also ready to pitch in; but nothing concrete was achieved.”

The end result is that garbage continues to be dumped at the black spots.

Security issues

lack of security is a major concern.

While the middle and upper middle class residents are worried about
security, aspect, more immediate worries plague those belonging to lower
socioeconomic groups here. Drinking water and lack of immediate access
to public toilets are bugbears for them.

Women from many 
localiies have to walk nearly half a km with buckets of water to
relieve themselves, while areas
where people belonging to middle and upper middle class reside get all
the attention, those populated by the poor are often ignored. Many slums
have been demolished to make way for rich business men and traders.

Advani accused of taking money from Yeddyurappa

BJP leader L.K. Advani had taken money from erstwhile Karnataka chief
minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to allow him to remain in office after
corruption scandals involving him surfaced, Yeddyurappa’s Karnataka
Janata Party (KJP) alleged Monday

“I have
documents and will release them at the appropriate time,” V. Dhananjaya
Kumar, a former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP and junior central
minister in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at
New Delhi, told reporters here.

Kumar, the KJP’s spokesman, made the claim a day after Advani
indirectly attacked Yeddyurappa for tarnishing BJP’s image by indulging
in corruption.

has no moral right to criticize Yeddyurappa as he had used his children
to threaten Yeddyurappa and extract money to allow him to remain in
office,” Dhananjaya Kumar alleged.

He said several central BJP leaders were known to take money from party chief ministers.

D.V. Sadananda Gowda said “if he proves the allegations, we will shut down BJP in Karnataka”.

EC pulls up Eshwarappa for hate speech

The Election Commission on Tuesday reprimanded Deputy
Chief Minister K.S. Eshwarappa for hate speech at a meeting in Shimoga
on April 9.

Mr. Eshwarappa is the BJP candidate in Shimoga Assembly constituency for the May 5 polls.

perusal of your impugned statement leaves no one in doubt that the same
has the effect of inciting communal feelings and promoting hatred and
ill-will between different classes of citizens of India, in a surcharged
election atmosphere, which is prohibited under the model code of
conduct. Now, therefore, the commission has decided to reprimand you for
having made the above provocative statement in violation of the model
code of conduct and has cautioned you to be careful in future,” the
Election Commission said.

It rejected Mr.
Eshwarappa’s reply to its notice, quoting a judgment of the Karnataka
High Court, wherein he had claimed that the model code of conduct would
come into force from the day of notification of the election (issued on
April 10) and not the date of announcement of polls (March 20). The
Election Commission quoted a verdict of the Supreme Court to justify its
stand on the date when the poll code would come into effect.

Criminal case filed against Eshwarappa for “hate speech”

Days after making an alleged “hate speech” against a
minority community, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister K.S. Eshwarappa was
slapped with a criminal case on Friday after electoral officials issued
directions for it.

The case was registered and an FIR
filed as per the directions of chief of Flying Squad of poll code
enforcement for the May five Assembly elections at the order of Deputy
Commissioner and District Electoral Officer Vipul Bansal.

under IPC sections as also under Representation of People Act have been
booked after the squad submitted the video recording of Mr. Eswarappa’s
speech at a conference on Sunday, police said.

local court on Wednesday had admitted a complaint against Mr. Eshwarappa
for making a “hate speech” on a complaint by the President of minority
cell of the district Congress, Sayad W Addu, who accused him of
“instigating” a particular community against others and violating the
code of conduct.

Congress and a number of individuals
had filed complaints with district authorities and returning officer
against Mr. Eshwarappa for alleged violation of the model code of
conduct and instigating communal hatred.

If the case is proved, Mr. Eshwarappa has to face a jail term of three years.

Law Minister Ashwani Kumar in deep trouble

New Delhi: Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar may find
himself in a spot when the CBI files its affidavit in the Supreme Court
on whether the coalgate report was vetted by the Law Ministry and the

Sources said that Kumar had made substantive changes in the
content in order to protect the PMO and the government. The CBI is
likely to take a stand that while the changes were indeed recommended,
the investigative agency did not incorporate them, sources said.

doing so, the CBI may put forth its original report and the changes
recommended. The court had made it clear that the report must be
submitted only to it in a sealed cover.  If the Law Ministry had stepped
in, it may lead to contempt of court.  

If the CBI tells the
court that changes were recommended, Kumar may not be able hold on to
his seat. The government will have no option but to sacrifice him in
order to cap the anger in Parliament.

The Law Minister had taken a
stand that he just corrected the English and certain grammatical
errors. But the BJP hit back asking the minister if he was an English
professor or the country’s Law Minister. Party spokesperson Ravi Shankar
Prasad said this was the first time in Parliamentary history when a
minister is found `correcting’ the English language of India’s premier
investigating agency.

Sources also said that the CBI may tell the
court that the Law Minister’s proposed changes were sent to the Prime
Minister’s Office. However, the PMO did not send a formal reply. But
following Kumar’s letter, CBI officials did meet senior officers at the
PMO. The question being asked is why did the meeting take place,
especially in the backdrop of the controversial recommendations of the
Law Ministry.

The PMO has dismissed the meeting as a routine one. But this stand is unlikely to hold much water.

BJP and the Left have now demanded the resignation of the Law Minister
and the Prime Minister for trying to influence a crucial investigation.

issue rocked both Houses of Parliament leading to a series of
adjournments. The possibility of a washout of the brief session looks
almost certain.

In a  related development, Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh had a meeting with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. The details of
the talks were not made available, but coming as it is in the backdrop
of the coalgate scam, the meeting assumes significance. 

Scrap coal mines not in production: Parliamentary Panel

New Delhi: Calling
coal mine allocations done in 1993 to 2010 as “unauthorised and
illegal”, a Parliamentary panel on Tuesday suggested scrapping of mines
that have not started production.

The Standing Committee on Coal
and Steel in its report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday said the mines
were allocated in “most non-transparent” manner and natural resources
were distributed to “few fortunates” through “abuse of power” by the
then ruling dispensation.

“Distribution of mines was done in a
most unauthorised manner,” said the panel Chairman Trinamool Congress MP
Kalyan Banerjee seeking scrapping of mines where production is yet to
start besides investigating role of officials involved in the allotment

“Most non-transparent procedure was adopted from 1993 to
2010 for allocation and supply of coal blocks. The natural resources and
state largesse were distributed to few fortunates for their own benefit
without following any transparent system, was total abuse of power by
the Government,” the Committee said.

Noting that “the government
cannot give largesse on its arbitrary discretion or its sweet will,” it
said the allocations were illegal and amounted to huge losses to the
state exchequer.

However, on the quantum of losses Mr. Banerjee
said, “Despite our repeated queries, Coal Ministry could not give us
information in respect of quantity of coal or its value. We are not
investigating agency and thus not in a position to assess the losses.”

report said: “It is unfortunate that for allocating coal blocks neither
any auction was held nor the Central Government earned any revenue.”

asked whether Trinamool Chief Mamata Banerjee, who was Coal Minister in
the NDA government was also involved, Mr. Banerjee said, “Every Coal
Minister is not party of the allocation process.”

The Committee
said it was “surprised” to note that between 1993 and 2004 no data was
maintained by the Coal Ministry regarding number of applications
received seeking mines while no “bidding process or auction was held.”

Committee have come to conclusion that entire procedure for
distribution of coal was unauthorised, no one should enjoy the benefit
of illegal auctions and therefore, all coal blocks allocated, at least
where coal production has not yet started, should be cancelled
immediately,” it said.

Terming no auction as unfortunate, it said
the entire decision—making process for distribution of coal blocks needs
investigation and that necessary penal steps should be taken against
everyone who was directly or indirectly a party. to such a
decision—making process.

Citing delays in development of blocks by
private firms, the Committee also sought an explanation from the
Ministry on and demanded a list of such companies, which were alloted
mines without any end—use projects.

“Out of 195 coal blocks
allocated so far for captive mining, 30 blocks have started coal
production and out of 160, captive coal blocks allocated during 2004 to
2008, only 2 have started production,” it said.

Saying that such
allocations have not generated any revenue and only helped private
firms, the panel said: “The commencement of coal production only from 30
coal blocks out of total allocated 218, puts a question mark over the
performance and efficiency of allocatee companies, especially private
companies which have a major share in allocation.”

The Committee
said it was “astonished” to find that although 195 blocks with 44.23
billion tonnes of reserves were allotted, no estimates for the value of
coal extracted was made by the government. It stressed the need for
introducing a proper mechanism for correct evaluation.

BJP looted Karnataka

Ruling BJP in Karnataka,is accused of “looting” the
state that it would lose the May 5 Karnataka assembly polls.

BJP broke
electoral promises and “the only thing they remembered was how to loot
public money in the state. They have done it. They are past masters in

the government for forgetting its promises of employment, water and
24-hour power supply, he said “last time you made BJP victorious, you
trusted them. They promised you 24-hour power supply, did you get it?
They promised you employment, did you get it? They forgot employment,

Taking a swipe at the BJP for talking about corruption in
Delhi, he slammed it for giving “Vidhan Sabha seats to two brothers
(mining barons from Bellary Janardhana Reddy and Karunakara Reddy who
are facing corruption cases).”

VVIP chopper deal: CBI freezes bank account of ex-IAF chief

AgustaWestland chopperAgustaWestland chopper

CBI has frozen bank accounts of former Indian Air Force chief S P
Tyagi and other Indians named as accused for allegedly receiving
kickbacks in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP helicopter deal.

Agency sources said here today that “certain bank accounts of all the Indian accused” named in the FIR have been frozen by CBI.

The bank accounts of Indian companies named in the alleged scam
– Aeromatrix Info Solutions Private Limited and IDS Infotech — have
already been frozen by the agency, they said.

The sources said bank accounts of Tyagi’s cousins — Sanjeev
alias Julie, Rajeev alias Docsa and Sandeep — have also been frozen as
part of the investigation.

Other Indians named in the FIR whose accounts have been frozen by
the agency include former Union Minister Santosh Bagrodia’s brother
Satish Bagrodia, who is also Chairman of IDS Infotech, the company’s
Managing Director Pratap Aggarwal, Aeromatrix CEO Praveen Bakshi and
legal advisor Gautam Khaitan, the sources said.

CBI in its FIR has booked all the accused under the provisions of
the IPC relating to cheating and criminal conspiracy and the Prevention
of Corruption Act.

Tyagi is the first chief of the Indian Air Force to be named in a corruption or criminal case by CBI.

CBI has alleged that during his tenure as Air Chief, Tyagi and
“with his approval” the Air Force “conceded to reduce the service
ceiling for VVIP helicopters from 6,000 meters to 4,500 meters as
mandatory to which it was opposing vehemently on the grounds of security
constraints and other related reasons”.

According to the FIR, “Haschke Guido and Gerosa Carlo (middlemen)
managed to send € 5.6 million through Mohali-based IDS Infotech and
Chandigarh-based Aeromatrix Info Solutions Private Limited to India and
kept the remaining amount out of about €24.30 million received from
AgustaWestland with themselves in the account of IDS Tunisia.”

Every well-informed schoolchild knows this is rising India’s Age of Uninterrupted Scams.


Devas gets preferential allocation of ISRO’s spectrum

Bangalore firm had signed lease pact with space agency’s commercial arm Antrix in 2005.

Madhumathi D.S. Thomas K. Thomas, Bangalore/ New Delhi, May 30

a time when telecom operators are aggressively bidding in crores of
rupees for acquiring spectrum, a little-known company in Bangalore,
Devas Multimedia Pvt Ltd, has got preferential allocation of air waves
controlled by the Indian Space Research Organisation by virtue of an
agreement the two signed five years ago.

has been allocated bulk capacity of 10 transponders on not one, but at
least two forthcoming satellites, the space agency has confirmed in a
communication to Business Line. An agreement to this effect was signed
in January 2005 between Devas and ISRO’s commercial arm, Antrix
Corporation, it said.

a result, starting mid-2011, Devas can commercially tap an undisclosed
extent of the S-band spectrum (or the 2.5Ghz frequency) that is in
ISRO’s control.

would use it for the life-term of the two successive satellites for
what ISRO described as ‘IP-based multimedia services’ — to provide
video, voice and text from mobile platforms such as cars and trains. The
company’s business plan involves hybrid — or a mix of satellite and
terrestrial — operations. “The agreement to lease capacity was signed by
Antrix in January 2005. Capacity on 10 transponders has been leased [on
each satellite]. The lease is over the life-time of the satellite,
which is normally 12 years,” ISRO said in response to queries from this

It, however, did not say how much spectrum has been given in the coveted S-band segment; nor how much Devas would pay for it.

The first satellite, GSat-6 (Insat-4E), is being built by ISRO at around Rs 260 crore and is due to be flown later this year.

holds 80 Mhz of spectrum in the 2.5-2.69-gigahertz space — a golden
band that broadband wireless access operators covet worldwide.

would be the first time a private commercial player would be sharing
the quota allocated to ISRO decades ago. The space agency said that in
line with the National Frequency Allocation Plan (NFAP), it has rights
to use the designated frequencies for satellite-based services. However,
a Delhi-based person of authority connected with matters of frequency
spectrum allocation, whom Business Line contacted, observed that
according to the NFAP, satellite bandwidth cannot be given away
selectively to a single commercial entity; any available opportunity
should be thrown open to industry at large.

few years ago, that is how ISRO/Antrix allowed licensed direct-to-home
broadcasters and VSAT operators to use its new Ku band and the older C

the Government is still debating if it should permit terrestrial
services in the said S-band. Asked about other private commercial
players for the digital multimedia space, ISRO replied that it was open
to giving such capacity to anyone who sought it.

“If such proposals are received, they will be considered by ISRO/Antrix.”

Telecom industry players, who are scrounging for bandwidth, are raising eyebrows over the contract between Antrix and Devas.

does only Devas get so much bandwidth when other players like us have
been asking for capacity,” asked an industry person who did not wish to
be named.

was founded in 2004. Its Chairman and Director, Dr M.G. Chandrasekhar,
is a former ISRO veteran and its erstwhile Scientific Secretary. In July
2008, Deutsche Telekom AG bought 17 per cent stake in Devas for $75
million (around Rs 318 crore then). Reports say private equity firm
Columbia Capital and Telcom Ventures hold 49 per cent stake. The
commercial details of the Devas-ISRO pact were not shared.

lease charges are comparable to what ISRO gets from leasing capacity on
its other INSAT satellites,” the space agency said. The Ku band, for
example, was leased to Tata Sky, Bharti, Sun. Reliance ADAG, and other
DTH licensees at roughly Rs 5 crore a transponder a year. Lease of 10
transponders on GSat-6 for 12 years would roughly fetch Rs 600 crore.
“The Government generated nearly Rs 70,000 crore from 3G auctions [for a
total bandwidth of 20 megahertz],” noted another industry person.

question dogging telecom circles is whether Devas Multimedia Ltd is
using the ISRO platform to get a backdoor entry into the telecom space.
Devas has only an Internet service provider’s (ISP) licence. Its
portfolio of services includes streaming video, audio and data as well
as Web access, infotainment and social applications.

else was shared about the nature, validity of the licence and whether
it allows commercial services. ISRO merely said Devas earlier got a
temporary experimental licence from the Wireless Planning and
Coordination Wing for the testing phase. The outcome was not known.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 31, 2010)


BANGALORE/NEW DELHI, February 7, 2011 The Hindu

CAG goes after another spectrum deal

Madhumathi D. S., Thomas K. Thomas

Preliminary estimates point to loss of more than Rs. 2,00,000 crore; Department of Space, ISRO under scanner

on the heels of its explosive investigations of the 2G spectrum
allotments made in 2008 by the Department of Telecommunications, the
Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has started inquiries into a 2005
agreement between the Indian Space Research Organisation’s commercial
arm Antrix Corporation Ltd. and Devas Multimedia Private Ltd.

agreement relates to ISRO’s launching of two satellites for Devas but
automatically bestows on the latter a large hidden benefit: unbridled
use of 70 MHz of the scarce S-band spectrum over a 20-year period.

ISRO is under the Department of Space (DoS), which is directly in the Prime Minister’s charge.

Line learns that according to preliminary CAG estimates, this spectrum
largesse to a private customer could have caused the exchequer a loss in
excess of Rs. 2 lakh crore. According to the contract with Devas,
Antrix would have earned $11 million a year per satellite for 12 years.

comparison, the presumptive loss incurred in the allocation of 2G
spectrum by the DoT, as estimated by the CAG, is Rs 1.76 lakh crore.

the deal, Devas Multimedia is to get access to 70 Mhz of broadband
spectrum in the 2500 Mhz band. This was once used by Doordarshan to
deliver programmes by satellite to all parts of the country but is now
considered to be of enormous commercial value for high-speed,
terrestrial mobile communications. In 2010, the Union government got
nearly Rs. 67,719 crore from the auction of just 15 Mhz of similar
airwaves for 3G mobile services.

Multimedia is a company in which Deutsche Telekom is a minority equity
stakeholder. Dr. M.G. Chandrasekhar, Devas Multimedia Chairman, is a
former Scientific Secretary at ISRO.

the Space Commission in July 2010 strongly objected to the contract and
recommended that it be scrapped, this has not happened. However, Devas
Multimedia has been given some spectrum to conduct trials.

to the contract, copies of which are available with Business Line and
The Hindu, Devas Multimedia is entitled to get a total of 70 Mhz of the
S-band spectrum on lease for 20 years. The contract requires ISRO to
build and launch two communications satellites - GSAT-6 and GSAT-6A - at
a further cost of Rs 2,000 crore. Devas Multimedia will get to use 10
transponders on each of the satellites.

CAG is reported to have asked for an explanation from the DoS on the
preferential allocation of S-band spectrum without DoS/Antrix going
through a competitive bidding process; on diverting public resources out
of ISRO’s budget towards two customer-specific satellites for Devas
Multimedia; and misinforming regulators about the project’s financial
aspects and its full commercial implications.

contract, unlike others ISRO has signed in the past, places no
restrictions on Devas Multimedia for onward lease of spectrum.

May 31, 2010, Business Line first reported the preferential maiden
allotment of S-band spectrum to Devas Multimedia, which planned to
launch digital satellite multimedia broadcast services (D-SMB) in India
using that space infrastructure.

is the first time the S-band, which ranges from 2500 to 2690 Mhz, has
been opened up to the private sector. And this has been done on the

CAG’s concerns over deal

● S-band spectrum was allocated without inviting competitive bids

● Organisational control systems were not followed

The Prime Minister’s Office, the Cabinet, and the Space Commission have
not been properly informed about the contract details, including the
underestimation of ISRO’s costs

● Public resources were diverted to build two customer-specific satellites

● Devas Multimedia’s terms deviate from those in past commercial contracts of ISRO/Antrix


NEW DELHI/BANGALORE, February 7, 2011The Hindu

What’s the big deal about S-band?

Thomas K. Thomas, Madhumathi D. S.

Globally 2.5 Ghz band is used for 4G services and is worth billions of dollars

S-band spectrum, which is part of the Devas-ISRO deal, is extremely
valuable for mobile broadband services, in terms of usage as well as
money. The frequency, also known as 2.5 Ghz band, is globally used for
providing mobile broadband services using fourth generation technologies
such as WiMax and Long Term Evolution (LTE).

frequency band is unique because it has a substantial amount of
spectrum (190 MHz) that can be put to use for mobile services. All other
spectrum bands up to 3.5 GHz include significantly smaller amounts of
spectrum for terrestrial mobile communication, or are not available.

India, of the 190 Mhz, the Department of Space was given 150 Mhz - 30
years ago - for Broadcast Satellite Service and Mobile Satellite
Service. Twenty Mhz was recently given to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and
Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd for offering broadband spectrum. BSNL and
MTNL were asked to pay Rs. 12,847 crore for their 20 Mhz. But Devas is
getting access to 70 Mhz in the same band for just over Rs. 1,000 crore.


this frequency band has been put up for auction in many countries and
has fetched governments billions of dollars. In 2009, three operators
together paid $HK 1.53 billion for 90 MHz of radio spectrum in the 2.5
GHz band. A few months ago, Finland-based mobile operator TeliaSonera
launched 4G mobile services based on LTE technology in this band.
Operators in several other countries such as Brazil and South Africa are
on the verge of using the S-band after the World Radiocommunications
Conference 2000, held under the aegis of the International
Telecommunication Union, designated the 2.5 Ghz band for mobile

Harmonious usage

usability of spectrum depends on how harmonious it is with global
usage. That is because mobile device makers and network equipment
manufacturers can focus on developing products for a specific radio
frequency for every country. If each country were to have its own plan
for using spectrum, then telecom networks and devices would become very
complex and expensive.

if most countries are moving towards adopting 2.5 Ghz for telecom
services, India will lose out if the satellite agency continues to hold
on to it. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has already
recommended that it would like to review the usage of this frequency
band by the incumbents and refarm it for commercial mobile services.


New Delhi, February 8, 2011

What the PMO claims and what the facts are

Business Line Bureau

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during an international meet in New Delhi
on Monday. The PMO said that it had not taken any decision to allocate
‘space segment’ in the S-band spectrum to Antrix Corporation or Devas

Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Tuesday said in a brief statement that
it had not taken any decision to allocate ‘space segment’ (wireless
radio frequency under the control of the Department of Space) in the
S-band spectrum to Antrix Corporation or Devas Multimedia Private
Limited. The statement claimed that the question of any revenue loss did
not arise; reports to that effect were without basis in fact.

PMO was responding to reports that appeared in The Hindu and Business
Line on Monday, and in other media outlets on Tuesday, which referred to
the contract entered into between Antrix, the commercial arm of ISRO,
and the Bangalore-based Devas engaged in developing multimedia and
information services via satellites.

reports had pointed out that the equivalent of about Rs. 500 crore for
which the agreement for the lease of transponder capacity was entered
into was grossly short of what the initial estimates from the audit
carried out by the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General had

The 3G auction of radio frequencies available with the Department of Telecommunications had offered a clear benchmark.

But an analysis of the Antrix-Devas agreement throws up pointers that are at variance with the contention of the PMO.

to the terms of contract made in January 2005, Antrix represented that
it has the power to enter into and perform this Agreement (the agreement
to deliver space segment communication capacity). The contract was to
deliver to Devas a leased capacity on the primary satellite, five
transponders of 8.1 MHz each and another five transponders of 2.7 MHz
capacity, within a period of 36 months (including a grace period of six

satellite communications the grant of transponder is tantamount to
allocation of spectrum, as they are designed to work at specific
frequency bands. In this case, as and when the transponders are allotted
in the S-Band, it follows that spectrum in the 2500 MHz band would be
allotted. This is akin to the way DTH operators are given transponders
for broadcasting.

a Tata Sky, Dish TV or other DTH operator is offered a transponder, it
is essentially offered frequency in the Ku band, which is a different
set of radio frequencies.

Termination clause

Government has also contended that there is no revenue loss from the
legal arrangement between Antrix and the private company. The extent of
revenue foregone may be open to interpretation.

for the government to contend that there is no financial loss
whatsoever is clearly at variance with the financial penalties that
Antrix is liable to pay out, and hence, by extension, the government,
for any default in the timely delivery of promised transponder


New Delhi, February 8, 2011 The Hindu

Antrix-Devas S-band deal headed for annulment

Sandeep Joshi, P. Sunderarajan

Chairman claims decision to scrap contract was taken in July 2010,
admits ISRO did not inform government of exclusive use of two satellites
by Devas; PMO claims ‘no revenue loss’

controversy-ridden S-band deal between the Indian Space Research
Oragnisation’s commercial arm, Antrix Corporation, and Devas Multimedia
Private Limited is heading for annulment, the Government of India
indicated on Tuesday.

the Opposition demanding a probe into allegations that high-value
S-band spectrum worth an estimated Rs 2 lakh crore had been made freely
available by ISRO to the Bangalore-based private company, the Manmohan
Singh government on Tuesday went into damage control mode. Two top space
officials were fielded to deny there was any “dilly-dallying'’ in
terminating the agreement while the Prime Minister’s Office issued a
statement of double denial. The PMO claimed that “no decision was taken
by the Government to allocate space segment using S-band spectrum to
Antrix or Devas” and “hence, the question of revenue loss does not

decision to scrap the contract was taken in July 2010 itself by the
Space Commission following an internal review by ISRO…currently
consultations are on at various levels of the government and a decision
on the issue would be taken soon,” K. Radhakrishnan, the ISRO Chairman
and Secretary in the Department of Space, told journalists here.

any revenue loss to the government from the use of spectrum, Dr.
Radhakrishnan, however, said there was a possibility of financial
implications when the deal was annulled. “We will ensure that the
government does not incur any damages,” he added.

why the deal, which was highlighted in a detailed expose published in
The Hindu and Business Line on Monday, was being scrapped, Dr.
Radhakrishnan said the two satellites - GSAT 6 and GSAT 6A - ISRO was
planning to launch were primarily intended to be used by Devas
Multimedia, a firm headed by former Scientific Secretary at ISRO, M.G.
Chandrasekhar. The ISRO chief conceded that Devas Multimedia was to
utilise 90 per cent of the capacity of the two satellites that would use
70 MHz of S-band spectrum. However, ISRO later decided that the two
satellites and the spectrum were needed to meet India’s strategic needs
and societal services like education, healthcare, communication, and
disaster management.

Radhakrishnan, who addressed the media along with Planning Commission
Member (Science) and former DoS Secretary and ISRO head K.
Kasturirangan, admitted that ISRO did not inform the government that the
two new satellites were planned for exclusive use of Devas Multimedia.
“One point that was not explicitly mentioned [to the Union Cabinet] was
that GSAT 6 and GSAT 6A satellites are going to be predominantly used
for a novel and commercial application developed by Devas Multimedia in
association with global experts,” he said. “Ideally we should have
informed the government about it…an internal review is as to why it
was not mentioned to the government,” the ISRO Chairman stated, adding
that action would be initiated against the guilty.

why no competitive bidding took place for the use of satellite, Dr.
Radhakrishnan contended that what Devas Multimedia was developing was a
new application and there were no other player. “When the dialogue
started with Devas Multimedia in 2003, it was an emerging scenario and a
new application was being developed…as there was no other players,
hence no bidding.”

whether the Prime Minister was aware of the Antrix-Devas deal, he
answered that the contract was finalised by the Antrix Board and he had
taken the matter up to the Space Commission. “After the decision [to
annul the deal was made],” he disclosed, “I broached the matter with the
Prime Minister, who is our Minister in-charge and that is how the PMO
issued a press statement today.”

Earlier in the day, the PMO issued the following statement:

office has seen reports alleging loss of Government revenue in a
contract entered into by Antrix and Devas Multimedia Pvt. Ltd. due to
lease of space segment capacity which would use S-band spectrum. The
Comptroller and Auditor General’s office and the Department of Space
have already issued statements stating the factual position on the
matter. It is further clarified that no decision has been taken by the
Government to allocate space segment using S-band spectrum to Antrix or
Devas. Hence, the question of revenue loss does not arise and any such
reports are without basis in fact.”

Union Law Ministry sources told The Hindu that as early as July 2010,
the government was advised to terminate the agreement by Additional
Solicitor-General Mohan Parasaran.


CHENNAI, February 9, 2011The Hindu

Many former officials now with Devas

Special Correspondent

former technocrats of government agencies, especially the Indian Space
Research Organisation (ISRO), are associated with Devas Multimedia,
which is now at the centre of a controversy over its 2005 agreement with
the country’s space agency.

look at the profile of officials in the top management of Devas, its
board of directors and its panel of advisors shows that the
Bangalore-based company has brought together communications engineers
and other experts formerly employed by ISRO, the Department of
Telecommunications and formerly state-run Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd

its Chairman M.G. Chandrasekhar, who joined ISRO in 1973 and later
became its Scientific Secretary and member, Apex Management Council, the
company’s Chief Technology Officer D. Venugopal and Associate
President, Business Development and Marketing, Mukund Rao, had been in
ISRO in different capacities.

Board includes Kiran Karnik, former president of NASSCOM, who has
served ISRO in various positions for 20 years, according to Devas
Multimedia’s website.

of the company’s Senior Advisors - Jai Singh and K. Narayanan - had
also held senior positions in ISRO in the past. B.K. Synghal, a Senior
Advisor, is a former Managing Director of VSNL, while another, R.N.
Agarwal, was a Wireless Advisor in the Department of Telecommunications.

Chandrasekhar, according to the website, “joined ISRO in 1973 and held
various techno-managerial positions and played a key role in developing
IRS (Indian Remote Sensing satellite series) and INSAT (Indian National
Satellite) programmes and operating its fleet of satellites.” He was
also Managing Director of WorldSpace India, a pioneer in digital
satellite radio services.

Venugopal, it says, was Deputy Director, Satellite Communication
Programme, in ISRO headquarters from 1989 to 1998. He had earlier been a
System Engineer in ISRO’s Space Application Centre. Still earlier, he
was Deputy Engineer-in-charge at VSNL.

Rao was associated with the National Natural Resources Management
System, an inter-agency programme aimed at optimising use of natural
resources based on remote sensing data. Its secretariat is in ISRO

the Devas advisors, both Mr. Jai Singh and Mr. Narayanan were directors
of ISRO’s satellite communications programme. Mr. Singh was the first
programme director for INSAT and had also been Director, Spectrum
Management. Mr. Narayanan was “closely associated with INSAT since its
inception,” according to the website.

Mr. Chandrasekhar and Mr. Venugopal, other Directors on the Devas
Multimedia board are its president and CEO Ramachandran Viswanathan, who
had been Managing Director of Forge Advisers, a strategic consultancy,
and a senior official with WorldSpace and broadband internet company
Cidera; Rajendra Singh, Chairman and CEO of Telcom Ventures; Arun Gupta
of Columbia Capital; Kevin Copp of Deutsche Telekom AG; Mr. Karnik, A.
Murugappan, an investment banking consultant; and Gary Parsons and Larry
Babbio, both associated with telecom companies abroad.

Katti, ISRO’s Geosat Programme Director, is the nominee of ISRO and
Antrix Corporation, its commercial arm, on the Devas Board, which also
includes Shyam Tandon, an educationist, and Sameer Karwa, an


February 10, 2011 The Hindu

Behind the S-band spectrum scandal

well-informed schoolchild knows this is rising India’s Age of
Uninterrupted Scams. No government before the present United Progressive
Alliance regime has had to deal with such a dizzying succession of
exposés of corruption scandals - 2G spectrum, the Commonwealth Games,
Adarsh Housing, money laundering, and the rest that have come tumbling
out. The latest in the series is the Indian Space Research
Organisation’s deal - hatched in secret and sought to be covered up over
a period of six years - to launch two customer-specific satellites and
give away 70 MHz of high-value S-band for unfettered commercial
exploitation at a scandalously low price of just over Rs 1000 crore to a
private company, Devas Multimedia Private Limited. The transaction and
its implications were first exposed by Business Line, the business daily
of The Hindu group, in a detailed report published on May 31, 2010.

Telecommunications Minister Kapil Sibal’s defence of the indefensible,
enough is known about the 2G spectrum allocation scam to place it at the
top of the list of independent India’s corruption scandals. But what is
the essence of the S-band spectrum deal concluded in January 2005
between ISRO’s commercial arm, Antrix Corporation, and Devas Multimedia
which, it turns out, was born of an incestuous relationship with India’s
space programme? The agreement (the full text is available under
Resources at relates to two customer-specific
satellites, GSat-6 and GSat 6-A, which ISRO is contractually committed
to design, build, and launch in order to make available to Devas the
S-band spectrum for commercialising a range of multimedia, broadband
services across India. What is special about the S-band, which is
defined as radio waves with frequencies that range from 2 GHz to 4 GHz?
According to “The 2.6 GHz Spectrum Band: Unique Opportunity to Realize
Global Mobile Broadband,” a 2009 report prepared for the GSM
Association: “As mobile voice and data traffic increases, wireless
operators around the world will require additional spectrum. However, as
a finite public commodity, few bands remain available for new
allocation to mobile wireless services and even fewer exist for global
harmonisation of wireless spectrum assets. The 2.6 GHz band is one
exception. The 2.6 GHz band (2500-2690 MHz), sometimes also referred as
the 2.5 GHz band, was allocated by the World Radiocommunication
Conference (WRC) in 2000 for terrestrial mobile communications services.
The band provides an opportunity to meet rapidly rising demand for
capacity to deliver mobile broadband services on a widespread, common
basis across the world.”

with secret knowledge of what ISRO could do for it by launching
customer-specific satellites to make available at a throwaway price a
large chunk of S-band spectrum, Devas Multimedia - a venture founded in
2004 at the initiative of former officials of the Indian space programme
and involving foreign investors - thought it had struck gold. In July
2008, it even sold a 17 per cent stake to Deutsche Telecom AG for $ 75
million (around Rs. 318 crore at the time) and over the next year was
clearly looking forward to a time of unrivalled growth in valuation.
According to a preliminary estimate by the Comptroller and Auditor
General of India, whose search for the relevant documents within the
Department of Space has been actively obstructed, the presumptive loss
of revenue to the government in the event of the Antrix-Devas deal going
through now would exceed two lakh crore rupees (approximately $44.4

and the Department of Space have scored many successes and enjoyed a
good, clean reputation over the decades. Fortunately, in late 2009 some
outraged insiders blew the whistle on the secret deal - so secret that
ISRO’s chief, K. Radhakrishnan, had to admit at a press conference on
February 8, 2011 that for reasons that were being “reviewed” internally,
ISRO failed “explicitly” to inform the Union Cabinet that GSat-6 and
GSat-6A were customer-specific satellites that would be “predominantly
used for a novel and commercial application developed by Devas
Multimedia in association with global experts.” Towards the end of 2009,
thanks to the whistle-blowers and perhaps not unrelated to the stink
raised by the 2G spectrum allocation scandal, a view began to form at
the top levels of ISRO that the Antrix-Devas deal must be annulled. The
Space Commission also wanted the deal to be annulled and the Prime
Minister was informed on an indeterminate date.

nothing much happened until Business Line published its report in May
2010, which the CAG followed up conscientiously despite the bureaucratic
hurdles placed in its path. Among the concerns registered by the CAG in
its process of enquiry were the following: S-band spectrum was being
given away without inviting competitive bids; organisational control
systems were not followed; the Prime Minister’s Office, the Cabinet, and
the Space Commission were not properly informed about the contract
details; public resources were being diverted to building two
customer-specific satellites; and the contract terms deviated from the
terms of previous contracts entered into by ISRO and Antrix. To cut the
story short, the publication of the results of the special Business Line
investigation, backed up by documents and other reliable evidence, in
The Hindu and Business Line has brought the CAG’s commendable efforts to
light - and placed the nature, scale, and modalities of the S-band
spectrum scandal on the public agenda. True to form, those at the
receiving end have questioned the accuracy of the media reports or
suggested they are overblown. It is a matter of satisfaction that the
deal now seems to be heading for annulment - but no thanks to due
diligence and oversight by a central government whose procrastination,
lack of transparency, obfuscation, and indeed delinquency in this affair
have shocked the nation.


Antrix-Devas S-band spectrum deal scrapped

PTI Business Line New Delhi, Feb 17: 

controversial S-Band spectrum deal between ISRO’s commercial arm Antrix
and private firm Devas Multimedia was scrapped on Thursday.

decision to annul the deal was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet
Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh
on the basis of a recommendation from the Space Commission.

annulment comes in the wake of a raging controversy over the deal for
handing over 70 Mhz of S-Band spectrum to the private firm for Rs 1,000
crore on which the CAG has already initiated action. According to
certain estimates, this deal may have resulted in a loss of Rs 2 lakh
crore to the exchequer.

news reports about the possible revenue loss appeared, the Government
and ISRO said the project was already under review and action has been
initiated for termination of the contract.

Prime Minister said yesterday that the deal had never been
operationalised and rejected suggestions that his office had held
“backroom” talks with Devas after the Space Commission’s decision to
scrap the deal. He had said that if there has been delay in scrapping
the deal, this has been “only procedural”.

Multimedia had yesterday termed as “disturbing and inappropriate” the
government’s “unilateral” decision to terminate the agreement and
threatened to take legal action.

said the government had reached the decision “without due investigative
process and without following the principles of natural justice”.


Antrix-Devas S-band deal: All eyes now on panel report

Our Bureau BL

Bangalore, March 9: 

month to this day since the two-member high-powered review committee on
the Antrix-Devas Multimedia contract was formed by the Prime Minister’s
Office, the attention is now on what the panel has to say about the

sources said the committee was due to finalise and submit the report by
March 9 or 10. One of the panel members declined to confirm this,
saying the report was meant for the PMO.

February 9, the PMO had appointed Planning Commission member, Mr B.K.
Chaturvedi, and Space Commission member and aerospace scientist, Dr
Roddam Narasimha, and given them a month’s time to look into any
irregularities in the contract.

contract between ISRO’s arm Antrix Corporation and Devas Multimedia
Private Ltd was signed on January 2005, but the Centre annulled it
amidst controversy over its procedural, financial aspects and the access
to the S-band spectrum to the private company.

panel was mandated to review the technical, commercial, procedural and
financial aspects of the agreement; whether procedures and approval
processes were followed by Antrix and the Department of Space; and to
suggest improvements and changes.

to the agreement, ISRO was to build and launch two successive S-band
communications satellites for commercial multi-media services by Devas.

Centre annulled the deal last month saying it was heavily tilted in
favour of the private company and also said it would keep the precious
S-band spectrum for Government and security agencies.

The issue has also come under the scanner of the CAG.



On S-Band Spectrum Scam
Date:  11 February 2011

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

On The S-band Spectrum Scam

Business Line-Hindu newspapers have exposed the S-band spectrum deal
involving the ISRO Company Antrix and a private company, Devas
Multimedia. By this agreement, the private company was to get access to
high quality spectrum of 70 MHz through the launching of two custom-made
satellites. The presumptive loss of revenue to the government would
have been atleast Rs. 2 lakh crores.

with this exposure, the UPA government has resorted to the now familiar
pattern when confronted with largescale scams and corruption. It has
sought to underplay the extent of wrongdoing, claim that the agreement
has not been implemented and obfuscate the issues involved.

number of questions remain unanswered in this affair which falls under
the purview of the Department of Space, which is directly under the
Prime Minister. How is it that the Cabinet gave clearance for launching
the first satellite in December 2005 which is meant solely for the
purpose of the private company? Why the agreement was not cancelled when
the contract was found to be inappropriate and the Space Commission
wanted it annulled in July 2010? Why is it that the government did not
act even after the Additional Solicitor General had recommended that the
termination of the agreement be a Government decision?

latest decision by the Prime Minister to constitute a two-member
committee to “review” the agreement is highly questionable. What is the
necessity for a “review” when already the contract has been found to be
unjustified and needs to be annulled? The persons appointed – a former
Cabinet Secretary and a member of the Space Commission –were both
involved in the processing of the deal. The intention seems to be to
keep this as an in-house matter.

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) demands an independent time-bound high-level enquiry by a retired judge of the Supreme Court.

are media reports of the obstructions faced by the Comptroller and
Auditor General in examining the contract. The CAG should be able to
examine fully all the relevant papers regarding the agreement.

people of the country will not be satisfied till all the facts about
this dubious deal are uncovered and the guilty brought to book.


S-Band spectrum scandal - entire story and details

about the 2lakh crore S-Band Spectrum Scandal where ISRO signed a deal
with private company, Devas Multimedia Private Limited

the UPA government under Prime Minister Manmahon Singh tries to get
over the mega 2G spectrum scam, comes yet another big scandal, from the
Government’s own organization ISRO(Indian Space Research Organisation).
The expected loss to the Indian Government due to the signing of this
deal is expected to reach upto Rs. 2 lakh crores.

S-Band Spectrum Scandal

In January,2005 Antrix Corporation(part of ISRO) and Devas
Multimedia, a private company signed a deal which was kept completely
secret from the Indian Government as well as the public. According to
the deal, ISRO is committed to launch 2 satellites and provide as much
as 70Mhz of S-band. The compensation paid by Devas for this job was
about US$ 20 Million.
The S-band is section in the electromagnetic spectrum which
is useful for the Mobile and radio communications. According to the
CAG(Comptroller and Auditor General of India) reports, the expected loss
of Revenue to the Government due to this secret deal would reach upto
Rs. 2 lakh crores.

what is S-band?

S-Band is a part of the Electromagnetic Spectrum. It ranges
from frequencies 2GHz to 4GHz, according to IEEE. The 2.6GHz
range(sometimes also named as 2.55GHz range) ranges from 2500MHz(2.5GHz)
to 2690MHz(2.69GHz). This range is used by the organizations for
communicating with the satellites.
As mobile broadband technology has started to initiate using
the 4G spectrum, it is most viable to use the 2.5GHz S-band for this
technology. These 190MHz provide a huge range for broadband
communication because of the width of the band.
According to the deal, ISRO was committed to provide as much
as 70MHz of this hugely precious 190MHz using the two satellites that
were to be launched and maintained by ISRO.

Antrix-Devas Agreement

On 25th January,2005 an agreement was signed between
Antrix(part of ISRO) and Devas Multimedia Pvt Ltd. According to the
Antrix-Devas Agreement
1. ISRO and Devas will work together to build, launch and use two satellites G-Sat6 and G-Sat7.
2. ISRO will lease S-band frequencies to Devas with as much
as 50MHz frequency from G-Sat6 and upto 20MHz from G-Sat7 through
various transponders
3. ISRO will provide the S-band to Devas within 3 years from the date of first installment.
4. The said frequency in S-band would be leased for a period of 12 years since the commencement of the agreement.
5. $US 20 million compensation in the form of reservation fees to be paid by Devas in three installments.

allegations put forth by the CAG

A few of the allegations which were put forth by the CAG regarding the Antrix-Devas Agreement
1. Distribution of the S-band 2.5Gz spectrum without any auction or bids.
2. Government of India, PMO and the Space Commission were
not given the details of the satellites being customer specific and not
being towards any public service.
3. Government funds would be utilized in construction and
launching of the satellites as ISRO is essentially Government
4. Had the distribution done through auctions, the estimated
revenue the Government of India could generate would be close to 2 lakh

S-band scandal - Important timelines

2004 - Devas Multimedia was founded by officials of Space Commission
25th January,2005 - Secret agreement between Antrix and Devas signed
July 2008 - Foreign investor Deutsche Telecom bought 17% shares of Devas Multimedia for US$75 million
2009 - ISRO insiders blew whistle regarding this mega scandal
31 May 2010 - With the help of CAG, Business Line (The Hindu daily) published the S-band scandal
8th February 2011 - ISRO chief K.Radhakrishnan addressed a press regarding the Antrix deal
February 2011 - PMO issued press release stating that no
decision was taken by Government of India in allocation of the S-band.

Latest News

Scrap all coal block allocations between 1993 and 2008, recommends parliamentary panel report: sources

Scrap all coal block allocations between 1993 and 2008, recommends parliamentary panel report: sources

New Delhi: Parliament
continues to witness fresh disruptions today as a united Opposition has
upped the ante over the twin controversies of 2G and coal scam. And in
what could provide it with fresh ammunition is a report by a standing
committee on allocation of coal blocks that is expected to be tabled
today. The report, sources say, is damning for the government as it
indicts the latter for irregularities in distribution of coal fields.

to sources, the report has recommended the cancellation of all coal
blocks allotted between 1993 and 2008. The recommendation is based on
the premise that procedure was not followed while granting coal blocks
to firms during this period. 

The report, sources say, has
pointed out that the allocation and supply of coal blocks between 1993
and 2004 was done in a “non-transparent” manner - several firms who
approached the Coal Ministry were “arbitrarily” given away coal blocks.
The report further goes to say that even though an advertisement was put
out calling for application of coal blocks between 2005 and 2006, no
bidding or auction was held. It has slammed the government for
distributing a precious natural resource in a “most unauthorized
manner”, which caused a loss of revenue.

Most Recent

The report, thus, may prove to be a fresh
headache for an already beleaguered government which is battling another
coal controversy, courtesy a CBI report. The latter’s report has
faulted the government for not verifying the credentials of private
firms who misrepresented financial and other records to land valuable
coal fields. The issue is sensitive for the government because for some
of those years, the Prime Minister held charge of the Coal Ministry.

investigating agency’s report on “Coal-gate” itself is also under the
scanner over allegations that it was reviewed by Law Minister Ashwani
Kumar before it was submitted to the Supreme Court last month.

All About Scandals In India


Commonwealth Games

There are many concerns and disputes appeared before this
years Earth Activities in the New Delhi, Native Indian, which received
the widespread press coverage both at Native indian and worldwide.

The Commonwealth Activities was seriously criticized by many
prominent Native indian political figures and activists because billions
dollars had got spent on sports occasion despite fact that Native
Indian has largest concentration of the indigent. Several problems
related to this years Commonwealth Activity have got outlined by Native
Indian undercover agencies and press outlets; includes — serious
corruption by officials of the Social gaming applications’ Planning
Panel, setbacks in the construction of main Social gaming applications’
venues, infrastructural compromise, possibility of a enemy attack, and
exceptionally inadequate ticket selling before the occasion.

Organisational failure

Vigilance-related irregularities and Over-Invoicing:

On July 28, 2010 the Central Cautious Commission, and Native indian
government body created for address government data file crime error,
released a review showing problems in 14 CWG tasks. As per formal
reviews, in 129 works in the 71 organizations got examine. The detailed
initial conclusions included the prize of perform agreements at the
higher quotes, low quality guarantee as well as management, and perform
agreements granted to the ineligible agencies.

There are accusations of extensive data file crime error in different
aspects of planning the activities such as purchase and giving
agreements for developing the game locations. The Commonwealth
Organising Panel on the 5 Aug year 2010 halted joint home T S Darbari
along with M Jayachandran following the reviews of 3-member panel which
searched the financial problems related to Queen’s Baton Communicate.

Also, Organising Panel Anil Khanna treasurer reconciled from post in
the awakening of accusations about his son firm got secured the contract
for the purpose of resting artificial legal courts. The news Global
Post agency reviews that scams have come into light, as “many shadowy
shore firms, made e-mails, mysterious payments to fake companies and
filled bills — for single purchase from rest room tissue to treadmill
machine.” Among the claimed data file crime error and defrauding of the
activities budget, rest room tissue comes respected at $3 were cost at
the $81, $2 detergent dispensers at $60, $97 decorative mirrors at the
$221, $11,831 elevation training simulator at the $250,191.

Preparation delays:

In Sept year 2009, CGF primary Scott Fennell revealed that activities
were at chance of falling behind routine and that was “reasonable to
determine that the unique circumstances presents a serious danger to the
Commonwealth in year 2010″. A report thrugh Native indian Government
released several months prior found that development perform on 14out of
19 sports locations was behind routine.

Randhir Singh- The Chief of Native indian Olympic Organization had
indicated his concerns regarding the present situation. Singh had called
regarding the update of Planning Panel leaving comments that Native
indian now has to “retrieve games”. Other Native indian authorities had
also indicated surprise at continuous setbacks but they had stated that
they have been confident that Native indian will efficiently host
activities and promptly.

As Times of Native Indian reviews, CWG tasks had to be finished till
May year 2009 and last season should have kept for the test operates.
The paper further reviews that first ground was passed over for test
operates in 2010 only. To put setbacks in viewpoint, China National
Stadium got finished much ahead of routine for 2008 Summer months
Olympic games, and locations for thr2012 Summer months Olympic games in
London are planned to be provided one season before the activities and
the development of the locations is also on track.

In Aug year 2010, Cabinet Secretariat had taken a decision to find
ten authorities of position of Joint along with Additional Assistants to
manage the progress of development of arenas. Each officer has been
assigned a ground and given the liability to ensure that perform
finishes in here regarding the activities. This was all about the
Commonwealth Games.

The Times of India

VVIP helicopter scam: Defence ministry to decide on action after joint secretary, CBI reports

DELHI: The defence ministry will decide its further course of action in
the bribery scandal surrounding the VVIP helicopter contract after
examining the “evidence” gathered by its joint secretary sent to Italy
last week as well as the preliminary report to be submitted by the CBI.

“We will first study the reports submitted by our joint secretary (air
acquisitions) Arun Kumar Bal, who will return by the weekend, and the
CBI. Though in principle the decision has been taken to scrap the
contract, strong documentation will be needed in the eventuality the
case goes for arbitration,” said a senior MoD official on Thursday.

The ministry expects to get the reply from AgustaWestland, the
UK-based subsidiary of Italian conglomerate Finmeccanica, to its
show-cause notice by Friday. On February 15, the company was given a
week to explain why its contract should not be cancelled and penal
action initiated against it.

But AgustaWestland, in its reply, is
unlikely to admit it had hired any middle-men or paid any bribes to
them to swing the Rs 3,546-crore contract to supply India with 12 VVIP
helicopters, said sources.

As first reported by TOI last week,
AgustaWestland managing director Geoff Hoon has already written to MoD
to “categorically” state his company had “not undertaken any financial
transaction” with any Indian individual or entity in violation of the
integrity pact or any other terms and conditions of the contract.

Hoon himself has earlier been a highly-controversial politician in UK,
having served as the British secretary of state for defence before being
disgraced in a political lobbying scandal in 2010.

On Thursday,
AgustaWestland again said, “It is responding to the notice in the spirit
of full cooperation with the Indian MoD” and its “conduct has been
fully compliant with the rules which regulate the AW-101 helicopter
contract signed with India”.

The MoD, however, will seek more
clarifications from the company. The ministry is also grappling with the
question of who should be blacklisted - AgustaWestland or the entire
Finmeccanica group - if the matter comes to a head. Both the contract
and integrity pact inked with AgustaWestland contain specific provisions
by which “strict action including the cancellation of contract,
recovery of payment, blacklisting and penal action” can be unleashed
against the vendor.

Cash-for-votes scandal

The cash-for-votes scandal is a scandal in which the United Progressive Alliance, the majority-holding parliamentary-party alliance of India led by Sonia Gandhi, allegedly bribed Indian MPs in order to survive a confidence vote on 22 July 2008. The vote in the Lok Sabha arose after the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front withdrew support from the government, who wanted to pursue an Indo-US nuclear deal.

Events and allegations

The CPI(M) objected to a proposal that would see the United States
supply nuclear technology to India in return for India agreeing to
United Nations inspections of its nuclear programs and the splitting of
the civil and military aspects of those programs. CPI(M) believed that
this would cause India to be effectively subservient to the US. The Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP) also objected, on the grounds that the inspections could impede
development of the country’s nuclear arms program. The vote was won by
the government in the face of the predominantly left-wing and Hindu
nationalist objections. It had been arguing that the nuclear
infrastructure needed to be developed more rapidly because the existing
electric generation facilities were incapable of meeting growing demand.[1]

The government’s success in the 2008 confidence vote was marred when three BJP MPs, including Ashok Argal,
waved bundles of cash which they produced from bags in parliament
during the debate, accusing the government of giving it to them in order
to buy their support or abstention in the vote. The BJP demanded the
resignation of Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh over the allegations and claimed that they had video
evidence of the deals being made, while the CPI(M) leader said that
“Practically every member of parliament has been approached with offers
of money and inducements.” The government denied the allegations,
pointing out that Argal would have self-incriminated himself by
admitting to receiving a bribe. The Speaker, Somnath Chatterjee, asked New Delhi’s police chief to investigate.[1][2]

A fortnight later, on 2 August, the BJP offered “documentary evidence” to support its allegation that Argal, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahaveer Bhagora
had been bribed. The evidence included transcripts of video recordings
and explanatory letters from two of the MPs, all of which was passed to
the investigatory committee that had been set up by parliament. The BJP
also criticised CNN-IBN, who had recorded the BJP MP’s attempt to sting the government but had not broadcast it.[3]

The tapes were broadcast on 12 August 2008 after CNN-IBN had made its
appearance before the investigating committee. The company had resisted
the calls for an earlier broadcast on the grounds of legal opinion that
it had not yet attended the committee and that the broadcast might
prejudice the investigatory process.[4][5]

The parliamentary investigation began on 30 July 2008 and has frequently been referred to as the Kishore Chandra Deo committee.[5] The committee reported in December 2008 that it had found no evidence of bribery in the case of Rajya Sabha members Amar Singh and Ahmad Patel. They had been accused of offering the bribes, and Singh was a prominent member of the Samajwadi Party
(SP) which had begun to support the government at the time when the
Left Front moved to oppose it. The committee also recommended further
investigation into the activities of Sanjeev Saxena, Sohail Hindustani and Sudheendra Kulkarni. Saxena was an aide to Amar Singh, Kulkarni had a similar role for the BJP leader, L. K. Advani and Hindustani was a Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha
activist (although some early reports say that he was a driver). Some
committee members distanced themselves from the report’s full
conclusions but agreed that the additional investigation was needed.[6]
The report concluded that the video evidence relating to a car at
Singh’s house was insufficient proof: it was not possible to determine
who was in the car and “It does not prove what transpired inside the
house. There is nothing to show that money was offered for voting in
favour of the motion of confidence or for abstaining from voting.”[7]

A police investigation was instigated in January 2009 to look into
the issues relating to Saxena, Hindustani and Kulkarni which had been
recommended in the report of the parliamentary committee.[8]

Revelations by WikiLeaks

The Congress Party had worked to support the government in the vote and on 17 March 2011 WikiLeaks claimed[9] that Nachiketa Kapur,
a Congress Party political aide, had boasted to US Embassy officials in
July 2008 that his party had funds to bribe MPs in order to obtain a
favourable outcome. Kapur claimed that four MPs who were members of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) had already been paid off. The Hindu reported that

Five days before the Manmohan Singh government
faced a crucial vote of confidence on the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal in
2008, a political aide to Congress leader Satish Sharma showed a U.S.
Embassy employee “two suitcases containing cash” he said was part of a
bigger fund of Rs. 500 million ($13 million) to Rs. 600 million ($15
million) that the party had assembled to purchase the support of MPs.”[10]

Former United States Ambassador to India David Campbell Mulford
commented that US diplomatic cables were “generally accurate” but that
all he could recall of the incident was that someone “turned out with a
suitcase of money and dumped it on the table … That was clear
In denying any wrongdoing, the RLD pointed out that they only had three
MPs at the time, not four as stated in the leaked cable.[12] Satish Sharma, who was the person for whom Kapur acted as an aide according to the cable, said that he had no aide at all.[13]

The revelations led immediately to further calls for the resignation
of Manmohan Singh and also for an investigation of the activities of
Kapur and Sharma. There were also calls for the issue of a First Information Report (FIR), which is the formal means by which the police record their notification of an offence.[14]

It was announced on the following day, 18 March, that the police
investigation into the original allegations was near to completion.[8]

Tehelka expose

a sometimes controversial publication that specialises in exposés,
reported that the entire affair was a BJP set-up designed to entrap
members of the government. The report was based on an account given by Siddharth Gautam,
a CNN-IBN reporter who had been involved, and on some recordings of
telephone conversations that had not previously been made available.[15]

Supreme Court involvement

An application was made to the Supreme Court on 2 April requesting that it ordered a Special Investigation Team to probe the affair. The applicants were a group calling themselves the India Rejuvenation Initiative
and they argued that the investigatory process had stalled since the
report of the parliamentary committee. The hearing was adjourned to due a
procedural irregularity in the application,[16]
and when this was resolved on 2 May the Court issued notices to the
Delhi police and government that required them to provide information
regarding the current status of the investigation.[17] The petitioners said that

The cash-for-vote incident showed the desperate
depths to which certain political functionaries and parties stooped to
ensure victory on the floor of the House, and these exposures represent
both a gross moral degeneration and crass political opportunism of the
government and had degraded and disgraced our sacrosanct traditions of
parliamentary democracy,[17]

On 7 July the Court voiced its frustration with the continued absence
of the requested status reports and set a filing deadline of 15 July.
The police had requested a further two months to fulfil the request.[18]
Upon being presented with the status report, the Court criticised the
lethargy of the police investigation, complaining that little had been
done and that which had been done was poorly documented, inconsistent
and in places factually incorrect.[19]

The court was similarly disparaging of a second report which followed
on from a burst of activity by the police. On 5 August 2011, Justice
Loda said

What are you doing regarding these inferences? It
is distressing that middlemen of the cheapest kind tried to manipulate
Parliament proceedings. To some extent, they have succeeded. You must
find out what is the source of the money. You failed to achieve anything
substantial in the case for two years and got activated only after the
apex court orders.[20]


Saxena was arrested on 17 July, two days after the police had been criticised by the Court.[21]
The police claimed to have sufficient evidence to prove that he had
delivered money to the three BJP MPs and alleged that he had misled both
their enquiry and that of parliament. They also announced that they had
interviewed Bhahora and Kulaste, who were no longer MPs, but that their
ability to interview Argal was hampered because he was still in office.[22] They had applied to the Home Ministry
for permission to interview him and Amar Singh, still a member of the
Rajya Sabha, and further announced that they intended to re-interview
The developments caused Deo to clarify that his committee had not
absolved Singh of any involvement but rather that it had found no
evidence to confirm involvement. He also had to explain that the
decision not to interview Singh had been because the committee had no prima facie
evidence of Singh’s involvement, the summonsing process for a Rajya
Sabha member would have been complex, and the outcome may have still
been a failure to attend as Singh was not obliged to do so. Furthermore,
he stated, the dissenting members of the committee had agreed with its
conclusions but had disagreed with his chairmanship. Deo had become a
cabinet minister on 12 July.[24]

Hindustani was arrested on 20 July and announced that he would be
repeating his previous statements that he had been approached by Singh
and some members of the Congress Party who had wanted him to “arrange”
BJP votes.[25]
The police described him as the “orchestrator” and explained that he
was working for the BJP in an attempt to entrap the government, but his
defence counsel has claimed that he was just a “whistleblower” and that
as such he should not have been the primary focus of police attention.[26]
The BJP took a similar line to defence counsel, claiming that the
investigation was an “eyewash”, querying how police lethargy had turned
so quickly and suggesting that they were being put under pressure by the

Singh was interviewed on 22 July and on the same day the police announced that they wished to speak with SP MP Rewati Raman Singh, whom the BJP MPs alleged had approached them on behalf of Amar Singh.[28]
On the same day, the Court ordered that Hindustani and Saxena should be
detained in custody for 14 days, despite defence arguments of police
misconduct. The defence claimed that the police had not interviewed
Hindustani and therefore had no new evidence upon which to base their
recent claims of orchestration. When the police stated that interviews
had taken place the defence counsel responded by noting that they had
not been present for any such interviews and that their presence was a
legal requirement.[29] The detentions were subsequently extended to 18 August.[30]

Despite Amar Singh having previously fallen out with his party’s
leadership and being expelled from the party, Mulayam Singh, the leader
of the SP, voiced his support for the ex-member on 24 July and claimed
that Amar Singh had been framed.[31]
Rewati Raman Singh and Argal were interviewed by police on the
following day, with Singh claiming that he gave them the same details as
he had previously given to the investigatory committee, and Argal
claiming that in fact Singh had approached him in relation to
facilitating the alleged bribe.[32] Kulkarni was interviewed on 14 July.[33]

Amar Singh was arrested on 6 September for his alleged involvement in
the scam and was ordered to be remanded in custody until 19 September.
He had appealed to the court to exempt him from appearing personally,
stating that he was ill with an infection; however, his request was

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