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April 2024
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LESSON 4-VOTE BSP ELEPHANT FOR CHANGE FOR THE BETTER-FOR SELF RESPECT! GET A VOTE AND A NOTE! FOR BSP! DONT WAIT BUT BAIT! TO GRAB THE MASTER KEY!-Make me PM Write Down on the Wall was Dr. Ambedkar’s Sign ! Two Thousand Nine ! Will Be Mine ! - Says Ms Mayawati Bahen ! Now is all that you have! By voting for BSP, the Nation you save! 2008 Bahen Mayawati the UttarPradesh Chief Minister ! 2009 Prabuddha Bharatha Matha the Prime Minister !-Uttar Pradesh plans public-private model for power distribution-Mayawati terms BJP’s ‘Ayodhya chant’ an election gimmick-Chetan Sharma joins BSP, to contest from Faridabad LS seat-Caste (social)-EC meets Recognized Political Parties to discuss issues related to conduct of Elections -Crucial votes JAMBUDVIPA, THAT IS THE GREAT PRABUDDHA BHARATH-An Obama Moment for Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha bharath’s Aboriginal Inhabitants (SC/STs forced by Central Asian Invaders who believed in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th rate souls and Human Beings who refused to accept the concept, since the Buddha did not believe in any soul but all were equal, asUntouchables
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Uttar Pradesh plans public-private model for power distribution

Lucknow, Feb 6 (IANS) The public-private partnership
model will first be implemented in the power sector in Uttar Pradesh,
with an input-based franchisee system being proposed to be put in place
in nine cities by March-end.

This follows a decision taken by the state cabinet earlier this week.

‘Under the system, the state power corporation will sell power to
the franchisee, which in turn will be free to carry out the
distribution at a price prescribed by SERC (State Electricity
Regulatory Commission),’ the commission’s chairman Navneet Sehgal told

‘Agra, Kanpur, Moradabad, Bareilly and Gorakhpur will be covered in
the first phase, while Varanasi, Meerut, Allahabad and Aligarh will
follow later,’ he said.

Maintaining that these cities incurred the most losses, Sehgal said: ‘The new system is expected to bring about a turnaround.’

With a view to expediting the process, SERC proposes to invite bids
next week. The contract will be awarded for 20 years, and bidders will
be required to submit a detailed proposal for the entire period.

Torrent Power, a key player in India’s power sector, is understood
to have evinced a keen interest in Kanpur, the biggest loss-maker.
Torrent already distributes power in Ahmedabad in Gujarat and Bhiwadi
in Rajasthan.

Asked whether the switchover to the new model would affect SERC
employees, Sehgal said employees would be given the option of
proceeding on deputation to the franchisee. ‘They will continue to
enjoy the same remuneration and perquisites they are entitled to now.’

Mayawati terms BJP’s ‘Ayodhya chant’ an election gimmick

Lucknow, Feb 9 (ANI):
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati,
on Monday said that Bharatiya Janat Party’s Ayodhya chants were nothing
but an ‘election gimmick’, as the party remembers Lord Rama only when
the poll are around.

“The BJP thinks of Ram temple only when polls are around. But, the
public knows about its real face. Even saints are ridiculing the
party,” Mayawati told reporters in Lucknow.

“What did the party do to build the temple when it was in power at the Centre?” Mayawati questioned BJP-led NDA regime.

The BSP supremo also criticized the Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh
Yadav and his newly found friendship with former BJP leader Kalyan
singh ahead of Lok Sabha elections.

“The Samajwadi Party chief is today holding the hand of the person
(Kalyan Singh) responsible for the demolition of the Babri Masjid,”
Mayawati remarked.

Mayawati also criticized Congress party’s stand on the same issue,
remarking how that Congress was equally responsible for the Babri
Masjid demolition in Ayodhya during Congress regime at the Centre.

“The party was in power at Centre when the incident happened and it
cannot shrug off its culpability simply by criticizing the BJP in the
media,” Mayawati said.

“There is no difference between BJP, SP and Congress,” the BSP supremo remarked. (ANI)

Chetan Sharma joins BSP, to contest from Faridabad LS seat

Former Indian cricketer Chetan Sharma has joined Bahujan Samaj Party
and was declared party candidate from Faridabad Lok Sabha seat of

Caste (social)

Castes are hereditary systems of occupation, endogamy,
social culture, social class, and political power, the assignment of
individuals to places in the social hierarchy is determined by social
group and cultural heritage. Although India is often now associated
with the word “caste”, it was first used by the Portuguese to describe inherited class status in their own European society.

Discrimination based on caste is prevalent mainly in parts
of Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Japan) and
Africa. UNICEF estimates that discrimination based on caste affects 250
million people worldwide.

English caste is from Latin castus “pure, cut off, segregated”, the participle of carere “to cut off” (whence also castration). Application to Hindu social groups originates in the 17th century, via Portuguese casta “breed, race, caste”.

A caste system is a social psychosis where in caste obsession
consumes the better part of it’s member’s time and resources. The
population disregards truth based evolution and meanders into the
psychosis of caste obsession. This psychosis results in a multitude of
cults as Human unity ceases
being an issue. The population manifests the characteristic of
forfieting their struggle for equality and accepting in its sted a
perennial struggle for sustenance. It is a Satanic social psychosis and
accordingly is built and nurtured by Chaos to inhibit Human progress.


  • 1 Caste in Europe

    • 1.1 Classical Antiquity
    • 1.2 Middle Ages
    • 1.3 Pillarisation
  • 2 Caste in Africa
  • 3 Caste in Spanish and Portuguese America
  • 4 Caste in China
  • 5 Caste in Hawaii
  • 6 Caste in Bali
  • 7 Caste in India
    • 7.1 Varna
    • 7.2 Jatis
    • 7.3 Modern India
      • 7.3.1 Scheduled castes
      • 7.3.2 Caste politics
  • 8 Caste in Japan
  • 9 Caste in Korea
  • 10 Caste in Nepal
  • 11 Caste in Pakistan
  • 12 Caste in Sri Lanka
  • 13 Caste in Yemen
    • 13.1 Origin
    • 13.2 Discrimination
  • 14 Caste in the United States
  • 15 See also
  • 16 Notes
  • 17 References
  • 18 External links

Caste in Europe

Main article: Class society

Classical Antiquity

Ancient Greek society
was divided into free people and slaves. Only free, land owning,
native-born men could be citizens entitled to the full protection of
the law in a Greek city-state (later Pericles introduced exceptions to
the native-born restriction). In most city-states, unlike Rome, social
prominence did not allow special rights. In Athens, the population was
divided into four social classes based on wealth. People could change
classes if they made more money.

In Sparta, all male citizens were given the title of equal if they finished their education. Slaves had no power or status. Sparta had a special type of serf-like helots. Their masters treated them harshly and helots often resorted to rebellions. According to Herodotus (IX, 28–29), helots were seven times as numerous as Spartans. Every autumn, according to Plutarch (Life of Lycurgus, 28, 3–7), the Spartan ephors
would pro forma declare war on the helot population so that any Spartan
citizen could kill a helot without fear of blood or guilt (crypteia).

Social class in ancient Rome played a major role in the lives of
Romans. Ancient Roman society was hierarchical. Free-born Roman
citizens were divided into several classes, both by ancestry and by
property. The broadest division was by ancestry, between patricians,
those who could trace their ancestry to the first Senate established by
Romulus, and plebeians, all other citizens. Originally, all public
offices were open only to patricians, and the classes could not
intermarry. There were also several classes of non-citizens with
different legal rights, along with slaves who had none.

Middle Ages

Main articles: ], Feudal society, and Estates of the realm

According to an English cleric of the late 10th century, society was composed of the three orders: bellatores (in Medieval Latin), or “those who fight” (nobles and knights); oratores, or “those who pray” (priests and monks); and laboratores, or “those who work” (peasants and serfs).

In medieval Europe, the estates of the realm were a caste system.
The population was divided into nobility, clergy, and the commoners. In
some regions, the commoners were divided into burghers, peasants or
serfs, and the estateless. Although originally based on occupation,
one’s estate was eventually inherited, because of low social mobility.
Poland’s nobility were more numerous than those of all other European
countries, forming some 8% of the total population in 1791, and almost
16% among ethnic Poles. By contrast, the nobilities of other European
countries, except for Spain and Hungary, amounted to a mere 1-3%. In
France, serfdom lasted legally until 1789. It persisted in
Austria-Hungary till 1848 and was abolished in Russia only in 1861.


Main article: Pillarisation

In some countries of classical Europe, society tended to be multiply
mainly in Protestant, Catholic and Social-democratic groups. These
groups all had their own social institutions: their own newspapers,
broadcasting organisations, political parties, unions etcetera. Some
companies even only hired personnel of a specific religion or ideology.
This led to a situation where many people had no personal contact with
people from another pillar, even when living in the same street.
Marriage between “castes” was not legally prohibited, but strongly
discouraged by the social groups. These groups were called “pillars”
(cf. stratification), standing next to each other instead of one group
being dominant over the other one. For instance, each group had a
representation in the government. This caste-like phenomenon is
sometimes called Pillarisation. After the WWII, the system started to
fade away, especially in the 1960s and 1970s, and nowadays only some
traces of the pillars are visible.

Caste in Africa

Main article: Caste system in Africa

Countries in Africa who have societies with caste systems within
their borders include Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia,
Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali,
Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Somalia.

The Osu caste systems in Nigeria and southern Cameroon are derived
from indigenous religious beliefs and discriminate against the “Osus”
people as “owned by deities” and outcasts.

Similarly, the Mande societies in Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory
Coast, Liberia, Senegal, and Sierra Leone have caste systems that
divide society by occupation and ethnic ties. The Mande caste system
regards the jonow slave castes as inferior. Similarly, the Wolof caste system in Senegal is divided into three main groups, the geer (freeborn/nobles), jaam (slaves and slave descendants) and the outcast neeno (people of caste). In various parts of West Africa, Fulani societies also have caste divisions.

Other caste systems in Africa include the Borana caste system of
northeast Kenya with the Watta as the lowest caste, the Tuareg caste
system, the ubuhake castes in Rwanda and Burundi, and the Hutu
undercastes in Rwanda who committed genocide on the Tutsi overlords in
the now infamous Rwandan Genocide.

Sahrawi-Moorish society in Northwest Africa was traditionally (and
still is, to some extent) stratified into several tribal castes, with
the Hassane warrior tribes ruling and extracting tribute - horma - from
the subservient Znaga tribes. Although lines were blurred by
intermarriage and tribal re-affiliation, the Hassane were considered
descendants of the Arab Maqil tribe Beni Hassan, and held power over
Sanhadja Berber-descended zawiya (religious) and znaga (servant)
tribes. The so-called Haratin lower class, largely sedentary
oasis-dwelling black people, have been considered natural slaves in
Sahrawi-Moorish society.

The Somali people are divided into clans, wherein the Rahanweyn
agro-pastoral clans and the lower castes such as the Midgan are
sometimes treated as outcasts.

Caste in Spanish and Portuguese America

Main article: Castas

The Spanish and Portuguese colonists of the Americas instituted a
relatively loose system of racial and social stratification and
segregation based on a person’s heritage. The system remained in place
in most areas of Spanish America up to the time independence was
achieved from Spain. Castes were used to identify classes of people
with specific racial or ethnic heritage. However privileges or
restrictions were more related to race and wealth than to a clearly
defined system of Castes.

Among the caste / racial classifications used then in Spanish
America are: Peninsular, Criollo, Castizo, Mestizo, Cholo, Mulato,
Indio, Zambo and Negro.

Caste in China

The Southern and Northern Dynasties showed such a high level of
polarization between North and South that northerners and southerners
referred to each other as barbarians; the Mongol Yuan Dynasty also made
use of the concept: Yuan subjects were divided into four castes, with
northern Han Chinese occupying the second-lowest caste and southern Han
Chinese occupying the lowest one.

During several dynasties in period of Northern and Southern
China,especially in Southern dynasities (the East Jin, Song,Qi), the
social configuration was divided mainly into two classes in a politic
and cultural view. The dominant noble class Shizu, which literarily
means Noble Family, controlled most of the offered offices and
functions in the court, most time they also had kinship linked with the
Emperor. The other opposite class Hanmen, literarily means The Austere
Family, had been expelled from aspects of politic and cultural life.

Traditional Yi society in Yunnan was caste based. People were split
into the Black Yi (nobles, 5% of the population), White Yi (commoners),
Ajia (33% of the Yi population) and the Xiaxi (10%). Ajia and Xiaxi
were slave castes. The White Yi were not slaves but had no freedom of
movement. The Black Yi were famous for their slave-raids on Han Chinese
communities. After 1959, some 700,000 slaves were freed.

Caste in Hawaii

Ancient Hawaii was a caste society. People were born into specific
social classes; social mobility was not unknown, but it was extremely
rare. The main classes were:

  • Ali?i,
    the royal suuwop class. This class consisted of the high and lesser
    chiefs of the realms. They governed with divine power called mana.
  • Kahuna, the priestly and professional class. Priests conducted religious ceremonies, at the heiau
    and elsewhere. Professionals included master carpenters and boat
    builders, chanters, dancers, genealogists, and physicians and healers.
  • Maka??inana,
    the commoner class. Commoners farmed, fished, and exercised the simpler
    crafts. They labored not only for themselves and their families, but to
    support the chiefs and kahuna.
  • Kauwa, the outcast or slave class. They are
    believed to have been war captives, or the descendants of war captives.
    Marriage between higher castes and the kauwa was strictly forbidden.
    The kauwa worked for the chiefs and were often used as human sacrifices
    at the luakini heiau. (They were not the only sacrifices;
    law-breakers of all castes or defeated political opponents were also
    acceptable as victims.)

Caste in Bali

Main article: Balinese caste system

The caste system in Bali is similar to the Indian caste system;
however, India’s caste system is far more complicated than Bali’s, and
there are only four Balinese castes:

  • Sudras - peasants making up more than 90% of Bali’s population
  • Vaishyas - the caste of merchants
  • Kshatrias - the warrior caste, it also included some nobility and kings
  • Brahmins - holy men and priests

Different dialects of the Balinese language are used to address
members of a different caste. The Balinese caste system does not have

Caste in India

Main article: Caste system in India

Hindu society has traditionally been divided into several thousands
of groups, castes or communities called Jatis. The phrase “Hindu Caste
System” mixes up two different schemes - the Varna (class/group), which
is the theoretical system of grouping found in Brahminical traditions
and some medieval codes, and the Jati system prevalent in Indian
society since historical times. Despite the present day use of the same
phrase to describe both Varna and Jati, some observers have claimed that

“The Varna system is of no significance to an understanding
of the present day caste situation except in broad ideological terms.
Any attempt to examine the caste system by fitting it into the
classical Varna model would be of limited relevance in understanding its role in the socio-political processes of contemporary India.”


Early Indian texts speak of ‘Varna,’ which means order, category,
type, colour (of things), and groups the human society into four main
types as follows.

  1. Brahmins (intelligentsia, priests, scholars, teachers)
  2. Kshatriyas (warriors, nobility)
  3. Vaishyas (Merchant)
  4. Shudras (workers,farmers,service providers, laborers)

Varna, as enunciated in the Brahminical texts, e.g., the Rigveda
(10.90.12) or the Manusmriti, categorised the people in the Indian
society into 4 categories. The Varna system should however be
differentiated from the cultural, non-religious, Jati-caste-system.”
The Brahmins’ primary vocation is to learn the Vedas and other sacred
texts, teach and pray. The Kshatriya’s chief occupation is managing
their kingdoms and military service. The Vaishyas are occupied with
economic activities (agrarian and trade) and the Sudras are skilled
workers and service providers of all types.

It should be noted that although Brahmins have usually been
described as the priestly class, this is not entirely accurate, as a
temple priest need not have been a Brahmin; however, the performer of a
Yajna or fire sacrifice priest always was, although even this has not
always been followed by all sects within Hinduism - for example, in the
Arya Samaj. There were several categories among the Brahmins and the
priests are usually at the lower end of the Brahmin social scale. The
ancient Greeks, e.g., Megasthenes in his Indika, and the Muslims, e.g. Alberuni (1030 CE) described Brahmins as philosophers. Megasthenes calls them Brachmanes and describes them thus:

“The philosophers are first in rank, but form the smallest class in
point of number. Their services are employed privately by persons who
wish to offer sacrifices or perform other sacred rites, and also
publicly by the kings at what is called the Great Synod, wherein at the
beginning of the new year all the philosophers are gathered together
before the king at the gates, when any philosopher who may have
committed any useful suggestion to writing, or observed any means for
improving the crops and the cattle, or for promoting the public
interests, declares it publicly.”

All others, including foreigners, tribals and nomads, who did not
subscribe to the norms of Hindu society were called Mlechhas and were
treated as contagious and untouchables.

According to some researchers, by the 4th century AD, and certainly
by the 7th century AD, there were people excluded from society
altogether - the group of outcastes now referred to as Dalits or the
“downtrodden.” Thus, an untouchable, or an “outcaste”, was a person who was deemed to not have any “Varna by those who claimed to possess it.”

But now, in modern India, with rapid urbanization and large scale
migration, the ensuing crowded living arrangements and public
transport, and the broad-based mix of workplace colleagues, there has
been a significant change in social attitudes, at least in the larger
towns and certainly in the metros. Associations of occupations with
caste have also been changing, especially as new occupations are


Main article: Jati

In “A New History of India,” by Stanley Wolpert states.” a process
of expansion, settled agricultural production, and pluralistic
integration of new people led to the development of India’s uniquely
complex system of social organization by occupation….”

Under the Jati system, a person is born into a Jati with ascribed
social roles and endogamy, i.e. marriages take place only within that
Jati. The Jati provided identity, security and status and has
historically been open to change based on economic, social and
political influences (see Sanskritization). In the course of early
Indian history, various tribal, economic, political and social factors
led to the closing and consolidation of the existing social ranks which
became a traditional, hereditary system of social structuring. It
operated through thousands of exclusive, endogamous groups, termed j?ti.
Though there were several kinds of variations across the breadth of
India, the jati was the effective community within which one married
and spent most of one’s personal life. Often it was the community (Jati)
which one turned to for support, for resolution of disputes and it was
also the community which one sought to promote. People of different
Jatis across the spectrum, from the upper castes to the lowest of
castes, tended to avoid intermarriage, sharing of food and drinks, or
even close social interaction with other Jatis. An interesting
perspective on ancient North Indian society is provided by the Greek
Megasthenes, who,in his Indika, described the society as being made up
of “seven classes”:

“The whole population of India is divided into seven castes, of
which the first is formed by the collective body of the Philosophers,
which in point of number is inferior to the other classes, but in point
of dignity preeminent over all. For the philosophers, being exempted
from all public duties, are neither the masters nor the servants of
others. They are, however, engaged by private persons to offer the
sacrifices due in lifetime, and to celebrate the obsequies of the dead:
for they are believed to be most dear to the gods, and to be the most
conversant with matters pertaining to Hades. In requital of such
services they receive valuable gifts and privileges. To the people of
India at large they also render great benefits, when, gathered together
at the beginning of the year, they forewarn the assembled multitudes
about droughts and wet weather, and also about propitious winds, and
diseases, and other topics capable of profiting-the hearers. Thus the
people and the sovereign, learning beforehand what is to happen, always
make adequate provision against a coming deficiency, and never fail to
prepare beforehand what will help in a time of need. The philosopher
who errs in his predictions incurs no other penalty than obloquy, and
he then observes silence for the rest of his life.”

The other classes are also described by Arrian, in The Anabasis
Alexandrae, Book VIII: Indica (2nd c. CE) relying on the account of

“Then next to these come the farmers, these being the most numerous
class of Indians; they have no use for warlike arms or warlike deeds,
but they till the land; and they pay the taxes to the kings and to the
cities, such as are self-governing; and if there is internal war among
the Indians, they may not touch these workers, and not even devastate
the land itself; but some are making war and slaying all comers, and
others close by are peacefully ploughing or gathering the fruits or
shaking down apples or harvesting. The third class of Indians are the
herdsmen, pasturers of sheep and cattle, and these dwell neither by
cities nor in the villages. They are nomads and get their living on the
hillsides, and they pay taxes from their animals; they hunt also birds
and wild game in the country.

The fourth class is of artisans and shopkeepers; these are workers,
and pay tribute from their works, save such as make weapons of war;
these are paid by the community. In this class are the shipwrights and
sailors, who navigate the rivers. The fifth class of Indians is the
soldiers’ class, next after the farmers in number; these have the
greatest freedom and the most spirit. They practise military pursuits
only. Their weapons others forge for them, and again others provide
horses; others too serve in the camps, those who groom their horses and
polish their weapons, guide the elephants, and keep in order and drive
the chariots. They themselves, when there is need of war, go to war,
but in time of peace they make merry; and they receive so much pay from
the community that they can easily from their pay support others. The
sixth class of Indians are those called overlookers. They oversee
everything that goes on in the country or in the cities; and this they
report to the King, where the Indians are governed by kings, or to the
authorities, where they are independent. To these it is illegal to make
any false report; nor was any Indian ever accused of such
falsification. The seventh class is those who deliberate abbut the
community together with the King, or, in such cities as are
self-governing, with the authorities. In number this class is small,
but in wisdom and uprightness it bears the palm from all others; from
this class are selected their governors, district governors, and
deputies, custodians of the treasures, officers of army and navy,
financial officers, and overseers of agricultural works. To marry out
of any class is unlawful — as, for instance, into the farmer class from
the artisans, or the other way; nor must the same man practise two
pursuits; nor change from one class into another, as to turn farmer
from shepherd, or shepherd from artisan. It is only permitted to join
the wise men out of any class; for their business is not an easy one,
but of all most laborious.”

Modern India

Faced with a bewildering array of thousands of autonomous and
hierarchically fluid communities (Jatis),the late 19th century British
colonial administration decided to categorise and rank the entire Hindu
population of India by placing each of the Jatis within the Varna
system for the purposes of the decennial Census, and eventually for
administrative convenience. Simultaneous with the codification into law
of Varna-based caste identities during the British empire, communities
(Jatis) sought to place themselves on higher levels of Varna
categories. On the other hand, most of the Jatis grouped into the lower
caste categories found this arbitrary classification unreasonable,
unfair and unacceptable, as it did not reflect the reality. This newly
frozen materialization of caste created a growing resentment firstly
against the system itself and secondly against the Brahmins, who were
seen to be the beneficiaries of the arrangement which now officially
anointed their place at the top of the social hierarchy. The revolt of
the Justice Party and Periyar in the south, by the Maharaja of Kolhapur
and the outstanding scholar Dr Ambedkar in western India against this,
in the early decades of the twentieth century, has had a profound,
long-lasting impact on the Indian society and politics, which continues
to this date.

Some activists, most prominently at the UN conference at Durban,
have asserted that the caste is a form of racial discrimination. This
view has been disputed by some sociologists such as Andre Béteille, who
writes that treating caste as a form of racism is “politically
mischievous” and worse, “scientifically nonsense” since there is no
discernible difference in the racial characteristics between Brahmins
and Scheduled Castes such as the Jatav. He writes that “Every social
group cannot be regarded as a race simply because we want to protect it
against prejudice and discrimination.”

The Indian government, too, has denied the claims of equivalence
between caste and racial discrimination, pointing out that the issues
of social status is essentially intra-racial and intra-cultural. The
view of the caste system as “static and unchanging” has also been
disputed. The Indian government has been working towards creating
equality between castes with guaranteed seats in educational
institutions, government jobs (and promotions) and even in the
parliament for those of the Scheduled Untouchable castes and tribes.
Scholarships have also been available to all of these groups, so that
they can go on to further education more easily and this has raised
their social status.Sociologists describe how the perception of the
caste system as a static and textual stratification has given way to
the perception of the caste system as a more processional, empirical
and contextual stratification. Others have applied theoretical models
to explain mobility and flexibility in the caste system in India.
According to these scholars, groups of lower-caste individuals could
seek to elevate the status of their caste by attempting to emulate the
practices of higher castes.

The eminent Socio-anthropologistM. N. Srinivas has also questioned
the rigidity of caste and introduced the concept of Sanskritisation..

Scheduled castes

Main article: Reservation in India

In rural areas and small towns, the Jati-caste system is part of the
rural cultural values. Many argue rural cultural values and history
should be respected, just like rural society respects city culture. The
Jati-caste system is part of the multicultural heritage of South Asia,
but was distorted by the British Colonial policy, when it was cast into
the theoretical Varna mould. In this artificial Varna-caste system
mutual respect seems a difficult proposition and a distant, if ever
possible goal, due to caste politics.

The Government of India has officially documented castes and
subcastes, primarily to determine those deserving reservation (positive
discrimination in education and jobs) through the census. The Indian
reservation system, though limited in scope, relies entirely on quotas.
The Government lists consist of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and
Other Backward Classes:

Scheduled castes (SC)
Scheduled tribes (ST)
Other Backward Classes (OBC)

The Supreme Court of India on Apr 10 , 2008 upheld the law for 27%
OBC quota the law enacted by the Centre in 2006 providing a quota of 27
per cent for candidates belonging to the Other Backward Classes in
Central higher educational institutions .

Caste politics

Main article: Caste politics in India

Mahatma Gandhi, B. R. Ambedkar and Jawaharlal Nehru had radically
different approaches to caste especially over constitutional politics
and the status of “untouchables.” Till the mid-1970s, the politics of
independent India was largely dominated by economic issues and
questions of corruption. But since the 1980s, caste has emerged as a
major issue in the Politics of India.

The Mandal Commission was established in 1979 to “identify the
socially or educationally backward,” and to consider the question of
seat reservations and quotas for people to redress caste
discrimination. In 1980, the commission’s report affirmed the
affirmative action practice under Indian law whereby members of lower
castes were given exclusive access to a certain portion of government
jobs and slots in public universities. When V. P. Singh Government
tried to implement the recommendations of the Mandal Commission in
1989, massive protests were held throughout the country. Many alleged
that the politicians were trying to benefit personally from caste-based
reservations for purely pragmatic electoral purposes.

Many political parties in India have openly indulged in caste-based
politics. Parties such as Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) relies on the
Dalits, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Samajwadi Party and the Janata
Dal rely primarily on the support of Other Backward Castes, and Muslims
to win elections.

Caste in Japan

Main articles: Feudal Japan hierarchy and Burakumin

Two main castes in Japan were Samurai warrior castes and peasants.
Only samurai caste was allowed to bear arms. A samurai had a right to
kill any peasant who he felt was disrespectful.

Japan historically subscribed to a feudal caste system. While modern
law has officially abolished the caste hierarchy, there are reports of
discrimination against the Buraku or Burakumin undercastes,
historically referred to by the insulting term Eta. Studies
comparing the caste systems in India and Japan have been performed,
with similar discriminations against the Burakumin as the Dalits. The
Burakumin are regarded as “ostracised.” The burakumin are one of the
main minority groups in Japan, along with the Ainu of Hokkaid? and
residents of Korean and Chinese descent.

Caste in Korea

The Baekjeong were an “untouchable” outcaste group of Korea,
often compared with the burakumin of Japan and the dalits of India and
Nepal. The term baekjeong itself means “a butcher,” but later
changed into “common citizens” to change the caste system so that the
system would be without untouchables. In the early part of the Goryeo
period (918 - 1392), the outcaste groups were largely settled in fixed
communities. However, the Mongol invasion left Korea in disarray and
anomie, and these groups began to become nomadic. Other subgroups of
the baekjeong are the chaein and the hwachae. During the
Joseon dynasty, they were specific professions like basket weaving and
performing executions. They were also considered in moral violation of
Buddhist principles, which lead Koreans to see work involving meat as
polluting and sinful, even if they saw the consumption as acceptable.

The opening of Korea to foreign Christian missionary activity in the
late 19th century saw some improvement in the status of the baekjeong;
However, everyone was not equal under the Christian congregation, and
protests erupted when missionaries attempted to integrate them into
worship services, with non-baekjeong finding such an attempt
insensitive to traditional notions of hierarchical advantage. Also
around the same time, the baekjeong began to resist the open social
discrimination that existed against them. They focused on social and
economic injustices affecting the baekjeong, hoping to create an
egalitarian Korean society. Their efforts included attacking social
discrimination by the upper class, authorities, and “commoners” and the
use of degrading language against children in public schools.

With the unification of the three kingdoms in the seventh century
and the foundation of the Goryeo dynasty in the Middle Ages, Koreans
systemised its own native caste system. At the top was the two official
classes, the Yangban. Yangban means “two classes.” It was composed of
scholars (Munban) and warriors (Muban). Within the Yangban class, the
Scholars (Munban) enjoyed a significant social advantage over the
warrior (Muban) class, until the Muban Rebellion in 1170. Muban ruled
Korea under successive Warrior Leaders until the Mongol Conquest in
1253. Sambyeolcho, the private Army of the ruling Choe dynasty, carried
on the struggle against the Mongols until 1273, when they were finally
wiped out to the last man in Chejudo. With the destruction of the
warrior class, the Munban gained ascendancy. In 1392, with the
foundation of Joseon dynasty, the full ascendancy of munban over muban
was final. With the establishment of Confucianism as the state
philosophy of Joseon, the Muban would never again gain its former
social standing in Korean society.

Beneath the Yangban class were the Jung-in. They were the
technicians. They served in lower level government bureaucracy. They
were literate, yet were unable to rise into full bureaucratic positions
despite passing the gwageo (central government entrance) exam. This
class was small and specialised.

Beneath the Jung-in were the Chunmin. They were the landless
peasants. These people composed the majority of Korean society until
the 1600s. They were illiterate, and forbidden from marrying into the
Yangban class. During the Japanese invasion of 1592, as many government
genealogical record was burnt, many of them fabricated their social
origin and moved into the Yangban class. With the Manchu invasion of
Korea in the 1627 and 1637 and numerous peasant rebellions that
followed, the ranks of Yangban families swelled up to more than 60% of
the whole country by the late 1800s.

Beneath the Cheonmin were the Sangmin, also called Ssangnom in the vernacular. These were the servant class.

Underneath them all were the Baekjeong. The meaning today is that of
butcher. They originate from the Khitan invasion of Korea in the 1000s.
As they were defeated, instead of sending them back to Manchuria, The
Goryeo government retianed them as warriors, spread out throughout
Korea. As they were nomads skilled in hunting and tanning of leather,
their skill was initially valued by Koreans. Over the centuries, their
foreign origins were forgotten, and were only remembered as butchers
and tanners.

Korea had a very large slave population, nobi, ranging from a
third to half of the entire population for most of the millennium
between the Silla period and the Joseon Dynasty. Slavery was legally
abolished in Korea in 1894 but remained extant in reality until 1930.

With Gabo reform of 1896, the caste system of Korea was officially
abolished. However, the Yangban families carried on traditional
education and formal mannerisms into the 20th century. With the
democratization of 1990s in South Korea, remnant of such mannerisms and
classism is now heavily frowned upon in the South Korean society,
replaced by the myth of egalitarianism. However, with rampant
capitalism, a new aristocracy is slowly developing, caused by a major
gap in income among the people of Korea, with the resulting differences
in education and mannerism.

Caste in Nepal

Main article: Nepalese caste system

The Nepalese caste system resembles that of the Indian J?ti system
with numerous J?ti divisions with a Varna system superimposed.

Caste in Pakistan

Main article: Caste system among South Asian Muslims

A caste system similar to that in India is practiced in Pakistan. In
the absence of “classical” castes, typically the proxies used are
ethnic background (Sindhi, Punjabi, Pusthun, Balochi, Mohajir etc.),
tribal affiliations and religious denominations or sects (Sunni, Shia,
Ahmadiyya, Ismaili, Christian, Hindu etc.).

While caste/social stratification information can be found relating
to specific areas in Pakistan, it is not known if any studies have
compared how relatively prevalent such attitudes are amongst the
various ethnic groups, religious sects and geographies. Also, it is not
known if any tracking studies have documented changes in these social

Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that there are quite significant
differences in how social stratification is practised within, and
between, the various ethnic/religious groups in Pakistan.

The social stratification among Muslims in the “Swat” area of North
Pakistan has been meaningfully compared to the Caste system in India.
The society is rigidly divided into subgroups where each Quom (meaning
tribe or nation) is assigned a profession. Different Quoms are not
permitted to intermarry or live in the same community. These tribes
practice a ritual-based system of social stratification. The Quoms who
deal with human emissions are ranked the lowest.

The caste system in Pakistan creates sectarian divide and strong
issues. Lower castes (or classes) are often severely persecuted by the
upper castes (or classes). Lower castes are denied privileges in many
communities and violence is committed against them. A particularly
infamous example of such incidents is that of Mukhtaran Mai in
Pakistan, a low caste woman who was gang raped by upper caste men. In
addition, educated Pakistani women from the lower castes maybe at risk
to be persecuted by the higher castes for attempting to break the
shackles of the local, restrictive system (that traditionally denied
education to the lower castes, particularly the women).

A recent example of this is the case of Ghazala Shaheen, a low caste
Muslim woman in Pakistan who, in addition to getting a higher
education, had an uncle who eloped with a woman of a high caste family.
She was accosted and gang-raped by the upper-caste family. The chances
of any legal action are low due to the Pakistani Government’s inability
to repeal the Hudood ordinance against women in Pakistan, though, in
2006, Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf proposed laws against Hudood
making rape a punishable offense, which were ratified by the Pakistani
senate. The law is meeting considerable opposition from the Islamist
parties in Pakistan, who insist that amending the laws to make them
more civilised towards women is against the mandate of Islamic
religious law.. Despite these difficulties, the law passed and is now
expected to help the situation in regards to women.

The late Nawab Akbar Bugti, the leader of his tribe and fighting for
the Balochistan Liberation Army, criticised Punjabi attitudes to women
when he said, “What respect we give to a woman, irrespective of her
caste, religion or ethnicity, no Punjabi can understand.”

Caste in Sri Lanka

Main article: Caste in Sri Lanka
Main article: Caste system in Sri Lanka

Caste in Yemen

In Yemen there exists a caste-like system that keeps the Al-Akhdam
as perennial manual workers for the society through practices that
mirror untouchability. The Al-Akhdam (literally “servants”, plural Khadem)
are the lowest rung in the Yemeni caste system and by far the poorest.
According to official estimates, the total number of Khadem countrywide
is in the neighborhood of 500,000, some 100,000 of which live in the
outskirts of the capital Sana’a, while according to a New York Times
article from February 27, 2008 there are more than a million. The
remainder are dispersed mainly in and around the cities of Aden, Taiz,
Lahj, Abyan, Hodeidah and Mukalla.


The Khadem are not members of the three castes, Bedouin (nomads), fellahin (villagers), and hadarrin
(townspeople), that comprise mainstream Arab society. They are believed
to be of Ethiopian ancestry. Some sociologists theorise that the Khadem
are descendants of Ethiopian soldiers who had occupied Yemen in the 5th
century but were driven out in the 6th century. According to this
theory the al-Akhdham are descended from the soldiers who stayed behind
and were forced into menial labor as a punitive measure.


The Khadem live in small shanty towns and are marginalised and
shunned by mainstream society in Yemen. Khadem slums exist mostly in
big cities, including the capital, Sana’a. Their segregated communities
have poor housing conditions. As a result of their low position in
society, very few children in the Khadem community are enrolled in
school and often have little choice but to beg for money and intoxicate
themselves with crushed glass.

A traditional saying in the region goes: “Clean your plate if it is
touched by a dog, but break it if it’s touched by a Khadem.” Though
conditions have improved somewhat over the past few years, the Khadem
are still stereotyped by mainstream Yemenese society, considering them
lowly, dirty, ill-mannered and immoral.

Many NGO’s and charitable organizations from other countries such as
CARE International are working towards their emancipation, while the
Yemenese government denies that there is any discrimination against the

Caste in the United States

Many, including W. Lloyd Warner, Gunnar Myrdal, and John Dollard,
believe that there is a caste system in the United States based on the
colour of a person’s skin. However, some hold that this relationship
should not be referred to as a full-fledge caste system. Caste systems
are supported by ritual, convention, and law. Status can influence and
determine class, which also determines the caste system where a person
belongs. Weber stressed that class, status, and political power relate
and affect each other.

“Caste structure is an extreme form of status inequality in that
relationships between the groups involved are said to be fixed and
supported by ideology and/or law”. In the US, membership in a specific
caste is often hereditary, marriage within one’s caste is mandatory,
mobility is impossible, and occupation is determined by caste position.
Mobility is possible within one’s caste but not between castes. Race
and ethnic stratification is evident throughout US caste systems. Each
caste system must abide by specific codes of race relations in which
certain behaviors and positions are expected by each group. Caste as
metaphor for race relations was developed academically by Lloyd Warner
’s “American Caste and Class”, Gunnar Myrdal ’s An American Dilemma,
and John Dollard ’s Caste and Class in a Southern Town. Myrdal argued
that “the scientifically important difference between the terms ‘caste’
and ‘class’… is … a relatively large difference in freedom of movement
between groups”.

See also

  • Class society
  • Elitism
  • Feudal society
  • Multiculturalism
  • Noble lie
  • Segregation
  • Social stratification


  1. ^ Discrimination, UNICEF
  2. ^ Sparta - A Military City-State
  3. ^ The Roman Republic
  4. ^ Livy, Ab Urbe Condita 1:8
  5. ^ Medieval Society
  6. ^
  7. ^ Polish Nobility and Its Heraldry: An Introduction
  8. ^ Serf. A Dictionary of World History
  9. ^ Fair elections haunted by racial imbalance
  10. ^ Mauritanian MPs pass slavery law by BBC News
  11. ^ Africa’s Lost Tribe Discovers American Way
  12. ^ The ‘Four Class System’
  13. ^ Black Bone Yi (people)
  14. ^ General Profile of the Yi
  15. ^ The Yi ethnic minority
  16. ^ Kapu System and Caste System of Ancient Hawai’i
  17. ^ varna, or Varna (Hinduism)
  18. ^ Caste, Class and Social Articulation in Andhra Pradesh: Mapping Differential Regional Trajectories, K. Srinivasulu
  19. ^ The Origin of Untouchability
  20. ^ India: ‘Hidden Apartheid’ of Discrimination Against Dalits (Human Rights Watch, 13-2-2007)
  21. ^ UN report slams India for caste discrimination
  22. ^ India Criticised for Discrimination Against Untouchables
  23. ^ An Untouchable Subject?
  24. ^ Final Declaration of the Global Conference Against Racism and Caste-based Discrimination
  25. ^ Discrimination that must be cast away,The Hindu
  26. ^ James Silverberg (November 1969). “Social Mobility in the Caste System in India: An Interdisciplinary Symposium”. The American Journal of Sociology 75 (3): 443–444. 
  27. ^ Srinivas, M.N, Religion and Society among the Coorgs of South India by MN Srinivas, Page 32 (Oxford, 1952)
  28. ^ Caste in Modern India; And
    other essays: Page 48. (Media Promoters & Publishers Pvt. Ltd,
    Bombay; First Published: 1962, 11th Reprint: 1994)
  29. ^ List of Scheduled Castes Delhi Govt.
  30. ^ Reply to SC daunting task for government, Tribune India
  31. ^ What is India’s population of other backward classes?,Yahoo News
  32. ^ SC allows 27% quota for OBCs-India-The Times of India
  33. ^ SC okays 27% quota for OBCs in higher studies- Politics/Nation-News-The Economic Times
  34. ^ SC upholds 27 per cent OBC quota in educational institutions
  35. ^
  36. ^ Breaking News Online: Breaking News! Supreme Court upholds OBC Quota in Educational Institutions
  37. ^ » Supreme Court upholds Governments OBC quota in higher educational institutions - Thaindian News
  38. ^ The Hindu : Front Page : Supreme Court upholds law for 27% OBC quota
  39. ^’s-obc-quota-in-higher-educational-institutions-24625
  40. ^ a b Danny Yee. “Book review of Caste, Society and Politics in India: From the Eighteenth Century to the Modern Age”. Retrieved on 2006-12-11. 
  41. ^ Bhattacharya, Amit. “”Who are the OBCs?””. Retrieved on 2006-04-19.  Times of India, April 8, 2006.
  42. ^ “Caste-Based Parties”. Country Studies US. Retrieved on 2006-12-12. 
  43. ^ Caste, Ethnicity and Nationality: Japan Finds Plenty of Space for Discrimination
  44. ^ William H. Newell (December 1961). “The Comparative Study of Caste in India and Japan”. Asian Survey 1 (10): 3–10. doi:10.1525/as.1961.1.10.01p15082. 
  45. ^ Kim,
    Joong-Seop (1999). “In Search of Human Rights: The Paekch?ng Movement
    in Colonial Korea”. in Gi-Wook Shin and Michael Robinson. Colonial Modernity in Korea. pp. 326.
  46. ^ Kim, Joong-Seop (2003). The Korean Paekj?ng under Japanese rule: the quest for equality and human rights. pp. 147. 
  47. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica - Slavery
  48. ^ Edward Willett Wagner - The Harvard University Gazette
  49. ^ Korean Nobi
  50. ^ Leach, Edmund Ronald (November 24, 1971). Aspects of Caste in South India, Ceylon and North-West Pakistan (Pg 113). Cambridge University Press. 
  51. ^ Leach, Edmund Ronald (November 24, 1971). Aspects of Caste in South India, Ceylon and North-West Pakistan (Pg 113). Cambridge University Press. 
  52. ^ - Six men found guilty in gang rape - Dec. 12, 2002
  53. ^ Pakistani graduate raped to punish her low-caste family The Sunday Times - September 24, 2006
  54. ^ Pakistan senate backs rape bill,BBC
  55. ^ Strong feelings over Pakistan rape laws,BBC
  56. ^ Tribals looking down a barrel in Balochistan
  57. ^ a b Akhdam: Ongoing suffering for lost identity Yemen Mirror
  58. ^ Despite caste-less society in Yemen, generations languish at bottom of ladder
  59. ^ a b c d e YEMEN: Akhdam people suffer history of discrimination,
  60. ^ a b Caste In Yemen by Marguerite Abadjian, archive of The Baltimore Sun
  61. ^ Yemen Times
  62. ^ Hurst, Charles E. Social Inequality: Forms, Causes, and Consequences. Sixth Edition.
  63. ^ Myrdal, Gunnar. 1944. An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy. New York: Harper and Brothers.


  • Spectres of Agrarian Territory by David Ludden December 11, 2001
  • “Early Evidence for Caste in South India,” p. 467-492 in Dimensions of Social Life: Essays in honor of David G. Mandelbaum, Edited by Paul Hockings and Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin, New York, Amsterdam, 1987.

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    Some Religions believe in souls of Human Beings.
    But not for animals. Hence you could do whatever you want to do to them.
    One Religion believes in First, second, third, fourth rate souls.
    But also Human beings without soul and they could be treated in any
    fashion they wanted to do to them. They are the aboriginal Inhabitants
    of Jambudvipa, that is , the Great Prabuddha Bharath who never accepted
    the system and hence they became untouchables (Scheduled Castes and
    Scheduled Tribes).
    Buddha never believed in Souls. But all are Equals.

EC meets Recognized Political Parties to discuss issues related to conduct of Elections

The Election Commission convened a
meeting today with all recognized National and State political parties to
discuss issues related to the forthcoming General Elections. Representatives
of all the seven National parties and 26 out of the 40 State parties attended
the meeting. A list of the parties, which were represented in the meeting,
is annexed.

            The Commission emphasized on
observance of the Model Code of Conduct in letter and spirit. The Commission
urged the parties to strictly avoid communal overtones in election campaign.
The Commission also mentioned about the need to curb corrupt practices and
malpractices of bribing of electors with money, liquor and gifts in various
forms, and about the need to monitor and curb surrogate advertisements. The
Commission urged the political parties to avail the facility of appointing
Booth Level Agents to help improve the quality of the electoral rolls.

            The political parties gave their
views on the timing and phasing of elections. Most of the parties suggested
shortest possible duration of the whole election process, while taking into
account various National, State holidays, Board exam schedule and other
sensitivities. They suggested that in States where single day poll had been
held in the past, the same procedure should be followed. Most of the parties
stressed the need to have Central Police Forces coverage in all places for
ensuring free and fair poll, while a few parties had the view that Central
Police Forces should be need based and not as a general rule. 

            The parties dealt with the issue of
electoral rolls, and about the need for sustained efforts at the field level to
remove the errors in the rolls and in the maximization of Electoral Photo
Identity Cards. They agreed with the Commission on the need for effective steps
for ensuring compliance with the Model Code of Conduct and level playing field
for all parties and candidates. The parties almost unanimously pleaded for
taking effective measures to combat surrogate advertisements and attempts to
misuse the print media to plant customized reports projecting particular
candidates/parties.  Several parties
demanded ban on publishing the results of opinion polls and exit polls till the
completion of poll in all phases. Some parties requested for relaxation in the
matter of use of posters and banners, wall writing for election campaign and
some called for a total ban on hoardings and large sized banners and
flags.  While acknowledging the
initiatives taken to streamline the postal ballot procedure for persons on
election duty, some parties emphasized the need for further close monitoring of
this procedure. There were also demand for counting of votes in such a manner
that the booth-wise voting pattern is not known in order to prevent chances of
post election victimization and intimidation of electors. 

            All the parties assured the Commission
of their whole-hearted support in the conduct of smooth, free and fair elections.





Sl. No.

 Name of the Party


Bahujan Samaj Party


Bharatiya Janata Party


Party of


Party of
India (Marxist)


National Congress


Congress Party


Rashtriya Janata Dal


S. No.

Name of

All India Anna Dravida
Munnetra Kazhagam

All India Forward Bloc

All India Trinamool

Assam United Democratic Front

Asom Gana Parishad


Biju Janata Dal


Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam


Lok Dal


& Kashmir National Conference


& Kashmir National Panthers Party


Janata Dal (Secular)


Janata Dal (United)


Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra


Mizo National Front


Nagaland Peoples Front


People’s Party


Pattali Makkal Katchi


Pudhucherry Munnetra Congress


Socialist Party


Samajwadi Party


Save Goa Front


Shiromani Akali Dal


Shiv Sena


Sikkim Democratic Front


Telangana Rashtra Samithi



Telugu Desam

Crucial votes


Parliamentary election, April/May

More than 230 parties, including six main national ones, will be
seeking the votes of India’s 650-million-plus voters this spring. The
result will not be a coalition government.

At the last election in 2004 these two parties took just over
half the seats in parliament. The Bahujan Samaj Party of the Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC/STs forced by Central Asian Invaders as Untouchables, since they did not accept the system of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th rate and no souls concept but all are equal according to the Buddha who did not believe in souls), scored a remarkable election victory in Uttar
Pradesh in 2007, and its feisty leader Mayawati, a former teacher,
could emerge from the national election as the Prime Minister.

State elections in December were not encouraging for the BJP,
despite its charge that the Congress-led government’s weakness was
responsible for the Mumbai attacks. But India’s slowing economic growth
is bad news for Congress.

The year 2009 is a big one for global democracy.

The Iraqi provincial elections on Saturday marked the start of a
year of polls that could bring big changes, for better or worse. Israel
votes on 10 February, while India, the world’s biggest democratic
country, votes in spring, followed quickly by Iran and Afghanistan.

Click below to find out what hangs on nine key elections in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.

IraqIsraelSouth AfricaIndonesiaIndia IranAfghanistanJapanGermany


Provincial elections, 31 January 2009; Parliamentary election in December

The January elections passed off peacefully, in stark contrast
to the last provincial election in 2005. Many Iraqi Sunnis cast ballots
for the first time after boycotting previous polls, increasing Iraq’s
chances of holding together as an integrated state. (Secular Shia
parties appear to have gained ground at the expense of the currently
dominant religious-based ones, which many Iraqis blame for taking the
country to the brink of civil war in the 2006-7.)

The three Kurdish-ruled provinces that make up autonomous Iraqi
Kurdistan have yet to schedule provincial elections, for internal
reasons, though elections to the regional parliament have been called
for May. The disputed oil-rich province of Kirkuk - an area over which
Kurds claim sovereignty but which has a mixed ethnic population - also
sat out these latest elections because divisions over the electoral
system were seen as too hard to bridge.

As long as arguments over the provincial election results can
be avoided, elections seem likely to hasten the withdrawal of US
troops. Observers also regard the vote as a possible clue to the
outcome of the parliamentary election in December. (That could be good
news for prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, whose allies appear to have
been the big winners this time.)


Parliamentary election, 10 February

In the wake of the Gaza conflict, voters will be able to have
their say on the future of Israeli-Palestinian relations. The two
leading parties - the centrist Kadima party and the right-wing Likud
party - have contrasting positions on US-backed negotiations with the
Palestinians, with Kadima leader Tzipi Livni pledging to push them
forward, and Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu saying he would
concentrate on boosting the Palestinian economy instead. He opposes any
agreement that would divide Jerusalem.

Opinion polls suggest Likud is likely to end up in a position
to form a coalition government, with the help of the ultra-nationalist
Yisrael Beitenu party, which has a chance of becoming the country’s
third largest party. Its leader, Avigdor Lieberman, has long called for
crushing military action against Hamas. He also wants to expel Arab
citizens from the country.

Correspondents also see the country making a lurch to the
right. The Labour Party, led by Defence Minister Ehud Barak, enjoyed a
surge in support as a result of the Gaza operation, but not enough to
put it in reach of Likud or Kadima.


Parliamentary and presidential, March/April

South Africa’s elections expected in March or April are set to
be the most exciting since Nelson Mandela became president in 1994. In
the parliamentary vote the ruling African National Congress faces its
first major democratic challenge from a new breakaway party - the
Congress of the People (Cope) - formed when the ANC ousted its previous
leader Thabo Mbeki from the presidency.

Cope hopes to benefit from popular dissatisfaction with the
ANC’s economic record after 14 years in power. It has its eyes set on
gaining control of key provinces such as Gauteng, Eastern Cape and
Western Cape and hopes to stop the ANC from winning a two-thirds
majority in parliament. This would enable the ANC to change the
constitution, for example by guaranteeing immunity from prosecution to
ANC leader Jacob Zuma - a strong favourite for the post of president.


Parliamentary election, April; Presidential election, July

People in Indonesia’s 18,000 islands will be going to the polls
twice this year, with parliamentary elections in April and the
presidential vote scheduled for July. It is only the second democratic
presidential election the country has held - regarded as a crucial
stepping stone for a young democracy, especially if it results in a
peaceful transfer of power.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has already signalled his
intention to stand for re-election, as has former president Megawati
Sukarnoputri, but there are others waiting in the wings who also stand
a chance of leading the world’s most populous Muslim country.

The main issues exercising voters are likely to be the economy,
employment opportunities and the fight against corruption - especially
high-level corruption, which continues to plague Indonesian politics.


Presidential election, 12 June

The controversial incumbent president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,
could become the first president of the Islamic republic not to be
re-elected for a second four-year term.

It is thought he may face a strong challenger in the form of
Ali Larijani, the speaker of parliament - a conservative, but a man who
speaks the language of international diplomacy and may be prepared to
engage in dialogue with the new US leadership. Until late 2007, he was
Tehran’s chief nuclear negotiator.

The reformist and former president, Mohammad Khatami, is also
being pressed by supporters to stand again. Many reformist voters
boycotted the 2005 election that brought Mr Ahmadinejad to power, but
are expected to take part this time. Mr Khatami attempted to introduce
change during his two terms in office but was thwarted by the
conservative establishment.

The key issue is the economy - oil prices have fallen, inflation is more than 25% and unemployment is rising.

Other possible candidates are Mr Ahmadinejad’s successor as
mayor of Tehran, Mohamed Baqer Qalibaf, a conservative, and the
reformist Mehdi Karroubi, who offered anyone in Iran a $50 (£29)
hand-out last time he stood for election.


Presidential election, summer

The vote - originally due to take place in May - has been
postponed until August because of the deteriorating security situation,
in particular the conflict in the south and east of the country between
Taleban militants on the one hand, and international and Afghan
government forces on the other.

If the election goes ahead in August the big question is
whether the Pashtuns, the largest ethnic group, will turn out to vote.
If the Afghan government is to succeed, it must engage and win the
trust of its people.

Despite falling popularity at home and abroad, the Afghan
President, Hamid Karzai, has already announced that he will be seeking
a second term. Other Afghan political heavyweights are expected to
enter the fray this spring. Among those thought likely to be seeking
the top job are a number of former ministers, including Ali Jalali,
Ashraf Ghani and Dr Abdullah Abdullah, as well as the powerful
provincial governor Gul Agha Sherzai. There is also speculation that
the Afghan-born American ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad, could
throw his hat into the ring.


Parliamentary election, by September

Japan has to hold a general election by the end of September
2009, and it could prove an important turning point in Japanese
political history. For the past 50 years, the leading Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP) has ruled the country almost continually, but
this time the rival Democratic Party ( DPJ) has a real chance of
emerging victorious. The LDP has faced a series of problems in the past
year, with economic woes, corruption scandals and parliamentary
deadlock leading to consistently low approval ratings.

Taro Aso was chosen as prime minister in September, his two
predecessors having lasted just a year each. There was speculation that
he might hold elections soon after he came to office, while his
popularity was still high. But with falling ratings, and a worsening
economic forecast, the prospect of early elections now seems more


Parliamentary election, 27 September

The election pits the two components of the current governing
coalition against one another - Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian
Democrats (CDU) against Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s
Social Democrats (SPD). Neither wants to be forced into a re-run of the
same “grand coalition”. The Christian Democrats would prefer a
partnership with the liberal Free Democrats (FDP), while the Social
Democrats would prefer to deal with the Greens.

But German politics are getting more complicated, and an
uncomfortable three-way coalition could well be the outcome - a
so-called “traffic light” partnership of SPD, FDP and Greens, or a
“Jamaica” coalition of CDU, FDP and Greens.

Both Mrs Merkel and Mr Steinmeier are aiming for the political
centre ground. The economic crisis has put Mrs Merkel’s high approval
rating under pressure; after ruling out fiscal measures to stimulate
the economy, she was criticised for being slow to act, and has since
cut taxes and boosted spending.

An Obama Moment for Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha bharath’s Aboriginal Inhabitants (SC/STs forced by Central Asian Invaders who believed in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th rate souls and Human Beings who refused to accept the concept, since the Buddha did not believe in any soul but all were equal, asUntouchables

Among the many international
consequences of Barack Obama’s stunning victory in the United States is worldwide
introspection and such a breakthrough could happen elsewhere.
A person of color win power in other
white-majority countries. A member of a beleaguered minority transcend the
circumstances of her birth to lead her country.

While many analysts in a wide variety
of nations, especially in Europe, have
concluded that such an event could not occur there in the foreseeable future,
Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath is an exception. Minority
politicians have long wielded authority, if not power, in its various high
offices. Indeed, Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath ’s last
general election, in 2004, was won by a woman of Italian heritage and Roman
Catholic faith (Sonia Gandhi) who made way for a Sikh (Manmohan Singh) to be
sworn in as Prime Minister by a Muslim (President Abdul Kalam) in a country
that is 81% Hindu. Not only could it happen here, Jambudvipa, that is, the
Great Prabuddha Bharath say, it already has.

The closest Jambudvipa, that is, the
Great Prabuddha Bharath analogy to the position of black Americans is that of
the Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath
(SC/STs) – ill treated by the Central Invaders who believed in 1st,
2nd, 3rd, 4th rate souls but those who did not
accept the concept, since the Buddha never believed in any soul but all were
equals, were treated as no souls as “Untouchables,” who for millennia
suffered humiliating discrimination and oppression. Like blacks in the US, Aboriginal
Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC/STs) account
for about 15% of the population; they are found disproportionately in
low-status, low-income jobs; their levels of educational attainment are lower
than the upper castes; and they still face daily incidents of discrimination
for no reason other than their identity at birth. Only when a Aboriginal
Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC/STs) rules Jambudvipa,
that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath can the country truly be said to have
attained its own “Obama moment.”

In theory, this already has happened:
K. R. Narayanan, born into a poor Aboriginal Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is,
the Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC) family, served as Jambudvipa, that is, the
Great Prabuddha Bharath ’s president, the highest office in the land, from 1997
to 2002. But the Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath Presidency is
a largely ceremonial position: real power is vested in the office of Prime Minister,
and no Aboriginal Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha
Bharath (SC/STs) has come close to holding that post. Since independence in
1947, a majority of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath ’s Prime Ministers
have been Brahmins, the highest Hindu caste.

Yet the next national elections, due
before May 2009, may produce a plausible Aboriginal Inhabitant of Jambudvipa,
that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC)contender for the job of Prime Minister
- Kumari Mayawati, the female Chief Minister of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great
Prabuddha Bharath ’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh.

Since 1991, no Indian governing party
has enjoyed a secure parliamentary majority on its own, necessitating
multi-party coalition governments. The current Congress Party-led government of
Manmohan Singh comprises 20 parties; it succeeded a 23-party coalition headed
by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

This time they are likely to face a
third alternative: Mayawati, whose Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) may command a bloc
of at least 260 seats. She has publicly expressed her disdain for both large
national parties; she would much rather lead the Nation on her own.

This is a remarkable development: the
idea that a Aboriginal Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha
Bharath (SC) woman could lead Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath has
been inconceivable for 3,000 years. But Jambudvipa, that is, the Great
Prabuddha Bharath ’s democracy has opened new pathways to empowerment for its
aboriginals. The poor and the oppressed may not have much, but they do have the
numbers, which is what matters at the ballot box.

Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa,
that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath (listed in the Constitution as
“Scheduled Castes and Tribes”) are entitled to 85 seats in India’s
543-member parliament that are “reserved” for candidates from their
communities. Mayawati’s shrewd alliances, including with some members of the
upper castes, which propelled her to power in Uttar Pradesh, give her party a
fighting chance to win a number of other seats as well. In a
coalition-dependent parliamentary system, that could be all she needs to become
Prime Minister.

The daughter of a government clerk,
Mayawati studied law and worked as a teacher before being spotted by the BSP’s
founder, the late Kanshi Ram, and groomed for political leadership. Her ascent
has been marked by a heavy emphasis on symbolism - her rule in Uttar Pradesh
has featured the construction of numerous statues of Aboriginal Inhabitants of
Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC/STs/OBCs) leaders, notably

She takes pride in being the
Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath politician who pays the
highest income taxes - about $6 million last year. But there is no denying that
her rise to power in Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath ’s
largest state, which sends 80 members to parliament, has given her a vital
platform to bid for Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath’s most
powerful job. she’s clearly a Obama. If she succeeds, she will have overcome a
far longer legacy of discrimination.

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