Wednesday, December 16, 2009

[ZESTCaste] Anti-Telangana group develops caste cracks

Anti-Telangana group develops caste cracks
Subodh Ghildiyal, TNN 16 December 2009, 04:09am IST

NEW DELHI: The resistance to Telangana statehood developed caste
cracks on Tuesday when three MPs belonging to Scheduled Caste from
Rayalaseema and coastal regions told party leadership that they were
for bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

The backing for Telangana statehood from Harsha Kumar, backed by
Chinta Mohan and Panabaka Lakshmi, took the anti-faction by surprise
as they lobbied defence minister A K Antony to roll back the
bifurcation announcement. They were supported by another MP who is an

The dalit MPs feel that statehood for Telangana would resolve their
fear of SC sub-categorisation, which has divided the dalits along
Mala-Madiga camps.

Sub-categorisation, struck down by the court since, led to 15% dalit
quota in jobs and education apportioned between four dalit groups,
with Malas getting 6% and Madigas 7%. The reason for sub-division was
the feeling that Malas had cornered quota benefits disproportionate to
their population, leading to their inequitable distribution among SC
groups. Malas are opposed to sub-quota as it limits the share they can
compete for to a mere 6%.

Harsha Kumar feels that carving out Telangana from AP would end the
fear of sub-categorisation. In fact, it may turn Malas in favour of
the move. His reasoning is simple. Madigas outnumber Malas (70% to
30%) in Telangana. While the two have nearly equal strength in
Rayalaseema, Malas are said to form 80% of the population in coastal
region to 20% Madigas.

Once Telangana, where Madigas are 70% of SCs, is taken out of AP, the
share of Madigas in SC population in the remaining state would dip
sharply while that of Malas would go up considerably. Any move to
reintroduce sub-division of SCs would be done on the revised SC
population in state. Here, Malas would form a big chunk and thus get a
bigger share of sub-quota. Kumar said, "If Telangana is separated, the
Mala share in dalit quota (15%) would be 12%.


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