Social Justice?

The more the things change the more they seem to remain the same. But at a time when America has elected its first African American (read as black) President, such cynical misgivings about “Change” are clearly out of fashion. Closer home in Andhra Pradesh we have the Praja Rajyam Chief Chiranjeevi who is positioning himself as the agent of change. His panacea for everything that ails the state of Andhra Pradesh, Samajika Nyayam (read as social justice.

Basis of Caste
Let us try to understand the rationale behind social classification in the context of how all such classifications attempted the world over, have helped only a handful of dominant classes (the Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vysya castes in case of Hundu’s). Every great civilization needs somebody to clean up its crap and different civilizations have evolved many time tested ways accomplishing that.
Caste is to India what Race is to the west. For the benefit of those who do not know: Caste is one of the hereditary classes into which the Hindus are divided into according to the laws of Manava Dharma Shastra written by Manu. There is no point in debating whether vested interests could have influenced the conception of the idea of “caste” based as it was on the tendencies of human nature (tatwam). But we can safely deduce that “Caste” has played a big role in establishing and perpetuating of social hierarchy in the country.

Samajika Nyayam
This is where the promise of Chiranjeevi’s “Samajika Nyayam” comes in as it promises to correct the injustices perpetrated in name of caste over thousands of years. The political landscape of Andhra Pradesh has been dominated by the Kamma community which forms about 4-5% of the total population. This according to the PRP is an aberration that needs to be corrected immediately.  The Prajarajyam claims it is fighting the elections on the unifying agenda of Social Justice and rising above the petty politics of caste. So the way to go forward is by a demographic distribution of the 294 assembly seats to strengthen the backward castes. So it is no longer about a single caste but a unification of all backward castes. Since Chiranjeevi himself hails from the Kapu (BC) community he is only being fair when he is promising to give more than 100 seats to the BC’s. Off course the 1,000 crore package will take care of Musilm welfare besides all the freebies that touch every caste.

For somebody who talks about rising over caste based politics this guy seems to be talking a hell of a lot about it.  Perhaps it is a curious case of reverse psychology. When somebody holds you at gun point and tells you not to think about a mango, the first image the mind throws up is that of a mango. That to me sums up Chiranjeevi’s slogan of Samajika Nyayam. For all his good intentions (questionable) I am afraid Chiranjeevi is like this impressionist promising to turn the town into gold. The problem is there is never going to be enough gold paint.

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