Thursday, June 01, 2006

கருத்து நிகழ்ச்சி பற்றிய கருத்து

கருத்து நிகழ்ச்சி பற்றிய கருத்து

Karuthu floated by Karthi Chidambaram and Kanimozhi organized a meeting on the sensitive issue of reservations yesterday. I went to check it out but walked out in the middle unable to bear the diatribe and slanderous spin put on by the speakers.

This meeting was supposed to start at 5:30 PM, I arrived at the venue by 5:50 PM to an almost empty place awaiting speakers and audience. The meeting started finally after the arrival of Thol Thirumavalavan with his entourage around 6:30 PM.

Karuthu Meeting Speakers
Karuthu Meeting Distinguished Speakers - Karthi Chidambaram (Congress), Ravi Kumar MLA (DPI), Peter Alphonse MLA (Congress), Prof. Naganathan(DMK), Miss Kanimozhi (DMK)

Karuthu Meeting Audience
A section of the audience through the midway

Karuthu Meeting - Side Bar Interview for a radio station
Interview in progress (for a radio station?) before the commencement of the program

Karthi Chidambaram started the meeting by saying the forum itself doesn't have any opinion of its own but looking at the speaker list and the invite it was clear where they were leaning.

Mr. Chidambaram spoke about the creamy layer in detail and argued why it is such difficult concept and would take several years to implement and the quota regime couldn't wait till then.

Mr. Chidambaram also had beef with the English media and criticized them for blowing the reservation row out of proportion. According to him, the real villain in this drama is the English Media and the people who follow that.

My Poser:
  • Mr. Chidambaram, Do you are any of the distinguished speakers and your children deserve preferential treatment? By doing so, aren't you depriving some one really poor and needy of an opportunity?
  • Mr. Chidambaram, Why is identifying creamy layer such a difficult start? Why can't we start with MGR's 1979 formula for this?
  • Mr. Chidambaram, why not we start with elected leaders first and start excluding them from the purview of the Quota?
  • Mr. Chidambaram, Why not make a beginning to start defining creamy layer now?
  • Mr. Chidambaram, What's your problem with the English media and the people who follow that? You delivered half your speech in English, didn't you?
Next came Peter Alphonse of Indian National Congress to continue the conversation. If Karthi Chidambaram was brief and succinct, Mr. Alphonse was just the opposite. But, I must admit Mr. Alphonse was very articulate and eloquent.

Mr. Alphonse started by saying reservation is not something new and it has existed for a long time. He quoted from Ramayana and talked about how the Hindu priesthood is reserved only for Brahmins by the Indian Constitution. He spoke at length about the historical injustice that has been done to large section of the population in the name caste.

Mr. Alphonse quoted two statistics and that belied the case he was trying to make. First, he mentioned that in the Madras Medical College admissions last year over 300 students from the backward community got admission through Open Competition (OC quota) out performing forward community students. Second, he mentioned there are only 2 Dalit professors in IIT, Madras in a total pool of 450 professors.

Mr. Alphonse also made passionate case for continuing the current quota regime and expanding it on the basis of caste and religion as that is the best system India has got now. According to him, politics and caste are omnipresent cannot be ignored. What he left unsaid but clearly implied was that it is caste politics that drives everything now.

Mr. Alphonse also made a case, albeit in passing for quotas for religious minorities and he concluded by saying, Reservation is not alms but their birthright.

My Poser:
  • Mr. Alphonse, If more backward students got in through open quota out smarting forward community candidates, then isn't it all the more the reason why reservations are not required anymore, as backward community kids are performing at par or higher than the forward community kids?
  • Mr. Alphonse, If there are fewer Dalit professors in IIT, Madras, Where do you think the problem lies? Quota is clearly there for several decades now. So, Is it a problem of enforcement ? Or is it a problem of lack of candidates? What's your point?
  • Mr. Alphonse, What's your take on reservation based on religion? Do you want reservation for Christians and Muslims separately? What about Parsis and Jews?
  • Mr. Alphonse, How long and how far do you envision this quota regime? In perpetuity?
  • Mr. Alphonse, How about enforcing Mandal quota regime in Parliament, Supreme Court, Defense and various sporting teams?
  • Mr. Alphonse, Do you know even Jawaharlal Nehru was against quotas?
Then came, Mr. Ravi Kumar of DPI (Thol Thirumavalavan's party) and took 10 minutes greeting everyone in a slow and deliberate manner. That's when I walked out.

In all, Karuthu meeting was not a neutral forum. This was another plank to propitiate quota raj and an avenue to promote Karthi Chidambaram and Kanimozhi.

Related Links
Everyone who spoke, spoke for reservation
Reservation Row
Thennavan on reservations
Reservation for Unreserved


  1. Thanks for the plug Ram. After reading your account of the meeting, any self-respecting person who had a balanced take on reservations would have done the same that you did. And these people were supposed to invite arguments against reservation in the same forum!!!

  2. Hard data is one thing all these characters are really scared of.

    They would rather go by Ramayana, Drona, Ekalavya stories rather than hard data.

    Hard data will clearly make it difficult to justify keeping 3-4 dominant communities as OBCs. However, if you move them out they will directly join the anti-quota movement and thereby pull the rug from under dravidian politics.

    Thanks, really, for that report.

  3. i was there for tiruma's speech, i came for that, its pure entertainment, he started off raking up the kushboo issue,

    and cud i use ur pics for my post in metblog?

  4. Gosh! What will these guys stop at? After every single person belonging to OC is evicted from India?

  5. Thennavan

    Any time..

    Yes, Karuthu was supposed to be neutral but the meeting was anything but neutral..

    The primary motivation seems to be play on emotions.. not an objective discussion

    Kushboo affair in tha formum.. don't see any connection..
    Sure.. please use the photos..

    Vijay Krishna
    I don't know.. but the quota net is only increasig over time.. rather than shrinking.. that really tells something about the soceity..

  6. I am surprised that you have any expectation at all from the TN establishment. If there is one thing that the TN establishment stands for, cutting across party and caste affiliation, it is anti-brahminism. Tambrams living in TN are like Jews before the holocaust. They are too fond of their native place and cling on to wishful thinking. Like in pre-Nazi and early Nazi germany, it is acceptable to vilify the brahmin in the vilest terms. If one cannot see fascism and danger in that, then one cannot see danger at all. I wont say a large scale pogrom is on the way, but neither did any of the Hindus living in Pak or Bangla foresee one.

    I am Tambram, but fortunately I was not borught up in that hatred filled cauldron called TN. I lived in Madras for four years during my undergrad days in IIT. I have no desire to go back to TN or to India for that matter. I cant see my children being forced to undergo discrmination at every stage in their life.

  7. Looking at the original poster, I knew what to expect from this meeting.

  8. Anonymous
    'Tambram' that's a new one for me.. have heard of Tambaram but not 'Tambram'.. learnt something today..

    I was looking for some sensible debate.. but it was one sided rhetoric..

  9. Ram, I admire your spirit. Despite your globetrotting - Mauritius, Australia, China, etc - you manage to find the time and energy to get involved with local events.

    I have cut myself off from these Tamil debates and patti manrams, as I find that they soon degenerate into vitriolic and acerbic affairs. Even the most basic rules of debate are not followed. Speakers think that loudness of rhetoric and wild gesticulating can easily make up for lack of substance. And, there is complete intolerance for other points of view.

    This may be too cynical a position and I am glad that there are people like you who get engaged with events that affect us

  10. Anon,
    I am with you my friend.

    Visu - Very interesting post

  11. Nice comments from,for Tambrams..
    Let the talk show continue.

  12. Best regards from NY!
    » » »