India, Quotas, Mr. Modi, Gujurat, Patels

Patel demonstration in Amadavad, Gujurat, one million strong.
Patel community threatens BJP with poll losses in Gujarat if it can’t have OBC status... as rally turns violent and police resort to teargas. This is the quota method for giving  opportunities for different social categories (castes are no longer  legal. People who are expected to release power  to others, though it is, which  are ns right, it is hard to do. Though we don’t have castes per se in the US, quotas are hard to take when someone who is less qualified is chosen over you solely  for the sake of diversity. ) Mr. Modi the Prime Minister was the Chief Minister in Gujurat before being elected PM.  Gujurat is his home state. Gives you a peep at the complexities of Incredible India! 

Other Backward Class (OBC) is a collective term used by the Government of India to classify castes which are socially and educationally disadvantaged. It is one of several official classifications of the population of India, along with Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SCs and STs).

By MAIL TODAY REPORTER  I only found this yesterday though it  happened months past. I thought it quite interesting to see how India is trying to cope with such diversity in people groups, religions, languages. Hinduism is the major religion. I am remembering 80 % of the country. Patels are very visible in Gujurat and Amadavad in particularly  like the name Smith in the US.  When meeting someone new from the area, assume the sir name is Patel!  I remember sitting in the hospital, up the street, waiting for one of the students and noticing 6 office doors in the space.  Dr. ,Mr.. or Mrs. Patel was  the name posted on 5 of the 6 doors! 

PUBLISHED: 15:53 EST, 25 August 2015 | UPDATED: 20:06 EST, 25 August 2015

In a mega show of strength to push their demand for inclusion in the OBC category for reservation, the Patel community on Tuesday warned the BJP government in Gujarat that it will face consequences in the 2017 Assembly polls if the plea is not accepted, saying the lotus  will not bloom again.

The warning was sounded by 22-year-old Hardik Patel, the convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti which is spearheading the agitation, at a rally.

The stir turned violent, and police resorted to baton-charges and lobbed teargas shells in a bid to control the situation.

The Patel community of Gujurat converged to take part in a rally which brought the city to a grinding halt

The Patel community of Gujurat converged to take part in a rally which brought the city to a grinding halt

After the rally, Patel sat on a hunger strike at the GMDC ground without permission, for which the police detained him. He was released soon after.

The numerically and economically strong Patel community of Gujarat had converged in large numbers to take part in the rally, which brought the city to a grinding halt.

The ‘Maha Kranti’ rally comes after a month-long agitation by the Patel community for their quota demand.

“If you do not give our right (reservation), we will snatch it. Whoever will talk of interest of Patels will rule over Patels,” Hardik told the gathering.

“In 1985, we had uprooted Congress from Gujarat, today there is BJP. 2017 (state election year) is coming…lotus will not bloom in the mud, it will never bloom. If you will talk about our interest then only we will nurture your lotus,” he said, warning the state government. The lotus is the BJP’s party symbol.

The Patels are unrelenting even though the chief minister has expressed her inability to include the community in the OBC category, and requested the leaders to end the agitation and come forward for negotiations.

The CM had cited Supreme Court guidelines and judgements for her inability to include Patels in the OBC category.

“Some parties say you do not not know about Supreme Court guidelines (of 50 per cent cap on reservations), this cannot happen. If SC can open at 3.30 in the morning for a terrorist, then why not for the youth the future of this nation?” Hardik Patel said, amid cheers from the crowd.

“If the country’s youth come on the streets to demand their right and if they do not get those rights, some of them will become Naxalites, some of them will become terrorists.”

Clashes between Patel community members and local residents were reported in certain areas when they tried to enforce a bandh called by Hardik Patel after their mega rally.

The protesters of the Patel community allegedly vandalised shops and buses. Reports have also come that some miscreants damaged window panes of city buses at various places.

Who is Hardik Patel?

No one would have imagined a couple of months ago that a 22-year-old BCom graduate would lead a mass movement of Patidars  (Patels) in Gujarat to spearhead their demand for reservations in the OBC quota.

Hardik Patel hails from Viramgam, near Ahmedabad, and is the covenor of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) formed in July, this year.

While he passed his graduation with less than 50 per cent marks from the Sahajanand College, Ahmedabad, and thereafter helped his father’s business, the youngster has become the face of the Gujarat-wide Patidar movement.

He entered the movement because he feels the community is losing out in the race of development owing to the discriminatory reservation policy.

He was a member of the Sardar Patel Group (SPG), and was also its Viramgam unit president.

He was ousted from the post because he insisted on the idea of promoting PAAS while SPG leaders were against it.

Hardik has become a political problem as he has emerged as the new face of the Patel community, who have been traditional supporters of the BJP.

To stop him in his tracks, the SPG also lodged an FIR against him on charges of bungling money.

From the Washington Post: Who are the Patels?

If a tired traveler pulls off a highway in Texas or Michigan or Virginia, looking for a cheap but clean room for the night, the odds are that he or she will end up in a motel owned by someone whose last name is Patel, an immigrant from India who also lives on the premises and runs the front desk, the laundry room and the food service.

Over the past 30 years, members of the large Patel community, a sub-caste of Hindu traders in India’s complex caste system who are based in the western state of Gujarat, have come to dominate the American motel business. More than 40 percent of the motels in the United States are owned by Indian Americans, and 70 percent of them are Gujaratis. Of those Gujaratis, three-quarters are named Patel.

I would love to hear from my Indian friends about this situation. Please give me your thoughts. . . . .Indians or not! 


About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
This entry was posted in Amdavad, India, Religions of the World, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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