18 January, 2021

Meet The Old Bugaboo

Malkani shovels up some usual ghosts, with a couple of surprises

Jitender Gupta
Meet The Old Bugaboo
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
In his foreword to this book, the Home Minister of India, L.K. Advani, an old friend of the author, presents K.R. Malkani as "very bold and unorthodox". There is nothing unorthodox in the articles of this compilation which deals with the need for India to "repatriate" the "Bangla Muslims" (sic) to their "native land" or with the swadeshi agenda: in tune with the general stand of the bjp’s hardliners. Some of the chapters, however, can be "bold" to the extent that they show the hidden face of Hindutva politics.

Let’s take the caste issue first. Malkani stops short of questioning the caste-based reservation system—the bjp gave up its attempts at supporting an alternative, revenue-based reservation system in the mid-’90s, lest it should lose the obc vote. But the author introduces a very interesting nuance in saying that the "real mischief here is not reservations but the politics of reservation". For sure! Reservations do not make much of a difference since the quotas are limited, except in the administration where they are never filled up. By contrast, the politics of...

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