Maratha community is protesting since last few years. One thing we should appreciate that the protests were peaceful. But I disagree with the concept of this protest. My relatives and friends who are part of this silent protest march might not like this opinion but this is what I think.
In democracy everyone has right to protest. I am not against any protest march. Everyone should express his/her disagreements. People from Maratha community are also suffering from problems like poverty, unemployment etc. These problems come regardless your caste. (But what about social discrimination? In Maharashtra, (so called progressive state) we have seen honor killings. Right now I don’t want to get into this and I won’t talk about caste discrimination). But certain things are difficult to understand.
One thing which I observe is that the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj has been used intensively. Protestors were saying that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was their ancestral. It shows that they are Kshatriya (Upper caste). But still they want reservation! Demanding reservation by showing upper caste status is simply hypocrisy. They should have demanded reservation without their caste status. We have reservation because of existing caste system which is exploitative. Given demand is pushing this exploitative system up.
Another thing which is the most important and dangerous that is LOVE FOR KING and KINGSHIP. I personally respect Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Creating new empire is very difficult. His policies, governance were really good. But in democracy, we can just respect KING AND KINGSHIPS but we can’t follow them. Democracy has its own problem but it is the upgraded system. In democracy no one can enjoy a special treatment because of his/her ancestral. If he/she is enjoying then it is the biggest threat to our democracy. Now why this is happening? (I am just focusing on their demand related to reservation) I tried to find the data related to state-wise agricultural population. But I couldn’t find any data on OPEN SOURCES. So I am using some proxies. I am computing agricultural population by using rural population growth rate (majority of agricultural population is still living in Rural area) and households who hold agricultural land.
I found category-wise household (who hold agricultural land) data (2010). Then I used same population growth rate to estimate future trends.
In others categories, we have OBC, Marathas, Kunbis and others. Right now I am using others as a proxy for Marathas and Kunbis. OBC population is high but ignore OBC population wont make big difference as the numbers for SC and ST are comparably low. I know it is harsh assumption. But I don't detailed data. But roughly we can say that Maratha community is still engaged in agriculture sector.
Then I calculated per capita agricultural GSDP by using same population.
Here per capita GSDT is very low. Per capita GSDP in 2011 was app. 1300 while in 2013 it was app. 1450. I know these numbers are really weird. We are using proxies for various variables. Okay lets assume that the per capita GSDP is fours time higher than these numbers. Then also per capita GSDP will be low. The growth of agriculture sector in Maharashtra is also not good.
So next time I hope this protest will be a protest of farmers, landless farmers and agricultural laborers.
Data sources -
Planning commission, RBI (handbook of statistics on Indian states), Economic Survey of Maharashtra 2011-2012