Archive for February 18th, 2019

The Political Economy of the Jat Agitation for Other Backward Class Status

February 18, 2019
Christophe Jaffrelot and Kalaiyarasan A in this paper analyse the demand for OBC status by Jat community:

The Market, led by the initiation of economic liberalisation in 1991, has partly disenfranchised Jats from their earlier robust economic power and stable social status. Unlike other dominant castes, Jats could not diversify their economic activities. In other words, they could not invest the surplus generated by agriculture in industries, nor could be absorbed in industries as skilled labourers. Besides their own cultural inability, or refusal, to move out of agriculture, they also have not acquired the required skills and access to business networks that would allow them to overcome the strong barriers to entry built up by traditional business communities. Even upwardly mobile Jats have only been able to become either rentiers in real estate or have entered agro-related businesses such as trading in grains and vegetables. They could not diversify into business activities or exploit opportunities opened up by economic liberalisation. The real estate booms which benefited considerable sections within the Jat community have also led many members of that community to believe that while they had gained short-term wealth, they have still have lost out to others who are benefiting in the long run from economic liberalisation.

If Market has disturbed the economic equilibrium, Mandal has significantly changed the political and social equilibrium, particularly in rural Haryana. The lower castes, including Dalits and OBCs, have seen relative mobility, particularly in jobs and education. In addition, Jats have seen the sharpest internal differentiation along class lines, as evidenced by the aforementioned Gini coefficients. Jats who are at the bottom perform very poorly in both jobs and education as compared to the average performance of these caste groups. While studies tend to dismiss Jats’ demands for reservations by considering their socio-economic conditions vis-à-vis OBCs and Dalits as an average, they need to be disaggregated from this purely socio-economic point of view given their large population size. If some have benefited from the double-digit growth rate of the 2000s, others—mostly those who have stayed behind in the village—have not gained much, and therefore have become anxious about the rise of OBCs and Dalits. As a result, their discourse has gone from one of domination to one of deprivation. They identify themselves as deprived now, which is partly perceived and partly real.

 

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Impact of Brexit on Ireland and Germany’s banks having UK branches

February 18, 2019

Two interesting speeches as Europe tries to look at hard Brexit.

Lane as Ireland faces the deepest concerns due to Brexit. He looks at both macro risks and financial stability risks:

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