Friday, June 02, 2006

Janaki Nair: Old whine in a new bottle

Karnataka has perhaps the longest history of policies that favour those who were left out of the new, though restricted, opportunities offered by an expanding bureaucracy under colonialism.

The first protest in the 1890s was staged by Mysore Brahmins against the widespread employment of Madras Presidency Brahmins (Tamil and Telugu) in the high offices of the princely state.

From this ToI op-ed by Janaki Nair of the Center for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata. She is the author of The Promise of the Metropolis: Bangalore's Twentieth Century (OUP, 2005).

I really liked this bit of 'framing' by Nair:

To deny that 'merit' comprises opportunities as well as capabilities is merely to use the same terms as our colonial masters did for Indians or the many misogynists in our midst do for women.