Prabodh- The Youth Awakening


Hostel Reforms

The verdict is out…on the 16th of July in a special vacation bench following Anoop’s SLP, Justice Dalveer Bahndari chose to pronounce that many students did not manage seats in hostels and Anoop’s case “was no special”. Ironically, while he himself admits the inadequacy of the present hostel infrastructure in meeting the needs of all outstaation students, the callousness bordering on nonchalance is chilling. A meritorious student, fighting for a seat in The PG Men’s Hostel, DU, Anoop’s story is enough to melt even the cold-blooded, but not the Hon’ble Chief Justice. He was forced to leave the hostel room assigned to him as an interim measure, and it was not considered a matter important enough for the Vacation bench.

As disheartened as Anoop is, his determination and commitment to the cause of Hostel reforms is indeed commendable. Perhaps, the future of one student struggling for years to merely have the right to  a hostel room is not important enough for the V

acation bench, but what when the numbers rise?

Project Hostel reforms needs the support of all students so that other students do not have to undergo the trauma, frustration and the sense of disillusionment that Anoop has suffered.


Banned-cellphones at the DRC Hostel!

Of all the weird rules that hostels have ever come up with, this one definitely takes the cake. The Daulat Ram College hostel,DU had decided to ban cellphones in the hostel premises and has installed 7 landlines for the students to make do with, instead. No logic seems to justify this rule, even though the warden, Sushma Tandon, has reasons of her own. “It’s a rule that parents too are okay with” is her explanation. Meanwhile, all the landlines are kept in the warden’s ofice allowing students no privacy whatsoever.

No other hostel has such strict rules regarding cellphones. In todays times when cellphones have reached your local subziwallah, driver and any other domestic help you can think of, such a ban is a little too harsh and completely uncalled for.

Hostels and the ‘R-word’

The infrastructure,number and availability of hostel seats has always been on shaky grounds. A recent comment by Pragati Mohapatra, admissions convenor at IP College, just re-iterates that, this time by the authorities themselves. While the seats allotted to the General category are largely limited, the OBC students seem to get a raw deal too. Many seats for the OBC category remain unclaimed beacuse there are not enough college hotels for outstation OBC students.

While college hostels have reservation for SC/ST students, the same is not true for OBC candidates, who are given hostel seats based on merit. Considering the fact that general category students usually have higher marks, OBC students lose out,” she says.

The irony of it all is very in your face. While General students suffer for lack of seats and many miss admissions by a whisker owing to minor differences in percentage and cut off marks, OBC seats remain uncliamed because of improper hostel infrastructure. While the merits of reservation are still very questionable, it is highly contemptible that in one of the most premier universities of the country, seats should remain unclaimed because of lack of proper hostel facilities.

Global Recession: Chances and Challenges of Liberalism

New Delhi

Addressing a group of over thirty liberals, IFAN alumnus, Dr Parth J. Shah (Centre for Civil Society) explained that though mechanics of the crisis or the sequence of events that led to the crisis were not in dispute, the difference of opinions lay in the assigning of the blame. One group saw the end of free market, of capitalism, the other group points to government interventions and easy money policy, and there is a third group that blames it on greed, general problem of values and ethics in the society. He took the participants on a journey back into time, where he explained how government policies created the incentives and the foundation that finally led to the crisis.

However, he called the attention of free market advocates to the role of credit rating agencies, which people looked on for reliable information, in escalating the crisis. Parth then articulated short term and long term solutions ranging from clarity of function of the “lender of last resort”, risk-based pricing of deposit insurance premium, removal of legal tender laws, creation of separate “grandma banks” that take deposits and make investments in only safe assets specified by regulators to the longer term liberal solution of denationalisation of money and introduction of the free banking system as advocated by F.A. Hayek.

Though concerns were raised about the drop in popularity ratings of liberal ideals, as some blame the “free market” for this crisis, the session provoked the participants to think beyond the “blame-the-market” theory and encouraged them to explore the liberal perspectives which, alone, offer long term solutions to prevent such a crisis from arising in the future.

The longer version of the session summary can be downloaded here.

Phir Hostel Hera Pheri

The fate of Anoop could well make the cliffhanger plot of a bollywood flick. He was forced to vacate his hostel room earlier this month and is currently staying with a friend, not knowing where else to go in this city, stilll new to him.

Meanwhile, more shocking stories of the misconduct of DU authorities are further proof that this is not just one solitary case, but a larger issue that needs immediate attention.

Girish Kumar Gupta, a student of DCE, hailing from Rajasthan has alleged harassment by the authorities. He too was forced to give up his hostel seat. His crime- He protested against the use of  alcohol in the hostel. He was ragged by his seniors and pronounced ‘mentally-ill’ by the authorities for protesting.

such gross injustice meted out to vunerable outsation students in the name of quality education is contemptible.

Hostel Hera-Pheri!!

Hostel turns Hostile

Delhi University is no stranger to the mad rush for admissions at the beginning of every new session. Come June 1, and all hell breaks loose. Students not only from Delhi, but all over the country throng the campus with dreams and hopes in their eyes. With their added concerns of accommodation, adjusting in a new city, getting to know their way about, and learning to deal with people in a strange city, their problems perhaps become manifold.

The DU Hostel seats are for good reasons more sought after than even the proverbial election kursi. The jubilation of securing admission in the DU hostels is unparalleled as any outstation student will admit. Not only are the hostels in very close proximity to the campus but also they provide maximum security, and a sense of the clichéd but true- home away from home.

On the face of it, everything seems to be hunky dory. The hostel lists are generated on the basis of merit and there is little reason for anybody to suspect foul play. The hostel admissions have been relatively free from the prying media eye, but that does not mean that the hostel admissions are not embroiled in their own controversies and charges of fraudulence, forgery, corruption, nepotism and gross injustice to the students.

While most students because of the lack of support, or fear of authorities and cancellation of admissions, choose to keep mum, this story is that of a man who dared to raise his voice and be heard. This expose of the workings of the DU Hostels and particularly the P.G. Men’s Hostel has uncovered shocking, and scandalizing facts to say the least. The can of worms that the DU authorities would have liked to keep trashed forever is out in the open.  Questions are being raised, what was discussed only in hush-hush tones in the fore, is now openly talked about. The University and the Vice chancellor have been unable to provide answers; their conduct has been highly questionable. Every rule in the book has been broken, ironically by the same people responsible for upholding the very rules.

What they hadn’t bargained for, was that someone would actually raise a voice against the injustice, demand what is rightfully his, and even go to the extent of going to court to seek injustice. Anoop Prakash Awasthi, one man who decided to take stand. He was not looking to cause a stir, or bring about a revolution, all he asked was for justice, but the conduct of the DU authorities, their gross flouting of norms, and lack of concern for redressal of any problems that the students may face can put hardened criminals to shame. “You may go to court if you wish”, Anoop was told blatantly by the authorities. Little did they know that he would actually approach the High Court for redressal and that his case would lead to such unprecedented orders and results.

Anoop hails from a small village in Uttar Pradesh. His dedication and hard work allowed him to brave all odds as he secured 394 marks in the LL.B entrance examination in the Campus Law Centre.

He along with other eligible students was counselled on July 16, 2007 and told to report on the 1st of August, the beginning of the academic year. Anoop was one of them. Like the other students he was overjoyed and had high hopes about studying in one of the most esteemed Law colleges in the country. Little did he know that his arrival on the campus would be nothing less than his worst nightmare and daydream come alive. To his utter horror he was told that the last date for applying for hostel admissions was July 31, and that he would be unable to procure a hostel seat in spite of a very good rank, merely due to negligence on the part of the authorities. The outstation students were not given any intimation of the hostel application dates at the time of admission. Without proper accommodation living in a new city, that too like Delhi, is a road full of trials and tribulations. Having faith in the university and authorities he approached the Dean of college and the Vice Chancellor of the Delhi University with his problem and requested that being an outstation student his problem be looked into immediately and a hostel seat be allotted to him. Little did he know that his ordeal had just begun. The complete lack of interest on the part of the authorities in his case was shocking and disheartening at the same time. Only when he was bluntly told by the authorities that they could do anything about it, and that he was free to approach the court if he wished to, did he realise the actual magnitude of his problem.

Deciding to take the matter in his own hands, he filed RTI applications to get information about the allotment and distribution of seats in the PG Men’s hostel. The RTI asked for details regarding the total number of seats, those allotted to the Faculty of Law, and for each bonafide student; details like:

Name, room number, course of study, year of study, entrance rank/percentage of marks(to determine merit), the number of seats vacant in the Faculty of Law and the vacancies for  1st year students.

The documents provided in response to the RTIs brought to light facts that the University would have undoubtedly preferred to keep in the dark. How deep the problem was, and its root cause were all discovered in the documents provided. Details of the distribution of seats for Law Faculty were provided.

  • A total of 11 students were found living in the hostel under ‘guest’ status.
  • Even more shockingly, even after the completion of the hostel admission process, 5 seats were still lying vacant, even when he was forced to fight for a seat in spite of being a deserving candidate. Out of these 5 seats- 2 were vacant in the LL.B 1st year, 1 in PhD and 2 in the foreign quota.

Through various other RTIs he filed, he gathered the following information, each one a glaring example of the gross irregularities in the hostel admission system of the Delhi University.

  • 14 seats were lying vacant in the Mansarovar Hostel. The seats in the foreign quota were not converted to general category despite clear judicial directions, even when there were no foreign students available. No details regarding 4 seats under the discretion of the Provost were also not provided.
  • 30 seats were found vacant in the Gwyer Hall Hostel. The information brochure only gives very vague information regarding the distribution of seats. Moreover, only 1 seat was allotted in the LL.B 1st year category.
  • 27 seats were left vacant in the Jubli Hall. 4 seats were reserved for the Faculty of Law, but there was no allotment in this regard.
  • Accommodation for Law students was also available in the Saramati Hostel (South Campus), but no details regarding this were mentioned anywhere.
  • In the PG Men’s hostel, the hostel admissions were completed by July 31, even when the admission process was still going on.
  • Allotment of rooms meant for resident students to unauthorised guests was one of the most serious problems in the PG Men’s hostel. According to the hostel authorities the number of guests is not fixed, and where the income from these guests is used remains a mystery.

All this information was brought to the notice of the Dean of the Faculty of Law in a letter addressed to him. A series of letters re-iterating all the above mentioned details that blatantly flout University norms were addressed to the  President of India, Chief Justice of India, Vice Chancellor of Delhi University Dean of Colleges, Members of the Executive Council, and the Provosts of the various DU hostels. The complete lack of response and interest in the plight of a deserving student was indeed shocking. Though a Committee was ordered to enquire in the case by the state, but no other action has been taken regarding the matter till date.

In the name of the DU hostel a scam was being run supported by the power nexus. The income from these unauthorised guests was in huge figures. The fees charged from ‘guests’ is much more than that from residents. The hostel authorities have turned it into nothing more than a profit making Guest House. Thus, guests were allowed to stay in rooms meant for deserving students and the higher fees charged from them resulted in huge profits for the university.

Also, cases of students who were ineligible for hostel seats granted rooms were highlighted.

  • Mr. Vipin Kharab, enrolled in a part time course was issued a seat in Mansarovar Hostel spite of the Hostel Handbook rules that state that “the student….should not be enrolled in a part time or evening course.

  • Ashish Vatsraj General Category(LL.B 1st year) Rank 798, was allotted a room in the Mansarovar hostel bypassing meritorious students.

  • The problem of Local Financial Guarantor was also highlighted. This cause is highly problematic for students coming from remote parts of the country.

  • It was also suggested that alteast the food problem of outstation students be solved by providing them with Non Resident Dining Member(NRDM)status.

A counter affidavit was filed in court by the Delhi University against the charges levied by Anoop. On August 5, 2008, some relief was provided in the form of a court order directing the university to allot him a room, subject to further orders from the court. This allotment was subject to the  final allotment of  the writ petition.

With the order of the High Court the university authorities had no other alternative but to grant him a hostel room. Though many other outstation students had faced the same problem as him, that of no intimation regarding details of hostel admission, only he was vehemently denied a seat, only because he dared to raise a voice and question the conduct of the authorities.

Further examination of the hostel records brought more shocking facts regarding highlighting the blatant flouting of all rules and norms by the hostel authorities.

The case of a certain Mr. Rakesh Kumar Dagar, was specifically highlighted, as even though the university records clearly showed that he was ineligible for a hostel seat, paying no heed to any such rules he was allotted a seat.  The key facts regarding his case are:

  • He was admitted o the PG Men’s Hostel on March 20,2008 in the general category. He had obtained 401 marks in the 2007 LL.B entrance test.
  • The website of DU reveals that he has taken admission in LL.B 1st year in the session 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08. He is shown to be a bona fide hostel resident on the basis of these records.
  • Further, records also state that Rakesh Kumar Dagar(roll no, 74770) has failed the LL.B IInd Term Examination in 2007.
  • A certificate issued by Dean, Faculty of Law shows that said Mr. Dagar was an EX-Student in the academic year 2007-2008.
  • Also, 1 seat transferred to Mr. Tran Thien Huong, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences was  in violation of norms. While the authorities leaved no stone unturned in breaking every possible rule in the book and acting according to their own whims and fancies in the allotment of seats, it seems they were also hell-bent on making the trial even more difficult for Anoop, hoping he would finally give up the cause.

Even though the High Court had issued orders asking the University to allot him a room, he was forced to pay the exorbitant ‘guest charges’ (Rs.3950/- instead of ordinary charges of Rs.1325/-) and not the ‘resident’ charges like all the other students in the university. Though he went from pillar to post, requested the authorities, but to no avail. Not wishing  to lose the room that he had secured after going to such lengths he had to comply to even this and paid guest charges on the room allotted to him. On 22nd October 2008, Hon’ble Delhi High Court again ruled in his favour  and gave notice to the University that Guest charges amount to contempt of the Court orders.

In the meanwhile, an impleadment plea was also filed by a certain Rajat Mor, claiming that he deserved occupancy of the room allotted to Anoop. The fact that he had been expelled earlier by the University authorities for misconduct, and beating up a female student was expediently overlooked. However, only when he Anoop managed to submit a copy of the FIR registered against Rajat Mor for misbehaviour was the matter resolved.

In April ,2009, Anoop was awarded a cost of Rs. 55000 by a decision of learned single judge of Delhi High Court but prayers of Hostel systems Reforms were not granted. To Anoop, what he wanted was not the money but a reform of Delhi University Hostel systems, so he filed a Letters Patent Appeal before a Division Bench of Hon’ble Delhi High Court. First hearing took place on 22.05.2009 before Hon’ble Justice Mukul Mudgal and Justice Valmiki Prasad, who took very strong views against the University and even observed that costs of Rs. 55000 imposed on University should be enhanced, but to the surprise of all matter was transferred from his court to court of Chief Justice on 25.06.2009 and quashed on the very day.

In  June 9, 2009, Anoop has filed a Special Leave Petition before Hon’ble Supreme Court of India which is numbered as SLP 14813-14814 of 2009. Matter is to be heard soon.

The sheen is off DU! A student who secures a very good rank is expected to suffer through all this to merely gain the right to live in a hostel room? Would it be unfair to compare the DU Hostel authorities to the new age Mafia in such a situation. Their methods may not be as crude, but their intentions definitely as malicious. Anoop has suffered immense mental trauma and has been forced to devote most of his time to this seemingly never ending struggle to be allotted a hostel room. Even with all the rules, reasons and logic on his side, without power, seemingly no justice can be achieved. How would this impression the mind of a student studying law himself to fight cases and get justice for his countrymen? Such a stark picture of the inherent corruption and the vendetta against a student is enough to dishearten anybody.

But, Anoop is not ready to give up just yet. Inspite of all these problems,  he has grown to love the city and admits that he holds no personal grudges against the university. All he asks for is justice, not only for himself but for all the other outstation students who may suffer the same problems as he is, and those who could not raise their voice like him and whose pleas have been silently quashed. Now is the time he needs all our support, not just silent, distanced sympathy but a show of solidarity.

This is just one story, there are many more yet silent, yet untold. And they are not limited only to the PG Men’s Hostel. While the figures are a little less alarming in other high profile universities like Jamia and JNU, perhaps DU is worst off. What this campaign led by team ‘Prabodh’; an NGO that takes up causes of the youth and believes that the power to bring about a change lies in our own hands, is to create awareness and empower students when it comes to hostel facilities.

The need for safe accommodation is the primary concern for any outstation student.  The campaign seeks to bring about reforms in hostel facilities, giving a platform to students from any school, college or university who has faced similar problems. The scenario in Delhi University, is nothing short of deplorable, and there are practical and realistic reforms that this campaign urges for. These include:

  • Intimation of dates for the hostel admissions to all students during the admission process for the particular course itself.
  • Conversion of unclaimed seats reserved for ‘Foreign’ or ‘SC/ST’ quota to ‘General’ to accommodate more students.
  • Status of Non Resident Dining Member(NRDM) to access the mess for students not living in the hostel so that at least the food problem may be solved efficiently.
  • Proper monitoring of the ‘guests’ in the hostel.
  • Transparency in the allotment of seats such that the admission process is easier for the students.

With the beginning of the new session 2009, it is time again for admissions. Through this campaign, we at Prabodh, endeavour to make the hostel admissions process more student- friendly .  As more and more students embark on the pursuit of the elusive hostel seat, we pledge to make this process not a wild goose chase or a source of days of distress and trepidation but a fair, legitimate, scrupulous and clear cut process, so that the education and experience is a stepping stone and not a nightmarish ordeal.


Calling out to all those who have tried to, or will try to secure a hostel seat(allow me to offer my sympathies in advance in DU, Jamia, JNU or any other university in the country.
While most people have happy memories to cherish, for some it becomes no less than a nightmarish ordeal. This blog is in support of all those who have a story to tell. If your experience with the hostel authorities in any university has been the kinds that has kept you awake for nights(no,hostel wardens not granting permission for the latest gig in town does not count) this is the platform to share your story, be heard, and raise a voice.
Supported by PRABODH, an NGO that seeks to empower the youth and take up their causes, this is an initiative to bring about reforms in the hostel admission process and provide suppport and assistance to those who feel victimised or have problems with their hostels and the authorities.

Unsung Song


I am Hope, the youngest daughter of despair,

I was born in the dark night as tiny light.

The sun had risen and night hidden,

The battle begun and a song was sung.

Vegetable vendor composed one of his own,

Resilience, rising and falling in his unvarying tone.

Time escaping, reality gaping,

Un-blind your eyes, un-shut your ears.

The wheel of cart,

Knows ‘well’ the economy’s art!

Amidst the crowd, under a lamppost,

Mending a buckle, 2 rupee is the cost.

The rugged hand shines the leather,

The wretched soul toils and withers.

He lets his child stray all day,

Lest he may dream of education one day!

Rickshaw pullers work harder than their ration,

Forever peddling their way to others destination.

Every day dropping us to our homes

Every night back to their homelessness

With meager incomes, unquenched thirsts,

Health or education, none comes first!

Crumpled notes, tinkling coins,

By the sweat they shine, soon given off as a fine.

In the name of bribe, in order to survive,

The hungry soul is facing extortion,

To what we call, an official corruption.

These are few notes unsung

Many in-waiting for us to hum

Shall you come to beat the drum?

Whisper that shouts tear that consoles

Sweat that twinkles, and in hope mingles.

Bring some choir and sing in chorus

Let the melodies rise against bogus

The fairness of the flute, determination of a drum,

Few beats of trust, the freedom is must.

Just One more voice and the song is done!

सूचना की धार, मिटायें भ्रष्टाचार – ३

जय हो!
इधर आर टी आई पहुँची, उधर मेरा वोटर आई- कार्ड । अब इंतज़ार है, व्यापार लाइसेंस का!

State sponsored Caste System – II

-Prashant Narang

Some disagree with the views expressed in article below on reservation on following grounds: –
* Lower castes cannot avail private services due to poverty.
* Caste being a homogenous group can be the basis for classification for the purpose of affirmative action.
* Since caste has been the basis of century rather millenniums old discrimination, hence the same should be a ground for redressal.

Lets deal with myth #1. As I wrote about that in brief in my last article too with a link to C K Prahlad’s theory of ‘Bottom of Pyramid’. One can read the examples cited by him, and they are well-researched ones. Couple of years back, I did a survey as part of a seminar assignment in Govindpuri slums in Delhi on Education spending. Slum dwellers on an average spend as high as one-third of their monthly earnings on the education of their children. The slum has private unaided unrecognized schools that charge monthly of Rs. 60-300 per child. In fact there are tuition centers and coaching institutes that charge Rs. 100 per month. The parents though not well educated prefer these unrecognized schools over Sarkari schools. Few days back I read an interview of a Dalit housemaid in Indian express who sacrificed the second meal everyday to save money for private school education for her child. Even this illiterate woman rejects the sarkari education despite being almost free. As per an NGO survey, 80 % students of class V in Delhi MCD schools cannot read or write their names. I wonder what reservation can do if the quality of state institution is so bad. The conclusion is quality matters and poor can judge quality very well. It is the poor who end up choice less as the state regulates the quality through more and more stringent norms. The consequence is Delhi has lesser schools than it needs and hence the admission chaos. It seems Article 21 A is just going to inflate the state sieve without closing its big holes. Anyways…

The myth #2 has well-known loophole- not all Dalits are poor. The concept of creamy layer has sparked off a debate that reservations must be based on economic criterion. In fact there are weak grounds to hold for considering caste as the main criterion except for quoting 299 wise men that debated constitution draft for three years. Ironically, they intended this policy to continue for only ten years. What I don’t understand is why the qualification/ criterion should be group-based and not on ‘individual’ basis, if at all it is there. It also overlooks the fact conveniently that a significant percentage of general category is equally poor. Interestingly the data government relied on is 1931 census. As per National sample survey organization (NSSO) the percentage of population of OBC is around 29 % and around 23% of university seats are already with OBC. So is it not adequate representation? A study done by the IITs themselves shows that 50 per cent of the IIT seats for the SCs and STs remain vacant, and for the remaining 50 per cent, 25 per cent are the candidates who even after six years fail to get their degrees. So, clearly, in their case, reservations are not working. Mind you, the judicial interpretation has totally excluded the creamy layer concept for SC/ ST. At the risk of Contempt of court, may I mention that the judgment is indeed going to benefit the subsequent generations of impugned CJI? I wonder why it is not violation of principles of natural justice like the Shop sealing case.

Myth #3 speaks of biggest myth of our times- social justice. Social justice is itself a contradiction. It violates natural law, common law and morality by legalizing state theft and discrimination. Can reverse discrimination and that too with the subsequent generations be a tool of Justice? Can the state penalise someone for what his grandfather might have done or his community did centuries ago?
I never look down upon a low caste and I do not know whether my grandfather did. But I am included in the victimized general quota. Isn’t that absurd that I am being looked down upon by others because I am not that poor, though not rich either; because I am not lower caste, though not belong to upper castes- brahmin or kshatriya either; because I am not hindi-medium educated, though not a through convent educated either. Once my friend during a seminar asked her counterpart who hailed from rural India about his first perception about her and the reply shocked her. He said, ‘I disliked you because you are one of those bad rich people who exploit others.’ I think the person needed help with his stereotypes. Neither can such stereotypes be justified nor they can become the basis for policy-making.
The idea behind Fundamental Rights was to put negative obligations on State to ensure Rule of Law. However, while ensuring equal protection of Laws to everyone by state, the constituent assembly also inserted number of exceptions and Article 17 that prohibited untouchability- by putting a restriction on citizens. Does that help? Well, that interferes personal liberty in garb of benevolence and protectionism. However, State is pathetic in terms of protection to Intercaste couples that seek Marriage and unfortunatey end up being the victims of honour killings. People mingle on their own socially and economically in absence of barriers and all they need is Rule of Law. Forget welfare, reservation in a form as practiced in India, is direct and crude form of reverse discrimination as it allows meritorious candidates to suffer in entrance exams, in jobs, in promotions thereby hampering the residuary efficiency of already inefficient administration. Our first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru who wrote to the Chief Ministers on 27th June 1961 expressed similar thoughts. Rajiv Gandhi too opposed reservations in Parliament whose party brought it again, ironically. If it is not injustice, then probably the definition of Justice needs to be rewritten.
Interestingly, one cannot change this intangible perception called “caste”. I mean one cannot convert. So, if a woman marries to low-caste man, she indeed invites social stigma though yet not eligible for reservations and other privileges. Similarly, if a low-caste couple adopts a child from other caste (general quota), then contrary to the provisions of Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956, the child does not get the benefit of affirmative action. What if only of your parent is of low caste? Believe me, the progressive Indian Judiciary is still patriarchal in its mindset. Better to have a low-caste dad than low-caste mother!
The obvious question is how state checks the caste. After all unlike skin color, one cannot get to know the caste without …I do not know. It is probably only the state certificate that declares your caste. State has monopoly over that, in fact. So, recently Mayavati declared more than twenty communities to be ‘state SCs’ and won UP elections. Meaning it would give SC certificates to previously OBCs and in turn expand vote bank. Wow!
BTW if one declares to be a low caste person, how he is supposed to be caught. Well, in that case, he needs to prove by calling people of his peer group in the court to support his contention. Is that difficult? Not at all, not in India at atleast. 🙂