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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 22-Feb-2016
22-Feb-16 World View -- Delhi in crisis as India sends thousands of troops to quash Jat riots

Web Log - February, 2016

22-Feb-16 World View -- Delhi in crisis as India sends thousands of troops to quash Jat riots

Bomb explosions strike Assad strongholds in Syria as Kerry speaks of 'provisional' peace

This morning's key headlines from

Delhi in crisis as India sends thousands of troops to quash Jat riots

Jat protests cause massive traffic jams blocking highways in Delhi (PTI)
Jat protests cause massive traffic jams blocking highways in Delhi (PTI)

India has deployed almost 10,000 troops in a massive show of force to the province of Haryana on Sunday to quell riots that are creating crisis conditions across Haryana and in the capital city Delhi. Haryana surrounds Delhi on three sides, allowing the Haryana riots to target Delhi's economy. There have already been 10 deaths and hundreds of injuries.

The riot group are the Jats, a caste or a caste-like ethnic group with a population of 80 million people across India. In Haryana province, they make up 29% of the population. They're rioting because several of the poorer castes by law are given preferential treatment for jobs and education, and so the Jats are unable to get jobs themselves.

This issue has been simmering since the 1990s, when India's Supreme Court ruled that the poorer castes have to be given preferential treatment. Various political candidates have repeatedly made promises to the Jats to improve the situation, but the politicians forget their promises once in office. The Jats claim that they're now doing what they have to do to be heard.

The protesters have damaged equipment that brings water to New Delhi, which is now facing a water crisis. With much of Delhi now without water, the Haryana government has rushed paramilitary and technical team members of the Irrigation Department to restore water delivery.

In addition, the protesters have brought much business in Delhi to a halt by blocking major roads and highways in and out of Delhi, and damaging railway tracks to prevent rail traffic. In other actions, the protesters have burned down homes and vandalized vehicles. India Today and Times of India and Reuters

Jats demand entry into the 'reservation system' for jobs and education

The most prominent lower class in India are the Dalits. But India's government classifies the Jats as "Other Backward Class" or OBC.

Thanks to a 1990s Supreme Court decision, India's government has had to set up a "reservation system" in Haryana that gives preferential treatment to certain poorer castes and classes, so that they can more easily obtain jobs and educations.

The Jats are politically and economically better off than the groups in the existing reservation classes, which is the reason given why they haven't been admitted to the reservation classes. But since the poorer castes are getting preferential treatment, many Jats are unable to get jobs, even if they're better qualified than another candidate who happens to be in the reservation group.

So that's what the protests are about. The Jats want to be added to the reservation group. Currently, 50% of Haryana's population are in the preferential reservation group. Adding the Jats, which comprise 29% of the population, would mean that almost 80% of the population would be given preferential treatment. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see that that won't work. Scroll (India) and Times of India

Bomb explosions strike Assad strongholds in Syria as Kerry speaks of 'provisional' peace

When one peace plan collapses, it's good news, because a new peace plan can begin. The peace plan ("cessation of hostilities") that US Secretary of State John Kerry announced last week collapsed just two days ago. On Sunday, Kerry met with Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, and then made this announcement to the press:

"We have reached a provisional agreement in principle, on the terms of the cessation of hostilities, that could begin in the coming days. It is not yet done, and I anticipate that our presidents, president Obama and president Putin, may well speak somewhere in the next days or so in order to try to complete this next task."

I really don't know whether I should think that Kerry is a complete fool for running around making these idiotic statements, or whether I should instead feel sorry for Kerry because he's required to run around making these idiotic statements. How many peace agreements has Kerry announced in the past that have collapsed within a few days? I've lost count. How may peace agreements has Kerry announced that have succeeded? I can't recall a single one. What the hell is this guy doing?

At any rate, in the same time frame that Kerry was announcing peace, there were two massive terrorist attacks, each involving multiple explosions, in two separate districts, both government controlled and both highly secure and heavily protected by the army of Syria's president Bashar al-Assad.

A series of blasts, a car bomb and two suicide bombers, ripped through the Sayyida Zeinab suburb of Damascus, killing at least 83 people and wounding more than 170. This suburb is a Shia stronghold.

Earlier in the day, two car bombs exploded in the Wadi al-Zaha suburb of Homs, killing at least 34 people. This suburb is an Alawite stronghold. Syria's president Bashar al-Assad is a Shia/Alawite.

The so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh) has taken credit for both terrorist attacks. ISIS has targeted both districts in the past, to prove that they can strike anywhere in Syria they want. Scotsman and Washington Post

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 22-Feb-16 World View -- Delhi in crisis as India sends thousands of troops to quash Jat riots thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (22-Feb-2016) Permanent Link
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