Global Ambedkarites

What are scheduled castes?

What are scheduled castes?

What are scheduled castes?

What are scheduled castes?

What are scheduled castes?

The idea of caste-based reservation system was envisioned by William Hunter and Jyotirao Phule in various forms in 1882 and implemented by Chatrapati Sahuji in 1901. The term was changed to “Depressed Classes” in 1932 by Dr Ambedkar and later to “Scheduled Caste/Tribes” during the framing of the constitution in 1950.

The idea was that a vast majority of the poor were from those groups/sections of society considered religion-less “Untouchables” who needed a social net so that they can be accommodated into society as full-fledged members. It is important to note that this part of the reservation was for electoral rights first (to guarantee political representation – Poona Act ‘35) and a education/job rights issue second. Also note that education was made free in these early attempts so that poverty does not hinder anyone’s education by these early efforts. Therefore (if education was free), the only representation could have been for political means.

If not for Dr. Ambedkar’s efforts, even this would not have come through during Independence. Dr Ambedkar remains an icon for minority causes even today and is revered because of this.

Fast forward to today.


 Most people understand what caste impliesaJāti (and/or Varna) but what is the meaning of “Schedule”?

The then Prime Minister Ramsey McDonald observed that like Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Anglo-Indians, the Avarnas (out-castes not belonging to any Varna) are an independent class and not included in the Hindu jāti system. Therefore, a list (“schedule”) was prepared and under-privileged groups, historically treated as the untouchables, were included in this list (“schedule”). These groups of “Untouchable” non-Hindu, non-Muslim and non-Sikhs were called the Scheduled Castes for administration purposes. The term “Scheduled Castes” gave the “identity-less” a constitutional identity. 

Based on this, the groups/castes that were scheduled were given some rights according to the Scheduled Caste Ordinance 1935’. On this basis Govt of India promulgated ‘Scheduled Caste Ordinance 1936’ and facility of reservation was given. Further, modifying the ordinance of 1936, Scheduled Caste Ordinance 1950 was passed and provision of reservation was made.

The history and origin of “nomenclature of the scheduled castes” tells that in the Indian subcontinent, there was a class of untouchable out-castes or the groups/castes outside the Hindu “religion” before the 1831 census. A list (“schedule”) of these out-castes was prepared.

On the basis of this “schedule” of castes (not Varna Jātis), Babasaheb Dr. B. R. Ambedkar fought against the British whilst opposing Brahmins and was successful in securing fundamental human rights for Non-Hindu Avarna “castes”  that were scheduled.

This was the meaning of “Scheduled” Castes. The same is true for “scheduled tribes”

We must understand that since then; “Scheduled Castes” have always meant untouchables, out-castes or castes outside the Hindu-fold; I.e. those groups/castes which were not Hindu. They were called the “Atishudras”, independent of Hindu religion and therefore outside the jāti system (jāti implies Hindu), the undeclared fifth Varna in the Varna System.

A “scheduled caste” is a constitutional identity, NOT jāti identity (Jāti is commonly but incorrectly translated as caste). Whatever benefits are received today by these out-castes are in the name of ‘scheduled caste’ and not in the name of Dalits or jaatis as Vankar, Chamar, Valmiki etc.


The correct translation of ‘JĀTI ’ is ‘SPECIES’. Translating ‘jati’ as ‘caste’ waters down the real meaning of jati and gives an excuse to upholders of the jati system to misleadingly repeat the misnomer, “caste system is a creation of the Europeans.” 

We all know the JATI SYSTEM was not created by the colonisers. It existed centuries before the British ever set foot on India. As a way of proof, it is mentioned in the Sikh holy book, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

Despite knowing the history of the origin of what a scheduled “caste” is, some who fall in this category continue believing they belong to the Hindu religion having a Hindu jati. Thus they,  hypocritically and immorally (many unknowingly), insult the Indian constitution and Dr Ambedkar’s struggle to constitutionally get them the rights they deserve.

These out-castes must always keep in mind that “scheduled” caste means. ONLY and ONLY those people who are NOT Hindus but victims due to the Hindu social order. 

If their ancestors were out-castes but they wish to continue as Hindus under the Hindutva regime, they should give up their scheduled caste identity and Dr. Ambedkar. It would then be up to the dominant oppressor castes whether they accept them into their religion or not and what jati they give them! The whole purpose of assigning a jati is to discriminate and control.

If you don’t want to be controlled, don’t associate yourself with any jati (commonly but inaccurately called caste). If you have a jati you are Hindu. If you’ve reject Hinduism, you must reject your jati identity too. A scheduled caste does not mean a scheduled jati (Jaati implies Hindu social order).


1. If those seeking reservation, call themselves SC and also claim to be of the Hindu “religion”, they are in fact either misled or lying because Hindus /Varnadharmis cannot be belonging to groups that were scheduled as that would indicate such Hindus were identityless like the Avarna Untouchables,WHICH THEY WERE NOT (they had a religion).Such people should not be availing reservation meant for the SCHEDULED castes.

2. Reservation was initially meant ONLY for the scheduled castes and tribes.

3. If you are from a community that was labelled SC. That doesn’t mean you have a jati (Your ancestors were jati-less Buddhists treated as untouchables. The word caste was used just for convenience).

4Free yourself from the clutches of Hinduism and the Hindu Jati systemElse you will become

dalits, the grounded, the mentally broken to pieces, the crushed victims of oppression