The GSB community forms an important component in the social network of the world.
The members of the GSB community will lead a peaceful and prosperous life if they
would contribute their mite to the social network of Indian society or any other society in
the world where they live. No one need doubt that they contribute more than their mite.
Today life is complex and every living being is a component of a very vast network of
society. The social network works in an orderly manner if each component functions as
expected.
       Our staple food rice is produced by our farmers who have to use fertilizers and
pesticides to bring out good crop. Only abundant food supplies can bring peace and calm
in our cities, towns and villages.
     Abundant supplies of petrol, kerosene, electricity, and water will provide peace and
stability to a nation. If the transport of these essentials from the farms to the markets is
not maintained then there will be chaos. Distribution of electricity is as important as
providing water and fuel. Road and rail movements of food and other supplies also
depend upon power and fuel.
In the past there was no railway, and the roads were unpaved. There were no motor
vehicles. People depended on animal drawn carriages. Some people used horse to ride
to travel from place to place.
     There was no electricity to light the homes and oil-lit lamps were used in large
numbers to create visibility during nights. That was the period when the needs of the
people were provided by locally available materials. Food and other items were bartered
in the market. Therefore even coins which formed money to buy food were in short
supply. People paid taxes in the form of produce rather than with money.
Now there is need for money for everything we live with. We earn money by offering
either service or material.         
     The price of crude petroleum oil has shot up to USD 110 last week in the
international market. Let us imagine the effects of this on the common man in India, or for
that matter in any other part of the world. Petrol, Kerosene, naphtha and other petroleum
products have touched our lives to an extant that the world would come to a standstill
with in a matter of 24 hours if the supplies are stopped. It is the same story with other
power and energy sources such as electricity. Electricity to some extant is dependent on
petrogas but largely electricity is produced in many parts of India and abroad by
coal-fired plants and by falling water-force. Food being vital for our existence, there are
many inputs in agriculture that depend upon chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides.
Some of these fertilizers and pesticides are developed from petroleum products.
     The farmers have been exempted from paying income tax. This was unheard of in the
past. Every citizen is required to work in one manner or other to contribute to the gross
national product.
     In the past the children in a household learnt the occupation of his or her parents and
acquired skills to provide for his or her livelihood. Now the children have to be taught
skills in schools and colleges so as to make them capable of earning their livelihood.
     GSB caste is only a name and does not signify if there are any weaker members
within the community.  There are many weaker members in the GSB community and if a
survey is taken it will be realized that there are more weaker members in the GSB
community now than there are in the SC or ST communities.  Only a survey using the
same parameters of living standards for all people regardless of their caste can reveal
the truth.  
         We now estimate that there are many weaker members in our community who
need support in the manner that SC, ST, and OBC communities are given at present.
We take pride in being called a forward community and do not wish to seek reservation
on the basis of our caste.  But we do not want to be discriminated because of our caste,
and not be counted for admission in educational institutions or for providing jobs, in spite
of being eligible.   
         The present generation of SC, ST and OBC communities have sufficiently
advanced to compete with the GSB people in these areas.
         Therefore instead of increasing quotas for those people who were formerly
backward and weak, the reservation policy should be gradually tapered off within a
specified period of time.
         If Mahathma Gandhi were here today, we are sure he would have not proceeded
any further on the present reservation policy of the Indian Government, but instead
demanded that it be scrapped altogether.

Concluded.
GSB Community and the Social Network
News for the month of March 2008 (II)
By Mohan Shenoy
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