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Dalit Leaders Slam Bhagwat’s Call for Harmonious Debate on Reservation; NCP MP Finds No Fault in Suggestion


Last Updated: August 19, 2019, 18:20 IST

File photo of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.

File photo of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati said Mohan Bhagwat’s remark was uncalled for and urged him to shun his anti-quota ideology, while Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad said only the RSS president could not see the discrimination.

Lucknow/Delhi: A day after Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat called for a harmonious debate on the country’s reservation system, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati said it was uncalled for and urged the saffron outfit head to shun his anti-quota ideology.

Hitting out at Bhagwat, she wrote on Twitter, “The statement from RSS about SC/ST/OBC reservation that there should be a debate over it raises serious suspicion over the issue as it was uncalled for. The reservation system is based on humanitarian and constitutional values and any kind of deviation from it would be an injustice. It would be good it the RSS could drop its anti-reservation mind-set.”

On Sunday Bhagwat, while speaking at the concluding session of Gyan Utsav, said there should be conversation in a harmonious atmosphere between those who are in favour of reservation and those against it. He said he had spoken about it earlier as well, but it had created a lot of noise and the whole discussion had digressed from the actual issue. Those who favoured reservation should speak keeping in mind the interests of those who are against it and vice-versa, the Sangh leader said.

Bhagwat said the RSS, BJP and the party-led government were three different entities and one cannot be held responsible for the actions of another. The event was organised by the RSS-affiliated Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas at the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) here. Bhagwat said discussion on reservation results in sharp actions and reactions every time, but there was a need for harmony in the different sections of society on it.

Bhim Army president Chandrashekhar Azad said the differences between the lives of upper castes and backwards were visible to everyone except the RSS chief. Further, he said if the RSS was in favour of SC/ST reservation, why were there still voices opposing the same

“There is a conspiracy to shift the stake of backwards in the private sector so that there could be no compulsion of reservation. I demand reservation in private sector as well. Only then justice would be done to SC/ST and OBCs. Also, if there is no discrimination in the private sector, then why no television reporter, editor of any newspaper hails from SC/ST communities? If reservation has been given properly, then why there is no representation of SC/ST people in the judiciary or there is no vice chancellors and governors? If Mohan Bhagwat is in favour of reservation system, then why there are voices against the reservation system? Even a blind person can see the prevalent discrimination in society. Why can’t he see it?”

Meanwhile, the Nationalist Congress Party’s Rajya Sabha MP Majeed Memon said, “I don’t find a fault in this suggestion. When he says there needs to be a harmonious debate on reservation, it is a complex issue. India being vast, every state has autonomy. Every state has groups of people belonging to different categories, but no equality of opportunity. Certain groups are left behind. Reservations are challenged. It should not exceed 50%. If it does, then nothing would be available for general category citizens. Commissions should be formed. There should be an all-party meeting for a uniform policy. The government, independent of the RSS, if it is serious, should bring those who are left behind to the mainstream.’

BSP leader Sudendra Bhaduria said Bhagwat’s statement was a serious one. “The RSS and BJP want to demolish what has been given to us by BR Ambedkar. We will not let this happen and fight with everything we have to protect the reservation policy.”

Earlier, when he had advocated for a review of the reservation policy, it drew sharp reaction from many parties and caste groups.
first published:August 19, 2019, 17:23 IST
last updated:August 19, 2019, 18:20 IST