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Caste-based ‘vana bhojanams’ deplored

Staff Reporter
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Various organisations protest against such gatherings

Leaders of CPI (M), CPI, and CPI (ML) New Democracy district secretaries Pothineni Sudharshan, B. Hemanth Rao and Potu Ranga Rao serving food at 'jana bhojanam' in Khammam on Thursday.— PHOTO: G.N. RAO
Leaders of CPI (M), CPI, and CPI (ML) New Democracy district secretaries Pothineni Sudharshan, B. Hemanth Rao and Potu Ranga Rao serving food at 'jana bhojanam' in Khammam on Thursday.— PHOTO: G.N. RAO

Activists owing allegiance to several Dalit, Backward Classes and other organisations raised their voice in unison against the conduct of caste-based ‘vana bhojanams’ by various community associations.

Scores of activists participated in a novel programme titled ‘Jana Bhojanam’ organised by Sparsha, a town-based social study forum, here on Thursday. A large number of people from various walks of life had lunch together above caste, creed and religious affiliations under the trees in front of the Collectorate on the occasion.

It was organised as a mark of protest against ‘caste-oriented’ luncheon meetings being conducted by several community associations in the name of ‘vana bhojanams’ in the Kartika Masam. It coincided with the death anniversary of chief architect of the Indian Constitution Dr B.R. Ambedkar.

The leaders of left parties – CPI, CPI (M) and CPI (ML-New Democracy) -- also participated in the programme.

The speakers, comprising representatives of various Dalit and Backward Classes organisations, vociferously condemned the conduct of caste-based ‘vana bhojanams’. They alleged that such an undesirable trend based on narrow outlook amounted to encouraging the caste system.

Stating that the ‘vana bhojanams’ were originally meant for social gathering of farmers, labourers, rural artisans, and people belonging to a cross section of society, the speakers lamented that the evil trend of the ‘caste-oriented vana bhojanams’ was defeating the very essence of the concept. Some influential ruling classes were bent upon encouraging such detrimental programmes to polarise the people on the caste lines with selfish interests, they charged.

Call for boycott

‘Sparsha’ founder president Bhaskar called upon the people to boycott the ‘caste-based vana bhojanams’ and join hands to achieve caste-less society. Muslim Hakkula Porata Samithi president Mohammad Asad, CPI district secretary B. Hemantha Rao, CPI (M) district secretary P. Sudarshan Rao, CPI (ML-ND) district secretary P. Ranga Rao and others were present.


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