Writer Devanuru Mahadeva said on Saturday that casteism was still prevalent in the Indian society.

He was speaking at an interaction programme organised by the Rashtrakavi Govinda Pai Samshodhana Kendra and Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College here.

Mr. Mahadeva said that though many corporate personalities preached a lot about equality, the fact remained that the number of Dalits and people belonging to minority communities employed in big firms and multi-national companies was negligible.

A lot of posts of Class I officers reserved for Dalits in the public sector remained vacant, he said. Townships or residential areas for specific communities or castes should be discouraged, Mr. Mahadeva said. When Chief Minister Siddaramaiah launched the scheme to offer rice at Re. 1 a kg for poor people (Anna Bhagya), many corporate personalities objected saying it would make people lazy. But the middle and rich classes in the country had no second thoughts on receiving subsidised LPG cylinders, Mr. Mahadeva pointed out. The Anna Bhagya scheme would keep a lot of poor people from going hungry, he said.

“Though the bonded labour system has been abolished in the country, the feudal mentality still continues,” Mr. Mahadeva said.