Staff Reporter

KOLLAM: Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam general secretary Vellappally Natesan has said that the clause in the professional colleges Act that imposes an exorbitant fee on Non-Resident Indians in professional colleges in the State be dropped. ``Otherwise, the Act is a revolutionary step.''

Mr. Natesan was inaugurating a public meeting organised by the Kollam SNDP Union in connection with the observation of Reservation Protection Day on Monday. All the 101 SNDP unions in the State observed the day by organising similar programmes.

Stating that the Yogam demands reservation in admission to educational institutions, Mr. Natesan said the demand forms part of the right to education. Reservation, he said, is a traditional right and is in no way connected to quota. Reservation is a Constitutional Right whereas quota is only a political recognition.

He called for a sustained fight against those who try to take away the Constitutional Right to reservation and in its place impose the politicised quota system. He cautioned members of the community that there are moves to replace social reservation with economic reservation.

It is a pity that even after 59 years of independence, members of the backward communities are still fighting for their reservation rights. Successive governments have been ignoring them. Even the 27 per cent reservation for Backward Classes suggested by Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh has stirred a hornets' nest, he said.

Welcoming the step taken by the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) to effect reservation in its appointments, Mr. Natesan wanted other devaswom boards in the State to follow suit. He said that the Yogam is according a reception to TDB president Raman Nair and member Punalur Madhu for taking the decision, in Ernakulam on August 12.