‘BJP leaders in power are strengthening caste system’

February 03, 2020 12:37 am | Updated 12:37 am IST - Hassan

Artist K.T. Shivaprasad speaking at a seminar in Hassan on Sunday.

Artist K.T. Shivaprasad speaking at a seminar in Hassan on Sunday.

“We the people of India are in the worst conditions under anti-Dalit rulers in the Union government,” said artist and activist K.T. Shivaprasad.

Speaking at a seminar organised as part of Hassan district Kannada Sahitya Sammelan here on Sunday, Mr. Shivaprasad said people were losing their fundamental rights. “B.R. Amebdkar gave us the Constitution. If those in power now were in power when India got Independence, Ambedkar would have not got a chance to draft the Constitution,” he said.

For years many organisations fought against the caste system, but the BJP leaders in power had only been strengthening the caste system. They would in all probability ensure the system remained for a long time, he said.

Recalling his days as an activist of Dalit Sangharsh Samiti in the 1980s, Mr. Shivaprasad said he and other leaders of organisations fought against atrocities committed on the Dalits of Ballupete in Sakleshpur taluk. “We fought for the rights of Dalits in the village. But, the disappointing fact is that even years after the struggle, the status of Dalits has not changed. This shows how organisations which took birth to fight for the rights of Dalits dismantled over the years,” he said.

H.D. Umashankar, assistant professor of Kannada, said samiti had split into many factions, weakening the struggle for Dalit rights. “It may be impossible to expect all the factions to come together. At least they should extend issue-based support for the cause,” he said. He further said that Kannada Sahitya Parishat should open its door to downtrodden sections of society. “The organisation should not become a coterie of only a few sections,” he said.

M.S. Shekhar, writer, Shivanand Tagadur, journalist, Subbu Holeyar, a poet, Ambuga Mallesh, an activist and others spoke on the occasion.

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