Caste-free society still a distant dream, rues minister

Minister for Welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes, and Devaswom, K. Radhakrishnan (R). File   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Vestiges of casteism continue to plague Kerala society, though not as severely as being witnessed in other States, observed K. Radhakrishnan, Minister for Welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes, and Devaswom.

A caste-free society continues to remain elusive, he said while addressing a webinar on the contemporary Dalit issues in Kerala organised by the Abhimanyu Smaraka Trust on Saturday.

Mr. Radhakrishnan emphasised the need for the communist movement to work closely with the Dalit sections to keep the extremist and communal forces from exploiting the dissatisfaction among them. The party should continue to involve the Dalits who have steadfastly remained with the party, and should help implement the government projects for their upliftment.

The minister rued how crores spent by successive governments on aided educational institutions, including that of Devaswom Board did not benefit the marginalised Dalit communities owing to the absence of reservation in the appointment of teaching and non-teaching staff. The community was denied the Constitutional right of accessing those benefits in proportion to their population, which would have brought them the much needed social capital enabling them to develop along with the other sections of the society.

Mr. Radhakrishnan said that even decentralisation did not bring the anticipated benefits to the Dalit communities. “The government is now planning to reach out and address the issues of each Dalit family in the next five years. The development of Dalits will not be possible without the support of the society in general,” he said.

Demand for clarity in filling of seats reserved for SC/ST students

The webinar threw up the need for holding campaigns for creating awareness among the society that affirmative action was not a largesse but a necessity for the inclusive development of the marginalised sections and correcting the historical wrongs.

The need to make bureaucracy more sensitive to the needs of the Dalits and the statutory bodies for the welfare of the marginalised communities more transparent were the other suggestions thrown up at the webinar.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 9:55:22 PM |

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