Globalization has increased suffering of SCs, says CM

Economy Education Governance Karnataka

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday said reservation is the only way forward for backward castes. 

Speaking at the fourth Madiga Day celebrations, he said: “There is no ladder in the caste system. The downtrodden continue to be there. There’s no movement upwards. Globalization, liberalisation and privatisation have made them suffer even more.”

Members of the Madiga, Matanga and other allied communities were present at the event. Talking about their cultural and historical identities, they said a conducive environment is needed for their social, educational and economic uplift. They said welfare measures would lead to implementing the constitutional safeguards.

Members of the community presented a memorandum of demands to Bommai who said: “Economy does not mean money, but people and their activities. Education, employment and empowerment are important. The only way forward for the Madiga community is a right to reservation.”

Anil Kumar, Chief Secretary of Public Works Department, said constitutional safeguards haven’t succeeded in providing equality. “The event is about giving back to society. Ambedkar’s dream of equality among all sections of the society remains a dream. The SCs are 25-30% of the population, but they don’t have resources at their disposal and have a low employment rate.”

Govind Karjol, Minister of Major and Medium Irrigation, spoke about the need for representation as well, saying that the Madiga community is an important part of India’s agricultural sector. But various cases related to reservation for SCs, STs, OBCs and EWS are pending before the Supreme Court.

Amit Vohra, a lawyer, said: “These communities only have reservation till school, not in jobs. There is a parity in jobs. We have to give them reservations for them to be self-reliant. Intellect cannot be compromised. However, the reservation issue is still pending.”

According to Kancha Ilaiah’s book ‘Post-Hindu India’, the Madigas are an artisan community from southern India. They mainly live in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka, with a small community in Tamil Nadu. While Madigas are historically associated with the work of tannery, leatherwork and small handicrafts, most today are agricultural labourers.They are categorised as a Scheduled Caste by the government of India.

chhavi.v@iijnm.org

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