Mysuru: Members of upper caste communities seeking must reflect on the merits of their demand, remarked Kannada writer Banjagere Jayaprakash here on Wednesday.
Jayaprakash, who inaugurated a one-day state level seminar on ‘Reservation Policies in Contemporary Times: Problems and Prospects’ organised by the political science department of the University of Mysore (UoM), said, “Reservation was a tool devised to bring about equality in society. People demanding Reservation must reflect on the moral and ethical dimensions of the problem.”

Jayaprakash said that, while there was one section in the country that wanted to extend the benefits of Reservation, while there was another that wanted to put an end to the practice once and for all. “The claim that Reservation is restricted to people from a few castes is false, it is extended to vulnerable sections across the social spectrum including physically-challenged people, etc., based on the proportion of their population,” said Jayaprakash.

Pointing to the Dalits continuing to be on the margins of society, Jayaprakash said, “This indicates the persistence of the caste system. Reservation must continue till there is caste.”

Political scientist HM Rajashekar called caste a societal ‘malaise’. “Caste has been used by leaders for political mileage. Parties coming to power must focus on providing employment to youngsters,” he said.

Special officer for Raichur University Muzaffar Asadi said that the caste system was more prevalent, and deeply entrenched in rural areas than it was in cities. “A Dalit is killed every hour in the country. There are many temples that Dalits are not allowed entry to, and they are banned from drawing water from wells. Reservation must continue till there is caste-related violence,” said Asadi.

Head of UoM’s political science department Krishna Hombal, and Prof GT Ramachandrappa participated in the seminar.

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