Reservation has empowered Dalits, says Suresh Joshi
At a time when the country has been jolted by agitations by dominant communities like Jats in Haryana and Patels in Gujarat for reservation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) said here on Sunday that the prosperous should not ask for the benefits of reservation.
“When prosperous groups ask for reservation, then it seems the line of thought is not correct. Those who are prosperous should actually help weaker sections of society. When instead of this they ask for reservation for themselves, I think it is a lack of thought about the values Dr. B.R. Ambedkar espoused,” RSS general secretary Suresh (Bhaiyyaji) Joshi said in response to a question.
His statement is at odds with some BJP leaders’ tacit assurances on reservation for Jats at the height of the recent Jat agitation in Haryana.
He, however, backed reservation for the Scheduled Castes and Tribes, asserting this had led to empowerment over time, with students of these groups now doing well academically.
This sought to put to rest the controversy over the statement of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat months back that there be a review of who had benefited from reservation and to what extent.
On the need for creamy layer exclusion even among the Dalits and tribals from quota benefits, he said there should be more thought on whether reservation was going to the most needy or not, and this question could not be immediately answered.
Caste discrimination must end: Joshi
At its annual meeting here on Sunday, the RSS’s highest decision-making body, Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha, made a pitch for social justice, passing a resolution on the need to end caste discrimination.
RSS general secretary Suresh (Bhaiyyaji) Joshi said that while Hindu thought was supreme, many discriminatory practices had come up over time for which Hindus should take responsibility. He added that harmony was a must and caste discrimination must end.
Taking a progressive yet cautious line on the recent controversy over temple entry for women in a Maharashtra temple, Mr. Joshi said that regressive thinking of gender segregation needed to be addressed, but through dialogue rather than agitation.