PATNA: On 6 December, a Shudra Sammelan was held at SK Memorial Hall to mark the death anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar. At the conference organized under the auspices of the social organizations, Bagdoor and Mission 341, those present resolved to intensify the battle for social and economic change, and to work with renewed vigour for securing respect and partnership. It was emphasized that instead of being allergic to the word Shudra, one should feel proud to be called a Shudra, and that Shudras need to shed their inferiority complex. The function was chaired by Shashikant Maharaj.
Addressing the gathering, Bijendra Prasad Yadav, Bihar’s finance minister, said that the basic character of our social system was discriminatory and to counter this discrimination, besides education, meaningful initiatives in the fields of economy, politics and culture were needed. A campaign should be launched to ensure adequate representation of the Shudras in all the four pillars of democracy – executive, legislature, judiciary and media, he said, and only a mass movement and revolution could bring about this change. The convener of the conference, Dr Aizaz Ali, a former MP, who has been running a campaign for abrogation of the Article 341 of the Constitution, said that the article was coming in the way of providing reservations to Muslim and Christian Dalits. He said that there were many castes among Muslims and Christians whose socio-economic status was comparable with that of Hindu SCs. They should also get the same facilities as the Hindu SCs, he added. Social activist and Patna High Court lawyer Arun Kushwaha said that there should be reservations in the appointment of judges to the High Courts and the Supreme Court. He said that thousands of OBC and Dalit lawyers were eminently qualified to become judges in the higher judiciary but were being denied this opportunity owing to discrimination on the basis of caste. The function was also addressed by Mohammed Matloob Rab, Santosh Yadav of Bagdoor, Manish Ranjan and Arun Narayan.
Published in the January 2015 issue of the Forward Press magazine
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