RESERVATION for SC/STs is “just” but prosperous sections of society demanding quotas is “not a step in the right direction”, said RSS general secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi, as the three-day Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha, the Sangh’s highest decision making forum, ended Sunday.
Describing the JNU row as a “matter of concern for all citizens”, Joshi asked whether universities were becoming “centres of anti-national activities”. On the controversy over women not being inside a few temples, the RSS Sarkaryavah blamed “wrong notions” for such curbs.
Asked about the recent Jat and Patidar reservation agitations in Haryana and Gujarat, respectively, Joshi told reporters, “It is a matter of concern. When Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar proposed reservations, he talked of them in the context of the social situation and in terms of (social) justice.”
Joshi added, “People from the SC and ST (groups), for various reasons, had fallen behind…so we consider reservation for them as just…and a large section of people have benefited from reservations. So any demand for reservation should be made in the context of that spirit… And when the prosperous section of the society demands reservation, we believe it is not in the right direction.”
He said, “Those who are prosperous, should give up (some of their) rights, help the oppressed sections…instead of that demanding reservation for themselves, it shows a lack of vision in the context of rights given by Ambedkar ji…by the Constitution.”
Asked about the issue of the creamy layer among Other Backward Classes eligible for reservation, Joshi said the issue needed to be studied in detail. “We should think whether benefit of reservations is reaching those who need it. The issue of creamy layer needs to be studied, discussed…it won’t be fair to comment on it,” Joshi said.
Last year, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s remarks before the Bihar assembly polls on seeking a review of the reservation policy had stirred a controversy, with many seeing it as one of the main reasons for BJP’s debacle in the assembly elections.
Asked about the JNU row, Joshi said, “The JNU incident is a matter of concern for all citizens of this country. In a university campus, if someone organises an event paying tribute to those who had attacked the nation’s topmost institution…if there are slogans about breaking the country up…what do we call such a mentality?”
Stressing that the law would “take its course”, Joshi said, “There was an arrest. Some say he did not raise slogans. He might be freed by the law…but the question is who let this sort of an environment thrive? Who has nourished it? If universities are becoming centres of anti-national activities, then the intellectuals should think (about why it is happening).”
Welcoming reactions on the JNU row from across the nation, Joshi said, “Whoever is in power, can they compromise on Kashmir? Can we change our role vis-a-vis our neighbours? The reactions have been significant and show that society is still conscious.”
On the issue of temple entry for women, Joshi said it reflected the “repressed mentality” in some sections of society.”Women enter temples all over the nation. If two or three places…because of some wrong notions, have such restrictions…it is because of repressed mentality of some people in society…it should be taken into account and attempts need to be made to remove this mentality,” Joshi said.
The Sangh also passed its third and final resolution on social harmony during the sabha, condemning caste-based discrimination and untouchability. The resolution blamed these social evils on society not following “Bharat’s pre-eminent ideals” of uniform divinity and equality of all human beings.
“Any kind of discriminatory behaviour and evil like untouchability should be uprooted altogether,” the resolution stated. The other two resolutions passed at the ABPS related to affordable health and accessible education.