BANGALORE: Urging the government to implement the Poona Pact, All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisation (AICSO) at a recent press conference stated that a one day state-level dharana will be held at Freedom Park, Bangalore on April 21, from 10.30 am to 5.30 pm. Poona Pact, an agreement between the upper caste and the lower caste led by Dr B R Ambedkar and Gandhiji respectively had taken place in the year 1932. However, it has not been implemented even after 65 years of Independence
AICSO claimed that in 2004, UPA Government promised to give reservations for the SC/STs in private sectors and came to power and failed to implement the same. Similar promises were made when they came to power again in 2009. The agreement stated that there shall be seats reserved for the Depressed Classes out of general electorate seats in the provincial legislatures. They also said that such inclusion of SC/ST members in Private Sectors will help improve the Indian Economy.
At the press conference, M Venkatswamy, President of SEWASFED, said that some of the private companies select young candidates based on their scores rather than performance. Shivashankar, President of Karnataka State SC/ST Employees’ co-ordination Committee Bangalore, commented, “We are not asking companies to give employment to people who aren’t deserving. The concept of merit should not overrule employment opportunities for the underprivileged.” In fact, the AICSO argues that a person from SC/ST, if given a chance, will perform as well as a person of merit, if not better. The New Economic Policy, 1992, that aimed to evade poverty, unemployment and lower foreign debt helped the Dalits considerably to cope with similar situations if not for the actual cause it was introduced for. The federation will also submit a memorandum to the President of India, Prime Minister, Law Minister, Minister for Social Empowerment through His Excellency Governor of Karnataka on the day of the demonstration. This is to urge the Central Ministers and MPs from Karnataka to put pressure to place the bill in the present session of Lok Sabha.