CUDDALORE: The CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury said altering the attitude towards dalits and backward castes was not sufficient to root out caste bias, and that economic empowerment of these sections could stop caste atrocities.
Yechury took part in the Cuddalore conference on honor killing. Thousands took part in the meet on Tuesday night.
He said, "I do not agree with the term called honor killing. There is no honor in this killing. It is a dishonorable killing and is actually a murder based on caste prejudices. This is not acceptable in modern India."
"Even 60 years after adopting the Constitution that says all citizens would have equal rights and be treated equally, why are such social atrocities in the name of caste being perpetuated and increasing? Though we had great leaders like Phule, Periyar and Ambedkar, who struggled to eliminate caste bias and untouchability, why is it that we have not been able to eliminate the bias from our society?" he asked.
"The ruling class parties, particularly the BJP, use caste for political mobilization. This caste-based political mobilization is one of the reasons why this caste bias continues," he added.
"What is required is the economic empowerment of dalits and backward castes. Unless we have radical reforms like giving them economic strength through land reforms, the caste bias cannot be removed," he asserted.
He said economic inequality was widening in the country and also emphasized the need to unite to fight for a better economic order.
"Because of the economic policies of the government, the situation in our country is worsening. Instead of economic empowerment of dalits and backward castes, we have notice a greater economic divide and that leads to greater caste oppression and atrocities. Honor killing and other caste atrocities are taking place because economic problems are mounting making these sections more vulnerable," he opined.
"Struggle for social and economic justice is needed to stop social oppression and economic exploitation," he added.
Earlier Yechury felicitated the inter-caste married couples. The CPI-M state secretary G Ramakrishnan, Chidambaram MLA K Balakrishnan and Vasuki were present. The district secretary T Arumugam presided.