VIJAYAWADA: The foremost reason for BCs opposing BC status to Kapus is the fear of being rendered a non-entity in politics and in OBC quota at national level.
Since the state government’s assurance to Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham following his ‘indefinite fast’ on BC status, several BC leaders were apprehensive about their future. Even without reservations Kapus are not only cornering opportunities in every sphere of activity, but are also politically strong.
“If they are included in BCs, there will be no opportunity for the existing 138 castes among BCs in the state,” pointed out Dr G Gangadhar, state president of BC Jana Sabha. “Further, owing to sub classification of BCs, only very few castes are able to corner reservations meant for BCs, while rest of them are largely denied opportunities,” he explained.
Though they make up 56% of the state population as per 2011 census, the reservation in education and employment is just 25% in the state and 27% at the Centre. But at the Centre, unlike State, there are no sub-classifications and the number of castes competing for the given reservation too will be high.
“In fact, the number of castes in BCs has almost doubled since 1973. At that time, there were only some 87 castes. Further, the population of the BCs increased, but neither the opportunities nor the reservation. How many opportunities either in education or employment do each caste among the BC get? When it comes to political, there representation is not what, it should be,” Gangadhar said.
More or less, another BC leader R Krishnaiah gave similar reason. “It is education, employment and political power that will give respect to BCs, so upper caste people will not look down on the BCs,” he said.
According to him, people of various castes were looking for education and employment opportunities for their development, as traditional occupations they were engaged till recently have now become redundant.