Gangtok, 05 Dec:
"Don't tolerate any form of atrocity," was the message of Chief Minister Pawan Chamling while addressing THE closing ceremony of the Jan Sampark Abhiyaan organised by Scheduled Caste Welfare Front of the party.
Addressing party workers at the SDF headquarters today, Mr Chamling touched upon the historical perspective of caste and varna system in India and said that issues like untouchability and other social ills became a norm because we tolerated them without raising our voices.
He stated that in Sikkim such practices are not prevalent and if such cases are reported the state has made stringent laws. Further he asked the members of the community to report such cases, if any.
On the overall backwardness of the community in India he held that lack of access to education was the key factor which led to such exploitation of the community.
"Empowerment is the key so that no one can take away your rights," he held.
Citing example of BR Ambedkar he said that he has become more relevant than ever and now the community must look forward to empowerment rather than revenge against any section of society.
"India is backward due to the caste system," he added.
Addressing recent concerns of the scheduled Caste community with regards to reservations, he added that reservation for Hindu SCs at 6% is intact and 2% reservation for Christian SCs as weaker section is meant at empowering all Scheduled Caste community members following different faiths.
"I appeal to the community not to differentiate between each other and grow together," he said.
Further, he stated that 2% reservation for the Christian SCs will not dilute the rights of other SCs in any way.
He stated that his government has worked for the development of the community at all levels.
As demanded earlier by the SC groups, the CM assured one Chairperson from the community in urban local bodies and one Zilla Adhyaksha in rural bodies.
He also stated that Ambedkar Meritorious Scholarship has also been started for children where bright students are being given opportunity to study in public schools across the state and country.
Further, he informed of Janta Mela to be held on 16 Jan where many important items will be distributed to people including houses, cows, pigs, Tin sheets, cookers etc.
"We want to give something to all households this time," he stressed.
The Chief Minister also said that there is a need to revolutionise dignity of labour and added that traditional occupation of the community deserves respect.
Adding further he said that professions like cutting and tailoring are sustainable way of living and government will empower those interested in such noble work.
He also stated that traditional Naumati Baja should be commercialised as a "Nepali band" and he is willing to support people engaged in all possible ways.
Talking about the system of reservations he asked the community to take full benefit of it but not to limit oneself within that framework.