Monday, August 24, 2009


KOCHI: Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy, on Thursday, offered support to efforts of the Kerala Pulayar Maha Sabha (KPMS) for achieving social justice.
At a meeting organised by the sabha here, in which Congress president Sonia Gandhi was chief guest, Mr. Chandy said Ayyankali’s pre-Independence struggle for education of children of lower classes was historic. The social reformer’s dream had been fulfilled, as many among the lower classes were occupying high positions in society now.
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala extended support to the struggles undertaken by the sabha.
Kodikkunnil Suresh, All-India Congress Committee secretary, said Pulayars were no more slaves of anyone. He was proud to have been born in the Pulaya community. Strong efforts were needed to ensure social justice, he said.
Punnala Sreekumar, general secretary of KPMS, said the sabha had no political allegiance. It was trying to form an all-India confederation of Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) people. Legal reforms were required for job reservations for these communities in the private sector.
He called for a second land reforms initiative. While the sabha supported the reservations being offered to Dalit Christians, it opposed the move to include them in the SC quota. He demanded a special recruitment drive.
T.V. Babu, president of the sabha, said the SCs and STs were subjected to gross neglect. Though the Sachar committee had referred to the backwardness of the Muslim community as well as the SCs and STs, only the problems of Muslims got highlighted in political circles. He alleged that successive governments had taken over Adivasi land. “Left or Right, we will support those who help us,” he said.

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