Extend job quotas to private sector: CPI-M

New Delhi, Nov 26 (IANS) The CPI-M on Thursday demanded job quotas in the private sector too, saying this was the best way to pay tributes to the late B.R. Ambedkar instead of merely having a parliament debate.

If the government believes in Ambedkar’s ideas, it should adopt a law for extending reservations in the private sector for Dalits and tribals, an editorial in the CPI-M journal “People’s Democracy” said.

“This is an unfulfilled agenda which the UPA government had failed to pursue. Reservation in jobs and education can be meaningful only if it is extended to the private sector.”

The winter session of parliament began on Thursday with a two-day special sitting to observe the 125th birth anniversary of Ambedkar and the adoption of the draft constitution on November 26, 1949.

“There is no doubt that the legacy of Ambedkar, the champion of social equality and one of the main architects of the constitution, should be commemorated. But the question is, how it is to be done,” the editorial said.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist said the Rajya Sabha needed to adopt the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Bill 2015, which has been passed by the Lok Sabha and which seeks to strengthen the existing Act.

The third thing the government should have done is to enact a law to provide statutory status for the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Sub-Plan.

“Such a legal status for the Sub-Plan fund allocation is necessary if it is not to be diverted for other purposes.”

The editorial said the government could have also made the two-day sitting of parliament “a substantial and worthwhile one if it had presented a report on the continuing inequality and injustice suffered on the basis of caste oppression by the Dalits and suggested a comprehensive roadmap on how to eliminate this shameful situation in Indian society.

“Not having undertaken any of the above, the BJP government has made the sitting a vacuous one confined to speech making and paying pious tributes to Ambedkar without anything substantive having been achieved.”

Ideally, the editorial said, the parliament session could have made an indepth analysis of the present conditions of Dalits and adopted concrete measures to resolve some of their problems.

“The plight of the Dalits, even after 65 years of the promulgation of the constitution which proclaims equality and social justice, is well-known.

“Dalits face various forms of discrimination in society. Untouchability is widely prevalent. Dalit children are segregated in many schools…

“The dalits continue to be subjected to atrocities whenever they seek to assert their rights… There is a huge backlog on filling up reserved posts for the Scheduled Castes; the increasing privatisation is making reservation in jobs and education infructuous for the Dalits.”

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