No quota for converts, say outfits at conclave of RSS media wing

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A speaker at the conclave of RSS media wing Vishwa Samwad Kendra on March 5, 2023.  Photo: Twitter/@editorvskbharat
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A speaker at the conclave of RSS media wing Vishwa Samwad Kendra on March 5, 2023. Photo: Twitter/@editorvskbharat

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) media wing Vishwa Samwad Kendra (VSK) said at the end of its two-day conclave on ‘Conversion and Reservation’ on Sunday that the meeting unanimously decided that converts Reservation should not be provided.

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During the concluding session, former Telangana High Court judge Justice B. Shivashankar Rao (retd.) said conversion meant “completely abandoning one faith and adopting another”. “The definition of conversion says that you completely abandon faith. And if you have abandoned your faith, then why demand reservations and privileges under it?” he questioned.

According to a joint statement by the organisers, seven retired judges, seven chancellors and vice-chancellors of various universities, 30 distinguished professors and lecturers, eight eminent lawyers, and 30 from various organizations including VHP, RSS and its affiliates. More than 1,000 workers participated in the conclave held at Gautama Buddha University, Greater Noida.

Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI) Chairman Padma Shri Milind Kamble also addressed the participants on the last day of the conclave and said that reservation has been arranged to give adequate representation to the underrepresented.

“However, converts to other religions took away the benefit from those who deserved it. They are still eyeing it today,” he added, adding that some people have called for reservations for converts. They want to seize political power in the name.

“They should cry reservation before the Minority Commission instead of taking it away from us,” he added.

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) central joint general secretary Surendra Jain said those seeking reservation for Dalit converts are not concerned about the welfare of Scheduled Castes but only aim to increase the population of their faith. .

Explanation | SC status criteria

“If they were concerned about SCs, they would have given SCs the benefit of reservation in them [minority] Institutions and the benefit of scholarships to minorities,” he said, adding that there should be a nationwide debate on the issue of reservation for converts.

Mr. Jain also announced that the VHP would “take this conclave all over India” and appealed to academics, jurists, and sociologists to bring the issue to the center of debate across the country.

Amid a long-running debate over whether Dalit Christians and Muslims can be given SC status, the central government in October 2022 set up a commission headed by former Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan to look into the matter. .

The media wing of the RSS along with the VHP has decided to submit the report of the meeting to the commission.

National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) Vice-Chairman Arun Halder, who was also the speaker on the last day of the conclave, said that reservation was brought for the upliftment of those who are being exploited by the society.

“Those who are backward in the society can come forward with the help of reservation based on caste. That is why reservation was brought in. It would be wrong if converts get the benefit of reservation due to greed and pressure.”

Presenting his paper, Prof SC Sanjeev Ripa said that conversion cases would increase if converts get the benefit of reservation, the Kendra statement added.

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