01/28/2010, 00.00
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The Hindu nationalist VHP threatens protests to defend their privileges

by Nirmala Carvalho
In Kerala, the VHP is opposed to granting the Muslim minority more jobs and schools. Father Thelakat: The VHP is promoting a campaign of hate, but the caste system of privilege must be overcome to help those who really need it.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) - The ultra-nationalist Hindu group Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on January 25 announced a state of agitation against any proposal to ensure a share of jobs and educational institutions for Muslims and other minority groups. A priest tells AsiaNews  of the distortions of the system of privileges and launches a revolutionary proposal for the country: help those who really need it.

In Kerala, Praveen Togadia, VHP leader said that any initiative in favour of these minorities, in work and education, goes against the interests of the Hindu community. He threatened to mobilize students and young people if it will change the current quota as called for in the report of the National Commission on Religious and Linguistic Minorities headed by former Chief Justice Ranganath Mishra (which, for example, for years has recommended that no less than 15% of jobs and places in educational institutions be reserved for Muslims ).

Father Paul Thelakat, spokesman for the Syromalabar Synod, comments bitterly to AsiaNews: "Even in this period of globalization, there are still these instances of neo-fascism which ultimately mean a return to paganism, denial of love for their rivals, identifying only with [the interests of] their ethnicity. They only reason according to [interests of] their caste or ethnic community, considering the other groups and castes as rivals. Policies are no longer pursued in the name of the people but to ensure the best for their caste or community. "  

"In Kerala, the Ezhavas [majority Hindu community of the State of Kerala] state openly that they want to pursue common goals. Each group works to get a share better. The constitutional provision on reservation of seats, intended to improve the position of those who were discriminated against in employment and education. But it was intended [to provide for reservation quota of seats] only for a limited time. Instead this appears to have been prolonged without end. Meanwhile there are people [in the lower castes] who are now educated and have good jobs. And there are people of higher castes and groups that are considered very poor and in need of help. I remember the case of a woman ... [considered superior caste] who is a maid in the home of wealthy people who belong to lower castes. When the son of the maid and her employer to go to school or seek employment, the wealthy son has advantages over that of the maid, because it belongs to a higher caste. These inequalities must be corrected. I'm not saying that the quota system of reserved seats on the basis of caste should be eliminated. But we must also consider whether the person is rich or poor, beyond caste".

"The VHP is only promoting a campaign of hatred against Muslims who, at least in Kerala, in general have a lower position. But there are also rich Muslims. It 'sad that in India everything is considered only in terms of castes and religions, and not according to actual need".


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