Quota will only divide the country: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
26 May, 2006, PTI
New Delhi: Making common cause with the medicos agitating against increased quota in higher educational institutions, new age Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has said caste-based reservation will only divide the country.
Expressing concern over the ongoing agitation against the proposed quota, the found of the Art of Living said in a statement here that "reservation will not end disparities in the society. While being born in any particular caste should not be a curse, reverse discrimination is not the way for justice." He said hundreds of students were seeking his intervention in the matter and "what India needs are measures that will unite the country and remove inequality at all levels. Reservation on the basis of caste will not only divide the country but also hurt the self-esteem of the people." He called upon politicians " not to divide and discriminate in the name of caste or religion".
BJP MP Sidhu leads anti-quota medicos in Amritsar protest march
By Ravinder Singh Robin, Amritsar: Former Test cricketer and BJP Member of Parliament from Amritsar, Navjot Singh Sidhu, today led a medicos rally here in protest against the UPA Government's decision to impose 27 percent reservations in institutions of higher learning.
Representatives of the Indian Medical Association, the Amritsar Medical Representative Association, the Chemist Association and the Employees Association also extended support to the march and the cause behind it.
The march began from Novelty Chowk and ended outside the office of Amritsar's Deputy Commissioner. A memorandum was submiited with an appeal that the just demands of striking doctors be addressed.
Addressing the gathering, Sidhu assured the striking doctors of his support while maintaining that reservations should only be applicable for the needy. Advocating equality in the society Sidhu said there were certain forces which were bent upon creating a social divide, which he would oppose tooth and nail.
”I am with the truth and would continue to extend my support for the uplift of the downtrodden sections of society,” he said.
Arjun deriving mileage from OBC quota: BJP
Press Trust of India, Jaipur, May 26, 2006
Supporting the medicos' agitation against reservation in central educational institutes, Ramdas Agarwal, a Rajya Sabha MP and former BJP treasurer, on Friday charged union HRD Minister Arjun Singh with playing "caste politics" and trying to be VP Singh who introduced Mandal I.
"Arjun Singh is playing a caste politics keeping in mind assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab and it would cost Congress dearly" Agarwal told a press conference in Jaipur.
Since Parliament had passed the Reservation Bill by providing 27 per cent OBC quota, the UPA government should have first created extra seats in the institutes of higher learning and then implemented the decision systematically, Agarwal said.
"Arjun Singh is trying to gain political mileage", he said.
BJP always wanted to provide quota benefit to the people of weaker sections of the society regardless of any caste, he said, adding "why not economically backward Vaishya, Rajput and other castes be given this privilege?"
To a question about agitation against Jaipur airport expansion by local house owners, Agarwal said the Civil Aviation Minister had assured him that no one having authorised land ownership by the Jaipur Development Authority and Jaipur Municipal Corporation would be shifted and the expansion would be done as per public needs.
The central government had provided just Rs 43 crores under Rashtriay Gramin Rozgar Guarantee Yojna to Rajasthan and it would not be possible to hire labour without adequate central grant, which should be at least Rs.400 crores, he said in reply to a question whether RGRGY's funds were misused by the BJP government in the state for Jal Chetna Yatra.