Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Beware of caste wars, warns Lok Satta

Andhra Pradesh, which has had the distinction of producing stalwarts dedicated to eradicating caste, is being turned into a theatre for caste wars, bemoaned Lok Satta Party leaders here today.

Mr. Ravi Maruth, a member of the Lok Satta Party’s Campaign Committee for Coastal Andhra, told a media conference that leaders like Gurajada Apparao, Kattamcanchi Ramalinga Reddy, Raghupati Venkataratnam Naidu, Tirupuraneni Ramaswami Chowdary, Putchalapalli Sundaraiah and Tapi Dharma Rao strove all their lives to bury the caste six fathoms deep. “In contrast, politicians of the day are stirring up the caste cauldron and providing to gain the maximum political mileage. Each traditional party is identified with one caste, and the state is becoming a theatre of caste wars and intense, unhealthy competition for power as an end in itself”

Mr. Ravi Maurth, and the other members of the Campaign Committee -- Mrs. Gouthu Jhansi Lakshmi, Mrs. S. Manorama and Mr. Akurati Murali Krishna -- pointed out that social justice did not mean dividing the spoils of political power among leaders of different castes. “Social justice in Lok Satta’s perception is ensuring quality education and health care and skills and opportunities for growth to all irrespective of caste and religion. Poverty is the real disease which should be eradicated, and every citizen should have the opportunity to stand on her own feet with dignity”

In response to a question whether the Lok Satta Party is not being led by a forward caste man, Mr. Akurati Muralikrishna, State Convener of BC Forum who joined the Lok Satta recently, said leaders like him who fought against atrocities on the downtrodden did not inquire to which caste writers like Sri Sri and Ravi Sastry (Rachakonda Viswanatha Sastry) belonged. “Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, the Lok Satta founder, has been chosen as party President like all others in the party in elections by secret ballot. It is the only party, which has given opportunities to all with leadership mettle without ascertaining their caste and family background.”

The Campaign Committee will be visiting Coastal Andhra districts from February 9 to spread the Lok Satta’s agenda among the public. The Lok Satta is the only party, which has come up with a 50-point program for resolving people’s problems. The will appeal to youth to join the party and own it.

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