August 30, 2015
Kerala: Dalits Jatha from Kasaragode to Thiruvananthapuram Demands Reservation in Private Sector

N S Sajith

HUNDREDS of Dalits from across Kerala participated in a 25-day long jatha from Kasaragode in the state’s north to Thiruvananthapuram in the south, under the banner of Pattikajathi Kshema Samithi (PKS). The march to the state secretariat started from the northernmost district of Kasargode on July 26 and reached Venganoor in Thiruvananthapuram on August 16. On August 18, more than one lakh PKS activists participated in the ‘Secretariat March’, which was inaugurated by CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Prakash Karat.

The march was flagged off in Kasaragode by Party Central Committee member A K Balan. At a massive gathering near Kasargode bus stand, Balan handed over the Red Flag to jatha leader K Somaprasad. PKS state president and MLA, K Radhakrishanan was among those who addressed the gathering. The jatha raised various issues faced by the Dalits in Kerala and pressed the demand for reservation in public sector jobs, land and house to all Scheduled Caste families and more educational benefits to their wards. MLAs B Sathyan, R Rajesh, Purushan Kadalundi and Velayudhan Vallikkunnu took part in the jatha. People from all walks of life, especially from the Scheduled Caste community, welcomed the jatha at various places. In every district, jatha leaders and other members interacted with the people.

While inaugurating the ‘Secretariat March’ in Thiruvananthapuram, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Karat said that the Narendra Modi government is destroying the livelihood and gradually erasing all benefits enjoyed by the people belonging to the SC and ST communities. The working class is being attacked by the central government and at the same time the attack on socially oppressed people is severe. In 2015-2016, the central government has effected a cut in the allocation for SCs and STs. CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan also addressed the gathering.  (END)