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A Raja calls for caste-based census, condemns govt policies and actions

Raja questioned the government's claim of majority through the President's address.
Last Updated : 01 July 2024, 13:41 IST

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New Delhi: DMK leader A Raja on Monday called for a caste-based census as he condemned the government's policies and actions and emphasised the necessity of equality and inclusivity.

Speaking during the discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address, Raja underscored the importance of a caste-based census, arguing that true integration of Hindus can only be achieved by acknowledging and addressing caste disparities.

"We are all Hindus. I am a Hindu according to the law in the Constitution since I am not a Mohammadan, not a Christian, not a Buddhist, not a Parsi. The law says this is Hindu," Raja explained.

"If you are really worried about the integration of Hindus, you need to have a caste-based census. I want to celebrate my religion as long as you give equal opportunity to everybody," he said.

Raja further elaborated on the historical context of caste discrimination. "Ambedkar rightly said that Hindu religion is nothing but an assortment of castes. Division of labour is universal to the entire world, but what has been done in our religion is division of labourers by birth. If you are a scavenger, you do it after your father and forefathers. That discrimination must be removed," he said.

Raja accused the ruling party of maintaining the caste system for political gains.

"You want to keep the caste system for your own political gains, which is not acceptable to us. We want to have a Dravidian ideology. Please make it universal for your convenience. Education was prevented by the Manusmriti. Property rights were denied. All these things have to be removed. That is why a caste-based census is very essential if you really want to have an egalitarian society," he said.

Raja criticized the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) system, highlighting its inherent inequalities.

"NEET has opened three windows: merit, management, and payment quota. A person scoring 720 marks gets a merit seat, someone with 680 marks goes for management quota paying ₹10-15 lakh and someone scoring 225 marks pays ₹25 crore for a management quota seat. Isn’t this humiliation for someone who scored 650 marks but doesn't have the money to pay for a seat? Merit is being compromised because of our system. We lost 20 seats due to this," he said.

Raja questioned the government's claim of majority through the President's address.

"Having numerical strength of 240 and having the courage and strength to claim in the House through the President that we are enjoying a majority is misleading. The PM has the moral and political courage to say this through the President, but this claim is totally bogus," he said.

The DMK leader drew parallels between the current government's actions and the Emergency period, noting that while Indira Gandhi regretted and apologized for the excesses during the Emergency, the current government is engaging in "plain fascism".

"This government is doing fascism and targeting minorities, non-Hindus and tribals in the name of religion. This is racism and fascism," he said.

Raja praised the Dravidian ideology for rejecting the fascism of the BJP. "Dravidian ideology rightly rejected the fascism of BJP. Wherever Modi went, seats were lost. He came eight times, but what does it mean when he achieved zero seats? Whatever assurance through this Parliament is not acceptable to the people of Tamil Nadu, not once but twice," he said.

Raja expressed gratitude to the people of various states for uniting against divisive politics.

"I am thanking my party, but I am equally thankful to the people of UP, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana. This is a good sign that there is no more division between north and south. They are going to be united and the Constitution is going to be protected at least in the near future. To that extent, I express my thanks to the people of UP," he said.

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Published 01 July 2024, 13:41 IST

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