Karunanidhi exhorts Lawyers to counter religious misbelief

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Chennai, Dec 24 (UNI) Hinting that religion was being used as a tool to stall developmental projects like the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP), Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today said young law graduates should fight and ensure that religious belief do not come in the way of development.

Mr Karunanidhi, without directly referring to the opposition to the SSCP in the name of religion, said ''Whenever religion was used to stall developmental projects, we should enter the field and allay the apprehensions using the law and the legal aspects.'' Delivering the convocation address of the Tamil Nadu Dr Ambedkar Law University here, he said the misbelief laid down in the name of religion should be removed from the society.

''Some forces are creating obstacles preventing the fundamental rights as enshrined in the Constitution from reaching the unprivileged and the down-trodden section of the society.'' Tracing the history of reservation, he said the Justice Party sowed the seeds of reservation when it first introduced quota in education and employment.

After Independence, whenever the reservation faced problems, Rationalist leader Periyar and Dravidian stalwart C N Annadurai fought like a double-barrel gun to protect the reservation.

Thanks to the efforts taken by the late Chief Minister K Kamaraj and former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, the Constitution was amended and reservation was once again implemented in Tamil Nadu.

After the unstinted efforts taken by the Dravidian movement, 69 per cent reservation was introduced in the state, 30 per cent for women in government employment and 33 per cent for women in local bodies.

''We have reached a stage where the 33 per cent reservation for women in Legislatures and Parliament will soon become a reality'', he added.

Meanwhile, in the name of creamy layer some forces were posing a threat to the very concept of reservation, he said and exhorted the law graduates to wage a war against those trying to stall it.

Quoting statistics from the UN, Mr Karunanidhi said human rights were being violated in various parts of the globe.

''You should fight whenever there are any violations of human rights against anybody, may be against children, women and employees'', he added.

UNI

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