Sudershan criticises violent Gujjar agitation

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Nagpur, Jun 8 (UNI) Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief K S Sudershan today criticised the violent manner in which the Gujjar community of Rajasthan is conducting its agitation in support of their demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

Speaking at the concluding function of the month-long officers training camp (OTC) of the organisation here, Mr Sudershan said everybody had the right in a democracy to make a demand, but trying to get it fulfilled on the strength of muscle power and violence was totally wrong.

''The Gujjars blocked road and rail traffic and torched buses and trains. This is not in good taste keeping with the spirit of democracy,'' he said.

It was unfortunate that the leader of the Gujjar agitation was a former army man, who has received training in discipline and patriotism. It was unfortunate that he was leading the agitation down the path of violence, Mr Sudershan said.

The Gujjars, who constituted barely five per cent of Rajasthan's population, were demanding ST status because of the benefits involved, the Sarsanghachalak said, adding, ''they see other (sections included in ST) make progress and occupy high posts in the administration. They now want the same for themselves.'' However, the community was ignoring the interests of society and country in its quest for the benefit, he said.

''In fact, the Gujjars have ruled over a vast empire. They have for several decades blocked alien invasion of India from across the north-western border,'' the RSS chief said.

Mr Sudershan also called upon Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to move a bill in the Lok Sabha imposing a ban on cow slaughter in the country.

''If the Congress and the BJP came together, they can get the bill passed with a majority. It will help clear a blot on the country, which has seen cow slaughter continue even 60 years after independence,'' he said.

However, the Sarsanghachalak sounded a pessimistic note too, saying it was unlikely that the Prime Minister would move the bill because of the compulsions of coalition politics.

''We are in the age of putting selfish interests before national interest. The Prime Minister will ignore national interest to ensure the survival of the government, which has the support of small parties, including communists,'' he alleged adding, the Left would never understand the importance of cow and its progeny as it was living with an ideology that had failed everywhere in the world, including the Soviet Union and China.

Even Muslims were not in favour of cow slaughter, and had adopted resolutions against it at several community's conventions, he asserted.

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