Ravishankar brokered peace between Raje and Gujjars

June 1st, 2008 - 9:54 pm ICT by admin  

By Kestur Vasuki

Bangalore, June 1 (ANI): In a significant development spiritual guru and founder of Art Living Guru Sri Sri Ravishankar has brokered peace between warring Gujjars and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundaraje Scindia to find an amicable solution to the long pending problem of reservation.

Talking to ANI in an exclusive interview in Bangalore at his ashram on Sunday the spiritual Guru said he had talked to both of them and they have agreed to negotiate in peace.

The initiative of Guru Ravishankar is seen significant in breaking the stalemate of the agitation.

The Gujjars, already considered a disadvantaged group, want to be reclassified further down the complex Hindu caste and status system so that they qualify for government jobs and university seats reserved for such groups.

The Gujjars, who have been protesting for more than a week now, have started to branch out from Rajasthan, the epicenter of the protests, to take their protests across northern India.

The government reserves about half of all seats in state colleges and universities for lower castes and tribal groups to flatten centuries-old social hierarchies, in what has been called the world’s biggest affirmative action scheme.

But the scheme has been criticised for accentuating caste identities in India, where discrimination on caste is banned in the constitution.

A year ago, Gujjars in Rajasthan fought police and members of another caste that already qualifies for job quotas. At least 26 people were killed in that violence.

After these protests, a state government committee said it would spend 2.8 billion rupees improving schools, clinics, roads and other infrastructure in Gujjar areas. But Gujjars rejected this option. (ANI)

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