Jaipur: Manmohan Vaidya, head of the RSS' communications department, sparked a row here on Friday, saying that no reservations should continue for a long time and that the reason behind the poor socio-economic status of the Muslims is because a vast majority of them belong to economically backward states.
In the closing session on the second day of the lit fest, "Of Saffron and the Sangha", Manmohan Vaidya and RSS joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale were participating in a discussion with journalist Pragya Tiwari, attended by Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje among others. "It has been widely held that no reservations should continue for too long as it begins to be taken for granted. On Muslims, we have seen that 68-70 per cent of the Muslims live in Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, which in themselves are very ‘pichre' (backward) regions. So their poor socio-economic status is well understood."These issues are to be addressed within the community. What is keeping them behind. This should be done for all communities, not just for one," Vaidya said.Elaborating further, he said: "The subject of reservation has been there for SCs/STs in a very different context. There should not be any reservation for any community for a long time. There should be more opportunities, more education for everyone but more than that is complete appeasement and that is what has been seen."It is for the first time that RSS occupied a prominent place at the popular literature festival. It had drawn a flak on social media for this even before the festival began. JLF producer Sanjoy Roy told IANS that it was done to "maintain balance" and to ensure that "the festival is open to all voices".