In Madhya Pradesh college, free bags come with caste baggage

The principal, said the distribution of bags began in August. He said he would ensure that the words that identify SC/ST will be erased from the remaining bags before they are distributed.

By: Express News Service | Bhopal | Updated: October 27, 2016 12:37 am
bag-759 About 250 bags were distributed in Rajiv Gandhi Government PG College in Mandsaur. (File)

A GOVERNMENT college in Mandsaur has come under attack for making it easy to identify its Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) students by distributing bags which say “SC/ ST scheme”.

Nearly 250 of the 600 undergraduate and post-graduate SC/ST students of Rajiv Gandhi Government PG College in Mandsaur have received these bags, which contained a calculator, pen and notebooks.

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“What’s wrong if it is spelled out clearly, because the bags were distributed under a welfare scheme… If some people don’t like it, I will get the words erased… In any case, it was the supplier who wrote it on the bags,’’ principal B R Nalvaya told The Indian Express.

The principal, who took charge recently, said the distribution of bags began in August. He said he would ensure that the words are erased from the remaining bags before they are distributed.

The controversy began after photographs of the bags were circulated on social media. “The distribution of bags that indicate caste is shameful. It reflects the anti-Dalit and anti-tribal mindset of the RSS-backed government in Madhya Pradesh,’’ tweeted PCC chief Arun Yadav on Wednesday.

“It’s atrocious and cannot be tolerated. It amounts to profiling,’’ said Meenakshi Natarajan, former Congress MP from Mandsaur. She said she would lead a protest on Thursday.