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After criticism, Thiruvananthapuram mayor nixes plan to form sports teams based on caste

Announcing the withdrawal of the plan late on Tuesday, Rajendran told reporters: “I take the controversy positively. There would not be separate teams. The corporation will have only one team.’’

arya rajendran, indian expressArya Rajendran made the controversial announcement on her official Facebook page on Sunday, in an embarrassment to the CPI(M), which apparently takes pride in fighting caste-based politics. (Photo: PRD/ File Photo)

Following widespread criticism on social media, the mayor of Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram city Tuesday withdrew a controversial plan to form sports teams of students based on their caste.

Mayor Arya Rajendran had announced the decision to form separate teams for “general category” students and those from the SC/ST community on her Facebook page Sunday.

She said the corporation will be forming five teams of 25 “children” each to play for it in sporting events such as football, volleyball, handball, basketball and athletics.

“Each sport will have one team of boys and girls of general category, and another team of boys and girls of SC/ST category,’’ she wrote.

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No sooner was Rajendran’s post out than social media users commented to remind her of her party, the CPI(M)’s, “slogans and catchlines against caste politics”.

Some users sarcastically demanded separate sports teams based on religion as well.

Announcing the withdrawal of the plan late on Tuesday, Rajendran told reporters: “I take the controversy positively. There would not be separate teams. The corporation will have only one team.’’

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The mayor, who belongs to the so-called upper-caste Nair community, had initially defended the plan saying it was being executed with “good intention”.

“For several years, the corporation has been giving training for students using funds under general and SC/ST heads of account,” she had written in another Facebook post before eventually aborting the plan.

First published on: 02-08-2022 at 03:12:16 pm
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