Caste profiling: MP govt college distributes bags bearing ‘SC/ST’ tag
What’s in the name? This Shakespearean quote assumes a different stance when the principal of a government college in Madhya Pradesh says this to justify the move to distribute bags which bear the words ‘SC/ ST scheme’.
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 these bags, The Indian Express has reported.
Nearly 250 of the 600 undergraduate and post-graduate SC/ST students of Rajiv Gandhi Government PG College got these bags, a calculator, pen and notebooks.
Defending the move, college principal BR Nalvaya reportedly said: “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.”.
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 those were 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 told the newspaper that she would lead a protest on Thursday.