Athawale said that, earlier the backward classes had held many agitations and morchas for the benefit of the community.
Nashik: Union social welfare minister Ramdas Athawale has observed that reservations should be based upon economic criteria and not caste basis.
He however said he was trying to seek reservations for Dalit communities in the armed forces. Mr Athawale was speaking after inaugurating a statue of Dr B.R. Ambedkar at Trimbakeshwar town of Nashik district on Monday night.
A government release said that guardian minister Girish Mahajan, Trimbak municipal council president Trupti Dharane and others were present.
Mr Athawale said that, earlier the backward classes had held many agitations and morchas for the benefit of the community.
Now Marathas and other communities are staging morchas for reservations, he said.
“We don’t believe in break up of communities like Teli, Mali, Sali (oil pressers, gardeners, weavers). Reservation should be based upon economic basis,” he said, according to the press release.
Speaking about reservations for Dalit communities in the armed forces, Mr Athawale said he was following up the issue with the central government.
“Persons from the Dalit community are always ready to sacrifice their lives for the nation. And such a sacrifice when fighting an enemy like Pakistan is always better. The number of persons dying in road accidents in India is 1 to 1.5 lakh. Instead of dying in such a manner, it is always better to die for the country,” he said.
Mr Athawale further asserted that the largest number of statues in the world are of Dr Ambedkar’s.
He expressed satisfaction that, Dr Ambedkar’s statue was installed at Trimbakeshwar, where the Simhasth Kumbh Mela is held.