The committee could take a month or more to look into their inclusion in the list of scheduled castes.
Bedajangama communities from different districts of Karnataka have been protesting for the last 156 days for their schedule caste certificates at Freedom park in Bangalore.Officials say that there is confusion over whether the Bedajangama is a sub cast of the Jangama community belong to the Schedule Cast (SC) category or Other Backward Cast (OBC).
Dr.E Venkataiah, a retired IAS officer and the social advisor of the committee at Social and Welfare department, Kalyan Kendra, said. “A committee consisting of the law secretary and the social and welfare advisor was appointed to look into the issue.”However, he added that it can take a month or more for the committee to report their findings. “We have already spoken to Tehsildars of the districts. They will hold an enquiry and provide them certificates to include them under the SC category, if required,” he said.
Basalingayya Manapati, a protestor from Bijapur district, North Karnataka said, “There are 103 divisions in castes and everyone is entitled to benefits as per their categories We will not let our children be deprived of the benefits.” He also said that they have been protesting for more than 156 days and would not move until the decision has been made.
Another protestor, Shiv Kumar from Raichur district said that out of the 44 lakh people who belong to the Bedajangama community across Karnataka state 11 lakh have got the certificate after approaching the high court.”Not everyone from the community have enough money to go to court in order to enlist them under the SC category. “We are not that rich that’s why we are protesting and asking government to help us,” he added.
Vasundhara, a political science professor said that caste certificates make it easier to get seats in colleges and government jobs under the reservation system. . “People belonging to lower castes are socially and economically backward and reservations will help uplift them. They can only benefit from reservations if they get caste certificates,” she added.