Booker Prize-winning author Arundhati Roy today accused BJP and RSS of using the ideas of B R Ambedkar to justify 'ghar wapsi' campaign, which she claimed was based on politics rather than religion.
Roy was addressing a session on 'The Future of Bahujan Culture and Politics' organised here to mark the sixth anniversary of English-Hindi magazine Forward Press.
The writer said the Ghar Wapsi campaign, allegedly launched by outfits affiliated to RSS, has nothing to do with religion, but demography, politics and number (of voters).
"We are facing a situation where you have BJP and RSS now involved in ghar wapsi. It has nothing to do with religion... It only has to do with demography, politics and number (of voters).
"So, they are now trying to use Babasaheb Ambedkar's own ideas of reservation as an inducement to make people who have converted to Christianity or Islam to escape the scourge of caste. Now they are trying to use Ambedkar's thoughts against himself and get them as an inducement to reconvert whatever we call it. So, in this time, it is very important for us to understand who are our friends and who our enemies," she said.
Roy claimed that attempts were being made to divide people, which she said, was an issue that needs to be given a thought as fast as possible.
"It is not only caste, but the (Indian) society runs on the basis of class, extreme form of capitalism too.
"So, that is why I think we have to look at literature as the means by which you can understand this context. And that is why literature is such an important thing," she added.
Apart from Roy, Rajya Sabha MPs Ramdas Athawale and Ali Anwar and tribal rights champion Ramnika Gupta were among those present at the event.
In his speech, Athawale supported the idea of extending reservation to economically-weaker sections in upper class, if the benefits already given to those from scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and OBCs are not touched.
He also demanded to strengthen farmers in the wake of agrarian crisis besides those from backward class.
Ali Anwar, however, differed with Athawale, saying people from backward class are yet to "develop the mentality" to support the idea of reservation for economically-weaker sections in upper class.
During their speeches, the guests proposed ideas and insisted on reclaiming culture of Bahujans and reworking laws "to get them rid of casteism".
Meanwhile, at the event, Forward Press felicitated author Braj Ranjan Mani, poet AR Akela and doctor Hiralal Alawa for their contribution towards the welfare of backwards.