Jagatsinghpur, August 17(LocalWire): The backward communities of the state expressed their displeasure and dissatisfaction as the state government did not constitute the state commission for backward classes even after the directive of the High court eight years ago and vowed to intensify their stir to fulfil their demands.
Hundreds of people from the backward communities led by Deepak Kumar Subudhi sought the intervention of the Union minister of ST and SC development, minorities and backward classes welfare for inclusion of Oda Khandyat, Oda Paika, Kalandi and other backward castes in the OBC and SEBC lists to improve their socio economic conditions.
Backward community leader, Akshya Das from Tirtol, said ‘in 2011, Orissa High Court directed the commissioner-cum-secretary of minorities and backward classes welfare department, member secretary of backward classes commission, to constitute the Odisha Commission for backward classes within six weeks from the date of verdict, even after eight years, it has not been constituted depriving them from scholarships, job reservations, loan assistance and other benefits from the state and Central government..
Khandyats are a martial caste of the state. The word is derived from Khanda, meaning a sword.
They are mostly of the Paika caste formed for military services.
Like Khandyat, the Paikas were also landed militia in service of the zamindars (landlords) in different parts of the state comprising people of different castes.
They helped the zamindars maintain law and order and received land grants in lieu of their services.
The government discriminated between Khandyat and Oda Khandyat and Paika and Oda Paika although both castes are same and included both Khandyat and Paika in the Odisha state list of SEPCs and Central list of OBCs for Odisha, they alleged.
‘Khandyat ‘and Paika’ castes have been enlisted in the Central OBC list under the ministry of welfare and also in the state list of socially backward classes but Oda Khandyat and Oda Paika that are same and synonymous with Khandyat and Paika have not yet been treated as same till date.
‘Oda’ is derived from the word ‘Odra’ referring to the people of Odisha.
So, many castes have the word ODA added to them.
As per Purna Chandra Bhasakosha, the first Odia dictionary written in 1931 and treated as the encyclopaedia of Odia literature, it is clearly mentioned that the people of Paika caste are known as Oda Paika and Suda Paika.
Therefore, Khandyat and Oda Khandyat and Paika and Oda Paika are the same and the exclusion of Oda Khandyat and Oda Paika from the list of SEBCs and OBCs is inconsistent and unfair.
Although the Centre has established the National Commission for social and educational backward classes but nothing has been done to constitute Odisha Commission for Backward Classes in the state.