By Haider Abbas
The tragedy of the political situation, is that even after seven decades of independence, there is still a mis-conceptualized scope of Upper Caste Hindu (Brahmin/Thakur/Vaish) politicians having food with Dalits, who advertise it and forge a political mileage out of it. The latest issue had to be necessitated, as BJP UP CM Ajay Singh Bisht, sat with a Dalit to ‘break-the-bread’, as a part of damage control after the once BJP Cabinet Minister Swami Prasad Maurya had changed sides and joined SP led by Akhilesh Yadav. The sponsored and televised event took place on January 14, as Amritlal Bharti, a Scheduled Caste and a BJP party worker from Gorakhpur, had lunch with CM. Dalits are categorized as Scheduled Castes as per Constitution of India, and otherwise, had been on the lowest rung of Hindu society’s Brahminical Social Order, where the first three are Upper Castes and the rest are Lower Castes, considered as‘untouchables’ down the centuries. The next day BJP MP Ravi Kishan exercised the same.
Before, getting into the nitty-gritty of the fake-love which BJP has for Dalits , a closer scrutiny is warranted of the two pictures. The picture of AS Bisht shows him with a lumped face, his facial expression speaks of a forced-compulsion. The food is supplied in disposable plates and the glasses for water too are in disposable Kulhar ( clay-cup) , while Ravi Kishan exudes a constipated look, as if he would vomit soon. Here too, the food is in disposable plates, and while a steel glass and a steel container with water is placed before the Dalit, Ravi Kishan has a disposable glass. BJP hypocrisy and duplicity is far too visible. AS Bisht is a Thakur and Ravi Kishan a Brahmin. The food, on both the photo Ops, obviously, had to be brought from outside.
The two pictures amply make it clear as to the hollow claims, that BJP has always tried to dish-out, as a party which treat Dalits as equals. BJP does not leave any chance to fan-out that it has worked for the development of Dalits, given them equality and eat-together (sic) with them. BJP had never felt tired to exaggerate on it, whereas the reality is, that BJP has exploited Dalits and Backwards to the hilt, in practically every field, particularly in the field of education, from where the generation for the India-Next is developed. Dalits and Backwards fight for a place inside public-sector only as private-sector is only a long unclaimed dream, as the entire private-sector is a complete monopoly of the Upper Caste Hindus. Not even a decimal percentage of the booming private-sector makes for Dalits and Backwards!
On the contrary, whenever, an occasion occurred when Dalits/Backwards were to have been given their due, as per the reservation guaranteed to them, it In fact resulted in their usurpation of rights, as has been yet again proven by a report published in Dainik Bhaskar on January 15. It has come to a startling light that out of the 30 state universities in UP, more than 73% of the Vice Chancellors (VC) are from the Upper Caste Hindu section and 20 % are from Backward Classes with only 3% from Scheduled Caste sections-this is solely due to the fact that the reins of the appointments are held by the Governor, who works of the Council of Ministers. The numeric figure therefore is that Upper Castes makes for 22 seat, six stands for Backward Classes while a single seat each is for a Dalit and a Jat VC. This flies directly in the face of the false claim of BJP which stakes itself to be pro-Hindu, and yet, when it comes to any emancipation of the Dalits or Backwards, the obvious contempt pervades and prevails on everything, which results only into furthering the hegemony of the Upper Caste Hindu sections!
It can very easily be deduced that the appoitments have been done keeping the context of political motivations, which always have gravitated towards the Upper Caste Hindus, since 1947, when Congress held the power, as it has been once the Congress which was the Brahmin i.e. Upper Caste Hindu centric party, which kept the Dalits and Backwards in complete abeyance, from any power-structure, and the applecart had got unbalanced only after the implementation of Mandal Commission in 1990. BJP is just to perpetuate the lines which Congress had carved. For Muslims, Congress had only riots and which has remained unchanged whosoever might be in the power-a proverbial national phenomenon.
No wonder, the only grim reality in the country left now, due to the unhindered rule of Congress/BJP, with some aberrations too, there hasn’t been any more scope for the Lower Castes and Muslims in terms of power-ladder in public sector. The government’s policy for privatization of public-sectors, also stems from the sentiment to wean out the ‘here-and-there’ Lower Castes from them. The private sectors like Media, Health, Sports, IT, Aviation, Hospitality, Travel Industry, Constructors and Builders etc are an all absolute fiefdom of the Upper Caste Hindus, with some name sake exceptions, as India tends to walk in this new century.
The Backwards inside BJP, in its whole tenure of last five years, therefore have sensed it, that there was no scope for Dalits and Backwards except to become labourers and foot-soldiers of anti-Muslim riots/atrocities, which have been reported in abundance, all across the nation, as there is hardly a day which passes when a Muslim vendor, vegetable seller, shop keeper, traveler in a bus/train is not beaten, manhandled and handed over to police, which further charges him and sends him to jail. Thousands of such incidents go unreported on daily basis. Lynching Muslims is also now the new normal.
It does not come as any surprise therefore that India stands on a brink of a genocide against Muslims , as Professor Gregory Stanton, a genocide studies scholar, reported in The Quint on January 17, of a possible genocide against Muslims in India, on the lines of what had happened to Rohingya Muslims. He is the same Professor who had predicted the Rwanda genocide in 1994. But, it may be added here, that Muslims in India have had long been subjected to this furnace of holocaust, as it was Congress party which orchestrated the biggest massacre of more than 3000 Muslims in a single day at Nellie in 1983.
BJP UP State President is Swatantra Dev Singh, a Backward Kurmi, but could he prevail? Or for that matter BJP PM Nardendra Modi, who too comes from Backward Caste? Could both find Backward as VCs, even if they were to be saffronised? The taste of the pudding is in its eating. How the Upper Caste VCs would further entrench their ‘lobbies’ into teaching faculties and non-teaching staffs, can very easily be comprehended. There is no further study needed on it.
But, what would however reflect on the shamelessness of Swantra Dev Singh, is that he thanked on air, AAJTak Correspondent Anjana Om Kashyap (Brahmin) for her co-operation, to see BJP sail through in 2022. It is now starkly clear that despite a Backward BJP PM Narendra Modi, at the helm since 2014, the crème de la crème, as always will be the Upper Castes!
Shampoos-scents to keep Dalits ‘stink’ away-2017.
For political onlookers, however, it may be interesting that in 2017 too such photo sessions were organized and Dalits were lured towards BJP, but the last five years, have proved nothing for Dalits, as then too the top Upper Caste leadership has had lunched with Dalits. It may also be informed that immediately after assuming to office AS Bisht alias Yogi Adityanath had toured Kushinagar and ‘shampoos-scents’ were distributed to Dalits so that their ‘stink’(sic) was not to reach him. The Upper Caste Hindus, prided in 2017, when he got the whole CM House in Lucknow, be washed-up by the sacred waters of river Ganga, as his predecessors were all non-Upper Castes! Nothing bigger slur can be this on the Indian society.
Dinesh Sharma, AS Bisht, Amit Shah, Keshav Prasad Maurya at a lunch with Dalits in 2017.
This stink is what BJP suffers grievously with and yet does not shies away from the drama it enacts on every elections, despite caring a fig for it, and all it wants is to pitch-Dalits/Backwards against Muslims, and reap the communal as well as the political harvest, but which now does not seem to happen in 2022. Let’s see how BJP tries to reclaim for its office in the coming March.
The writer is a former UP State Information Commissioner and a political analyst.