By Haider Abbas
It has now been almost five years that Nishad Caste , a low category people , under the Brahminical Social Order, have had a raw deal as the long promised dream of reservation, awaited all through the BJP regime has now gone totally sour. The occasion was on December 17, when Union Home Minister Amit Shah, UP BJP CM Ajay Singh Bisht were present and Education Minister Chor Hai (Education Minister is a thief) ranted the air! Sanjay Nishad, the leader of the community, who wanted to stitch-together a coalition with BJP, yet again, had to face the brunt, as the members of the Nishad community totally abandoned Sanjay Nishad and rallied that until reservation is given they would not vote for BJP.
BJP, had promised to grant the Scheduled Caste status to the Nishad community who fall under the Other Backward Classes category, as per the sanctions of the Mandal Commission report, and have long campaigned for the SC status. Nishad community is basically involved in water-centric jobs like sand-dredging, boating and fishing etc and does have a sizeable vote bank in around 160 Assembly seats in UP, and consider the slain Phoolan Devi, as their icon. Phoolan Devi went to Parliament on Samajwadi Party (SP) ticket and which obviously make Nishad community gravitate towards SP. But, BJP has been able to make a dent into it by courting Nishad community, into the support for BJP, and which has now turned awry.
The events at Rama Bai grounds in Lucknow was yet another slur to BJP as no sooner did Amit Shah started to speak, there was protests right under his nose, as banners and placards , seeking to implement reservation, by the people, were splashed on the windscreen, but of course such scenes are never to qualify the mainstream media benches . The protestors were lathi-charged , much to the ado of AS Bisht, who has long ridiculed the ‘protesting unemployed’ youths that such specimens should be firstly thrown out. The same happened again. But, this time with a difference as after sensing that no ‘reservation-announcement’ was to arrive the Nishad community members just walked-off in anger, disgust and rage to inform that they would never vote for BJP. Even female members of the Nishad community echoed the same sentiment.
It may be mentioned here that demonstrations had been long going-on against BJP government in Lucknow by the deprived candidates for the rightful implementation of the OBC reservation in the teachers recruitment. There has been a demand that the state government run by BJP has not implemented the stipulated 27% reservation to OBC category and 21% to SC category. There are voices alleging that the BJP dispensation has given 15 thousand jobs to other classes (read Upper Caste Hindus) by rigging the entire recruitment project. The protestors had already demonstrated at all places including CM’s office, Education Minister’s residence, BJP office, Directorate of Education etc. But, all have, as understood, fallen on deaf ears. There is certainly no question of such demands ever to be heard, forget implemented, as BJP has always strived for the Upper Caste Hindu superiority and monopoly, which only SP, with its socialist ideology, has the capacity to meet to. There has also been a demand that the report of the National Commission for Backward Classes should be implemented.
The Nishad community members, who were groomed to attend the rally, in anticipation of any announcement over reservation, where there was none, were heard saying that only Sanjay Nishad, as alone may go with BJP but Nishad community is now not to vote for it. Perhaps, now after five years, people have realized that BJP in actuality stands against OBCs and SCs, and all it wants, is to bludgeon, the OBCs & SCs against Muslims, as Amit Shah was continuously addressing Nishads as ‘Ram Bhakts’ and that’s it. The true colour pattern of BJP, with no action plan for any development for these deprived sections of society, has perhaps become now loud-and-clear! However, what is worthy to note, is that this rally was exclusively meant to address the Nishad community concerns, but when there was no such echo, the very substance of the rally-Nishads, took to leave the venue with a total boycott oath for BJP!
It may also be known that Nishad community is also very close knit with other backward communities like Kori, Kashyap, Mallah, Dhuriya etc and the way Nishads have been offered a ‘cold-shoulder’ is by extension also meant a message for such communities too which often fall into most-backward classes as well. BJP has belied all hopes of the Nishad community and there is no doubt about it now. Moreover, Rajbhars, another segment of the OBCs have already abandoned BJP and Krishna Patel, the founder of Apna Dal concentrated towards Kurmis, along with Aam Aadmi Party have all have started to make alignments with SP. SP is right now being considered to hold the reins in the post-2022 UP elections.
If two events may be contrasted, it may be considered that the same day when BJP deployed its double-engines in Lucknow, there was a two-days Vijay Rath Yatra undertaken by SP President Akhilesh Yadav in Rae Bareli, and which found unprecedented crowds, the same way it was witnessed in Jaupur, Jhansi, Gorakhpur, Muzaffarnagar along with Bhagidari Mahapanchayat with OP Rajbhar etc. UP seems to be now in upswing mood to make BJP bite the dust as BJP has been the party responsible for the heinous genocide of the innocent farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3, by Ashish Mishra, son of BJP Union State Home Ajay Mishra, and that even after the tabling of the SIT report, which has submitted a pre-planned conspiracy into it, there is yet to be any decision on Ajay Mishra to step down and also be tried under the law of land.
It seems that UP is now almost ready to bundle-out BJP from the ruling echelons. Let’s see what happens early next year.
The writer is a former UP State Information Commissioner and a political analyst.