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HomeColumnWill 2019 election-battle be fought with casteist weapons? — Part II

Will 2019 election-battle be fought with casteist weapons? — Part II


In  continuation with : Will 2019 election-battle be fought with casteist weapons? — Part I

The answer to the question is a big NO. If we look towards the end line of the last century, when in 1990, the then Prime Minister VP Singh’s minority government was facing the external pressures from its allies — left parties on one hand and BJP, with an agenda to erect its Hindu platform, on the other. Under pressure from both the political ends, Singh was also internally confronted by then Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhary Devi Lal who was gathering a mass following by uniting the farmers/rural community and up to some extent, Devi Lal had succeeded in dividing the country’s vote bank in rural v/s urban segments, which was creating the image of Devi Lal as a farmer/rural community leader over and above the size of VP Singh. Under the circumstances to downsize the political height of Devi Lal and to scatter the Hindu base of BJP, VP Singh used the atom bomb of caste division in the shape of reservation to OBC. In his Independence Day speech on August 15, 1990, Prime Minister VP Singh announced, “In the memory of Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, the government has recently taken a decision to give reservation to the backward classes in jobs in government and public sector.” However, the VP Singh government had to die an unnatural death due to its reservation decision, but the stigma of the class rift is still visible and will perhaps remain always alive as a weapon of politics in India.

Aam Aadmi Party, claiming to be a party with a difference, an emergence of Anna Hazare movement got power reigns of Delhi in the name of providing corruption-free rule and giving a clean political atmosphere. But, the politics runs with poly-tricks and has the least place for idealism. Seeing the other parties sailing their boats with caste and religion fuels, the Aam Aadmi Party has also switched over to caste and creed-ridden politics. Now, the AAP Party is beating the drum of names deletion from the voter list in Delhi alleging the BJP for caste politics. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged that BJP had got deleted half of the voters from the Bania (Kejariwal’s caste) community in Delhi as a part of the ongoing revision of electoral rolls. The AAP chief also alleged that 4 lakhs out of 8 lakhs Bania voters had been struck off the rolls. BJP representative and also a leader hailing from the Bania community, Union Minister Vijay Goel accuses Arvind Kejriwal of playing caste politics.

In a tweet, Kejriwal asked Vijay Goel, “Why the BJP got struck off the 4 lakh names out of 8 lakh Bania Voters? The business of traders has failed due to BJP’s wrong policies like GST; therefore, the Bania community is not going to vote in favour of BJP this time. But, would you get struck off their names to win?”

Countermanding the attack, BJP’s Vijay Goel pays in the same coin. “Banias of Delhi are annoyed that Arvind Kejriwal and his party think them fools. Will the Vaish (Bania) community believe in AAP’s allegation that BJP had got struck off their names? The Reality is that two Vaish leaders are the ministers in BJP’s central government.”

AAP is also girding up its loins to fight the assembly elections 2019 in Haryana and for this, AAP convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has started schools and hospitals rallies to tell about the developmental works done by AAP in Delhi. Do developmental works work at the voting machine? No. Had only the developmental works worked, Bansi Lal, called as Haryana Nirmata, had never lost in Bhiwani, Bhajan Lal’s family in Hisar, and former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s candidate on Rohtak assembly seat.

But Ramesh Thaken, a Retd. Air Force Officer said, “These all are normal moves of politics; it’s good that structural changes are taking place and it’s likely to disturb many particularly those who had been part of the systemic corrupt system or their followers. BJP is doing well, corruption is moving down south, no bomb blasts which were otherwise a normal happening. Rest everyone has views and rightly so.”

Senior political analyst and a former President of Indian Medical Association, Haryana Dr. Shyam Sakha Shyam says, “Kejriwal’s School and Hospital rally campaign will have no major effect in vote fetching in caste based voting pattern in Haryana. But, his speech, reminding the people about the caste dividing scenario created by other political leaders, will surely divert the Bania Community from BJP to AAP. However, it will not pave the way to the power seat. ”

During his rallies, Kejriwal never forgets to remind the people of Haryana that every leader and political party has been fetching the votes by dividing the people into caste segments. Political discussions state that however public he shows and announces that he is totally away from caste-based politics, but he has allowed aligning the caste-votes through his trusted lieutenants. Dr. Sushil Gupta, an AAP member of Rajya Sabha has been entrusted with the work of consolidating Bania voters in Haryana through Vyaparik Sammelans (Traders Conventions).

AAP state president, Naveen Jaihind, a Brahmin by caste, is uniting the Brahmin caste by organising caste based programs and getting himself honoured on these platforms to woo his own caste votes. After such program in Panipat, where Brahmins have gifted a car to Naveen Jaihind, the latest program was organised at Bhiwani on December 23, wherein he was honoured with ‘Parashuram Farsa’ by his caste representatives. Brahmins worship Sage Parashuram, believed to be the 6th incarnation of Shri Vishnu, as God, who had stated to vow that He would destroy the evil Kshatriya caste as revenge of Brahmahatya (killing of a Brahman), 21 times.

Thus, we see that every party is sharpening its caste weapons. In the end, we again face the starting line question “Already having nibbled by the caste venom spreaders during the Jat reservation stirs, will Haryana have to face a new bite of abhorrent caste-based weapon to fetch votes?”

                                                                                                                                              By-Jag Mohan Thaken

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of AFTERNOON VOICE and AFTERNOON VOICE does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.
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