Skip to main content

BJP's Dalit, tribal MPs restive post-Bharat Bandh: Protest to Modi, as he tells them to "regain" faith in Ambedkar

Dr Yashwant Singh
By Our Representative
Following the successful Bharat Bhandh on April 2, a largely spontaneous Dalit-Adivasi event, the BJP is beginning to show signs of nervousness. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to ask party MPs to spend at least two nights in Dalit-dominated villages and “restore” faith of the community in the BJP comes close on the heels of the party’s Dalit MPs telling him that the saffron party was fast losing out Dalit support.
Modi reportedly told MPs to choose any of the 20,000 villages of India, which have more than 50% of Dalit population for spending two nights between April 14, Baba Ambedkar’s birthday, and May 2. A significant target group for the 2019 elections, the Dalit community forms 16.6% of India’s population.
Modi was forced to give the call close on the heels of BJP’s Dalit MPs telling him as well as those who had gathered at the Mumbai party meet that the Bharat Bandh, called in protest against the Supreme Court move to dilute the Prevention of Atrocities (POA) Act, suggested] the party had lost its edge in the Dalit community.
Dalit leaders in the party said they had to virtually go to every minister and leaders to convince them that the Supreme Court order would harm the community. Dalits, they said, seemed convinced that the Modi government failed to effectively counter the apex court argument on POA Act being “misused” against innocent citizens. The result was, the BJP was not being seen as a pro-Dalit party.
BJP’s Dalit MPs are beginning to show signs of restiveness by writing letters to Modi. Dr Yashwant Singh, MP from Nagina in Uttar Pradesh, said in his letter that the government has not take any step to implement reservation policy in the private sector, even as insisting that there is a need to increase the proportion of Dalits in the judiciary.
Belonging to the Dalits’ Jatav sub-caste, and insisting on passing a bill on reservation in the private sector, he wrote, “I am MD from the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences… I have become an MP because of reservation, and my ability is not being used. There is no existence of Dalits in society without reservation.”
Dr Singh's letter to Modi
The letter says, he had insisted on passing a bill on reservation in private sector four years ago, yet nothing has happened. He adds, “No work has been done by your government for the direct benefit of nearly 300 million Dalits in this country… There is no representation of Dalits in courts, one reason why courts are prone to give decisions against Dalits and remove our rights from time to time.”
Dr Singh’s letter comes following three other BJP MPs –  Chhota Lal Khawar, Ashok Kumar Dohre and Savitri Bai Phule – accusing the Uttar Pradesh’s BJP government under Yogi Adityanath and the Modi government for failing to take cognizance of growing atrocities on Dalits.
Dalit MP from Robertsganj, Khawar, in his letter to Modi, complained how Adityanath scolded him and asked to him leave his room when he wished to meet him to raise issues of Dalits. Khawar has accused Adityanath of caste bias, and has gone so far as to approach the National Commission on Scheduled Castes with a complain of threat by dominant caste people in a land dispute.
MP from Bahraich, Phule organized an independent rally in Lucknow on April 1. The colour of the event was not saffron but blue, with Bahujan Samaj Party founder Kanshi Ram’s portrait in the centre-stage.
Dohre, Adivasi MP from Etawah, in his letter to Modi, is learnt to have complained against the Uttar Pradesh police, saying it has been increasingly targeting Dalit. According to him, the state police used foul language against Dalits, and registered false cases against them in the wake of the violence during the Bharat Bandh.
Phule told reporters, “I am India’s MP and it doesn’t matter if I remain MP or not, but will not tolerate any changes to the constitution and reservation.” The rally was called tSave Indian Constitution and Reservation rally.
BJP Dalit MPs are also disappointed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi invoked Ambedkar in his Mann ki Baat radio address on Sunday, but maintained a studied silence on the Supreme Court seeking to dilute the POA Act.
"This is a very urgent and important issue. It is the lifeline for SCs and STs. This must be resolved without delay. We will not go on tolerating this," BJP MP Udit Raj reportedly said.

Comments

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.