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

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

WHO move can 'enable' India to detain citizens, restrict freedom, control media

Counterview Desk  In an an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with copies to concerned Cabinet ministers, bureaucrats and MPs,  health rights network  People’s Alliance for Public Health (PAPH alias JanSwasthya Morcha), has urged that India should not be a signatory to the World Health Organization ( WHO) Pandemic Agreement and Amendments to the  International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005  to be adopted at the 77th World Health Assembly in Geneva from 27th May to 1st June, 2024.

'Enough evidence': Covid vaccines impacted women's reproductive health

By Deepika*  In 2024, the news outlets have suddenly started reporting about covid vaccine side effects in a very extensive manner. Sadly, the damage is already done.

Can scientists believe in God, yet explore nature 'abandoning' belief?

By Dr TV Sajeev*  In August 2023, India celebrated the successful soft-landing of Chandrayan on the south pole of the moon. That mission too led to some questioning about whether scientists could believe in God. The culture of temple visits and poojas before the launch of rockets with or without payload had been a mocking point for a long while. 

Growing stream of pollution infecting homes, bodies in US, Vietnam

By Erica Cirino*  Louisiana’s “River Parishes,” located along the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, shoulder some of the worst industry impacts in the United States. As a result, this region has acquired a grim reputation as “ Cancer Alley .” 

'Uncertainty in Iran': Raisi brokered crucial Chabahar Port deal with India

By Pranjal Pandey*  Ebrahim Raisi, the Iranian President, and the country’s foreign minister were tragically found deceased on May 20, 2024, shortly after their helicopter crashed in foggy conditions. In response, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei swiftly appointed a relatively unknown vice president as the interim leader.

Informal, outdoor workers 'excluded': Govt of India's excessive heat policies

Counterview Desk  Top civil rights network, National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), has demanded urgent government action to protect millions of outdoor workers from extreme heat and heatwaves, insisting declaration of heatwaves as climatic disaster.