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

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Liberating Bengal Hindus? Worst flames of communal division, lessons from the past

By Shamsul Islam*  The whole thrust of the RSS-BJP election campaign for 2021 state assembly elections in West Bengal has been to save Bengal from the rule of Mamata Bannerjee who is allegedly not a ‘Hindu’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist, as usual set the polarizing agenda. While addressing the first election rally, he called upon the electorate to overthrow the ‘nirmam’ (cruel) rule of Mamata by showing a ‘Ram Card’. He did not name Hindus directly but there was no confusion about the religious identity of the electorate Indian PM was addressing to.

Pradeep Bhattacharya, who spent his life for the cause of working masses, rational thinking

By YS Gill*  At 11:30 pm on May 3, 2021, I lost my best friend and comrade Pradeep Bhattacharya. He spent his life dedicated to the cause of the working masses and rational thinking. A person of thorough scientific outlook and a well-read student of Marxian thought, he was a walking encyclopedia and could speak on a wide variety of topics from art and culture to science, philosophy, history and politics.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Rs 5 crore 'demand' for India Today anchor: What about 52 lesser souls who died in April?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  A well known Hindutva protagonist masquerading as journalist passed away recently resulting in messages of condolences and tribute right from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to progressive liberals expressing grief of his untimely death. It is said that he passed away due to cardiac arrest, though the fact is, he was also Covid infected. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister termed him a ‘brave’ journalist, insisting, his passing away has left a big ‘vacuum’.

Modi's Hindutva 'ensuring' empowerment of rich, disenfranchisement of poor

Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The Hindutva socio-psychopaths are neither nationalists nor patriotic people. These medieval reactionary forces don’t understand the idea of citizenship, justice, liberty, equality and humanism. Indian democracy is merely an electoral transaction for the Hindutva forces. Hindutva forces neither follow science nor understand the sufferings of fellow human beings. These core qualities are common among the Hindutva forces in India.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

India's Covid-19 'nightmare': A product of majoritarian Hindutva ideological praxis?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians struggle to find place and time to bury their dead due to the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19 in India. The crematoriums in the capital cities are overflowing with dead bodies. People are dying without oxygen and basic medical support. The cities like Delhi and Mumbai are struggling to cope with the rising number of infections and COVID-19 led deaths. The deaths and destitutions are products of a defunct BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

Indian media persons collapsing to Covid disease as fast as 3 per day, third highest

Yogesh Sharma, Shailesh Rawal  By Our Representative  The Switzerland based media rights and safety body, Press Emblem Campaign ( PEC ) has said that it is “alarming for Indian journalists”, who have lost at least 107 colleagues to Covid-19”, noting, Indian “journo-colleagues” have been collapsing to the Covid-19 complications now as fast as three scribes per day. In a statement, PEC said, “India with 107 media corona-casualties has already placed itself on the third position just below Brazil (181 dead) and Peru (140) in the list of Covid-19 victims among journalist.”