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Adityanath's Dalit gamble being played out because of political exigency of 2019 Lok Sabha election

By Adv Masood Peshimam*
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Adityanath Yogi recently asked why shouldn’t Dalit and backward students get benefit of caste reservation in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Jamia Millia Islamia, and has questioned the silence of those who claim to be the champions of downtrodden. His target were the Samajwadi Party and the Bhaujan Samaj Party.
The contention raised by Adithyanath is politically motivated and oriented to stir the hornet’s nest between the two communities. It is meant to incite hatred against Muslims, who are already hated for reasons known to the hater. Is it not rude majoritarianism, meant to create conflict of interests between two major sections of population with an eye on the 2019 elections?
Adithyanath should note that Muslims in India are a discriminated lot, and their marginalisation is at its worst. They have never opposed reservation. It is well known which are the forces that have opposed reservation. It is also well known which are the forces pursuing the policy of persecution against the backward classes.
The Dalit card is being played because of political exigencies. It was during the Presidential election that it was played first. On the eve of the retirement of former Vice President Hamid Ansari, his name cropped up for the race, but was put to the rest with the suggestion of making a Dalit as President. It was a welcome move to make a Dalit President. The same concern was not shown while selecting Venkaiah Naidu for the post of Vice President.
What is no less significant is, Adityanath swore by the secular Constitution of India to become the UP chief minister, yet had no compunction in wearing a saffron robe, which he put on as former head of mutts or seminaries. He blatantly compromised secular values and traditions. It is not just Adityanath. Even bigoted and narrow-minded Muslims are no less responsible for worsening the situation. Multiple factors tragically isolate Muslims from the national mainstream, culminating into horrific cult of violence against them, at times in the name cow protection or some other pretext.
The situation is equally messy for Dalits or other backwards, though to a lesser extent. Both are sailing in the same boat, but Muslims’ situation is worse. Be that as it may, the fact remains that Dalits are bearing the brunt of a messy situation. The whole society cannot be blamed for the failure of justice and equality for Dalits.
As part of this messy situation, incidents of rising intolerance are taking place against Dalits, such as those in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. It so happened that, in Gandhinagar, the family of one Prashant Solanki, a bridegroom, was compelled to travel in a car to go to the house of the bride, apprehending violence if he rode the horseback. The Dalit bridegroom riding on horseback was treated as affront by higher castes. The situation became so grave that the bridegroom had to flee the scene, as there was threat of violence. During another marriage that followed, the Dalit bridegroom had to seek police protection to ride the horse!
Recently at Jamner in Jalgoan, two Dalit minor boys were assaulted and paraded naked. What was their fault? They bathed in a common well. In another incident, Dalits were assaulted severely for skinning a dead cow. Incidents of Dalits being victimised keep haunting the social scenario. It is well known as to who are the people that pursue aggressive an anti-Dalit agenda. There is no ambiguity in this respect.
It’s this deep suppression and oppression, born of deep resentment, which became a major reason contributing to Dalits’ conversion. It was this undiluted ignominy and humiliation that led to large-scale conversion to Islam in Meenakshipuram in 1981. Then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi sent a delegation to study the situation and take corrective measures.
Instead of improving the plight of the downtrodden and backwards, Adityanath tried to make AMU and Jamia Millia Islamia scapegoats. AMU, founded by Sir Sayyed Ahmad Khan in 1920, has remained a citadel of secular values, catholicity of outlook, liberal approach and communal harmony. It began with the foundation of madrasa in 1875, leading to the formation of Anglo Oriental College, which later culminated into AMU in1920.
Sanskrit began to be taught right from the inception of AMU along with Urdu, Persian and Arabic with the exuberance of rich classical literature .The very teaching of Sanskrit is a testimony to the fact that Sir Sayyed had tremendous respect for variety of cultures and languages. Yet, communal hawks maintain a hostile stance towards Sir Sayyed. Even Dr Iqbal, who is credited to have written “Sare Jahan se achha Hindustan hamara”, has not been spared.
The pernicious attempt see Muslim stalwarts as villains is meant to demoralise the community and show that Muslims have made no contribution worth the name for the enrichment of the nation’s life and culture. The strategy is to bring Muslims on such a weak turf that they are unable to even protests.
The AMU imbroglio, created over the reservation to downtrodden and backwards, is meant to consolidate the communal vote bank with an eye on 2019 polls. The alternate strategy of winning the 2019 election is to communalise polity, because, due to the all-round failure of the Modi government, there is an element of scepticism for BJP to romp home to power comfortably.
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*Based in Kalyan, Maharashtra

Comments

Sagar Dhiman said…
He must had bath with ganga jal after doing this

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