×
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

It's OBC-Dalit politics vs Hindutva in Hindi heartland

nand Mishra
Last Updated : 21 April 2019, 02:37 IST
Last Updated : 21 April 2019, 02:37 IST
Last Updated : 21 April 2019, 02:37 IST
Last Updated : 21 April 2019, 02:37 IST

Follow Us :

Comments

When BSP chief Mayawati addressed a rare joint election rally with Samajwadi Party’s Mulayam Singh Yadav, she chose to project the SP patriarch as an “asli” (genuine) OBC leader and hit out at PM Modi as a “nakli” (fake) OBC leader, asking her audience to choose the real one.

She said that it is the result of a “fake” OBC having come to power in the country that lakhs of reserved posts for OBCs and Dalits are lying vacant, and reminded the electorate in the pocket borough of Mulayam Singh Yadav that “it is necessary to recognise the difference between asli and nakli this election”.

An iteration of her remarks was heard a day before in Bihar, where Lalu Prasad’s RJD is leading an Opposition alliance with the Congress and two more regional parties.

Tejashwi Yadav trained guns at Modi’s caste status tweeted: “Yes @narendramodi Ji is a fake OBC. He became OBC when he was 55 years old. OBCs don’t accept him as OBC as he hasn’t done anything for them. He hates OBCs and believe in the ‘varna system’.” Addressing Modi as an “agde mahoaday” (forward sir), Tejashwi asked him what he had done so far for the ‘pichchda’ (backwards).

There has been such a pattern in the attacks on the BJP.

As the BJP raises the Hindutva pitch with the projection of leaders like Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, regional parties in the Hindi heartland have latched on to the potent tool of OBC consolidation and sought to project the BJP as the force representing feudal elements.

Reminding one of the 2015 Assembly polls of Bihar, which the then grand alliance of Congress, RJD and JD(U) had won decisively checkmating the BJP by painting it “anti-reservation” and consolidating the OBC-Dalits against the saffron party, both the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh and the Rashtriya Janatal Dal in Bihar have again fallen back on their time-tested tools.

When the late Kanshi Ram, the founder of the BSP had founded BAMSEF (Backward and Minority Communities Employees’ Federation ) in 1978, he had tried to bring in support from all other sections of the society (SC, ST, OBC, minorities) barring the upper-castes and was also instrumental in the first coming-together of the BSP and SP in 1993 to defeat the BJP.

This was just a year after the Babri mosque demolition in 1992 and BJP was riding high on brand Hindutva.

In the 1993 Assembly polls, though the BJP got a maximum of 177 seats, the SP and BSP, which forged an alliance, won 109 and 67 seats respectively and formed a government with outside support from the Congress.

After Modi became prime minister, the BJP has repeatedly invoked his origin in a backward caste to hammer home the message of backward caste pride. Later, the BJP made a Dalit leader, Ram Nath Kovind, the President.

Even as the BJP has made concerted efforts to shed its Brahmin-Baniya tag, it has reaped rich electoral dividends with a larger number of OBCs (except the Yadavs, to which Mulayam and Lalu Prasad belong) and Dalits (except Jatavs, to which Mayawati belongs) voting for it in the UP Assembly polls in 2017 and even earlier in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

The social engineering of the OBC and Dalit castes, with icing of Hindutva, places BJP in a formidable position, which is why the regional satraps are trying to cut into the dough beneath the icing.

ADVERTISEMENT
Published 20 April 2019, 15:26 IST

Deccan Herald is on WhatsApp Channels | Join now for Breaking News & Editor's Picks

Follow us on :

Follow Us

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT