JNU: Ambedkar Vs Left; but opposite in Panjab University, Why?

BAPSA (Birsa-Ambedkar-Phule Student Association) challenging the Left Unity in JNU

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JNU, the land of ideological battles, is well-known place for intellectual potential and dominance of Stalinist left. With the rise of right wing forces after Modi became P.M. in 2014, from Rohith Vemula to Una incident dalits are being attacked ruthlessly. Consequently, dalits who were cunningly communalized by RSS during Lok Sabha election are now coming out of Hindutva fold. After the march of cultural Hindutva of right wing conservative, the left politics which claims to be pro-dalits in its popular rhetoric of Bolshevik revolution, obviously has found some space in political discourse. Though, the JNU’s campus culture and its students’ verdict is not always the real reflection of society but the recent sedition row and overwhelming attempts of Modi government to haunt left hegemony have  pulled the attention of whole nation to link up with JNU. Interestingly, in present scenario, dalits are being lured by all political groups evidently under the banner of ‘annihilation of caste’. Even P.M. Modi warned his party to convince dalits and said that Nationalists are with us, let’s reach out to Dalits, backwards.

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Courtesy  Kractivism

Kractivism -Bridge the Gap Bring the Change

JNU campus has been a hub of Stalinist left and Marxist bastions since its foundation. AISA, a student wing of CPI (ML) Liberation had been winning mandate in student elections for many years. In 2015, Kanhiya, a leader of AISF (the student wing of CPI) fought against AISA and became president of JNUSU. And for now, the JNU bears very different kind of contest where the right wing ABVP has been completely swept away and BAPSA(Birsa-Ambedkar-Phule Student Association) came as strong contender against Left Unity (AISA-SFI). BAPSA, which started just two years ago, chased the Left Unity and lost with a small margin of 409 votes.  Aftermath, the political thinkers are forced to interpret the political contours of newly emerged scenario in JNU. Clearly, the mandate of JNU student election is a synthesis of national political environment and inherent Ambedkar-Marxian contradictions. The nature of right and left politics is complementary, unconstitutional and absolutely hegemonic. Right wing relies on cultural hegemony while spreading false version of history or endorsing hegemonic phase of Manu-Samriti and similarly Left considers its philosophy ultimate champion of all oppressed sections asserting its ‘intellectual’ hegemony while imposing economic interpretation of history.

B.R. Ambedkar, the icon of constitutional democracy, had always motivated downtrodden and socially oppressed people for education, saying knowledge as one of major premises in power sharing. In 1970s, the Naxalite movement under the slogan ‘land to tiller’ and big ill-literacy in dalits (landless) brought them in leftist outfits. Moreover, dalit intellectuals also became dependent on leftist ideology while being far away from Ambedkar’s constitutionalism. Later on, the Bahujanvad of Kanshiram and Janata Politics gave a new independent voice to dalits, minorities and backward classes of India strengthening constitutional democracy. The JNU’s mandate reflects that dalits who are the product Ambedkar’s reservation policy, now following his slogan of  Educate, Agitate, Organize are struggling for independent platform rejecting Left politics, understanding the real difference between the Ambedkarism and Leftism as suggested by Ambedkar :

my party would not align with Communist Party for the plain reason that I do not believe in Communism”.

Instead, the mandate of student election in Panajb University, Chandigarh is surprisingly different. Students preferred ‘non-political’ group PUSU over mainstream parties like NSUI,SOI,ABVP etc. Secondly, the election mandate also brings Marx-Ambedkar ties in question. The extreme left outfit, Students for Society (SFS) got 2494 votes with small margin of 11 votes from second contender SOI and scored third position. Ironically, the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) again lacked in representing dalits independently and overtly supported SFS. When will dalits, OBC and all the anti-casteism students of Panajb University understand that there cannot be ideological unity between Ambedkar and Marx?

                -Eklavya Editorial Committee

 

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Punjab Election 2017: Congress, SAD-BJP or AAP

Analyzing current political situation in Punjab

– by Vikramjeet Vick

Today, Punjab is boiling hot in the electoral vessel held up in a tripod of uneven and unfriendly legs- Captain, Badal and Kejriwal. Many ‘private surveys’ and ‘exit polls’ are being coined in the public and many glamorous slogans are being shouted loudly on the social media. The parties whom these surveys favour quickly endorse them and others reject it. Previously, in 2012, PPP made a triangular tussle in Punjab, consequently, Parkash Singh Badal managed to win inspite of a big anti-incumbency. Now, Aam Admi Party has created paranoia among anti-Badal voters lest the Raj Krange Pachi Saal the slogan of Badal should become true. On the other hand, Captain Amarinder Singh took charge in his hands and has started many campaigns to interact with people while putting his political career on stake. Politics, a necessary evil, cannot be first but least choice of common people to discuss or think upon, because the poor, dalits, farmers, petty shopkeepers, youth and downtrodden have not get anything that had been promised to them in elections. Especially, the un-employed youth, declining peasantry and landless dalits have been living in a complete despair.  Many times, their anguish spilled over the roads in the forms dharnas or demonstrations but the government, behaving like bare-knuckle brawler, always bashed the people mercilessly.

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In this chaotic politico-economic scenario, it will be pre-mature to comment whether this party will make government or the other in 2017. But, it is must to understand how the people of Punjab are receiving the issues, agendas, ideologies and slogans to make their minds and opinions. This article is not any opinion in the favour or against any political party rather it tries to be an unbiased comprehensive assimilation of various grounds, factors and issues which are shaking up the public opinion in Punjab.

A glimpse on history of Punjab:  After the reorganization of Punjab with division of Maha Punjab in 1967, the changed demographic equations fulfilled the very ‘objective’ of Punjabi Suba movement. Consequently, the Punjab has always remained in the hands of Sikh Chief-Ministers rather Jat Sikh Chief Ministers. Though, Punjab faced a great many president rules but whenever any government came, whether be it collation government or other, it was dominated with rural Jat-Sikh community. In 1972, after winning unambiguous majority, this was the Congress party in which Giani Zail Singh was elected Chief Minister. He was the only C.M. belonging to backward class who later on served as first Sikh president of India, in the same era when Golden temple had been attacked.

Initially, the Akali Dal emerged to ‘safeguard’ the Sikh religion and its interests. There were many factions in Akali fold, right from its beginning. Unfortunately, the partition of India took place on communal ground that made the minorities more insecure or conscious about their identities. Therefore, it triggered a struggle for power in Sikhs to bargain with center for more regional and communal interests which later on reflected in sharp political conflict, finally it resulted into radicalization of Sikhs during 1980 to 1990.  Some projects brought the water-sharing conflicts between Haryana and Punjab. The rising popularity of Indira Gandhi after a winning Indo-Pak war in 1971, swept the whole opposition by getting stupendous majority at center and the same was followed in Punjab in 1972.With the unrest of not getting stable government (1967 to 1971), president rules and having alienated from power (1972 to 1977), the peasantry and Sikhs (especially Jats) could not get satisfied. And also the status of Chandigarh, water-sharing issues and the demand of inclusion of some Punjabi speaking areas of Haryana back to Punjab were disputed.

Now, the fertile ground and grievances against the center had ripened to bring the state-center relation in open discussion followed by three Anandpur Sahib Resolutions. Today, the politics over these issues still prevail in Punjab, though no one knows what the fate of these demands would be. Some dhram yudh morchas were held and every time, Akali factionalism became more evident. Sikh nationalism got strengthened in some folds of Akalis, contrarily, the Akali group under the leadership of Mr.Parkash Singh Badal tried to adapt into reality and hence survived politically resulting into a little democratization of his faction. After having invited by Rajiv Gandhi, the Capt. Amarinder Singh joined the congress party in 1980 and resigned the party in 1984 as a protest against Congress when it had launched an attack on Golden Temple. After, working as one of stalwart leaders in Akali Dal, he broke away from Akalis in 1992 and finally remerged with congress in 1998. Simultaneously, Mr.Parkash Singh Badal diluted the Sikh Nationalism since he realized Akali could never make government alone, which is why he tied up with RSS/Bharti Jan Sangh upholding Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiyat on Moga declaration (1995). This changed stance led to make the first government of Akali Dal in 1997 which completed the five years office tenure. Subsequently, Punjab witnessed peace and stability, though the right wing patterns had existed harming the standard of social justice.

Being stick to present scenario, it is unaffordable to write in details about the all major conflicting players of Punjab polity that significantly reflect the Punjabi psyche. These  well known players are Leftism, Naxalism, Bhaujanwaad , Deras-Sikh conflicts, Dalit-Jatt conflicts  etc.

This is the same Punjab which accepted the two extreme opposite religious ideologies the Panthak and the Sangh which are still ruling the State. Paradoxically, this is the only Punjab which embraced two diametrically opposite militant movements- Naxalite and Khalistani movements in the same time period. One of which was based on religious sentiments and other had nothing to do with religion. In fact, both movements were originated from agrarian crisis that had begun with green revolution and more or less an outcome of identity crisis. It shows that how the Punjabis are enthusiastic and hyper-reflexive towards any new rhetoric of emotional extreme. Interestingly, they also throw out the same extremism very soon when/if they feel cheated, deceived or betrayed. Hence, it was only Punjab which resonated with the highly idealistic and high-flown narrative of Arvind Kejriwal to whom entire country had rejected in Lok Sabha election, 2014.

The above said story is just brief attempt to pinpoint the historical moments which are gone deep into collective memories of Punjabis, consciously or unconsciously affecting the political decisions of individuals. Let’s think of opinions critically to make a new one. Therefore, let your mind lapse into major points discussed below in a pragmatic manner.

Political ExperienceMr. Parkash Singh Badal is a stalwart Sikh leader who has abundant experience in panthik politics. He is the only leader in Akali fold who not only survived but also championed the Sikh mass support from rural to urban centers. He smartly chose and left the social classes or groups suiting his electoral gain in ever changing socio-economic dynamic of society. Also he is allegedly responsible in curbing the business and choking the economic growth of Punjab. Actually, it is said that for now he is a lesser a chief-minister but more a businessman who just believe in managing or arranging the voters. On the one side, he is supposed to make peace in the state, but on the other hand, he is also alleged to make communal-caste tensions / polarization when he fears to be out of power or when he is out of power. He has a huge experience of aggressive politics to administrative politics. He has been in resistance politics and also in parliamentary politics for many years thus having a good hold on Punjabi-Sikh psyche. Though, Mr. Parkash Singh Badal remains contentious among other Akali factions, yet one credit goes to him is that he has started the democratic process in Sikhs, cleverly derailing the militants.

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Captain Amarinder Singh with a unique political journey, from Maharaja to Captain to Chief Minister is full of adventure, patriotism having different kind of attachment with Punjab. He was the only, democratic Sikh leader in Akalis who challenged Mr. Parkash Badal in internal and external political affairs. He is the only leader in the Punjab for whom the people often say that they are the big fans of him. Capt. Amarinder Singh is supposed as Paniyan da rakha in a large chunk of rural folk. He is equally popular in all sub-regions of Punjab- Majha, Malwa and Doaba. Further extending the democratic process, the Captain crusaded and defeated his clever opponent Mr. Parkash Singh Badal in 2002 and became the Chief-Minister of Punjab. Infact, the opposition does not have something tangible against him to speak up in their campaigns except shouting Raja –Raja. Sometimes, it seems that Captain is not only a pure-politician but he possesses the qualities of  a  academic-intellectual and statesman attitude too. It will be unjust to forget the tenure of Captain’s regime. This was the Captain who had introduced/implemented properly merit system in recruitments, transparency in administration, provided adequate price to farmers for crop yields, attempted to raise the business in the state irrespective the resistance from within party and high command. It reminds the words of Mr. Bhagwant Mann that sakhatayi hogie while alerting scoundrel and corrupts in his comedy track Bhagwant Maan Full Speed.  Captain’s decisions are always stunning and surprising. He fought against Mr. Jaitley and thwarted him at the time when the entire Congress was out of order in whole country. Moreover, the Congress party has always been full of factionalism and elitism, beginning from the higher echelon to student groups, which many times hinders the grass root reality to reach sincere leadership who actually want to win elections.

AAP’s young politics of ‘changing the rules of politics’ and the anti-incumbency against both state & center governments helped it to enter into Punjab. Though, AAP is kind of a new born toddler in politics who harassed many overwhelming political leaders, yet as a an conspicuous expression of its overall political as well its leaders’ personal immaturity, it is evident that they always  become aggressive and furious whenever anyone questions AAP’s work style, agendas or party programme. Now days, Aam Aadmi Party which is a product of anti-corruption movement seems going for away from its ideology – transparency and Swaraj. AAP managed to win in Delhi because the local leadership was aware of multi-cultural nature of metropolitan city. But, Punjabi society is qualitatively different and integrated having different political culture. C.M. Arvind Kejriwal, being in Delhi and because of media sensationalism he always remains in news headlines, but rift between Kejriwal and Modi questions the administration of Kejriwal in public perception. So, in case of Punjab, AAP is completely lacking political and administrative experience. Even, Mr. Bhagwant Maan, the only old leader left in AAP seems to be more talkative but less a statesman.

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Organizational Structure: After having been out of power for ten years, the Punjab Congress had lost the organizational hold within the party. Although, Congress had been in power at center, but it failed to organize the party structures, hence the laziness of higher leadership could not stop factionalism in Punjab. No doubt, Captain has revived many organizational outfits in last one year. But, the problem with Congress is that it is dominated with elite and higher class which constitutes advising and helping hands to Captain, unfortunately, does not understand the real objective picture at rural level, rather create a subjective wall around Captain Amrinder Singh to please him by false reporting. The political power resides in, not only the elected MLA’s but also in the persons having a strong position in party structure and organs. Though, there may be two or three SC/BC members in Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, but why the Congress is so shy to float its Dalit and OBC wings, on contrary, Captain himself makes Jat Maha Sabha. What kind of politics this is! But, Capt. Amarinder Singh is welcoming all petty-parties and groups like BSP, Communists etc to build wider front against Akalis & AAP, it shows his political maturity which may help him to succeed. He has already merged PPP in congress party reflecting the formation of Great alliance learning and trying to imitate the greatly successful experiment of Nitish-Lalu alliance in Bihar.

On the other side, Mr. Sukhbir Badal  is good at managing and organizing rural folk, youth and agricultural class by connecting their psyche to his party, by assigning them certain roles in various party organs. His Machiavellian-cunning approach of giving upper hand to the leaders of party and its affiliated organs, over the party MLAs is one of the unique instruments to empower the party structures. These are the alternate organs of Akali party which are operated for what the people say Akali are accessible whether they do work or not. It is only Akali Party who has brought SC/OBC fronts in Punjab that associates to various ‘lower caste’ communities. It does not mean that Akali Dal is empowering the ‘lower caste’ or fighting for caste annihilation but the political engagements are the first premise towards democratization of society especially in representative democracy. At present, while having power in hand, Akali Dal is peculiarly vigil to manage the voters. Ironically, after two consecutive plans, Akali Dal is still in race of making government. Obviously, the situation would be clear, if AAP were not there. AAP, being a new and immature is not well organized, rather seems to be self-destructive. After becoming Chief-minister, Mr. Arvind Kejriwal had become autocratic and started killing the dissent within the party. He expelled Mr.Yoginder Yadav and Parshant Bhushan-the co-founder of AAP party, by highly centralizing the party structure. It is pertinent to mention that Kejriwal, the super protagonist of Swaraj is alleged for killing internal democracy.

On the same pattern, He has also sidelined two winning MPs, Dhramvir Gandhi and Harinder Singh Khalsa. The first convener of AAP, Punjab unit, Mr. Sumel Sidhu had to leave the party, just after victory of four MPs in 2014 and now the second convener Mr. Chhotepur is being expelled.  All the parties have the same stories but the party which had come to power in Delhi in the name of Swaraj (decentralization of power) should not have killed internal dissent and its own ideological principle. AAP has been relying on big rallies and gathering big crowd at staged programme since from beginning. But, scarcely, it has succeeded to create homogeneous and organic party structure. Mr.Chhotepur, having a background of Akali and Congress, has traditional experience of making and holding party organizations and institutions. That’s why he managed many things in the party, especially focusing on his own position in party. Because of inbuilt split in the party, AAP is suffering with severe group-ism, and this is only party which does not have a firm party constitution. Moreover, the central leadership Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak are not politically experienced and have failed to understand Punjabi-Sikh and rural psyche, and they are not able to control group-ism rather they are also blamed for enhancing it.

A strict Party Constitution is only method to refine and minimize opportunism in any party justifying the concept of Aam Aadmi. AAP has altered the concept of common man (Aam Aadmi). Who is Aam Aadmi in AAP? If AAP accepts any person irrespective of his class then what is merit to be called Aam Aadmi? In nutshell, the Aam Aadmi Party has a dynamic crowd and volunteers creating hype in the form of wave but not proper party structure that are most important to transform crowd into voters.

Wave: Often, the people talk of wave, a political wave. In Punjab, you can see many people saying whose wave is going on. What does the term wave mean? What kind of wave is going on in Punjab? Firstly, the people are confused between the electoral wave and the wave created by people’s movement. For example, when Anna and company were fighting for Lok Pal bill to combat corruption in country, then there was a wave, anti-corruption wave. But, when the splinter group under Kejriwal made a political party, though to manifest the same, yet political party is not connected with only one agenda, rather it focuses on electoral gains which involves many other aspects, hence, the core idea never gets manifested, rather makes the party politically corrupt on some issues. So, it is relevant to discuss electoral wave. Obviously, this wave is created by Party itself, its leaders and intellectuals while talking through one’s hat, the private T.V. media, print media, social media and most importantly the local youth. And it is not easy to gauge precisely this electoral wave as different classes of people are connected with different sources. For example, in case of Delhi’s election, no survey or exit poll could predict this so called wave of AAP, even Mr. Kejriwal himself got stunned by the final result. Similarly, in the recent Bihar assembly election, all survey agencies, T.V houses and electronic media predicted Modi Wave at the top but the same wave was smashed by under-cover Nitish-Lalu wave– the counter wave. Therefore, now the people of Punjab are aware of these so called waves based on fake surveys, privately owned media and the parties themselves.

Hot issues and Campaign mode: In Punjab, the issues and agendas which are being preached are the same as were in Lok Sabha Election, 2014. Akali Dal is held responsible to promote synthetic drugs and liquor, farmer suicides, unemployment, Bus-business mafia, nepotism, corruption in jobs, mis–use of scholarship fund meant for dalits and mis-governance, thus, creating high level anti-incumbency in the state. Interestingly, the same anguish was there in 2014, even then, Akali Dal  along with BJP succeeded in grabbing 35 percent vote share claiming 6 seats out of 13. SYL-water sharing conflict is also a key. Badal and Captain seems more vocal and firm in SYL issue, but AAP is very reluctant and confused on this matter. In the light of these agendas, both Congress and AAP are scuffling bravely against Akali Dal.

But, the campaign of AAP led by comedian turned politician, the outspoken orator Mr. Bhagwant Maan seems very aggressive, emotionally influencing (like the Communist groups) but devoid of constructive programme to handle the evils he only offers sarcasm in his speeches. Though, he connects to people easily because of his Malwai metaphor, but it is not going to work in Majha and Doab regions. Ironically, it seems that Bhagwant Maan is AAP and AAP is Bhagwant Maan. At the same time, the Captain’s campaigns appear very sincere, focused, decentralized and very constructive. The campaigns entitled Coffee with CaptainHalke vich Captain by Captain are inclusive, bilateral and different. Instead, AAP wishes to create a psychological wave in the people and regularly engage its workers in projecting each rally a mega show, so that the people and its worker cannot even think of anything else. This populism with the metaphor of accusing the parties “two peas in pod” sometime works well in getting power, but it can not necessarily deliver better future. See, what the wonders Mr Modi has delivered to the people of India!  It reminds words of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar that “…Bhakti in religion may be a road to the salvation of the soul. But in politics, Bhakti or hero-worship is a sure road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship.” Also Mr. Paraskh Badal is working in traditional way of Sangat Darshan to woo the panthik  vote. But, Sukhbir Badal is more successfully reconstructing the youth outfits and rural folk. Also SAD-BJP alliance probably will be intact. Moreover, BJP used be a party with a highest strike rate in urban centers may decline in this coming election. Akali Dal is trying to emphasize on infrastructural development including roads, flyovers and bridges in their campaigns.

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Congress used to be divided house, but now it does not appear so. Recently at rakhad puniya rally, both Captain and Bajwa came to rally in one car, sat together and dined together to shatter the public perception. It is not any small development for Majha politics. Rajinder Kaur Bhatthal is working with Manpreet Badal in manifesto committee. Raja Warring, a popular orator, is campaigning in Majha and Partap Bajwa has been given responsibility of organizing farmers. A big credit must be given to Parshant Kishore (who has worked hard in making Nitish Kumar C.M. of Bihar) for his idea of decentralized campaigning.

It is unfortunate that Janata Dal (United) is absent in present arena. Janata Party had a great history in Punjab politics which, along with Akali Dal, made a first surplus majority government in Punjab, while leading anti-Indira front at national level in 1977. Today, if one observes current national scenario of untamed negative nationalism and shameful harassment of intellectuals, oppressed and minorities, then it becomes clear that in absence of strong INC at National level only JD(U) under Nitish Kumar and Sharad Yadav is leading a real political as well as ideological opposition against BJP, RSS and communal forces while organizing federal and secular forces. In General election, 2019, whether Nitish Kumar emerges a successful Prime Ministerial candidate or not, Janata Dal (United) & liberal intellectuals will be the real opposition against Anti-dalit and anti-minorties forces.

Reservation Policy, Dalits and Parties:  Punjab has witnessed many social boycotts of dalits and caste based discrimination. After decline of BSP, the entire dalit vote got scattered. The Ravidasis, doaba voters slipped back to congress fold when BSP made alliance with Akali in 1996. Whereas dalit sikh vote got consolidated in Akali fold as Badal started to give more representations and tickets to them. Besides, Badal’s slogan of Punjabiyat suppressed the dalit identity and hence the debate for welfare of dalit has withered away from political scenario of Punjab. Any party irrespective of ideology is bound to have certain inflow of Jat votes because still theory of faction works very well in rural Punjab. In Punjab, the Jat voter infact need not to be much worried because of it being a strong social and economic section, it is more power oriented, and hence it will naturally divide in three parties. Hence, dalit-OBC vote (approximately 55 percent of total population) and urban Hindu vote will prominently decide the fate.

Although, the Akalis and Congress could not deliver the governance with social justice yet they have worked well in agreement with Constitution of India in matters of reservation policy. But, in case of AAP, it is very against the idea of reservation for SCs/STs/OBCs and they support economic base reservation. National Spokesperson of AAP, Dr.Kumar Vishwas, often condemns caste based reservation, instead upholds the economy based reservations which any mature student of national politics knows that constitutionally it is not possible to do away with Article 16. Mr.Kejrival and company never condemn his Machiavellian trick to deprive downtrodden and historically oppressed communities. AAP seems very against the idea of Dr.B.R.Ambedkar to uplift dalits and women. Ironically, the opposition also did not raise the voice against Kejriwal and Kumar Vishwas with an exception of Lalu Prasad Yadav, categorically mentioning this fact while he was MP in UPA-2 during Lok Sabha debate on Lokpal bill.

Morevoer, Hardip Singh Kingra, a part splinter group, former AAP activist, revealed that Mr. Durgesh Pathak argued that Reservation has ruined the country while debating on the issues of formation of SC/BC wings. That’s why, AAP seems to be a sophisticated version of RSS.

Mr. Bhagwant Maan either seems politically illiterate or over-smart while branding all the problems of Punjab as the problems of  only one community i.e. Jats- a landed class. He should have known that two-third dalits are landless labourers, petty-shopkeepers do not own lands, and wage labourers are have-nots. So, why he is doing so?  How disgusting! If he had been in accordance with anti-caste principle of Sikhism, he should have not quoted surname Maan, instead Singh, behind his name, not only he mentions caste which is prohibited among Sikhs but he also subtracts ‘Singh’ from the name and mentions only caste! It raises the question that even after being an outstanding rhetorician what is his identity? An Indian, a Sikh or merely a representative of just one caste? What is he but his caste.

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In view of dalit issues, all the parties appear hand in glove. No one talks of land reforms which are very necessary for uplifting socio-economic status of dalits and raising the level of business. Why all are silent on the issues of education quality in government school? Reason being, 95 percent dalit children join government school, because of poverty and social alienation. Scholarship funds are misused, then why any party does not speak a word for that? Does any party have guts to support such politics of change in public campaign? In the same way, the issues for betterment of women’s condition are out of political scene of Punjab.        

Ticket distribution:  Ticket distribution is a turning point in electoral politics. Ticket distribution plays major role in assembly election. The factors that play in ticket distribution are candidate image, economic status, religion, caste and gender. Also the high command culture in national parties influences the process of ticket distribution.  History tells that Punjab Congress has worse record in ticket distribution, as it has been discussed above that for being improper as well as elite dominated structure, a true ground report does not go to Punjab high command.

Now,the problem, Mr.Badal is facing is that the serious anti-incumbency. So, he may include and project new or fresh candidates to encounter such tight anti-incumbency situation. AAP is very quick and the first party in case of tickets distribution. The Kejriwal team and their trustworthy, Bhagwant Mann while anticipating the rebellion in Punjab committee are deliberately announcing tickets in small installments to avoid a big split in party. AAP could have done the best if it had stopped the unnatural factionalism and money bags in ticket distribution. Also it could have professed wider involvement of volunteers in candidate selection if only AAP had good organic structure based on strict party constitution and democracy from below. A rift that has started inside the party, after announcement of two lists of candidates is not going to stop till final phase. The volunteers have started to condemn the candidates on social media. According to them, almost all candidates are parachute and discarded stuff of Congress-Akalis or of filthy backgrounds having criminal, corrupt image. Simultaneously, these angry and segregated volunteers may accelerate the formation of fourth front which is being floated by the chief rebels of AAP. It is fact that the whole national leadership of AAP is from Hindu upper caste, so minorities and dalits are naturally and deliberately being alienated. Moreover, the Delhi-Punjab contradictions which are often visible in Punjabi proverbs are again catching fire. Apart from Bhawant Mann’s catchy oratory, the major reason of big crowd rallies was the strong cyber brigade working on social media day and night. But, now these volunteers are divided into two groups, debating over the functioning of mainstream AAP. It is the first time in the history of Punjab when middle class which was vehemently influenced by AAP’s propaganda, believing in a radical change, got a severe psychological setback in the politics. The way AAP is using sting operation as a popular instrument to expel its leaders, is surprising and may damage the remaining democracy inside the party and promote culture of Stalinist parties. Punjabi Diaspora who has a major role in establishing AAP in Punjab looks baffled and doubtful watching the power hungry intentions of leaderships while ticket distribution.

Chief-Ministerial face: Captain Amarinder Singh is the only C.M. candidate from Congress, and there is no open tussle about it now, as other contenders have accepted his leadership long time ago. After Bathinda rally, Captain Amarinder Singh has strategically chosen to stay away from media sensationalism and is working towards gathering anti Akali forces in the state. Moreover, Akali Dal seems to be fighting under the C.M. Parkash Singh Badal but who will be next Chief Mister remains scheme of future if SAD gets majority.

AAP has got stuck in an awkward condition. If it projects Bhagwant Maan or H.S.Phollka as C.M. candidate before election poll, then many claimants of C.M. chair may slip away. If Mr. Kejriwal declares himself or his wife, a C.M. candidate of Punjab, then it may lead to a sharp divide on the basis of outsider-insider against Punjabi. In that scenario, it will be like Bihar election where in the absence of strong leaders, Modi face was projected against Nitish Kumar after having anticipated a fragmentation in party’s senior leadership and what happened there in the form of – Bihari against Bahri? Consequently, a big swing of voters happened in favour of regionalism. Now in case of AAP in Punjab it is evident, that during the formation and development of AAP in Punjab, contribution was made more by ticket seekers than sincere followers of AAP’s original principles and its promise of change in political culture rather these are being ignored. AAP also may use the trick to appease all the remaining top leadership with luring and tempting them to declare each and every one of them as C.M. so that they would remain intact with party till election’s victory as was done in Haryana by BJP.

All the queries are in the womb of future. Whether, Akali Dal will save itself by taking the advantage of vote division between Congress and AAP? Is Punjab again ready for new political adventure in the form of AAP? Will Captain succeed in this political war as once he had done by rejoining Army leaving his royal lifestyle in 1965? Or Punjab may perhaps recall the same black days of President Rule?

Vikramjeet Vick

Special thanks to Amandeep Singh,Sawinder Singh and Apkirat Singh for sharing their valuable thoughts and ideas.

The Unholy Politics of Gau-Mata

The Unholy Politics of Gau-Mata – written by Apkirat Singh

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‘Ends justifies means’ in Politics, as Machiavelli, the father of amoral politics put it. One wouldn’t be doubtful why the harmless innocent animal from whom the hindu gotras and rituals have originated in vedic times is used as means to achieve political ends. Politics of gau-mata had been an interesting element of electoral politics of hindi heartland; the land encompassing the river Ganga and its tributaries, with Guajrat and Rajasthan as extensions of it. This region could also be considered as a virtual model for hypothetical Hindu Rashtra of RSS.

Obviously, BJP and RSS has nothing to do with unhealthy conditions of cows, specially when abandoned, but this chant works alike Rambaan  in highly diverse states of hindi heartland. It is a carefully crafted polarization strategy which BJP is actively deploying in connivance with the electronic media and its paid goons, against muslims, dalits, congress, communists, socialists, backward castes, minorities, secular and liberal groups of Indian democracy. This strategic symbolism had been in use since times of M.S. Golwalkar, the cunning ideologue of RSS, and it worked fairly in advantage of Jan Sangh and now would work for BJP and its vote bank.

Cow slaughtering and banning beef have wider angles than usually considered. While it is a dietary preference for Muslims, it is an economic issue for dalits, a political tool against congress, communists, socialists and backward castes, a constitutional challenge for liberal and secular groups and an issue of self-preservation for ethnic minorities (who could be targeted next in the course of events).

This craft of RSS and BJP in extracting oil out of mud, reminds about various tools of control the government apply for managing its power, which are as follows;

Sam- conciliation

Dam- reward

Dand- punishment

Bhed- dissension

Maya- active deception

Indrajaal- passive deception

Upeskha- silent observation

It won’t be difficult for anyone to understand how the propaganda by the government is created by applying various known tools, resulting in absolute control. The statement by PM criticizing cow vigilantes, is also a part of the same game.

This is not the governance model for which the India voted for Modi and his party in 2014, this is not the form of development for which people voted whole heartedly for him. This is not the kind of India the aspired youth was seeking from Modi. This is not the modern India which was envisioned by Nehru, Gandhi, Tagore, Ambedkar, Phule, Patel, Kalam and other founders.

It appears that the ‘holy’ men of RSS has taken the slogan of ‘back to vedas’  too literally, and they really want to take India through time travel and rewrite history, but they forget the timeless wisdom of Gita, that “time is the insurmountable killer”. 

Modi’s silence on Una Incident: A tribute to M.S.Golwalkar

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India Caste Protests

Dalit Community protest

 

On the name of ‘Cow-protection’, the Una incident of beating and humiliating Dalit boys by the ‘Gau-Rakshak Dal’ has shocked the whole nation. It reminds the era of classical caste oppression, rather it seems more aggressive manifestation of Manusamriti. From Rohith Vemula to Una the PM Narendra Modi or RSS never even condemned the shameful action of their leaders (MLAs, Cabinet Minister, MPs) and affiliated organizations like Shiv Sena, Vishwa Hindu Prashid, Bajrang Dal etc.

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For Rohith Vemula, when the anger and rage among students and liberal intellectuals had spilled over the roads, only then BJP was forced to take some actions. Similarly, now when a group of conservative orthodox upper caste ‘Hindu’ goons have beaten mercilessly the Dalit youths (from leather tanning caste) in public with metallic rods, no FIR was lodged, until dalits started to gather in a big mob. Having been pressurized by Dalit community, Police registered an FIR and invoked some relevant sections against accused persons. What the issue was, just a rumor of slaughtering the cows! Instead, they (Dalit youths) were only removing the skin of dead cows, doing their same job which they have been doing from hundreds of years. Again, PM Modi remains silent on this brutal episode which happened in the ‘Vibrant’ Gujarat Model- his own homeland.Why dalits are targeted every times? Why dalits have to protest even to register FIR?

It is true that this is not just a single event of oppression against Dalits. No doubt, India has been a witness of such episodes against so called lower castes and untouchables on daily basis for thousands years. But today this is the manifestation of ever degrading vulgar social order existing in India- the caste hierarchy.

Some BJP/RSS supporters argue that it would be false to blame BJP/RSS for such mis-happenings. They blame this on opposition, the political parties for seeking vote mileage from Dalits in UP or Punjab elections. Is it justified? They also blame Congress party for not destroying caste disparities and discriminations in its 50 years regime. Some stupid sympathizers of BJP, while defending BJP say that it is not the BJP who has created the casteism. Another class of morons is the liberal right wing who thinks that this is just a problem of Law & Order in the state since casteism according to them does not exists in India!  Politics as art of manipulating facts and crafting new arguments to hide the truth and reality does not always work. The huge protests in case of Rohit Vemula and upsurge of dalits in Una have proved the same. But, it is unfortunate that the saffron brigade has to give big a lip service because their eloquent and outspoken leader Narendra Modi is again silent.

Everyone knows, once PM Modi suddenly changed his category from O.B.C. to dalit while declaring him a son of dalit mother in Bihar election. Wasn’t this for vote politics? Though, it couldn’t work and he failed in doing so yet he played the same dalit card very well. Wasn’t it?  Anyone can see the statistics how the crimes against dalits, especially gang-rapes of dalit women have gone up a manifold, after Modi came in power. BJP supporters should also know that the atrocities against dalits, especially victims of ‘Gau-Raksha Dal’ have been increasing since Modi came in center which never happened before.

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Did the opposition ask Dayashankar (BJP leaders) to compare BSP supremo Mayawati with a prostitute? No, It is only the real philosophy and attitude which is preached in RSS and other affiliated groups. Though BJP had to suspend the Dayashankar seeing the rise of dalit’s aversion for BJP in Uttar Pradesh yet it charged criminal case against some BSP leaders accusing them of sloganeering derogatory remarks for Dayashankar’s wife. Why BJP did not invoke the same sections for Dayashankar, when he compared a dalit woman with a prostitute? Rather he should have also been charged with Prevention of Atrocities Act. But there happened just opposite. What kind of politics this is?

Indian society is full of caste disparities and discrimination which will always remain the matter of national shame.  The question who has created casteism is not an issue. The thing that matters is who advocates for caste society?  Who advocates for cultural nationalism?  Who is against the idea of plural India? Who are against the dream of freedom fighters? Who are against the Indian Constitution? Who want to pursue the ideology of Hindutva? Are they Congress, Janata Parties or BSP ? Ofcourse not. They are only Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and BJP-ian ideologues- the founder of Hindutva Mr. K. B. Hedgewar and M.S. Golwalkar. Moreover, it is only this BJP regime which has attempted to glorify cow politics. While the Cow Protection Act, 1955 was already in existence and the Congress party had been ruling in center for many years but Indian society never faced such ‘cow slaughtering’ and violence in the name of cows. Suddenly, what happened to India since Modi came in power? Have Indians turned into some kind of ‘predators’ and started killing the cows after Modi becomes a P.M.? Is it so? How funny it is! Let’s suppose people have become more ‘cruel’ towards Cows in Modi regime. Hence, the ‘cow slaughtering’ is rising rapidly so the vigilante ‘Gau-Rakshak’ groups are also increasing following the RSS agenda. The followers of BJP as ‘intelligent’ as they are, are confused and thinking that what is wrong with ‘protecting cows’? Well, friends, then why they are creating havoc and not invoking the law- the Cow Protection Act? Why these ‘Gau-Rakshaks’ are breaking the laws? Don’t they believe in Indian Judicial system? It is obvious these anti-social organized goons have political connections. This organized violence is manifestation of certain ideological agenda. Consequently, Muslim and Dalits are soft targets of this cow & beef politics.

No one forgets the Mirchpur incident where a dalit village of Haryana was burnt in 2011. Many were burnt alive and killed brutally. This was the worse incident happened during Congress rule. But the Congress High Command had openly condemned the action and Rahul Gandhi also visited the victims. Casteism/Caste system has caused chaos there but the attitude of ruling party was different. Now, the situation is worst and character of assault is chain like organized campaign (rumor based) supported by the political ideology of BJP/RSS government. Moreover, the party president Amit Shah and PM Modi are silent on this scheme of assaults on dalits &minorities, which shows the silent support of Modi to such violence. The BJP MLA Raja Singh openly supported the humiliation of dalit youths and praised the ‘Gau-Rakshaks’ of Gujrat. He also used derogatory language to dalits which clearly manifest the mindsets of BJP. It is not new for BJP to have story of assaults on dalits on the name of ‘cow protection’.  In 2002, five Dalits were skinning a dead cow to sell its hide in Haryana. Local Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Shiv Sena spread rumors of cow slaughter. The five Dalits were murdered. Instead of condemning the action a senior leader of the VHP Giriraj Kishor supported this lynching and said that the life of a cow was more important than the lives of any number of people. Again the RSS remained silent.

PM Narendra Modi never deplored such incidents that would have surprised some people. But after tracing the ideological origin of BJP one may find the answer why Modi is silent rather why should Modi be silent on atrocities against dalits?

PM Modi was the then General Secretary of RSS when LK Advani marched on his Ram Rath Yatara in 1990. Modi has emotional and psychic attachment to the ideology of RSS. Mr. Narendra Modi has written a book “Jyotipunj” glorifying the M.S.Golwalkar- the second  Sarsanghchalak (Supreme Leader) of RSS. He mentioned that M.S. Golwalkar is the source of inspiration for him. Golwalkar is one of Parcharaks who institutionalized the idea of Hindutva through books “We-or-Our-Nationhood defined” in 1939 and “Bunch of Thoughts”. These Golwalkar’s writings are totally against Indian constitution and he has also tried to exclude Hindu from the We(….) mentioned in preamble of Indian Constitution.

Golwalkar in his Bunch of Thoughts said that

“Our Constitution too is just a cumbersome and heterogeneous piecing together of various articles from various Constitutions of the Western countries. It has nothing which can be called our own. Is there a single word of reference in its guiding principles as to what our National Mission is, what our keynote in life is?” No!

The National Mission he meant for is the Hindu Nationalism- a cultural chauvinism and fascism more or less a theocratic state. Also Golwalkar boldly praised Nazi Fascism based on cultural and racist ‘purity’ and said that

“German national pride has now become the topic of the day. To keep up purity of the nation and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races, the Jews. National pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for races and cultures having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into a united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by.” (We…, 1938, p.37)

The ideology which praises Hitler how can be tolerant to the very Idea of plural India. Golwalkar also provides the definition of Hindutva. He stabbed the back of freedom fighters and said that

“From the standpoint sanctioned by the experience of shrewd nations, the non-Hindu people in Hindustan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and revere Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but the glorification of Hindu nation i.e. they must not only give up their attitude of intolerance and ingratitude towards this land and its age long traditions, but must also cultivate the positive attitude of love and devotion instead; in one word, they must cease to be foreigners or may stay in the country wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, for less any preferential treatment, not even the citizen’s rights.” (Ibid p.52).

V.D. Savarkar (another Hindutva stalwart), the ideal of Modi had adhered strongly to Manusmriti. He high-lightened the smriti and said that “Manusmriti is that scripture which is most worship-able after Vedas for our Hindu Nation and which from ancient times has become the basis of our culture-customs, thought and practice. This book for centuries has codified the spiritual and divine march of our nation. Even today the rules, which are followed, by crores of Hindus in their lives and practice are based on Manusmriti. Today Manusmriti is Hindu Law”. This is the same smriti which was burnt by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. This smriti asserts anti-dalits and anti-women notions. It enshrines that

“Killing of a woman, a Shudra or an atheist is not sinful. Woman is an embodiment of the worst desires, hatred, deceit, jealousy and bad character. Women should never be given freedom”. (Manu IX. 17 and V. 47, 147)

On February, 1950 Organiser the mouth-piece of RSS published an article “Manu Rules Our Hearts” written by retired High Court Judge Shankar Subha Aiyar. He writes that

“Even though Dr. Ambedkar is reported to have recently stated in Bombay that the days of Manu have ended, it is nevertheless a fact that the daily lives of Hindus are even in the present day affected by the principles and injunctions contained in the Manusmriti and other Smritis. Even an unorthodox Hindu feels himself bound at least in some matters by the rules contained in the Smritis and he feels powerless to give up altogether his adherence to them.”

How can the person of high morals and democratic norms stand with the one who endorses the pre-medieval codes and laws of Manu. You can see Mr.Modi claiming himself several times the true follower of Golwalkar, Savarkar and the RSS- conservative right wing fascists. Actually, this is the kind of cultural Hinduism, the BJP/RSS seeks in India. Once, PM Modi had called the Dr. BR Ambedkar the ‘Manu’ of modern times. How disgusting! Dr. Ambedkar was giant intellectual and jurist who had assimilated the true culture of ancient India-the ancient Republics known as gan-raj and the non-violence of King Ashoka with modern needs of development, making the nation visible in world map- the world’s largest democracy. Unfortunately, PM Modi/RSS believes Savarkar and Golwalkar both of whom stood in opposition to B.R.Ambedkar. Hence, they are dividing the nation by enforcing Hindutva agenda while  harassing the minorities and dalits in name of ‘cow protection’.

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Everyone knows the fact that Sangh members had refused to remove the ‘sacred’ thread (Janeu) when Jayprakash Narayan gave a call to do the same for undermining the supremacy of so called upper caste. RSS had even backed the anti-reservation rallies when Mandal Commission report was being implemented. BJP withdrew the support and the V.P Singh government fell. Isn’t it? What will ‘upper caste’ do if dalits give up skinning the dead cows/animals? Do the BJP supporters want 100% reservation in same profession of removing the skin of dead animals?

PM Modi had to appease the dalits in 2014 Lok Sabha Election. Now, Modi and RSS want to profess the same agenda of Hindutva. Hence, It is not surprising why the PM Modi is silent on atrocities against dalits. If you see through the prism of RSS’s ideology, you can watch the PM giving a real tribute to ‘Guruji’ M.S.Golwalkar while being silent on Dalit issues.

-Amandeep Singh

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Rise of AAP in Punjab: A Challenge to the trend of pre-election alliances and bipolar tendencies (by Amandeep Singh on Oct 7, 2015)

[Despite the exclusionism of Dalits/Backward classes in AAP, just for being a young alternate it may be the first choice of electorates in Malwa region]


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Though, politics as a concept of power many times becomes a major cause of instability and turmoil in society. But, politics as a concept of administration is considered as means to resolve the contradictions that arise by the market economy and so called economic development, often, violating ideas of social equity and justice.  Ironically, all over country, the ‘development model’ and ‘economic growth’ has always been promised with tall claims of ‘Welfare for all’ and ‘Sabh ka Saath aur Sabh ka vikaas’ but India has always witnessed the exclusionism of subalterns and poor every time. In present context, the BJP’s blurred communal lines are now becoming very clear and sharp along with Jobless development and rise of inflation and resentment in peasantry whereas the governance through transparent institutional mechanisms has never been practiced. Mr. Modi advocating semi-fascist party BJP preached ‘Hindu civilization symbolisms’ with sugar coated development agenda. This symbolism helped ‘Modi Wave’ to touch all communities wooing the voters translating them into a big majority in 2014 Lok Sabha election.

Punjab is one such example where ‘Wefare for all’ has been practiced since 1995 (Moga declaration) by Badal-BJP alliance. Also, it is very unique to observe the least impact of Modi Wave in Punjab when whole country was resonating with the same wave. However, Lok Sabha elections generally incorporate more national interests or nationalized regional issues. But still the rise of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab points out little weakening of regional command on politics. The sharp anti-incumbency against eight years Badal rule in Punjab and against ten year congress regime at center opened a window for AAP in political trajectory of Punjab, for being it a national platform centered at Delhi. Anti-corruption narrative with promise of secular-democratic governance empowering the common man through Swaraj (decentralization of power) and transparency worked well in urban, semi-urban and rural regions, attracting the people at large. Consequently, AAP won four seats in first stroke and became equally competent to Akali Dal leaving congress and BJP behind. This impressive beginning of AAP in Punjab significantly challenged the trend of pre-election alliances and bipolar hegemony. For last two decade under the garb of ‘Punjabiyat’, politics has attained bipolarity in history of Punjab. The debacle of left and decline of BSP lent the appropriate space for emergence of bipolarity in Punjab with reciprocative turn of SAD and Congress. Now, AAP is trying to continue its own potential that has created perplexity in political arithmetic of Punjab. After, the acceptance of national perception of AAP in Punjab, and Mr. Modi being PM, BJP seems to be enthusiastic to expand its existing strong capability of translating votes into seats by claiming more candidatures in Assembly election 2017. Hence, bipolarity and trend of pre-election alliances seems to be challenged.

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Now, Mr. Parkash Badal would perhaps be recalling those days of radical memories, and cunningly seeking transformation of ‘Punajbiyat’ back to ‘Panthic agenda’. It seems very difficult for CM Badal to pursue same secular Punjabi Nationalism. Furthermore, CM Badal is also looking towards Bihar election for defeat of BJP to tackle diametrically opposite ideology and expansionist attitude of BJP by pursuing same framework of Punjabi nationalism.

Recent form of alliances, Subaltern and concept of Punjabiyat:

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Although, political representations from common man, dalits and women did not perform well in improving economic aspect of subaltern yet these representations helped them transforming their social life to some extent. Socialism in terms of social justice and empowering lower castes has always been missing in the manifestos of SAD and BJP. Many times CM Parkash Singh Badal has been alleged for denial of scholarships to dalit students and misuse of funds that were meant for their welfare. Dalits are in worst condition as compared to any other social groups in Punjab.  In 2014 Lok Sabha election, AAP got considerable votes from dalits especially dalit Sikhs in Malwa region breaking up Akalis dalit vote base because of failure of delivering social justice to dalits and backward classes by Badal government. Like other parties, despite the exclusionism of Dalits/Backward classes in AAP, just for being a young alternate it may be the first choice of electorates. It is also very fact that the ‘Punjabi Nationalism’ (under ‘co-operative federalism’) instead of ‘Sikh nationalism’ (Khalistan or Sikh rule or separatism) provided an appropriate platform for people to easily resonate with Indian nationalism. Consequently, AAP entered into political life of Punjab underlining formation of some unbound voters.

Modern form of alliances generally SAD-BJP and congress-left can been traced through the evolution of relio-caste demographic features, forming minority-majority persecutions and social divisions. A faction of Akalis, Akali Dal (Badal) started to find its stronghold over Sikh masses (especially Jat Sikh rural peasantry) by controlling Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandhak Committee’s electoral dynamics in late 1980s. Often, Akali Dal (Badal) changed its allies to fulfill the need of challenging political hegemony of congress. But sometimes it did alliances with Janta party (JNP) and Bahujan Smaj Party (BSP) which suited the national political scenario or to handle expansion of Hindutva forces (BJS/BJP). A bitter experience of Akali Dal with post-coalition governments  and choosing electoral partners, initially BJS and some-times CPI,CPM, Janta Party according to need of political survival, made SAD chief Parkash Badal to realize about unfeasibility of winning independently alone with notion of Sikh nationalism. Hence the era of pre-election alliances has started with the beginning of 1990s. Akali Dal Badal tried to expand its vote base around the core of Jat Sikh support base through a formal shift of beloved ‘Sikh nationalism’ to ‘Secular regional nationalism’ overtly emphasizing on Punjab, Punjabi and  Punjabiyat.

Obviously, this scheme of ‘welfare for all’ based on the ‘inclusive accommodation’ and new electoral matrix (mix up of various flavors of regional, linguistic and religions – Panthic or Hindutva) facilitated the declining of Sikh militancy and terrorism after two decades’ upheaval. But it also thwarted the people’s struggle for survival and social justice. This ‘catch-all approach’ in contemporary electoral politics served the electoral gains but reduced the scope of actual transformation of social conditions in favour of subalterns. Consequently, the estrangement of dalits in Punjab has been increased significantly. Interestingly, Punjab has highest number of dalits about 30%, but still Backward classes (SCs & OBCs about 60%) are facing political marginalization in contrast to Uttar Pradesh where the dalit population is less than half of Punjab’s dalits. Total 3.2 percent land is in hands of dalits. Nearly 55% of dalits are involved in agricultural labour and dependent on landowning class.

Under the umbrella of so called Punjabi identity, the rise of dalits assertions in the form of various relgio-cultural outfits like Deras are witness of the exclusionism of dalits in mainstream Sikhism and Hinduism. The post-terrorism period embraces many Dalit-Akali, Dalit-Jat, and Dera-Sikh conflicts that are blots on the face of manufactured Punjabiyat of SAD-BJP (Panthic& Hindutwa forces). However, many conflicts are cheap instruments for electoral mobilizations but these are also the reflections of denial of equal social status to dalits and a little rise of capacities of dalits, in term of education or alternative livelihood over the bounded labour practice in villages. The dalits of Punjab are much improved in comparison to rest of Indian subaltern. The ideological doctrine of Islam (pre-Independence) and Sikhism which influenced the Punjab do not approve casteism or brahaminism. Paradoxically, caste mentality as social custom or sense of superiority controls social divisions avoiding the social relationship/inter-marriages in social life of communities. But, un-touchability has been almost dismantled (with exceptions) as a consequence of the religious tradition of inter-dining.

Like, Sikhs constitute minority in India, Hindu also make the same in Punjab. Therefore, it is unjust to imagine only minority-majority persecutions in Sikhs rather Hindu also feels same in Punjab. Subsequently, SAD and BJP are equally responsible for communal expressions of their opposite theo-ideologies and for electoral unity in power sharing. But, both are not concerned with subaltern and poor. On the other hand, congress which is usually famous for populist politics obviously made polices in the favour of dalits but those could not be implemented properly due social divisions and caste mentality prevailing in administrative structures. As social matrix also plays a vital role in political history of Punjab, therefore, it is must to understand the importance of social justice and social equality that cannot be assured without political participation of dalits/backward classes in parties’ top leadership. Also, since long, Punjabi identity with equal status to all religio-caste groups (manas ki jaat sabh ek pehchaanbo), with the fulfillment of spirit of sarbat da bhala (that is core of Sikhism) is not achieved in true sense, the social justice would not prevail. Thus, it is necessary to grasp the historical journey of formation of identity politics in Punjab.

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Historical trajectory of Punjab Politics:

Identity politics remains a soul of Punjab politics. The partition of country across the religious lines invoked the religious sentiments in Indian society that played a central role in restructuring of nation, especially in the formation of center-state relations. This emergence of religo-polity shaped new identities in Punjab giving birth to ‘theo-politcal ideology’ in the psyche of Akali leaderships. Religion, Culture and Language combinations in different demographic environments have materialized itself into different identities. The notion of Raj Karega Khalsa found space in core ideology of Akali Politics. However, Akalis expressed this notion openly during Punjabi Suba movement but the formation of Pakistan (latter on, which proudly declared itself Islamic Republic) also inspired the Akalis for establishing ‘Sikh rule’. Akali Dal started a new chapter of ‘regional nationalism’ that sometime turned to ‘Sikh nationalism’ or ‘Punjabi nationalism’ especially after 1965 it has shaped into Indian Nationalism then again culminated  to ‘Sikh nationalism’ while operation Blue-Star.

The Akali politics have undergone with much factionalism especially because of vacillation of religio-culture demography and ever emerging or changing regional issues be it linguistic matter, Punjabi Suba demand, Nirankari-Akali conflicts, Anandpur Resolution (1973,1978,1981), SYL project (1982),  Rise of Bhindranwale, Blue Star operation(1984), Delhi Riots after Smt. Indra’s assassination,  Rajiv-Longowal pact (1985), beginning of  Dalit assertions finding neo-religious outfits (1970s, 2000 onwards), River-Water distribution dispute, Moga declaration 1995 etc. Akali Dal has undergone through various phases in electoral journey – mergers with congress (in 1948 & 1956), Agitational phase (1956- 1967), post-coalition phase with tussle against center (1967-1992) and burden of pre-election alliance with BJP (1992 onwards).  Finally, Punjab has entered in the transitional phase of peace and stability, obviously bearing right wing patterns in regime of Akali Dal Badal and lesser accountability towards social justice.   Simultaneously, the congress party that was much dominant till division of Maha-Punjab experienced severe opposition by first United Front- a force with diverging ideological bodies- marking end of one party dominance in 1967 assembly election. Although, this United Front Government collapsed in very short span but it was the beginning of anti-congressism in Punjab.

                 After the reorganization of Punjab, the introduction of Green Revolution Strategy changed the socio-economic composition in Punjab. The era from 1967 to 1980 witnessed the attempts by Akalis to infiltrate anti-centerism doctrine (minority-majority persecutions) and over emphasized on communalization of secular demands, so as anti-congress (which was in power at center) mentality could prevail. Akali Dal who advocated for language based division of Maha Punjab and led many struggles for Punjabi Suba, again cunningly communalized the this secular demand to seek power by appeasing Sikh-Majority in Punjab. Both Bharti Jan Sangh (BJS) and Congress opposed the Punjabi Suba demand. Akali Dal organizational structures were dominant with Jat Sikh leadership especially from rural peasantry. Therefore, Dalits and Urban Hindus were not in favour of Punajbi Suba demand as dalits perceived that Punjabi Suba formation would lead to dominance of Jat Sikh community, on the other hand the Hindus were afraid of communal prejudice. Then, Giani Zail Singh won with unanimous majority in 1972 and became first Chief Minister of Punjab belonging to backward classes. Interestingly, Both Akalis and Bhartiya Jan Sangh, two diametrically opposite ideologies, and sometimes CPI,CPM, Jan Sangh and  Akalis existed together in post election coalitions-Akalis, BJS, JNP &left (1967,1969);  Akalis, BJS & JNP(1970-71,1977-80);  Akalis,CPI & CPM(1980) –  to keep Congress out of power.  Communalization of every regional secular demand by Akalis, Minority- Majority persecutions and assertion of Sikh identity governed number of breakdowns of post-election coalitions of Akalis and BJS/BJP. The issues of Hindi language, center-state relation and status of Chandigarh were much disputed among BJS and Akali Dal. The 1977 election as an anti-emergency election was uniquely fought under the banner of Janta Party (led by Mr. Parkash Singh Badal in Punjab) to win Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabha elections. The credit goes to Janta Party whose revolutionary potential made a first surplus majority coalition government in Punjab otherwise Akali could never do same. And this Akali Dal Badal government faced failure because of Akali-Nirankari conflicts and clash of interests between the BJS and the Akali Dal.

The time period 1980 to 1990, is phase of rising militancy in Sikhs and violence became the only instrument to articulate grievances. This is an actual time span when Congress run center turned to monstrous and allowed the situation to drift in communalization. To tackle the opposition and protest of four party alliance ( Akalis, CPI, CPM and Janta Party)  against SYL project, the ruling congress party started to gain a support from a hardliner Sikh-Akali faction (led by Bhindranwale) who openly questioned the SGPC and Akalis. This strategy of congress succeeded in managing immediate political circumstances but finally resulted in disastrous consequences. It reminds the statement of Master Tara Singh, one of the torch bearers of Akali Dal that ‘everyone got justice, Muslim got Pakistan that they wanted but Sikhs got nothing’. No doubt, many injustices would have been ensued to Punjab or Sikh minority by center while nation building process. But, this statement clearly shows the pre-grievances in the minds of Akali leaders during independence which latter on reflected in separatist ideology in Akali factions. Obviously, rising resentment in middle and small peasantry due to green revolution policy added fuel to fire burning in political clash between congress and Akalis. This Sikh identity strengthened multifold during this time period followed by the factionalism in Akali Dal. Apart from Bhindranwale, Badal group and Talwandi- Tohra group were major factions representing different social classes in mainstream. Badal inclined to represent the agrarian class of middle to rich peasantry and business class whereas Talwandi-Tohra group tilted towards middle to lower peasantry. Therefore, it facilitated the pre-election alliances, Badal became close to BJP and Talwandi-Tohra tried to tilt towards left-CPM/CPI who had better ally of congress at center and finally shifted towards congress in Punjab. In 1992, BSP entered in Punjab with remarkable beginning but started to lose its dalits support base very soon. Thereafter, Akali Dal Badal left BJP and formed an alliance with the BSP for the 1996 parliamentary elections and the alliance won 11 seats out of 13. And this alliance could not sustain till 1997 assembly election as BSP made the government with the support of congress in UP. Badal again chose BJP as partner with promise of implementation of the Moga declaration (1995). But, in practice Badal neither could satisfy the BJP nor deliver social justice to dalits. Subsequently, Congress revived back and won 62 seats in 2002. However, Chief Minister, Capt. Amarinder Singh penetrated in rural Jat Sikh peasantry votes with his bold action on the issues of water-distribution in the favour of Punjab but lost the dalits Sikh vote bank due to interference in the internal classification of quota among schedule castes. Now, Punjab has been under Akali Dal Badal since 2007. In 2012, despite being much anti-incumbency, Badal(with 34%) managed to win as PPP’ chief Manpreet Badal acts as spoiler for congress(with 40%) by scoring 5% share. Now, AAP has been changing the scenario of Punjab, hence it is necessary to examine the result of 2014 parliamentary election in light of future of Punjab. And another facet of examination is to trace the disappearance of dalit identity in generic sense of political narrative of Punjab resulting to political marginalization of subaltern, though they constitute highest population percentage in state.

Dalits/Backward classes and Punjab polity:

Before independence, Dalit mobilizations around the communal ethos emerged in various movements –Ahmadiya movement (by Muslims), Arya Samaj (by Hindus), Ad-Dharm and conversions to Christianity (by Scheduled castes), Singh Sabha movement (by Sikhs) – that clearly surfaced the existing caste differentiations in all religions and also carved out new consciousness about dalits in Punjab. Consequently, these efforts also produced some leaders among dalits. After 1947, the congress party was dominated till division of Maha-Punjab in 1967. Although, there was no such high political consciousness in dalits, yet they used to support congress party for being its Gandhian Secular lines and co-option of main leaders from Ad-Dharmis (Chamars) within party. Congress party at national level wanted to form a new socio-economic base to tackle the rich peasantry leaderships (from regional parties), therefore, it emphasized on Garibi, un-touchability and  provision of reserved constituencies etc that created its pro-dalit perception. On the contrary, Akali Dal (dominated with Jat Sikh rich peasantry) aimed at communalization to target Sikh majority especially after the re-organization of Punjabi Suba. Even, at the peak of Sikh militancy and Sikh separatism, Congress appointed Giani Zail Singh, of non-Jat background as its leader who introduced a classification among the scheduled castes for reserved jobs strengthening the quota system. And Congress relied on ‘theory of faction’ for natural inflow of Jat Sikh votes. Here, Congress exploited the feudal-family structures prevailed in village economy which are equally undergoing in present scenario. But, left parties like CPI and CPM did not capture the imagination of dalits. As leftists relied on abstract philosophical discourse devoid of spiritual and cultural symbolism which could not associate with dalits for being lesser educated. Moreover, leftist leaders lacked lower caste leadership within their parties and they belonged to Jat Sikh caste whose origin was in Singh Sabha movement and Akali Dal.

Nearly 58% Sikhs, 38% Hindus and 4% other religious groups live in Punjab. Dalits constitutes approximately 30% of total population.  As per 2001 caste census, five castes Mazhabi, Chamar, Ad Dharmi, Balmiki and Bazigar together form 86.8 per cent of the total SC population. Mazhabi is numerically the largest SC, having 31.6 per cent of the total SC population, followed by Chamar (26.2 %), Ad Dharmi (14.9 %), Balmiki (11.2 %) and Bazigar (3.0 %). Remaining thirty two SCs constitute the residual 13.2 per cent of the total SC. Jat Sikh constitute nearly 30-35% of total population which is also dominant majority in Sikhs. This demographic data clearly shows that why Akali Dal and Congress try to target different socio-economic and religious groups. The fruit of green-revolution benefited Ad-Dharmis and Chamars who constitute a large part in Doaba region. On the other hand, the Mazhabhis living in Malwa and Majha regions gained least from green revolution as they were based on agricultural labour. The emergence of BSP in 1984 started to make impact in state after 1985, wooing the Dalits especially Chamars, Ad-dharmis in political mobilization. Dalit vote base of Ad-Dharmis and Ramdasis Chamars shifted from congress to BSP seeking the political representation of their own which were lacking in congress. On contrary, a large chunk of Mazhabhis Sikh withdrew their support from BSP and turned to Akali Dal (only Sikh outfit) with the consolidation of Sikh identity under the violent attack by center, after assignation of Smt. Indra Gandhi. Moreover the ideological discourse of Manuwad/Brahminism could not find association with Mazhabhi Sikhs that connected more to Hindu SCs. Secondly, Akali Dal started to give more tickets to Sikh SCs. Thirdly, BSP could not carry on movements against caste-ism or social injustice at ground level rather it directly went into electoral management. Similarly, AAP leadership is not interested in building movements against corruption or communal politics of SAD and social injustice in Punjab that it practiced earlier in Delhi before coming in Power. Aftermath, Akali Dal Badal feared that it would be hard task to win if BSP managed to do alliance with congress. Therefore, Akali Dal Badal became successful in making alliance with BSP during parliamentary election in 1996, changing the electoral dynamics of Punjab. It advantaged to Akali Dal in winning many seats (in 1997 assembly election) and gradually damaged BSP’s core vote base of Chamars who turned back to congress party. This was the major reason that’s why Congress won 62 seats in 2002 and made government under CM Capt. Amarinder Singh marking the end of scope of BSP politics in Punjab. But, it is interesting to see the assertions of dalits in the form ‘neo-religious identities’ like Deras- Radha Soami, Sacha Sauda, Nirankari, Ravi Dasis Dera Ballan etc.

No doubt, Deras are older than even Sikhism but it challenged mainstream Sikhism when the size of Deras’ followers had increased due to routine denial of dignity to SCs in Sikh outfits. With the march of ‘Punjabi identity’ and decline of pro-dalit political line of BSP, the expression of political marginalization of Dalits has been reflecting through increasing Dera-Alaki/Dera-Sikh/Dalit- Jat conflicts. Following the decline of BSP, Tahlan incident (2003), Bhaniaranwala kand (2004), Sacha Sauda conflicts (2007), Riots in Jallandhar after killing of Ravidasis leader in Vienna (2009), Dalit Boycott in Taran-Taaran (2012) and in Sangrur (2014) are few episodes through which dalits assertions manifested against Jat Sikh dominance in mainstream Sikhism. This phenomenon of rising Deras/separate Gurdwaras (like Bhai Jeevan Singh or Ravidasis Gurdwara) or clash between Dalits and Jat Sikhs indicates the religio-political hegemony of Jat Sikh community in all walks of life and rising educational and certain economic access among dalits.

Now, in present context, the introduction of AAP phenomenon in Punjab supported by dalits in Malwa region damaging the Akali Dal’s dalit Sikh vote bank created a new hope in the BJP heads to encourage dalits outfits (like SC Morcha) in its political mobilization so as new equation of dalits and Hindu urban combination can stand BJP as independent party in Punjab or at least push SAD on back foot. Contrarily, AAP is trying to rely on ‘theory of faction’ like congress to impress Jat factions in villages but ignoring the dalits. AAP for being claimant of structural administrative transparency lacking doctrine of social justice seems not much aware of social realities. Moreover, AAP as movement against corruption has neither found any expression in Punjab nor started any concrete efforts to consolidate lower caste cadres and leadership in party structures, though a good vote base of dalits (from SAD) shifted to AAP in Malwa region.

Reviewing Electoral verdict of Punjab in 2014 election:-

The appearance of AAP on the political map of Punjab pulled in votes of all the sections of society like rural, urban, or semi-rural from every religio-caste groups. AAP became successful to carve out a vote share of 24.47% claiming four MPs in parliament. On the other hand, both Congress and BJP-SAD suffered with decline in vote share. Interestingly, Congress lost bigger share in every region rural, semi-urban and urban by 9.5%, 16% and 13% respectively. But, Congress suffered loss of 16% in semi-urban region whereas SAD got set back of 9% in urban areas.

Party SAD(B) Congress BJP BSP AAP
Change in vote share

2009 to 2014 (%)

-7.5 -12.0 -1.3 -3.8 +24.47
2009 (% share)

Parliamentary election

33.85 45.23 10.06 5.75
2014 (%share)

Parliamentary election

26.37 33.19 8.77 1.91 24.47
2012 (% share)

Assembly election

34.73 40.09 7.18 4.49

    Source: Source: Election Commission of India Reports 2009-2014.

  Vote share (%) transformed to AAP in 2014 as compared to 2009 Lok Sabha

Election

  SAD(B) Congress BJP BSP total=SAD+

Congress

+BJP+BSP

AAP
Rural -8.2 -9.5 -0.45 -3.96 -22.11 +22.3
Semi-Urban -6.5 -16 -1.0 -4.32 -27.87 +29.8
Urban -9.0 -13 -2.3 -1.62 -25.92 +25.6
Total -7.5 -12 -1.3 -3.80 -24.60 +24.4

Source:  Article “Decoding Electoral Verdict in Punjab: Future of Regional Parties?”  By Pramod Kumar

Now, it is worth to observe that dalits votes went away from Akali Dal in rural region of Malwa that comprised significant a part in 8.2% of lost rural vote share. Similarly, Congress faced some damage of dalits votes in rural areas of Malwa region but it also experienced more loss of  Hindu upper caste vote in urban centers with overall loss of 13% share. No doubt, AAP cut into vote share of SAD in semi-urban area but it took a good amount of vote nearly 29.8% in semi-urban regions against congress. Obviously, AAP pulled in the votes from congress party, giving it a strong shock of 16% votes in semi-urban sectors. Therefore, petty-bourgeoisie shopkeepers generally from Khatri-Sikh, Banias and Khatri-Hindu chose AAP instead of SAD-BJP or Congress.

Reserved Assembly Constituencies (34) won by Parties in assembly election 2012 and parliamentary election 2014

 

Party SAD Congress AAP BJP BSP Total
2012 (117) 21 10 3 0 34
2014 (13 adjusted over 117) 6 12 14 2 0 34

After the decline of BSP, congress has restored its Hindu-dalit vote base whereas Sikh dalits dragged into SAD as they could not find a proper space in BSP against Hindu-dalits. As if the reserved 34 constituencies of winning candidates are compared to 2009 assembly election, then in 2014, a big swing of 15 seats (that was won by SAD in 2009) has undergone in the favour of AAP. This indicates that dalits who were vacillating between SAD and Congress, shifted towards AAP leaving SAD in Malwa region. However, congress somehow successfully continued its vote base in dalits (Hindu dalits) especially in Doaba region and some parts of Majha region. Therefore, it necessary for AAP to mobilize dalits and fight for social justice so that it can carry on the support of dalits in the regime of Badal with increasing atrocities on dalits. Only political force with the banner of social justice and transparent governance empowering the common man and subaltern can survive long term. And this is century of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in Gandhain Secular democracy that can lead the peace and pluralism in the South-Asia region of the Globe.  

Bihar Assembly Election 2015: Can ‘Modi Wave’ save the ‘holy alliance’ NDA from losing Patliputra to Grand alliance- Lalu & Nitish? (by Amandeep Singh on August 9, 2015)

This entry was posted in Activity and tagged assembly election 2015 Bihar Bihar Assembly election Bihar election Bihar election 2015 Bihar Politics BJP Grand Alliance holy alliance Janta Dal politics Janta Pariwar Lalu-Nitish Lalu-Nitish alliance Modi wave RJD-JDU alliance RJD-JDU-INC-NCP unholy alliance on August 9, 2015 by Amandeep Singh

Will Lalu-Nitish beat up the polarizing Ghosts haunting over the entire country?

From the desk of Chairman ESYA

Amandeep Singh

lalu and nitish

“And now our government
a bird with two right wings
flies on from zone to zone
while we go on having our little fun & games
at each election
as if it really mattered who the pilot is” 

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

The rise of Modi wave, occupying the anti-corruption space invented by Anna’s movement, has begun with series of promises in 2014. However, the appropriate environment for broadcasting of this so called Modi wave through electronic and social media had been prepared much earlier. This wave inspired a large chunk of Indian youth especially middle class youth assuring employment to them. The fanatic ideas of Industrial development attracted the corporate world and local big business houses to invest in Modi wave.  Aggressive attempts to facilitate Land Acquisition ordinance have shown extreme tendency of PM Modi to maintain perception of his decisive leadership. But as it is believed just obsession or will power does not work. Finally, P.M. Modi has been entrapped into the number game inside Rajaya Sabha irrespective of majority in Lok Sabha house. Hence, he has become soft on the issue of land bill to neutralize anger in farmers of Bihar. Today, just after one year, Modi wave has collapsed into the colossal gap of promises and performance.

For winning the game of numbers, pushing the reforms that government wanted, this upcoming Bihar election is very vital and crucial for PM Modi. On the other side, new alliances have emerged between innate rival JDU and RJD- major factions of the Grand alliance in Bihar. It marks the reunion of surviving factions to revive Janta Dal politics. Many speculations about this merger prevail in political spheres but it seems very political decision from the side of Lalu Prasad Yadav.

Modi wave immediately strengthened in Maharashtra and Haryana after achieving big mandate in Lok Sabha. But this wave has been shaken by Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi just before Modi government completed its honeymoon period.  Now the Bihari people would tell that whether there is any revival of same Modi wave in Bihar or not.  Let’s have a glance over the Bihar’s politics and history to explore the possibilities to which people of Bihar may manifest.

Lalu’s ideas of Social justice Vs  RSS backed BJP’s communal prejudice :-

With the fabulous victory of Janta Dal led by Lalu Yadav in 1990, Lalu Yadav came into limelight as hero of weaker sections like Dalits, Muslim, EBC and OBC. This was first time in history of Bihar, when his party claimed more OBC MLA seats in Vidhan Sabha leaving behind so called upper caste MLA numbers. No doubt Lalu had understanding of the semi-feudal social order of rural Bihar and tried to gain the votes of lower caste/dalits sections by targeting landlords in his speeches. Many political thinkers claims that this was the moment when Lalu Yadav fought for dignity of dalits and backward classes who were under threat of upper caste violence perpetuated by their Senas. Moreover Lalu successfully exploited the votes of Dalit sections which were mobilized by Naxalites/Moaists against Upper Caste dominance.

At that time, Lalu Yadav was the politician who used to adhere with the philosophy of social justice instead of development in infrastructure or industrial sector. Lalu followed the principle that ‘development does not bring votes’. BUT the clear cut mandate in 1995 proved as referendum in favour of Lalu Yadav. Hence Lalu Yadav captured successfully the imagination of lower masses that made him accepted in the eyes these people.

This was dynamic phase in Bihar which changed the social compositions strengthening the political representations of poor backward classes and to some extent upper section of dalits. No doubt Bihar did not achieve exactly the position of social justice that was claimed by Lalu Yadav, though he had been in power, because dalits started to get alienated gradually whereas OBC especially Yadav (landowning caste) were at forefront in RJD party. Hence Lalu’s party became a Yadav centric party but still RJD is most acceptable in rural Bihar.

Rural Bihar was fully dependent on agriculture till end of 20th century. Therefore, no one can neglect the importance of economic development in form of infrastructure and industry. The social justice could have prevailed effectively if economic prosperity, educational and employment opportunities among poor classes (especially landless peasantry and labor classes) might have materialized. Hence, in 2000, however he won a majority in state election but after that he began to lose some the influence on Bihar’s politics. Now in present scenario, whatever doubts one may bear in mind but it is very fact that Lalu is still having dominated influence over Yadav-Muslim population (14+16.5=30.5%). Also, Lalu is somewhat popular among poor Dalits masses maintaining the pro-dalit perception.    

In 1991, it was Mr. Lalu who stopped Advani’s Rath in Bihar and arrested him. Without any hesitation it can be alleged that Lalu’s image defamed to very extent when he was convicted under corruption charges. But Lalu is one of the prominent leaders who is known for his secular ideology and he has never stood in favour of Hindutva of RSS or BJP. He never allied with BJP. He immediately supported Nitish’s JDU in making government in Bhiar the moment Nitish Kumar broke his 17 year old alliance with NDA (in 2013) while opposing Narendra Modi as PM face of BJP in 2014 Lok Sabha election. This is major reason why Muslims confer their support to RJD.

Many local leaders Sadhavi Prachi, MPs like Yogi Aditya Nath, Giri Raj, Sakshi Maharaj, Uma Bharti (Cabinet Minister) etc do not lose any chance to polarize the country by their hate statements/speeches like “ramjade aur hramjade, hindu 4 bache paida karen na ki 40 pille jo lav jehad karte hain, emergency lga kar musalmano ki nasbandi honi chahihe” etc . It is well said that it is wise to nip the evil in the bud. But on contrary BJP’s senior most and top leadership including PM Modi has never tried to condemn these statements in public domain. This indicates how ‘hidden agenda’ of BJP is to divide the country by initiating a new debate across religious line. Besides these hot speeches, Love Jehad and Ghar Vapsi are the two stupid phenomena that successfully punctured the secular fabric of country. Interestingly, BJP did all these shameful things immediately after it came in power in May, 2014. And this campaign of hate politics is continuing till now making minorities insecure and demoralizing.

Today, Modi government has become exposed before the Indian masses especially Muslims losing the promise of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas.  Hence, in such atmosphere, Mr. Lalu observed very pragmatically and firmly that Muslim votes would go to party/coalition which could be strong enough to defeat BJP. Consequently, Lalu did not want to lose any possibility to defeat BJP that couldn’t happened in 2014 Lok Sabha election as secular opposition was fragmented before the ‘secular developmental model’ sold by OBC PM candidate Narendra Modi.  That is why Lalu have become ready to drink poison to smash down the cobra of communalism.

Now, BJP will hardly get any Muslim vote in Bihar and shall have to rely upon 18% Upper caste bastion. Although BJP has infiltrated Yadav vote base yet it is unlikely to woo large backward caste voters by BJP. Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan and Mr. Manjhi are two dalit faces in NDA. They will snatch definitely appropriate votes of Maha-dalits and Dalits but Lalu seems more offensive against NDA/BJP as BJP did not disclose Caste based census. Lalu is trying to propagate himself again as safeguard of lower castes by exposing BJP’s casteist attitude. It may neutralize the damage (caused by Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan and Mr. Manjhi) to little extent. If this struggle of caste census and secularism in the background of BJP’s anti-peasantry attitude continues enthusiastically, it will be the big reason of BJP’s Ghar Wapsi.

Face to Face: Current C.M. Nitish Kumar Vs P.M. Modi:-

Since long Nitish Kumar broke his alliance with BJP on the issue of making Narendra Modi a chairman of campaign committee, Nitish Kumar projected successfully himself in contrast to Modi expressing his potential and compatibility. Whenever he was in NDA, many BJP leaders like Shatrughan Sinha called Nitish as PM material. Hence Nitish Kumar is no less than a prime-ministerial candidate in the eyes of some political spheres and rightly so.

Many surveys and reports of present Bihar revel that the popularity of CM Nitish is much more than PM Modi in Bihar. Interestingly, after continuous 10 years rule in Bihar, CM Nitish has successfully handled the anti-incumbency tendencies among people by providing his relatively good administration. On contrary BJP has multiple CM contenders claiming themselves as more competent. Moreover, Ram Vilas Paswan (Lok Janshakti party), Upendra Khushwaha (Chairman, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party) and Jtitn Manjhi(Hindustani Aawam Morcha) are also NDA’s faction who are  worried for CM chair. But reality is that BJP’s no candidate is able to stand against Nitish. This situation forced BJP-NDA to bring PM Modi against CM Nitish Kumar in upcoming Bihar assembly election.

All pro-BJP thinkers argue for being Modi a face of campaign that it was recent successful strategy which was applied in Maharashtra and Haryana. But, they become silent and uncomfortable when it is asked why they [BJP] do fear in fighting independently in Bihar as was done in Maharashtra and Haryana. This clearly explains how BJP is showing defensive attitude in Bihar that was not in case of Maharashtra and Haryana. Furthermore, Delhi assembly election has surfaced a severe doubt on future of Modi wave in February, 2015. Now, the matter of great enthusiasm is that whether BJP would really fight under the face of Modi till last day or announce CM face just before election, while anticipating a sweeping defeat like Delhi.   

Bihar’s development: Nitish’s ten years Su-shasan Vs Modi’s ‘Achhe Din’ :-

BJP wants to overstep JDU by claiming that whole development of Bihar has been achieved under JDU-BJP coalition. BJP wishes to attack on Nitish (whose JDU came into existence against Lalu’s RJD) for an opportunist alliance with Lalu’RJD to bring back Jungle Raaj in Bihar. The jungle raaj card seems not more effective in Bihar as CM face is Nitish (that was very beloved to BJP) not Lalu. And it is also necessary to note down that Nitish Kumar is only CM face for Bihar in the absence of BJP’s candidate. Everyone knows politics is more or less the game of immediate perceptions because ideological-seeping into basic masses goes very slow and takes decades to become a consolidated perception. On the other hand, NDA is also full of such strange political combinations to possess power in assembly. It would be very hard to have credit of Bihar’s development by BJP alone because in both cases whether be it BJP or RJD, Nitish was/is Chief Minister. Infact, Nitish Kumar has brought a better law and order situation and industrial projects which led to (average) 10% plus GDP in Bihar. Although, in past two years the business class has somewhat got frightened due to JDU-RJD combination, fearing the return of ‘lawlessness’ as this class perceived RJD a dominating force. The autocratic nature of Modi’s government in center and upper caste dominance (generally pro-BJP) in Business are also strong reason for declining level of Business projects. Being little bit pragmatic, one can see that 80% population lives in rural Bihar. Therefore the peasant classes, landless dalits and muslims are decesive factors. And survey shows more than two-third people are satisfied with Nitish Governance especially with issues of safety, electricity and law and order.  

Nowadays, both Parliamentary houses Lok Sabha and Rajaya Sabha has been disrupted by opposition (led by Congress) to force Modi government for resignations of Foreign Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan CM Vasundhra Raje for  Lalit-Gate issue. CM Shivraj Chuahan’s resignation is also under the target of opposition over Vyapam Scam matter. It is well known fact that the last session of parliament was most efficient session as whole opposition was fully cooperative. But what happened in just one year that opposition is so aggressive to expose Modi’s Achhe Din of one year. Opposition especially Indian National Congress has challenged Modi’s promise of ‘Na khaaunga Na khaane doonga’ while fighting on Lalit case and Vyapam Scam.

Beside these issues, CM Nitish Kumar raised a question on return of Black Money in very sarcastic way by saying that PM Modi compelled millions of Indian people to open accounts in banks but these accounts are still waiting for 15 laakh per account which was promised by Modi before being PM. Also he added Bihar is demanding special sate status that was central slogan of Lok Sabha election 2014, which is not yet fulfilled by PM Modi in one year.

Modi government has been facing much resistance against saffron-ization of education, killing of ideological diversity in higher management offices of prestigious institutions like IITs, IIMs and FTII. Modi’s nationalism has exposed by ex- military men for not fulfilling the promise of one rank one pension.  Next to the national scenario, if one looks into only Bihar, Modi government did not give anything special to Bihar as if Modi government has completed more than one year. In Delhi election, majority of non-resident Biharis/ migrated Biharis supported to AAP party instead of BJP. This indicates how much tough is Bihar to win by BJP.

 

Caste equations:  Chances of Caste dominance over vote casting :-

Though, it is fact that two plus two may not equal four in political arithmetic yet caste and minority equations along ideological line of any politics may help in better understanding of Bihar election 2015. The vote share on which BJP depends is majority of the Upper caste and Baniyas (18+7 =25%). Lok Janshakti Party (NDA’s faction) seeks votes of a Dalit communities like Paswans and Dusadh making 6% vote share. Hence total dominant vote share of NDA along the ideological line is 31%.

Whereas at the peak of the Modi wave, when BJP’s propaganda of ‘development agenda’ was on full swing NDA got 38% vote share (BJP had 29% share) in 2014. Despite this small vote share, BJP scored more MP seats taking advantage of fragmentation of opposition. Interestingly, RJD-JDU-Congress combine got 43.5% vote share in Lok Sabha election (2014) against NDA’s 38%. This clears the picture of Bihar how NDA hardly made the difference of 7% vote share from its strategic vote base of 31% even when Modi wave was being preached like shocking wave,

If anybody sees the general arithmetic of state election, the caste and minority equations suggest that an enough vote share of 55% is inclined to JDU-RJD-Congress alliance, with a 38-40% in favor of the NDA. RJD has a dominance over 31% of vote share (16% Muslims + 15% Yadavs), JDU ~18-20% and Congress at 8-9%. Now, it is to observe that whether the revival of ‘Modi wave’ of higher fanaticism than 2014 is possible? If it is, then whether it will resonate with youth or not, under such dismaying national political scene of rising unemployment and ordinances, Delhi defeat followed by parliamentary disruption. Moreover, BJP/NDA seeks the diversion of 3-4% Yadav votes by Papu Yadav to weaken the Lalu’s vote share. Also Manjhi factor may favour BJP to woo Mahadalits. Instead of all NDA/BJP efforts and distortions, this caste and minority equation does not seem to favour NDA/BJP.

Now the question comes in mind that to what extent caste and minority arithmetic will dominate Bihar election. The answer comes better from the nature of State and Lok Sabha Election. The common trend of Indian polity is that the state assembly election is more localized and candidate based. Hence caste/community influences in state election are deeper than in case of Lok Sabha election (which is more National party/Alliance /PM candidate oriented). In a very pragmatic manner it can be said that as per the Bihar election is concerned the caste equation would be prominent over the magic of ‘development agenda’. If last Lok Sabha campaign of Modi’s development model couldn’t bring a big swing of votes in favour of BJP, then it is difficult to say that in state election the magic of development would work in favour of BJP. If it works to some extent, it is not wrong to say Nitish may neutralize the ‘Modi wave’.

 

Seat Sharing: NDA’s weakness Vs experienced JDU-INC-RJD:-

Instead of all above factors, the seat sharing and candidate selection is most critical stage for both political poles. JDU-RJD-INC, the grand alliance, seems more confident about the objective of current coalition though it is facing some problems in having proper harmony and management among lower leadership.

On the other hand, BJP is forced to project PM Modi as ‘armor’ of all caste factions to impress multifarious caste groups so as each group would imagine that CM would be from its own community/caste in the absence of formal CM candidate. But as it is known very well, politics is double faced sword. The above strategy of BJP may also create a doubt in the mind of self-claimed CM candidate like Paswan, Kushwaha, Manjhi etc that BJP would make CM of own party if NDA gets majority. Hence seat sharing becomes more important and critical occasion because if BJP wants to convince all allied faction over its own CM candidate (may not be announced publically but off the record) then it will raise the negotiating capacity of other allied parties and therefore they would demand more seats. If BJP will agree for making CM candidate from dalit and Mahadalit or even from OBC then RSS/ Hindu fundamentalists/ other castiest groups and upper caste workers will be unhappy and election campaign will be adversely affected.

This fierce and dismaying situation may lead to disintegration of NDA because opposition under the very clever leader Lalu Prasad Yadav would like “to kill two birds with one stone”. On the one hand, in the public speeches and rallies Lalu is preaching among common people BJP/NDA is not disclosing CM candidate to cheat the people as BJP would make upper caste CM if it wins. And on the other hand, he will try to convince the lower caste leaders like Paswan and Manjhi to take them out from NDA by assuring that BJP’s CM would be from higher caste according to its ideological discourse and history. If anyone will be unhappy with seat sharing ratio at that time, definitely NDA will go to disintegrate under such circumstances. In addition to this, BJP has many self-claimed CM candidates like Shushil Modi, Buxar Ashwani Choubey, C P Thakur and many more. If anyone among these ambitious persons senses the biasness towards other for making CM candidate, he may become rebel openly or passively which has been clear from the statements of these self-claimed CM candidates.  Hence, it is anticipated that BJP itself has many centrifugal tendencies and may lead to break up on issue of CM candidateship.

Modi-Shah duo has killed dissents with party. All the senior leaders like LK Advani, Arun Shourie, Yashwant Sinha, Govinda Charya, Shanta Kumar, Shatrughan Sinha and Murli Manohar Joshi have been marginalized by putting them into the dustbin of so called Marag Darshak. It seems that these Darshak are waiting for deafeat of Modi-Shah duo so that they can regain a freedom to speak up. This is not good sign for BJP.

Ahead to BJP, the grand alliance appears more in ideological harmony, of course pursuing similar goal for sake of power. All allied parties among Grand Alliance are on the prima facie secular and centrist or have centre-left traces. Hence these factions are relatively more trustworthy and have history of coalition politics though it is also true this alliance may end with collapse of ‘Modi Wave’ era. The experienced leaders like Sharad Yadav, K.C.Tayagi are like accommodators and buffers in grand alliance who can manage any tough contradictions. This alliance seems as revival of ideological blend of both Ram Manohar Lohia and J.P.Narayan that might have lost to very extent. Accounting these characteristics, Grand Alliance seems to handle the seat sharing problem, to which enemy wants to exploit if misalignment occurs in JDU-RJD of Grand Alliance. After end August this sharing process will be completed hopefully. And this sharing process is very decisive in making government in Bihar.

Bihar election 2015: A historic turn in political history of India :-

Bihar election is going to represent a historic turn in the timeline of Indian polity. Many parties like JDU (Janta Dal United), RJD (Rashtriya Janta Dal), INC (Indian National Congress) and NCP (National Congress Party) are directly partaking in Grand Alliance against NDA-the ‘holy alliance’. There are some ‘passive actor’ like SP (Smajwadi Party) and AAP (Aam Admi Party) in the theatre of Bihar election. The question arises why such Grand Alliance has emerged! Is this fortification against BJP? Or something beneath the carpet is different!

This is, no doubt, a misfortune in the modern democracies, that  the ruling polity with backing of  power hungry nexus of fundamentalist (with false medieval hangover) always has tendencies to consolidate in few hands or in one man army often curtailing or killing the ideological diversities in democratic and educational institutions, raising the level of confrontation against resistance politics.  And that ‘ruling party’ may become gradually arrogant and autocratic while dividing the whole nation across the line of majority and minority in cultural/religious/racial background, and ‘nationalist’ and ‘anti-nation’ or ‘pro-development’ and ‘anti-development’. Moral policing, extreme power hunger and manipulation of history are symptoms of these forces.

The Anti-Indra front was the spark in Indian democracy when whole country had been in deep despair. This front gave new dimension to Indian democracy. All factions irrespective of political line gathered to encounter the autocratic attitude of Smt. Indra Gandhi. Today, Bihar election 2015 is a occasion when all faction like JDU, RJD, NCP, INC, SP and AAP (internalizing the legacy of JP Narayan) are going to make the front against Modi Wave. If it is observed on platform of National Politics, it can be deduced that this front is more anti-‘Modi wave’ and lesser anti-BJP. Hence it is true that history repeats itself.

Now, what will happen to Modi Wave in Bihar? Will Grand Alliance wipe out this wave? Or this secular combination- Grand Alliance, will have to fight again in UP, Assam and Punjab against this Modi Wave. If Modi Wave will be defeated in Bihar, then what will be about the arrogance of BJP or Modi-Shah duo? But, if somehow BJP secures the majority in Bihar assembly, then Modi wave through TV or Radio waves will be preached in Media with high frequency. Now, this is upto Bihar’s people as if they want to stop the polarizing ghosts which are haunting over India since May, 2014. Now, it is in hands of Bihar whether it recognizes the pulse of Indian heartland- Delhi or not? Like Delhi’s people, Will Bihar follow? :-

“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, But you cannot fool all the people all the time.”  –Abraham Lincoln

DELHI MANDATE: VICTORY OF CONSTITUTIONAL VALUES AND DEFEAT OF RELEGIOUS INTOLERANCE (by Sawinder Singh on 21 feb, 2015)

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With shameful defeat of BJP in Delhi Elections, people of India have given a very strong message not only to arrogant and Fascist powers in the country but also a shocking wave of new life in democratic principles across the world. This is victory of not one party but victory of common man over money, muscle and power, it is the victory of secularism over communalism, it is the victory of democracy over concentration of power, it is the victory of spirit of Constitution over conservative values and religious intolerance. In nutshell Delhi mandate manifested the resolve of people in upholding the Preamble bearing “Secularism and Socialism”  for ever as character of Indian Society. Other than that it is a great opportunity for AAP to establish a new model of governance and essence of Welfare State which is enshrined in Constitution. Very shamefully the cruelest state policies have been brutal slum demolition since the 1990s, punishing, pauperizing Delhi’s poorest residents for the state’s failures to ensure affordable housing. Women voted in the hope of safety and dignity, and young people in anticipation of jobs, Delhi’s religious minorities voted in APP’s favour because of mere dismay at the declining climate of religious intolerance through the politics of deliberately manufactured hatred. The idioms and allegations hurled by other parties such as ‘bhagora’, ‘dharnebaaj’, ‘Anarchist’ etc failed to impress people but perhaps only 49 days of governance of the AAP in Delhi earlier was voted as better than the last 60 years of Indian political history. Hence the list is long, the journey hard and uphill. But AAP has the historic opportunity not just to re-write the rules of Indian politics-which it has partly already done but also of running a government which is authentically responsible and sensitive to its most disadvantaged residents. Through this little discussion we hope to evoke and highlight the factors of phenomenon of AAP and possibilities of Youth and Students of India to be part of this grand change and express boldly that soul of India is and always will be “SOVEREIGN, SOCIALIST, SECULAR, DEMOCRATIC, REPUBLIC”.

AAP AN EXPRESSION OF RISING ‘ENTROPY OF LIBERTY’ :-

Usually Indian electoral scene is always the scene of shameful caste politics, elections have been won by the regional and national parties on less of political or academic merit but by money and muscle. The election speeches during subsequent Lok Sabha Elections or any elections in India per say never were filled with heavy ideological or meaningful debates but vulgar propaganda to woo electors on the base of religion and caste. But not only AAP introduced some substantial political and economic agendas but on a closer look the proposed changes by AAP, is expression of rising political consciousness and deepening democracy /representative structures as political and cultural identity of the country. The decentralization of power, promise of creating culture and habit of referendums instead of indirect electoral representations is but something new and revolutionary not only in Indian democracy but  on Globe.

  • Decentralisation of Power through Swaraj Bill :- Power as a concept and ‘natural tendency’ is most debated and sough after in all realms of human communications. More the concentration of power, less humane the system becomes. Concentration of power can be through economic means or political, it has always proved to be menace for human freedom and culture. Even in a complex and liberal democracies like that of United States, Australia or India there remains possibility of immense power concentration. Emergency that was imposed in India by Smt Indra Gandhi in 1975 is one such example which exposed the weaknesses of these parliamentary democracies. We have been living in era of Indirect Parliamentary Democracies. But now because of the rampant development of technology it has been possible to usher in the age of Referendums and direct taking part of people in decision making through curtailing the powers of the elected members in our parliaments and other local representative systems. There are many ways to this, many debates in and against this concept and the procedure which leads to the decentralization of power further in our democracy. Manifesting such revolutionary ideas through mohalla sabhas etc is one of the way as is been experimented by Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi. Moreover Swaraj Bill may be is such an idea which the students and youth must observe and make sincere effort to manifest.
  • Transparency as weapon against corruption :- A democracy belongs to people eternally. Transparency not only in the government records, working and financial transactions of public sectors but maximum and full transparency in working and transactions of Corporations is a must for this democracy to be vibrant. Only transparency for now will ensure that neither the legislators nor the beaurocratic set up is sold out to the corporations. A democratic country can never be of any Religion ( as saffron forces want ) nor it can be a toy in hands of the powerful MNCs and Corporations. It essentially has to be secular as well as system of the people and by the people. Therefore the Youth and students of India must understand that as RTI and Lokpal bill were only a start towards this goal, the fight against corruption demands greater check and transparency in the public and private sectors. Where the newly elected AAP government must keep it in mind, the pressure groups and voice of youth must not fade away and it is the pious job of the party workers and Aam Aadmi (common man) to keep on reminding and forcing the AAP government to follow its promises on these issues.

 DELHI’S VICTORY IS IDEOLOGICAL DEFEAT OF COMMUNAL FORCES :-

 Misinterpreting history in the favour of one’s own political aims, to profess false national chauvinism, to propel hatred on the basis of race or religion or ideology is actually the oldest trick in the game. Mussolini presenting himself as incarnation of Roman Emperors, fake racial superiority of Nazi Germany or equally false political propaganda of extreme class based violence in Soviet Union are but few examples of misinterpretation of history and we all know how these regimes ended !  Now in India the present ruling party is actually one such expression in modern history of humanity. The various religious pressure groups which support BJP have always been there propagating some 5th century religious intolerance. So much so that, that Prime Minister of India in many of his speeches in past actually mentioned India and Indians being slaves from past 800 years ! Clearly, inherent is the discourse of religious hatred whereby the use of such phraseology expresses only the mentality of ‘chauvinist pracharak’ not Prime Minister of a Secular country.

           Hinduattva/Hindu Rashtra, is the term which is being professed by Saffron forces. In their propaganda, imagination and intention it stands nowhere near the ORIGINAL philosophy, sacredness and comprehensiveness of the ancient texts of India. Quiet opposite to it, discourse of Saffron forces is but of hatred, sectarianism and religious fundamentalism which is a shameful distortion of ancient Indian culture, philosophy as well as history. Hence it is important and imperative that students and youth of India must not fall into this degenerated, false version of history and communal ideology. INFACT, the true glory of ancient Indian culture and lifestyle (which is very dear to these communal forces !) is and can be only expressed if Indian masses will uphold the principles of Secularism and Republic. The phenomenon of caste brutality is but later medieval degeneration of Indian society and all the other associated shameful practices like sati. Hence, even the faintest logic to debate on the relevance of Secularism and Socialism is shameful and must be thwarted. Great Indian Social Reformer, Swami Vivekananda remarked, “Religion ceases to progress when unity is reached, which is the case with Hinduism.” It becomes clear that there is no space for religious intolerance and hatred in Ancient India philosophy as well as Modern Democracy.

           But an advertisement released by I&B MINISTRY on January 26, 2015 featured preamble in the background of the advertisement without words: Secular & Socialist.  Also the latest calendar published by Rajya Sabha had the preamble with these words missing. The Shiv Sena’s assertion on dropping the two words has led to widespread apprehensions that there might be a move to change the PREAMLE which infact the party high command has been quick to deny. It should have been ended there, but it is strange to notice that otherwise a very articulate and outspoken Prime Minister somehow have had nothing to say about the religious conversions and organized methods to divide Indian masses in sectarian beliefs. He had nothing to say on the phenomenon such as ‘ghar wapsi’ etc. Hence the intentions of the Saffron forces on trying to replace Secularism and Socialism seem quite evident.

SECULARISM AND SOCIALISM IS THE REAL CHARACTER OF INDIAN SOCIETY: –

The glories of past decades have been attributed to the social harmony in the nation protected by modern Constitution. India, a Secular State, is surrounded by states based on Religion. Death roams free on the streets of these Theocratic States due to sectarian conflicts and under developed Democracy. On the contrary by the virtue of Article 25 and unshaken belief in Constitutional Values India has successfully kept the right wing extremism at bay by following SECULAR approach.

 The economic development, as manifested by Five year plans have been on socialistic principles since independence. Be it Fundamental Rights or Directive Principles of State Policy, Socialist and Secular values are embedded in our Constitution. The socialist ideas, be it GANDHIAN, AMBEDKARITE or NEHRUVIAN are torchbearers of our Constitution. The Socialist/PublicWelfare Economic Policies and Legal Concepts have tried to push the fruits of economic prosperity and social equality to reach the deprived and socially oppressed sections as much as possible.

In the famous  Judgment Keshvananda Bharti Vs. State of Kerala, The Supreme Court declared that Parliament cannot alter the BASIC STRUCTURE or framework of the Constitution and it could not use its amending powers to ‘damage‘, ‘emasculate’, ‘destroy’, ‘abrogate’, ‘change’ or ‘alter’ the ‘basic structure’ or framework of the constitution. Consequently the important question that arises in this context is that “Does Basic Structure includes Socialism and Secularism?” In the Keshavananda judgement the eminent jurists opined explicitly or indicated that Secularism and Socialism are part of Basic Structure. According to Chief Justice Sikri, “Supremacy of the Constitution” and “Secular character of the Constitution” forms part of Basic Structure.

It cannot be denied that there have been many examples of religious fundamentalism manifesting in shameful organsied violence against religious minorities. Delhi massacre of 1984, demolition of Babri Masjid, Gujrat communal riots 2002 are but huge blots of inhuman attitude of Indian political class and the space which has been captured by anti-democratic, communal and backward forces in our national political scenario. Moreover the failure of security forces in preventing such violence and failure of Judiciary in delivering Justice in time adds to the horror of common man. BUT now victory of Aam Aadmi Party where people overlooked all these factors of money, muscle, caste and religion is sure sign of Indian Democracy getting matured and Indian elector being wise. Hence quiet evidently it is the answer of people of India towards the attitude of ruling BJP in past 9 months which has done nothing but tried to divide Indian masses in creeds, sects and religions. Hence Delhi Mandate is victory of Constitutional values, it is the manifestation of real nature of Indian Society which is Secular and Plural in nature from the very dawn of its Civillisation.

ROLE OF INDIAN DEMOCRACY AND NATURE OF LEADERSHIP:-

In both our countries, in India and in America, our diversity is our strength.  And we have to guard against any efforts to divide ourselves along sectarian lines or any other lines.  And if we do that well, if America shows itself as an example of its diversity and yet the capacity to live together and work together in common effort, in common purpose; if India, as massive as it is, with so much diversity, so many differences is able to continually affirm its democracy, that is an example for every other country on Earth.  That’s what makes us world leaders — not just the size of our economy or the number of weapons we have, but our ability to show the way in how we work together, and how much respect we show each other.”  – President Barrack Obama

Today, in 21st century when world market is so closely embedded that there cannot be any isolated military power in old medieval style. The leadership essentially has to be not through bigger Nuclear arsenal or better military equipment but through a progressive, open, plural and democratic culture. It will not be wrong to say that after the defeat in two World Wars Germany adopted this approach, Germany is the torchbearer of European economic stability, cultural unity. Where recent ongoing efforts to reach cease-fire between Ukrainian Army and Russian rebels in Kiev shows Germany’s resolve to maintain peace in the region and lead Europe towards political stability by constantly denying NATO to deploy it forces en masse. It is clear that in 21st century any nation will not be a leader because of the violence or hatred it preaches but how much in its capacity any nation can bring cultural absorption, political stability and economic prosperity to its region of the globe. And today India is at cross roads and India is the only country with multi cultural, linguistic and religious diversity which has the capacity to uphold the principles of ‘Unity in Diversity’ and consequently be an exemplary leader in protecting its cultural diversity, linguistic and religious minorities. But since India is a thorough democracy, this pressure for continually upholding Secular status of the country can be asserted only by the masses and to stop the present government for running this country like some 18th century Prussian State ( where our Prime Minister thinks himself to be Bismarck of South East Asia !).  Still this will not be enough, Indian masses have to be wise enough and nothing much should be expected from this ruling government. The nature of leadership of India can only be one of uniting South East Asia in one economic zone, in propelling harmony and asserting it through education and better medical facilities. Hence choosing and voting for political forces like AAP can be one such step and check on the Communal and Fascist forces and spirit of Democracy in and out of the Country.

SOCIALLY OPPRESSED AND SUBALTERN ARE MISSING !

History has shown us that blind faith in any one ideology or political party has always led to shameful failures. It is very important for the spirit of democracy to be alive and active. And this is only possible when we the youth and students of the nation will be vigil and will be loyal towards the humane consciousness, Fundamental Rights and constitutional values. AAP is a very fresh and young ideology, it must be supported but not be trusted blindly. Infact, there has been a very curious phenomenon inside the AAP’s evolution and coming in power. Unlike the parties like RJD, JD(U), CPI (M) and even BJP itself who smartly have adopted an approach of promoting the socially backward and oppressed sections atleast in their manifestoes and to some extent in working leadership as well, it is strange to find out that a Political Party as vibrant and full of Young leaders as AAP are not clear on matters of uplifting through affirmative action (Reservation) but have had some interesting ideas which seem to be diluting the provisions of affirmative action during many debates in 2014 Lok Sabha Elections ! Moreover interesting to note is that there is NOT a single personality representing any of the oppressed sections of society in party’s leadership ! Which surely should raise some eyebrows. So much so that, when Draft of Jan Lokpal Bill was prepared by Team Anna ( with Arvind Kejrival leading it) they actually ‘forgot’ to give representation to the members of Socially Oppressed Sections in appointments as Lok Pals as is required by law. India is country of millions of destitute, who are more socially oppressed in our villages. It is our firm belief that the term “Socialist” in preamble means protection and upliftment of these backward class citizens not only through the concepts like reservation (which unfortunately is abused by political parties for their vote bank and not for the purpose it was introduced ) but through appropriate political participation and leadership in executive as well as in legislation.

AT LAST, it must be accepted that mandate in Delhi is People’s mandate, it expressed the mood of Indian masses and inherent Secular values of Indian society. Delhi’s mandate is inspiration for poor and middle classes as well as it is a sure symptom of Indian Democracy being matured while overcoming the evils of money, muscle, power, religion and caste politics. Hence we the Youth and Students of India must keep a curious watch on the phenomenon of AAP and must not follow it blindly but on the other hand give genuine support to the issues raised by AAP in future.

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EKLAVYA STUDENTS AND YOUTH ASSOCIATION

March of Subaltern Liberty, Human Unity and Global Democracy

President: Vikramjeet Vick                                                                                         President (evening): Paryas Sharma           Contact No: 9988846069

Swami Vivekananda raised voice for Indian Subaltern (Dalits)

 

-Swami Vivekananda deserving Bharat Ratana for serving subaltern-

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Let men have the light of liberty. That is only condition of growth…  – Swami Vivekananda

Some time society needs more of a spiritual ideals and ideology to evolve and progress besides numerous political struggles and efforts. The birth of Great spiritual leader and philosopher Swami Vivekananda is the manifestation of such need of Indian land when India was suffering from communal forces and casteism along with British regime. In pre-colonial India, on 12 January 1863, this unique Hindu leader was born to weaken and defeat the dark forces. In 1984, Indian Government announced birthday of Swami Vivekananda as National Youth Day to grant him a special tribute. Swami Vivekananda ji embraced many sects, religious schools and world outlooks. He influenced large Indian masses and foreigners with his intellect and became a great social reformer, true nationalist and bold internationalist. Throughout his life, he always insisted on the very inherent spiritual nature of Indian society and gave a message of its inevitability to conquer the world. He also enforced Indian masses to come out of superstitions and understand the deep philosophy of spiritualism and religion. Vivekananda with his vast horizon of mind always established spirituality as tool and love as an instrument of human evolution and social development.

Like English philosopher Johan Locke, Vivekananda considered nature of man as eternal or divine that became departed due to external subjugation, worldly deviations and alienation which he can discover through wisdom, self-knowledge and actions for humanity. After Kabir Sahib, he was one of first person in India who condemned Casteism and Untouchabilty within domains of Hinduism. Vivekananda was passionate philanthropist who strongly advocated the oppressed, lower castes or outcastes and poor people. He remarked many time that

“Love makes no distinction between man and man, between an Aryan and Mlechcha, between Brahmin and a Pariah, nor even between man and woman. Love makes the whole universe as one’s own home.”

He projected Vedas composed of eternal and spiritual contents and Simrits or Purana as temporary texts infused with political motives. Vivekananda announced bravely that

“We must remember that for all periods the Vedas are the final goal and authority, and if the Puranas differ in any respect from the Vedas, that part of the Puranas is to be rejected without mercy…. As time rolls on, more and more of the Smritis will go, sages will come and they will change and direct society into better channels, into duties and into paths according to the necessity of age, and without which it is impossible that society can live.. ”

This was intention that right wing forces could not accept and are always keen to defame image of  S. Vevekanada. He was very against the privileges based on caste hierarchy which becomes clear in subsequent statement that

“The enjoyment of advantages over another is privilege; and throughout ages, the aim of morality has been its destruction. This is the work that tends towards unity, without destroying variety”.

Vivekananda also tagged Shudras or Parihas as proletariats of India and envisaged that Indian socialism can be conceived primarily in terms of their betterment.      

The work of Swami ji for subaltern (oppressed, lower caste and poor people) is unbelievable and recommendable. In fact the spirit of basic idea of education system that was proposed by Swami ji, seems to became a prime objective of Indian constitution and of first education commission – education system should strive to build character by cultivating moral, social and spiritual values…should strengthen national and social integration to create more egalitarian social order. Vivekananda always emphasized on education that

“…taking some university degrees, you consider yourself educated. Is this education? What is the goal of your education? Either Clerkship, or being a lawyer, or at the most a Deputy Magistrate, which is another form of clerkship – isn’t that all? What good will it do to you or to the country at large? Open your eyes and see what a piteous cry for food is rising in the land Bharata, proverbial for its food. Will your education fulfill this want? The education that does not help the common mass of people to equip themselves for the struggle for life, which does not bring out strength of character, a spirit of philanthropy and the courage of a lion – is it worth name?..The end of all education, all training should be man making.”

Vivekananda was first who supported the lower castes, lower class subaltern people in different way by proposing such education system that also seems to be ideological basis for reservation in modern time. Vivekananda elucidated very firmly that

“If the Brahmin has more aptitude for learning on the ground of heredity than the Pariah, spend no more money on the Brahmin’s education; but spend all on the Pariah. Give to the weak, `for there all the gift is needed… If there is inequality in nature, still there must be equal chance for all — or if greater for some and for some less — the weaker should be given more chance than the strong. If the son of a Brahmin needs one teacher, that of a Chandala needs ten…Our poor people, these downtrodden masses of India, therefore, require to hear and to know what they really are…”

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s concept of reservation and education was the legal and political manifestations of this above mentioned truthful thoughts of Vivekananda. Hence Vivekananda’s understating about Indian society seems to be correct and venerable.

On the eve of National Youth Day, it is worth to say that Vivekananda’s approach for education and uplifting status of subaltern is practical. His attacks on orthodox Hinduism enfolding casteism, idea of spiritual society and internationalism seek more interpretations and exposure. Hence it is necessary to defeat extreme wing communal forces who manipulate pious ideas of subaltern sympathizer Swami Vivekananda to perpetuate casteism and irrational condemning of constitutional right of reservation. Also it is duty of students and youth to eliminate extremist left wing forces which try to hijack subaltern ideals like Dr. B.R. Ambedkar to mobilize dalits/lower-castes/tribes for their undemocratic interests and violent means. If Malaviya and Vajpayee ji can be nominated for Bharat Ratnas, why not Vivekananda, Guru Nanak, Kabir ji, Phule were considered for same. ESYA demands that Vivekananda ji should be given honor of Bharat Ratana as were awarded to B.R Ambedkar for serving subaltern and our country. ESYA congratulates every student and citizen on the eve of National Youth Day.

President ESYA (PU unit): Vikramjeet Vick

12 January, 2015