Are you a BJP fan? Do you hate being called Racist, Casteist, and a Hindu Fanatic? Turn a deaf ear to the naysayers and feel very proud, because if there is one party which is changing the way Politics is played in this country, it is BJP. If there is one party which is defying the shallow barriers of society, it is BJP. The 4 gentlemen in the picture prove my theory.
What is Casteism? There are no available definitions for it but I will try to define Casteism as honestly as I can.
Casteism is appeasement of the dominant caste(s) and overlooking of the non-dominant castes in order to reap electoral benefits. For instance the politics of UP and Bihar is dominated by Yadavas. Lalu Prasad Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav both have appeased Yadavas ever since their emergence on the political platform. They have awarded them with maximum legislative seats, plum positions in bureaucracy and other services. Voters from the dominant castes want leaders from their midst and hence powerful leaders from dominant castes are invariably selected as Chief Ministers from the State. Let us bring BJP back into the discussion.
If BJP actually is a Casteism party, it should toe the lines of caste based appeasement as well.
Let us wind our clocks back to Haryana Assembly Elections 2014.
Conventionally, the Jats in Haryana have given more chief ministers than the non-Jats in Haryana. Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the former chief minister, belongs to the dominant Jat community as well. But Prime Minister Modi and Amit Shah stunned political Pundits by picking a Punjabi to lead the government in a Jat-dominated Haryana. Manohar Lal Khattar, a Punjabi by caste, was the first non-Jat to lead the state in 18 years. Popular BJP Jat leader in Haryana Captain Abhimanyu was billed for the top post but the BJP high command’s decision to prop up Khattar surprised everyone. And it was no revenge game. The majority of voters that casted their votes in favour of BJP were from non-Jat communities, OBCs and upper castes but it was revealed that the party riding on a strong NaMo wave had managed to swipe a substantial number of Jat votes their way.
Now that we are done with Haryana, let us move to Jharkhand Assembly Elections, 2014.
A quick look at the names of Jharkhand CMs should be sufficient to gauge the political clout of the tribals in the mineral rich state. Babulal Marandi, Arjun Munda (BJP), Shibu Soren, Madhu Koda and Hemant Soren all belong to the Tribal castes and have all been Jharkhand CMs, for at least one term. But Modi led BJP decided to go ahead with a non-tribal CM. Raghubar Das was the first non-tribal CM of the state, 14 years after it was sliced out of Bihar. As soon as the news went live there were demonstrations by some tribal organizations. Effigies of Modi were burnt all across Jharkhand, protesting his decision to appoint a non-tribal as chief minister of a Tribal dominated state. Today Raghubar Das leads a steady government in Jharkhand.
Let us take a look at the Maharashtra elections now.
A Brahmin, Devendra Fadnavis was anointed as the chief minister in Maharashtra which has been dominated by Marathas and OBCs. In the long history of Maharashtra, the only other Brahmin Chief Minister of the State was Manohar Joshi during the Sena-BJP coalition (1995-99). Eknath Khadse was the senior most leader in Maharashtra. He had enormous clout and was the OBC face of BJP in Maharashtra. Fadnavis’s ascension led to a lot of criticism of the BJP for disregarding its backward leaders. There was a sinister anti-Brahmin propaganda on the social media but BJP ignored the naysayers and went ahead with Fadnavis’s coronation. Today Devendra Fadnavis is one of the most popular CMs of India and has even struck a balance with his Maratha and OBC colleagues.
From Maharashtra let us now move to Gujarat, PM’s home state.
Patels/Patidars are a prosperous community in Gujarat. They are almost 15 % of Gujarat’s population. They hold the potential to swing as many as 80 seats in assembly elections. BJP has had the steadfast support of the Patels before the Patel Agitations of 2015. The alienation of Patels from BJP can possibly result in a cakewalk for Congress in 2017 assembly elections where BJP will be fighting against 20 years of anti-incumbency. Nitin Patel was the senior most leader in Gujarat, and his ascension could have pacifid the Patidar community but Amit Shah chose Vijay Rupani to take over Anandiben Patel. Rupani belongs to Jain Community which is a minority Caste in Gujarat.
I have quoted hard facts here, Facts that are irrefutable. Congress, regional satraps and two-faced political jokes like Aam Aadmi Party claim to be all inclusive and egalitarian on the front end but they neither have the zeal nor the resolve to defy the status quo. Risk takers, the square pegs in round holes have the potential to move the generation frontward.
Ever since Modi took the front seat, this nation has been moving forward. He is very subtly denouncing the set norms of casteist barriers. Media will continue calling them “Right Wing Goons”, “Hindutvavaadi”, “Ultra-Nationalists”, and “Brahmin-Baniya Party” but PM Modi is doing exactly what CM Modi used to do. Turn a deaf ear to worrywarts and “Modify” the nation, one change at a time.