If Hindus speak and outrage about the situations (like RTE) in which they feel their religion has been discriminated against, then they are communal, since Hindus are the “dominant” section of society in India. But within Hindus, if a leader emerges asking for more rights for a particular caste, a caste which is not “oppressed” or “down-trodden”, like say the Patidars, then this leader is celebrated by left liberal media as a hero, who is redefining politics. Welcome to India.
The Gujarat elections were rife with such caste-based politics as new, uncouth men were propped up as “savvy” youth leaders, representing their respective castes. The results of the elections pointed to the fact that BJP lost a bit of its footing, and perhaps this may have been caused, at least partially, by the caste-drive agendas. Such agenda was sorely missing in Uttar Pradesh for example, where BJP swept the elections.
Last year we had reported how the Pakistani senate, in a policy paper drafted by a 13 man committee, had advocated that India’s own fault-lines in their alienated groups such as Dalits, must be highlighted. Even Pakistan realised that the only way to break India and Indians apart is to hammer at the caste fault-lines, among others.
Closer home, earlier this year, soon after the Uttar Pradesh elections, Shivam Vij, formerly associate editor with left leaning site Scroll.in and then Deputy Editor of HuffPost India, wrote a Facebook post coaching left liberals. He very bluntly asked his ilk to “focus on caste” instead of issues such as nationalism and secularism. He followed it up with a post titled “When Will Indian Liberals Stop Falling Into The Right-Wing Trap?” on Huffington Post, which said the same. This post was endorsed by the likes of Shekhar Gupta back then.
Recently, we had 2 major judgements on corruption in India: the 2G verdict and the Fodder scam verdict. In the 2G case, the accused were acquitted, and nobody bothered about issues such as religion and caste of the accused. In the fodder scam verdict, the caste card was interestingly played in advance by Shekhar Gupta, whose article linking caste and corruption was shared on the social media even as people waited for the verdict in the fodder scam case. Gupta’s article tried to insinuate that politicians belonging to upper castes don’t get convicted in corruption cases and only the politicians belonging to the lower caste get convicted.
This casteist line was immediately lapped up by Lalu’s party RJD, whose spokespersons repeated this, and in a veiled tone threatened ‘agitations’ in Bihar. Not just RJD spokespersons, even Lalu Yadav himself quoted Shekhar Gupta and played the caste card on Twitter.
The next development was the selection of the Himachal CM by BJP, who had won a thumping majority in the state. No sooner was the name announced, Rajdeep Sardesai, made a claim, in a tweet that was later deleted, that BJP was an “upper caste” party:
Even in this tweet, Sardesai was being dishonest (as usual) as he ignored the 2 Schedule Tribe CMs from the North East:
— Raju Das | ৰাজু দাস (@rajudasonline) December 24, 2017
But the larger question remains: Why did two major media personalities suddenly re-start talking about caste, especially in completely illogical situations such as a corruption case, where people from lower castes too who were acquitted? Is this the re-start of this narrative? Are we going to see more of this as we build to 2019?
This will not be a new phenomenon though, since we had seen how in the run up to the Bihar assembly elections, we saw many instances of fake news being run by the media where Dalits were shown to be victims of upper caste atrocities.
What the left liberals may not realise (or may indeed realise) that in their hatred for one party, and in their above plan, of breaking up the Hindu vote on the lines of caste, they may be breaking up India too. The death-wish of “Bharat tere tukde honge” (India, may you break up into pieces), need not be accomplished only by means of physically and geographically breaking up India. Our left liberals may break up India by dividing society itself, all for political success.
Editorial team of OpIndia.com