By Sheshu Babu*
Tussle for power seems to be far from over in Karnataka. While Bjp is looking to break the fragile alliance of Congress and JD(s) , the alliance is itself trying to come out of the internal power struggle. This political scene is volatile and political permutations and combinations may continue for a longer period of time.
Role of dalits and marginalised sections
In these circumstances, there are plenty of opportunities for all underprivileged castes and classes to mobilise and form a potential force in the next elections. One such attempt is the formation of ‘Bahujan Azad Party’ with 50 IIT-ians who quit their jobs to serve people.( 50 IIT alumni quit jobs to form political party (April,23,2018, timesofindia.indiatimes.com). They have quit their jobs to fight for the rights of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. The group from different IIT backgrounds feels that SCs,STs, and OBCs have not received their due in terms of education and employment. The party is waiting for approval of Election Commission of India.
Posters and goals
With posters of Dr. B R Ambedkar, Subhas Chandra Bose, ABJ Abul Kalam and others, they have already begun social media campaign. Their aim is to uplift marginalised sections of society. Speaking to news18.com Naveen Kumar(IIT Delhi) said ” SCs don’ t want soap and oil, they want rights and quota “. Vikrant Vatsal narrated how he was insulted by a brahmin who did not allow to drink water saidthat he demands 60% quota for OBCs. Sampath Kumar Banoth feels that STs are an asset not liability to the nation. A new approach is needed to recognise and appreciate their contribution.
As elections ( both assembly and general) are approaching, the new party has its task cut out. Though there may be no plans to contest next elections, they should explain people the present state of oppression and brahminical domination. As they rightly recognised, no party has so far worked for the upliftment of marginalised sections. The mainstream parties have mostly been friends to corporates.
Mere recognition of the fact that present system has failed does not solve problem. There are dalits and marginalised sections voting for both Congress and BJP despite these parties using the underprivileged castes as their pawns to grab power. These parties also used influential OBC, SC, ST and muslim politicians to placate these castes and communities while vociferously propagating Manu order, caste division and supremacy of brahminism. The percentage of votes to these parties indicates that many people are opposed to their political agenda and party principles.
The BAP should start educating public at the earliest. The negative consequences of the Poona Pact which deferred communal electorate system should be elaborately explained. The gullible public voting for both upper caste dominated parties should be weaned away by convincing them about the apathy of these parties towards lower castes and minorities. They should explain internal hypocrisies of these mainstream parties.
So far, the intention is good but it should translate into ground work. Though it is too much to expect quick results, their hard work might be reflected in next elections. Beside their campaigns in vilkages, the BAP member team should also take up atrocities on adivasis, illegal detentions, imprisonment of persons like Chandrasekhar Azad ‘ ravan’ , Dr. Saibaba and number of political prisoners as well as ordinary people.
In a country where politics is fast degenerating and opportunism is rising, the new party of educated intellectuals who sacrificed their jobs, gives a glimmer of hope and optimism. It is the responsibility of these people to see that the party will not end up like number of other caste – based parties like BSP or SP and look like another ‘ shop’ in the market full of party ‘ shops’ . The party functionaries have expressed their determination not to make this effort go waste but, they should be alert to the situation.
They have plenty of work to do in future to clean up the political mess. Hopefully, they would not let their admirers down.
*Writer from anywhere and everywhere. Whenever he ponders on the question ‘ who am I?’, he gets some response from a Bhupen Hazarika lyric ‘Ami ek jajabor’:
‘ I am a gypsy
The earth has called me my own
And I have forgotten my home’