Can a Leopard change its spots?
Modi and Reservation issue
Narendra Modi finally revealed his true colour at Buxar the other day by communalizing the Bihar assembly elections proudly pronouncing that he would not allow the Pasmanda Muslims to be accommodated in Dalit/OBC reservation and would protect the Dalit/OBC reservation from Muslims.
Modi said, “The leaders of this ‘Mahaswarth’ (opportunistic) alliance are trying to mislead the people on the issue of reservation….These leaders are making a devious plan. They are conspiring to take away 5 per cent reservation of Dalits, Mahadalits, backwards and extremely backwards and give it to a particular community…. I will not allow this to happen. I pledge to protect the rights of Dalits, Mahadalits and Backwards,” he said addressing an election rally in Buxar.
In the run up to the last general elections, soon as Amit Shah was given the charge of Uttar Pradesh he started his campaign on identical lines blowing the war bugle against the Muslims saying he will not allow Sarla’s right being surrendered to Salma. “We will fight this with all our might. In today’s era you don’t fight with swords, you fight with vote.” This campaign worked wonders for the BJP in the last general elections not just in UP but all over the country where once again after Babri Masjid the BJP succeeded in polarising the electorate on communal lines and reaped the richest harvest ever, thanks to the distrust, suspicion and animosity Amit Shah created among Hindus cutting across caste lines against the other—the Muslim. Therefore it is evident that this is a tried and tested communalising Sanghi weapon, the Prime Minister of India is using to garner votes for his party.
Visibly shaken by all the reports from Bihar indicating that the Grand Alliance of Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar was doing well in the ensuing elections, and evidently all other tricks (including the lynching of Akhlaq in Dadri, on the outskirts of Delhi and creating a rift between Lalu and Nitish), up the BJP’s sleeves having failed, the Hindu Hriday Samrat has started showing his true colours.
This, after all, is the tried and tested Brahmastra taught to Narendrabhai Damodardas Modi during his formative years at the Sangh Shakhas. It paid rich dividends to him throughout his 13 year regime in Gujarat, when he succeeded in convincing the people of Gujarat that the Musalaman is the source of all their troubles and the only way to deal with him was to crush him under Modi’s heavy boot.
It is another thing that thereby he silenced the voice of any dissent and as is his wont this supposedly poor leader of the Backwards, (so he claims) resisted as much giving anything to the poor, the OBCs, the Dalits and the Tribals as to the Muslims. Modi went around in Gujarat proudly announcing how he refused to implement the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s 15 point programme for the improvement of the plight of minorities, (read Muslims) particularly in respect of granting scholarships to poor Muslim students of Gujarat.
But what he did not say, exposed Modi’s claims of being pro-poor, Dalits, and OBCs. On 23 December, 2013 when Modi was girding up his loin for a final bout to conquer 7, RCR, flaunting his dubious claims of a poor OBC saying “Me poor OBC chaiwallah” his government issued a notification to discontinue the services of Gujarat Rozgar Sevaks (GRS) and other technical staff under the Central MNREGA scheme from March 1, 2014 The Gujarat Mazdoor Sabha approached the Gujarat High Court describing the notification as a vindictive act of the Gujarat government because the workers under MNREGA had made a demand for Minimum Wages under the Minimum Wages Act.
The so-called poorest OBC chief minister of the richest state of India, was so cussed as not to grant even the minimum wages under MNREGA, when the greater part of the funds for MNREGA comes from the Centre. When the demand rose he chose to sack all of them. And who are the people who mostly toil under MNREGA? The Dalits, the Extremely Backwards and the rural poor even among the upper caste. This then is the real Modi and so much for his love for the Backwards and Dalits and his full throated claims from the rooftops of being the saviour of Dalits and OBCs.
Modi’s dilemma is he dare not question the Sarsanghchalak of Rashtirya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Mohanrao Bhagwat who had publicly sought review of the reservation system. After all, Sangh is the alma mater and the RSS chief, even if he be only a few years his senior in age, is like a father figure to Modi. Moreover the burning alive of two Dalit toddlers by upper caste men in BJP ruled Faridabad, Haryana, again next door to the national capital is not something Modi could wish away. And if that were not enough his chosen minister and former chief of the Indian Army General V K Singh dismissed the incident as something akin to throwing a stone at a dog.
Though the poor Army General was immediately upbraided by Home Minister and his caste leader Rajnath Singh, the damage had been done and NDA partner Jitan Ram Manjhi cried foul. He saw that the drift of the Dalits and the OBCs towards Lalu and Nitish turning into a stream. It was becoming amply clear that the Modi magic was not working this time in Bihar and so they pulled down hoardings and posters of Modi and Amit Shah and instead projected Paswan, Manjhi and Upendra Kushwaha, showing the BJP is now banking solely on Dalit and OBC leaders to see this election through. But perhaps this was not enough to restore Modi’s credibility with the Dalits and OBC grown suspicious of the PM and apprehensive of losing reservation, the only thing they have got from this Brahmanical system after thousands of years of living the life of a wretched.
Therefore arresting this trend became an urgent necessity with Narendra Modi and what best than to resort to the tried and tested Brahmastra.
Besides there is another aspect of the current development which Modi of all the people cannot and will hopefully never forget or ignore. From 1990 till 2004 L K Advani who led the Ram Janambhoomi movement was the Hindu Hriday Samrat and by comparison the Sangh merely suffered Atal Bihari Vajpayee as a necessary evil to attain power because it had to share it with those like Nara Chandrababu Naidu, who while supporting Vajpayee also said in the same breath, “I am secular.” (Ten years out of power he too has learnt his lesson the hard way and says this no more.) Returning to Advani once the Vajpayee era ended with the defeat of the NDA in 2004, Advani assumed that he would be the natural successor for the post of future Prime Minister of the BJP and even talked of a Shadow Cabinet. Towards this end he attempted at an image makeover, went to Pakistan and certified its founder Mohammad Ali Jinnnah Secular. Immediately thereafter, Advani became a pariah for the Sanghis. They suffered him for the next five years even reluctantly conceding his demand for being projected as PM candidate in 2009 but deep inside they never trusted him anymore. That’s when they decided upon Modi as a safer bet and built him up assiduously since 2009 as the PM candidate for 2014.
Since assuming office of the Prime Minister, Modi does attempt some tight rope walking by holding back some of his ascerbic comments. However that too has not gone down well with those who admired him for espousing the Hindutva cause upfront, for presiding over the Gujarat massacre of 2002. They naturally feel disappointed as Shiv Sena mouthpiece stated in its editorial. So eventually Modi has shown that the Leopard doesn’t change its spots. Let us see if that will win Bihar for him.